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National Commander Limberakis honored by the Constantinopolitan Society

Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew, honored by The Constantinopolitan Society's President, Mr. Anthony Lambidis, during a ceremony in Athens, recognizing his devotion towards the Mother Church of Constantinople and efforts in securing religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
View photos of The Constantinopolitan Society's Award ceremony»

The Constantinopolitan Society honored Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew, in recognition for his dedication and commitment to the Mother Church of Constantinople, January 29, 2012. The Society paid special tribute to his efforts of informing the international community on the violations of religious freedoms and the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate during a special ceremony at the Great Hall in Kallithea in Athens, Greece.

The ceremony opened with greetings by the Society’s President, Mr. Anthony Lambidis, who presented an honorary diploma and commemorative plaque to Dr. Limberakis in front of a crowd of over three hundred diplomats, university professors, representatives of Greek State, Civic and Armed Forces authorities and religious leaders, which included His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.

Dr. Limberakis, accompanied by his wife, Dr. Maria A. Limberakis, and Archon Spiritual Advisor Father Alex Karloutsos and his wife, Presbytera Xanthi, remarked, “I am deeply honored to accept this recognition on behalf of my brother Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America under the inspired leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, the Exarch of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The 800 Archons of the Sacred See of Saint Andrew who reside in the United States maintain our awesome responsibility to serve the needs of His All Holiness and the Holy and Great Mother Church of Constantinople with extraordinary focus, tenacity and seriousness of purpose.  We consider the Patriarchal Offikion bestowed upon us as the highest of all honors calling us to a personal ministry, a personal diakonia of our Time, Talent and Financial Resources to serve the Great Church of Christ at a time when its worldwide ministry is threatened by oppressive policies of the government of Turkey.”

Over 300 diplomats, university professors, representatives of Greek State, Civic and Armed Forces authorities and religious leaders gathered for the ceremony.

Dr. Limberakis elaborated on the five main issues affecting the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  He continued by addressing the Order’s strategies and initiatives in assuring basic human rights and religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, through the Archon Washington Initiative and the State Religious Freedom Resolution Project. He spoke on the tremendous efforts in securing the most prominent meetings for His All-Holiness’ Apostolic Visit to the United States in 2009, most notably with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and audiences with the world’s top think-tank, The Brookings Institution and His All-Holiness’ address to students and scholars at Georgetown University.

Dr. Limberakis spoke about the first-ever International Archon Religious Freedom Conference–a two-day conference held in November 2009 which brought together scholars, religious freedom and human rights advocates, journalists, diplomats, parliamentarians, religious leaders, representatives of the Government of Turkey, lawyers and members of minority communities that focused on religious freedom. Dr. Limberakis referred to the Conference as a “watershed event in the overall strategy to secure religious freedom for the Great Church of Christ.” 

The National Commander spoke on the Archon international initiatives with yearly meetings with various diplomats, their annual Religious Freedom Mission to the European Union and sending representatives to annual conferences of the OSCE. He concluded by recognizing that these efforts are beginning to become realized with recent confiscated properties returned by the Turkish Government and the waiving of residency requirements–both of which have been problematic for the Ecumenical Patriarchate for decades.

Forcibly expatriated members of the Greek minority in Constantinople founded the Constantinopolitan Society in 1928. The Society’s mission is to protect the spiritual heritage of Byzantium, the promotion and defense of the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and those of the Greek Orthodox minority in Turkey, demonstrating charitable activities, seminars and lectures.