CONSTANTINOPLE – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a warm handwritten congratulatory letter to the newly elected 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph Biden.
The entire Patriarchal message follows:
“Since you are well aware of my sentiments for you throughout the years of our friendship, you can only imagine my great delight and pride for your successful election as 46th President of your prominent nation, the United States of America.
The joy and enthusiasm for your electoral success are not merely personal sentiments. They are also shared by our Ecumenical Patriarchate and its eparchies across the world, and above all by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with its commendable Shepherd, Archbishop Elpidophoros – and I remain grateful for the love and esteem with which you have embraced him. But beyond our Patriarchate, there are millions of Americans, as well as citizens of the entire free world, to whom you now offer hope (I could say conviction) for a better future, where the eternal values and ideals of a civilized humanity may prevail.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has for many years been preoccupied with protecting the natural environment and addressing climate change, and so it especially celebrates the initiatives that you are prepared to assume on this urgent matter, as you have already declared, with regard to adhering to the Paris Agreement and assuring a cleaner environment.
Mr. President [Elect], since the world is anticipating so much from you, we at the Phanar – which you honored with your presence – are praying that the omnipotent and omniscient God may grant you strength, health, inspiration and endurance to fulfil the expectations of all.
Those looking to you are those who thirst for religious freedom, those whose human rights are trampled, and those who yearn for freedom and justice. And there are so many of them! They also include the historical religious communities of the Middle East, who aspire to peaceful coexistence.
Mr. President [Elect], may God be with you! We have always prayed and will continue to pray for you and your beloved wife, Jill, with much affection and admiration.
At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 9th of November, 2020
Your friend and supplicant before God,
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
To The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr. President-elect of the United States of America in Washington, DC.”
It is reminded that the newly elected President of the United States had visited, in 2011, as Vice President of the United States, the Ecumenical Patriarch at the Phanar making history because he was the first sitting Vice President to do so. A few years earlier, in 2009, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, during his official visit to the United States for an international environmental conference which was hosted by the Patriarchate on a boat on the Mississippi River, had met in person with the then President of the United States Barack Obama, at the White House, and with Vice President Biden at his official residence, where he hosted a formal dinner in honor of the Patriarch.
In his toast, Biden had warmly praised the personality, ministry, and initiatives Patriarch Bartholomew for promoting interfaith dialogue, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence in the world, but also for his efforts to raise awareness about the protection of the natural environment on a worldwide scale.