Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in Washington DC on Saturday night to a warm reception by members of the Greek American community and church members. The plane of Patriarch Bartholomew landed at Andrews Air Force Base, his first visit to the US since 2009.
Accompanied by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Patriarch Bartholomew arrived outside his hotel in central Washington DC to find priests and students from the community of Greek Orthodox Church of St George in Bethesda, MD waiting for his arrival. After a blessing by the Patriarch, the two prelates addressed the crowd.
“We, the faithful children of the Mother Church of Constantinople, welcome you with open hearts for the seventh time,” said Elpidophoros, before adding that “we await for you to show us the way and provide us a new and inspired vision of the faith of the holy and the Apostles that you know so well.”
The Patriarch expressed his gratitude and emotion over his return to the United States and stressed the strong bonds connecting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
“You, our most favoured sons and daughters, brought the faith of the Apostles to this blessed continent. America recognizes your deep commitment to fully experience your faith,” stated Bartholomew in his address to the crowd.
As part of his visit to the United States, Patriarch Bartholomew has scheduled meetings with President Joe Biden, Secretary State Antony Blinken, as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.