Phanar hierarch compares Bartholomew to Apostle Paul and John Chrysostom

Icon with Patriarch Bartholomew and St. Nicholas in the St. Nicholas church in New York. Photo: goarch.org

According to Archbishop Elpidophoros, Patriarch Bartholomew is a "giant of faith" and a "spiritual champion."

On November 13, 2021, the head of the Phanariot Archbishopric in the United States, Archbishop Elpidophoros of the United States, compared Patriarch Bartholomew to the Apostle Paul and St. John Chrysostom.

In his homily delivered in the church in honor of St. John Chrysostom in Westfield, Metropolitan of New Jersey, Archbishop Elpidophoros said that he rejoiced to celebrate "the memory and the meaning of the remarkable and golden-mouthed Archbishop John Chrysostom of Constantinople."

"It occurs to me that another remarkable Archbishop of Constantinople has just been here in our country and Sacred Archdiocese – His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, whose reign on the Throne of Chrysostom has been much longer, but not necessarily much easier," noted the Phanariot hierarch.  

He went on to say that "St. Chrysostom was known for his truth-telling," while Patriarch Bartholomew "possesses the same Apostolic virtue of speaking the truth in love."

According to Archbishop Elpidophoros, the head of Phanar "is unafraid to speak the truth to the Church" and "shares the same courage and daring of his saintly predecessor."

He also called Patriarch Bartholomew a "giant of faith" and noted that, like John Chrysostom, he was "persecuted" by "false brethren" within the Church.

Quoting an epistle from the Apostle Paul, Archbishop Elpidophoros declared that the holy Churches "did not yield submission even for a moment," and continued that "This was Saint Paul. This was Saint John Chrysostom. And this is Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew!"

The hierarch of Phanar also said that Patriarch Bartholomew is a "spiritual champion" and asked the faithful to pray to St. John Chrysostom so that he would "watch over" the Ecumenical Patriarch.

"May he watch over our Ecumenical Patriarch – to grace him with health, long life and the fortitude to lead the Church, which sometimes resists the canonical order that His All-Holiness knows so well," said Archbishop Elpidophoros.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that according to Archbishop Elpidophoros, Patriarch Bartholomew is a front-line defender of Orthodoxy.

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