By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Meeting with Military Chaplains
Centennial Clergy-Laity Congress
Marriott Marquis (Gilbert – 4th Floor)
New York, NY
July 6, 2022
Most Honorable Delegation of the Mother Church of Constantinople:
Your Eminence Elder-Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon,
Your Eminence Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos, and Very Reverend Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios,
Your Eminences and Graces,
Beloved Brothers of our Military Chaplaincy,
The chaplaincy program of our Holy Archdiocese, particularly the Military Chaplaincy that we honor today, is a vital service to our Faithful members of the Armed Forces and to our Country.
I am so very proud of all our Military Chaplains, who have made the conscious decision to go into harm’s way, to give spiritual solace to all our serving men and women.
As you know so well, dear Chaplains, there are no atheists in foxholes. But just as true, is the reality that in the heat of battle or in the disciplined peacetime operations of the Military, any Chaplain must make themselves to any and all who come seeking.
It is the most ecumenical of ministries, for as it says in the Epistle to the Romans, “God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2:11)
Your mission is coated with honor, and I want to commend each and every one of you for your service.
In honoring Protopresbyter William Bartz, the son of a renown priest of our Archdiocese, we honor all of you.
During his last five years on active duty, he was the most senior Orthodox Priest in the US military. He retired from the Navy with the rank of Captain, and provided invaluable service as the Endorsing Agent for Military Chaplains to the Assembly of Bishops.
Father Bill, please come forward as our Centennial Honoree and receive your award. You all bring pride and glory to the Hundred Year Anniversary of our Church in America.
In closing know that my office door is always open to you, your families and your needs. You have my abiding gratitude and my love, as your Archbishop, and as your brother in Christ.
May the Good Lord always bless you and your families in this great service to our Nation.