On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chicago, and the Hellenic Society of Constantinople hosted the 41st Annual Commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Schiller Park, Illinois.
Archon Dr. George Demacopoulos, the Historian for the Order of Saint Andrew, was the keynote speaker for the event. In his presentation, “From 1453, to the ‘Third Rome’ to the Invasion of Ukraine,” Archon Dr. Demacopoulos offered a large-scale historical overview, linking the Roman Empire (the First Rome) and the Fall of Constantinople (the Second Rome) to the rhetorical claim that some within the Russian Church advance, that the Moscow Patriarchate is the Third Rome, lone inheritor of the authentic authority in the Orthodox Church. This overview put the current crisis in Ukraine into an enlightening historical perspective and highlighted the extent to which the current leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate is actively undermining the historical and canonical role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The annual Commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople recalls and raises awareness of the conquest of Constantinople, which occurred on May 29, 1453. This was also the day that Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was converted from a Christian Orthodox Church into a mosque, and marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, which had lasted for nearly 1,100 years.