His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Inauguration Ceremony for Hope For Children CRC Policy Center USA
January 26, 2022
Union League Club – New York, New York
Your Excellency, Michal Mlynár, Vice-President of UNICEF and Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations,
Joseph Borghese, Founder of Hope For Children,
Your Excellencies and Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Special Representatives of Cyprus and Greece, and of their Philanthropic Organizations,
Tonight, has been a truly moving and inspirational occasion, bringing so many members of our Cypriot and Greek communities together with concerned fellow citizens of the world – and so many high-level members of the United Nations Diplomatic presence.
I am honored to be among all of you, to offer a few words in closing for this most worthy endeavor -- the inauguration of the “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center USA. “Hope For Children” has had such a positive impact – not only on the lives of children around the world, but in raising our shared societal consciousness about their safety and welfare.
I am reminded of the words of Jesus:
Ὅς ἐὰν ἓν τῶν τοιούτων παιδίων δέξηται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐμὲ δέχεται· καὶ ὃς ἐὰν ἐμὲ δέξηται, οὐκ ἐμὲ δέχεται, ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.
Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me, but the One Who sent Me.”
In the face of every child, we behold the countenance of God, as in a mirror, where we can discern the integrity and the humanity of our lives. How we treat all children is a true measure of any culture and indeed, civilization as a whole.
Their very vulnerability, innocence, and defenselessness are challenges, because as the proverb goes, it takes a village to raise a child. We have to involve every level of our society in the care and protection of our children – and I say our children – because their health, their safety, and their welfare is essential to our own.
When Jesus spoke of children, he specifically refuted and rebuked His own disciples, saying:
“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven.” 
In bringing the children close to Himself, He was bringing them into an orbit where love, compassion, caring, and protection were preeminent.
And this is the very orbit that “Hope for Children” creates for the suffering, neglected, and endangered children of the world. One does not even need to be a person of faith or religious commitment to understand the precious quality of the life of every child. It is innate in our human nature, to give shelter and nourishment – physical, emotional, and mental – to children.
Therefore, as we close this wonderful and very significant evening, I pray that we will leave with even greater commitment and energy in this honorable and indeed, noble, cause.
Let polish the mirror of Divine Love into which we will find our true selves, in the eyes of every child who is helped and guarded for the life they deserve.
May God bless all our endeavors, and grant his blessing for the continuing success of “Hope For Children.”