Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
On March 17, 2004 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, "The spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians will begin a weeklong trip to the United States on Saturday, as American parishioners press for a greater role in their church. It will be the fifth U.S. visit for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is based in Turkey. He will meet with Orthodox communities in New Jersey, and with political and religious leaders in New York. Bartholomew and his hierarchy have direct jurisdiction over the U.S. Greek Orthodox archdiocese. Officials from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America hope the visit will improve relations between the Istanbul-based governing council and members of the U.S. Greek Orthodox church, who have been pushing for self-rule. Last month, prominent American parishioners filed suit asking the New York State Supreme Court to require that the archdiocese obey its own governing charter. The lawsuit says the Greek hierarchy imposed a rewritten charter last year without approval from delegates at a national Clergy-Laity Congress, as required."