Washington, D.C., July 17, 2019
The newly-enthroned head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Archbishop Elpidophoros, was received by President Trump in the Oval Office yesterday.
The meeting was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Health Alex Azar, and the Vicar General of the Holy Archdiocese of America Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, reports Romfea.
Commenting after the meeting, Abp. Elpidophoros said that President Trump “was very friendly and cordial. The President was extremely happy and expressed his satisfaction that we met. I thanked him for his support for the Christians all over the world and especially for his support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
The U.S. has been especially supportive of the Patriarchate’s actions in Ukraine as of late. In January, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a message on the “momentous occasion” of the granting of a tomos of autocephaly to the Ukrainian schismatics. In June, Makary Maletich, formerly the head of the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” openly acknowledged that Patriarch Bartholomew decided to move ahead with the Ukrainian autocephaly project because he had the support of the U.S. and the other great Western powers.
The archbishop also said that he thanked President Trump for his congratulatory letter on his election and enthronement and informed him that it had been translated into Greek and circulated around the world. He also invited the President to visit him at the Archbishopric.
In his letter, dated July 9, President Trump wrote:
I send my warmest congratulations on your enthronement as Archbishop of the Greek Archdiocese of America. Melania and I join your family and community in celebrating this momentous occasion.
Our Nation has a long history of drawing strength from faith, and I commend your efforts to instill and nurture the sacred values our country holds dear. The Greek Orthodox Church offers comfort and healing, as well as great joy, fellowship, and peace. For America’s Orthodox faithful, the church is central to life’s most meaningful moments and milestones.
May God bless you, and may He continue to bless the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Further, Abp. Elpidophoros informed the President about preparations for Pat. Bartholomew’s upcoming visit to the United States, and the President said he would be glad to see him when he came.
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