Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 06 November 2009 00:00
On Sunday, Oct. 25, the Village of Roslyn saw itself as host to one of the most important religious leaders in the world.
On that evening, a private dinner was held in honor of the arrival of His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.
The dinner took place at Limani Restaurant, 1043 Northern Blvd.
Previously, the Patriarch had attended an Orthodox service in Merrick, celebrating St. Demetrious Day at, appropriately enough, St. Demetrious Church in Merrick. After that, his party traveled to Roslyn for dinner and relaxation. The people at Limani closed off the restaurant for all except the Patriarch and his fellow clergy, giving them the red carpet treatment.
Patriarch Bartholomew is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. As leader of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew is one of the significant religious figures in the world, most specifically in coordinating actions among the churches in those nations that have large Orthodox Christian populations, including Russia, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Albania, Finland, and Estonia.
A native of the island of Imvros in Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew first became ordained in 1961. In addition to his priesthood duties, he was an assistant dean of the Theological Church of Halki and a member of the Holy and Sacred Synod. In 1991, he was elected as the Archbishop of Constantinople. He also served in the Turkish army.
Patriarch Bartholomew is fluent in six languages (Greek, Turkish, Latin, French, English, Italian, and German). He has received honorary doctorates from such American universities as Georgetown University, Yale University, Southern Methodist University, and Tufts University. As with Pope John Paul II, he has traveled the globe extensively and he worked with the pope toward the reconciliation of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian Churches.
Surrounded by State Department detail and joined by Archbishop Demetrios of America and hundreds of orthodox clergy and their wives, His All Holiness, according to Reno Christou, proprietor of Limani’s, dined on a menu of Greek spreads, Greek salad, octopus, and fried calamari to start and he opted for the red snapper as his entrée, served whole.
The meal was finished with a dessert sampling including traditional Greek treats such as baklava, ekmek, karidopita and fresh fruit.