Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has issued a congratulatory statement to n Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Fr. Alexander Karloutsos who will be receiving today the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Joe Biden.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public, or private endeavors.
Fr. Alexander Karloutsos is one of seventeen Americans who "demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith. They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come." read the White House statement of the occasion.
A statement from the Ecumenical Patriarchate read as follows:
"His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was informed with great joy and paternal pride that His Excellency the President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden, has decided to award to the V. Rev. Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Father Alexander Karloutsos, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is America’s highest honor, to reward his many years of service and contribution to the Holy Archdiocese of America and the Omogenia there, as well as to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The relevant ceremony will take place at the White House on July 7. The Ecumenical Patriarch contacted the honored one and warmly congratulated him, as well as his blessed family, adding that this high honor reflects on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of which Father Alexander was, and is, a worthy cleric, and bestowing upon him the Patriarchal complacence and his paternal good wishes and blessings.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros of America also issued the following announcement:
“I am so very happy for Father Alex, Presvytera Xanthi, and their children and grandchildren. This is such an exceptional distinction that it practically leaves me speechless. That a son of the Church, the son of a priest, born in Greece and humbly serving His Church for over fifty years is to be recognized by the highest civilian honor of the United States, is a moment in which every Greek Orthodox and every Greek-American should take tremendous pride, especially in this week when we celebrate the Centennial of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This is a unique honor for Father Alex, whose decades of ministry in our Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate cannot be summed up with any amount of words. Rather, I know that we all send him our warmest and most heartfelt congratulations, with our acknowledgment of this profound recognition by the President of the United States. ΑΞΙΟΣ!”