This week marked the first anniversary of the election of Archbishop Elpidophoros by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to lead the Church in America.
During the past year, Archbishop Elpidophoros has given much evidence that reveals him as a charismatic, leading religious figure who promises to leave his mark on our Archdiocese.
If there was any doubt about the above, Theodore Kalmoukos’, the distinguished religious editor of The National Herald, interview with the Archbishop should dispel any of those sentiments.
The feeling and the main conclusion that remains after reading the interview is that there has been a great as well as a necessary change in the leadership of the Archdiocese of America.
Archbishop Elpidophoros is a capable, optimistic man, who as a leader takes full responsibility for the Archdiocese.
His speech radiates freshness. It's straightforward. Direct. He doesn't play with words. He knows what needs to be fixed. He knows what he wants to do and how to achieve it. He has a plan. His priorities are in order. He is dynamic. Decisive. He is looking at a distant time horizon. He thinks for the long term.
Here are some excerpts from his interview that testify to my above conclusions:
“Fortunately, our Patriarch and his Synod intervened at the right moment and provided the solution to the impasse…
“The Theological School has been rescued from the dire condition that almost cost the School its accreditation last year…
The “St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine…which has been redeemed from the brink of disaster by the remarkable generosity of the Faithful will be completed…After the completion of the reconstruction and the substantive launch of Saint Nicholas at Ground Zero, it will be time to focus on our Theological School. It is the womb that begets the leadership of our future, and hatches the priests of our tradition and faith. I am very optimistic that our faithful will embrace this effort and we will solve the problems of the Theological School, not for a short-sighted and tentative short-term, but with long-term and stable objectives….
“The finances of the Archdiocese have also been strengthened….
“We started an effort to strengthen the Greek language and education in our schools on a new, realistic basis. Because we are determined to keep them at all costs…and we shall, in due time, bring a renaissance of Greek Education throughout our Archdiocese.”
Based on these positions, and the ability that distinguishes him, there is no doubt that our Greek Diaspora will support him in achieving his goals, which have been our goals, visions, dreams for many years.