His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros
Invocation and Remarks
Luncheon in Honor of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
January 8, 2020
The Willard InterContinental Hotel
Your Excellency, Prime Minister Mitsotakis,
Distinguished Members of Diplomatic Corps,
Esteemed Archons and Representatives of the Omogeneia,
It is difficult to put into words what the past few days have been like having you, Prime Minister, with us at the celebrations of our Greek Orthodox Faithful. Your presence has been uplifting and inspiring, especially at the Blessing of the Waters in Tarpon Springs for the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was a manifestation – an ‘epiphany’, if you will – of the bonds of fellowship, faith, and love of the Greek People, in the beloved and historic homeland, and the Greek Diaspora not only here in America, but around the globe.
Today, in the presence of the leadership of the Greek American Community of the United States, and within a stone’s throw of the White House, we continue our celebrations and acknowledge the immensely important role that you are playing, not only for Hellenism, but for Orthodoxy.
The marvelous truth of Greece has always been that its cultural and spiritual impact on humanity have always far exceeded her political and economic influence. But with you, Prime Minister, we behold even these latter aspects of Greece taking on new significance. For Greece stands at the cusp of Europe and Asia, not as a wall of separation, but as a doorway of opportunity to the treasure-house of wisdom and inspiration that she has been for these many thousands of years. Under your guidance, we expect Greece will achieve prodigious progress and prosperity.
Most especially I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the momentous investment of Hellas in our Theological School – an annual grant of two million euros per year commencing last year. This commitment of Mother Greece to her children in the Diaspora is particularly significant, because it demonstrates the spiritual as well as ethnic and linguistic ties between us. It creates a fellowship in the Diaspora of ὁμογἀλακτοι, those who have been nurtured by the same Mother. And just as our Mother Church is the Most Holy See of Constantinople, led by our intrepid Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, our culture and civilization – as is true for the rest of the Western World – is Greece!
Thank you, Prime Minister, for your commitment to the Omogeneia, for your love of our Greek Orthodox Faith and heritage, and for your leadership of the Hellenic Republic.
May our Lord Jesus Christ always keep you in His infinite mercy and peace.