The Lonely Path of Integrity
Stone Studio

Exandas Publishers - December 21, 2000

Press Release

The Lonely Path of Integrity

Athens Launch

The biography of Spyridon, former Archbishop of America, entitled The Lonely Path of Integrity and published by Exandas Publishers, was presented yesterday at the "Stoa tou Bibliou" (Book Portico) in Athens. The official first presentation of the book's Greek version, attended by a large number of news correspondents, took place in the presence of the author, Justine Frangouli, and Exandas publisher Magda Kotzia. The book was presented by Petros Kounalakis, member of the Central Committee of the Alliance of the Left, and journalist Irene Nikolopoulou.

Petros Kounalakis, who got to know Spyridon on his visits to America as a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Hellenes Abroad, spoke warmly of the Archbishop's personality describing him as "down-to-earth, approachable and tremendously popular".

Irene Nikolopoulou spoke movingly and at length about the author, calling attention to the quality of her work, as well as to her journalistic successes (interviews with Hillary Clinton, the President of the Hellenic Republic Constantine Stephanopoulos, etc.).

The newly-published book The Lonely Path of Integrity, expected to cause a sensation both in Greece and America, is already available in bookstores. It is described as 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, thus meeting the same fate as his predecessor, Iakovos.

The individuals and events that left their mark on the stormy three years of Spyridon's tenure (1996-1999) parade through the pages of this book. The new biography sheds ample light on the behind-the-scenes undermining of the Archbishop -a plan masterminded by the covert centers of power when it became clear that Spyridon was not willing to serve the dubious interests of the Center of Orthodoxy. The book reveals that the same network of players and the same methods were used to achieve the removal of both Archbishops of America, Iakovos and Spyridon.

The game played against Spyridon 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.

[Translated from Greek]