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Patriarchal Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral in NY Sends Messages to Moscow

NEW YORK – The Patriarchal Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York, at which His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa presided, was marked with emotions and featured the presentation of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of 2022.

The Divine Liturgy and related events were also the occasion for sending messages towards Moscow regarding current events, including the war in Ukraine.

It is emphasized that from the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America, only Metropolitan Methodios of Boston attended, while all its members were invited. It is the second time within three weeks that the hierarchs have not responded to the invitations of Archbishop Elpidophoros.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Elpidophoros and Archbishop Demetrios invested the new Archons of the Order of Saint Andrews, taking turns presenting the cross and exclaiming “Axios!”

Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa is delivering his speech at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. Shown are Archbishop Elpidophoros and Metropolitan George of Guinea and Nicodemos of Memphis. (Photo: GOA/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS)

Afterwards, Patriarch Theodoros II, addressing Archbishop Elpidophoros, reminisced about his own enthronement, whose anniversary was being celebrated, and said, “the bells were ringing as they were today, and the first person who called me was the Ecumenical Patriarch. How strange it seemed to me when he first said to me, ‘Your Beatitude, brother, congratulations,’ and I thanked him with emotion.”

He added about his dear mother that “before ascending my throne, I kissed her hand, put on the crown, and began to hold in my hands this ship called Alexandria.”

Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria with Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and his predecessor Archbishop Demetrios, congratulate the new Archons of the Ecumenical Throne. (Photo: GOA/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS)

Addressing attacks on his see by the Patriarchate of Moscow, Patriarch Theodoros II said, “thank you, Elpidophoros, holy one of God, you give me hope. They come to steal my altars and you gave me an altar. Where are they coming to chase me from? From our house. What do they see around me? Only poverty, hunger, misery, and they come like wolves leaping from the pens to seize whom? The poor people. That is why, my children, I thank you for the strength you have given me, because in three days I am leaving and 26 other countries are waiting for me. You understand, but a humble man of God is not afraid, because in the heart here with the flowing Cretan blood is bravery and courage.”

Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria in the Holy Altar during the Divine Liturgy. (Photo: GOA/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS)

During his homily Archbishop Elpidophoros said, “today we have a Patriarch who is a martyr, a fighter, a warrior, a missionary, a peacemaker, a philanthropist who literally serves his flock in Africa. A flock which is great, but which has great needs.”

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