Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens Invites Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Greece

Bishop Symeon of Thespies, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Athens, with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. (Photo: Ecumenical Patriarchate /Nikos Manginas)

CONSTANTINOPLE – Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece extended an invitation to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Greece.

Ieronymos sent Bishop Symeon of Thespies, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Athens, to travel to Constantinople and hand deliver the invitation to His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The Bishop of Thespies was received warmly by Patriarch Bartholomew and he presented an invitation for the Patriarch to visit Greece and officiate at the inauguration ceremony of the Agios Porphyrios Center for Gerontology and Welfare Support in Dilessi of Viotia, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew accepted the invitation and asked Bishop Symeon to convey his heartfelt wishes to Archbishop Ieronymos, in view of the impending celebration of Holy Easter. The Patriarch invited Symeon to join him and the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne for lunch at the Patriarchal dining room.

It should be noted here that Archbishop Ieronymos is making efforts to repair his relationship with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Patriarchate which was disrupted when he refused in October 2018 to receive the Patriarch during a visit to Athens. He had used as an excuse the meeting of the Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece.

Ieronymos’ behavior was unbecoming. It was impolite for an Archbishop of Greece to bar the door to the Ecumenical Patriarch and it was certainly the first time it happened in the history of the Church of Greece.

After that, delay tactics followed regarding the recognition of the Autocephaly granted by the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, with the matter being directed to committees and subcommittees. Now Ieronymos is trying to repair his relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.