In the presence of former US Vice President Joe Biden, as well as important members of the Orthodox Church, the political and business world, Father Alexandros Karloutsos and Presbytera Xanthi Karloutsos were presented with the 2018 Athenagoras Human Rights Award, during the Archon Weekend and Assembly of the Order of Saint Andrew at the Hilton Midtown of Manhattan.
Joe Biden appeared at the event suddenly, surrounded by agents, and found himself among hundreds of Greek diaspora members.
The former US vice-president wanted to surprise of the Ecumenical Patriarchate oficial Alexandros Karloutsos at an important moment, as he and Presbytera Xanthi were awarded for their charitable work with the Athenagoras Human Rights Award.
As the event took place a few hours after the massacre at a Pennsylvania synagogue, Joe Biden invited the 1,300 guests from the US and Greece to keep a minute's silence for the victims.
In his short speech, he welcomed the Ecumenical Patriarchate's decision on the autocracy of the Ukrainian Church, described as "friend for difficult times" Father Alex and at the end he made the sign of the Cross and laughing said: "I found out that I made my cross upside down!".
The event was attended by representatives of the business life of the Greek community, such as John Katsimatidis and Dean Mitropoulos, as well as businessmen from Greece, including Dimitris Kontominas and Achilleas Vigopoulos.