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Patriarch Theodore Briefs President Biden on Religious Freedom

Biden Patriarch Theodore
President Biden met Patriarch Theodore Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. Credit: White House

President Biden met Theodore II, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa at the White House earlier in the week.

Archibishop Elpidophoros of America said in a message that President Biden is a man of faith, and is very sensitive on matters of religious liberty.

“Patriarch of Alexandria Theodore and I came out of our meeting with the President with great confidence in the U.S. as a bulwark for Religious Freedom and Democracy.”

According to a statement by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Theodore had the opportunity to brief Biden’s team on the Patriarchate’s work in Africa, as well as the concerning developments in the Moscow Patriarchate’s uncanonical intrusion into the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Alexandrian Patriarchate.

Theodore presented Biden with the Grand Cross (Μegalostavros) of the Apostle Mark, thanking him for the US’s ongoing support of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, as well as of Greece and of Cyprus.

Biden Patriarch Theodore
President Biden is “a man of faith,” Patriarch Theodore says. Credit: White House

President Biden is a man of faith Patriarch Theodore says

Speaking to the press afterward, Patriarch Theodore expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to meet with President Biden on his first Apostolic Visit to the United States, calling him “a man of faith.”

“I had the opportunity to discuss not only the invasion of Ukraine, but the ‘invasion’ by another Church of my own Patriarchate,” Theodore said.

“During my trip in the United States, Ι had the opportunity to meet the Hellenic Diaspora of America for the first time and talk with them about ‘the Continent of the Future: Africa,” he added, thanking Archbishop Elpidophoros for his support and hospitality.

Later, Patriarch Theodoros visited the State Department, where he met with Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain.

Biden Patriarch Theodore
The United States is a bulwark for religious freedom and democracy. Credit: White House

“President Biden is very sensitive on matters of freedom of religion,” Archbishop Elpidophoros said. He echoed the Patriarch’s confidence in the United States’ ability to address the unfolding events in the Alexandrian Patriarchate:

“The United States is a bulwark for religious freedom and democracy, and it supports these values around the globe, whether in Ukraine or in Africa.”

Present at the White House meeting was Rev. Alex Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne. Their Eminences Metropolitans George of Guinea and Nikodimos of Memphis joined His Beatitude at the State Department.

Patriarch Theodore honored by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Last weekend the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presented the 2022 Athenagoras Human Rights Award to Patriarch Theodore.

In recognizing Patriarch Theodore’s long record of defense of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, stated: “His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore has a profound understanding of the canonical position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Church, and immense respect and love for His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew himself.”

Patriarch Theodore stood courageously against the uncanonical ecclesiastical imperialism of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Archons said in a press statement.

In an encyclical issued on May 9, 2022, Patriarch Theodore denounced the “anti-canonical, unfraternal, ahistorical, and vengeful attempt of the Russian Church in Africa to invade the canonical jurisdiction of the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria…following the recognition… canonically granted to the local Church of Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

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