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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020
Today, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros convened a special session of the Holy Eparchial Synod, and with great sorrow and heartfelt anguish informed its members of the decision made by the Turkish government earlier today to convert Hagia Sophia of Constantinople into a mosque.
For Orthodox Christians around the globe, and also for the entire Christendom, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate are sacred spiritual centers and comprise a repository of our Christian Faith and tradition. Therefore, we call the Turkish government to respect the pan-Orthodox and pan-Christian consciousness, which today has been deeply wounded by this decision.
We hope that this decision is not a manifestation of the deterioration in the stance of the Turkish government toward the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other religious minorities in Turkey.
The hierarchy, the clergy, the monastics, and the faithful people of our Holy Archdiocese are deeply distressed, and pray fervently that peace, love, and well-being will prevail in that region and that the Turkish government annuls this decision.
From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy Eparchial Synod
ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΘΕΝ ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΕΠΑΡΧΙΑΚΗΣ ΣΥΝΟΔΟΥ
10 Ιουλίου 2020
Ἡ Ἱερὰ Ἐπαρχιακὴ Σύνοδος συγκληθεῖσα σήμερα ἐκτάκτως ἀπὸ τὸν Σεβ. Ἀρχιεπίσκοπο κ. Ἐλπιδοφόρο, μὲ βαθεῖα θλίψη καὶ
συντετριμένη καρδιὰ πληροφορήθηκε τὴ σημερινὴ ἀπόφαση τῆς Τουρκικῆς Κυβερνήσεως περὶ μετατροπῆς τῆς Ἁγίας Σοφίας Κωνσταντινουπόλεως σὲ ἰσλαμικὸ τέμενος.
Γιὰ τοὺς ὀρθοδόξους ὅλου τοῦ κόσμου, ἀλλὰ καὶ γιὰ ὅλο τὸν χριστιανικὸ κόσμο ἡ Ἁγία Σοφία, ἡ Κωνσταντινούπολη καὶ τὸ Οἰκουμενικὸ Πατριαρχεῖο ἀποτελοῦν ἱερὰ πνευματικὰ κέντρα καὶ παρακαταθήκη τῆς πίστεως καὶ τῆς παραδόσεώς μας. Καλοῦμε λοιπὸν τὴν Τουρκικὴ Κυβέρνηση νὰ ἐπιδείξει σεβασμὸ στὴν πανορθόδοξη καὶ παγχριστιανικὴ συνείδηση, ἡ ὁποῖα σήμερα πληγώθηκε μὲ τὴν ἀτυχὴ αὐτὴ ἀπόφασή της.
Ἐλπίζουμε αὐτὸ νὰ μὴ σημάνει καὶ ὑπαναχώρηση καὶ ἐπιδείνωση τῆς στάσης τῆς Τουρκικῆς Κυβερνήσεως ἔναντι τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν χριστιανικῶν μειονοτήτων τῆς Τουρκίας καὶ μία ἀρνητικὴ στροφὴ στὸ σεβασμὸ τῶν θρησκευτικῶν ἐλευθεριῶν.
Ἡ ἱεραρχία, ὁ ἱερὸς κλῆρος, οἱ μοναχοὶ καὶ ὁ πιστὸς λαὸς τῆς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς μας εἶναι ἀνήσυχοι καὶ προσεύχονται θερμὰ γιὰ τὴν ἐπικράτηση τῆς εἰρήνης, τῆς ἀγάπης καὶ τῆς εὐημερίας στὴν περιοχή, ἀλλὰ καὶ γιὰ τὴν ἀναθεώρηση τῆς θλιβερῆς αὐτῆς ἀπόφασης.
Εκ της Αρχιγραμματείας της Ιεράς Επαρχιακής Συνόδου
Elected Archbishop of America on May 11, 2019
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of America was born in 1967 in Bakirköy, Istanbul. He studied at the Department of Pastoral Theology at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, graduating in 1991. In 1993, he completed postgraduate studies at the Philosophical School of the University of Bonn in Germany, submitting a dissertation entitled: “The Brothers Nicholas and John Mesarites.” He was ordained to the Diaconate in 1994 at the Patriarchal Cathedral and appointed Kodikographos (Scrivener) of the Holy and Sacred Synod.
In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod. From 1996-1997 he studied at the Theological School of St. John the Damascene in Balamand, Lebanon, where he advanced his knowledge of the Arabic language. In 2001, he presented a doctoral dissertation at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the title: “Severus of Antioch and the Council of Chalcedon” and was proclaimed a Doctor of Theology. In 2004, he was invited to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, where he taught as Visiting Professor for a semester.
In March 2005, at the proposal of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, he was elevated by the Holy and Sacred Synod to the position of Chief Secretary and ordained to the priesthood by the Ecumenical Patriarch in the Patriarchal Cathedral. In 2009, he submitted two dissertations to the Theological School of Thessaloniki and was unanimously elected Assistant Professor of Symbolics, Inter-Orthodox Relations, and the Ecumenical Movement. The dissertations are entitled: “The Synaxes of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne (1951-2004)” and “Luther’s Ninety-five Theses: Historical and Theological Aspects. Text - Translation - Commentary.”
In March 2011, he was elected Metropolitan of Bursa and in August of the same year was appointed Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the island of Halki. He has served as Orthodox Secretary of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran World Federation and member of the Patriarchal delegations to the General Assemblies of the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches. He was the Secretary of the Pan-Orthodox Synods in Sofia (1998), Istanbul (2005), Geneva (2006), and Istanbul (2008). He has been a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches since 1996.
Recent Messages from His Eminence: https://www.goarch.org/
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The Adornment Of Our Beautiful Sanctuary
Emilian the Confessor & Bishop of Cyzikos; Our Holy Father Myronus the Wonderworker, Bishop of Crete; Holy New Martyrs Triantaphillus of Zagoras and Anastasius of Thessolonica; Gregory of Sinai and Mount Athos; Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; Anastatios the Martyr from Bulgaria