The Orthodox Servant - August 1996

A New Era

His Eminence
Metropolitan Spyridon

On July 30, 1996 the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate convened under the leadership of His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and unanimously elected His Eminence Metropolitan Spyridon as the successor to His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos. Metropolitan Spyridon is the fifth Archbishop to serve our Church in this Hemisphere. He will also be the first American born leader of our Archdiocese.

Not Well Known

While he is not well-known on these shores it was barely two years ago at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Chicago that he was sent by Patriarch Bartholomew to the Congress as the Patriarchal representative. The doubts about "Who is Metropolitan Spyridon?" were soon dispelled after the eloquent delivery of his address at the Grand Banquet on July 7, 1994. The question then became, "Is this the Prelate being put forth by the Patriarch as an eventual successor to Archbishop Iakovos?"

In the past two years however, other names overshadowed his. Since the announcement was made by Archbishop Iakovos nearly a year ago that he would retire on his 85th birthday on July 29, 1996 the most-asked question was, "Who?" Now we know.

Metropolitan Spyridon

Metropolitan Spyridon was born in Warren, Ohio in 1944 and attended school in both the U.S. and Rhodes. He graduated from the Tarpon Springs, Florida high school, and matriculated with honors in 1966 from Halki Theological School in Turkey. By 1985 he had been consecrated a Bishop, and in 1991 elevated to Metropolitan of Italy with his See in Venice which he has served with distinction.

Three Metropolitanates

The Patriarchate also announced that to better serve Orthodox Faithful in North and South America three new Metropolitanates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will be established: the Metropolitanates of Toronto and Canada, Buenos Aires and South America and Mexico and Central America.

Patriarch Bartholomew

In expressing his deep appreciation for the lengthy service of Archbishop Iakovos, Patriarch Bartholomew stated his confidence that in preparation for the new century ahead, Archbishop Spyridon will meet the challenges to lead the vibrant Church in America for the spiritual gratification of her Faithful and to the glory of God.

[ The Orthodox Servant - August 1996 - pp. 1-2 ]