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2004 Annual Report to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

As Archons you represent and embody the oldest and greatest honor accorded in Christendom, an honor of high stature that has its roots in very ancient times. In our day you have come to the fore once again offering your time, talent and treasure in service to defend and promote our holy faith and our holy and Ecumenical Patriarchate. You have demonstrated your service in prayer, the foundation of all our actions; in words that effectively support those actions; and in assistance and witness. Your voice is heard in the world's capitals and your presence respected.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

2004 was an extraordinary year during which the Holy Relics of St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom were returned from Pope John Paul II in Rome to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople after 800 years. It was a year in which the Order journeyed to the Holy and Great Mother Church and to the capital cities of Washington and Ankara on several occasions to fight for religious freedom and to document violations of religious human rights perpetrated by the government of Turkey against the Spiritual Center of World Orthodoxy and its institutions.

It is with the greatest respect and humility that we offer the 2004 Annual Report to our beloved spiritual fathers His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, as well as to our brother Archons of the Great Church of Christ.

The various initiatives of the Order of St. Andrew under our core mission as Defenders of the Faith, can be classified under three fundamental categories: spirituality, education and philanthropy (Christian Stewardship), all related to the general well being of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Succinctly, the mission of each Archon individually, and of the Order collectively, is to promote and defend the Holy Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

SPIRITUALITY

THE RESTORATION OF THE HOLY RELICS OF ST. GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN & ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

2004 was an extraordinary year for all Christendom! It was a year in which the Church Calendar was altered in recognition of the historic restoration of the Holy Relics of St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom back to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, from where they were taken by the invading 4th Crusaders in 1204. It was a year in which His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew traveled to the Vatican on two occasions in the spirit of Christian Reconciliation and Love. In late June centered around the June 29th Ss. Peter and Paul Patronal Feastday of the Roman Catholic Church, His All Holiness and his official entourage traveled to the Vatican during which time His All Holiness requested from His All Holiness Pope Paul II the return of the Holy Relics of the most profound saints of Christianity, both of whom served as Archbishops of Constantinople and both of whom were integral in the development of the very foundation of the Christian Faith. His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch returned to the Vatican just prior to the November 30th St. Andrew Patronal Feastday of the Orthodox Church to accept and accompany the Holy Relics of his predecessors back to their home and their beloved See of Constantinople. In a tremendous expression of love for the Church in America and for the Archons in the American Eparchy, His All Holiness invited His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Fr. Alexander Karloutsos our Spiritual Advisor and Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis to officially participate in these historic events, as well as National Secretary John Halecky, Jr. The actual Return of the Relics served as the focus of the 2004 Annual Archon Pilgrimage to the Mother Church which took place from November 27th through December 5th.

2004 ARCHON PILGRIMAGE TO THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE & RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MISSION TO ANKARA

The 2004 Archon Pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate & Religious Freedom Mission to Ankara led by Archbishop Demetrios of America was a milestone event in the history of the Order of St. Andrew / Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. The Archon leadership met the Patriarchal Entourage in Rome on November 27th and on the following day, after solemn transferal services at the Vatican conducted by the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy Relics were received by His All Holiness. The Holy Relics were escorted back to Constantinople by His All Holiness and the official Patriarchal Entourage of which Fr. Alex was a member, Archbishop Demetrios, Roman Catholic Vatican Officials including Cardinal Walter Kasper and National Commander Dr. Limberakis and National Secretary John Halecky, Jr. Some 85 Archons, family and friends participated in the Pilgrimage which was chaired by Archon Alex Pritsos. The highlights of the Pilgrimage include the following:

Restoration of the Holy Relics of St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom which were personally venerated by Pilgrims at the Phanar

Feastday Celebration of St. Andrew at Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George

Visitation of Balukli Hospital & Home for the Aged; documentation of properties of Balukli confiscated by government of Turkey

Banquet hosted by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in honor of the Archons of America and the Vatican Delegation accompanying the Holy Relics

Visitation of Aghia Sophia and other historical churches

Visitation of Halki School of Theology, forcibly closed by Turkish authorities in 1971

Visitation by Archon Leadership of Patriarchal Orphanage located on Pringipos Island, a property about to be confiscated by Turkish Government by authority of its supreme court

Banquet hosted by Archbishop Demetrios and Order in honor of His All Holiness at Ritz Carlton Hotel

Ankara Religious Freedom Mission

Meeting of Archon Leadership with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, accompanied by US Ambassador to Turkey, Eric S. Edelman

Meetings of Ambassador Edelman on behalf of Archon Leadership with Ali Bardakoglu, chairman of the Religious Affairs Directorate; Yusuf Beyazit, Secretary General of the Foundations Directorate; and Ertugrul Apakan, Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary

Reception in honor of Archons hosted by Amb. & Mrs. Edelman at Official Ambassadorial Residence

Banquet hosted by Archons in honor of Amb. Eric S. Edelman at Ankara Hilton

Visitation to Smyrna & site of September 1922 Great Catastrophe

Trisagion Memorial Service at site of September 1922 Catastrophe

Visitation of the ancient Church of Sardis (one of the seven churches of the Revelation)

Visitation of Ephesus, the ancient city considered among the best preserved of all ancient cities, the city where St. John the Theologian completed his ministry

Visitation of the Church of St. John, the site where he fell asleep unto the Lord

The Order expresses its appreciation to Fr. Alex and Presvytera Xanthi Karloutsos, Archon Alex Pritsos, chairman of the Pilgrimage Committee and Cally Papas, Proprietor of Cloud Tours for organizing and managing the 2004 Archon Pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Religious Freedom Mission to Ankara.

2nd ANNUAL ARCHON LENTEN RETREAT SCHEDULED AT ST. BASIL ACADEMY

Recognizing the supreme importance of spirituality in our daily existence, the Spirituality Committee of the National Council chaired by Archon James D. Speros, organized a Lenten retreat on March 19 and 20, 2004 at the Saint Basil Academy entitled, "Ascending the Heights: Climbing the Ladder of Divine Ascent." The Order was both blessed and very fortunate to have His Grace Bishop Savas, Bishop of Troas and Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, serve as retreat master under the spiritual guidance of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His Grace spiritually engaged the Archons who left the retreat enriched and energized in their commitment to Jesus Christ, our Orthodox Faith and our personal salvation.

 

EDUCATION

IMPROVING THE STATUS OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE; MAJOR NEW INITIATIVE SCHEDULED FOR 2005

This past year we have focused on the physical, geopolitical and political well being of the Ecumenical Patriarchate situated in Constantinople, present day Istanbul at the crossroads of Eastern and Western civilizations. Although we have undertaken an expansive program to improve the status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate under the broad category of education, a major new initiative is being developed spearheaded by Regional Commander?Archon Andrew E. Manatos who with the blessings of the Exarch, has presented the National Council with a coordinated plan to improve the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Plan which has been unanimously adopted by the Council includes strategic initiatives in Washington, Brussels and Ankara.

FEBRUARY 2004 ARCHON LEADERSHIP PILGRIMAGE TO THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE & RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MISSION TO ANKARA

Members of the National Council, led by Commander Dr. Limberakis representing the Exarch, accompanied by Archons Halecky, Stratakis, Cherpelis, Macris and Pritsos and Spiritual Advisor Fr. Alexander Karloutsos traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to confer with His All Holiness and gather data on issues of religious human rights. The delegation then went to Ankara to meet with US Ambassador to Turkey Eric S. Edelman and members of the Turkish Cabinet. Highlights of the Archon Leadership Pilgrimage that took place from February 5-10, 2004 include the following:

Audience and consultations with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Meeting with Istanbul Provincial Governor Muammer Gular

Meeting with Istanbul Mayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna

Meeting with Chief Rabbi of Turkey Isak Heleva

Meeting & presentation to Nursen Donmez, President EMSAD, Police Martyrs Families Association of Turkey

Site visits to the following:

o Balukli Hospital & Home for the Aged

o Great School of the Nation

o Beyoglu District Police Station (district where terrorist bombings took place)

Banquet in honor of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Istanbul
Tribute Luncheon in honor of Hon. Eric S. Edelman, US Ambassador to Turkey, Ankara
Ankara Ministerial Meetings (Archon Leadership accompanied by Amb. Edelman):

o Minister of Education Huseyin Celik

o Minister of Interior Abdulkadir Aksu

o Minister of State responsible for Religious Affairs Mehmet Aydin

With hopes of accession to the European Union, and the concomitant religious human rights requirements of the EU Governing Document, the Aquis Communautaire, we find ourselves at a propitious time to make real progress in the following areas, some of which have been festering for decades, if not since the Fall of Constantinople in 1453:

1. Establishing a bona fide legal personality for the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey, which does not exist today as a legal entity in Turkey

2. Reopening the Theological School of Halki

3. Safeguarding the property rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Patriarchal Institutions which have lost thousands of properties to Turkish government confiscation

4. Abolishing Turkish government interference in the selection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Holy Synod

5. Recognizing the "ecumenicity" of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

 

EDUCATE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
White House

President George W. Bush intervenes on behalf of American Orthodox regarding religious human rights of Ecumenical Patriarchate and reopening Halki.

Through formal and informal means of communication, we have educated our own government regarding the concerns of all Orthodox Christians. It should be noted that President Bush in the Oval Office during an official visit of the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan specifically expressed the concerns of the US government regarding the closure of the Halki School of Theology and other issues that concern all Orthodox faithful in America regarding the religious human rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

United States Congress
Special recognition is accorded to Archon US Senator Paul Sarbanes and Archon US Congressman Michael Bilirakis who have consistently championed the cause of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Congress and who consistently assist the Order in this regard.

United States Department of State
Archon Meetings with Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman, The leadership of the Order met with US Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman regarding the four specific religious freedom concerns of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Archon Manatos scheduled a luncheon with key human rights organizations in Washington in December.

Institute on Religion & Public Policy Conference: Religious Freedom in Secular Turkey: The EU Effect; Archon Presentation (December 14, 2004)

A December 14th Conference held in the United States Senate Hearing Room at which various speakers presented different perspectives regarding religious freedom in Turkey hosted by Joseph Grieboski, President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou presented the Orthodox Christian perspective offering data regarding religious human rights violations by the government of Turkey against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Archon Emmanuel Demos presented a major paper authored by Yale University School of Law entitled Turkey’s Compliance with Its Obligations to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Orthodox Christian Minority--which systematically details Turkey’s specific violations of treaties and laws regarding religious human rights against the Ecumenical Patriarchate from a legal perspective. Commander Dr. Limberakis presented a report regarding the recent Archon Pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate documenting the various areas of concerns with respect to religious human rights violations. Attendees of the Conference included representatives from State Department, Defense Department, Commerce Department, Helsinki Commission, and the Congressional Research Service, the embassies of Turkey, Greece, Israel, and Bulgaria, think tanks such as the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Washington Institute on Near East Policy, the Cato Institute, and the Islamic Free Market Institute, corporations such as The Carlyle Group, The Harbour Group and organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, B'nai B'rith International, Catholic University, Amnesty International, Falun Gong, the Armenian Assembly of America, and the University of Maryland covered by CNN-Turk, Anatolia News Agency, and other Turkish media

ORDER SPONSORS PATRIARCHAL POST CARD PROJECT

The Order has underwritten the development of 5000 packets of postcards consisting of 10 postcards per packet, each card presenting two photos of the Patriarchate including His All Holiness, noteworthy icons, the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George among other highlights of the Phanar. Short descriptions in English, Greek and Turkish are offered on the reverse side of the postcard. The postcards which serve as a memento of the Phanar for visiting pilgrims were presented to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the Archon Pilgrimage centered on the Return of the Holy Relics of St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom. Dr. Spiro Macris, Chairman of the Education Committee supervised the project.

ORDER COMPLETES TRAVEL GUIDE OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE

The Order commissioned Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis to develop a concise guide to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Entitled The Ecumenical Patriarchate A Brief Guide serves as a compact, colorful and most informative 70-page reference for visiting pilgrims to the Phanar. The guidebook was formatted and printed entirely in Turkey thereby supporting local businesses and was edited by Paul Gikas and Dr. Brian Johnson. Dr. Spiro Macris and the Education Committee are commended for their supervision of this project which affords the visiting pilgrim guidance viewing the many theological, historical and ecclesiastical treasures located at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

ORDER CONTINUES TO UPGRADE WEBSITE: WWW.ARCHONS.ORG

Under the Technology Committee chairmanship of Archons James D. Speros and Alexander Pritsos, the National Council continues to work with the Department of Information Technologies of the GOA, Theo Nicolakis, Director to upgrade our website which serves as a resource on the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the mission of the Order. Phase I of the $20,000 project was completed in 2004. The site is a robust, user-friendly site, which enhances the education mission of the Order. The Order appreciates the assistance of Presvytera Xanthi Karloutsos and Dina Theodosakis in keeping the site current.

2004 ATHENAGORAS HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD PRESENTED TO ARCHON ALEX G. SPANOS

Before a capacity crowd at the New York Hilton, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios on behalf of the Order presented Alex G. Spanos, a great humanitarian, philanthropist and leading businessman, with the19th Annual Athenagoras Human Rights Awards at the Annual Grand Banquet of the Order on October 9, 2004.

Alex G. Spanos, the chairman and owner of the A. G. Spanos Companies, is recognized for his devotion to his church and to his fellow human beings. His support of human rights, educational opportunity and a wide variety of civic, educational, athletic, and arts organizations grew dramatically as he transformed a modest business venture into a corporate giant, ranked at the top of the national housing industry.

Always proud of his Greek heritage and devoted to his faith, Spanos has been an active supporter of his church and a major philanthropist to a variety of church, educational, athletic, arts and civic organizations. In 1972, he was elevated to Archon Depoutatos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for his extraordinary support of the Greek Orthodox Church. He continues to champion the concerns of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and avidly supports His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

 

In recognition for his commitment to community and his fellowmen, Archon Spanos has received numerous honors and awards, among them the Horatio Alger Award, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Starbright Foundation’s Heart of Gold, and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith’s National Distinguished Community Service Award for devotion to community and concern for others. AXIOS!

STRATEGIC PLAN TO BE DEVELOPED BY ORDER

Recognizing the need for self assessment and revitalization, National Commander Dr. Limberakis has established a Strategic Planning Committee chaired by Archon Dr. George Kaludis. Members of the committee include Archons George D. Behrakis, Nicholas J. Bouras, John Catsimatidis, James C. Fountas, John Halecky, Jr., James D. Speros and Christopher Stratakis.

PHILANTHROPY

Continued Economic Support of Ecumenical Patriarchate; since 1998 the Order of St. Andrew has CONTRIBUTED over $1,000,000 to Ecumenical Patriarchate

Philanthropy, in the most literal sense of the word, represents the love of mankind; the Love that Jesus Christ embodies; the love that as Christian Stewards we possess in our hearts. Philanthropy, i.e. Christian Stewardship is one of the three core missions of the Order of St. Andrew / Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. Through our love of Jesus Christ and as we strive for personal salvation, we attempt to be exemplary Stewards. To this end the Archon of the Great Church of Christ serves the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Holy Archdiocese in America, his local Metropolis and parish through his personal commitment of Time, Talent and Treasure.

The Order extends its sincere gratitude to National Vice Commander Nicholas J. Bouras who exemplifies Christian Stewardship for the Glory of God. His major financial donations have enabled the Order to pursue various initiatives that benefit the Great Church of Christ and the Holy Archdiocese of America.

Donations to Patriarchal Institutions; ARCHDIOCESAN INSTITUTIONS & Hellenic College / Holy Cross School of Theology

Throughout the past year, the Order of St. Andrew has made significant donations to the Balukli Home for the Aged, the Halki School of Theology, the Great School of the Nation and the Convent of the Zoodochos Peghe, all institutions of the Holy Mother Church located in Constantinople. In addition, $10,000 for St. Basil Academy was donated in support of their ministry towards our children, as well as donations to Hellenic College / Holy Cross School of Theology, the 2004 Clergy-Laity Congress and the St. Photios National Shrine.

Personal Stewardship of National Council Officers, Members and of Regional Commanders is Exemplary and Inspiring

I am exceedingly proud of the personal stewardship offered by the officers and members of the National Council, as well as the Regional Commanders and it is a great privilege to serve by their side. The entire Order is indebted to these individuals who toil in the vineyard of the Lord with extraordinary dedication and distinction, offering their Time, Talents and Resources for the Glory of God and the defense of the Holy Mother Church. National Vice Commander Nicholas J. Bouras works unceasingly to further the mission of the Order and generously offers his resources to promote and defend the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Holy Archdiocese. Archon John Halecky, Jr. of the Carpatho-Russian Church, our superlative National Secretary not only meticulously maintains the records of the Order, but also is a tremendous source of creative initiatives to benefit the Holy Mother Church and spiritually enrich the individual Archon. Archon James C. Fountas, our outstanding National Treasurer is an engineer by profession, but certainly deserves an honorary "CPA" for his comprehensive and detailed work regarding the economics of the Order, including our Annual Banquet. Archon Christopher Stratakis, our devoted Legal Counselor is a true Defender of the Faith, researching the ways and means to improve religious freedom and tolerance in Turkey so that the Ecumenical Patriarchate can pursue its sacred mission unfettered by government constraints. Archon Christo Daphnides, the Order''s Historian is a great source of artistic creativity in the development of the written publications of the Order and is of great assistance during our Annual Archon Banquet.

The remaining National Council members deserve our deepest appreciation for the dedication and service to the Ecumenical Patriarchate: Archons Steve E. Alexander, Constantine G. Caras, John A. Catsimatidis, Stephen Cherpelis, Andreas D. Comodromos, Gregory G. Demetrakas, Theodore D. Demetriou, Nikitas Drakotos, Dr. Steven Gournardes, Dr. George C. Kiriakopoulos, Dr. George Kaludis, Elias J. Kulukundis, Dr. Spiro J. Macris, John N. Panas, Steven P. Papadatos, Alexander Pritsos, George S. Regas, George E. Safiol, James Speros, Hon. Nicholas Tsoucalas and Konstantine L. Vellios.

Appreciation is expressed to our hard-working former Administrator, Ms. Linda Paul, who was succeeded by dedicated and energetic Dina Theodosakis.

Father Alex Karloutsos and Presbytera Xanthi are recognized for their assistance in organizing our pilgrimages to the Phanar, as well as planning special events in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. We look forward to working more closely with Father Alex in the months to come in his position as Spiritual Advisor.

REGIONAL COMMANDERS APPOINTED

With the blessings of the Exarch Archbishop Demetrios of America, and in accordance with the Bylaws, Commander Dr. Limberakis appointed the following Regional Commanders for a renewable one year term: Steve E. Alexander, Sr.; Andrew A. Athens; Constantine Caras; Harry T. Cavalaris; George J. Dariotis; Harry J. Demas; Gregory, Demetrakas; Theofanis Economidis; Nicholas E. Gretakis; Peter Kakoyiannis; Dr. James C. Kallins; Nicholas C Mamalis; Andrew E. Manatos; Charles Marangoudakis; .Harold Peponis; Michael Serko, Jr.; Mark D. Stavropoulos; G. Thomas Yearout; Peter Zikos.

2004 Annual Exarch''s Appeal

The 2004 Exarch’s Appeal resulted in $217,430 from 371 donors (of 757), compared to the 2003 Appeal which realized $173,685 from 265 Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. This represents a 25% increase in total contributions and a 40% increase in the number of Archons participating in the Appeal. Yet we have much room for improvement since only 50% of all Archons participate in the Exarch’s Annual Appeal.

The Need for a Patriarchal Endowment

In an era when many of our own parishes in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese have their own individual endowment and many of the Metropolises have an endowment, as well as the GOA embarking on a second endowment, it seems that as a matter of fairness, the Holy Mother Church should have its own endowment to secure its economic vitality. We Archons in the most wealthy and powerful country in the world must seriously consider how we can transform the dream of a Patriarchal Endowment into reality.

****

In Gratitude to our Spiritual Father in America His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios

The aforementioned activities of the Order of St. Andrew could not have been achieved were not for the love, guidance and concern of our beloved Archbishop Demetrios, the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to whom we express our utmost gratitude, respect and affection. We are deeply indebted to His Eminence for his advice and counsel as we consult him as we develop initiatives and programs as Defenders of the Faith. EIS POLLA ETH DESPOTA!

With Respect, Devotion & Love to
His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

On behalf of the Archons of America, we express our utmost respect, affection and fidelity to our beloved spiritual father Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. As Archons of the Great Church of Christ we pledge to serve as Defenders of the Faith with dedication and tenacity in pursuit of our sacred AGWNA and we offer this 2004 Annual Report in testimony of our love of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

With profound respect and affection,

Anthony J. Limberakis, MD
Archon Aktouarios
National Commander, Order of St. Andrew the Apostle
Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America

February 19, 2005
Philadelphia


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