top - August 19, 1999

Greek Orthodox archbishop resigns amid money questions

BROOKLINE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America has resigned effective August 30 amid questions about financial mismanagement of church funds.

Archbishop Spyridon submitted his resignation to the Ecumenical Patriarch at a meeting Thursday morning. In a statement released on the Internet (, Spyridon said he submitted his resignation for reasons "totally independent of and unrelated to my personal intentions."

Spyridon -- the first U.S.-born leader of the 1.5 million Greek Orthodox members in the Americas -- had come under increasing pressure to resign during his three-year tenure. He was accused of financial mismanagement, covering up sexual harassment at the Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts, and demagoguery.

Demetrios Trakatellis of Greece has been named as his replacement. He earned his doctorate in religion at Harvard and has taught for more than a decade at the seminary.

Members of a group leading the effort to replace the archbishop, the Greek Orthodox American Leaders (GOAL), released a statement saying "the long ordeal and period of disorderliness in the affairs of our archdiocese appears to be over. "

GOAL co-chairman Dr. John Collis said, "We are overjoyed and feel blessed at having the best possible archbishop. We are confident he will bring our church together."

[ - - August 19, 1999 ]

One unretrievable image :
Image caption: "Spyridon was accused of financial mismanagement and covering up a sexual harassment scandal"