Lantern Foundation President to Join Ecumenical Patriarchate Delegation in Constantinople for Official Visit with Pope Francis

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Official visit seeks to further strengthen relations between Vatican and 300 million-strong Eastern Orthodox Church.

BOSTON, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lantern Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that provides financial support to Christian religious and community organizations globally, today announced that its Founder and President Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson is expected to join an official Orthodox Church delegation for the two day official visit of Pope Francis this coming week in Constantinople, Turkey.

During the visit, scheduled for Saturday November 29 and Sunday November 30, Pope Francis will meet with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and participate in services associated with the Feast day of St. Andrew. The two spiritual leaders also will sign a declaration on behalf of both Churches.

"More progress has been made towards reconciliation of the two Churches under the leadership of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis than has been made in nearly a millennium, and this progress comes at a critical moment," Fr. Lemelson said. "Christians are facing unprecedented persecution in our modern era, and a veritable attempt to eliminate their very existence just beyond the Turkish border, in the specter of this historic meeting, calling to mind the urgency to heal the wound that exists between East and West, which together represent roughly 1.5 billion people, or over 20 percent of the world's population," he added.

Lemelson, who will serve the official Orthodox delegation, will be available for media comment on the issue of reconciliation between the two Churches, ongoing persecution of Christians globally and efforts The Lantern Foundation will be launching to support the Ecumenical Patriarch and Christians currently facing persecution in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and elsewhere.

An American-born Greek Orthodox priest and Founder and President of The Lantern Foundation, Fr. Lemelson also serves as Chief Investment Officer of Lemelson Capital, a private investment management firm. Fr. Lemelson is available for interviews in the United States through Tuesday November 25 and in Constantinople from Wednesday November 25 through Monday December 1.

About The Lantern Foundation:

Founded in 2012 with the blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, The Lantern Foundation is a U.S.-based 501c(3) private foundation whose mission is to provide financial support to religious and community service organizations, particularly those related to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. To receive more information about The Lantern Foundation and sign up for the foundation's news and other alerts, visit the foundation's website:

About Father Emmanuel Lemelson:

Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson, an American-born Greek Orthodox priest, hedge fund manager and philanthropist, is attending officially the meeting between the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and Pope Francis, which will be held November 29 to November 30, 2014 in Constantinople, Turkey.

Fr. Lemelson is the Chief Investment Officer of Lemelson Capital Management, a private investment firm that is the sole sponsor and general partner of The Amvona Fund, which has several times been named as the world's top performing hedge fund.

In December 2012, with the blessing His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, he founded The Lantern Foundation, a U.S.-based private foundation designed to support Christian religious, community service and educational causes. He has served as President of The Lantern Foundation since its inception.

Lemelson's theological work has centered on canonical issues in apostolic mission and ethics in relationship to commerce, finance and social justice. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies from Seattle University and a Master's of Divinity from Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

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