Macedonian Press Agency - September 23, 1999
Translated from the Greek

Former Archbishop of America, Spyridon,
Resigns from Ecclesiastical Ministry

Thessaloniki, 9/23/99 (MPA) - Former Archbishop of America, Spyridon, who - after a coerced resignation from the office of Archbishop of America and the decision of the Holy Synod and of the Ecumenical Patriarch himself to transfer him to the Holy Metropolitanate of Chaldea - has chosen to pursue in silence the unfolding events in the Holy Archdiocese of America, through a message to the Patriarch (dated September 19th) announcing his decision "to totally withdraw from active ecclesiastical ministry."

Consequently Spyridon will maintain the ecclesiastical honor of Metropolitan, but he declines the title of Metropolitan of Chaldea, which was granted him unanimously by the Holy Synod, and he further declines the acceptance of other ecclesiastical duties elsewhere.

"The memorandum of Spyridon, a day before his birthday, concludes with an expression of his disappointment and his bitterness toward the stance of the Patriarchate in the two-year crisis," according to sources close to the situation who spoke to the Greek-American newspaper "Proini." "The former Archbishop, they added, remains disappointed in the Phanar since the past two years instead of supporting him, helping him to put forth his ministry, it undermined him and emboldened his opponents. Certainly, Spyridon informed Bartholomew of these issues during his visit on the 11th of January, and during the course of his last visit to the Phanar."

The entire text of the message of Spyridon to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is as follows:

"Your Holiness,
I received the August 19th telegram sent by Your Holiness, wherein you advise me of my election by the Mother Church as Metropolitan of Chaldea. I submit to the Mother Church my sincere thanks for this affectionate gesture and call to duty. Unfortunately, as I expressed in my views to the Mother Church during my last visit to the Phanar, I find myself unable to accept in view of the recent happenings, and have decided to totally withdraw from active ecclesiastical ministry. With this reverently issued statement to the Mother Church, I remain, in Pennsylvania this 19th day of September 1999, The least of the Bishops,

[ Macedonian Press Agency - September 23, 1999 ]