Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s apostolic visit to the United States continues. Such endurance for a man who is over 80 years old is impressive and teaches a lesson to many younger hierarchs.
We wish him health. Despite any disagreements with hierarchs and others on individual issues, Bartholomew has raised the prestige of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for three decades now and his legacy will be great when he hands over the baton.
Bartholomew had not visited the other side of the Atlantic for many years. Despite the organizational problems of his visit—due to some Greek diplomats in New York and Washington who want to trip… him up, I learning—the visit is de facto successful.
Bartholomew is actually in the USA and he confirmed with his own eyes that the election of Elpidophoros to the archbishopric throne has proved to be lifesaving.
Immediate solutions to chronic problems
Elpidophoros “inherited” from his predecessor major problems. During his visit, Bartholomew found that he had handed over an Archdiocese with serious problems. Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church was associated with interminable delays. The finances at the Archdiocese and the Hellenic College Holy Cross in Boston each year became a bigger headache.
In general, there was a picture of decline. Archbishop Dimitrios tried but failed to inspire the people to put an end to this quagmire. This province of the Ecumenical Throne is the pillar of the “Mother Church”. Bartholomew understood from an early age that the new Archbishop was the appropriate solution and the support of expatriates in the United States, and a solution was given once and for all.
Within two years and a few months, the solutions to the problems that had plagued the Archdiocese of America for decades found a final solution. With a series of correct decisions of Elpidophoros and the choices of the right people in key positions. Decisions that are said to have always had the consent of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The pension fund problem for the clergy in the Orthodox Archdiocese of America no longer exists. The viability of the Clergy Fund was ensured. The most financially serious time bomb of the Archdiocese of America has been… defused. The Holy Cross Hellenic College in Boston has also received the necessary accreditation to continue operating and financially the HCHC’s viability has taken its course.
The opening of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Manhattan will take place next week. This problem was solved as well. The Archdiocese of America also strengthened interfaith dialogue and encouraged the participation of the Greek community in church life.
In the line of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop Elpidophoros meets representatives of other denominations, strengthening interfaith dialogue and trying not to allow other “national” Orthodox Churches to “conquer” the United States.
It also gave the opportunity to powerful and important expatriates to participate and make decisions on the issues of the Archdiocese of America. Decisions and initiatives that have a positive impact even in distant Greece.
For example, the collection of one million dollars for the earthquake victims of our country. To some, what is happening in distant America can be “sour”. But Bartholomew certainly feels justified in his choices.