Athens News Agency - July 9, 1999

Spyridon Pays Rush Visit To The Phanar

By Justine Frangouli

Archbishop Spyridon of America will pay a rush visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Phanar on Sunday. The Archbishop and Patriarch Bartholomew will discuss the crescendo of rumours concerning the Church in America, rumours that have taken on disturbing dimensions in the Greek and Greek-American press in recent days.

Archbishop Spyridon will be compelled to miss the solemn Memorial Service for the 25th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, to be attended by official representatives and members of all major Greek-American and Greek-Cypriot organizations on Sunday at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York.

In an encyclical letter dedicated to the tragic anniversary, the Primate of the Church in America stressed that "we must call for the world to shake off its indifference and self-interest, to find a truly peaceful solution in place of the non-solution of partition."

The Archbishop of America also pointed out that the international community should not forget the ongoing illegal occupation of 37% of the island of Cyprus, the tragedy of 1,600 missing persons, the displacement of 200,000 refugees from their ancestral homes, the introduction of settlers from Turkey employed to distort the demographic make-up of the island, and the systematic elimination of every trace of Cypriot Hellenic and Christian heritage.

Archbishop Spyridon called upon all Greek Orthodox parishes to commemorate the solemn anniversary with special Memorial services and thus contribute to the overall efforts to persuade Washington to seek a solution to the Cyprus problem.

[ Translated from Greek ]

[ Αθηναϊκό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων - July 9, 1999 ]