ATHENS - Archbishop of America Elpidophoros expressed great satisfaction with the results of his meeting with Foreign Minister George Katrougalos and Deputy Foreign Minister Terens Quick at the foreign ministry in Athens on Friday, noting that it had "gone very well". "Armed with the good wishes of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the entire nation, I feel secure in taking on my new duties," he said.
Concerning the differences of opinion within the Greek community in America, Elpidophoros stressed that the "divisions must cease" and noted that the Ecumenical Patriarchate had a tradition of "reconciling differences," adding that uniting the expatriate community be one of his top priorities as archbishop.
According to diplomatic sources, Katrougalos emphasised the importance of the enthronement of the new archbishop of America for the Greek expatriate community and the Orthodox faith generally, saying he would attend the enthronement ceremony on June 22.
Archbishop Elpidophoros said that he had invited Katrougalos, Quick and all the political leaders that he has met so far in Athens to attend his enthronement, expressing hope that they will be able to overcome the obstacles during a difficult political period and the upcoming elections in order to be with him "on a great day, not just for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Diaspora abroad but for the entire nation."
Asked what his top priorities will be once he assumes his new role, the archbishop said the most urgent issue was to resume building and complete St Nicholas Church at Ground Zero in New York, which he noted was a very important church in what was "the holiest spot for the American nation at this time."