In a ceremony held at the White House, President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 individuals who, according to a statement released by the U.S. Presidency, “have exemplarily contributed to the prosperity of the United States.” Among those honored was a Greek-American priest, Father Alexander Karloutsos.
He is the third Greek-American who received the highest honor of the American nation. The previous honorees were Archbishop Iakovos, who received the award from US President Jimmy Carter, and the CIA chief, George Tenet, who received the award from President Bush in 2004.
According to the White House statement, “Father Alexander Karloutsos is a former Vicar General of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. After more than 50 years as a priest, advising several U.S. Presidents, he was named Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.”
In particular, Father Karloutsos has served for many years as Special Assistant to the Archbishop of America. During those years he has developed into a valuable liaison with the White House, Congress, the State Department, other church leaders and local officials. In addition, he played a key role in raising funds to rebuild St. Nicholas Church, which collapsed during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.