Athens News Agency - April 5, 1999

Greek-American Organizations in Support of Spyridon

By Justine Frangouli

As scenarios for the replacement of Archbishop Spyridon of America are increasingly discussed, Greek-American organizations, by means of statements and letters to the Patriarchate, are demonstrating their support for the current Archbishop.

The President of the American section of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), Christos Tomaras, stated on a radio broadcast in Chicago that Archbishop Spyridon's efforts to rally all Greek-American leaders and organizations to a common strategy on the whole range of Greek National issues is ground-breaking. He also said that ever since the Archbishop arrived in America, there has been an air of optimism as to the preservation of Greek national identity.

In addition, the President of the National Council, Mr Theodore Spyropoulos, referring to the persistent rumors of recent days, said that the Patriarch should intervene to quash such rumors so that false perceptions are not created on matters that pertain to the unity of the Church and the Greek-American community.

In a letter to the Patriarch, the major Greek-American organization AHEPA, currently holding its annual congress in San Diego, California, reports that the Greek-American community is up in arms over the rumors about the Archbishop’s eventual removal. "His message, as it makes its way throughout the United States, is a message of love and unity and we hope that the Archbishop will long remain at the helm of the Archdiocese of America, so that pending issues can be dealt with efficiently and the Greek-American community can thrive in the third millennium," wrote the organization's Supreme President, Lee Rallis.

On the other hand, in a message to the Patriarchate, signed by all its members, the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council explained the problems and prospects of the Church in America under the leadership of Archbishop Spyridon and proposed solutions for an improvement of the picture across-the-board.

[ Translated from Greek ]

[ Αθηναϊκό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων - April 5, 1999 ]