Correspondence of late Greek Orthodox leader of Americas to be published

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Thessaloniki, Greece — The personal correspondence of the former Archbishop of North and South America, and spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox community in the United States of America for 37 years, Iakovos Coucouzis,[[1]] will be published during 2006. The Archbishop passed away in 2005. The publication of the correspondence of the late Archbishop will be the result of co-operation between the Theology School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki [2], the non-governmental Institute for National and Religious Studies and the program Ecumenical Hellenism[3].

According to Athanasios Angelopoulos — who, along with theology professor Athanasios Karathanasis and political science student Nicolaos Mottas, has the scientific diligence of the project — the personal correspondence of Iakovos contains important information about the national issues of Greece, such as the Cyprus, Macedonian and the northern Epirus issues.

A dynamic personality, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox community in the United States from 1959 to 1996, Iakovos, constructed relations with all the American presidents, from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton, and with various personalities from the Americas, such as minority leaders, with most famous being his friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. The personal correspondence of the Greek Orthodox leader contains letters between Iakovos and various United States presidents, including John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and with other political personalities — ministers, ambassadors, Washington, D.C. officials and former Greek Prime Ministers, including Constantine Caramanlis and Andreas Papandreou. According to professor Angelopoulos, the two-volume publication will contain photocopies of the original correspondence documents and moreover a major text — written in by Angelopoulos in Greek and translated into English by Nicolaos Mottas — which will summarize the essentians and meaning of Iakovos' correspondence, as well as its impact on the political, social and religious life of the Greek Orthodox Community in the United States of America and on Greek-American relations.

Archbishop Iakovos with John F. Kennedy, 1960s.

The supervisor of the project, professor Athanasios Angelopoulos, stated that Archbishop Iakovos' personal correspondence will be published in 2006. The publication, which will be prefaced by the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Archbishop Christodoulos, will be presented in Thessaloniki, Athens, and possibly to the Greek Community in the United States.

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