On Monday July 27, at the invitation of the head of the Orthodox Church in America, the Most Blessed Tikhon, Metropolitan of all America and Canada, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk participated in the ceremony in which His Holiness John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East received an honorary Doctor of Theology Degree from St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York for his active role in "preserving peace amidst great persecutions of Christians in the Middle East."
Also participating in the ceremony was the head of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph; hierarchs from the Church of Antioch accompanying His Holiness; Bishop Maksim of Western America (Serbian Diocese in the USA); Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West (OCA); the director of inter-church relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America, Archimandrite Nathanael (Syemeonides); students and faculty of the seminary.
In his opening remarks, the Seminary's rector Archpriest John Behr underlined the many years of fruitful and working relations between the Antiochian Archdiocese and St. Vladimir's Seminary. Metropolitan Tikhon then presented the honorary degree and doctoral cross to the Patriarch of Antioch.
Patriarch John then delivered a lecture on the current circumstances of Christians living in the Middle East and then proceeded to answer questions from the audience.