ILLYRIA, The Albanian-American Newspaper, Inc
2321 Hughes Avenue
Bronx, NY 10458-8120
In the article by Seijfi Protopapa, “The Two Faces of Bishop Yannulatos,” which appeared in the January 11-13, 1997 issue of ILLYRIA, several points need to be addressed in this unfair indictment
The Orthodox Church in America supported the elevation of Archbishop ANASTASIOS as Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church. In his important ministry as head of an autocephalous Church, Archbishop ANASTASIOS has worked tirelessly to promote the teachings of the Gospel and the upbuilding of the Orthodox faith in Albania.
Furthermore, because of his impartiality toward the various ethnic components in Albania, he has garnered high esteem among the clergy and people in that country.
His Beatitude, although invited, did not attend the consecrations of three new bishops for Albania, who were ordained at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul for diocesan posts in Albania. Moreover, Archbishop Anastasios is not succumbing to the heresy of phyletism; he is not placing Albanian nationalism in the forefront of his Episcopal ministry as your article urges that he should.
Finally, we do not believe that Archbishop ANASTASIOS “and his cohorts” are undermining the fiber of Albanian society. His labors for the Albanian Orthodox Church, on the one hand, and the Albanian nation on the other, is recognized internationally by government and religious leaders as a living paradigm of leadership, respect and devotion to the Faith and People he serves.
Very truly yours,
Archbishop of New York
Chairman, International Church Relations
cc: Metropolitan Theodosius, Archpriest Arthur Liolin, Mr Gregory Costa