Report to Archbishop Spyridon of America
by Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh
re the Holmberg issue at HC/HC
( January 14, 1997 )
DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA
January 14, 1997
Archbishop of America, Spyridon
Today I communicated with the offices of A.T.S. (Association of Theological Schools). The A.T.S. is an organization that awards or removes the academic accreditation in all the Theological Schools in America and Canada. Headquarters of this organization (since 1990 onward) is Pittsburgh.
Without mentioning the name of professor Peraskevi (Evie) Zachariades- Holmberg, I spoke to them (to the specialist who knows our Theological School) about the problem at hand, with Fr. Calivas' letter to Dr. Holmberg dated august 3rd 1996, where he is informing her that her appointment which was made four years ago by the then president Bishop Methodios, is not renewed, and it is forbidden to her to participate in the faculty meetings of the School of Theology.
The expert oral opinion of the A.T.S. specialist is the following:
1) With regard Dr. Holmberg's tenure, this took place according to the rules by a special mixed committee of "Hellenic College" in 1991. Both Professors of the College and the School of Theology participated. She was given tenure in the College and on this basis Bishop Methodios, after the expert advisement of a special committee from both schools, gave her a double appointment, both -that is- in the college and the School of Theology in 1992.
According to the specialist at A.T.S. Bishop Methodios' appointment, having been done properly (canonically), is still valid. It is valid in both Schools, both the College and the School of Theology, since Dr. Holmberg's tenure is valid.
2) Loss of tenure happens only when there are serious reasons, such as the following: moral transgressions, physical or intellectual incompetence happening after obtaining tenure, financial abuse etc.
None of these are valid in the case of Dr. Holmberg. Consequently, the double appointment and the tenure which bishop Methodios provided as a president and since he was the president of the Institution, remain valid according to the expert opinion of the specialist from the A.T.S.
3) As far as Dr. Holmberg's participation in the faculty meetings of the School of Theology, although she is not a Theologian, the expert's answer was that every professor who teaches in a School, under any rank, has the right and the responsibility to participate in the meetings of this School. If there is a reason, it is possible not to participate in the voting procedure, especially if it has to do with matters of theology, or even practical matters, such as in the case of the final examinations of the students who are candidates for the priesthood. This does not remove Dr. Holmberg's duty and right to participate in the meetings of the School of Theology.
The A.T.S. specialist, whose name I will make known to you pretty soon, mailed me the rules of A.T.S. which refer to all the above matters. As soon as I receive these documents I will send them to you for your information. The present report, therefore, is incomplete since it needs validation through written statements. I submit it, however, for your information, because I consider it the most urgent.
I will revisit soon with a complete report on our visit at the School, mine and bishop Meloes. My holy bother proved himself best collaborator during the whole visit.
I remain , with the deepest respect and much love,
[ signed ]
Maximos Bishop of Pittsburgh.
[ Translated from Greek ]