Hon. Edward F. Feighan
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1989
Mr. FEIGHAN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Archbishop Iakovos, the spiritual leader of over 2 million Greek Orthodox Christians in North and South America. On November 11, 1989, the United Hellenic American Congress will honor his eminence at a banquet to be held in Chicago, IL.
I had the pleasure of hosting the archbishop when he came to Cleveland a couple of years ago. At that time, I joined in commemorating his three decades of leadership within the Greek Orthodox Church. Archbishop Iakovos had devoted himself to the cause of human rights. He was at the forefront of the struggle for civil rights in this country, lobbying for the Civil Rights Act and marching beside the Reverend Martin Luther King in Selma.
Archbishop Iakovos has received honorary degrees from 35 universities and various honors from church and local organizations. In 1980, President Carter presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our country's highest civilian award. In 1986, President Reagan awarded him the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Archbishop Iakovos continues to be a driving force in the church for reaching out to other faiths. He was the first Greek Orthodox archbishop to visit the Pope in 350 years when he was received by Pope John XXIII in 1959. He was the first Greek Orthodox archbishop to preach in St. Patrick's Cathedral. And as co-president of the World Council of Churches, he initiated Orthodox dialogs with Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Southern Baptists, and black church leaders.
I want to offer my congratulations to the archbishop, to thank him for all he continues to do for the Greek American community and for the religious community as a whole. I also want to congratulate the United Hellenic American Congress for making this event possible.