Archbishop Demetrios gives hope to kids

The focus this week was on the official visit of Demetrios, Archbishop of America, to Athens. His meetings with high officials and the numerous events he attended attracted swarms of photographers. Among the notables present at the archbishop’s meeting with Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos were Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Education Minister Petros Efthymiou. The more human side of this multifaceted official visit emerged during His Grace’s visit to the Elpida Association for the Friends of Children with Cancer. After his meetings with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis and other political leaders, the archbishop visited Elpida’s residential accommodation at Goudi. He had heard about Elpida’s work of supplying accommodation for children who are undergoing treatment following bone marrow transplants at Elpida Hospital. The children and their parents are able to stay in a pleasant, comfortable environment which offers them some respite. Marianna Vardinoyianni, founder and president of the association and UNESCO goodwill ambassador, thanked the archbishop: «The fact that you have taken time out of your demanding schedule to support the children and parents by your visit here gives us courage to continue our work,» she said. «I thank you and the rest of your entourage for what I see as a symbolic visit, being the first we have received in 2002.» Archbishop Demetrios blessed the children who gathered round him, thanked them for their gifts to him and his entourage, and had his photograph taken with Vardinoyianni and the directors of the association, whose efforts have brought a smile to the faces of these children and their families. terrorism is the criterion by which people, organizations, regimes and countries will be judged. «60 Minutes» did not, of course, claim that Greek officials were in cahoots with Osama bin Laden. But by engineering a program in which they used the guerrilla tactic of asking the speaker of the Greek Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis, whether he was «sympathetic» to November 17 and then showing his outraged response, the producers of the show not only did Greece a disservice but also journalism everywhere.

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