WASHINGTON – The Manatos Team arranged meetings on March 21 and 22 for the Archon Leadership in Washington, DC pursuant to the religious freedom mission on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. National Secretary Archon Judge Bozonelis, Archons Andy and Mike Manatos and I had an excellent dinner meeting Thursday evening with US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and distinguished diplomat (and Greek American) Ambassador John Negroponte.
During the meeting in which we discussed the religious freedom deficit in Turkey and the issues confronting the EP, including the courageous and just decision in the granting of Autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Amb. Brownback invited the Archons to participate/host a “sidebar” in the upcoming State Department Ministerial on Religious Freedom that Secretary of State Pompeo is organizing scheduled for July 16~18, 2019.
The following day we met with Special Advisor to the Vice President for Europe and Russia L. Gabrielle Cowan and Deputy Counsel to the Vice President Eleni M. Roumel discussing these same issues. As you may know, Vice President Pence has a special interest in religious freedom and in particular, the persecution of Christians. In addition, we paid courtesy visits to our good friends Archon Reince H. Priebus and Judge Gregory G. Katsas, of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court from which many Supreme Court Justices and Chief Justices have served.
We will continue to relentlessly pursue the complete and unfettered religious freedom of the Holy and Great Mother Church of Constantinople and of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew!
In the Service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,
Anthony J. Limberakis, MD