Today, Tuesday, January 12, 1999, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople received His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon and the Metropolitans of the Holy Eparchial Synod at the Phanar.
The previous evening, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon and the Members of the Eparchial Synod were guests of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at a dinner, hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Cyrillos of Seleucia and His Excellency Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Myra.
The meeting began promptly at 10:00 a.m. and continued until 3:00 in the afternoon with one brief recess.
The Office of the Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued the following communiqué shortly after the conclusion of the meeting and the assembled Hierarchs of both Synods had retired for a luncheon and refreshments with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW. A translation of the communiqué from the original Greek:
"On January 12, 1999, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate gathered at the Phanar, in the Patriarchal compound, and received into a cooperative working session the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America, under the presidency of its chairman, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon of America.
In the course of their meeting, the circumstances of this Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne were thoroughly examined, and after a mutual exchange of commentary, it was unanimously decided that the synodical institutional structure in America be re-vitalized, and that all affairs continue to work in accordance with the established ordinances of the sacred canons, the Charter of the Archdiocese and the Uniform Parish and Special Regulations; above all, doing everything with mutual love and honor, with a mind toward the service of the plenitude of the Archdiocese, for the good of the Church and unto the glory of God.
It was further decided that the vacancies in the three Dioceses be speedily filled with Eparchial Bishops, and that there be an acceleration of the review process of the Charter of the Holy Archdiocese.
Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon issued the following statement:
"I am first and foremost grateful to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Most Reverend Members of the Holy and Sacred Synod for their invitation to come to the Sacred Center of our Faith, and for their loving and diligent care for the Holy Archdiocese of America. I also want to thank my brother bishops, the Most Reverend Metropolitans of the Eparchial Synod, for their cooperative and Christian spirit, exemplified in our meeting today.
Together, under the wise guidance of His All Holiness, we were able to better understand and comprehend the challenges confronting the ministry of the Holy Archdiocese of America. We all share the same special love and concern for the beloved Greek Orthodox People of America; for those who were born into the faith and for those who have embraced Orthodoxy with a clear and conscious decision.
Our meeting today reaffirmed the commitment and dedication that all of us have for the Archdiocese of America; for its unity, its solidarity, its mutual respect for the talent and service of each and every member of the Church, its progress into the new millennium, and its unwavering commitment to reach out to every member of our American society with the good news of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am certain that the fruits of this meeting will be well evidenced in the lives and ministries of our clergy and laity for many years to come."
This evening, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon and the Metropolitans of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese will be guests of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at a dinner hosted by His All Holiness, together with Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne.
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