March 2003


On Monday, March 14th, 2003, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa presided over the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria at the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St. Savva.

After the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, the Holy Synod commenced with an introductory note from His Beatitude, which was followed by a response from H.E. Pavlos, Metropolitan of Memfidos.

During the first talks of the meeting, His Beatitude referred to the late Metropolitan of Central Africa, Timotheos, his talents and his contribution to the missionary work of the Patriarchate. His Beatitude wished that God rest his departed soul in peace. His Beatitude then welcomed H.E. Dimitrios, Metropolitan of Cameroon who is the most recent member of the Holy Synod. An update was then given of what had been accomplished since the last Synod that took place in September 2002.

On proposal from the Patriarch, the Holy Synod unanimously elected Archimandrite Ignatios Mandelidis to be the new Metropolitan of Central Africa (Congo). For many years and with great success, Archimandrite Ignatios did missionary work for the mission center in Kananga, Congo. H.G. Petros, bishop of Zambia retired for health reasons. In his place the Very Revd. Archimandrite Ioakim Kontovas was unanimously elected, who, up to the present, had been the Acting Secretary of the Patriarchate.

His Beatitude's new proposals included:

1) H.G. Theoklitos, Bishop of Ilioupolis to be made Metropolitan.

2) H.E. Filimon, former Metropolitan of Dar Es Salaam, to be made Metropolitan of Kavason.

3) H.E. Kirillos, former Metropolitan of Zimbabwe, to be made Metropolitan of Nafkratidos.

4) H.G. Porfirios, former Bishop of Bukomba to be made Bishop of Siinis.

5) H.G. Petros, former Bishop of Zambia to be made Bishop of Nikopolis.

Following the new approved elections, an update was given of the various projects being done by the members of the Holy Synod and future developments which would be undertaken.

During later talks that evening, reference was made to the missionary work being done by the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa. The Patriarch congratulated the members of the Holy Synod as well as their coworkers for their efforts, he emphasized the excellent cooperation that exists between Greece and the Patriarchate and noted that H.B. Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, promised further support for the missionary work being done by the Patriarchate on the African continent. The Patriarch also informed the Holy Synod that the 'Apostolic Diaconate of the Church of Greece' would now print the Patriarchal magazine 'Pantenos' as well as other future publications. 

The meeting of the Holy Synod ended on Sunday, (the Sunday of Orthodoxy) March 16th, 2003 with the Patriarchal and Synodical concelebration of the Divine Liturgy. During the service of this Holy Sacrament the consecration of the new Metropolitan of Central Africa took place. The sermon of the day was given by H.E. Seraphim, Metropolitan of Johannesburg and Pretoria who emphasized the spiritual meaning of the feast and the importance of the Patriarchate's missionary work.