Greek-American Review - December 1, 1999
The autonomy issue at the next clergy-laity congress
To the Editor:
During the past three years I often did not agree with your position concerning the removal of Archbishop Spyridon or your position in support of GOAL, however your recent letter in the September, l999 issue of Greek American Review was right on the mark.
The fact that it was finally realized that Archbishop Spyridon was "left to twist in the wind" and a climate was permitted to prevail to pit friends and family members against each other on opposite sides of the issues demonstrated the real Byzantine approach to Church governance and politics, that you nor I may be fully privy to or understand.
It is difficult to reconcile the unqualified full-hearted endorsement in January of Archbishop Spyridon as being here until his death and then to have him abruptly forced to resign in August of the same year.
Nothing really changed between these two dates except advocates for the Archbishop's removal increased their pressure on decision makers. From all this chaos much of what was orchestrated by individuals both near and afar there can be no doubt, that this calculated removal of Archbishop Spyridon can only have a negative effect on our Church in America, if we allow it to.
The need for the healing process to begin is very evident and even more so now that it is apparent that the lay members and priests of our Church in America do and should have a say in its future.
Therefore I endorse your call for a vote at the next Clergy-Laity Congress seeking a resolution of autonomy to be finally decided one way or the other.
There can be no going back now, now that the "genie is out of the bottle," if we are to have a truly democratic and representative Church as has been clearly demonstrated from our recent experience we should be able to chose our own leaders.
You are correct, Metropolitan Methodios does have a moral and legal obligation, as do our other hierarchs, to present the issue of autocephalie at the next Congress. It would speak volumes of hypocrisy which many accuse our hierarchs of engaging in, if the rule of law is not now followed in this instances. It must be fundamentally clear, now that we no longer have the excuse of Archbishop Spyridon to blame for all of our failings that we must take charge of the future of our Church.
I applaud your letter and your opinions but respectfully reserve the right to disagree with you on future issues as we have in the past.
Very truly yours,
[ Greek-American Review - December 1, 1999 ]
[ Orthodox News - January 13, 2000 ]