Exandas Publishers - December 21, 2000
The Lonely Path of Integrity
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
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 recordthrough his notes, diary, and archivesthe dramatic
triennium, which has left an indelible mark on Hellenism in America.
[Translated from Greek]