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Archbishop Elpidophoros of America Enthroned
Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was enthroned as the 7th Archbishop, succeeding Archbishop Demetrios who resigned in April, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Saturday June 22, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. He was elected unanimously by the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople this past May. Metropolitan Augoustinos of Germany represented Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and he officiated at the enthronement ceremony.
The enthronement of Archbishop Elpidophoros was attended by many dignitaries from the political, diplomatic, academic and the business world, as well as religious leaders, community and organization representatives, and clergy and laity from around the country and around the world. Alexander Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, himself an Orthodox Christian, represented President Trump.
The enthronement ceremony was followed by an luncheon at at the New York Hilton Hotel and it was attended by 1500 people.
On Sunday, June 23, the day after, Elpidophoros presided for the first time as Archbishop at the Hierarchal concelebration of the Divine Liturgy with all the Metropolitans that are members of the Holy Eparchial Synod. It was followed by an Agape reception at the Cathedral Center.
Archbishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of America, Most Honorable Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as his full title is was born in 1967 in Bakirköy, Constantinople. He studied at the Department of Pastoral Theology, Thelogical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, from which he graduated in 1991. In 1993, he finished his postgraduate studies at the Philosophical School of the University of Bonn, Germany submitting a dissertation entitled “The Brothers Nicholas and John Mesarites.” He was ordained a Deacon in 1994 at the Patriarchal Cathedral and was appointed as the Codecographer of the Holy and Sacred Synod. In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Synod. From 1996-1997 he studied at the Theological School of St. John the Damascene in Balamand, Lebanon, where he improved his knowledge of the Arabic language. In 2001, he presented a doctoral dissertation at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the title: “Severus of Antioch and the Council of Chalcedon,” proclaiming him a Doctorate of Theology with highest distinction. In 2004, he was invited to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, where he taught as a visiting professor for one semester.
In March 2005, at the proposal of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, he was promoted by the Holy and Sacred Synod to the position of Chief Secretary and was ordained to the priesthood by the Ecumenical Patriarch in the Patriarchal Cathedral. In 2009, he submitted two dissertations to the Theological School of Thessaloniki and was unanimously elected Assistant Professor of Symbolics, Inter-Orthodox Relations and the Ecumenical Movement. The dissertations are entitled: “The Synaxis’s of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne (1951-2004)” and “Luther’s Ninety-five Thesis. Historical and Theological aspects. Text – Translation – Commentary.”
In March 2011, he was elected Metropolitan of Bursa and in August of the same year was appointed Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the island of Chalki. He has served as the Orthodox Secretary of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran World Federation and as a member of the Patriarchal delegations to the General Assemblies of the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches. He was the Secretary of the Pan-Orthodox Synods in Sofia (1998), Constantinople (2005 and 2008), and Geneva (2006). He has been a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches since 1996.