On Monday, November 4, 2019, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, welcomed His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on his first official visit to the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America.
Accompanying His Eminence were His Grace, Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod; Protopresbyter Alexander Karloutsos, Vicar General of the Archdiocese; Archpriest Nicholas Kazarian and Mr. Nicholas Anton of the Archdiocese’s Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Relations; and Deacon Eleftherios Constantine. In attendance from the Orthodox Church in America were His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York, Secretary of the Holy Synod, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor, Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs, and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to the Metropolitan.
The visit began with Metropolitan Tikhon welcoming Archbishop Elpidophoros to Saint Sergius of Radonezh Chapel. After venerating the altar and the relics of the North American Saints, Metropolitan Tikhon addressed words of greetings to Archbishop Elpidophoros and presented him with an icon of the Valaam Mother of God. “With brotherly love, and great joy, I welcome Your Eminence to the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America. It has been my honor in the past to host your predecessor, Archbishop Demetrios, and I am confident that my visit to the headquarters of the Greek Archdiocese and your visit here today will build upon the friendship we have developed over the years, and that we can look forward to a long and fruitful relationship as our churches look to work together for the Glory of God and the encouragement of the flock we lead.”
In turn, His Eminence addressed the following words to Metropolitan Tikhon, “I am personally very happy to be here today because I feel that we have a very good friendship from the time I was Metropolitan and I had the joy and pleasure to host and welcome you to my monastery in Halki in Constantinople. And now, I see this new visit we have today as a continuation of our good friendship, and brotherhood that we have established throughout the years. I am sure these good relations will continue, lets pray to see where this good friendship and love with guide us.”
Lengthy discussions on various topics of mutual interest took place during a luncheon in the Chancery dining room. Among the matters discussed were the current and future relations, and dialogue between the Orthodox Church in America and the Ecumenical Patriarch; the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA; as well as the place of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey.