Greeting by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the Opening of the Clergy-Laity Congress - Clergy-Laity

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Greeting by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the Opening of the Clergy-Laity Congress

His All-Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
for the Opening of the Clergy-Laity Congress

Your Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America,
Venerable brother Hierarchs,
Blessed organizers, delegates, and guests,
Beloved sons and daughters,
Dear friends,
Ἀδελφοί καί τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ,

Beyond sending you my formal message as a word of paternal love; and in addition to commissioning our official representation to your deliberations and celebrations in the person of the most senior Hierarch of the Throne, His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, the new Metropolitan of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos (in Crete), Prodromos, as well as my Ecclesiarch and the Director of the Private Patriarchal Office, Fr. Aetios; I also wanted to send my greetings through this video in order to reassure you that I am with you in prayer, in thought, and in spirit.

Moreover, I would like you to know that, along with the Holy and Sacred Synod here at the Mother Church of Constantinople, I too am delighted to share with you the historic milestone of your centennial anniversary since the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

One hundred years ago, this first and foremost eparchy of our Ecumenical Patriarchate was founded in the heart of the New World as a sign of the promise and creativity that characterized the Orthodox Christians who set roots in this nation. One hundred years later, our Church is consecrating the National Shrine of St. Nicholas at Ground Zero as a symbol of resilience and resurrection in the heart of the nation’s largest city.

You have every right, therefore, to be pleased and proud of your journey and achievements – from the humble beginnings of the original communities to the impressive institutions, department ministries, and affiliated organizations in the present; from the smallest parochial administration in every corner of the continent to the pan-Orthodox coordination of every jurisdiction throughout the country; from the pastoral contributions of every order of the clergy to the seamless support of every sector of the laity; and finally, from the very first Clergy-Laity Congress convened in New York to the present festive Clergy-Laity Congress being held in the same city.

Despite – indeed, even through – many and manifold challenges, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America remains the vibrant face of Orthodoxy in the western world. Therefore, it “is meet and right” to give glory and praise to the almighty Lord, who has showered us with abundant wonders. In this spirit, we offer our paternal congratulations and patriarchal commendations to all of you who continue this sacred tradition and commemorate this significant centenary.

Dear delegates and friends,

With the certainty that this Clergy-Laity Congress will not be a mere commemorative event of past glories, but an inspiring and visionary moment for the future of this precious Eparchy of our Ecumenical Throne in the United States, we pray fervently and wholeheartedly that the grace of God will always bless, support, and protect you and your loved ones.

Τιμιώτατοι ἀδελφοί καί προσφιλέστατα τέκνα,

Ἡ ἐφετεινή ἐπετειακή Κληρικολαϊκή Συνέλευσις τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς εἶναι καιρός μνημοσύνης καί τιμῆς πρός πάντας τούς μακαρίᾳ τῇ λήξει γενομένους Ἀρχιεπισκό-πους, Ἱεράρχας, ἱερεῖς, διακόνους, μοναστάς καί τούς εὐσεβεῖς πιστούς, οἱ ὁποῖοι ἐξεδαπάνησαν ἑαυτούς ὑπέρ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ἐν Ἀμερικῇ καθ᾽ ὅλην τήν ἑκατονταετῆ εὐλογημένην πορείαν της, διά τῆς πνευματικῆς καί ποιμαντικῆς αὐτῶν ἐργασίας, διά τῆς ἐθελοντικῆς συμμετοχῆς των εἰς τήν ζωήν τῶν ἐνοριῶν καί ἀλλαχοῦ. Διά τῆς καθοριστικῆς αὐτῆς συμβολῆς των προήγαγον καί ἐστερέωσαν τήν μεγάλην αὐτήν Ἐπαρχίαν τοῦ Οἰκουμε-νικοῦ Θρόνου καί παρέδωκαν αὐτήν ὡς ἄμπελον εὐκλημα-τοῦσαν, σέμνωμα καί καύχημα τῆς Μητρός Ἐκκλησίας. Εἴη ἡ μνήμη αὐτῶν αἰωνία!

Ἡ μεγάλη ἐπέτειος δίδει εἰς ἡμᾶς τήν εὐκαιρίαν νά τονίσωμεν ὅτι μόνον ἡνωμένοι, μέ σύμπνοιαν ἀδιατάρακτον καί μέ δημιουργικήν συνεργασίαν κλήρου καί λαοῦ, ἡ Ἱερά Ἀρχιεπισκοπή Ἀμερικῆς δύναται νά πορευθῇ ἐνθέως εἰς τόν ἀρχόμενον νέον αἰῶνα τῆς ἱστορίας της, πάντοτε ἐν ἐσωτάτῃ συνδέσει καί ἀναφορᾷ πρός τό καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς Ἱερόν Κέντρον. Ἀποτελεῖτε, ἀγαπητοί, ζωτικόν τμῆμα τῆς Μητρός Ἐκκλησίας. Ἡ φιλόθεος καί φιλάνθρωπος μαρτυρία τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς ἐνσαρκώνει καί ἐκφράζει τήν ζωήν, τάς ἀξίας καί τάς παραδόσεις τοῦ Φαναρίου, τό ὁποῖον προσέφερε καί συνεχίζει νά προσφέρῃ πάμπολλα καί τιμαλφέστατα εἰς τόν παγκόσμιον πνευματικόν πολιτισμόν καί ἀποτελεῖ ἐλπίδα διά τό μέλλον, πάντοτε ὑπό τήν σκέπην τοῦ Ἀρχηγοῦ καί τελειωτοῦ τῆς πίστεως ἡμῶν, τοῦ «ἐκκλησίας σάρκα ἀναλαβόντος» Χριστοῦ.

Ἐκφράζομεν τήν βεβαιότητα ὅτι καί κατά τόν νέον αἰῶνα, εἰς τόν ὁποῖον εἰσέρχεται ὄντως μέ πολύν δυναμισμόν ἡ Ἱερά Ἀρχιεπισκοπή Ἀμερικῆς, ὑπό τήν στιβαράν ἡγεσίαν καί συνετήν ποιμαντορίαν τοῦ Ἱερωτάτου ἀδελφοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Ἀμερικῆς κ. Ἐλπιδοφόρου, αὐτή θά ἀποτελῇ τόπον καί τρόπον ἐνθέου βιοτῆς, ἐκκλησιοτραφοῦς πνευματικότητος, φιλανθ-ρώπου παρουσίας, ὅτι θά ἐκπορεύωνται ἐκ τῆς ζωῆς της καί θά καρποφοροῦν ἐν αὐτῇ δημιουργικαί δυνάμεις, πίστις, ἐλπίς καί ἀγάπη, ἐπ᾽ ἀγαθῷ τοῦ λαοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ καί τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης κοινωνίας.

Ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τούτῳ καί μέ χρηστάς ἐλπίδας, διατρανοῦντες τήν στοργήν τῆς Κωνσταντινουπολίτιδος Ἐκκλησίας καί ἡμῶν προσωπικῶς πρός ὑμᾶς, τούς ἀδελφούς καί τά τέκνα τῆς ἡμῶν Μετριότητος, δεόμεθα ἐκτενῶς τοῦ Δομήτορος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας καί Δοτῆρος παντός ἀγαθοῦ, ὅπως σκέπῃ καί εὐλογῇ τήν Ἐκκλησίαν Του καί κρατύνῃ πάντας ἡμᾶς εἰς τόν προκείμενον ἡμῖν κοινόν ἀγῶνα, διά νά δοξάζεται τό ὑπερουράνιον καί πάντιμον ὄνομα Αὐτοῦ.



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