October 3, 2009

The U.S. Visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Archdiocese Launches Website Dedicated to Ecumenical Patriarch’s U.S. Visit

NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America is pleased to announce the launch of the web site dedicated to the US Visit of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at http://www.usvisit2009.org.

The web site, which was built by the Archdiocese’s Department of Internet Ministries, features content that will be continually updated and expanded throughout the US Visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, known as, “The Green Patriarch”, (a name coined by former US Vice President Al Gore and adopted widely in the international media) is making an official visit to the United States from October 20 to November 6, 2009 in order to preside over the annual Religion, Science, and Environment Symposium and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios’ enthronement as Archbishop of America.

During the visit of His All Holiness, the web site will feature live audio and video broadcasts from event venues, a running Twitter feed for real-time updates of the visit, daily blogs, audio and video podcasts, a dedicated YouTube channel, photogalleries, and opportunities for visitors to share their local communities’ questions, thoughts, ideas, and initiatives on the protection of the environment.

USvisit2009.org has an extensive focus on the Green Patriarch’s environmental ministry. Visitors to the site are able to engage His All Holiness’ uniquely spiritual position on the environment to learn about his environmental initiatives with a wide range of content including lectures, full-length videos, and games focusing on the Orthodox Church’s environmental theology and work.

On line visitors may tour the Ecumenical Patriarchate using the virtual reality component of the site while learning about the apostolic ministry and history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. A schedule of events will enable users to find information about the upcoming environmental symposium and visit of His All Holiness. Facebook groups will enable users to share expertise, experience and ideas on greening local parishes, homes and communities.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is a recipient of the Congressional Gold medal (1997), and was also awarded the Sophie prize in 2002, a prestigious international award for achievement in environmental conservation and sustainability. He has been named in Time Magazine’s top 100 list of Leaders and Revolutionaries and was recently named as the top Green Spiritual Leader by Beliefnet because of His tireless work to raise awareness about the environmental crisis and encourage green initiatives among policy makers, communities and individuals.



NEW YORK – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will arrive in New Orleans, on Oct. 20 to begin his Apostolic and Patriarchal Visit to the United States. The purpose of this, his sixth visit to our nation, is twofold: to convene and preside over the Eighth Religion, Science and the Environment (RSE) Symposium, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of Archbishop Demetrios of America as the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

His All Holiness, under whose high patronage the Religion, Science and the Environment Symposia take place, will lead a large and diverse group of theologians, scientists, policy makers, environmentalists, representatives of business and NGOs, and media for a five day Environmental Symposium entitled; “Restoring Balance: The Great Mississippi River.”

Since 1995, RSE has convened seven symposia to study the fate of the world’s waters, which cover seven-tenths of our planet’s surface. These assemblies of scientists, environmentalists, policy-makers and representatives of the world’s main religious faiths have established a vibrant environmental ethics movement. Underlying RSE’s strategies is a core belief that the analytical tools of science and the spiritual messages of religion must work in harmony if the earth’s environment is to be safeguarded. The symposia take place afloat, bringing participants – international and regional religious leaders, scientists, environmentalists, policy makers, media representatives and other prominent figures in politics and business – directly to endangered bodies of water. Previous symposia have been attended by heads of state, environmental ministers, ministers of economic affairs and prominent intellectual figures. (More information on the Mississippi symposium: www.rsesymposia.org)

Following the Symposium, His All Holiness will travel to New York City for a week-long celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Enthronement of Archbishop Demetrios. It will commence on Oct. 25, with the Feast day Great Vespers of St. Demetrios the Myrrh-streamer at the Parish dedicated to the Great-Martyr in Merrick, NY. The next day, the His All Holiness will preside at the Feast day Divine Liturgy at St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria, NY. On the evening of the 26th, His All Holiness will preside at the 9th Annual Prayer service for the United Nations at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. The service is sponsored jointly by the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Bishops in America (SCOOCH). On Tuesday, October 27th, His All Holiness will meet with the Primates of SCOBA.

Later in the evening of the 27th, Fordham University will bestow an honorary doctorate in law to His All Holiness. In recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s leadership in the fields of environmental responsibility, and interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue, Fordham is also presenting the initial volume of a three-part series of the major speeches of His All Holiness. Among all the festivities organized by Fordham, there will be a special opportunity for the students of the local Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) to meet with and receive the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28th, His All Holiness will have meetings with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations, as well as with Jewish religious and lay leaders hosted by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

His All Holiness will also travel briefly to Atlanta, and celebrate an Ecumenical Doxology in the Annunciation Cathedral of the Metropolis. Following his return to New York City on Friday, Oct. 30th, he will attend a reception at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA), which will be presenting a month-long (mid-October to mid November) exhibition in honor of His All Holiness and his environmental initiatives.

That evening, His All Holiness will attend a gala musical celebration at the famed Alice Tully Hall in New York, both in honor of his presence in the United States and in tribute to the decade of service of Archbishop Demetrios. Maestro Peter Tiboris will lead the Manhattan Philharmonic in a program and a special appearance by the Archdiocesan Metropolitan Youth Choir.

On Saturday, Oct. 31st, His All Holiness will address the Archdiocesan Council and meet with the National Board of Philoptochos. In the evening of the 31st, the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will present their annual banquet in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch. A special speaker for the evening will be the newly enthroned Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, His Excellency Timothy Dolan.

On Sunday, November 1st, His All Holiness will preside at a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Demetrios and all the Members of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. In a rarely seen occasion, he will personally conduct the investiture of the new Archons of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle.

In the evening of November 1st, the Patriarchal Delegation leaves for Washington DC. While in the DC Metro Area, His All Holiness will mark his 18th year as Ecumenical Patriarch in a Doxology service at the Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Annapolis, MD.

Throughout the first week of November, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will meet with the highest leaders of our Nation: the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, the Secretary of State, and the Majority Leader of the Senate. Both Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton will host dinners in honor of His All Holiness.

Additionally, the Ecumenical Patriarch is scheduled to speak at the Brookings Institution (www.brookings.edu) and at Georgetown University in a joint event sponsored by Georgetown and the Center for American Progress (www.americanprogressaction.org). For more information on the Ecumenical Patriarch and his visit to the U.S. can be found online at: www.usvisit2009.org .