Proini (NY) - April 21,2000


Legal Action Threatened
for the Pension of Former Archbishop Spyridon

  By Apostolos Zoupaniotis

New York -   Five members of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council conferred over the phone, yesterday afternoon, and they examined the refusal of the Holy Archdiocese to enforce the decision of the Executive Committee pertaining to the granting of a pension to the former Archbishop Spyridon of America. This conference was the natural outcome of the collapse of the negotiations between the members of the Executive Committee and Mr. Michael Jaharis, who acted as bearer of the request to the Ecumenical Patriarchate which at this moment seems to have all the initiatives. According to reliable sources, the answer Mr. Jaharis gave the member of the committee Mr. Michael Cantonis was negative. At the same time, according to the same sources, Archbishop Demetrios himself stated that he is unable to do anything.

According to the same sources, the members of the Executive Committee decided to co-sign a letter addressed to Archbishop Demetrios, in which they will note, among others things, the following:

*  The Executive Committee has voted, last spring for the creation and funding of an account for the pensioning of Bishops and Metropolitans, along with an adjustment for the pension of former Archbishop Spyridon.
*  The Executive Committee reconfirms the decision and its validity.
*  The Executive Committee requests that Archbishop Demetrios, without further delay, should order the Director of the Financial Department to initiate payment of former Archbishop Spyridon's pension.

Of special interest is the report of Ioustini Fragouli (APE) which reveals the members of the Executive Committee intend to file a lawsuit against the Holy Archdiocese. Archbishop Demetrios, called the issue delicate and he refused to comment, while former Archbishop Spyridon expressed his sadness for the whole issue, foreseeing new tribulations for the Archdiocese.

The Athens News Agency (APE) report follows:

The members of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocese of America are mobilized in order to examine their position pertaining to the cutting of the pension of former Archbishop Spyridon of America, about which he was not informed in advance. In any case, Harry Pappas, owner of many television stations in America and member of the Executive Committee, seems to be determined to take action against the Archdiocese and will ask that the decision of the Executive Committee be immediately enforced as pertaining to the Former Archbishops pension, which the Executive Committee voted unanimously to give him last June. The present Archbishop of America was asked to comment on this subject and he stated, characteristically to APE: "I do not consider that this subject is for discussion. It is a very delicate situation, which requires delicate handling and it is not a subject for public discussion. Meanwhile, when asked to comment on this subject former Archbishop Spyridon told APE: "I am baffled with this development, because the agreement with the Mother Church was totally different. In any case, the legal initiative that will be taken, as I have been informed, by members of the Executive Committee, is their own decision. I am saddened, of course, because I foresee this whole matter opening new wounds upon the Church of America.

This is the first time that the former Archbishop of America comments publicly after his resignation from the Archdiocesan seat. His Eminence, Archbishop Spyridon in a letter to the Patriarchate this past September stated that he resigns from active Ecclesiastical action by refusing his election to the position of Archbishop of Chaldia.

[ Orthodox Truth |  -  April 21, 2000 ]