2008 News Archives

Archons Bestow Athenagoras Human Rights Award to Rabbi Arthur Schneier

Twenty-two New Archons Invested

New York – The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America bestowed the 2008 Athenagoras Human Rights Award to Rabbi Arthur Schneier, founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, during their annual banquet held at the New York Hilton, October 25.

Archbishop Demetrios of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Western Hemisphere together with Archons’ National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis presented the award to Rabbi Schneier who expressed his gratitude saying “I am deeply moved and touched by the high honor.” 

In his comments the Rabbi praised the Archons and their work and stated his support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. “Yes, we stand with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,” he said, adding that he is a great admirer and friend of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Rabbi Schneier spoke of the need for cooperation and understanding among religions and the importance of what he called “the core value of religious freedom” stressing that we must learn how to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. He further quoted Patriarch Athenagoras who had said “I do not deny there are differences, but we must change the way of approaching them,” and explained how this continues to be a challenge. The Rabbi recounted the friendship and close cooperation he has had with Archbishop Demetrios on issues of religious freedom and the protection of religious sites around the world. 

Archbishop Demetrios in his response praised the man, his character and his work in promoting inter-faith understanding and cooperation saying that “this honor is justified.” The Archbishop quoted a phrase from the book of prophet Isaiah to describe leadership qualities of the honoree as “a wonderful counselor, a wise architect and a prudent listener.” (Isaiah 3:3) His Eminence also thanked the Archons of the Order of St. Andrew for their diligent work in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate saying that “they deserve much recognition.”

Archons National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis, speaking about the work the Order of St. Andrew said that the Archons as defenders of the Faith remain true to their call and mission and to the holy word of God. 

The Order of St. Andrew in cooperation with Greek Orthodox Telecommunications produced and presented a video tribute to Rabbi Schneier which contained a message of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. 

Among the many dignitaries and officials at the event who have also offered greetings were the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Greece Ioannis Plakiotakis, the Roman-Catholic Apostolic Nuncio to the U.N. Archbishop Celestino Migliore and the former U.S. Senator and Archon Paul Sarbanes. Mike Emmanuel, the White House correspondent for Fox News was the toastmaster and Archon Theodore Dimitriou presented the new archons-elect. The honoree was presented by Archon John Catsimatides, while the event was underwritten by Archon Depoutatos and National Vice-Commander Nicholas J. Bouras for the tenth consecutive time. 

The next morning Archbishop Demetrios celebrated with Metropolitans Nicholas of Detroit and Evangelos of New Jersey and select presbyters and deacons, the Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City during which he invested the twenty-two new Archons. The same afternoon the Order of St. Andrew hosted an open house reception in honor of the Archbishop’s name day, the feast day of Saint Demetrios.

Orthodox Observer Online