BOSTON -- His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta in an interview with The National Herald on the occasion of the completion of one year anniversary of the enthronement of his Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America spoke very highly about the Archbishop. He said “since the very beginning many challenges and opportunities occurred, and every time our Archbishop showed prudence in the way he administered the Holy Archdiocese of America.”
To the question what are your thoughts on the one year anniversary of Archbishop Elpidophoros enthronement, Metropolitan Alexios said “a year is completed since the Enthronement of His Eminence Elpidoforos. His Eminence Elpidoforos succeeded His Eminence Demetrios who had completed twenty years of fruitful and God-pleasing ministry on the Archiepiscopal Throne of America. I remember how great my joy was, when I was assigned to escort the newly-elected Archbishop in his trip from Constantinople to America. Such a task was a distinctive honor for me, first because the Holy Archdiocese of America was about to receive its new Primate and second because, any direct contact with the Mother Church in Constantinople brings the light of Phanarion to our Holy Eparchy.
Furthermore, the Holy Metropolis of Atlanta had the distinguished honor to be the first Metropolis of America visited by the Newly-Enthroned Archbishop, during the Clergy Laity Assembly in Jacksonville Florida.
Speaking about the Archbishop's efforts and ministry thus far, Metropolitan Alexios said that “with the blessings of His All Holiness our Patriarch Bartholomew and the Members of the Holy Synod, together with the prayers of the People of the Greek Orthodox Church of America the Archiepiscopal Ministry of His Eminence Elpidoforos began. Since the very beginning many challenges and opportunities occurred, and every time our Archbishop showed prudence in the way he administered the Holy Archdiocese of America. As I already mentioned, the challenges that appeared were many and various. In fact, they were disproportionally too many for the brief time period of one calendar year, or as the poet Odysseas Elytis would note: “One would think that many days had gone by, in a short period of time”. Nevertheless, the Archbishop proved that he knows how to utilize the experience he has acquired in the Patriarchate for the good of the Church of America. In this way, any possible mistakes were avoided and will be avoided in the future. Moreover, the Rudder of the Holy Archdiocese will continue its course on the right path”.
He also said “nevertheless, let me also say something more, since I happen to be older in age than His Eminence, the Archbishop. Every Hierarch places himself in the service of the Church and ministers the Church in what he thinks is the best possible way. As time goes by, more experience is added and that which used to be good becomes better and better. For example, I remember the late Archbishop Iakovos, and how, as years went by and he continued to get experience, he reshaped his judgement on various issues, or circumstances. In other words, I want to say that I have the firm belief that as time passes the Archiepiscopal Ministry of His Eminence Elpidoforos is going to become better and better, as it happens with good wine; the more it stays, the better it gets.”
Metropolitan Alexios added that “finally, I would like tο play on words and to compare the first year of His Eminence's Archiepiscopal Ministry with the “First Step” of the poet Cavafy closing with that poem's final verse: “To have reached this point is no small achievement: what you`ve done is a wonderful thing.”