A statement by Anglican Primate Archbishop Andrew Hutchison on the death of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos

The Anglican Church of Canada would like to express its prayers and sympathy to its sisters and brothers in the Greek Orthodox community on the death of Archbishop Iakovos, who led the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America from 1959 until 1996.

Archbishop Iakovos was a champion of many Christian values and causes to which our two churches share a common commitment, particularly human rights and ecumenism. His visible presence in marching with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., showed his love and care for social justice for all of humanity and his courage in being a witness for God’s truth in the face of secular power. Ecumenically he showed outstanding leadership in meeting with Pope John XXIII, becoming the first Greek Orthodox archbishop in 350 years to meet with a Roman Catholic pope. He spent nine years as a president of the World Council of Churches and committed his church to participation in the Canadian Council of Churches. He once said, “Ecumenism is the hope for international understanding, for humanitarian allegiance, for true peace based on justice and dignity, and for God’s continued presence and involvement in modern history.” How prophetic to proclaim this in 1960!

Archbishop Iakovos was committed to making the Greek Orthodox understanding of the Christian faith a living reality in the day to day life of North and South America, and we have all been enriched by his contribution to our common life and witness.

The Greek Orthodox Church is preparing to celebrate Easter. The hope and prayer of the Anglican Church of Canada is that the Greek Orthodox community we find strength and peace from the Easter Gospel knowing that Archbishop Iakovos has died in light of Christ’s death and resurrection.

The Most Rev. Andrew S. Hutchsion, Archbishop and Primate

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