Archbishop Elpidophoros of America held a Virtual Town Hall with thousands of faithful across America, on Saturday.
Moderated by Emmy Award winning Journalist, Demetria Kalodimos, the Town Hall, entitled, “A Pastoral Word with Archbishop Elpidophoros,” lasted over an hour, as Elpidophoros answered questions via Zoom. The Town Hall was simulcast on Social Media channels.
The Archbishop addressed numerous issues: on the necessity of facing this pandemic with greatly attenuated services, on the means of distribution of Holy Communion, and the relationship between faith and science. On this last issue he said, “Science and faith, they are not contradictory. They exist in parallel, and thus they are never in conflict.”
He also made a distinction between Holy Communion Itself and the method of distribution: “We believe that what we receive during the Eucharist is truly the Blood and the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not merely bread and wine. As such, the Body and Blood of our Lord do not transmit any disease or virus, but the way we distribute the Communion, the instruments, are earthly.” Even as he affirmed the traditional distribution practices of the Eucharist, he noted that the Communion lines in large Churches might pose a greater threat in this time of pandemic.
Archbishop Elpidophoros closed the webinar by thanking the participants: “You have reached out not just to me, but you have connected in some profound way to each other. Your presence on this call is an act of faith, and your questions remind us all that you are serious and believing Orthodox Christians, who love your Church and love each other. I know that we will get through this together … we will come out on the other side of this pandemic. Our world will be changed, but change is part of living in this world. The only eternal constant is God, Who is our hope, our refuge, and our salvation. I wish all of you every spiritual blessing and continued good health this Holy Week and every week! May you know in your hearts the power of His Resurrection, which extends through all eternity to every corner of creation.”