BOSTON – His Grace, Bishop Spyridon (Kezios) of Amastris was ordained on November 14, in the Church of the Holy Cross of Belmont, California by Archbishop Elpidophoros. His Grace opened his heart and granted his first interview to The National Herald. His ordination is noteworthy because he comes from the ranks of the married clergy. After the passing of his Presbytera he was bestowed with the Ofikion of Archimandrite. In nominating him to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the elevation to the Episcopacy, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros has honored him for his great contribution to the Archdiocese of America, especially in the realm of the translation of Liturgical Texts.
He is amongst the most well-read clergy of our Church and though a second-generation Greek American, he not only loves Greece but lives it. If someone were to have a conversation with him, they would think he was from the Peloponnese (his family’s background) and be unaware he was no born in Greece at all. His knowledge, pronunciation, and vocabulary are literally flawless. When we asked him, “how did you come to learn the language so well?” he answered simply, “I love the language.”
In response to a question about his thoughts during his ordination he replied, “in such moments whether as Deacon or Priest but even more-so as a Hierarch you feel an inner exuberance and most certainly a feeling of humility also. My thoughts were expressed with tears during those moments. I contemplated the awesomeness of the Archpriesthood: no small matter.”
Bishop Spyridon of Amastris has four children. When we asked him how his children feel about the elevation he replied, “I don’t think they have fully realized it’s actually happened,” humorously adding, “but then again, why should they – I still haven’t!”
With respect to his service to the Church in his new station he said, “I am assigned to the Archbishop. I am at his disposal to do as he sees fit.” He added, “I see myself as an elder brother to my fellow priests and will aid them in any way I am able.”
Asked how he feels about returning to the ancient tradition of our Church having married Bishops, and why shouldn’t the Church do that, he replied, “I too ask ‘why shouldn’t we?’ We live in a different world today. By this I mean, we do not have our bishops coming solely from monasteries. This was not always the tradition of our Church. Saint Spyridon, for example, was a married bishop. He was a simple man. Serving the Church is not just for those who have theological degrees like you and me. I try to keep before me the image of the priest of the village who kept the church alive during the Turkish occupation and thereafter.”
He loves Greece very much and visits every year. When asked, “what Hellenism means to him, he replied: “Sine qua non – indispensable.”