GOARCH - March 4, 1999

Metropolitans Join with Fellow
Archdiocesan Council Members in Support for Unity

New York - In emotion filled meetings at the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral last week, the Metropolitans of the Holy Eparchial Synod joined with the members of the Archdiocesan Council in a unanimous acclamation and resolution of Christian unity and love. The text of the resolution is as follows:

Following the lead of our Holy Eparchial Synod, the Archdiocesan Council invites all the members of our Archdiocese to embrace the spirit of Lent, a spirit of repentance, forgiveness, harmony and love.

In this spirit, we oppose the spirit of all negativism, destructive criticism and division, and we call upon all to preserve "the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3).

We look forward to a new beginning in the life of the Archdiocese, where the peace, love and unity of Christ prevails, and where each of us, clergy and laity alike, may continue to offer our services to our Church and faith, under the guidance of our hierarchy, and the leadership of our crucified and risen Lord.

The resolution was the fruit of an intense dialogue which was marked by frank expressions of personal opinion over the issue of the public release of the report of the Metropolitans to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the condition of the Church in America, a report that criticized certain policies and procedures at the Archdiocese.

Vice-Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, Mr. John Catsimatidis commented on the resolution as follows:

"I think we can all be very gratified that the Members of the Synod and the Archdiocesan Council were able to join together in a mutual statement of love and support. The Metropolitans of the Synod have decisively repudiated the divisive and critical spirit which threatens to damage our Church. While there still may be differences, it is obvious that the Metropolitans are working with the Archbishop in a joint process toward the resolution of those differences. It is clear from this unanimous vote of the Archdiocesan Council, which includes all the Bishops of the Church, that this is an affirmation of the service of all members of our Church, from the Archbishop to the Members of the Synod, to the clergy and all the laity. We are proud that the Synod Members have found a way to express their support for the Archbishop while still maintaining their own right to diversity of opinion. I am confident that the spirit of love expressed in the resolution will guide all of us in our sacred task of bringing our community together. We are one Church, united to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, under one Archbishop with all the Members of the Holy Synod. Despite the efforts of some to divide them, it is clear that they have put the interests of the Church above all else."

   March 4, 1999 ]