Joint Encyclical of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Mar 23, 1999
To the Pious and Christ-loving Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
As we have now passed the halfway point in our journey to the Holy Pascha, we, the spiritual fathers of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, address this joint encyclical letter to all of you. We greet you in the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we send out this message to each and every one of you in the spirit of Christian love, unity and the mutual forgiveness that this Holy Season of Lent inspires in all of us.
The Holy Season and the spirit of Lent call all the members of our Holy Archdiocese to reach out to one another in a renewed and reinvigorated spirit of love, unity and forgiveness.
Our message to all is plain and simple: as your spiritual fathers, we are united in our commitment to fulfill the command of love that comes to us from our Lord Jesus Christ. We affirm our Christian love for one another and for the spiritual father of us all, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
As for the problems and the challenges that we may face as the church, we affirm that we shall do so together sealed into a unity of purpose that will work harmoniously with respect, dignity and above all, Christian love.
We paternally exhort all our faithful to respond in this spirit of mutual love, considering the Most Holy Days that lie before us, so that we may all enter into the joy of the Resurrection with hearts set aglow by the love of God.
We urge all our faithful to be themselves faithful to their vocation in Christ, and support the unity, mission and ministry of their local Parish, their Diocese, the Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Whatever challenges we may face, we shall surely only overcome them if we face them together.
May the love of God, manifest on the Most Precious Cross and the Empty Tomb, so inspire all of us, that we may enter into the Queen of Feasts, forgiving even those that hate us and chant our hymns of the victory of Life over death.
With paternal love in Christ and blessings for the feast,
Spyridon, Archbishop of America
Iakovos, Metropolitan of Krinis and Presiding Hierarch of Chicago
Anthony Metropolitan of Dardanellion and Presiding Hierarch of San Francisco
Maximos, Metropolitan of Ainou and Presiding Hierarch of Pittsburgh
Methodios, Metropolitan of Aneon and Presiding Hierarch of Boston
Isaiah, Metropolitan of Proikonisou and Presiding Hierarch of Denver