New York, August 17, 2020
Archbishop Elpidophoros, the head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, has been tapped to offer a benediction at the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating convention this week.
The Greek hierarch is one of many religious leaders set to participate in the convention that will be almost entirely virtual this year, reports Religion News Service. Joe Biden is expected to accept the party’s nomination on Thursday.
Abp. Elpidophoros will offer the benediction on Wednesday, the third night of the convention.
His predecessor, Archbishop Demetrios, also offered benedictions at several conventions. For example, he delivered the benediction at the Republican National Convention in 2012, and at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
The benediction will be offered on Tuesday by Bishop Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Church, who made news recently when she criticized President Donald Trump for holding up a Bible for a photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church, across from the White House, on June 1.
Other religious leaders scheduled to speak include: Rev. Gabriel Salguero of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Jerry Young of the Mississippi-based New Hope Baptist Church; Rabbi Lauren Berkun, vice president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America; Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the advocacy group NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at large of the Jesuit magazine America; and Imam Al-Hajj Talib ’Abdur-Rashid, a Muslim social justice activist who leads the New York-based Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood.
The Democratic Party has also planned an interfaith service for Sunday.