“We had a good and useful communication with Archbishop Ieronymos,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew shortly after his meeting with the Archbishop of Athens.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived at the seat of the Archdiocese of Athens on Wednesday afternoon for the historic meeting with Archbishop Ieronymos. The Ecumenical Patriarch travelled to Athens in order to inaugurate the “Agios Porphyrios” Center for Gerontology and Welfare Support in Dilesi, Boeotia.
At the end of the meeting, the Ecumenical Patriarch said: “It is our first meeting after a period of discomfort between us. We are human beings and these things happen. We must have strength and courage to overcome the obstacles, and continue for the sake of the Church. Archbishop Ieronymos had this very nice and fraternal initiative to invite me for the inauguration of Dilesi, and this is an opportunity to thaw our relations, as I had replied in the letter of appreciation when I received his invitation.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch also noted that “it is natural for the persons and the Churches to go through tough times. However, in the case of the relations between Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, it is very appropriate to quote the following popular proverb “Blood is thicker than water”. So, we will move forward together as fellow-believers and brothers. We are responsible to our Churches and the people of God.”
He also pointed out that the Archbishop of Athens informed the Ecumenical Patriarch about his meeting with the Archbishop of Cyprus.
“We also looked at the Ukrainian church issue and other issues related to our Churches, and there was a mutual briefing on the issues currently related to the Patriarchate and the Church of Greece. We will say goodbye tonight being very happy and loving more each other.”
On his part, the Archbishop said he endorses what the Patriarch had said and expressed his gratification “for this opportunity to have our Patriarch with us.”
Today, the Ecumenical Patriarch will visit the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music on Thursday morning at 10:00, and then the renovated “Dimitris I. Pournaras” Library of the Cultural Foundation of the of Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ESHEA) at 11:00. He will also visit the bookshop “Estia” at 12:30.
Then he will attend a luncheon held in his honor by the President of the Brotherhood of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Archons “Panagia Pammakaristos”, Archon Orphanotrophos Gerasimos Fokas.
Later on Thursday, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will inaugurate the “Agios Porphyrios” Center for Gerontology and Welfare Support of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens in the presence of President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
The Center is one of the most important works of love in the history of the Archdiocese of Athens and was created after many years of diligent care of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.
It is in Dilesi, Boeotia, and has been built in an ecclesiastical area of 27 acres. The buildings consist of a total area of 4,600 square meters, with a capacity of 64 beds. The aim of the Center is to provide basic welfare services such as: hospitality, catering, creative employment, occupational therapy, psychological support, as well as preventive medicine for our elderly and needy fellow human beings living in the Center (basic model of operation) or elsewhere (day care model).
The project includes the necessary medical, hotel and other auxiliary equipment. Also, the Center’s premises include a newly built church, modern sports facilities, open theater, and promenade and recreation areas. In the surrounding area there is a model photovoltaic park for the energy support of the Center.
The Center’s main objectives are the development of scientific research, particularly in the field of geriatrics and the cooperation with specialized bodies (research, biomedical, social etc.), as well as with appropriately trained natural persons.