Metropolitan Theoleptos of Iconium, one of the chief hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and a close associate of Patriarch Bartholomew, in an interview to the “National Herald”, describes Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, whom he knows since they were students, as a “charismatic and talented clergyman”.
As Theoleptos said, he met the new Archbishop of America at Mount Athos when he was still a student at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
In fact, he points out that the present Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, had told him that “after his studies, John will come to serve in the Patriarchate”.
The Metropolitan of Iconium states that the Archdiocese of America is the largest and most important eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate abroad.
Thus the Ecumenical Patriarchate always makes sure that the High priests of this eparchy are remarkable Hierarchs of the Throne. “The new Archbishop of America, Elpidophoros, is the very best that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has to offer from its Hierarchy to the Archdiocese of America”, commented the Metropolitan.
Furthermore, Theoleptos estimates that Elpidophoros is the most suitable for this position. Speaking of the Archbishop, he declares that he is a talented and charismatic man, with faith in God, with love and devotion to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Patriarch himself.
He has experience in administration, and he has successfully completed whatever task the church has allocated to him. “He is a laudable and praiseworthy cleric because everything he has gained, education, character, communication and diligence, he owes it only to himself”.
At the end of his interesting interview, Metropolitan Theoleptos stressed that the Greek expatriates and the local Church of America should expect that the new Archbishop shall do his best to restore the prestigious glory of the Holy Archdiocese (a glory that has faded during the last 23 years) and even enhance it, “so that the Archdiocese becomes, as Elpidophoros says, Ecumenical Patriarchate”.