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Archdiocese Moves to End Litigation

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Dec 30, 1998

NEWS RELEASE

NEW YORK - The Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America acted on Friday, December 18, 1998 to end the litigation that the Archdiocese brought against the organization known as GOAL. In a letter from attorneys of the Archdiocese to the attorneys for GOAL on that same date, the Archdiocese requested:

GOAL to consent to the entry of a final order terminating the litigation and orderingjust as the Court ordered in its November 24, 1998 Memorandum Decisionthat GOAL may not use the list that it currently has in its possession nor may GOAL disclose that list except that GOAL may use that list to contact those individuals thereon, who have not requested removal of their names, to voice discontent with the governance and administration of the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese brought the litigation solely to protect its property interest and, as you know, has never sought to interfere with anyone's ability to communicate. The Archdiocese's interests have been the return of the list and protection of its confidentiality. While Judge Chin did not order its return, he has provided certain protections. The Archdiocese offers this proposal in the spirit of resolving the litigation and is willing to abide by the terms of Judge Chin's ruling.

In this manner, it is hoped that, together, we will be able to expeditiously resolve this dispute over the list which was misappropriated. If GOAL's only interest is in communicating with the individuals whose names appear of the list, it should be an easy decision for GOAL to consent to this proposal.

Prior to and subsequent to this communication on behalf of the Archdiocese, attorneys for GOAL had submitted a list of demands regarding issues neither explicitly nor implicitly implied in Judge Chin's decision. Inasmuch as the Archdiocese has no guarantee that Judge Chin would terminate the litigation, and because attorneys for GOAL were now using the Memorandum Decision to make demands beyond the scope of the decision, the Executive Committee deemed that the most prudent measure to defend and protect the Constitutional Rights of the Church would be to appeal Judge Chin's decision. In this way, either the case would be terminated, or a possible invasive government intrusion on the First Amendment Rights of the Greek Orthodox Church would be mitigated. This appeal was filed at the latest possible moment, December 24, 1998, in order to allow time for GOAL to agree to the termination of the litigation and signal the court accordingly. The Archdiocese regrets that the attorneys for GOAL did not choose to do so.

The Archdiocese is yet hopeful that Judge Chin will terminate the litigation, and although unsuccessful at attaining the complete protection of the confidentiality of the list, feels that the Church will be best served by such a termination.

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