Kalami - November 2000

«The Lonely Path of Integrity»

Spyridon, Archbishop of America

Archbishop Spyridon's biography is a critical account of the activities and life of a hierarch who rose to the high rank of Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America after many struggles and a long ministry in the Church, only to be "ousted" after three years, when it became evident that he had no intention to serve the dubious interests of the Center of Orthodoxy in Constantinople.

Written by an eyewitness to these events, the Greek journalist Justine Frangouli, this book attempts to shed light on the forces and interests that intertwined with the destiny of the throne of Archbishop of America. It reveals the thrilling details of Spyridon's ousting, hitherto unknown to Greek Americans and the world of journalism.

More than a simple portrayal of a religious leader, who from an early age was destined for the cloth, the book endeavors to shed light on the journey of a child who was born in America, grew up in Greece, was educated in Europe, and served the Church for 25 years in Switzerland and Italy as a cleric of the Ecumenical Patriarchate before coming full circle and ending up in his native America as Archbishop.

A careful reading of his multifaceted life and ecclesiastical career reveals a man who brought luster to the Orthodox Church in Italy and America as he strove to preserve Byzantine Orthodox tradition and to ensure the survival of Hellenism in the Diaspora.

The game to oust Spyridon after a tumultuous three-year tenure permeated the Church's relations with the Patriarchate, the Greek State, the clergy in America, and prominent Greek-Americans, threatening the unity of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America.

The upshot of the three-year struggle was the consolidation of the autocephalous movement in the Church of America, the revival of partisanship among Greek-Americans, the marginalization of the vital issues facing this community and the now firmly entrenched belief that the Patriarchate aims at all costs to diminish the role of the Archbishop of America.

Archbishop Spyridon, now withdrawn from active ministry, has consented to put on record -through his notes, diary, and archives- the dramatic triennium, which has left an indelible mark on Hellenism in America.

The book has been put out by Exandas Publishers. For information or to buy:

[ Translated from Greek ]

[ ΚΑΛΑΜΙ - - November 2000 ]