On Saturday, 14 October 2023, at midday, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in the capital of Spain, Madrid, the headquarters of the Holy Metropolis of Spain and Portugal, where he began his four-day official visit.
At the Barajas International Airport, His All-Holiness was welcomed by the local Shepherd, Metropolitan Bessarion, joined also by the Protosyncellus, Archimandrite Theophylaktos, and his other clerical and lay co-workers, as well as the Ambassador of Greece to Spain Mr. Ilias Fotopoulos, with officials from the Embassy.
During his stay in Spain, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had an official meeting with His Majesty King Philip VI, His Eminence Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid Jose Cobo Cano and the Spanish Roman Catholic Episcopal Assembly, while The Ecumenical Patriarch will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of the Pontifical University of Salamanca. Also, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had special meetings with the Ambassadors of Turkey and Greece, as well as with the Apostolic Nuncio of the Vatican in Spain.
The Patriarchal entourage consists of Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Metropolitan Ierotheos of Lemnos and Agios Efstratios and Metropolitan Dimitrios of France, along with the Grand Ecclesiarch Archimandrite Aetios, Director of the Personal Patriarchal Office, Patriarchal Deacon Father Epifanios Kamianovych. Mr. Nikolaos-Georgios Papachristou, Director of the Press and Communication Office of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and Mr. Chrysovalantis Tzavidis, one of the Secretaries of the Patriarchate.