President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Thursday inaugurated the 'St. Porphyrios' Gerontology & Welfare Support Center in the town of Dilesi, north of Attica, which was built with the financial support of the Athens Archdiocese.
In his introductory speech, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos stressed that "we envision this center to become the home of the grandparents in children's memories, permanently open to relatives, friends, to acquaintances and even strangers." Ieronymos added that he hopes the center will help interconnect welfare support with the ever-evolving requirements behind social transformations, in an environment that is rapidly changing, and is at the same time profoundly hurt by a long-standing crisis of institutions and values at large."
After blessing the home for the elderly with a prayer, Patriarch Bartholomew praised the long ecclesiastical tradition of charity "as being at the core of Orthodox morality."
"In our Orthodox Church," Bartholomew stressed that "social work is not merely a social offering but a ministry of earthly life and the eternal destiny of man."
President Pavlopoulos pointed out that the Dilesi home for the elderly "is a modern and very original living structure, offering support and hospitality for the elderly and those in need."
"In a critical time for the unity of our people and our nation before the challenges they face, they can meet here in a highly symbolic and accordingly emblematic initiative representing blissful unity, having on the one the Patriarch Bartholomew, and, on the other hand, the Head of the Church of Greece, the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece," added Pavlopoulos.