The Washington Post

Noted Greek and Hispanic clergy invited to pray at inaugural luncheon

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced Tuesday that it has invited Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios of America to offer the benediction at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Luncheon.

The Rev. Luis Cortes, founder of Esperanza, the largest Hispanic faith-based evangelical network in the country, has been asked to offer the opening prayer.

The luncheon is hosted by the Joint Committee to honor President Obama and Vice President Biden after the public swearing-in ceremonies outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21.

“The Archbishop is a tremendous and respected leader to millions in the Greek Orthodox community in every corner of the United States,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the committee, said in a statement. “I am blessed to call the Archbishop a friend.”

Schumer described Cortes as “a devoted and respected Evangelical leader” who has “dedicated his life to making his community, his county and the world a better place to live.”

Vassilios Harding, 16, receives a blessing from Archbishop Demetrios Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Will Vragovic/AP)
Mike is a general assignment reporter who also covers Washington institutions and historical topics.

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