NEW YORK – The Eastern Orthodox Christian spiritual leader was recovering well in a New York City hospital Thursday after medical intervention delayed his return home to Turkey at the end of a visit to the United States, according to a doctor who told him looked after.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was in a good mood and feeling “very elegant” after having a stent installed on Wednesday to open a blocked coronary artery, said Dr George Dangas, cardiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Bartholomew, 81, was due home Wednesday at the end of a 12-day American itinerary, his first visit to the country in several years.
He had previously been hospitalized in Washington on October 24 shortly after his arrival, when he said he felt “bad,” church officials said. This episode prompted him to seek follow-up treatment in New York City at the end of the trip, Dangas said.
“He’s recovering well and he’s basically having a day off today,” Dangas said.
Dangas said the patriarch would likely stay another night at Mount Sinai, but should be able to return home soon. He will be prescribed medication and will receive recommendations on lifestyle changes, cholesterol intake, and other health checks.
Bartholomew’s trip included a visit with President Joe Biden, meetings with Orthodox and other religious groups, and a blessing ceremony at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the National Shrine near the World Trade Center, which replaces a church destroyed on September 11.
As Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew is considered the first among his peers among the Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, which gives him importance but not the power of a Catholic pope. It oversees the Greek Orthodox and some other jurisdictions, although large parts of the Eastern Orthodox world are autonomous under their own patriarchs.
The Associated Press religious coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment via The Conversation US. The AP is solely responsible for this content.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.