hellenic times - August 6-19, 1999

Time For Healing And Sober Reflection

Publisher's Comments - John A. Catsimatides

We have reached an important point in the life and history of our Church. It is a moment for sobriety. His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon has resigned as Archbishop of America.

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 accept the Archbishop's resignation and elect a new Archbishop.

This is clearly part of Her effort to "pacify the condition of the Church" here, as She stated in an official communiqué released by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on July 13.

It is now the Mother Church to Whom we in America should look for continued guidance, protection and support.

In a most gracious and dignified address on August 19, the former 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's parting message to us. He did not speak with bitterness. He spoke out of compassionate love and forgave all who opposed him. In so doing, he showed us the way to remain steadfast in our faith.

I have no doubt that history will be kind to His Eminence's three-year tenure in 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.

But this is not a time to dwell on the past to determine who was right and who was wrong. It is a time to reflect on the past in a healthy manner.

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 and move forward together.

The future is in front of us.

What remains is for us to salute Archbishop Spyridon and wish him well.

At the same time, we welcome the new Archbishop of America, Demetrios Trakatellis, formerly of Vresthena. In him, the Mother Church brings us yet another opportunity to achieve our high calling from above.

[ hellenic times - August 6-19, 1999 - p. 4 ]