On February 11, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople met with Archimandrite Alexander Belya, the Vicar of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate of America, at his residence in the Fener district of Constantinople (Istanbul). Archimandrite Haralampy Nichev, representative of the Patriarchal Bulgarian parishes in Constantinople, and Ivan Belya, Warden of the Cathedral of St. Matrona of Moscow in Miami, also attended the audience with His All-Holiness.
Despite his busy work schedule, Patriarch Bartholomew gladly provided the visitors from the United States with an audience. Archimandrite Alexander spoke about the current state of affairs in the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate, noting its growth and favorable development thanks to the leadership of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. Fr. Alexander presented His All-Holiness the 2022 Slavic Orthodox Vicariate Calendar, which has several pages that are dedicated to the last year’s Apostolic visit of Patriarch Bartholomew to America. During the meeting, the current situation of the Orthodox Church in the world was also discussed.
At the end of the meeting, the Ecumenical Patriarch blessed the guests to further continue their work for the good of the Church and presented them with gifts, including the annual Patriarchal Directory, with photographs and information about all the canonical Orthodox Churches, listing their primates and bishops.