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Archpastoral Message

Archpastoral message of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros to the Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

D. Panagos photo

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is showing the plaque she just received from Archbishop Demetrios

WASHINGTON, DC –Archbishop Demetrios of America presented a special award to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a small ceremony yesterday at the State Department.

The ceremony took place in the Treaty Room shortly after Secretary Clinton received Archbishop Demetrios and a delegation of leaders of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) who were participating in the 25th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference, taking place in Washington May 20-22. 
The special award was presented “in light of unprecedented steps that have been taken in this very short period of time in the right direction on Hellenic and Orthodox issues” and symbolically contained two small vials of soil – one from Athens and one from Capitol Hill in Washington – and an inscription which partly read “from this hallowed earth have come the world’s greatest minds, ideas and actions.” 

Presenting the Award to Hillary Clinton Archbishop Demetrios conveyed the greeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and speaking of the cooperation on the issues of Justice and Religious Freedom said:  “We trust in your judgment and your disposition and your total dedication to these issues… and we offer this plaque as an indication of our recognition of what you have been doing and as a token of our continuous cooperation…”

In her response the Secretary thanked and welcomed His Eminence and the other leaders and said: “We are committed to the reopening of the Halki Seminary, to the unification of Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, and we know these are difficult issues,” and she pledged that her Administration is committed in making progress on them.
Secretary Clinton also asked the Archbishop to convey to His All Holiness her personal wishes saying “… please extend my personal best wishes to the Patriarch. My opportunities to visit with him and talk with him have been true highlights of my life in public service, and I look forward to seeing him again. I understand he may be coming to the United States, I hope in the future, and it will be my great honor to receive him and to look forward to hosting him here at the State Department.”

The group of leaders who were present at the ceremony with the Archbishop included 10 members of CEH: Andrew A. Athens, Zenon Christodoulou, Philip Christopher, Michael Galanakis, Andy Manatos, Mike Manatos, Nikos Mouyiaris, Peter Papanicolaou, George J. Tsunis and Tasos D. Zambas, and Supreme Vice President of AHEPA Nick Karacostas.

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