Establishment of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation To Aid the Financial Independence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
On December 13, 2019, the inaugural meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation (formerly, the St. Andrew Ecumenical Patriarchal Fund), a new initiative to enhance and contribute to the financial independence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in its worldwide mission and ministries, was held in the Conference Room of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in New York City. This historic undertaking represents the very first such charitable entity in the world established to secure the financial underpinnings of the Spiritual Center of World Orthodoxy. The Foundation is incorporated as a Not-For-Profit Corporation in the state of New York.
As stated in its bylaws, the purposes and objectives of the Foundation are:
- to support the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its religious, educational and philanthropic institutions;
- to support ecumenical events and activities sponsored, approved or authorized by the Foundation’s Board;
- to assist the Ecumenical Patriarchate in upholding and defending its canonical authority in the United States and elsewhere;
- to defend and preserve the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s leadership role among the various Orthodox jurisdictions and organizations around the world; and
- to engage in tax-exempt charitable, religious, educational, literary and scientific activities, including grants to other tax-exempt organizations, through obtaining IRC 501(c)(3) status.
At the meeting, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros presented a November 21, 2019 letter from His All-Holiness approving the proposed bylaws of the Foundation, and appointing His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros as the Ecumenical Patriarchal Board member and representative serving at the pleasure of His All-Holiness and, under the proposed bylaws, not subject to term limits.
His Eminence also expressed the gratitude of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and praised the vision of its National Commander, Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, in leading the effort to create the Foundation. His Eminence further addressed the historical significance of establishing the Foundation.
The inaugural Board members include His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Patriarchal Representative and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; Father Alexander Karloutsos, Vicar General and Director of Public Affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Spiritual Advisor to the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; Maria Allwin; Hon. B. Theodore Bozonelis; Thomas S. Cappas, Esq.; John A. Catsimatidis; Thomas E. Constance, Esq., Peter Kakoyiannis, Esq.; Dean Poll; Michael G. Psaros; George E. Safiol; Aphrodite Skeadas; and Christopher Stratakis, Esq.
Dr. Limberakis was elected Chair of the Foundation, with George E. Safiol as Vice-Chair, Peter Kakoyiannis, Esq. as Secretary, and Michael G. Psaros as Treasurer. Committee Chairs were also appointed, including Investment Chair John A. Catsimatidis; Grants Chair Maria Allwin, with Dean Poll as a Committee member; Communications Chair Aphrodite Skeadas; Audit Chair Dean Poll; and Development Chair Father Alexander Karloutsos. Advisory (Ex Officio) Chairs of the Fund Board, present and past, will comprise the Committee and choose additional advisors.
The announcement of founding members may be made during the visit of His All-Holiness to the United States in and around May11, 2020, when His All-Holiness is in Washington D.C.