CONSTANTINOPLE – On the feast day of the First and Second Finding of the Venerable Head of John the Baptist, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George in the Phanar and ordained Deacon Iakovos Krochak to the presbytery, awarding him the offikion of Grand Syncellus of the Great Church of Christ. During the same Divine Liturgy the Patriarch ordained Nikolaos Amanatidis from Thessaloniki to the Diaconate, changing his name to Oikoumenios.
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is well-known for his constant care for the future and rejuvenation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, always bringing new blood to the Patriarchal Court by ordaining young and educated men.
Addressing the new Grand Syncellus Iakovos and the new deacon Oikoumenios, the Ecumenical Patriarch said among other things the following: “Fr. Iakovos, you came to us from the northern part of the American continent, and you Deacon Oikoumenios, of Pontic origin, from the city of St. Demetrius – Thessaloniki. You met here, at the Phanar, the navel of the earth, in Constantinople.”
The Patriarch advised the newly ordained to have “humility and a humble mind. One day you will probably become hierarchs of the Great Church of Christ. They will respect you, glorify, and worship you. Great temptations! But I urge you to overcome these temptations and remain humble.”
The newly ordained Grand Syncellus Iakovos expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch for the promotion but mainly for the paternal love and trust he showed him during the approximately three years of his ministry in the Phanar. He said “and today, as you bestow upon me this great honor, I assure you of my deep love for the Church and our Ecumenical Patriarchate, and for my sincere devotion to you, not only as First in the Universe of Orthodoxy but also as the Abbot of this `Great Monastery'.
In another instance of his speech Fr. Iakovos referred to the difficult period of the pandemic the world is facing and to the stance of the Ecumenical Patriarch: He said “in fact, last year, when we all experienced the ordeal of the pandemic together, you, Your Holiness, have guided us correctly and paternally to ensure our return to everyday life, when that becomes possible. This stance of yours is very important, as during the obligatory curfew, the faithful, limited and isolated, far from the possibility of going to the church, now have a greater need to hear words of pastoral encouragement.”