New York, NY
November 1, 2021
* * *
Most Esteemed Interfaith Leaders,
I would like to welcome all of you to the Archdiocesan Headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and particularly to this special luncheon in honor of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. He is surely known to you all, either personally, or through his worldwide thirty-year ministry, which we have been celebrating since his blessèd arrival in the United States.
Tomorrow, when His All-Holiness blesses the Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center, we will observe the thirtieth anniversary of his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch — the longest tenure in history on the Sacred See of Saint Andrew.
All of you are most welcome to visit the Archdiocese at any time, because the ecumenicity of our Holy Mother Church is based — above all else — in love, respect and the recognition that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God.
This image may be marred or scarred, but it is always present — as His All-Holiness has reminded us time and again throughout his exceptional Patriarchy. As you all know, there is no distance he will not travel, no height he will not climb, and no depth he will not enter to bring to bear the encounter of Divine Love and the imperatives of ethical, moral and spiritual life in every aspect of human endeavor.
He truly needs no introduction. Any attempt would be specious at best and would fail to embrace the enormity of his heart for the world.
Therefore, without any further ado, I would like to ask you to kindly rise for the 270th Successor to the See of the First-Called Andrew, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.