Archbishop Demetrios Provides Economic Support
ATHENS – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America visited yesterday, Holy Tuesday, April 10, 2012, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and presented to him a check of $500,000, as a tangible expression of support and solidarity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Omogeneia to the suffering people in Greece. This amount comes from the Relief Fund for the People of Greece, which the Archdiocese established Feb. 15, 2012.
Archbishop Demetrios in a letter accompanying the check writes that it is the first offering to the special programs of the Archdiocese of Athens and the Church of Greece, programs created for the relief of those of our brethren suffering due to the severe economic crisis. He says that these programs address the areas of need for food, clothing, shelter, medical and pharmaceutical supplies. “This amount is the product of care and love of our parishes and of individuals who responded to our call for solidarity and support of the Greek people during this difficult period,” he ads.
Following the 45-minute meeting at the Archdiocese of Athens, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos in a statement to the Press, expressed his gratitude and said: “It is a very touching day, during Holy Week, during this crisis for our country, for the Archdiocese of Athens and for a large segment of the Greek people. And during this crisis of poverty, unemployment and insecurity we are grateful to have the personification of love from our Sister Church, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with the presence of Archbishop Demetrios. I want to say a great ‘thank you’ to the Archbishop, to his co-workers and to the whole Omogeneia, who are so moved to help in this special way. We received a substantial and respectable amount for this ministry of alleviating poverty and we will use it in the best possible way, so as many people as possible can benefit from this expression of love.”
“We are here today in a visit of love and respect for a people who suffer a great ordeal. I am very moved to convey the love and at the same time the economic support of the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,” said His Eminence and also conveyed the heartfelt greetings and blessings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “Our faithful of the Omogeneia, fully understand that we are supporting people who have a sense of dignity and nobility despite the tough times, and they retain their dignity in all levels,” said the Archbishop.
Following the visit at the Archdiocese, Archbishop Demetrios visited the offices of the NGO of the Archdiocese of Athens Apostoli where he met with the director Constantine Dimstas and his staff. Mr. Dimtsas made a presentation with reports, photos and video on the programs of Apostoli and answered His Eminence’s questions. Mr. Dimtsas said that Apostoli is operating in a transparent and accountable manner and is open to any kind of audit.
The evening of Holy Tuesday, the Archbishop officiated at the services of the Bridegroom at the church of St. Dionysius, the Aeropagite in Athens, with more than 500 people in attendance. Just before the chanting of the Hymn of St. Kassiane, the Archbishop in his sermon spoke about the relevance of Holy Week and the passion of Christ in our world today and the certainty of the Resurrection. Following his short visit in Athens the Archbishop traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople for the Sanctification of the Holy Myrrh.
Article by Stavros Papagermanos of the Press Office and Photo by Demetrios Panagos/GOA.