Orthodox Observer - April 20, 1998

Archbishop Addresses San Francisco Diocese Clergy on Monasticism

NEW YORK.- Archbishop Spyridon visited the Monastery of St. Anthony in Florence, Ariz., on March 16 and led a retreat for clergy of the Diocese of San Francisco attended by Metropolitan Anthony and 58 priests.

Retreat theme was the relationship of monasteries to the local bishop and local parish. The title of His Eminence's address was "The Role of Monasticism in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America."

In two sessions of dialogue lasting four hours, His Eminence outlined "the function and strength of Monasticism in the Christian diakonia" and engaged in a deep and detailed reflection with the clergy brotherhood. The priests had extensive one-on-one exchanges with His Eminence and lengthy open dialogues.

His Eminence stressed the value of all three orders in the Church: clergy, laity and monasticism. Commenting on the role of monasticism, His Eminence said, "Spiritual therapy is indeed the primary role of monasticism. It is precisely this role that renders monasticism friendly and, so to say, popular, at certain levels of the Church, because it does not elevate monasticism above the other orders in the Church.... Monasticism, has to do with the unwavering and single-minded pursuit of the wholesome Christian life, the life of the Gospel, which is the common pursuit of all Christians in the Church."

[ Orthodox Observer | VOL. 63 - NO. 1143 | April 20, 1998 | p. 3 ]