The Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of America (GOARCH) Elpidophoros tried to explain himself after the backlash caused due to his attending the inauguration ceremony of the ‘House of Turkey’ along with the Turkish President Erdogan and the head of the occupied pseudo-state of Northern Cyprus Ersin Tatar.
His decision caused a serious diplomatic crisis in the relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with Greece and Cyprus with the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades cancelling a scheduled meeting with Elpidophoros.
According to circles of the Archdiocese of America, after the controversy that broke out in Greece about his presence at the ceremony and the dissatisfaction in Cyprus, Elpidophoros said he was unaware of the people who were attending the event beforehand.
As the same circles say, Archbishop Elpidophoros received an official invitation from a Turkish diplomatic delegation and when he accepted the invitation he did not know who the others in attendance would be.
As the GOARCH circles said the Archbishop of America is always in favour of religious freedoms, as he did with the issue of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of the City which was criticised by a section of the Turkish press and of course has pushed for the opening of the Theological School in Halki and the internationalisation of the issue.
Finally, the information says that if Archbishop Elpidophoros knew that Tatar would be present at the event, he would not have accepted the invitation.
Regarding the meeting with PM Mitsotakis, which was initially reported to have been cancelled due to the backlash, the same circles said it would take place and the Archbishop would guide Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the Church of Agios Nikolaos at Ground Zero in New York.