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Archbishop Spyridon re-invites G.O.A.L. for dialogue at Archdiocese

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Jun 1, 1998

GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA

8-10 East 79th St.

New York, NY 10021

Tel: (212) 570-3500 Fax: (212) 861-2183

web: http://www.goarch.org

e-mail: archdiocese@goarch.org

Contact: Press Office

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:

THE FOLLOWING NEWS ITEMS ARE CONTAINED IN THIS RELEASE:

1) Archbishop Spyridon re-invites G.O.A.L. for dialogue at the Archdiocese

2) Sample letter from Archbishop Spyridon sent to the following members of G.O.A.L:

Dr. John Collis, Dr. Thomas Lelon, Mr. John Marks

3) Letter from G.O.A.L. declining invitation of Archbishop Spyridon

4) June 1st letter of Archbishop Spyridon re-inviting G.O.A.L. to meet at the Archdiocese

June 1, 1998

Archbishop Spyridon re-invites G.O.A.L. for dialogue at the Archdiocese

New York, New York - His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, in a letter to the Executive Directors of the organization, G.O.A.L., today reiterated his invitation, in response to their own request, to come to the Archdiocesan headquarters for a meeting.

On Sunday night, May 31, 1998, G.O.A.L. faxed a message to the Archdiocese declining the invitation of the Archbishop.

The text of the original invitation of the Archbishop, the response of G.O.A.L., and the re-invitation of His Eminence are attached.

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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

8-10 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021

Tel: (212) 570-3500 Fax: (212) 861-2183

May 20, 1998

Dear Dr. Collis,

Christ is Risen!

I pray that this letter finds you well and enjoying all the blessings which come forth from the Resurrected Lord Jesus.

I am most pleased to invite you to the Archdiocese on Monday, June 1, 1998, at 10:30 a.m., so that we may have the opportunity to dialogue as one family regarding the concerns and issues which are facing our blessed Church in America.

It is my fervent conviction that through open dialogue we can come to a better understanding of that which can be good for the Church, and ultimately that which is necessary to make sure that our Church prosper and grow as we enter in the new millennium. We are one Church, one Family, and one Community, and only through the unity of spirit and heart can we continue to do the work of the Lord in His Vineyard, which, He, has established.

I look forward to receiving you at the Archdiocese, and pray that our conversations will be fruitful and edifying.

With paternal love in the Resurrected Christ Jesus,

[signed]

+ SPYRIDON

Archbishop of America

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Greek Orthodox American Leaders

Seventh Sunday

Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Synod

Sunday, May 31, 1998

His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

8-10 East 79th St.

New York, NY 10021

Your Eminence,

We pray for your good health, well-being and ministry in the Lord.

Thank your for your fax letter of May 20th, received in the afternoon of May 21st 1998, inviting us to meet with Your Eminence on Monday, June 1, 1998 at 10:30 am at the Archdiocese. After being characterized as para-ecclesiastical, your invitation is particularly poignant. Unfortunately, the preconditions for the meeting as established by Your Eminence go beyond our purpose for this meeting. Dialoguing with others regarding our concerns over matters of Archdiocesan governance is better suited to a different forum. Since our ten day long effort to arrange mutually acceptable conditions for the meeting was not successful, our Board of Directors unanimously voted not to meet at this time with Your Eminence.

In Christ,

[signed]

John Collis

Executive Director

[signed]

Thomas C. Lelon

Executive Director

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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

8-10 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021 Tel: (212) 570-3500 Fax: (212) 861-2183

June 1, 1998

Dr. John Collis

Dr. Thomas C. Lelon

Greek Orthodox American Leaders, Inc.

One Kendall Square, Suite 2200

Cambridge, MA 02139

Dear Dr. Collis and Dr. Lelon,

It is with a prayerful heart that I greet you in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who renews and refreshes all things.

We have received your letter of May 31, 1998, and are disappointed that, after many conversations with one another in order to find the most constructive way to dialogue and to come together primarily as a Greek Orthodox Christian family, and also to address your very specific concerns which were passed as resolutions at the Chicago G.O.A. L. conference, the Board of Directors of G.O.A.L. voted not to accept our invitation to meet at the Archdiocese.

It was our heartfelt hope that we would have been able to meet and dialogue at the Archdiocese, in order to understand one another better, and work to find common ground for the sake of our Holy Archdiocese.

It is my prayer as the shepherd of the Church in America that the Board of Directors of G.O.A.L. will reconsider our invitation to :

1) come together to prayer,

2) gather lay people together to discuss the G.O.A. L. resolutions and concerns,

3) and personally engage me in a full and open dialogue.

By coming together as one Greek Orthodox Christian family, we will find that the best interests of our Church are always served by dialogue and cooperation, and that ultimately, there is so much more that unites us.

May the Holy Spirit, Who guides and strengthens His Holy Church, be with you and grace you with health, peace, and every good thing.

With paternal love in Christ,

[signed]

+ SPYRIDON

Archbishop of America

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Archives of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America's press releases are available online at: http://www.goarch.org/goa/press_releases
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