Patriarchal Encyclical to be read at Divine Liturgy on August 22, 1999
Aug 21, 1999
To the Reverend Clergy
The Esteemed Councils of our Communities
The Philoptochos Sisterhoods
The Youth Organizations
And the Christ-loved Faithful of the
Holy Archdiocese of America
Beloved Greek Orthodox Christian Sisters and Brothers,
Yesterday, Thursday, August 19, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate met under the presidency of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and elected Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthena as the new Archbishop of America. Today, Friday, August 20, the liturgical service of the Mega Minima (Acceptance) and expressions of thanksgiving by the new Archbishop took place.
The new Archbishop has assigned my humble person the duties of the Archiepiscopal Vicar. Faithful to the directive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate I am forwarding the Patriarchal Encyclical which proclaims the joyous news of the election of Archbishop Demetrios, and I earnestly request that it be read from the pulpit at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, August 22, 1999.
Also, effective today the clergy of the Archdiocesan District of New York will commemorate Archbishop Demetrios by name, whereas the clergy of the three Dioceses, namely of New Jersey, Atlanta, and Detroit will commemorate Archbishop Demetrios by name as well as the name of their respective diocesan Bishop.
Conveying the good wishes and blessings of Archbishop Demetrios, I remain,
With paternal blessings,
+ Bishop George of New Jersey
PATRIARCHAL ENCYCLICAL TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT FOLLOWS:
TRANSLATION FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK TEXT
To the Most Reverend and beloved of God Hierarchs of the Most Sacred Dioceses of the Holy Archdiocese of America, dearest Brothers in Christ and co-celebrants, the honorable Presbyters, and all the faithful who are beloved of Christ of the Holy Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, most beloved in the Lord children of our Modesty: Grace and peace from God.
With much love, prayer, and concern we have followed the affairs of the Holy Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and with a view to its benefit, peace, good order and spiritual progress, we have been led together with our Holy and Sacred Synod to the decision to transfer the present Archbishop of America Spyridon to the Holy Metropolis of Chaldia, with the view of assigning him to other duties in the future.
In the newly vacated position of the Archbishop of America, we have elected His Excellency Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthena, who has received widespread acceptance and acclaim.
The warmest blessings and prayers of the Mother Church accompany him, so that with care and wisdom and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit he may steer the vessel of the Holy Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to a peaceful harbor in a safe and godly manner.
We paternally exhort you from the depths of our heart, our most beloved and Christ-loved Omogeneia, to be united around him as with one soul and one heart, to accompany him in his difficult task, forgiving and committing to oblivion anything in the past which may have upset or dismayed or separated any members of the Archdiocese from one another, and extending the right hand of cooperation for the common good of all the sisters and brothers of the Omogeneia, irrespective of their past differences and preferences.
Accordingly may God be your help, and may His Divine Grace and great mercy be your protector and saviour. Amen.
August 22, 1999
Your beloved brother in Christ,
Archbishop of Constantinople and