Orthodox Observer - April 5, 1999

Holy Eparchial Synod Issues Encyclical

March 10, 1999

To the Pious and Christ-loving Faithful
of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

In our journey to the Holy Pascha, we, the spiritual fathers of the Greek OrthodoxArchdiocese of America, address this joint encyclical letter to all of you. We greet you in the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we send out this message to each and everyone of you in the spirit of Christian love, unity and the mutual forgiveness that this HolySeason of Lent inspires in all of us.

The Holy Season and the spirit of Lent call all the members of our Holy Archdiocese to reach out to one another in a renewed and reinvigorated spirit of love, unity and forgiveness.

Our message to all is plain and simple: as your spiritual fathers, we are united in our commitment to fulfill the command of love that comes to us from our Lord Jesus Christ.We affirm our Christian love for one another and for the spiritual father of us all, His AllHoliness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

As for the problems and the challenges that we may face as the church, we affirm that we shall do so together sealed into a unity of purpose that will work harmoniously with respect, dignity and above all, Christian love.

We paternally exhort all our faithful to respond in this spirit of mutual love, considering the Most Holy Days that lie before us, so that we may all enter into the joy of theResurrection with hearts set aglow by the love of God.

We urge all our faithful to be themselves faithful to their vocation in Christ, and support the unity, mission and ministry of their local Parish, their Diocese, the Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Whatever challenges we may face, we shall surely only overcome them if we face them together.

May the love of God, manifest on the Most Precious Cross and the Empty Tomb, so inspire all of us, that we may enter into the Queen of Feasts, "forgiving even those that hate us" and chant our hymns of the victory of Life over death.

With paternal love in Christ and blessings for the feast,

[signed:]     † Archbishop Spyridon

Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America

[signed:]    † Metropolitan Iakovos

†  IAKOVOS, Metropolitan of Krinis
and Presiding Hierarch
of the Diocese of Chicago

[signed:]    † Metropolitan Anthony

†  ANTHONY, Metropolitan of Dardanellion
and Presiding Hierarch
of the Diocese of San Francisco

[signed:]    † Metropolitan Maximos

†  MAXIMOS, Metropolitan of Aenos
and Presiding Hierarch
of the Diocese of Pittsburgh

[signed:]    † Metropolitan Methodios

†  METHODIOS, Metropolitan of Aneon
and Presiding Hierarch
of the Diocese of Boston

[signed:]    † Metropolitan Isaiah

†  ISAIAH, Metropolitan of Proikonisos
and Presiding Hierarch
of the Diocese of Denver

[ Orthodox Observer, Vol. 64 - No. 1158, April 5, 1999, p. 4 ]