Archbishop Elpidophoros of America Speaks to Greek Newspaper Kathimerini

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS – The newly and unanimously elected Archbishop Elpidophoros of America granted an interview to the leading Athens newspaper Kathimerini. He touched on a number of issues regarding the Archdiocese of America and the Greek-American Community.

Elpidophoros is determined to put the finances of the Archdiocese in order, so that the management of the donations of the faithful and the major donors are fully transparent. Among his first priorities is the completion of the completion of construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero in New York within a year’s time. He said that “St. Nicholas Church is an issue of crucial importance. It is a matter of national pride, an issue of honor for the Archdiocese of America. This issue shall be resolved once for all. It should actually have been settled before my enthronement, because it reflects who we are in American society, since it is built at a very important location, Ground Zero”.

In his interview with Kathimerini Archbishop Elpidophoros stated that he will support from his new position not only the rights of Hellenism all over the world, but also the Hellenic national issues, in cooperation with Greek-American and Cypriot-American Organizations.

One of the first things he plans to do is to broaden the horizons of Orthodoxy into the American mainstream.  He said “Let us not confine ourselves to Greek Orthodoxy, let us open up to American society and to the rest of our Orthodox brothers of whatever origin in America. This will give us wings. He said “another important issue is the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston – it is the seed nursery that nurtures the officials of the Archdiocese. The third issue is the economic problem of the Archdiocese.”

Archbishop Elpidophoros promised complete transparency as to donations to the Archdiocese, confirming the use of the standard methods that every single American organization uses, including audits of what has been done up to now.”

On national issues, the new Archbishop of America emphasized that he himself is ready to help the Greek-American organizations lobbying efforts to promote Greek interests, saying, “One thing I have learned from our Patriarch is to raise my voice whenever I see that Orthodoxy is being oppressed and its freedoms are restricted.”

The Archbishop also made reference to relations with Turkey, stating that Greece and Cyprus are “doomed” to have friendly relations with the former, because any tension shall be disastrous for all of them.

Speaking about the Ecclesiastic “Cold War” that broke out on the issue of the granting of the status of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine, he stated that “the relations with Russia are a very sensitive issue,” while he stressed that Russian propaganda has created bridgeheads to Greece and the Balkans. “The Ukrainian issue is not only an ecclesiastic one. The ecclesiastic part is only a dimension of it. The Ukrainian issue is a very sensitive one for the Russians, from a geostrategic, energy, military, and ecclesiastic point of view,” stressing that this geopolitical game preexisted and was not caused by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

He also said that after his enthronement, a visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to America, possibly a meeting with President Trump as well, is being scheduled. He said those will be the first tests of his administration.

The Archbishop also said that as his legacy to the future, he would like to bequeath a worthy successor: “I wish to raise the Archdiocese to its rightful place, because it is the most prominent of the Eparchies of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the best thing it has to display abroad. May the new succeeding generation exceed me and all the previous Archbishops.”

6 Comments

  1. Hellenism, Greek and Cypriot organizations, Greek issues, etc., etc., etc. We will see the need for a new archbishop of the GOA as soon as the patriarch reposes because that’s why Metr. Elpidoforos was elected archbishop, because he’s going to be the next patriarch. His election as archbishop was unanimous only because it was pre-ordained (no pun intended). Anyone who doesn’t believe that doesn’t understand the workings of the Phanar.

  2. It doesn’t matter if he will one day be patriarch. He is probably the most qualified for the position. What matters are all the positive statements he made about the situation in the US and how he intends on moving forward. I am not one of those haters who will trash talk anyone at least before they are given every opportunity to prove themselves and under what circumstances they will be dealing with. The new archbishop inherited this mess but even this mess is fixable as long as he is sincere in his efforts.

    1. Niko do you not understand that everything this new prelate talked about – finances, National Shrine, Hellenism, ignored the one needful thing. Not one word about fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. The GOA will continue to be the Greek Culture Club with a few Kyrie Eleison’s thrown in for good measure. Lord preserve us from these venal prelates who love Hellenism more than Your Church!

  3. “Archbishop Elpidophoros promised complete transparency as to donations to the Archdiocese” — then can we get an answer about how this Hilton luncheon is being paid for? And even if it’s donated somehow, can we get some clarification as to why donation money can go towards exorbitant lifestyle and not to digging the Archdiocese out of bankruptcy instead?

  4. He plans to have St Nicholas WTC/NYC Church/Shrine built in a year; does he happen to have $80 million dollars under his rassa !? !?

    A lot of talk of what WE already know as priorities for the past year, if not longer!
    Has been asleep in a cave somewhere !?

    Before he tackles anything he should “clean house” at the GOA/NYC Headquarters; only then will things get done – the right way, the honest way , otherwise “transparency” and “accountability” are just hollow catch phrases.

    In consideration of the dire economic straits of the GOA , Elpidophoros should have insisted that the money being “donated” for his enthronement luncheon banquet been better utilized instead.
    THAT would have sent shock waves for sure that he means business!
    But he seems to be cut from the same cloth as all the rest of them.

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