June  2003


The Patriarch went on his first pastoral visit to Morocco from June 5 - 11, 2003 to support the Orthodox faithful that live there and give them strength and courage after the recent terrorist attacks in Casablanca. During his stay in Casablanca His Beatitude visited the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos; met with H.E. Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Carthage; attended a reception hosted by Mr. Anastasios Gavalias, the Consul General of Greece in Casablanca; attended a dinner hosted by Mrs. Militsa Marmech, Mrs. Anna Gauthier and Mrs. Maria Gauthier (of the Cypriot society); met with Mr. Dryef, Wali (Prefect of the city); attended a dinner hosted by Mrs. Despina Tranche; attended a dinner hosted by the Greek Community in addition to a luncheon hosted by Mr. Vasilis Koufiotis, the Vice President of the Greek Community.  The Patriarch also attended a luncheon hosted by Mr. Petros Katrakazos, the Honorary President of the Greek Community; visited the Mosque of ‘Hassan II’, the third biggest Mosque in the world; attended a luncheon hosted by Mr. George Noulelis (his ancestors donated the land that the Cathedral was built). At these gatherings he had the opportunity to meet with all the Orthodox faithful.  

On Sunday, May 8, the Patriarch presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral. In his sermon he referred to the feast of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council and underlined the work of H.E. Chrysostomos. A reception followed at the Greek Community Hall. That evening the Patriarch departed for Rabat, the capital of Morocco. In Rabat he was accommodated at the hotel ‘La Tour Hassan’, where the General Director is Mr. Haris Kazazis. During his visit in Rabat the Patriarch attended a dinner hosted by Mrs. Athena Bahnini, a luncheon hosted by Mr. Achraf Youssef Zaazaa, the Ambassador of Egypt and a luncheon hosted by Mr. Michalis Kambanis, the Ambassador of Greece in addition to an open reception hosted by the Greek Ambassador and a farewell dinner hosted by Mr. Konstantinos Pistikos, the President of the Greek Community. He also visited the Greek Embassy; the Citadel; the mausoleum of King Mohammed V, where he placed a wreath and met with Mr. T. Fassi Fihri, the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Driss Jettou, the Prime Minister and Mr. Ahmed Taufiq, the Minister of Islamic Affairs. All the meetings with the local authorities were very friendly and fruitful. The government officials referred to the recent terrorist attacks and their causes, praised the contribution of the Greek Community and thanked the Patriarch for visiting Morocco in light of the terrorist attacks having just occurred.  His Beatitude condemned such attacks, expressed his gratitude for the protection and assistance that the Orthodox Community receives in Morocco and asked government officials present to extend his gratitude to the King (who was absent abroad).  The Patriarch referred to the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect among Christians and Muslims in Egypt and reassured them of the Patriarchate’s moral support for the peaceful people of the Kingdom of Morocco.  

While in Morocco the Patriarch was interviewed several times by the Greek TV Channels Antenna and ET1. All banquets were attended by Mr.Youssoufi, the former Prime Minister and present Secretary General of the ruling party, who is married to Mrs. Eleni who is of Greek descent.



Mr. Ioannis Magriotis, the Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece visited the Patriarchate on June 13th, 2003. Mr. Magriotis is in charge of the Hellenes abroad and the ecclesiastical affairs of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

During his visit at the Patriarchate, Mr. Magriotis visited the Cathedral of St. Savvas and then met with the Patriarch. His Beatitude addressed the Minister. In his speech he refereed to the history of the city and the Patriarchate; the protection that the Egyptian authorities provide to the Patriarchate; the contribution of the Greeks of Egypt to building the motherland in the past century; and the current problems that the Greek community is facing today. 

Later on the minister visited the Patriarchal Palace and the Holy Church of Annunciation of the Theotokos (both under reconstruction) and attended the graduation ceremony of the Greek School of Alexandria. Both the minister and the Patriarch presented the certificates, prizes and awards to the students. At noon the Patriarch attended the luncheon hosted in honor of the minister by the Greek Community and in the evening he attended the dinner hosted by Mrs. Konstantina Athanasiadou, the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria. 

The next day, His Beatitude attended a meeting with the minister held in the evening at the Greek Embassy in Cairo. Present were Mr. Dimosthenis Konstantinou, the Ambassador of Greece, diplomats and community officials including Mr. Stephanos Tamvakis, the Alternate President of S.A.E. The Patriarch pointed out the contribution of Greece to the Patriarchate’s work and efforts in preserving all the ecclesiastical sites in Egypt. That evening the Patriarch attended a dinner hosted by the Greek Community in Cairo. 

On Sunday, June 15th, the Patriarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Church of Theotokos in Heliopolis with Mr. Magriotis, the Greek Ambassador and Mr. Phedon Anastasiou, the Ambassador to Greece in attendance. In his sermon the Patriarch referred to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. At the end of the service he presented the minister with the Cross of St. Mark. Later on they officially opened the Reception Hall of the Church, renovated recently with the aid of Mr. Kyriakos and Stella Kyriazi. A reception followed. At noon the Patriarch hosted a luncheon at the floating restaurant ‘Le Pacha’ in honor of the minister. That evening the Patriarch hosted the minister both at the Holy Monastery of St. George in Old Cairo and at the Holy Cathedral of St. Nicholas.