2005 News Archives

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev to Receive Athenagoras Humanitarian Award October 22

President Gorbachev to be Invested as Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Homeland Security Council Chair Frances Fragos Townsend to Speak at Reception
Former CIA Director George Tenet to be Master of Ceremonies at Banquet

New York, NY- Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev has accepted the invitation of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, to be the recipient of the 2005 Athenagoras Human Rights Award. The Award will be presented on Saturday, October 22, at the annual banquet of the Order of St. Andrew, an organization of distinguished laymen of the Greek Orthodox Church who have been granted the title of Archon by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Established in 1986, the Athenagoras Award honors Patriarch Athenagoras who served as Archbishop of the Americas for 18 years before being elected Ecumenical Patriarch in 1948. He was universally acknowledged as a visionary leader of Orthodoxy, numbering more than 250 million faithful worldwide, who worked for peace among Churches and people throughout his life. Previous recipients of the award include Archbishop Iakovos, President Jimmy Carter, President George H.W. Bush, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa and Elie Wiesel.

Known chiefly for his contribution to tearing down of the Iron Curtain, Mikhail Gorbachev was born in 1931 and ascended to power in Soviet Russia's Communist Party throughout the 1960's and 70's. Following the death of Konstantin Chernenko in 1985, Gorbachev was appointed General Secretary despite being the youngest member of the politburo. He embarked on a comprehensive program of political, economic and social liberalization under the slogans of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). The resulting shift in international affairs and thinking contributed to a fundamental change in the international environment, to the ending the Cold War and to eradicating the threat of a nuclear war.

In recognition of his outstanding services as a great reformer and world political leader, Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990. He continues to contribute to international affairs through the Gorbachev Foundation, the first independent think-tank in post-Soviet Russia which he created in 1992.

Dr. Anthony Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of St. Andrew, has announced that President Mikhail Gorbachev, a baptized Russian Orthodox Christian, who was instrumental in the adoption of legislation guaranteeing religious liberty in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, will be invested Saturday evening as Archon Great Orator of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by Archbishop Demetrios on behalf of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Former Director of the CIA George Tenet will serve as Master of Ceremonies of the banquet, and invited guests will include the Ambassadors of Greece and Cyprus, the Consul General of Russia, and Archons, religious and government leaders and Orthodox faithful from throughout the country.

Frances Fragos Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, will address the Order of St. Andrew Ladies' Tea reception at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at the New York Hilton.


His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios will preside at the Investiture of 41 new Archons from throughout the United States following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 23 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

Among those to be invested are George Tenet, Potomac, MD; Andrew Natsios, Director of the US Agency for International Development, Silver Springs, MD and Former Ambassador of the United States to Spain George Argyros, Newport Beach, CA. Those who will be invested as new Archons are the following:

Archdiocesan District

Thomas E. Constance, Sands Point, NY; John Emmanuel Couloucoundis, Darien, CT; Nicholas Gavalas, Astoria, NY; Renos Georgiou, Bayside, NY; William Kallinikos, Oceanside, NY; Andreas Konnari, New York, NY; C. Dean Metropoulos, Greenwich, CT; Dennis Mehiel, Valhalla, NY; George Peter Zimmar, Briarcliff, NY.

Metropolis of Atlanta

Nicholas J. Furris, Jacksonville,FL; Sam N. Kleto, Spiro C. Hondros, George J. Miller and Constantine Vrettos, Charlotte, NC; Steve George Pappas, Palm City, FL; George Chris Psetas, Port Richey, FL and Stephen James Yallourakis, Kinsport, TN.

Metropolis of Boston

Spyros A. Gavris, Wellesley, MA; Christos S. Gregoriades, Canton, MA; Emmanuel Mihailides, East Greenwich, RI.

Metropolis of Chicago

John Balourdos, Chicago, IL; Dimitris Bousis, Northbrook, IL; Nicholas Karakas, Ladue, MO; Theodore Sepsis, Elmhurst, IL; Theodore J. Theophilos, Hinsdale, IL.

Metropolis of Denver

Timothy John Joannides, Cheyenne, WY.

Metropolis of New Jersey

Nicholas Andrew Carras, Myersville, MD; Vassos Chysanthou, Toms River, NJ; Nicholas Ioannou Karamatsoukas, Gladwyn, PA; George G. Makris, Alpine, NJ; Jerrry Nicholas Renesis, Norvolk, VA.

Metropolis of Pittsburgh

John Basil Conomos, Pittsburgh, PA; John N. Economou, Akron, OH; John Michael Manos, Lakewood, OH.

Metropolis of San Francisco

George Nicholas Flessas, Palm Desert, CA; John Gigounas, Tuburon, CA; Gary M. Vrionis, Danville, CA.


George Sviatoslave Lychk, River Forest, IL.

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