WELCOME & GREETING
By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
To His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the
Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church
New York, New York
November 17, 2023
In welcoming you to the Archdiocesan headquarters for a second time, I express to you the honor that all our Greek Orthodox feel in the presence of such an esteemed Churchman and spiritual Leader.
I believe it was twenty-five years ago that Your Holiness visited my predecessor, Archbishop Spyridon, and I am pleased to have the distinction of welcoming you again, together with your venerable entourage in Christ.
The relationship of our mutual Churches and communities – the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Apostolic – is one of the utmost significance. Not only for our mutual support and encouragement, but for our ecumenical witness, of which Your Holiness has been an outstanding ambassador of Christian love and harmony for the entirety of your long and fruitful Archpastoral Ministry.
I know that the visit of Your Holiness to many communities on the Eastern United States is a cause of rejoicing and hope for them.
And indeed, it corresponds with deeply troubling times for the global community – particularly in the Middle East, and assuredly in the ongoing situation in Artsakh.
As People of Faith, we trust in the Lord’s will that His peace will reign upon the earth, even as it is in the Kingdom of Heaven. But we must work diligently toward that end. And until such peace is found, we must minister and serve those whose lives have been torn apart by conflict.
I know, Your Holiness, that you are deeply involved in relief work and in the tireless labor of raising the consciousness of the world to righteous humanitarian causes, for which you campaign with such energy and eloquence. All of us want you to know that we stand with you – with respect and admiration – for your acts of mercy and charity on behalf of all those who are suffering.
Once again, we welcome Your Holiness and your delegation today to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, with open arms and open hearts, and we ask from you a word of wisdom for our benefit and that of the world.