Archbishop Elpidophoros of America expressed his strong dissatisfaction to U.S President Donald Tump over the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a Mosque, which is scheduled to officially open today for Friday Muslim prayers.
The two men met at the White House on Thursday for about 15 minutes. After the scheduled 30-minute meeting the Archbishop Elpidoforos had with US Vice President Michael Pence in Washington, Mr. Trump, was informed of the Archbishop’s presence at the White House and invited him to his office where they covered all the critical issues for about 15 minutes.
The US President appeared very annoyed and expressed his concern on the issue of protection of human rights and especially the religious freedoms of minorities in Turkey.
Trump said he was a supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and personally of Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as of Hellenism, and stressed that he would proceed immediately with the necessary interventions.
During the meeting, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, the Archbishop of America raised all the key issues concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in particular emphasising the importance and the need for the reopening of the Theological School of Halki.
“I’m grateful for the meeting with President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House. I conveyed our deep grief for the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, our concern for the security of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the protection of religious freedoms,” Archbishop Elpidoforos said in a twitter post.