Phanar's hierarch justifies his participation in NY Turkish Center opening

Archbishop Elpidophoros (far left) at the opening of the Turkish Center in New York. Photo: twitter.com/trpresidency

The presence of Archbishop Elpidophoros at the event attended by Erdogan and head of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus caused a backlash from believers.

The head of the American Archdiocese of Phanar, Archbishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis), made excuses for his participation in the opening of the Turkish Center in New York.

The event, which was attended by Turkish President Recep Erdogan and the head of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, took place on September 20. As reported in the Greek media, Elpidophoros presence at the event caused discontent with the Greek, Cypriot and Armenian communities.

The Phanar hierarch tweeted that he congratulated Erdogan on the opening of the Turkish Center, stressing that "as always" he insists "on the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the re-opening of the Halki Theological School and supporting the rights of religious minorities of Turkey."

The UOJ wrote that the Greek and Cypriot authorities canceled meetings with the head of the Phanar Archdiocese in the United States.

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