GOARCH - April 8, 1998

Archbishop Spyridon Arrives at Patriarchate

His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, accompanied by Archimandrite John Heropoulos, Director of the Office of the Archbishop, and Mr. John Mavroudis, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Archdiocesan Council and Legal Counsel of the Archdiocese arrived in Constantinople, on Wednesday morning, April 8th.

Upon arrival at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Eminence entered the Cathedral of St. George and venerated the sacred icons of the Cathedral. The Archbishop began the day with an extensive private meeting with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and His Eminence Metropolitan Joachim of Chalcedon, chairman of the Committee for the Eparchies of the Ecumenical Throne. At the conclusion of this meeting, lunch was served in the Patriarchal refectory.

Following the afternoon Lenten meal, a second meeting was held and His Eminence was received again by His All Holiness. Also attending this meeting were His Eminence Metropolitan Joachim of Chalcedon and Mr. John Mavroudis. At the conclusion of this meeting, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon met with the Committee for the Eparchies of the Ecumenical Throne, a committee of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

In attendance at this meeting were:

His Eminence Metropolitan Joachim of Chalcedon, His Eminence Metropolitan Kallinikos of Lystra, His Eminence Metropolitan Germanos of Tranoupolis, His Eminence Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia, His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of Agathonikeia, and His Eminence Metropolitan Ireneos of Evdokias.

His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon offered a report on the good progress of the Institutions and Ministries of the Holy Archdiocese of America. It was noted that all boards and councils are functioning according to their specific by-laws and that each institution is striving to minister and grow in the best way. Special attention was given to new initiatives involving: Youth Ministries, Religious Education, Inter-Church marriages etc. Also, the recent successful meeting of SCOBA and Pan Orthodox relationships were discussed.

The report also detailed the active and continuing pastoral parish visitations of the Archbishop throughout America and the success of the recent Diocesan Clergy-Laity Assemblies in the Dioceses of Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, and the Archdiocesan District of New York. The growth of monasticism in the United States was discussed. The growth of monasticism in the United States was discussed. There was also discussion on the issue of extra-ecclesiastical groups.

Following the report, there was open dialogue among all the Hierarchs. The session was held in a spirit of good will, brotherly love and with the will and desire to support the mission and ministry of the Archbishop and the Archdiocese during this challenging transition in the life of the Church in America.

There were further developments regarding the Old Calendar Church in the United States. On Saturday, April 11th, the Saturday of Lazarus, the ordination of the newly Elected Titular Metropolitan Paisios will take place at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George at the Phanar. On the same day, the ordination of the newly elected Bishop Vikentios will take place at the St. Demetrios Church of Xyloporta, formerly the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Both Hierarchs will return to the United States on Saturday evening in order to observe and celebrate the sacred services of Holy Week in New York. As Exarch of the Ecumenical Throne in the United States, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, will preside over the installation of Metropolitan Paisios as Abbot of the Patriarchal and Stavropegiac Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Astoria, New York, most probably on Friday evening, April 24, 1998.

[ GOARCH - - April 8, 1998 ]