ERA 5 - January 8, 1999

A New Foundation for the Re-opening of Halki

By Justine Frangouli

Archbishop Spyridon of America announced today at a press conference that an independent foundation will be established in the United States to promote the re-opening of the Theological School of Halki. The Archbishop explained that the new foundation's mission will be "to specifically focus the social and academic consciousness of the world to the cause of Halki and contribute to the re-opening of this vital institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, so that it can once again serve the needs of the international community."

The Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, in a gesture of good will towards his predecessor, Archbishop Iakovos, said he intended to invite the latter, as a graduate of the Theological School of Halki, to serve on the Board of the new foundation.

At the same time, the Archbishop extended the hand of friendship to one of the five metropolitans "in revolt," Maximos of Pittsburgh, by inviting him to join the Board of the new institution. Metropolitan Nicholas of the Carpatho-Russian Church in America (Ecumenical Patriarchate) will also be a member of this administrative body.

During the same press conference, Archbishop Spyridon announced also that a separate organization had been set up to administer the "Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100" endowment fund. "Leadership 100" whose mission is to support the National Ministries of the Archdiocese by promoting their various initiatives and projects, has grown to $40 million dollars since 1984. The endowment fund will now be administered by a new board chaired by George Kokkalis.

In giving a briefing on events transpired in the Archdiocese of America, Archbishop Spyridon said that in 1998 a new high was set in revenues received in support of the National Ministries of the Archdiocese. According to information from the Department of Stewardship and National Ministries parishes contributed $8.87 million in 1998, surpassing the previous year's record total by $400,000 dollars.

Finally, asked how he felt about his upcoming visit to the Phanar to be made jointly with the five US metropolitans, the Archbishop of America expressed his complete satisfaction at this development. Answering the question whether he had any intention to resign from office, Spyridon replied that he would act in accordance with the bidding of the Mother Church.

[ Translated from Greek ]

[ ΕΡΑ - - January 8, 1999 ]