Fr. Alex Karloutsos, known in the United States as simply “Father Alex”, for those who know him, is considered as an emblematic div of Orthodoxy in the United States, and a particularly dynamic personality.
A personal friend of US President Joe Biden, Father Alex received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, July 7 at a special ceremony in the White House, with the medal presented by the American president himself.
An honor for our people
“This is an honor, not for me, but for our people; for our faith, and this makes me feel even more humble, because, who am I now to receive this honor? But it was God’s will; it’s a blessing; as they say in English, an Amazing Grace!” he characteristically said, in statements to Mega.
He continued by saying that he has served for 52 in the specific position, roughly from the time of the Cyprus crisis in the 1970s.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the “highest civilian honor in the United States, and is bestowed to people with an exemplary contribution to the prosperity of the United States,” according to the White House announcement.
Seventeen distinguished personalities were honored with the Medal this year.
Among the honorees was actor Denzel Washington, nurse Sandra Lindsay, first American to receive the Covid-19 vaccination after clinical tests, renowned gymnast Simone Biles, one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time, as well as the late co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs.
Alexander Karloutsos, according to the White House announcement, among others, “…is the former Vicar General of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. After over 50 years as a priest, providing counsel to several U.S. presidents.”
People who know Fr. Alex refer to a man of influence; to a citizen of the world, but also to an individual who does not forget his humble background and always returns to his roots. His is a unique individual that has cultivated close relations with many well-known members of the Greek Diaspora in the United States, as well as with the new US Ambassador to Greece, George Tsunis.
Well-known for his tireless work
The Protopresvyter, or Archpriest, of the Ecumenical throne, Fr. Alex has served the Archdiocese of America for decades, and is known for his tireless work in support and strengthening of Hellenism around the world, as well as his dynamic position on issues dealing with religious freedoms and human rights.