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Catsimatidis: It is very tragic that the Turkish government decided to convert one of the world’s oldest churches into a mosque

ATHENS – [ANA-MPA]

It was very tragic that the Turkish government decided to convert one of the world’s oldest churches into a mosque, Greek-American businessman John Catsimatidis said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) and journalist Katia Tsimplaki.

He also spoke about the challenges facing the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He pointed out that the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s only enemy is the Moscow Patriarchate, which seeks to take over the primacy in the Orthodox Church. He expressed pessimism about Turkey’s reversal of the decision to convert Hagia Sophia and Chora Monastery into Muslim mosques. “It was very tragic that the Turkish government decided to convert one of the world’s oldest churches into a mosque. I do not think that, under the current atmosphere in Turkey, this could be reversed at this time,” he said. 

Regarding the 4th Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom, Catsimatidis told ANA-MPA that its purpose was to align all Archons worldwide. “The purpose of this trip was to align all the Archons globally, from Europe to North America, to Australia, to Asia and bring them together to create a greater power to protect our Ecumenical Patriarchate and our church. Last Thursday (he means before the Archons’ conference), I attended a celebration of the Knights of Malta in New York by invitation of the Vatican. The Knights of Malta are the protectors of the Pope, similar to how the Archons protect the Patriarch. They have 100,000 participants worldwide. We have a long way to go to expand globally. The Christian-Judeo religion is under attack worldwide. We all have to get stronger to protect our religion and our way of life,” Catsimatidis stressed.

ANA-MPA asked Catsimatidis about the war Russia is waging, not only in Ukraine but also against the Ecumenical Patriarchate, challenging even the primacy of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “Russia would love to take charge of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and make it a Russian asset. Many years ago, there was a similar issue, but we resolved it with President Clinton. Currently, we are working very hard to have political influence in the United States, Congress, Senate, and the Executive Office of the President. That is the only option the Archons have. They need to influence the United States, which is the only one capable of protecting the Patriarchate and religious freedom,” he said.

When asked by ANA-MPA whether there could be a risk of a new schism in Orthodoxy, this time initiated by the Moscow Patriarchate, Catsimatidis replied: “Russia is the only threat to the Patriarchate. Russia would love to take charge of the Seat of Power, the Ecumenical Seat in Constantinople. A strong United States that believes in religious freedom is the only force that could prevent it.”

Speaking about US President Joe Biden, he said that he has great respect for the Archbishop of America Elpidophoros, and Protopresbyter Alex Karloutsos, the Spiritual Adviser of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He also expressed confidence that Biden would protect the Patriarchate. “I am happy that President Biden has great respect for Archbishop Elpidophoros and Father Alex, and he will protect the Patriarchate,” he said.

A close friend of Donald Trump, John Catsimatidis expresses unwavering support for his candidacy for the US presidency at every opportunity. At the recent conference of Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens, he was the one who, together with Father Alex, introduced former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He added that Secretary Pompeo was one of the five most intelligent people he had ever met.

Catsimatidis, a few hours after the farewell dinner of the Archons at the Zappeion Mansion, traveled to New York. There, he attended Donald Trump’s 15-person private dinner with the elite of his supporters. The news was shared by Catsimatidis on his own radio station, 77 WABC, where he hosts shows, Cats and Cosby, CATS Roundtable and Cats at Night. Catsimatidis said on air that Trump was in “very high spirits” despite being fresh off his historic felony conviction. He also described the dinner as “wonderful,” adding that the guests compared the trial to the 1992 comedy “My Cousin Vinny.”

When asked by ANA-MPA about the upcoming elections and his prediction about the new POTUS, Joe Biden or Donald Trump, Catsimatidis replied that the outcome has not yet been determined. He also stressed that Trump is tough enough to make a difference. “The election is five months away, and I believe it’s going to come down to 50-50. It will be very close. I believe President Trump has the advantage because of all the attacks on the United States of America. The American people are getting angry with the amount of migrants and drugs coming in. Our universities are being bought. Foreign money and dock money are having big influences in Washington. In my opinion, President Trump is the only one tough enough to make a difference. The United States needs a president who is tough enough to keep the respect of other nations. A weak president will eventually hurt Europe and the free world a great deal! Under President Trump, for four years, there was no war, and the United States had worldwide respect. A strong United States will keep Europe intact and create an even stronger NATO,” he said.

Catsimatidis also described Greek-American relations as “excellent”; stressing that “Greece has an excellent relationship with the United States, but Turkey is a strategic ally in the Cold War crisis.”

ANA-MPA also asked Catsimatidis about where Russia is headed under President Putin’s leadership.

“Continued weakness in Washington’s reaction will allow China, Russia, and Iran to continue their aggression and bolster their resources. Russia and Iran have become very wealthy since President Biden has attempted to shut down fossil fuels in America. The price of oil doubled, making both these countries very wealthy. Iran became so wealthy that they started to spend money to buy and hire terrorist groups like Hamas, the Houthis, and Hezbollah! Under President Trump, Iran was only allowed 400,000 barrels per day at about $50 a barrel. Under President Biden, Iran is producing 4 million barrels a day at double the price oil sold under President Trump,” Catsimatidis said.

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