NEW YORK – The Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will bestow this year’s Athenagoras Human Rights Award to Vice President Joe Biden at the organization's annual banquet Saturday, Oct. 17, at the New York Hilton Hotel in New York City. Established in 1986, the Athenagoras Human Rights Award is presented annually to a person or organization, which has consistently exemplified, by action, purpose and dedication, support for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people.
In December 2011, Biden became the first sitting Vice President of the United States to visit His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople. Three years later, November 2014, the Vice President returned for a second official visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America responding to the news of the Award stated, “Vice President Biden has shown again and again his commitment to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its free and unhampered exercise of its spiritual mission. His two visits to the Phanar, as the only sitting Vice President of the United States, speak volumes about his love of liberty, sense of justice and true friendship with His All-Holiness.”
National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis added, “We are honored to bestow the Athenagoras Human Rights Award on this exemplary leader, whose love of freedom and human rights has borne such witness for the Mother Church and the rights of all oppressed people.”
Past recipients of the award have included Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel and Mikhail Gorbachev. The Award is named in memory of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, who served in that capacity from 1948 until his death in 1972. Prior to his selection as Ecumenical Patriarch, Athenagoras served as Archbishop of North and South America. Visit archons.org/AthenagorasAward