Archbishop of America targeted by Turkish media

Archbishop of America targeted by Turkish media

Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was once again on the periscope of the media. This time, the Turkish media took the baton.

A report by the opposition nationalist newspaper Aydınlık (Readability: 6 million electronic visits) entitled: “Support of Southern Cyprus by the Greek Church of the Phanar” and subtitled: “Elpidophoros, the unofficial representative of the Greek Church in the United States, met with US government officials on December 13 and 14 and expressed his support for Greece and Cyprus” reverts critically to statements made by the Archbishop in the past, on the occasion of his presence at a family event in Washington.

According to the report, Archbishop Elpidophoros met with officials of the White House, the State Department, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice, and Congress at an event organized by the Manatos family on December 13 in Washington and during his speech at the event he praised the contribution of the Manatos family to the American community, noting: “For forty years as an organization and more than forty years as a force for good in Washington, this family has served our country and certainly the interests of our diaspora.
The founders of Manatos & Manatos, Andy and his father, Mike N. Manatos, a legendary figure in our nation's service, have created a unique Greek presence in American corridors of power. We have all benefited from working with this extraordinary family. The passionate defence of Hellenism, Cyprus, Greece, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Holy Archdiocese in America is known throughout the country. Their forty-year presence is full of historical achievements and stories of defending our every purpose.

As Archbishop, on behalf of the entire Greek Diaspora, I am pleased to express our absolute respect and gratitude for the services they have offered to the community. May their achievements be even greater in the next forty years and future generations.”

The article points out that members of the Manatos family have occupied various government positions since the time of John F. Kennedy’s presidency. Kennedy and some family members had a liaison role with the U.S. Senate. Andy Manatos served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. Some family members still hold advisory and commercial positions at various levels of the US government. Mike and Andy Manatos carry out various lobbying activities on behalf of the Greeks and the Greek diaspora with the company Manatos & Manatos they founded.

The Archbishop then referred to the meeting of Archbishop Elpidophoros with the American MP Gus Bilirakis on December 14, and in a post on social media about the meeting, the Archbishop said: “He is a proud child of our Church and the Greek-American community, serving the people of Florida. He is a child of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and always supports Greece and Cyprus,” pointing out that the Patriarchate supports Greece and southern Cyprus.

“It is also worth noting that Elpidophoros used the adjective “Ecumenical” in his speeches, in contrast to the Treaty of Lausanne,” the report said, noting that the Archbishop “had characterized Turkey as a “genocidal” and “conqueror” at previous events in the United States.”

It is then recalled that “in September 2023, at an event organized by a committee adjacent to the Greek Church of the Phanar, Elpidophoros described the Ottomans and Atatürk as “genocidal” and argued that it is a sacred duty to talk about the issue of genocides.

Elpidophoros, who claimed that the Turks had been committing genocides for 30 years between 1894 and 1924, also stated at an event in September 2022 that Turkey was a conqueror in Cyprus. Calling for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus, Elpidophoros said: “We will never stop our struggle until we achieve our goal of liberating our Cyprus and a united Cyprus.” Archbishop Elpidophoros, in a previous statement, had used the phrase, “We are concerned about Turkey’s “aggressive” attitude towards Greece and Cyprus”. (Editor’s note: punctuation marks belong to the publication)

In closing, the article points out that “the name of Elpidophoros, who was born in Bakırköy, Constantinople (Makrochori Istanbul) and is a Turkish national, is among the possible candidates for patriarchy after Patriarch Bartholomew.”

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