Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus who is of German and Greek descent, (his mother Dimitra was called Roula for short), wrote a letter congratulating His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew for his twenty-fifth anniversary as Ecumenical Patriarch. Priebus quoted the Bible in his letter, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7). He also noted that in recent times, members of “all different religious groups have been plagued by violence, contempt, and division.” Patriarch Bartholomew’s “inter-religious dialogue, promotion of religious freedom and human rights for the last twenty-five years has provided members of the Christian faith with a steadfast vision of hope.” Priebus continued, “The dedication you have shown in fighting against religious persecution, pushing for the reopening of Halki Seminary, and the reconciliation amåong Christian Churches has promoted the Orthodox faith and set an example that all humans, from world leaders to ordinary members of society, should strive to emulate.” Priebus is an Archon of the Order of St. Andrew and expressed his gratitude for the Patriarch’s service and dedication to the Orthodox Church. He observed that the Patriarch is an inspiration to him and many others “to defend and promote the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition.” Priebus concluded with wishes for many more years of success for the Patriarch, adding “Axios!” at the end.
Elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 14, 2011, and reelected on January 25, 2013 and on January 16, 2015, Priebus will become the longest serving chairman in modern history with a total of three terms.
October 22, 2016 was the twenty-fifth anniversary since, by the Grace of God, His All-Holiness was elected to the First Throne of Orthodoxy. The Patriarch celebrated this anniversary in doxology and thanksgiving by presiding at the Divine Liturgy in the Venerable Patriarchal Church. Many hierarchs of the Church attended as well as dignitaries from around the world. Following the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Constantine of Nicaea addressed the Ecumenical Patriarch on behalf of the Venerable Hierarchy. The Patriarch responded by recalling the major events in the life of the Mother Church during his Patriarchal tenure and thanking his brother hierarchs and the officials present for their prayers and wishes on this occasion.
On this auspicious day, His All-Holiness officially received in his office the Venerable Hierarchy of the Throne in this City, who offered their festive congratulations together with an icon depicting all the saints that have been canonized during his twenty-five-year ministry. His All-Holiness then received the Hierarchy of the Church of Crete led by His Eminence Archbishop Eirenaios of Crete for an exchange of greetings and wishes.
Afterwards, the Patriarch offered an official luncheon for the guests. At the luncheon, His Excellency Ioannis Amanatidis read a letter of congratulations from Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras and presented the Patriarch with an engolpion.