National Catholic Register


U.S. Notes & Quotes

From selected publications

BY Jim Cosgrove

March 14-20, 1999 Issue | Posted 3/14/99 at 2:00 PM


Greek Orthodox Divide Over Archbishop

THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, March 3—The Greek Orthodox Church in America's national leader, Archbishop Spyridon is facing a revolt from both lay and clerical elements within his 1.5 million-member Church, reported the Rocky Mountain News.

A national organization called Greek Orthodox American Leaders has been formed to work for the archbishop's removal, and has raised nearly $1 million in the process, it reported. The archbishop has been criticized for his attempt to buy a $1.4 million house without prior church consent and for filing a federal lawsuit against his church critics, who used a Church mailing list without his authorization, said the article.

Last fall, the lay-driven revolt began getting unexpected help from the hierarchy, it said. In October, the nation's five metropolitans, who are Archbishop Spyridon's spiritual equals, wrote a blistering private critique of his New York-based administration.

Cardinal Maida Shares Sorrow for Holocaust

DETROIT NEWS, March 7— “I wish to express tonight our sorrow for the tragedy that the Jewish people have suffered in our own life and times,” Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit told a Jewish congregation in his archdiocese, according to the daily newspaper there. Where Catholics failed, they ask forgiveness, said the spiritual leader of 1.5 million Catholics in the Detroit area.

The cardinal said the pope has challenged Catholics to use the end of the millennium as a time to examine their consciences and ask for healing, including on matters involving the Holocaust.

“I understand what he's saying, and it is very nice …,” said Sallyjo Levine, a member of the Jewish congregation. “You have to go on with the idea, ‘What can we do now,’ as opposed to asking who was to blame 50 years ago,”

Laity Seen as Key to Hispanic Ministry

LOS ANGELES TIMES, March 5—The Los Angeles archdiocese Office of Hispanic Ministry last year created a Spanish-language pastoral institute for lay people, said the Los Angeles Times.

The institute prepares lay people to serve as leaders of their fellow Hispanics, who are being served by a declining number of priests. Graduates of the program can also be expected to help stem the tide of Latinos who are leaving the Church in favor of Protestant denominations, said the article.

Hispanic Catholics comprise about 65% of the estimated 4 million Catholics in Southern California. However, recent statistics have shown that among Latinos the percentage who identify themselves as Catholic has dropped nationwide, to 62% today from 75% in the 1970s.