Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople flew home to Turkey on Sunday after his release from a New York hospital on Friday following the completion of a U.S. visit that was extended for a medical procedure.
The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians spent two nights in Mount Sinai Medical Center after having a stent installed to open up a clogged coronary artery.
Bartholomew, 81, had originally been scheduled to return home Wednesday at the end of a 12-day U.S. itinerary, his first visit to the country in several years.
He was previously hospitalized overnight in Washington on October 24 soon after his arrival, when he reported feeling “unwell,” according to church officials. That episode prompted him to seek follow-up treatment in New York at the end of the trip.
The physician who performed the procedure, Dr. George Dangas, said Bartholomew was recovering well.
Bartholomew´s trip included a visit with President Joe Biden, meetings with Orthodox and other faith groups and a ceremonial blessing at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine near the World Trade Center, which is replacing a church that was destroyed on 9/11.