ERA-5 - February 26, 1999
Archdiocese of America :
Synod of Bishops Holds Spring Session
By Justine Frangouli
It was in a calm atmosphere and a climate of mutual understanding
that the regular spring session of the Eparchial Episcopal Synod of the Archdiocese
of America, chaired by Archbishop Spyridon, took place.
The tension created by two letters written by the five Metropolitans against
the Archbishop seems to have relaxed, and the Eparchial Synod yesterday compiled
without major confrontations a list of three candidates for each vacant diocese
of the Archdiocese: Atlanta, New Jersey and Detroit. The list of candidates
will be sent to the Patriarchate that will have the last word in selecting
the future bishops.
The 12 demands presented by the five Metropolitans in their lengthy report
to the Phanar were also examined. The only ones remaining open are those pertaining
to the Metropolitans' privileges and powers. On the other hand, the Metropolitans
expressed their satisfaction that certain court cases have come to a conclusion
and that the "Leadership 100" endowment fund has been re-established
as an independent organization.
Furthermore, the five Metropolitans who seemed to identify themselves with
the church pressure group known as GOAL (especially when they called for the
lawsuit regarding the Archdiocese's mailing list to be dropped), stressed
yet again that they do not fall into line with any lay body or church pressure
organisation and do not consent to the use of their name by such groups.
As to the issue of financial contributions made by the communities, the Metropolitans
were specifically urged to be on the alert. The issue, as a means to oppose
the Archbishop, seems to have arisen in some parishes at the instigation of
the aforementioned pressure groups.
In whatever way seen, the fact is that the Eparchial Synod's regular
spring session has encouraged the Patriarchate's active involvement in
the internal affairs of the Archdiocese of America, since certain issues pertaining
to the interpretation of the Archdioceses charter are now referred directly
to the Phanar. At the same time, however, church pressure groups continue
to raise their voices in favour of an autocephalous (independent) status that
should be granted to the Church of America.
[Translated from Greek]