Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - July 22, 1999
Helen Sfikas Rogers Expresses Support for Archbishop Spyridon
Re: Recent Attacks on Archbishop Spyridon
I am the daughter of a Greek Orthodox Priest and have been extremely disturbed by the recent attacks on our Archbishop. I do not welcome any mailings from a dissident group and am very saddened to see that any Orthodox Priest would lend their name or support to anyone whose goal is to usurp a duly appointed Archbishop of our Church. My father, Father John Sfikas, was a very peaceful, loving, and understanding man. He taught the meaning and understanding of apostolic succession and its critical role in Orthodoxy. While it is certainly appropriate to raise questions or issues, it is not appropriate to lay blame for past problems on an individual who has charge for spiritual leadership and who has had only a limited opportunity to bring about those changes which, after careful study, he felt were necessary.
I can assure you that, despite fervent attempts by dissidents, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Nashville, Tennessee firmly and with complete unity, supports Archbishop Spyridon and our newly appointed Bishop Nicholas. From visits I have had with other communities, and communication with other Orthodox friends, I also believe that that is the majority opinion throughout the United States; but that the silent majority needs to speak up. The Archbishop needs to be given an opportunity to become our spiritual leader and to put Orthodoxy in the United States back on track. While some people may view this as a backward step or a more conservative trend, that has been the history of Orthodoxy that we must constantly be re-evaluating our position to be certain that we do not allow practices or customs that are not founded in the roots of the Church to creep into the practice of our religion.
It is time to step back and follow the advice I can still remember my father practicing, "Me to melie", or with honey. Greek Orthodox Christians in the United States would, in all likelihood, find themselves in better stead to greet Archbishop Spyridon with the love, understanding, and patience that our spiritual Father deserves, and show him through support and love what the followers of Christ should consider, rather than greeting his enthronement with accusations, threats, and controversy.
Yours in Christ,
Helen Sfikas Rogers Esq.,
cc: Father George Vaporis
[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
July 22, 1999 ]