BOSTON – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is expected to visit the United States in May of 2020, invited by the U.S. government and more specifically by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in order to speak at a conference about the protection of the Natural Environment.
His All Holiness will be granted a private audience by President Donald Trump at the White House between May 12 and 14. The President had mentioned that to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America when they met at the Oval Office on July 16. Present also were Vice President Mike Pence and also Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar who represented the President and the U.S. Government at the Archbishop’s enthronement on Saturday June 22.
The National Herald has learned that the Patriarch will stay in America at least for ten days. Besides Washington he will visit New York where the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is located.
The Patriarch will also visit Boston and in particular, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology where the he will officiate at the graduation ceremonies which will take place in all probability on Saturday May 16. It will be the first time in the history of the Theological School that an Ecumenical Patriarch will officiate at the School’s graduation ceremony.
Also, the University of Notre Dame will honor His All Holiness with an honorary doctorate for his tireless efforts for the protection of the Natural Environment. The details of the Patriarchal visit will be discussed in a few weeks when his Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros will visit the Phanar on November 17 along with a group of Archons from America.
It is noted here that it will be the first time that Archbishop Elpidophoros will visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate after his unanimous election on Saturday May 11 to the Archbishopric Throne of America.
It is also reminded that His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew visited the US den years ago on October of 2009 where he travelled extensively to the various Metropolises and parishes where he was received with reverence, enthusiasm and honors.
Patriarch Bartholomew has a special place in heart for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Greek American Community of America. The Archdiocese of America is the biggest and most prestigious Ecclesiastical Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne as Archbishop Elpidophoros reminded to all during his speech in the recent Archdiocesan meeting on October 17 in New York. The Archbishop said with emphasis the following: “we are all members of one Holy Archdiocese of America. We are not divided into metropolises, and parishes, and departments, and organizations, and institutions. This is a false and worldly view that misunderstands the very nature of the Church. Rather, we are apportioned for service through all of these organs of the Church that I just mentioned. We are not and can never be divided. Just as the Breaking of the Holy Eucharist does not divide the Lord Jesus Christ, but apportions Him so that all may partake of the “Banquet of Faith,” as the Holy Chrysostom says, we all have our roles and positions and vocations. But the Archdiocese is One! As the Charter from our Holy Mother Church states: “The Archdiocese, being the Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne in the United States of America, is one indivisible entity in its entirety.” (Article 3, para. a).”