Archbishop Elpidophoros Arrives, Greeted at JFK by the Greek-American Community (Video)

Archbishop Elpidophoros was greeted at the airport by many members of the community, including little Thanasi in traditional Greek costume. (Photo: TNH/ Kostas Bej)

NEW YORK – His Eminence, the newly-elected Archbishop Elpidophoros was greeted warmly at JFK Airport in New York by the church hierarchs, priests, and the members of the Greek community. 

Archbishop Elpidophoros who was smiling and cheerful in the reception room, was welcomed and praised by those present, accompanied by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and the fathers of Gedeon, Ioannikeio and Spyridon from the Holy Monastery of Halki.

The faithful of all ages approached the new Archbishop and welcomed him, while the presence of little children, some of whom were dressed in traditional costume, was truly moving.

“I am deeply grateful to all of you who came to welcome me upon my arrival on good-natured American soil for the first time as Archbishop of America. Your smiles, your enthusiasm, your love are manifestations of the blessing of God and I see you as my beloved spiritual children,” said Archbishop Elpidophoros, during his speech in the specially designated space in the arrivals hall.

Arrival of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.

Posted by Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

“It was God’s providence to take up our duties during the week of Pentecost. We pray that the holy spirit will illuminate your term here and on the way to our Holy Archdiocese,” Metropolitan Methodios of Boston said.

Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras spoke of the training and spiritual gifts of Archbishop Elpidophoros, and asked those present to exclaim once again “Axios” (Worthy).

Alexis Phedonos-Vadet, Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York, welcomed Archbishop Elpidophoros as well and noted that he would stand by his side.

A more detailed report from The National Herald will follow.

Άφιξη Αρχιεπισκόπου Ελπιδοφόρου στο JFK

Posted by Εθνικός Κήρυξ / The National Herald on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Archbishop Elpidophoros arrives in New York. Photo: TNH/Kostas Bej
Greek community members and the media crowded the airport for the arrival of Archbishop Elpidophoros. Photo: TNH/Kostas Bej
Archbishop Elpidophoros was greeted by the Metropolitans and Bishops of the Archdiocese. Photo: TNH/ Kostas Bej
Archbishop Elpidophoros arrives at JFK, Archon Stephen Cherpelis was among those who greeted him. Photo: TNH/Kostas Bej
The faithful, including members of the Holy Cross Whitestone community, were among those waiting at the arrivals hall to greet Archbishop Elpidophoros. Photo: TNH/Kostas Bej


  1. Much hoopla over nothing.

    He is NOT at all the Archbishop of America, but merely a puppet figurehead of ecclesiastical merit to be utilized for church public relation opportunities.

    He has no real, actual authority over any of the other Metropolitans of the Eparchial Synod of the GOA, nor does he have any say in any of the Ministries of the GOA except for only those ministries that have been prescribed to his personal jurisdiction.
    He is limited as to what he can and cannot do.

    He is just another “Metropolitan” (archbishop) of a designated district just as all the others are.
    Had all the other Metropolitans been Bishops with their respective Sees and Dioceses, then truly he would have been a real Archbishop of worth.
    He is just another “first among equals”.

    His real title should be – Metropolitan Elpidophoros of New York.

    His actual mission is to bide his time here in America, be nice, make friends, collect money, up and until the Ecumenical Patriarch “kicks the bucket” and then he relocates to the Phanar as the new Ecumenical Patriarch.

    Then we start the game all over again!

    1. …and so “First WITHOUT Equals” was a check written in 2014 to his own humble self to be cashed at a not-so-distant future date.

  2. The first words out of his mouth to the people of America were in Greek. He said nothing about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ or spreading the Orthodox faith. Everyone that showed up wore Greek costumes with Greek flags. So this is the Archbishop of America? Really? I think I’ve seen enough to make up my mind. His goals are simple 1). Make us colonists subservient to the Pope of Istanbul 2) Speak Greek only to drive out the converts 3) Milk rich Greek business of their cash to support the Pope of Istanbul and finish St. Nicholas Cathedral 4) Return to Istanbul as the New Ecumenical Patriarch when Bart dies or retires…whichever comes first. Pretty dismal huh?

  3. GOA spinmeisters are already hard at work.

    From GOA homepage:

    “Archbishop Elpidophoros received an enthusiastic welcome upon his arrival in the United states as hundreds of faithful from various New York area parishes gathered today June 19, 2019, in the arrival hall of Terminal One, at John F. Kennedy International Airport to welcome their new spiritual leader.”

    “HUNDREDS?!” ?

    Thanks TNH for your sober reporting!

  4. Announcement from Metropolitan Methodios (Archdiocesan vicar and first among the hierarchs):the tickets for the luncheon after the enthronement start at $250 and go up to $10,000, with any proceeds after expenses going to the St. Nicholas fund.

  5. The ticket prices for the events during the Ecumenical Patriarch’s visit to the US (to follow soon after the enthronement) haven’t been announced yet, but Elpidophoros is confident that the faithful, especially the Archon$ will all pitch in so that the EP will be abke to travel in the style that he “deserves”:

    “It [the EP’s upcoming visit] will be the first crash test for my administration, but I am lucky to have the officials of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who are very capable and experienced, and who have been through similar visits, so I don’t expect there to be any difficulties. I have faith in my associates; I will be met by some very capable people and they will help me. These same people, and indeed the archons who have always stood at the side of the Patriarchate, will, I believe, rise to the occasion once more and welcome the patriarch in the manner he deserves, in the manner we deserve to welcome our spiritual father.“

    Read all about it:

  6. If he arrived in America, why aren’t they waving American flags?.
    Oops, wrong question. He arrived in Greece West.

  7. Maybe it was a poor choice of words or maybe “crash test” means something different in Turkey or Greece, but in America, crash test means:

    ​“a test in which a new vehicle is crashed under controlled conditions in order to test how it reacts or to improve its safety”
    (Oxford Learners Dictionary)

    Let’s break down this metaphor.

    OK, the GOA is Elpidophoros’ “new vehicle.”

    He is going to crash this new vehicle under controlled conditions to see how it reacts.

    The “crash” is the EP’s visit so that means that Patriarch Bartholomew will be the passenger in new vehicle(GOA) that is to be tested or what we call in America, the “crash test dummy.”

    So Elpidophoros plans on testing the crashworthiness of GOA based on how it will carry the EP during his visit.

    Sod this metaphor and let’s get back to plain speech:

    Elpidophoros will be testing the GOA’s CASHworthiness with the EP’s upcoming visit.

  8. I fly a giant American flag outside my business and an American and Greek flag outside my home. Seeing children in foustanelles and Waving Flags is a beautiful image. My immediate family which lives near me and is large has about a dozen converts to Orthodoxy who also embraced the Greek culture. None of them are offended by Greek flags or a Greek speaking archbishop or evzones. In fact they are grateful for the Greek culture they are now a part of. I honestly don’t know any converts who are offended by this, but I do know a lot of snowflakes.

    1. Niko, why don’t you just fly a giant Greek flag outside your business instead of the American flag?

    2. When you go to Greece, do you fly the American flag outside your yiayia’s house?
      Just to represent the country that gave to the money and freedom to have your giant business, I mean.
      I’m offended by our ethnophylocentrism, or said differently, our ghetto habits.
      This is America and the Archbishop represents Americans, not Greeks.

    3. Niko,

      You could just fly just a giant Greek flag outside of your business but you don’t.

      Or even a giant Greek flag alongside your giant American flag outside of your business.

      But you don’t. No Greek flag outside your business.

      Are you afraid of somehow offending or turning away potential American customers from your business?

      What is the business of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?

      Should it also be afraid of losing potential American customers which in the Orthodox Christian business means converts?

    4. Good grief, listen to the videos accompanying this story–they arrived in America at JFK’S and spoke only Greek ! I swear I was watching something from the 1930s.

      The new guy and his team will be bad news for all of us. Reminds me of when Spyridon came to my church for the first time and spoke to all of us and to the kids in all-Greek. The priest asked him politely to say a few words to the kids in English and he acted as if that was an awkward request.

      They are not clerics. They are foreign agents.

  9. Loan if my business was representing Greek Americans their would be a Greek flag as well. If the Greek archdiocese can’t fly a Greek flag because it offends you , then you have other issues you need to deal with.
    Spiro, the archbishop represents Greeks and Americans and anyone else that wants to be a part of it. There are no Greek ghettos in the US. But there are ghettos let’s not confuse the two.
    The bottom line here is that the new archbishop was being bashed before he stepped foot on American soil. And because he spoke Greek that’s even worse. He’s hasn’t even started yet and he’s being crucified. And he may be the new EP one day, not a very prestigious position being under a Turkish dictator. So what ? You guys have a better candidate for the job? No one! Someone mentioned a bishop from Jerusalem , as he’d be fluent in English

    1. The new Archbishop is a relic of the past, a Turkish citizen, who represents the national interests of Greece and Cyprus under the scrutiny of the Turkish government.

      All of his nterviews are about the Greeks of Istanbul, Turkey, Imvros, Tenedos, Cyprus etc and that we Americans need to give money to them.

      He even thinks that the Americans who attend Greek Orthodox churches here in America are Greeks and that they are still integrating in America.

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