FM Katrougalos: The Election of Elpidophoros Marks a New Era of Unity

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was enthroned as the seventh Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Saturday June 22, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan. (Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej)

NEW YORK (ANA/A. Zoupaniotis) – The ceremonies for the enthronement of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America concluded on Saturday with the official enthronement luncheon that took place at NY Hilton, in the presence of over 1,500 people from all over the United States and guest from Greece, Cyprus, Europe and Turkey. On Sunday, June 23rd, the new Archbishop is going to preside over the Holy Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Addressing the luncheon, the representative of the Greek government Foreign Minister George Katrougalos, reassured Archbishop Elpidophoros that not only the Foreign Ministry but all the Greek state will continue to offer every possible assistance to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Katrougalos stressed that the election of Elpidophoros marks a new era of unity, collaboration, quality, stewardship and especially social and national service to the Greek American Community and Hellenism as a whole.

“It is true that Orthodoxy is universal and its message involves not only a nation or a people. But it is also true that the history and the culture of Hellenism has identified with Orthodoxy”.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that Greece doesn’t believe in the war of civilizations, but in the dialogue and the common values of freedom, solidarity and love, that are also messages of the Orthodoxy.

“This is the reason we have launched initiatives on interreligious dialogue, especially for the Middle East and the protection of the religious minorities and a dialogue between the ancient civilizations.”

Katrougalos promised to support the efforts of the Archdiocese of America to promote the cultural life and the Greek civilization, especially through the education, cultural activities and actions through the parishes, the schools and its institutions.

“Through this activity we enhance the bonds with the American nation and the bridges of friendship that connect Greece and this great nation”, the foreign minister said.

In concluding, Katrougalos told Archbishop Elpidophoros that Greece is sure that his protagonistic and coordinating role will lead to the unity of Hellenism and thus will strengthen the solidarity of the Greek American Community to Greece and Cyprus.

“Today’s difficult circumstances require alertness, soberness, joint action and, above all, the unity of Hellenism”.

Greek Cypriot negotiator Ambassador Andreas Mavrogiannis conveyed the greeting and the congratulations of President Nicos Anastasiades to the new Archbishop and expressed his gratitude to former Archbishop Demetrios for his excellent stewardship of the last two decades.

“I have no doubt your Eminence, he told Elpidophoros that will continue under your enlightened leadership to work together for the major issues of Hellenism and Orthodoxy and the universal values, in cooperation with the government and the people of this great nation.”

“I feel as if we are celebrating the Resurrection in all its panoply and excellence, with all its joy and festivity”, Archbishop Elpidophoros told the audience.

“But I have only just commenced my ministry, and I have to ask, is it possible for us to have Resurrection before Crucifixion? I ask this not to diminish our present happiness, but to remind all of us that like our Lord Jesus Christ, we must pass through …we must pass over, before we arrive at the further longed-for shore.”

He repeated that as an Archdiocese, and as the Church of Christ, we have much work to do, we have to ready our shoulders to bear the Cross.

“There is much to rebuild: confidence and faith in our institutions first of all. Hellenic College and Holy Cross must be established on a firm foundation, for they are the future of our clergy. Our Archdiocesan ministries must be renewed and reinvigorated, for they are the future of our young people. Our clergy must be secure in their familial responsibilities, for they are the future of our parishes. Saint Nicholas National Shrine must be completed, for it is the future of our witness to the American Nation.”

Archbishop Demetrios spoke warmly of his successor.

“We have in the face of Archbishop Elpidophoros a man of deep faith, fully devoted to the Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who has a strong judgment, a man who has succeeded. Thus he can do things in the direction of the creative continuation of the mission of the Church”, Archbishop Demetrios said.

Metropolitan Augustine of Germany praised Elpidophoros and called the Ecumenical Patriarch “a gift of God”.

“This great Patriarch fears only God; not the Russians, or the Turks, or the Ukrainians, but he has the fear of God alone and the love for man.”

Greeting were offered by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, California lieutenant Governor Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, Presidents of Leadership 100 and Faith Argyris Vassiliou and Dean Mitropoulos, Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council George Tsandicos, President of the National Philoptochos Maria Logus, Archons National Commander Dr, Anthony Limberakis and the Supreme President of the AHEPA George Loucas.

8 Comments

  1. RE: “I feel as if we are celebrating the Resurrection in all its panoply and excellence, with all its joy and festivity”, Archbishop Elpidophoros told the audience.

    What a sickening thing to read on Sunday when we commemorate THE Resurrection

    Let’s try an experiment:

    “Christos Anesti!” vs “Elpidophoros anesti!”

    ? Sorry your Eminence, not feeling it.

  2. ?? The Greek flag is a flag with a Cross on it. Take away the Cross then its just a piece of striped cloth.

    But the Cross can stand alone without a flag of any kind draped on it ☦️

  3. Metropolitan Augustine of Germany said of the Ecumenical Patriarch: “This great Patriarch fears only God; not the Russians, or the Turks, or the Ukrainians, but he has the fear of God alone and the love for man.”

    The Metropolitan doth protest too much.

    The Ecumenical Patriarchate fears the loss of money and support of Greek-Americans above all else.

    All of these repetitive protestations on “unity” and “New Era” and the last but never least-or-lessening cry for more Hellenism reveal the desperate fear of the Patriarch of Constantinople and his American proxy.

    This weekend Archbishop Elpidophoros has tried to enshrine himself as a conquering hero (Let a ten thousand flowers bloom and shed their tender glories to be crushed beneath my feet, the mighty footsteps of Destiny!) and the savior of Greek Orthodox America, but he is naught but the EP’s bagman.

    The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is not dependent on the Ecumenical Patriarch, it is the Ecumenical Patriarch who is entirely dependent on GOA.

    Of course, you will be hearing just the opposite in the days to come.

    1. If it is true as reported that the Ecumenical Patriarch fears God, then it shows that there is hope. It shows the man might have a conscience.

      St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople warns the current title holder with these fearsome words:

      Nothing will so avail to divide the Church as love of power. Nothing so provokes God’s anger as the division of the Church. Yea, though we have achieved ten thousand glorious acts, yet shall we, if we cut to pieces the fullness of the Church, suffer punishment no less sore than they who mangled His body.

      I assert and protest, that to make a schism in the Church is no less an evil than to fall into heresy.

      Tell me, suppose a subject of some king, though he did not join himself to another king, nor give himself to any other, yet should take and keep hold of his king’s royal purple, and should tear it all from its clasp, and rend it into many shreds; would he suffer less punishment than those who join themselves to the service of another?

      And what, if withal he were to seize the king himself by the throat and slay him, and tear his body limb from limb, what punishment could he undergo, that should be equal to his deserts?

      Now if in doing this toward a king, his fellow-servant, he would be committing an act too great for any punishment to reach; of what hell shall not he be worthy who slays Christ, and plucks Him limb from limb?

  4. “Addressing the luncheon, the representative of the Greek government Foreign Minister George Katrougalos, reassured Archbishop Elpidophoros that not only the Foreign Ministry but all the Greek state will continue to offer every possible assistance to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.”

    Excuse me, but Greece doesn’t even have a proverbial ” pot to piss in” let alone be able to help or assist anyone else.
    Greece has more problems, scandals, financial and political issues than the GOA has.
    Charity begins at home.

    Take care of your own country, help and assist your own people, and mind your own business – the GOA will survive as best as it can IF it takes the appropriate drastic austerity measures to bring itself back to where it should be – just like Greece!

    It just needs a strong, unwavering, decisive, realistic leader to give the needed direction and focus, just like any good minded business CEO would with any company of people.

    To mix (a foreign) State ( regardless of it being Greece) and Religion (GOA) is a very bad formula – that’s not how things should work without creating other problematic issues.

    We are Americans, living in the United States of America with out own distinct culture, ethnic traditions,and mindset.

    Please DO NOT confuse the word Greek in being Greek Orthodox because you are 100% wrong.
    Greek Orthodoxy is not and should not be exclusive to peoples of only Greek heritage, but truly be a universal and diversified church…

  5. “The Ecumenical Patriarchate, which was established in the fourth century and once possessed holdings as vast as those of the Vatican, has been reduced to a small, besieged enclave in a decaying corner of Istanbul called the Phanar, or Lighthouse. Almost all of its property has been seized by successive Turkish governments, its schools have been closed and its prelates are taunted by extremists who demonstrate almost daily outside the Patriarchate, calling for its ouster from Turkey.

    “The ecumenical patriarch, Bartholomew I, is often jeered and threatened when he ventures outside his walled enclave. He is periodically burned in effigy by Turkish chauvinists and Muslim fanatics. Government bureaucrats take pleasure in harassing him, summoning him to their offices to question and berate him about irrelevant issues, blocking his efforts to make repairs in the few buildings still under his control, and issuing veiled threats about what he says and does when he travels abroad.”

    This was reported in the New York Times in 2008. What has changed for the EP since then?

    The “First Without Equals” claim, when faced with the reality of his status in his home nation of Turkey makes the EP what we call in America: “A Legend in his own mind.”

  6. St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco wrote this in 1938. What he saw then is still what we see today:

    “The Ecumenic Patriarchate, in theory embracing almost the whole universe and in fact extending its authority only over several dioceses, and in other places having only a higher superficial supervision and receiving certain revenues for this, persecuted by the government at home and not supported by any governmental authority abroad: having lost its significance as a pillar of truth and having itself become a source of division, and at the same time being possessed by an exorbitant love of power—represents a pitiful spectacle which recalls the worst periods in the history of the See of Constantinople.”

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