In the presence of the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, representing the Greek Government, the ceremony of the proclamation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as an honorary citizen of the Municipality of Ioannina took place.
In his speech, the Mayor of the city, Moses Elisaf, praised the quality and value of the Ecumenical Patriarch and thanked Him for accepting the citizenship of the Municipality of Ioannina.
As reported by ertnews.gr, the ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Environment George Amyras and the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Eleftherios Economou, the rectoral authorities of the University of Ioannina, elected representatives of organizations and citizens.
The mayor gave the Patriarch the gold medal of the city of Ioannina and the decision of the Municipal Council declaring him an honorary citizen.
In his response, Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his emotion for his presence in Ioannina, 23 years after his first visit. In his speech, he referred to the National Benefactors who came from Ioannina and to the history of the city of Ioannina, a “city of pious, pro-learners” as he characteristically said.
“I am particularly moved by the increase of the ecological sensitivity of the people of Ioannina,” the Patriarch noted, referring to the initiatives of the Municipality and the Metropolis of Ioannina in this area.
Patriarch Bartholomew did not fail to refer to the resurrection message of the Mayor of Ioannina, which he said he found on social media and read with great joy, as the Mayor, “a worthy member of the Israeli religion” with his resurrection message, showed respect to both the Christian religion and its citizens.
Finally, he accepted the citizenship and invited the Mayor and the President of the Municipal Council to visit the Phanar.