The National Herald - November 1, 1998
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Now of the lion one need have no fear, the leopard is a gentle creature, and even the snake you are terrified by is likely to turn in flight; but there is one thing you must beware of, I assure you. Bad bishops. Don't be over-awed by the dignity of the throne. All have the dignity, yes; but not all have the grace. Discard the outer clothing; watch for the wolf. Words do not convince me; I must have deeds." - St. Gregory Nazianzus
The headlines read "WAR". Indeed over the past two years our community has been embroiled in constant turmoil. A civil war is brewing, pitting priest against parishioner and brother against brother. Our church as an institutional structure has always been the epicenter of activity in our community nationwide. Yet in 1998 attendance is dwindling as the chaos increases, permeating its repulsive self throughout every parish in the United States. Simply put, the reasons for these problems lie within the confines of East 79th Street in New York City at our very own Archdiocese and across the Atlantic Ocean in Istanbul at our beloved Patriarchate.
Five months have passed since our now infamous activities at the Clergy Laity Congress in Orlando. By exposing the problems that have plagued our community and have subsequently been neglected by this Archbishop's administration, we, along with Simos Dimas and other concerned faithful, initiated a healthy dialogue that was to be beneficial for the greater vision of our Church. We not only represented the anguish of the people but also the hopes and prayers of the masses for a unified harmonious Greek Orthodox community in America. Our success in doing so can be measured not only by the tremendous participation and support that we received, yet also by the Archdiocese's failed attempts to stymie this movement. The truth may hurt but it can never be silenced.
We are pleased to witness the Metropolitans of our Archdiocese voice their own displeasure with the present state of our Church under the direction of this Archbishop. Their recent joint statements condemning the frivolous Archdiocese lawsuit against the members of GOAL is precisely the type of leadership that has been sorely missed and now so eagerly welcomed. We pray the Ecumenical Patriarch in his infinite wisdom will finally heed the call of the faithful and now his brother hierarchs and address this growing problem. We remain committed to and respect our mother church at the Fanari, however our confidence in the Patriarchate's ability to take appropriate action is dwindling with every passing moment. The Ecumenical Patriarch is well aware of the atrocities that this Archbishop and his henchmen have committed against our church and thus embarrassed our community. He must have knowledge of the scandals that we have all been made privy to via the Greek American media, the Internet, and word of mouth. Enter any diner in New York City or attend any Philopthochos or Parish Council meeting (if, of course, you were not removed from the board by the Chancellor) and the topic of discussion is always the latest scandal at the Archdiocese: cameras monitoring the movement of staff and faithful visiting the Archdiocese, financial improprieties and yes, another real estate scandal, clergymen at the highest levels involved in alleged sexual affairs, an entire Archdiocesan Council being thrown out and replaced by hand picked members who won't rock the boat. Not to mention the continuing growth of fanaticism and the cult-like movement that endangers the very core existence of our beloved church. This has all the makings of a soap opera or a great White House scandal...but our Archdiocese?
When our spiritual father Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived on these shores last October, the world had an opportunity to view a unique, spiritual man, with a profound vision of the universal Orthodox community. He did not need petitions or coerced letters to validate his strength or popularity. He spoke with sincerity and as a result the faithful embraced his message and welcomed him into their hearts. Following the Clergy Laity Congress, we left our hearts and our faith in the hands of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Holy Synod, hoping that they would make the appropriate decision to salvage the church in America as we know it. Yet, His All Holiness, up to this point, has refused to hear the cries of his people and has washed his hands of making any decision regarding his brother hierarch, Archbishop Spyridon. Now we call on our Patriarch to fulfill his promise and be the gentle pastor and loving leader we expected him to be, before it is too late. America needs a leader and the Holy Spirit working through the Holy Synod has called on the Ecumenical Patriarch to be that person. We beseech him to seek out and hear the faithful; be the good shepherd. The people are thirsting for his fatherly love. For the sake of our future we ask His All Holiness to consider this. With great respect we only wish to remind him that our community cannot afford and will not settle for anything less.
The Archbishop’s opposition has been characterized by officials at the Archdiocese as 15 to 20 dissenters. Let the truth be known that the numbers far outweigh the calculations of the Archdiocese and Patriarchate, and unfortunately for our faithful the numbers continue to grow, thus causing a great divide in our community. These are not Iakovites or former friends of Spyridon, these are simply concerned members of our faith, who believe in the greatness of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Those faithful who have been critical of the Archbishop and his administration, such as members of OCL and Goal, have been accused of dividing the community, when indeed the true culprit behind this division is none other than the Archbishop and the scandalous way he conducts himself. Our Church has not been embarrassed by those who wish to expose the mischievous acts and combat the evil intentions of our Archdiocese. Indeed it has been betrayed by the very people who have been ordained to shepherd it. Those of us who have the power of our convictions and are lead by the greater purpose of preserving the church as we know it have been demonized by this Archdiocese and those members of the faithful who have been empowered by this Archbishop and thus turn a blind eye to the atrocities that afflict our community.
Having been raised in the Church we look forward to the day when our children's children will also grow up as proud, God fearing, Greek Orthodox Christians. We have been a part of this community since birth and will continue to be despite the forces that continue to drive us and others like us away due to our leadership's ineptness and lack of understanding. We remain deeply concerned with the present state of affairs and are looking for a leader in America who is compassionate and sincere, not paranoid and deceitful. Yet this seems to be the sign of the times at the Archdiocese and the Patriarchate's silence on this matter is deafening.
With this in mind, we who have been characterized as a "gang", however, are nothing more than concerned Greek Orthodox Christians, have comprised the following information categorically listing the offenses of this Archbishop and his administration. We detail these iniquities (which were originally listed by the esteemed and much respected Fr. Tom Paris in response to a letter mysteriously written by a ficticious author) in order to illustrate to our entire community why our Ecumenical Patriarch has no choice but to remove this Archbishop.
The issues facing the Church in America are many, and due to their horrifying, if not sacrilegious nature, have become publicly known through the Greek American press and the mainstream American media. In his letter to Mr. Tsimopoulos, Fr. Paris outlines a few of the issues plaguing the Church in America that have stunted our spiritual growth. We wish to elaborate on what Fr. Paris has stated and to offer clear examples of the lack of understanding and lack of love of Archbishop Spyridon.
1. Totalitarian Church Governance
Since his enthronement as spiritual leader of the 1.5 million member Greek Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Spyridon has ruled the Church in an autocratic and dictatorial manner devoid of the slightest understanding of the history or tradition of the Church in America. Orthodoxy has survived for 2000 years because it adapts to the culture of the land it is in.
According to the charter of the Archdiocese, in America the Archbishop exercises the highest ecclesiastical authority with the Synod of Bishops, while all issues of a non-doctrinal nature are addressed by a Clergy Laity Congress that meets biannually or by the Archdiocesan Council between Clergy Laity Congresses. Yet this Archbishop has not only dismissed laity who disagree with his policies, but also has refused to work with the Synod of Bishops, who collectively have served the Church for over a century. The frustration and disappointment of the Metropolitans over their alienation from this Archdiocese became publicly evident last week when they sent a united public letter addressed to their brother hierarch, Archbishop Spyridon. With regards to a lawsuit filed by the Archdiocese against members of its own flock, the Metropolitans wrote to the Archbishop, "We were all and continue to be greatly disappointed that you did not seek the advice of the Synod of Bishops which surrounds you, in accordance with the Sacred Canons." The Metropolitans continued by reminding the Archbishop that, "appealing to the Civil Courts… without previously receiving the consent for this from his own supervising Ecclesiastical Authority, entails the imposition of the penalty of defrocking." Additionally, the Metropolitans made public the fact that their role has been diminished to the handling of "indifferent and non-essential matters merely to give the impression that we still have a Synod." Clearly, the Archbishop’s refusal to work with those ordained to oversee the spiritual growth of the flock is in opposition to the Charter of the Archdiocese and the Canons of the Church.
Another example of totalitarian Church governance by Archbishop Spyridon centers on the first major scandal to rock the Archdiocese during this Archbishop’s time. The Archbishop fired the president and three professors at the Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA in July of 1997. The three priests/professors served on a disciplinary committee that recommended expelling a priest/student for allegedly sexually harassing another student. However, the Dean of the Theology School, Fr. George Dragas, a close ally of the Archbishop, overruled the board’s recommendation. When the disciplinary board reaffirmed its original decision, the three priest/professors and the President of the Seminary were fired by the Archbishop [see "Greek Orthodox Archbishop Creates a Rift in College" in the August 15, 1997 New York Times; "Four at Hellenic College are Fired: Sources Say President, Three Professors Wouldn’t Cover Up Harassment Case" in the July 10, 1997 Boston Globe; "Firings Throw a Greek Orthodox College into Turmoil" in the July 18, 1997 The Chronicle of Higher Education; "An American-born Archbishop, Old World Values" in the October 20, 1997 U.S. News and World Report]. The actions of the Archbishop have caused the school’s accreditation by state agencies to come under question [see "Accrediting Bodies Eye Hellenic Firings: College Could Face Severe Sanctions" in the August 8, 1997 Boston Globe; "Hellenic Could Get Academic Warning" in the July 7, 1998 Boston Globe]. While these events happened well over a year and a half ago, it is still an explosive issue for the faithful and priests, whose alma mater has been tarnished in such a shameful manner. At the Clergy Laity Congress held this past July, delegates voted to reverse the Archbishop’s divisive actions and voted to re-instate the dismissed faculty members [see "Church Dissidents Claim Victory: Delegates at a Greek Orthodox Conference in Orlando Voted Against their Leader in a Bitter Dispute" in the July 10, 1998 Orlando Sentinel].
The Archbishop’s blatant disregard for the Archdiocesan Council was made evident when he tried to purchase a $ 1.2 million home in suburban Westchester County, New York. Represented by Mavroudis and Rizzo, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Fr. George Passias, signed a contract for the purchase of the home although Fr. Passias was never authorized by the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council to enter into such a contract. Due to the Archbishop’s avoidance of laity involvement, a $140,000 non-refundable down payment on the house was lost.
The numerous other examples of this Archbishop’s totalitarian Church governance, while they may not have been as publicly discussed as other examples, are non the less just as disheartening. A civil war erupted in the parish of Corona, NY when Fr. Passias dismissed members from the local parish council and decided that they would not be allowed to run for re-election. Additionally, members of the parish council at the Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York who had been critical of the Archbishop’s handling of affairs were also dismissed.
The Archdiocese has seen no conflict of interest with the dual roles of Mr. Mavroudis, who concurrently served as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chief Legal Counsel to the Archdiocese. This allowed Mr. Mavroudis to sign Archdiocesan checks in excess of $50,000 to himself, while previous legal counsels worked pro bono.
Beginning October 1, 1998, Fr. Passias serves the Archdiocese not only as Chancellor, but also as Director of the Office of the Archbishop, and Chairman of the Department of Finance. While there may not be a clear conflict of interest in serving as the head of three departments of the Archdiocese, the question must be raised if the Archdiocese is properly served in such a manner.
Since the enthronement of Archbishop Spyridon over two years ago, there have been three dioceses without a bishop. The Archbishop has not filled those open positions despite the fact that two new bishops were ordained this May. One of the newly elected Bishops, George of Komanon, was to give a lecture at the Theological Seminary this past May entitled "Crisis in the Church and an Opportunity to Shape the Future." The lecture was cancelled by the Archdiocese when Bishop George refused to change the title of his lecture.
All of the above examples clearly illustrate the fact that in two years Archbishop Spyridon has reduced the role of the laity by removing critics from their positions, marginalized the role of the Synod of Bishops to the handling of non-essential matters, and has empowered two or three allies with numerous duties and responsibilities. Thus, the governance of the Church in America no longer lies with the Archbishop along with the Synod of Bishops and Clergy Laity Congress, but now with the Archbishop alone.
2. Mismanagement of Church Funds
The Church in America was originally an immigrant Church that came to these shores only after Orthodox faithful came here, and with the little education and funds that they had were able to build Churches across the nation. Those days were not so long ago as parishes today struggle to pay their mortgages or worse, to pay their priests. It is sickening to see this Archdiocese misappropriate its funds as it has while so many parishes struggle to meet their financial obligations [see "Ad Hoc Committee Report"].
The failed attempt to purchase a home for the Archbishop serves as a perfect example of financial mismanagement by the Archdiocese. By signing a contract that he was not authorized to sign, Fr. Passias caused the forfeiture of a $139,000 nonrefundable down payment. Once the check for the deposit was cashed, it caused an overdraft in that Archdiocesan account. The former President of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council, Alex Spanos, appointed an Ad Hoc committee which investigated the affair and uncovered a number of additional financial improprieties.
The Archdiocese has substantially increased the budgets of the Office of the Chancellor and of Management Information Systems. Also, the Archdiocese has created the Office of the Public Liaison to handle contact with the United Nations and the State Department, even as the Archdiocese already has and Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Although the Office of the Archbishop did not receive an increase per se, the Archdiocesan District and the Dioceses of New Jersey, Atlanta, and Detroit, where Archbishop Spyridon serves as locum tenens, were increased dramatically. These increases came at the expense of the proposed budget increases for Youth Ministry and Hellenic College/Holy Cross. Although Hellenic College/Holy Cross received a budget increase, it is significantly less than what was requested by the Institutions committee. Additionally, the budget of Youth Ministry was also cut drastically.
In a lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese by attorney Simos Dimas claiming financial mismanagement by the part of the Archdiocese, Mr. Dimas alleges that the Archbishop has been paid over $110,000 from petty cash accounts so as to avoid disclosure, and that Fr. Passias was paid in part from a charitable account of the Archdiocese so as to avoid disclosure. Additionally, the lawsuit contends that $200,000 had been withdrawn from a restricted account established as an endowment fund for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The most recent financial scandal to plague the Archdiocese broke earlier this month in a report in a New York daily newspaper. A consultant to the Archons, a lay order of the Church, was allegedly paid over $150,000 by the National Commander of the Order, Dr. Anthony Limberakis, who did so without the approval of the National Council. This prompted the National Council to demand that the consultant, Ms. Theodora Corsell, return $100,000.
3. Repressive Administration that Demands Blind Obedience
Through his actions, Archbishop Spyridon has shown that he does not consider the priests of this Archdiocese to be his co-workers in the vineyard, but rather as subjects subservient to their master. Again, a perfect example is his dismissal of tenured professors and the President of the Theological Seminary. According to a Boston Globe article, the President of the Seminary, Fr. Alkiviades Kalivas, was asked by the Archdiocese to end the disciplinary committee's review of the case of sexual harassment. Days after Fr. Kalivas refused, he and three members of the disciplinary committee were fired.
This Archbishop’s demands for blind obedience include coercing priests into supporting his scandalous administration. Priests were instructed to place petitions in support of the Archbishop within churches of the greater New York area so that the faithful could sign and show to the Ecumenical Patriarch as "proof" that the faithful approve of Spyridon’s actions. This is evidently not the case, as 400 people attended the first meeting of GOAL, Greek Orthodox American Leaders, a group organized to voice the complaints of the people. Additionally, some 500 delegates and observers to the Clergy Laity Congress in Orlando this past July attended a series of Open Forums that raised the level of awareness of the delegates regarding the administrative and financial mismanagement at the Archdiocese and the situation at the Seminary.
4. Failure to Honor Policies, Rules, and Laws Agreed to by Church Officials, Lay Boards, and Institutional By-Laws
In America, there is no citizen who is above the law. This also holds true for the Orthodox Church. The canons, charter, and by-laws are to be observed by all the faithful, including our Hierarchs. Yet, Archbishop Spyridon has repeatedly disregarded the Canons of the Church by refusing to consult with the Synod of Bishops. The Archbishop has also violated the charter of the Archdiocese by not appointing bishops to the three vacant dioceses. Duely elected members of local parish councils who were critical of this Archbishop have been removed from the board of the Transfiguration Parish in Corona, NY and at the Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York. Professors have been dismissed without consulting the Seminary’s Board of Trustees.
5. Disrespect of Priests Treating them as Chattel to be Moved and Abused Capriciously
The relationship between a priest and his Archbishop is more than that of an employee and employer. An Archbishop should be seen as a spiritual father by his priests. However, in the manner which Archbishop Spyridon conducts himself, he has alienated his priests and bishops alike.
An example of Archbishop Spyridon’s callous treatment of his priests is his treatment of the retired Fr. Peter Kyriacos, who served the parish in New Rochelle, NY for 24 years. Archbishop Spyridon decided that the retired priest must request permission from the Archdiocese each time he wishes to celebrate any sacrament, even when his parish continued to welcome him and elevated him to Pastor Emeritus. While no official explanation was given as to why Fr. Kyriacos was singled out in such a manner, it is known that Fr. Peter is a neighbor and friend of former Archbishop Iakovos. This senseless action against a priest who has served the Church his entire life shows how Archbishop Spyridon lords authority over his priests.
The Archbishop has instituted a new rule that he alone will perform ordination of clergy, which violates the charter of the Archdiocese that states that the ordination of clergy as a responsibility of the local bishop. Additionally, the manner in which the priests at the Seminary were fired from their teaching positions and reassigned elsewhere in the Archdiocese shows this Archbishop’s lack of caring for those he should consider his spiritual children.
6. Threats and Intimidation of those who attempt to bring Reason and "Due Process" into Administrative Decisions
A slanderous letter writing campaign was undertaken by some members of the Greek Orthodox community against critics of Archbishop Spyridon. In a series of letters, either unsigned or signed under a pseudonym, the perpetrators have maligned both clergy and laity alike who have served the Church above and beyond their call to duty. Among those slandered were the Fathers Tom Paris and Alexander Karloutsos, and Misters Michael Jaharis, Peter Dion, Simos Dimas, Professor Helen Bender and our very own Michael Karloutsos. Attorney Simos Dimas has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese claiming that the Archdiocese provided mailing lists, support staff, and money so that these slanderous letters could be circulated throughout the Greek American press.
7. Polarization of the Church by Labeling all Corrective Attempts as "Protestant Activity", "anti-Greek" or "anti-Patriarchate"
In light of the actions of this Archbishop, the administrative mistakes, and the financial scandals, many concerned Orthodox faithful have raised pertinent questions and have sought answers from the Archdiocese. The Greek American scientists’ organization KRIKOS hosted a town hall meeting to discuss the situation in the Church. Some of those in attendance became unruly during the first three presentations, leading Dr. Andrew Kopan to cancel his speech. Protestors who are well-known supporters of Archbishop Spyridon insulted Dr. Kopan by yelling that he was anti-Patriarchate, anti-Church, and Anti-Greek.
8. Unwillingness to Rid the Church of Homosexual Clergy, Bishops and Priests alike, and Unwillingness to Discipline Sexual Misconduct
The scandal at the Theological Seminary serves as a prime example of this Archbishop’s unwillingness to discipline sexual misconduct. Three Priests/professors and the Seminary president were fired by the Archbishop for allegedly refusing to cover up a case of sexual harassment.
9. Inability to Appreciate the Progress of the Church this past century in America as if the Holy Spirit Left the Church for a Hundred Years
Archbishop Spyridon has been highly critical of modernizations within the Churches of America such as electric lights as opposed to oil burning lamps, women in choirs, the presence of pews, priests not wearing beards, and priests who wear collars. What the Archbishop fails to understand is that our Church is about more than that which effects the senses. Our Church is about Communion with God and the presence of pews and electric lights certainly do not impede our salvation. The Church that was given to us by Archbishops Athenagoras and Iakovos is now being called inferior to that of the European Orthodox. Contrary to that opinion is the Church attendance in America compared to that in Europe. Churches in America overflow with faithful while in Greece and its European neighbors attendance is sparse.
10. Failure to Uphold the Uniform Parish Regulations and Charter of the Archdiocese
On a continuous basis this Archbishop has violated the Charter of the Archdiocese and Uniform Parish Regulations. According to the Charter, "the Archdiocese is governed by the holy canons, the present charter and the regulations promulgated by it and as to canonical and ecclesiastical matters not provided therein, by the decisions thereon of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate." The Archbishop has violated the Charter by nominating more appointees to the Archdiocesan Council than he is allotted. These new members replaced older members who criticized the Archbishop’s actions. Additionally, the Archbishop no longer allows bishops to perform ordination of clergy and has relegated the duties of the Synod of Bishops to concerning themselves with the issues of lesser importance- both clear violations of the Charter of the Archdiocese.
11. The "Demonizing" of those who would Criticize the Arbitrary, Unlawful, and Unchristian Actions by the Archbishop and Archdiocese
With the many scandals and improprieties surrounding this Archdiocese, the current administration has not focused its energies on rectifying those wrongs, instead, it has attacked its critics. The lawsuit filed by attorney Simos Dimas states that the Archdiocese participated in the defamatory letter writing campaign against him by supplying the necessary resources such as personnel and mailing lists. Similar slanderous letters have been directed against other critics of this Archbishop. Moreover, the recent lawsuit filed by the Archdiocese against GOAL demonstrates how this Archdiocese has demonized its critics instead of dealing with the many scandalous issues plaguing our Church.
12. Lack of Humility. Inability to Admit or Acknowledge Mistakes
Certainly being the new spiritual leader to 1.5 million faithful is a daunting task, and not having dealt with the type of governance in the Church in America, mistakes will inevitably be made. However, there exists a tremendous difference between isolated incidences of mistakes and the numerous character deficiencies of Archbishop Spyridon. Scandal after scandal is choking the life out of our Church. In a brief two years tenured professors were fired by the Archbishop causing the Seminary’s accreditation to come under question, local parish councils were disbanded, financial checks and balances have been ignored leading to the failed attempt to purchase a $1.2 million home for the Archbishop, payment of $100,000 has allegedly been made to a consultant without the organization’s approval, and the alleged payment made to the Archbishop from petty cash accounts so as to avoid disclosure. In spite of all that the Archbishop has done to come under criticism, he refuses to acknowledge that mistakes have been made and take the necessary actions to prevent them from occurring again. Thus, the scandals will continue to crush the Church that millions of faithful have sacrificed to maintain.
13. The Specter of Fundamentalism Raising its Ugly Head at the Recent Clergy-Laity Congress and Spewing out the Venom of Hate and Intolerance in Vitriolic, Fanatical Fashion, Evidencing a Lack of Love and Christian Behavior
Archbishop Spyridon has associated himself with three controversial religious figures in America. Metropolitan Paisios and Bishop Vikentios head the Old Calendar Greek Orthodox Church of St. Irene Chrysovalantou, with headquarters in Astoria, New York. Bishop Vikentios, who is not a hierarch of the Archdiocese, was recently convicted of defaming a fellow hierarch and sentenced to a nine month prison term in Greece, has been called on by Archbishop Spyridon to represent the Archdiocese at numerous functions throughout the New York area, and was recently appointed as Hierarchical Vicar of the Cultural Center of the Archdiocese. At Yale University this past May, members of the student body objected to the Ecumenical Patriarch’s awarding of an honorary degree because of his associations with Paisios and Vikentios, who have openly made anti-Semitic remarks.
Archbishop Spyridon is also an ardent supporter of Fr. Ephraim, whose ministry has reached legendary proportions. Much of his following is comprised of zealots who enthusiastically admit their devotion to Fr. Ephraim, somehow forgetting that Christ is the focal point of being an Orthodox Christian and it is His teachings we adhere to and follow. Indeed, we are followers of Christ, not of St. George, St. Andrew, Archangel Michael, and certainly not of Fr. Ephraim. In most instances, this type of mindset would be characterized as a cult, yet we are told by his spiritual children, who include Fr. George Passias, who serves as the Chancellor, Director of the Office of the Archbishop, and Chairman of the Finance Department, and Fr. Ganas, who serves as President of the Theological Seminary, that the practices of Fr. Ephraim represent the true form of Orthodoxy. Some of these practices include women cloaking their heads in Church and not allowing women to venerate an icon or receive Holy Communion when menstruating. The Ecumenical Patriarch addressed this pressing issue in his sermon at the St. Anthony Monastery in Arizona. He condemned this type of extremism and reaffirmed his devotion to a healthy Orthodox Church.
These types of fundamentalism threaten our very foundation. Fundamentalism breeds hatred and paranoia. Our Church cannot afford to tolerate such distortions of the true faith.
We realize that we will be widely criticized for publishing this piece, however, we ask the readers to remain objective and focus their displeasure and anger on those who commit the offences, not on those who expose them. We continue to serve and protect our community with pride and honor. In closing, we believe the crimes that have been committed are inexcusable and certainly indefensible. We call on the Ecumenical Patriarch to bring swift justice to this situation and restore peace and order in this community. The evidence is clear, we believe the only way to accomplish this objective is by removing Archbishop Spyridon.
We thank you for your attention.
We remain respectfully yours,
The Open Forum
[ The National Herald - November 1, 1998 - p. 3 ]
[ Voithia | www.voithia.org/content/qmpnh110998adwhole.htm | November 2, 1998 ]
Voithia's introductory note to the above text:
«The National Herald newspaper of New York published the following full page advertisement on page 3 in their 11/01/98 edition. The advertisement lists only "The Open Forum" as the sponsor, without further contact information. GOAL did not sponsor, or participate in the creation of, this advertisement. Ordinarily, Voithia does not reproduce material of unknown authorship (although it has from time to time withheld the name of the authors published material at their request). However, the content of this advertisement amounts to a detailed indictment of Archbishop Spyridon's leadership and the fact that it was published in the National Herald makes it newsworthy. - Editor.»
[ Voithia | www.voithia.org/content/nh11098ad1.htm | November 2, 1998 ]
[ Voithia | www.voithia.org/content/Issues.html ]
Voithia presents this posting as "Written: Thursday, July 10 1997. Posted: Thursday, July 10, 1997. Section: Notes. Topic: Misc.. Publisher: Greek American."