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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Leaves Hospital, to Meet with Biden

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Credit: State Department

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was discharged from the hospital on Sunday and cleared to continue the rest of his scheduled visit, including his planned meeting with President Joe Biden.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros tweeted on Sunday that he was “delighted to announce to all that our spiritual father, His All-Holiness was just released from hospital. He is feeling well and is ready to continue his official Apostolic Visit.”

Bartholomew stayed over night at the George Washington University Hospital Sunday night after a long day of travelling left him feeling sick.

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His All-Holiness has met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday and is set to meet with President Joe Biden as well. Bartholomew, who is 81, is also planning on giving a speech through teleconference for the museum of the Bible in Washington. He was previously scheduled to appear in person but has since switched to video.

On Monday night he will join a dinner held in his honor at Georgetown University hosted by its president, John DeGioia, and Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the Roman Catholic archibishop of Washington, D.C.

Later in the week on Thursday, Bartholomew will be given an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame, as part of a larger event geared towards rebuilding the bond between the Orthodox and Catholic churches.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will wind down his trip at the St. Nicholas Shrine

On November 2, the day before Bartholomew’s trip comes to a close, His All-Holiness will preside over a door-opening ceremony at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York City.

The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church–located just across the street from Ground Zero–was destroyed ruing the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Now, 20 years later, it has been rebuilt to include a shrine and memorial to the tragedy. The church was illuminated for the first time on the eve of 9/11’s 20th anniversary last month.

A memorial service was held from 7:45 to 8PM by Archbishop Elpidophoros before the exterior of the church was illuminated from within.

“St Nicholas stands before you today to tell the world that light will always shine on through the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it! Faith will always triumph over doubt. Hope will always vanquish despair. And love will always conquer hate,” Elpidophoros said.

The head of the Orthodox Church in America had just recently announced that Reverend banksnewspresbyter Andreas Vithoulkas, the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, would serve as presiding priest for the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.

The construction of the building has been an extraordinarily difficult journey, having to weather charges of corruption and malfeasance, with the work grinding to a halt at one point. However, the financial problems were ironed out and construction recommenced under the firm hand of Elpidophoros, the Archbishop of the Americas, who was elected to his position in June of 2019.

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