USA Archbishop: “Constantinople is part of Thrace”

Greece
Fri, 4 Mar 2022 15:04 GMT
"Constantinople is a part of Thrace," claimed US Archbishop Elpidoforos during a visit to Komotini in Western Thrace. USA Archbishop Elpidoforos attended the ceremony in which Maronya Square was renamed "Archbishop Michael Square of America" after receivi...
USA Archbishop: “Constantinople is part of Thrace”

"Constantinople is a part of Thrace," claimed US Archbishop Elpidoforos during a visit to Komotini in Western Thrace.

USA Archbishop Elpidoforos attended the ceremony in which Maronya Square was renamed "Archbishop Michael Square of America" after receiving a title "Honorary Doctorate" from the Greek Philology Department of Dimokritos University of Thrace.

On Wednesday, March 2nd, Archbishop Elpidoforos of the American Orthodox Church visited and led the religious ceremony in the Big Church in Yenicemahalle, Komotini. On Thursday, March 3, he attended the ceremony in which Maronya Square was named after the late Maronian Archbishop of America Michael.

"I am honored to be in Komotini and Thrace," remarked the US Archbishop, who is well-known for his numerous comments and views about Western Thrace. As the local Hronos newspaper relayed, he said "Komotini is not an unknown place for me; I love it because I spent a few years as a student here, but I am also a Thracian as a Constantinopolitan; I feel at home because Constantinople is a part of Thrace."

The Archbishop's statements on Western Thrace and the war in Ukraine were featured in an article written by Andreas Agelaridis and published on the website of the Hronos newspaper on Thursday, March 3.

The Archbishop of America is hopeful

The Archbishop's statements have drawn attention. As he stated according to the article titled "I Love Komotini," "I am honored to be in Komotini and Thrace." Komotini is not a foreign city to me; I love it because I studied here for a few years, but I am also a Thracian as well as an Constantinopolitan, and I feel at home here because Constantinople is part of Thrace."

The article in the Hronos newspaper continues as follows:

“The Archbishop of America came to Komotini yesterday and today he will visit Maronia, where the square will be named 'Michael Archbishop of America' in memory of the blessed Archbishop of America, the Honorable Michael Konstantinidis. The archbishop also delivered a message of peace against the war in Ukraine during the church service. Many local administrators, representatives of the security forces, and leaders of the association, who attracted notice with their local clothing, attended the service at the church, in addition to the Metropolitan of Komotini, Panteleimon.

He wishes to honor Maronia

Prior to the welcoming ceremony at the church, the Archbishop said he was happy to be in Thrace and Komotini. "I wish to honor Thrace, which trained priests for America," Maroneitos stated, referring to the naming of Maronia Square for this reason in commemoration of the American Archbishop, Mr. Michael Konstantinidis.

'The invasion of Ukraine is barbaric'

The Archbishop also did not neglect to mention the war with Russia in Ukraine, where daily disasters are great and people, even children, lost their lives. The archbishop's message regarding the war in Ukraine was: “The occupation of Ukraine by the regime of Vladimir Putin is barbaric, violent and unacceptable. This occupation violates not only human rights but also international law. This occupation cannot be accepted or justified by any church, religion or human value. We stand by our Ukrainian brothers who have the right to be an independent state. I don't think this occupation will last long," he said.

Welcome ceremony in the church

All representatives of Rhodope province, Metropolitan of Komotini-Maronia, Mr. Panteleimon, greeted him with warm words and presented him with a gift. The Archbishop, on the other hand, referring to Hellenism rooted in Anatolian lands, said that America accepted the refugees that our country received. “As here, they settled in a free country that respected human rights and religious freedoms. The Greeks of America did not forget their roots in Greece, Pontus, Cappadocia, Cyprus...”

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