Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a congratulatory letter to the newly elected 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph Biden.
“The joy and enthusiasm for your electoral victory are 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 Patriarch recalled, in his letter, the long involvement of the Ecumenical Throne with the issues of the protection of the natural environment and ways of tackling climate change. The Patriarch expressed His satisfaction and joy at the initiatives that the newly elected President is prepared to take on this urgent issue, as he has already announced, with a view to joining the Paris Agreement and guaranteeing a cleaner environment.
“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, may God be with you!”
It is recalled that the newly elected American President had visited, in 2011, as Vice President of the United States, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in Phanar. A few years earlier, in 2009, the Ecumenical Patriarch, during his official visit to the United States, for an international environmental conference which was held by the Patriarchate on the Mississippi River, had met in person with the then President of the United States Barack Obama, at the White House, and with his Vice President, Joe Biden, at his official residence at the Number One Observatory Circle, where he hosted a formal dinner in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch.
In his toast, Biden had warmly referred to the personality, ministry and initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch, for promoting interfaith dialogue, tolerance and peaceful coexistence in the world, but also for His effort to raise awareness on protection of the natural environment on a worldwide scale.