Archons Meet to Address Religious Freedom Agenda
Archons Meet to Address Religious Freedom Agenda
Posted on Monday, April 30 @ 13:58:13 EDT by greek_news
New York.- By: Athanasia T. Diamantis
A panel discussion on Religious Freedom, the core mission of the
Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was held recently at Archon
Dean Poll's Boathouse in Central Park by members of the Order of
Saint Andrew of the Direct Archdiocesan District. His Eminence
Archbishop Demetrios, Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congresswoman
Carolyn Maloney were among the featured addressed that attended the meeting.
Regional Commander of the Archdiocesan District, Peter Skeadas along
with the Chairman of the Religious Freedom Committee, John
Catsimatidis, opened the discussion by introducing and thanking
Senator Charles E. "Chuck" Schumer for taking time out of his hectic
schedule to make it to the meeting. The New York Times wrote that
Chuck "is a more serious lawmaker with more rooted values, sounder
policy positions and a deeper commitment to the common good."
The first Senator to sign the letter to President Bush regarding the
Ecumenical Patriarchate and Religious Freedom, the Senator expressed
that he is "extremely proud to be the first signer of the letter to
the President urging him to protect the Religious Freedom of the
Orthodox Church that is being threatened by the Turkish government."
The Senator closed his remarks by stating that he looks forward to
seeing all the Archons, who have been named Grand Marshals of the
Greek Independence Day Parade, on April 15th.
National Commander, Dr. Anthony Limberakis, presented a power point
slide presentation regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate and
Religious Freedom. "The Order of Saint Andrew is like no other
organization in the Archdiocese and Metropolises. Archons are focused
on the survival, promotion and defense of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate." Among the topics covered in his presentation, Dr.
Limberakis emphasized how important it is, as an Archon, to visit the
Ecumenical Patriarchate in person and to make that commitment to
travel half-way around the world and experience, first hand, the
shocking treatment that Orthodox Christians endear every day. "Bring
your family and go see the holy relics of St. Gregory the Theologian
and St. John Chrysostom.
Visit Ankara and express your concerns to the American Ambassador
concerning Religious Freedom." He also stressed how important it is
that whenever in the presence of a political, or community leader to
bring up the issue and inform them how dire it is that action be
Dr. Limberakis announced that His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, who
earned a Th.D in Theology from the University of Athens, a Ph.D from
Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and celebrates his 40th
year as Episcopacy this year as bishop, is the recipient of the 2007
Athenagoras Human Rights Award. "He has written books, articles, and
is a world expert on the New Testament and of Saint Paul. Our
spiritual father always advocates for Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew and Religious Freedom at the highest levels of government."
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios thanked the National Commander, Dr.
Limberakis, the Archons and the attendees for coming and started his
speech with his recent trip to Washington where the topic of most
conversations was the Ecumenical Patriarchate. President George Bush
"offered his whole-hearted admiration of the offering of the Greek
Orthodox community" in a private meeting with His Eminence whom he
found to be "exceedingly cordial". "You know what becomes now more
and more of a tremendous factor for the Turkish government, a group
of people known as Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. We've
become a nightmare for them. Believe it or not, these Archons are
everywhere. They're in Constantinople, in the European Union, Capitol
Hill, the State Department, in Ankara, everywhere. And you should
know, in terms of political handlings of today, that human groups,
groups of people concerned and dedicated to an idea are much more
effective than diplomacy," said His Eminence.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney attended the luncheon as well. In her
speech, she noted that when she "goes back to Congress, we need to
put legislation to recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate with legal
independence and personality and not to interfere with the election
of the Ecumenical Patriarch that is interfering with Religious
Freedom. And very importantly, to stop confiscating the Church's
property and to return the orphanage that was seized". She also
thanked and congratulated John Catsimatidis for his efforts in
achieving air time for the Greek Independence Day Parade on Fox 5 and
is looking forward to attending.
In closing the luncheon, Dr. Limberakis and John Catsimatidis
presented copies of the full-page Religious Freedom ad in the New
York Times that appeared in the national issue here in the United
States to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Dr. John Brademas, Dr.
Evangelos Gizis, Dr. Christos P. Ioannides and Regional Commander of
the Archdiocesan District, Peter Skeadas.