Athens News Agency - November 12, 1999

Clinton Letter of Farewell to Spyridon

By Justine Frangouli

The President of the United States, Bill Clinton, has sent a cordial letter of farewell to Archbishop Spyridon, former Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, to express his appreciation for the excellent co-operation the two men had during the three years that the Archbishop served in America.

"Throughout your inspired tenure -the American President wrote- you have enriched the lives of countless others and stood as an example of faith to our nation and the world. You have worked tirelessly to serve the Ecumenical Patriarchate, fostering an atmosphere of compassion and fellowship and tending to the spiritual needs of those who look to you for guidance."

The US President thanked the former Archbishop of America, also on behalf of his wife, Hillary, for the active part he has played in promoting vital issues of our time. He concluded by saying: "You can take pride in knowing that you have truly made a positive difference to our world and to our future."

It should be noted that Archbishop Spyridon has stated that he is withdrawing from active service. He has refused so far to accept his election as Metropolitan of Chaldia and is now discussing the possibility of delivering a series of theological lectures at major US universities. He has also accepted a proposal from the New York Times to write a number of articles on relations between Orthodoxy and other Christian Churches.

[ Translated from Greek ]

[ Αθηναϊκό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων - 12 Νοεμβρίου 1999 ]