Proini (N.Y.) - January 8, 2000


"He is the Archbishop forever. He is until he dies."
Patriarch Bartholomew - January 12, 1999

January 12, 1999 may be past but has not been forgotten by many Greek Orthodox Christians in America, although the Ecumenical Patriarchate may wish to eradicate this day and three fruitful years from its vision. In January of last year, the Greek American community sought affirmation from the Partriachate that the Holy Traditions of our Church and Ecclesiastical Order could withstand the tempest of temporal pressures.

We respectfully recalled Your words of July 30, 1996, following the service of apostolic succession when You gave us our canonical archbishop and shepherd, "Today is an eminent day for the Great Church of Christ ... we entrust this great and dynamic eparchy of the Throne into energetic and dynamic hands." On this day, with the inspiration and the blessing of the Holy Spirit, You commissioned Archbishop Spyridon to go forth "never doubting" to meet the challenges of his ministry.

Last January, we received with great hope the assurance that this spiritual truth would be uncompromised, first and foremost at the highest levels of authority in our church. We rejoiced in the profound affirmation that the Holy Spirit guides the decisions regarding the election of ecclesiastical hierarchy and governance of our church; and not by the will of men.

What has happened to us since this memorable day? With disillusionment we watched the words of those sitting in this Ecumenical Patriarchate waiver, falter, and finally dissolve into empty rhetoric, shaking the very foundations of our faith. Are we to believe that those guarding the immutable truths of our Greek Orthodox faith fell pray to the same worldly corruption that plague today's secular society? By eroding ecclesiastical order, by giving validity to actions of disobedience, anarchy, greed, power and political motivation, we condone those very qualities that we know to be the antithesis of the Holy Spirit. How then can we say that this action was done "for the good of the Church?"

Your All Holiness, You have left us disillusioned and disheartened with the Partriachate and the dignity of Your person and the Holy and Sacred Synod. You have senselessly removed from us a dedicated and dynamic leader, at perhaps the most critical time in the history of our church in America!

Archbishop Spyridon - The only true spiritual leader this country has ever had!
January 12, 2000

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