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Senators Want Special Reception For Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Senators Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio have asked President Biden to give Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew a special reception. Credit: Ecumenical Patriarchate/Facebook

United States Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) have led their colleagues in writing a letter on Thursday that calls for a special reception for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Ecumenical Patriarch will arrive in the U.S. on Sunday.

The letter asks that President Joe Biden host His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a way that is appropriate for the head of the second-largest Christian church on the planet. His trip takes place on the 30th anniversary of his election as Ecumenical Patriarch.

“We appreciate the fact that His All Holiness is a world-leading advocate for interfaith dialogue and peace,” the senators wrote, noting that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is widely respected in the international community, having worked closely with Pope Francis.  “This visit is an excellent opportunity for our Congress and your Executive Branch to follow in the Ecumenical Patriarch’s footsteps and demonstrate our mutual desire for the spirit of peace and cooperation.”

The letter has been signed by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Angus King (I-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit important Greek Orthodox sites across the U.S.

The Ecumenical Patriarch’s visit begins on October 23, according to the official schedule released by the Greek Archdiocese of America on Wednesday.

The visit to the US, which will be concluded on November 3, will begin in Washington, DC and is expected to include meetings, luncheons, and official dinners with the US President, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandra Papadopoulou, and Turkish Ambassador to the United States Hasan Murat Mercan, the Archdiocese announced.

Archbishop Elpidophoros of America will welcome Bartholomew, whose visit, originally scheduled for May 2020, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the third official visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the US.

Events scheduled in Washington, DC include a Pan-Orthodox Patriarchal Chorostasia at Saint Sophia Cathedral; followed by the inaugural induction of the Senators for Orthodoxy and Hellenism; a luncheon with the Hierarchs; a dinner tribute by the Order of AHEPA; the blessing of the permanent exhibition of Orthodox Christian cultural heritage at the Museum of the Bible, and an ecumenical reception on Capitol Hill by the National Council of Churches.

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