The National Herald - July 10-11, 1999


My father taught that differences
are best solved "with honey"

To the Editor,

I am the daughter of a Greek Orthodox priest and have been extremely disturbed by the recent attacks on our Archbishop.

I do not welcome any mailings from a dissident group, and I am very saddened to see that any Orthodox priest would lend his name or support to anyone whose goal is to usurp a duly appointed Archbishop of our church.

My father, Fr. John Sfikas, was a very peaceful, loving, and understanding man. He taught the meaning and understanding of apostolic succession and its critical role in Orthodoxy.

While it is certainly appropriate to raise questions or issues, it is not appropriate to lay blame for past problems on an individual who has charge for spiritual leadership and who has had only a limited opportunity to bring about those changes which, after careful study, he felt were necessary.

I can assure you that, despite fervent attempts by dissidents, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Nashville, Tennessee, firmly and with complete. unity, supports Archbishop Spyridon and our newly appointed Bishop Nicholas.

From visits I have had with other communities, and communication with other Orthodox friends, I also believe that, that is the majority opinion throughout the United States; but that the silent majority needs to speak up.

The Archbishop needs to be given an opportunity to become our spiritual leader and to put Orthodoxy in the United States back on track. While some people may view this as a backward step or a more conservative trend, the history of Orthodoxy has been that we must constantly he re-evaluating our position to be certain that we do not allow practices or customs, not founded in the roots of the Church, to creep into the practice of our religion. It is time to step back and follow the advice I can still remember my father practicing, "Με το μέλι" — "with honey."

Greek Orthodox Christians in the United States would, in all likelihood, find themselves in better stead to greet Archbishop Spyridon with the love, understanding, and patience that our spiritual Father deserves. And show him through love and support what the followers of Christ should consider, rather than greeting his enthronement with accusations, threats, and controversy.

Helen Sfikas Rogers
Nashville, TN.

[ The National Herald  -  July 10-11, 1999 - p. 8 ]