August 19, 1999 - 1:46PM
Time For Healing And Sober Reflection
[ DRAFT ]
We have reached an important point in the life and history of our Church. It is a moment for sobriety. His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon will officially resign on August 30.
After a great deal of anxiety; after months of agonizing over the Church in America's state of affairs, the Mother Church has decided to accepted the Archbishop's resignation.
This is clearly part of Her effort to "pacify the condition of the Church" here, as She stated in an official communique released by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on July 13.
It is thus the Mother Church to Whom we in America should now look for continued guidance, protection and support.
In a most gracious and dignified address on August 19, the Archbishop himself encourages us to do the same: "Hold fast to your bonds with the Mother Church in Constantinople, from Which you have received the faith of Jesus Christ (see page 5 for the full text)."
To me, this is the heart of His Eminence' parting message to us. He did not speak with bitterness. He spoke out of compassionate love. And he showed us the way to remain steadfast in our faith.
The future is in front of us.
This is not a time to dwell on the past. It is a time to reflect on the past in a healthy way. It is time for us to build upon the work of His Eminence and all his distinguished predecessors. It is time for us to unite. It is time to move forward.
History will show that His Eminence accomplished much in three years as Archbishop of America. He established a department for interfaith marriages; he brought the Archdiocese communications systems in line with the computer age; in an effort to be in touch with his flock, he paid personal visits to numerous individual parishes throughout the land; he reached out in dialogue with our Jewish friends; and he facilitated reconciliation with our Old Calendarist bretheren.
I have no doubt that history will be kind to Archbishop Spyridon's American ministry, and I have enough faith to believe that his good work actually paved the way toward a bright future.
Let us unite, then, and as Greek Orthodox Christians, let us salute Archbishop Spyridon and wish him well. He is American-born. He speaks five languages fluently. He is a man of faith and integrity.
We are losing an opportunity to work with him, but the Mother Church is bringing us another opportunity in Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthena. A new Archbishop will soon be in our midst. Let us honor the Mother Church by putting the past behind us and welcome Metropolitan Demetrios together.
[ August 19, 1999 - 1:46PM ]