In two weeks, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will visit the United States, with highlights being his visits to Washington, where he will be received with high honors by the White House; Indiana, where he will be honored by the University of Notre Dame; West Virginia the parish of All Saints and the blessing of Eveyenia’s House, of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh; and New York, with a focus on the Archdiocese and the Holy Church and National Shrine of Saint Nicholas which is nearing completion. The Order of Archons of Saint Andrew is preparing dinners in his honor.
Undoubtedly, the visit of the Patriarch is a special honor for the Archdiocese of America and the Greek-American Community, even after eleven years since he last came. Of course, the continued existence of the coronavirus pandemic works as a deterrent to the great emphasis that would be placed on this visit under normal circumstances.
But there is also the atmosphere that has lately been formed with the well-known issue regarding the unfortunate presence of Archbishop Elpidophoros at the inauguration of the "Turkish House" in Manhattan.
There are reports that some may organize demonstrations against the Patriarch. We are talking about elements of the Greek-American and the Cypriot Communities, which in this way want to externalize their grief and indignation for the blunder of Elpidophoros.
I wrote it and I repeat it that the Omogeneia in America has a very high degree of patriotism, which is a virtue and has nothing to do with chauvinism and other all-encompassing internationalisms. And to repeat once again that Elpidophoros has offered and can offer a lot and he should not be "canceled," but it would be helpful for him to understand and balance between the virtues, the sensibilities, the pains, the miseries and the aspirations of the Omogeneia, which is neither chauvinistic nor haunted by any plague of unbridled and indiscriminate conservatism. On the contrary, it is the proudest, most philanthropic, best educated and most successful part of Global Hellenism, which has as its main cell the Church, and more specifically the local parish and community.
Our healthy Omogeneia has nothing to do and can have nothing to do with shouting gnats who are insulting the sanctuaries and ecclesiastical leaders of the Church and the Genos, here and in Greece. It is a small group of small-minded individuals extremely insignificant, like all marginalized people.
So, it would be a tragic mistake to allow some good, honest and devout people of the Omogeneia to be carried away by their anger and heartbreak and to protest against the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Genos, who in the final analysis is not guilty of anything, because they will not actually offend the Patriarch, but themselves, as they will become marginalized. It is an indisputable fact that the Greek-American Community loves, respects and supports the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Patriarch Bartholomew, and will show these feelings once again.