July 2004

OFFICIAL DINNER IN HONOUR OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF ATHENS HOSTED BY THE PATRIARCH

On the night of Wednesday 30 June 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, hosted a reciprocal dinner in honour of His Beatitude Christodoulos Archbishop of Athens and All Greece at a well-known Athens restaurant.

Present at the dinner were the Ministers of Education and Religion Mr Yiannakou – Koutsikou, of Agricultural Development and Aliment Mr S. Tsitourides, the deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs Mr P. Tatoulis, the Ambassador of Egypt in Athens Mrs Magda Shahin, Their Eminences Irenaios of Pilousion and Chrysostomos of Carthage, the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens Protopresbyter P. Th. Synodinos, the Financial Advisor of the Patriarchate of Alexandria Mr G Mavros, the President of the Union of Egyptiotes Mr F. Kossenas, the Businessmen Messrs P. Papastephanou, and K. Liaskas, the Reporter Mr G Papathanasopoulos and others.

During the dinner views on ecclesiastical issues were exchanged and ways of developing the issues concerning the Patriarchate of Alexandria were discussed, both with the Archbishop of Athens as well as with the members of the Greek Government.

The private discussion between the two Primates took place within the framework of mutual understanding, and the good and fraternal co-operation in all areas of the progress of the two Churches was reaffirmed.

On the morning of I July 2004, His Beatitude went to the Patriarchal office and received: Bishop Damaskinos of Diavlia, the Mayor of Helioupolis Mr Theodoros Georgakis, Professor Emeritus of the Theological Faculty of Athens Mr Markos Orphanos and Ambassador Stylianos Balsama-Rallis.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CONGRATULATORY TELEGRAM FROM THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA

On Thursday night, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, following the great victory of the Greek National Football Team over the Czech Republic in Portugal and its progress through to the final of the European Football Cup, sent the following congratulatory telegram:

PETROS VII,

POPE AND PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA

My dear children,

On your glorious victory, we warmly congratulate you all and we pray that you will also bring us the trophy. You filled us with joy and national pride. We thank you from our hearts for your wonderful contest.

With my warmest paternal and Patriarchal prayers and love,

+ PETROS of Alexandria

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA CONGRATULATES THE NATIONAL TEAM

PETROS VII

POPE AND PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA

To: the President of the Hellenic Football Association

and the Members of the Hellenic National Football Team

 

Honourable Mr President,

The winning of the trophy filled all Hellenes all over the world with joy and national pride.

May your progress and your noble contest, become an example for a new progress of Football in our Country.

We the Hellenes living abroad thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

I wish all strength from God to you and to your Coach Mr Rehhagel, for other victories.

I congratulate you with much paternal love and I bestow on you my wholehearted Patriarchal Blessing.

+ PETROS OF ALEXANDRIA

Athens 5 July 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA CONTINUES HIS STAY IN ATHENS

At noon on Friday 2 July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, attended a lunch hosted in his honour by the Mayor of Heliopolis the Honourable Mr Georgakis at a restaurant situated in the Municipal Park of the city. 

Together with them were their Eminences Irenaios of Pilousion and Chrysostomos of Carthage and the Most Reverend Philemon of Kavasos, the Deputy Mayors of Heliopolis, the General Secretary of the Municipality, Municipal Advisors and other officials.

During the lunch the Mayor thanked His Beatitude for his honoured presence in the city of Heliopolis and spoke warmly about his personality and work and the love that the Patriarch has for Heliopolis, as in the past he had the opportunity to officially visit the city and to bless its inhabitants.

His Beatitude thanked the Mayor Mr Georgakis fervently for the honour paid to him, blessed all those present, referred to the work being done by the Patriarchate throughout Africa and wished the Mayor every success in his work.

Early in the afternoon His Beatitude, accompanied by Their Eminences Irenaios of Pilousion, and Chrysostomos of Carthage, as well as by the businessman Mr Patroklos Papastephanou, visited the Minister of Agricultural Development Mr Savvas Tsitourides.

The Minister welcomed His Beatitude and his entourage at the entrance to the Ministry and led them to his private office where, in the presence of high-ranking officials and colleagues they exchanged wishes and then spoke extensively about the problems which the progress of the Alexandrian Throne faces.

Mr Tsitourides listened very carefully to the His Beatitude and thanked him for the work being done on the African continent, which shows up Hellenism and Orthodoxy on this vast continent and promised that the Greek State and his Ministry would assist the efforts especially through the development programmes which it has. Gifts were then exchanged and the Minister accompanied His Beatitude to his car.

On the morning of Monday 5th July 2004, His Beatitude arrived at his Athens Patriarchal Office and received His Eminence Theodoros of Zimbabwe, Archimandrite David Tsaparas, Presbyter Christos Tsakalos, and Archimandrite Theodoros Demetriou. His Beatitude also received the President of the Volunteer Blood Donors of the Hellenic Red Cross, Mr Choriatelis together with Professor Mr Papandreou. Mr Choriatelis honoured His Beatitude with the gold medal, on the completion of fifty years from the founding of the Association of Volunteer Blood Donors of the Hellenic Red Cross. The President addressed His Beatitude and referred to his work and his contribution towards the objectives of the Association. His Beatitude thanked him for the honour of receiving the medal and wished him success in the work being undertaken for the relief of human illness.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PATRIARCHAL MEETINGS – VISITS IN ATHENS

On the morning of Tuesday 6th July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, received in his Athens Office His Eminence Ignatios Archbishop of Central Africa, with whom he discussed issues regarding the mission and the extended pastoral activity which is being successfully undertaken in his archdiocese with ecclesiastical unselfishness and coordinated hard work.

He also received the Supervisor of the Brotherhood of Theologians “O Sotir”, Archim. Theodoros Beratis together with Mr N. Vasiliades, with whom he discussed issues regarding the further participation of the members and friends of the Brotherhood in the missionary efforts of the Patriarchate, especially in the Holy Archdiocese of Central Africa.

At noon, accompanied by His Eminence Irenaios of Pilousion, His Eminecne Chrysostomos of Carthage, Archim. Kallistratos Economou, and Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos, the Patriarch visited the Holy Monastery of St Nektarios Gargitos, a dependency of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, where, following the veneration in the Holy Church of the Monastery, he preached to the sisters with paternal and spiritual words, discussed the problems which concern them, bestowed his Patriarchal blessing and later attended the monastic lunch hosted in his honour.

In the afternoon, accompanied by His Eminence Irenaios of Pilousion and Archim. Kallistratos Economou, His Beatitude visited the Brotherhood of Theologians “O Sotir” at its seat, where he was received with all due honour by its members. He firstly went to the chapel of the Nativity of Christ, situated in the building complex, where the Church welcome took place and where he was addressed warmly by the Supervisor of the Brotherhood, Archim. Theodoros Beratis, who said that this visit of the Patriarch to the buildings of the Brotherhood was  of historic importance” as it was the first time that a Patriarch was visiting the seat of the Brotherhood.

In his reply, His Beatitude thanked the Supervisor of the Brotherhood for the love and the interest shown by himself and the members of the Brotherhood, both for the progress of the objectives and work of the Brotherhood, as well as for the development of the missionary effort in the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.  The Patriarch was taken on a conducted tour of the Brotherhood, was informed on the manner in which its members work and separately blessed all present, prayed for those who were at the various missions and discussed with those present issues of spiritual interest and form.

Immediately afterwards, the Patriarch went to the Ambassadorial Residence of the Egyptian Ambassador in Greece, Mrs Magda Sachin, who in a spirit of love and directness hosted a bountiful dinner in honour of the Patriarch, indicating in this manner both her affable feelings as well as those of the Egyptian State, which she represents, towards the Patriarch and the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

During the dinner, the Patriarch held discussions with the invited guests, especially those from the Diplomatic Corps, as well as with the rest of the distinguished guests on issues which concern the Patriarchate, its progress and programmes, and for which those present showed an interest and expressed their wish for co-operation and support.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC GOVERNMENT

On the morning of Saturday 10th July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by their Eminences Irenaios of Pilousion and Chrysostomos of Carthage, went to the Maximou Palace where he was received by the President of the Greek Government, Mr Konstantinos Karamanlis.

At the entrance to the Palace, His Beatitude was received by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Panayiotis Skandalakis and Ambassador Alekos Sandis, Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister, who led him to the private Prime Ministerial Office where Mr Konstantinos Karamanlis received him with great joy and respect.

The Patriarch personally congratulated Mr Karamanlis on his taking over of his high duties and wished him every success in his task for our Mother Homeland and the Hellenic people.

In continuation, His Beatitude informed Mr Karamanlis extensively regarding the work of the Patriarchate on the African continent and gave him useful information as to the new path of the Alexandrian Church in all departments of its activities, making him aware of the great needs and the problems which the Throne of St Mark is facing on this new path.

He asked of the Prime Minister that the Hellenic State become an assistor of this work, which is in need of the assistance of the Motherland and Mr karamanlis assured him that the governmental desire exists and that he will personally see to the support of the Patriarchate. He gave an order to the Minister responsible, Mr Skandalakis who was present at the discussion, to go ahead with the necessary tasks to realise the requests of the Throne and asked to be informed on the progress.

His Beatitude thanked Mr Karamanlis for his love, his kindness, his understanding and his warm interest which he shows to the Ancient and Apostolic Throne of St Mark.

The Prime Minister then asked for information on the Hellenic Community in Alexandria and Cairo, the missionary work which is being undertaken in Africa and generally on the condition of the friendly country of Egypt.

His Beatitude informed him about the position of the Hellenic community in Egypt and stressed especially the secure presence of the Church and Hellenism in the Country of the Nile, the support of the Egyptian Government towards the Patriarchate and Hellenism, the exemplary co-existence in Egypt of its Christian and Muslim citizens and referred to the progress and safety of the people of Egypt, under the inspired guidance of President Hosni Mubarak.

The Patriarchate also spoke of the multifaceted building activities of the Throne, not only in Alexandria and Cairo, but also in the other Archdioceses of the Throne.

Finally, he donated a silver icon of the Theotokos to Mr Karamanlis and an honourary volume about the Patriarchate and wished the Prime Minister strength and success in his work, for the good of Greece and its pious people.

The Prime Minster accompanied the Patriarch of Alexandria to the exit of the Palace.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------VISIT OF A GROUP FROM THE THEOLOGICAL FACULTY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS

On Saturday 3 July 2004, 57 students of the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens arrived in Cairo, led by the Erudite Professor of the Department of Social Theology Mrs Eleni Papakosta-Christinaki and Professor Rev Fr George Efthymiou. On Sunday, all attended the service at the Holy Monastery of St George in Old Cairo, where, on behalf of His Beatitude, the Patriarchal Vicar His Grace Alexios Bishop of Nitria performed the liturgy, assisted by Fathers George Efthymiou, Abido (a member of the pilgrim group), Kyrillos and Isidoros, while the chanters were Fathers Emmanuel and Parthenios and Mr Nicholas Katsikas. In addressing the many pilgrims from Athens and Grevenna as well as the local community, made extensive reference to the missionary effort as well as to the dynamic presence of the Patriarchate on the entire African Continent led and guided by the Patriarch. On behalf of His Beatitude he welcomed all and prayed for their greatest possible edification on their pilgrimage. Thereafter they were taken on a conducted tour and a small reception was held. The group then departed for a sightseeing tour of Cairo and on to Sinai and Alexandria.

On Wednesday 7 July they visited Alexandria. The Professors and students were welcomed on behalf of His Beatitude who is away in Greece by His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis, Patriarchal Vicar in Alexandria. After visiting the Patriarchal Church of St Savvas, they were extensively informed about the multifaceted and very important missionary work on the African continent, for which the students showed great interest.

Thereafter His Grace George, in the Great Hall of the Monastery, gave them each an icon of St Mark as a blessing and they were offered refreshments. The students had the opportunity of talk with His Grace and to pose various questions regarding the history and the structure of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa as well as the work of the Patriarchate on the vast and suffering African continent. On behalf of the students, Mrs Christinaki expressed her admiration for the work being done in the Patriarchate and donated her writings to enrich the Patriarchal Library.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCHAL STAY IN ATHENS CONTINUES

On the night of Wednesday 7th July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by their Eminences Irenaios of Pilouson and Chrysostomos of Carthage, attended a dinner hosted in his honour by the Financial Advisor of the Patriarchate, Attorney Mr George Mavros.

Also present at the dinner were the Judge of the Supreme Court Mr Margaritis, the President of A.S.E.P. Mr Trakas, the distinguished Reporter Mr Pasalaris, Businessman Mr Petris, Reporter Mr Demetriou and Messrs Maniatopoulos and Papastephanou. During the dinner very interesting views were exchanged between the guests.

His Beatitude thanked Mr Mavros for his love and the most valuable service he offers the Apostolic Throne of Alexandia.

On Thursday 8 July 2004, His Beatitude went to his Athens Office and received Her Excellency the Ambassadress of Greece in Tripoli, Libya, Mrs Chrysanthe Panagiotopoulou, with whom, together with His Eminence Chrysostomos of Carthage to whose jurisdiction Libya belongs, he discussed issues concerning our Orthodox brothers living in Tripoli.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH VISITS THE HOLY MONASTERY OF KLEISTOS

On Thursday 8 July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by their Eminences Irenaios of Pilousion and Chrysostomos of Carthage, as well as the Patriarchal Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos, visited the Holy Monastery of Kleiston, in Fyli, Attika, where the Head of our Holy Father among the Saints Petros, Patriarch of Alexandria is kept, and whose name the Primate of the Alexandrian Church bears.

At the entrance to the Holy Monastery His Beatitude and his entourage were received by His Eminence Panteleimon of Attiki, the Abbess and the sisters of the monastery.

His Beatitude entered the Chapel of the Monastery where he performed the celebratory doxology and venerated the precious relics of our Father among the Saints, Petros of Alexandria.

His Eminence Panteleimon addressed His Beatitude and expressed the great joy and special blessing both towards to himself and the sisters, for the honour of welcoming the Primate of the Alexandrian Throne to the historic Monastery of Kleistos. He went on to talk about the history of the founding of the Holy Monastery and referred with warm words of the work which is being undertaken throughout Africa by His Beatitude, especially stressing his contribution to the wonderful missionary effort.

In his reply His Beatitude thanked the Metropolitan of Attiki for his words of love, expressed his joy that God deemed him worthy to visit the Holy Monastery, to venerate the precious head of our Father among the Saints Petros of Alexandria and to receive the blessing of his patron Saint. He referred to the new missionary path of the Patriarchate and asked His Eminence and the sisters to pray to St Petros of Alexandria for the support and fruitful development of the missionary efforts on the African Continent.

They then went to the Reception Hall of the Holy Monastery where His Eminence Panteleimon and the sisters hosted a dinner in honour of His Beatitude and his entourage.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------HIS BEATITUDE VISITS THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE MR PETROS DOUKAS

His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by their Eminences Ireanios of Pilousion and Chrysostomos of Carthage, went to the Ministry of Finance where he met with His Excellency the Deputy Minister Mr Petros Doukas.

The discussion took place in a hearty and friendly spirit and His Beatitude extensively expounded on vital and essential problems concerning the Throne of Alexandria, both at the centre and the surrounding areas and asked of the Deputy Minister the help and assistance of the Hellenic State for the relief and confronting of these problems.

The Deputy Minister listened very attentively to His Beatitude and stated that he would make every possible effort for the immediate confrontation of the Patriarchate problems, so that it may ceaselessly continue its great National and Christian effort on the African Continent.

His Beatitude then gave the Deputy Minister a silver icon of the Theotokos and a commemorative volume on the Patriarchate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CONTACTS – MEETINGS OF THE PATRIARCH IN ATHENS

On the morning of Wednesday 7 July 2004 His Beatitude went to his Patriarchal Office in Athens and received:

  • His Grace Petros Bishop of Nikopolis
  • Ambassador Mr Panayiotis Karakasis, Director of the E2 Directorate of Ecclesiastical and Religious Affairs of the Ministry of External Affairs
  • Archimandrite Apostolos Forlidas
  • Archimandrite Ephrem Frangou
  • Presbyters Fathers Spyridon Kladakis and George Maliaras
  • Businessmen Messrs Papastephanou and Makris
  • Mr Vasilios Maliaras and his wife Anthoula
  • Reporter Mr George Xenoudakis
  • Child Psychologist Mr Antonios Hasouris a candidate for the Priesthood

On Friday 9 July His Beatidue received:

  • His Eminence Damianos Archbishop of Sinai with Mr G Badis
  • His Eminence Dionysios of Leontopolis
  • Hieromonk Chrysostomos Polyzos, Parish Priest of the Holy Church of the Annunciation in Bengazi
  • The Doctor Mr Theodoros Pittaras and Mrs Anastasia Milopoulou, President of the Humanistic and Euro-Cultural Development and Co-operation HEDA-GREECE

 His Beatitude also received the Committee of Hellenes Abroad of the New Democracy, made up of:

a.        Nicholas Panagopoulos, District Head Africa

b.        Vasilios Papas, Member of Parliament, European Secretary

c.        Anna Dales, Deputy Secretary

d.        Efstathios Tsiptsis Director General of the Secretariat

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH RETURNS TO ALEXANDRIA

On the night of Sunday 11 July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, departed from the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport for Alexandria, after completing the cycle of official meetings with the Ecclesiastical, Political and State leaders of Greece.

His Beatitude and his entourage, His Eminence Irenaios of Pilousion and Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos were seen off on behalf of His Beatitude Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece by His Grace Damaskinos Bishop of Diavlia, the Patriarchal Representative in Athens His Eminence Chrysostomos of Carthage, Mr Patroklos Papastephanou and others.

In the V.I.P. lounge of the Airport of Alexandria His Beatitude was welcomed by His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis, Patriarchal Vicar in Alexandria, Mr Dimitrios Diamantis on behalf of the Greek Consulate and the clergy of Alexandria.

During his twenty-day stay in Athens the Patriarch, among other things, had constructive meetings with H.B. Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece and with Prime Minister Mr Konstantinos Karamanlis.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CONGRATULATORY TELEGRAM TO THE NEW PRIME MINISTER OF EGYPT

His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, on being informed of the appointment of the new Prime Minister of the country, Mr Ahmed Nazeef by the President of the Republic of Egypt, Mr Mohamed Hosni Moubarak, addressed a telegram of congratulations to the Office of the Prime Minister.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PILGRIMS FROM ARTA AT THE PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA

On Thursday 16 July 2004, His Eminence Ignatios, Metropolitan of Arta and fifty pilgrims visited the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.

His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa received His Eminence and the pilgrims at the Holy Patriarchal Church of St Savvas. After welcoming them, he made a brief reference to the history of the Patriarchate and to the important and multifaceted missionary work which is being done on the vast continent, making mention also of the enormity of the difficulties which the missionaries face in the various countries of Africa, which are plagued by various illnesses, especially AIDS, poverty, hunger and civil strife.

His Eminence Ignatios, Metropolitan of Arta, then thanked His Beatitude for his hospitality and passed on the prayers of the faithful of his Metropolitanate, and expressed his enthusiasm for the work of the missions and the renovations of the holy churches and church buildings in Egypt and gave him a silver tray.

His Beatitude gave His Eminence a silver icon of St Athanasios, Patriarchh of Alexandria, as a blessing.

The group were then treated in the Great Hall of the Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE NATIONAL DAY OF FRANCE

On the occasion of the National Day of France a reception was hosted on 14 July 2004 at the French Consulate in Alexandria. His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa attended the reception accompanied by His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis.

The Consul of France, Mr Louis Blin, welcomed his guests to the Consulate in French and in Arabic and spoke of the National anniversary.

During the reception, the Patriarchate had discussions with the Consul General of Greece Mrs Konstantina Athanasiadou, the Roman Bishop, representatives of other faiths, diplomats, officials of the Egyptian State as well as with people from the arts and letters who were present at the reception.

On the evening of the following day, Thursday 15 July 2004, His Beatitude went to the Loran area of Alexandria where he inaugurated the fishing tackle store of Mrs Siran Vahram.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------AGREEMENT ON THE BEGINNING OF A CHRISTIAN – MUSLIM DIALOGUE

On the 16 July 2004 an agreement was signed in Cairo for the beginning of a Christian – Muslim dialogue.

His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, as President of the family of Orthodox Churches of the Middle East, was present at the ceremony of the signing. Also present were Pope Shenouda, Patriarch of the Copts, the Great Sheik of Azghar Dr Tantawi, the co-presidents and the General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches Mr Guirgis Ibrahim Saleh and other religious personalities.

The agreement was achieved following discussions which were held between the General Secretary on behalf of the Council and on behalf of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue (based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) Professor Dr Hamid A. Al- Rifaie.

Both parties, having in mind the important role of religion in education, in the rearing and character formation of the youth, that the values and the principals and customs which are taught by religion  are the safest medium for the formation of a healthy society, the responsibilities of the religious leaders towards society and the future generations for the understanding of justice, peace, stability, development and safe co-existence of international societies, and finally the wish for cooperation in the department of development of a society which will respect human life, dignity and brotherhood, decided on the following:

-          the organization of a meeting for dialogue annually which will refer to common cultural interests

-          the responsibility for the organization will fall on each party alternatively each year

-          the issues for discussed to be mutually decided on

-          each side to present its own perspectives based on the issues being discussed

-          following the end of the meetings a common communiqué to be issued

-          the two sides to cooperate with wisdom so that the common aims and visions can be achieved on a local and international level and

-          the date, subject and place where the dialogue will be held to be mutually decided on

---------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH IN CAIRO

On Friday 16 July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa paid an inspection visit to the renovation works of the Holy Patriarchal Cathedral Church of St Nicholas and the Patriarchal Vicariate in Cairo, accompanied by Archim. Gennadios Stantzios.

After carefully inspecting the development of the works he had a working discussion with the Vicar, to whom he gave the necessary orders.

He then received H.E. Metropolitan Ignatios of Arta, head of a group of pilgrims from Greece. He spoke to all with great love, and then took the Metropolitan of Arta on a conducted tour of the renovation works. Afterwards, accompanied by the Patriarchal Vicar of Cairo, H.G. Alexios, Bishop of Nitria, he went to the Holy Monastery of St George Old Cairo.

At the moment of the Patriarchal arrival at the Monastery, a group of Cypriot pilgrims were present, having arrived from Kenya, where the missionary effort is greatly assisted by the Great Island (Cyprus). The pilgrims were given refreshments in the hall of the Throne, while they also had the opportunity of hearing words of spiritual edification from His Beatitude and to receive his blessing.

After lunch and having inspected the works at the Monastery, His Beatitude returned to Alexandria.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH ATTENDS A FUNCTION FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM

His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa went to the Hellenic Naval Club of Alexandria in Qait Bay on Friday 16 July 2004, accompanied by H.G. George Bishop of Nilopolis and the clergy of the Patriarchate, where he attended the function held for the success of the Greek football team in Portugal.

At the function, which took place at the beachfront area of the Hellenic Naval Club of Alexandria, its President Mr Edmond Kasimatis welcomed the guests in Arabic and Greek, making brief mention of the fact that the Greek National Football Team won the Cup. His Beatitude then addressed those present and among other things said:

“This evening’s function is a justified and a joyful one. Justified, because the Greek National Football Team won the European Cup and joyful, because with this victory and success. Hellenes in Greece and throughout the world were filled with joy, satisfaction and confidence.

It is true that at the beginning of the tournament, few, or rather a minimal number in the world believed in this development. However, methodical hard work, coordinated efforts and mutual cooperation brought results. This victory propounds the pure ideals of sport which were created in Ancient Greece and are maintained in the Olympic spirit. That is why the joy of the success in European football, which coincides with the organization of the Olympic Games in Athens, propounds the cultural merits and promotes man and his noble ideals.

The Hellenic colony of the Great City of Alexandria, where the historic Holy Seat of our Patriarchate is situated, as well as all Hellenes throughout Africa, together honour with propriety, elegance and shaking of soul, in the hospitable land of Egypt, the success of the Greek footballers and the fans. Due to the high culture of its nobility and its people, Egypt knows the good that arises from sports, that is why it participates in the Greek joy, as is indicated by the participation here of honourable and distinguished people. Consequently, we live this Hellenic victory as the success of Hellenes everywhere and all our friends and beloved brothers participate in our joy, for victories and successes are a reason for us all to celebrate together. The Hellenic soul is truly great and celebrates with the entire world her success on the football fields of Portugal.

From the Great City of Alexandria, we send our wholehearted wishes and our fervent congratulations to all who in any way contributed to the achievement of the aim of the organization of the Pan-European Football Cup, and we embrace with love and bestow our Patriarchal blessing on the able International Greek Footballers, their worthy coach and all the fans”.

The Deputy Minister of Sport of Egypt then passed on the wishes of the Egyptian State and congratulated the Greek football team and their success.

This was followed by the message of Mrs. Konstantina Athanasiadou, the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria in which she described her emotions after this great victory, as she was in Greece during those days. She also thanked the Hellenes of Alexandria as well as the Egyptian citizens of Alexandria for the many congratulatory telegrams sent to the Greek Consulate and then read the message sent by Mr Orphanos, the Greek Deputy Minister of Sport to the Hellenic Naval Club of Alexandria.

Afterwards, medals were awarded to old athletes and a video was screened, depicting all the goals which led Greece to the final and to the winning of the Cup.

This was followed by the screening of a second video showing Ancient Olympia, the history of the Olympic Games and the modern structures which will host the 2004 Olympics. Dinner was then served, to the accompaniment of musicians who had arrived from Greece especially for the function.

Present at the function apart from the Consul General of Greece, were: a Representative of the Governor of Alexandria, the Consul of Russia, the Honourable Consul of Finland, the Deputy President of SAE Mr Stephanos Tambakis, the First Vice President of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria Mr Dimitrios Vafiades, the President of the Society of ‘Ptolemeos’ Mr Nicholas Papantonis and others.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MEMORIAL FOR THE PATRIARCHS OF ALEXANDRIA

On Sunday 18 July 2004 in the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas, as he does every year, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, celebrated the memorial of his ever-blessed predecessors Patriarchs Nicholas VI and Parthenios III, to whom he owes so much, as he himself mentions at every opportunity.

Present at the commemorative prayers were the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria Mrs Konstantina Athanasiadou, many community members and a large group of pilgrims from Athens.

A reception in the Great Hall of the Holy Monastery followed.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VISITS THE PATRIARCH

A group from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, within he framework of the research being done in Egypt, visited His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa on Wednesday 21 July 2004.

Among the members of this committee were: Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, Commissioner, Roman Catholic Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Dr Joseph Crapa, Executive Director, Dr Dwight Bashir, Policy Analyst, James Hugh Goeghegan, Director of the American Centre of Alexandria, as well as Mesdames Raham Solimon and Nahide Bayrashi from the American Embassy in Cairo.

During the discussion which ensued, His Beatitude referred among other things to the peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims in Egypt, the good relations which characterize the Patriarchate and the Egyptian State, the protection and assistance enjoyed by the Patriarchate and its flock  from the Egyptian authorities and he called on the members of the commission to stress the above fact in their report as well as the fact that this harmonious co-existence between Christians and Muslims in Egypt should be an example to all other countries. The Patriarch also mentioned the recent agreement signed under the initiative of the Middle East Council of Churches for the beginning of dialogue with the International Islamic Forum for dialogue between Christians and Muslims and also referred to the work done by the Patriarchate in Egypt and Africa.

His Beatitude then gave commemorative gifts as a blessing to the visitors, who, before departing, visited the Cathedral Church of St Savvas.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST DAY OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF THE PROPHET ELIJAH

On Tuesday 20 July 2004, the Holy Church of the Prophet Elijah in Tsanakli – Alexandria, celebrated its Feast Day.

Great Hierarchal Vespers was celebrated on the eve of the Feast, conducted by His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, together with His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis, Presbyter Vasilios Kapetanakis, Priest of the Church and the clergy of Alexandria.

Vespers was attended by the Consul General in Alexandria, Mrs Konstantina Athanasiadou, the 1st Vice President of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria Mr Dimitrios Vafiades, the Community Guardian of the Churches Mr Theoklitos Axerhelides, the President of the Greek Chamber of Commerce Mr Byron Vafiades, and many members of the Community who arrived on the bus of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria.

A reception hosted by the Vafiades families who take care of the Churche, followed Vespers.

On the day of the Feast, a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis, who also preached the sermon of the day.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STUDENTS FROM THE FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS VISIT THE PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA

On Wednesday 21 July 2004, students from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Athens visited the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Following their expressed wish to meet with His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, who is well-known for his love for the youth, the Primate of the Alexandrian Throne received them in the Patriarchal Office.

After welcoming them, His Beatitude made a brief reference to the history, the importance and the missionary and social work of the Patriarchate being undertaken throughout the African Continent, and among other things spoke to them that “from you young people, especially the students of the Philosophical Faculty, Motherland Greece expects much”. He then gave them each a small icon of St Mark as a blessing. The students thanked His Beatitude for receiving them and for speaking to them with so much love.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VISITS THE PATRIARCH

A group from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, within he framework of the research being done in Egypt, visited His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa on Wednesday 21 July 2004.

Among the members of this committee were: Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, Commissioner, Roman Catholic Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Dr Joseph Crapa, Executive Director, Dr Dwight Bashir, Policy Analyst, James Hugh Goeghegan, Director of the American Centre of Alexandria, as well as Mesdames Raham Solimon and Nahide Bayrashi from the American Embassy in Cairo.

During the discussion which ensued, His Beatitude referred among other things to the peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims in Egypt, the good relations which characterize the Patriarchate and the Egyptian State, the protection and assistance enjoyed by the Patriarchate and its flock  from the Egyptian authorities and he called on the members of the commission to stress the above fact in their report as well as the fact that this harmonious co-existence between Christians and Muslims in Egypt should be an example to all other countries. The Patriarch also mentioned the recent agreement signed under the initiative of the Middle East Council of Churches for the beginning of dialogue with the International Islamic Forum for dialogue between Christians and Muslims and also referred to the work done by the Patriarchate in Egypt and Africa.

His Beatitude then gave commemorative gifts as a blessing to the visitors, who, before departing, visited the Cathedral Church of St Savvas.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST DAY OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF THE PROPHET ELIJAH

On Tuesday 20 July 2004, the Holy Church of the Prophet Elijah in Tsanakli – Alexandria, celebrated its Feast Day.

Great Hierarchal Vespers was celebrated on the eve of the Feast, conducted by His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, together with His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis, Presbyter Vasilios Kapetanakis, Priest of the Church and the clergy of Alexandria.

Vespers was attended by the Consul General in Alexandria, Mrs Konstantina Athanasiadou, the 1st Vice President of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria Mr Dimitrios Vafiades, the Community Guardian of the Churches Mr Theoklitos Axerhelides, the President of the Greek Chamber of Commerce Mr Byron Vafiades, and many members of the Community who arrived on the bus of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria.

A reception hosted by the Vafiades families who take care of the Churche, followed Vespers.

On the day of the Feast, a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis, who also preached the sermon of the day.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STUDENTS FROM THE FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS VISIT THE PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA

On Wednesday 21 July 2004, students from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Athens visited the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Following their expressed wish to meet with His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, who is well-known for his love for the youth, the Primate of the Alexandrian Throne received them in the Patriarchal Office.

After welcoming them, His Beatitude made a brief reference to the history, the importance and the missionary and social work of the Patriarchate being undertaken throughout the African Continent, and among other things spoke to them that “from you young people, especially the students of the Philosophical Faculty, Motherland Greece expects much”. He then gave them each a small icon of St Mark as a blessing. The students thanked His Beatitude for receiving them and for speaking to them with so much love.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FEAST DAY CELEBRATIONS OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF ST PARASKEVE

On Monday 26 July 2004 was the Feast Day of the Patriarchal Church of St Paraskeve in Siouf, Alexandria.

On the Eve of the Feast Great Hierarchal Vespers was celebrated by His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, assisted by H.G. George, Bishop of Nilopolis, the Parish Priest Protopresbyter Fr Meletios Giannios and the clergy of Alexandria. In his message to the large congregation His Beatitude referred among other things to the life of St Paraskeve and prayed that she would be a luminous example in our lives.

On the day of the Feast a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy was celebrated by H.G. George, who also preached the sermon.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------GENERAL MEETING OF THE HELLENIC BROTHERHOOD OF CYPRIOTS IN EGYPT

On the afternoon of Sunday 25 July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, attended the Ordinary General Meeting of the Hellenic Brotherhood of Cypriots in Egypt which took place at its club.

In the absence of the President Mr Christos Koumides, the Chairman of the Brotherhood Mr Haralambos Haralambides presented the annual report for 2003 making special reference to the financial assistance which the Brotherhood offers on a monthly basis to suffering members of the community.

The Consul General of Cyprus, Mr Andreas Kouzoupes, then briefed the members of the Brotherhood on the progress of the national situation and especially after the referendum of 24 April. The Chartered Accountant Mr Noshi Awad presented the Accounts and Balance Sheets for 2003 while Mr Haralambides thanked the Egyptian State, the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Ambassador of Cyprus, the Consul General of Greece, the President of the Hellenic Community, the Headmasters and Teaching Staff of the Greek Schools, the Accountant, the members of the Council, the staff and members of the Brotherhood as well as the newspaper “Patrida” who always support the Brotherhood.

His Beatitude then addressed a greeting in which among other things he said: “I express the satisfaction of the Church for what has been undertaken in the past year. Your work is of public benefit and expresses the activities of the Church because you support our suffering brothers and maintain the customs and traditions of our personal homeland. You are devoted to the Ever-Virgin, in this way continuing a very long tradition and you are always present at religious functions…I was informed with great joy that there are 86 regular members and 6 assistant members and this means that the Brotherhood has life ahead of it. I remember past glorious functions but the fact that we are continuing is a great achievement. We were just now briefed on the progress of the national problem. As a Church and as Hellenes we are anxious about Cyprus and we pray for the hour of the reunification of the island. As a Primate and as a Cypriot in origin I discuss the problem wherever I go and I plead for its immediate solution. We should not lose our hopes! There must always be hope and I am sure that the All Merciful God will all that moment to come when once again we will harmoniously co-exist in Cyprus as we don in the Land of the Nile with our Egyptian Brothers, so that we may  again live there in love and togetherness as we did for many years. This is our wish and our prayer”.

Messages of greeting were also given by the Consul General of Greece Mrs Konstantina Athanasiadou and the 1st President of the Hellenic Community of Alexandia, Mr Dimitris Vafiades, while present were the President of the Greek Chamber of Commerce of Alexandria Mr Byron Vafiades, Mr and Mrs George and Maria Formozis members of the Executive Council of the Brotherhood, Mr Nicholas Elftheriou as well as the regular and assistant members of the Brotherhood.

A splendid lunch was then hosted at the Hellenic Naval Club of Alexandria, which was attended by the above and also the clergy, the President of the Hellenic Naval Club mr Edmond Kasimatis together with his wife and others.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH AT A FUNCTION HELD FOR THE ALEXANDRIAN ATHLETES

On Monday 26 July 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa attended a function in honour of the Alexandrian athletes who make up the Olympic delegation at the Hotel Cecil, accompanied by Archimandrite Markos Theodosis.

At the function, the Governor of Alexandria was represented by the Deputy Governor of the City, while the Deputy Minister of Youth Mr Bisr Harb in his address referred to the close relations between Greeks and Egyptians and the common celebration of many events saying that, whatever the Egyptians celebrate the Greeks also celebrate, and whatever the Greeks celebrate the Egyptians also celebrate, and mentioned the example the functions which were held in Alexandria and in Cairo after the success of the Greek Football Team in the Pan-European Cup.

His Beatitude in his address spoke among other things of the close relations between Greeks and Egyptians and the peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the Land of the Nile. Lastly, he wished that the athletes would return with the gold medals.

Also present at the function were the Ambassador of Greece in Cairo Mr Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, the Consul General of Greece on Alexandria Mrs Konstantina Athansiadou, old Olympian medalists and others.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH IN CAIRO

On the night of Wednesday 28th July 2004 His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa arrived in Cairo, accompanied by Hierodeacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos in order to attend the reception in honour of the departing Defense Attaché Captain D Protonotarios.

The reception was hosted by the Greek Ambassador in Cairo Mr Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, at the Ambassadorial residence in honour of the departing Attaché and the undertaking of his responsibilities by the new Defense Attaché Mr K Leventis.

Present among others were the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Phaedon Anastasiou, the Consul General in Alexandria Mrs K Athanasiadou, the Bishop of Babylon (Old Cairo) His Grace Theophylaktos and the clergy of Cairo. After the reception, His Beatitude stayed at the Holy Monastery of St George.

During the second day of his stay in Cairo, His Beatitude received His Eminence Nicholas Metropolitan of Hermoupolis with whom he discussed issues relating to the Arab-speaking flock of his Metropolis and later he received Mr Dimitrios Economou and Mrs Pavlakis.

At noon he visited the new offices of the Cypriot Embassy in Cairo and attended a lunch at the home of the Cypriot Ambassador, together with the Ambassador of Greece.

Before that, during his visit to the new offices of the Embassy of Cyprus he received his dues and offered an icon of the All Holy Virgin as a blessing.

In the evening he received the President of the Hellenic community of Cairo, Mr Christos Kavalis, as well as the financial auditor of the Patriarchate Mr Antonios Diamantides.

All His Beatitude’s meetings took place at the office at the Patriarchal Holy Monastery of St George in Old Cairo.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updated 02/08/04