Metropolitan Theodosius expresses disappointment over lack of Orthodox presence at DC prayer service

In a letter to the Very Reverend Nathan D. Baxter, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Archbishop of Washington and Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, expressed his disappointment that there was no Orthodox representation at the widely-publicized prayer service held at the landmark cathedral on Friday, September 14, 2001.

“Before the televised service ended, we had already begun to receive telephone calls and e-mails questioning the obvious lack of Orthodox representation at the event,” said the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “Within a few days we had discovered that no invitations had been extended to any Orthodox hierarchs, clergy or jurisdictions.”

In his letter to the Rev. Baxter, Metropolitan Theodosius wrote, “As Orthodox Archbishop of Washington and Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, I write in the midst of our present common sorrow to express my disappointment that no representative of the Orthodox Church was invited to participate in the prayer service held at the National Cathedral in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, Friday, September 14, 2001.

“This disappointment is doubly felt in light of the fact that my own diocesan Cathedral, Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral are less than two blocks distant from the National Cathedral and are both prominently located on Massachusetts Avenue,” Metropolitan Theodosius continued. “Orthodox Christians in America, numbering in the millions, feel that their own participation in the fabric and life of American society has been slighted by the absence of any Orthodox clergyman at this service that had as its purpose the joining together in prayer of the sorrowing people of this nation.”