New York.- (GreekNewsOnline)
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a warm personal congratulatory message to President-elect Joe Biden, expressing “joy and enthusiasm” for his electoral victory, that gives to millions of Americans and citizens of the world a hope.
He praised the President – elect for his intention to undertake initiatives to protect the environment, with a view to joining the Paris Agreement and guaranteeing a cleaner environment.
“Mr. President, those who thirst for religious freedom expect a lot from us, those whose human rights are being violated, those who desire freedom and justice”, the Ecumenical Patriarch writes to Joe Biden, while he recalls his visit at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 2011.
The message was never reported at the social media or their web site, by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, although Joe Biden was a recipient of the Athenagoras Human Rights Award in 2015. The leadership of the Archons was criticized by Community members as pro-Republican. Many Greek Americans have also criticized Archbishop Elpidophoros for saying the prayer at the Democratic National Convention. The Orthodox Observer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese reported the news.
On Monday, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is going to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, during a short stay that doesn’t include meetings with Turkish officials.
The letter sent on November 10 by the Ecumenical Patriarch to Joe Biden is as follows:
“The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President-elect of the United States of America
In Washington, D.C.
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
POMPEO AT THE FANAR
A State Department official confirmed on Friday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will only meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and other religious leaders during his visit to Constantinople.
Pompeo is on a 7-nation tour from November 13 – 23. Paris is the first stop, followed by Constantinople, on Tuesday the 17th, where he intends to discuss “religious issues in Turkey and the region and to promote our strong stance on religious freedom around the world,” according to a State Department press release.
According to a Senior U.S. official, Secretary Pompeo “will also meet with the apostolic nuncio to Turkey, Archbishop Paul Russell, and tour the Rustem Pasha Mosque. Secretary Pompeo is going to use these opportunities to discuss religious issues and, as you know, promoting the unalienable human right of religious freedom and fighting religious persecution is a key priority for the administration and for Secretary Pompeo. He’ll also of course in all the stops have an opportunity to meet with our ambassadors and staff from our missions, embassies, and in Istanbul the consulate general.”
The official said Pompeo’s schedule is “tight” and Turkish officials will not be available, adding that there will be “plenty of opportunities” to meet with them and discuss issues, such as Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 missile system.
The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has applauded US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s plans to travel to Istanbul for talks with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on religious freedoms in Turkey.
“The Turkish government’s tolerance of assaults upon Greek Orthodox Christian community, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and all religious minorities are further examples of how Turkey is a habitual violator of the rule of law in addition to Turkey’s aggressive and provocative acts in the Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean, and Middle East,” AHI President Nick Larigakis wrote in a letter addressed to the outgoing secretary of state on Wednbesday.
“Turkey must implement and strictly enforce the guarantees of religious freedom and human and minority rights set forth in the Treaty of Lausanne, the UN Charter and US laws, including IFRA,” he added using the acronym for the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act.