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Remarks by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America at the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation Founders’ Dinner Order of Saint Andrew – Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Hilton Hotel
New York, New York
(October 29, 2021)

* * *

Your All-Holiness,
Secretary and Mrs. Pompeo,
Secretary and Mrs. Azar,
Venerable Hierarchs and Reverend Clergy,
Esteemed Archons and Founders of the
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation,
Honored and most distinguished Guests,

“I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream…”[*] Thus the Great Bard, William Shakespeare, expressed it once.

But I am here to tell you, on this wonderful evening, that a most rare vision “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,”[†] is coming alive, through the formation and the endowing of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation that we celebrate here this evening.

The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, has brought to life the dream that so many of us have had, literally, for decades. Through the extraordinary efforts of their spiritual advisor, the Rev. Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, and spearheaded by Dr. Anthony Limberakis, National Archon Commander, a group of committed archons, laymen and laywomen have stepped forward to meet the challenge.

And what was this challenge? To provide for the spiritual ministries of the Mother Church of Constantinople in perpetuity! There is no greater honor and no more virtuous responsibility than to honor one’s father and mother, as the Decalogue tells us.[‡]

With the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation, we honor the Spiritual Father of us all, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. And we honor the Spiritual Mother of us all as well, the Holy Great Church of Christ, the Mother Church of Constantinople.

One of the Saints suggested, if you do not have the Church for your Mother, how can you have God for your Father? [§]

Well, in the person of our beloved Ecumenical Patriarch, we see the very image of God’s paternal love for humankind. And in the Church, we see the maternal love of the Holy Theotokos for us all.

Together, they form the unified vision of the Church in the world — and that is, a Church that has material needs in order to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful.

And this is precisely why the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation is so important for our future, as well as for the future of the generations yet to be born.

Tonight, we celebrate this amazing achievement that has established, both in word and deed, a promise for the future — thereby fulfilling the word of the Prophet and King David:

Γραφήτο αὓτη εἰς γενεὰν ἑτέραν καὶ λαός, ὁ κτιζόμενος, αἰνέσει τὸν Κύριον.

Let this be written for another generation, the people being created shall praise the Lord. [**]

And so, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate and commend all of you who have made this reality possible through your love, dedication and devotion for the sacred person of His All-Holiness, as well as for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which our Patriarch has led these last thirty years. Indeed, we pray for and wish His All-Holiness thirty more years of God-inspired Patriarchal ministry and paternal care!

ΕΤΗ ΠΟΛΛΑ, ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΑΤΕ, ΠΑΤΕΡ ΚΑΙ ΔΕΣΠΟΤΑ!


[*] 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1595-6) act 4, sc. 1, l. [211].

[†] Ephesians 4:12.

[‡] Cf. Exodus 20:12

[§] Saint Cyprian of Carthage, De Ecclesiae Catholicae Unitate.

[**] Psalm 101:18 (LXX).