Archbishop Elpidophoros, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States, received a phone call from former Vice President Joe Biden, who shared his solidarity with the effort to maintain Hagia Sophia’s current status as a museum.
Elpidophoros, who arrived from Turkey a little over a year ago to assume the role of Archbishop of America has become one of the most vocal and outspoken opponents to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision convert the sacred site into a mosque.
In a Tweet, the Archbishop expressed his gratitude to the Democratic Presidential candidate for the phone call.
“I was grateful to receive a call from VP @JoeBiden, expressing his support of our Ecumenical Patriarchate, and his solidarity with our cause to maintain the status quo for #HagiaSophia,” Elpidophoros Tweeted from his official account.
The Archbishop has called on Greek Orthodox faithful in the United States to make their voices heard on the issue.
“We must arise and as the People of God, make our voices heard from Washington State to Washington, DC, and not lose heart, lose faith, or lose courage because, though our struggle may be long, it is not without our ultimate hope,” Elpidophoros said in an encyclical to all Greek Orthodox Christians in the United States.
“Therefore, let us arise – as Orthodox Christians, as people of conscience with a righteous cause. Let us make our presence and our voices known,” he said.
He also designated July 24– the first date of Muslim prayers set to take place in Hagia Sophia— a national day of mourning in the Archdiocese of America and called on churches to observe certain services, hymns and the rolling of bells of mourning.
Biden had previously made a public statement against Erdogan’s move to convert the historic Orthodox Church into a mosque.
Is The Pappas Post worth $5 a month for all of the content you read? On any given month, we publish dozens of articles that educate, inform, entertain, inspire and enrich thousands who read The Pappas Post. I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep the quality of our content high — and free. Click here and start your monthly or annual support today. If you choose to pay (a) $5/month or more or (b) $50/year or more then you will be able to browse our site completely ad-free!
Click here if you would like to subscribe to The Pappas Post Weekly News Update
Countless persons are expressing solidarity with the Orthodox regarding Hagia Sophia, and nothing will come of these calls of outrage and concern. Only two persons could have delayed what was long intended by the Islamist, Erdogan. Namely, the presidents of the United States and Russia. Either could have leveraged the power of their governments on behalf of Orthodox Christianity had they been inclined to do so, yet neither lifted a finger to help for individual and personal reasons other than to express “solidarity” as so many others have done. Trump, because the spokespersons for Orthodoxy in America are committed opponents to his administration, and Putin because of the debacle caused by Bartholomew in granting autocephaly to a church in Ukraine that rightfully belonged under the jurisdiction of Moscow . Myriad long standing differences between the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow also came into play. In my view, the inevitable desecration of Hagia Sophia was a foregone conclusion in light of the insurgency of Islam throughout the world. The timing of Erdogn’s action, however, might have been a different story.
Hmmmm Biden? The Biden who says he hopes to teach the Islamic faith in America’s schools???
Excerpt from The Washington Times:
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden says it’s time for U.S. schools to ramp up Islamic curriculum across the nation.
Biden is either telling people what they want to hear or as Christians we should be FURIOUS!!!
[…] Biden has already notched up a few points on the Hagia Sophia issue (he called Elpidophoros with words of support, and also expressed his deep regret over the museum’s […]