(New York, New York, United States) – Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence paid a visit to His Eminence Arrchbishop Demetrios of America at the Headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America near Central Park in New York City. The meeting took place in the Archbishop’s office.
The two leaders met to discuss several issues that are important to the Orthodox Church. Father Alexander Karloutsos, who was also part of the meeting, started the discussions by talking about the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine. The original Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was the only church that was destroyed at Ground Zero during the attacks of 9/11. After attempts to successfully rebuild the church fell through, construction of the new church is finally underway. It will not only be a traditional Orthodox Church, but a National Shrine that will encourage people of all faiths to find a peaceful sanctuary. There will also be a memorial for the victims of 9/11.
The group also discussed the importance of family in today’s society. Mike Pence visited the Archbishop with his family, including his wife Karen and his daughter Charlotte. His family joined the group at the end of the meetings for pictures. Also at the end of the meeting, Archbishop Demetrios gave Governer Pence two books as a gift, In the World, Yet Not of the World: Social and Global Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Call to Faith, which was actually written by His Eminence, which he inscribed at Mike Pence’s request.
Archbishop Demetrios was elected as the Archbishop of America in 1999. Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, he was ordained as a priest in 1964 and he became an auxiliary bishop in 1967. He traveled to the United States to serve as the Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1983. He had the position until 1993.