Istanbul, November 11, 2020
On November 9, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople sent a beaming letter of congratulations to Joe Biden, whom the media has widely reported to be the president-elect of America. The letter was published on the Facebook page of the Orthodox Observer.
The Patriarch notes that he has had a long friendship with Biden, and that his joy at Biden’s election is the joy of the entire Patriarchate.
“You can only imagine my great delight and pride for your successful election as 46th President of your prominent nation, the United States of America,” the Constantinople primate writes. “The joy and enthusiasm for your electoral success are not merely personal sentiments. They are also shared by our Ecumenical Patriarchate and its eparchies across the world, and above all by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with its commendable Shepherd, Archbishop Elpidophoros.”
Recall that Abp. Elpidophoros prayed for Biden’s election during the Democratic National Convention in August, though he declined to offer a prayer at the Republican National Convention. In a press release in October, the Biden-Harris campaign proclaimed Biden a “strong supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate … in its role as the center of the Greek Orthodox Church.” Joe Biden has met with the Patriarch on more than one occasion.
Biden offers hope to the whole world for a better tomorrow, the Patriarch writes.
In 2015, the Archons of the Patriarchate of Constantinople awarded Biden with the Athenagoras Human Rights Award for his support of the Patriarchate, which caused a scandal in the Orthodox Church, given Biden’s strong pro-abortion stance.
Pat. Bartholomew, widely known as the “Green Patriarch,” especially hails Biden’s environmental initiatives, and also calls him to protect the religious freedoms of people around the world.
In the religious realm, Biden is a supporter of Constantinople’s schismatic church in Ukraine, as he declared at a meeting with “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko in 2018, and has been involved in pressuring the Patriarch of Jerusalem to recognize the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
Pat. Bartholomew’s letter to Biden reads in full:
Dearest Mr. President-elect,
Since you are well aware of my sentiments for you throughout the years of our friendship, you can only imagine my great delight and pride for your successful election as 46th President of your prominent nation, the United States of America.
The joy and enthusiasm for your electoral success are not merely personal sentiments. They are also shared by our Ecumenical Patriarchate and its eparchies across the world, and above all by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with its commendable Shepherd, Archbishop Elpidophoros – and I remain grateful for the love and esteem with which you have embraced him. But beyond our Patriarchate, there are millions of Americans, as well as citizens of the entire free world, to whom you now offer hope (I could say conviction) for a better future, where the eternal values and ideals of a civilized humanity may prevail.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has for many years been preoccupied with protecting the natural environment and addressing climate change, and so it especially celebrates the initiatives that you are prepared to assume on this urgent matter, as you have already declared, with regard to adhering to the Paris Agreement and assuring a cleaner environment.
Mr. President, since the world is anticipating so much from you, we at the Phanar – which you honored with your presence – are praying that the omnipotent and omniscient God may grant you strength, health, inspiration and endurance to fulfill the expectations of all.
Those looking to you are those who thirst for religious freedom, those whose human rights are trampled, and those who yearn for freedom and justice. And there are so many of them! They also include the historical religious communities of the Middle East, who aspire to peaceful coexistence.
Mr. President, may God be with you! We have always prayed and will continue to pray for you and your beloved wife, Jill, with much affection and admiration.
At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 9th of November, 2020
Your friend and supplicant before God,
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch