The President of Greece, Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Sunday presented Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos with the Grand Cross of the Order of Honour medal.
The presentation took place during a special ceremony at the Presidential Mansion on Sunday in recognition of the Archbishop’s work as prelate and for his social contribution.
"Especially with regard to your social work, I must highlight that it corresponds in an exemplary way with the values and principles of our Church, arising in accordance with the Gospels from the starting point of 'love one another' to the highest ideal of 'love thy neighbour as thyself," Pavlopoulos said.
Archbishop Ieronymos, thanking the president, stressed that the work done by the Church was collective and that all members of the clergy in all parishes "rallied together in an effort that bore many fruit", expressing hope that this unity will continue, while noting that the Church and the people "want us all united to go forward".
The President presented the medal after hosting the annual dinner given at the Presidency each year for the Sunday of Orthodoxy feast, attended by the Archbishop Ieronymos and the members of the Holy Synod.
In his address at the dinner, he highlighted the holiday's importance as "a priceless source of symbolism and teachings concerning relations between the Church and State and especially as regards the important role of the Church in the historic course of our people and our nation."
Noting that the tradition of "this highly symbolic common meal at the presidency" on the Sunday of Orthodoxy was mandated by the peaceful joint path of Church and State, expressing his conviction that the Church "will light the way for our people and our nation to fulfill its historic mission".