ΔΙΑΣΠΟΡΑ-DIASPORA Newsletter - September 27, 1996

Spyridon Of Italy, New American Archbishop

Metropolitan Spyridon was enthroned as Archbishop of America on September 21 in the Holy Trinity Greek-Orthodox Cathedral of New York. Archbishop Spyridon, previously Metropolitan of Italy, was unanimously elected as the new Archbishop of America by the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Holy Synod on July 30. Spyridon was also proclaimed the Ecumenical Patriarch’s Exarch in America. He succeeds Archbishop Iakovos whose retirement was put into effect on July 28. The announcement of Spyridon’s election was made following a ballot of the 12-member Church Synod, which chose Spyridon in a vote among three candidates. The other two candidates were the Metropolitan of New Zealand Dionysios and the Bishop of Zenoupolis Aristarchos.

The new Archbishop of America, who was born in Florida but whose family hails from Rhodes, attended the Halki Academy of Theology (1962–1966) and pursued postgraduate studies in Switzerland (1967–1968) and Germany as an Ecumenical Patriarchate scholar (1969–1973). Archbishop Spyridon speaks fluently Greek, English, German and Italian. He served with the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s permanent representation at the World Council of Churches (Geneva 1966– 1967), and as a secretary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Orthodox Center in Geneva, while at the same time serving as chief editor of the “Episkepsis” magazine.

Since 1984, and headquartered in Rome, he carried out the duties of secretary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s representation at the theological dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. In November 1985 he was elected Bishop of Apameia by the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Holy Synod. Following the establishment of the Greek-Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy in Venice, in November 1991, he was enthroned as Metropolitan of Italy.

In addition to the election of the new Archbishop of America, the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Synod decided to establish three new Metropolitanates in the western hemisphere, one in Canada, based in Toronto, one in Central America, based in Mexico City, and one in South America, based in Buenos Aires. The election of the new Metropolitans will take place at a later date. The Holy Synod expressed its appreciation and respect for outgoing Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos and its satisfaction for his long-standing contribution to the Church and Hellenism.

The new Archbishop of America is the fifth since the establishment of this region of the Ecumenical Throne 75 years ago. Assistant Bishop of Krateia Yennadios was appointed Patriarchal Commissioner in Italy. [MDD; based on ANA, July 31]

[ ΔΙΑΣΠΟΡΑ-DIASPORA Newsletter | Vol. ΙΙΙ - Nr. 56 | September 27, 1996 - pp. 4-5 ]
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