Hellenic Communication Service - 2003
An editorial comment
on THE LONELY PATH OF INTEGRITY
By Christos and Mary Papoutsy, Publishers
We purchased the English edition of this newly released book and examined it carefully. To us, it seemed to contain a considerable amount of factual, historical material. Yet, we found misconceptions, too, about the tumultuous, three-year tenure of Archbishop Spyridon. Readers can learn more about this book by visiting the website www.spyridon.ws.
Supremely laudable were the good accomplishments of His Eminence, particularly the commissioning of the Rassias report, The Future of the Greek language and Culture in the U.S. Survival in the Diaspora. We have read this comprehensive report and feel that it should be used as a guide by our Archdiocese in upgrading Greek education in the U.S.
Many other positive achievements similarly mark the efforts of His Eminence. For example, we agree, too, with the need for establishing an office for interfaith marriage under the direction of Father Charles Joanides who holds a doctorate in human development and family studies, specializing in marriage and family therapy, as His Eminence has so aptly pointed out. The work of Fr. Joanides is visionary and should not only be continued, but expanded to promote the spiritual and social well-being of interfaith families within the context of Greek Orthodoxy. For these fine, exemplary works of His Eminence, we remain grateful and appreciative. Our voices join with his in asking that these critical needs be met.
We were deeply saddened, however, by the sharply critical tone of the work. A number of fine individuals were assailed mercilessly, including one who has since passed away and is unable to defend the charges leveled against him. Charges of conspiracies, slanderous campaigns, "hellish Patriarchal schemes," and plotting archenemies are replete in the chapters of the American archbishopric tenure.
Perhaps a wider, higher path of responsibility, humility, and love would have assuaged the incessant conflicts, or at least mitigated the destructive fallout. How unfortunate! There were many Herculean challenges and slippery pitfalls facing His Eminence as he was enthroned. The path of a leader is often "lonely," as the title of the book suggests, for it is the responsibility of our leadership to guide and direct us, to help us achieve our fullest potential. But mention of responsibility was somehow omitted in this book.
Nevertheless, we will reiterate what we had said to His Eminence on one evening in Boston when he was being welcomed to the Diocese: "We love you." With great respect and love, Your Eminence, we wish to thank you for being our spiritual leader in America for three years and we will continue to pray for your good health, well being, and the blessings of our Lord.