Archbishop Elpidophoros of America is standing by the family of the unfortunate expatriate, George Zapantis, who suffered a fatal heart attack after he was tasered by arresting officers.
According to Real.gr article, Archbishop Elpidophoros expressed his sympathy and warm condolences to the mother of the 29-year-old expatriate, Aspasia Zapantis, and will attend the funeral next Monday.
In statements to Real.gr, he stressed that “It is not a symbolic move, it is an essential move because as a pastor and spiritual father I have to stand by my flock in difficult times and this is a very difficult time for a mother who became a widow at a very young age and grew up her two children by the sweat of her brow. That woman saw one of her children dying before her eyes in the most unjust, tragic and offensive way. This child was an honest man who worked and lived honestly. But even if he did not live honestly, no one should think that these criteria apply only to good households, for no one deserves such a death. No one, not even the worst criminal, should die like that. We all have our rights.”
He also added that “if this violence is not addressed in time, one day it will be George Floyd, the next day it will be George and the following one there will be someone else. There will always be someone. That must stop and we must all be aware and take responsibility.”
In his statements to Real.gr, Archbishop Elpidophoros revealed that the Archdiocese of America will stand by the Zapantis family on a legal level too, helping to clarify the case of the murder of the 29-year-old expatriate and to bring justice. At the same time, he will ask for information from the New York police leadership in the near future on the course of the investigation of the case that has shocked the Greek-American community.
“The Church, as I have stated again recently, is not just to sanctify and bless, to perform services; it is also close to man when needed. And man is not only a soul, he is also a body and a social life, and pain and claiming of his rights. And in these cases the Church must stand by the side of man in all his needs, material, mental, physical, legal, on human rights issues. In everything.”