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Theodore Cardinal McCarrick honored with Athenagoras Award; Forty-Two new Archons invested
New York, NY
His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, PhD, D.D., became the twenty-fifth recipient of the Athenagoras Human Rights Award for his leadership in interfaith understanding, the pursuit of peace and reconciliation, and his constant support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Cardinal McCarrick is the former Archbishop of Newark and the Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. His interfaith leadership has been recognized not only by the interfaith community globally, but also by the State Department of the United States of America. He is a prominent leader in efforts for peace in the Middle East, a distinguished bridge-builder in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim relations, and a constant sojourner for peace, reconciliation and understanding around the world. The Award was presented October 30th during the Grand Banquet of the Order’s annual three-day assembly held at the Hilton Hotel in New York City.
Approximately 600 Archons and guests attended the annual Archon Grand Banquet held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton. Diplomatic and ecclesiastical dignitaries and guests, including, among others, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Senator Paul Sarbanes graced the event.
In his remarks, National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis said, “Archons have served in key societal roles since the 8th century BC in Ancient Athens, and later in the Imperial Court of Byzantium, at the Ecumenical Patriarchate during and subsequent to the Byzantine Empire and now, 3,000 years later, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America are demonstrating the leadership of commitment and zeal in defending the Sacred Apostolic See of Saint Andrew and promoting religious freedom.”
After a special tribute video, Dr. Limberakis introduced Cardinal McCarrick, the 2010 Athenagoras Human Rights Award Recipient. In accepting the award, His Eminence said it was “an extraordinary honor,” noting how he had read the works of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. “He really was the man who introduced ecumenism to the world.” The cardinal also praised “the courage displayed by Patriarch Athenagoras in his meeting with Pope Paul VI in 1966 when the two leaders lifted the mutual excommunications from 1054.”
“It was a courageous statement,” said Cardinal McCarrick. “Raising the excommunications was not easy. They put love over theology.” He called it a “pure celebration of the mystery of God.”
His Eminence also recalled hearings held on Capitol Hill relating to religious freedom at which the cardinal testified under adverse conditions. “With broken arm he came to Congress to testify on behalf of religious freedom for the patriarchate,” he said.
Following the cardinal’s remarks, Archbishop Demetrios noted that Cardinal McCarrick’s career has been “a ministry of consistency with a powerful insistence on values.”
Established in 1986, the Award honors Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, who served as Archbishop of the Americas for 18 years before being elected Ecumenical Patriarch in 1948. He was universally recognized as a visionary leader of the world’s more than 300 million Orthodox Christians and worked for peace among churches and people throughout his life and ministry.
Previous recipients of the Award include President Jimmy Carter, President George H.W. Bush, Former Soviet President Mikhael Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel, Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory, Archbishop Demetrios of America, Rabbi Arthur Schneier and, last year’s recipient, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew, Dr. Anthony Limberakis. Learn more about the award at: archons.org/AthenagorasAward
During the solemn Archon Investiture service the following day at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Archbishop Demetrios presented each Archon with the Cross of St. Andrew, along with the official Patriarchal Certificate specifying the offikion designated for each Archon. Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and Bishop Savas of Troas also participated in the investiture ceremony.
Following the investiture, Archbishop Demetrios, on behalf of the Archons, presented two pectoral crosses to Fr. Karloutsos and his wife, Presbytera Xanthi marking their fortieth wedding anniversary and his fortieth anniversary of ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Pamela James, beloved niece of Vice Commander Bouras, created the crosses which were crafted in silver and gold and replicated to the crosses Archons are bestowed at their investiture.
William John Antholis, PhD, Prostatis Ton Grammaton
George Demacopoulos, PhD, Didaskalos Tou Genous
Aristotle Papanikolaou, PhD, Prostatis Ton Grammaton
AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!
For Archon Weekend photos, visit archons.org/photos»