Ecumenical Patriarch Visits Athens and Cappadocia
On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, His All-Holiness traveled to Greece, where he attended and offered the keynote address at an academic conference held at the historic Herod Atticus Amphitheater at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens.
The Ecumenical Patriarch was invited to officially open the environmental conference organized by the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens. Among those in attendance were many hierarchs and local representatives of the political, academic, professional, and business communities. His All-Holiness was welcomed and introduced by the President of the Biomedical Research Foundation, Archon Gregorios Skalkeas. Together with the occasional festivities of Greece’s assumption of the presidency of the European Union, the conference was the primary purpose of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s visit.
During his three-day trip, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited the Archdiocese, where he paid a formal visit to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens. He also visited the American College, where he met with a number of Imvrians living in Athens. At the invitation of Metropolitan Ephraim of Hydra, Spetses and Aegina and the Mayor of Hydra Angelos Kotronis, he visited the island of Hydra for the first time and was proclaimed an honorary resident of the picturesque Aegean island. Finally, he visited “Apostole,” an NGO of the Archdiocese of Athens, where he was received by the Managing Director, Constantinos Dimtsas.
On Friday morning, June 20, 2014, His All-Holiness was escorted to the airport by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, Metropolitans John of Pergamon and Chrysostomos of Peristeri, the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of Greece Bishop Gabriel of Diavleia, the Secretary of Synodal Commitee for Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations Archimandrite Ignatios Sotiriadis, and Greek Deputy Minister of Sports Ioannis Andrianos.
His All-Holiness in Cappadocia
On Sunday, June 22, 2014, His All-Holiness presided over the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy at the historic Church of St. John the Baptist in Eumorphochorio of the Cappadocia region in Turkey, together with Bishops Dionysios of Synnada and Nikephoros of Amorion.
The previous evening, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over Great Vespers at the Church of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Sinasos.
Among those in attendance were former Greek minister Maximus Charakopoulos, Greek parliament member Konstantinos Tsiaras, Archbishop Joris Vercammen of Utrecht (Old-Catholic Church in the Netherlands), Turkish Ambassador to Greece Kerim Uras, Political Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul Brigid Ryan, President of the Hellenic Cappadocian Societies Theofanis Isaakidis, President of the Hellenic Sinasos Association Spyros Isopoulos, as well as Archons of the Ecumenical Throne and pilgrims from Greece and Turkey.