GOARCH - October 30, 1998

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Condemns
Cancellation of Modern Greek Language Regent

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was shocked to learn today of an arbitrary decision taken by the New York State Education Department regarding Modern Greek language studies in the state. The Education Department eliminated the annual sample examinations for Regents credit for students who have studied Modern Greek. They did so unilaterally, without warning to the schools, teachers and students affected by such a decision.

His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon upon learning of this decision was stunned. In a letter he sent to all the faithful of New York State he writes of the decision saying that it "devalues the time, efforts and financial investment that the families of the Greek Orthodox church have made over the course of many years in the system of day schools and afternoon Greek schools. The faithful of America have developed this system of school in order to impart the riches of our Hellenic heritage to our children. I call upon the faithful of the State of New York to speak with one voice on this matter ."

The Archdiocese, under the leadership of His Eminence has begun organizing phone and petition drives in an effort to reverse this damaging and hurtful decision. Calls to the Archdiocese have conveyed the outrage and dismay of the faithful. While all the foreign-language Regents examinations are to be phased out in the year 2001, the Greek language exams have been singled out for a sudden and early demise.

His Eminence is especially concerned about this years students who were counting on taking the exams for Modern Greek language credit. He is acutely aware of the injustice done to them in the face of their work and commitment to their heritage and culture. In his letter he calls upon the state to reverse their decision for the 1999 school year regardless of any other decision.

Archbishop Spyridon concludes: "The deep roots of our Hellenic culture have nurtured European civilization for millennia. It is imperative that all Greeks and philhellenes in America strive at this critical moment to preserve the foundation stone of our cultural patrimony. As your Archbishop and spiritual father, I call upon all of us now to rise up in defense of our Hellenic heritage."

  October 30, 1998 ]