May 2004

THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA UNDERTAKES A PASTORAL TRIP TO ETHIOPIA AND TANZANIA

His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa will depart from his see on Friday 7 May 2004 in order to undertake a pastoral trip to the Holy Metropolitanates of Ethiopia and Dar-Es-Sallam.

In Ethiopia, His Beatitude will perform a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, he will meet with the Hellenic Diplomatic and Community officials, will visit the Greek schools, will meet with H.H. Paul, the Patriarch of Ethiopia and will visit the Theological College of the Ethiopian Church.

In Tanzania, the Patriarch’s visit includes the following: the inauguration of the Holy Church of St Andronikos and St Athanasia in Kindamali, meetings with the local government officials, the members of the Hellenic community and the local faithful.

His Beatitude will be accompanied on his travels by the H.E. Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Kition (Church of Cyprus), H.G. George, Bishop of Nilopolis, Presbyter Fr Spyridon Kladakis and Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PRESS RELEASE

Deeply conscious of his obligation and his duty to the Church, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, from the beginning of the dispute between the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Church of Greece, placed his strengths at the disposal of both the Primates of Constantinople and Athens in the framework of the ecclesiological unity and the order of canonical law for the sake of the faithful and the broader interest of the Church.

Apart from his verbal interventions he also addressed Patriarchal Correspondence to both above-mentioned Primates, and did not cease to repeat and to stress to both of them as well as to all parties the value and the importance of dialogue, and the chain reactions which arise from the rupture of ecclesiological unity and the probable suffering which may occur.

Consequently, the attitude of the Primate of the Alexandrian Church was totally unifying and fraternal, without partiality and one-sidedness as was presented incorrectly by certain Media, by probably not being adequately informed about the situation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COMPUTERIZATION OF THE PATRIARCHAL ARCHIVES

Through the care of His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, the Registry Office of the Patriarchate has secured the “Ecclesia Office” electronic organization programme.

The “Ecclesia Office” is the result of the co-operation between “ADAM PLIROFORIKI” and the Apostoliki Diakonia of the Church of Greece and it has the ability to record, classify, search and print all records and printed matter of the Patriarchal Registry concerned with the Holy Sacraments of Marriage and Baptism (certificates of bachelorhood, applications for marriages, registration of marriages, copies of registration of marriages, baptismal registrations, copies of baptismal registrations, applications for baptism, etc), as well as a registry of deaths.

The programme also includes secretarial support (official name records, registry lists of documents, staff, archives of holy churches, finances, correspondence, etc).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ARRIVAL OF THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA IN ETHIOPIA

Late on the night of 7 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa arrived in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia for a pastoral visit.

His Beatitude was received by the leader of the Ethiopian Church Patriarch Paul, His Eminence Archbishop Petros of Axum, the Ambassador of Greece Mr Dionysios Kountoureas, the Ambassador of Egypt Mr Shamel Nasser, the President of the local Hellenic Community Mr George Stavrou and the members of the Community, the Parish Priest of the Cathedral of St Froumentios Hieromonk Iakovos and many diplomatic and community officials.

His Beatitude, accompanied by the Ethiopian Patriarch and the local Archbishop went to the Metropolitan Palace where he was to stay.

During this trip the Patriarch is accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Chrysostomos of Kition (Church of Cyprus), His Grace George Bishop of Nilopolis, Reverend Spyridon Kladakis and the Patriarchal Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MEETING WITH THE ETHIOPIAN PATRIARCH

Early in the afternoon of Saturday 8 May, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa met with H.H. Paul, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Church at the Patriarchal Palace.

His Beatitude and his entourage were received at the entrance to the Patriarchate by the members of the Holy Synod, while pupils of the catechetical schools sang religious songs in traditional rhythm.

The Ethiopian Patriarch received His Beatitude with great joy, referred to the very good relations which unite the two Churches and also with Archbishop Petros of Axum and stressed that the visit of the Alexandrian Primate enlivens both him and the faithful. The Ethiopian Primate then referred to the present conditions of the Ethiopian Church mentioning the works which with God’s help and the peoples’ faith have been accomplished and saying that deep faith is what helped overcome those difficult years in which the country was plagued by hunger and civil war.

In his reply Patriarch Petros said the following, among other things: “The teaching of the name of Christ to all the ends of the universe, is the duty and the highest mission of the Church not through violence and enforcement, but with service and love…it is in this spirit that we come to you, accompanied by His Eminence Chrysostomos Archbishop of Kition and our representative in Cyprus, who with your co-operation will undertake the expenses of feeding one orphanage in Ethiopia, a work of great importance”.

The two Primates then exchanged commemorative gifts while the Archbishop of Kition informed all about the beneficial work of the Pan-Cypriot Association for the Fight Against Hunger over which he presides; he referred to the great help which it gave in the past to the people of Ethiopia during the difficult years, to the help sent via the Archdiocese of Axum and to his intention to financially support an orphanage.

Patriarch Paul expressed his great joy for the intention of the Archbishop of Kition, not forgetting to thank him also for all the help and support given by his Cypriot brother.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SECOND DAY OF THE PATRIARCH’S VISIT TO ETHIOPIA

On the morning of Saturday 8 May, the Patriarch of Alexandria held talks with His Eminence Archbishop Petros of Axum on matters concerning the Holy Archdiocese and its spiritual and philanthropic work. At noon he attended the lunch hosted by the local Archbishop at the Metropolitan Palace, which was also attended by the Ambassador of Greece Mr Dionysios Kountoureas.

Late in the afternoon he visited the offices of the Hellenic Community of Addis Ababa, where he was met by the President, Mr George Stavrou and the Executive Committee members. The first Vice-Chairman, Mr Theophilos Moldovanos, welcomed His Beatitude and expressed the gratitude of all for his support of the Hellenes of Ethiopia and especially for his mediation at the recent SAE conference for the solution to the vital problem of the nationalization of the property of Hellenes.

In his response, among other things, the Patriarch said: “Our presence here is not a formal visit to the Hellenic Community of the Holy Archdiocese of Axom. On the contrary, it is an expression of the mutual desire for the meeting of people under the prospective of ecclesiastical experience…Through our presence here we honour the work of His Eminence the Archbishop of Axom, who for many years has given his word and his heart to the development and the confirmation of his spiritual calling. In this way, Hellenes enjoy his unifying presence and progress and are supported by and in turn support the Church…Consequently, the term “advancement” is able to credit the wider network of the connection between the work of His Eminence and that of the Hellenes. This advancement is revealed not in the form of national perseverance or even racial offences. On the contrary they express the Church’s concern for the continual maintenance of their relationships with Greek culture, which in its presence and progress through time, came into contact with faith in Jesus Christ”.

His Eminence Archbishop Petros of Axum then thanked the President and members of the Executive Committee for the excellent co-operation which occurs for the benefit of the Christian Hellenes who reside in Addis Ababa, stressing that the Hellenic Community of the Ethiopian capital is one of the best communities in Africa.

The Patriarch was then informed about the works and the contribution of the Community towards those who suffer unjustly and also about the progress of the successful operation of both the Greek and English language Community school at which more than 800 pupils are enrolled and which is regarded as one of the best educational institutions in the country.

In the evening His Beatitude attended a dinner hosted in his honour by the Cypriot company J&P (Joannou and Paraskevaides) in the hall of the “Olympiakos” Sports Club. Present at the dinner were the General Manager of the company in Ehtiopia Mr Fivos Kyriakides, the Ambassador of Greece, the President of the Hellenic Community, the President of the Sports Club, the Archbishop of Axum, the members of the Patriarchal entourage, the Sykas, Toumas, Tsiavou, Donikian, Magdalinos and Valaskantzis families and employees of J&P.

During the dinner, addresses and toasts were exchanged. The local Archbishop spoke first and thanked the head of J&P, for even on simply hearing of the coming of the Patriarch, he hastened to organize the dinner, at the same time expressing the joy of all the Hellenes of Ethiopia at having for the past three years Cypriots working in the company, a presence which all needed. Finally he wished that there would soon be a peaceful solution problem of Cyprus that has lasted for so many years.

In his address, the Patriarch said the following, among other things: “Joy meets with contentment, for during our official visit to the historic Archdiocese of Axum, we meet with brothers who are from the same martyred homeland as us, the Great Island of Cyprus…The recent splendidly celebrated complete incorporation of the Cypriot Republic into the European Union, was not only justification for the hard work undertaken by the Cypriot people and its worthy leaders, who prepared, and in many ways formed, the necessary presumptions for the recognition of the progress of the Country. At the same time it comprises the rightful and obviously certain starting point for the solution to the great and still open political problem…The jurisdiction of our Patriarchal Throne throughout Africa, fellow dinner guests, obliges its Primate to traverse the Provinces of Africa with pastoral interest, to converse and communicate with his flock. However, throughout Africa we also meet with and justifiably praise all contributing brother Hellenes from Greece and Cyprus who support, and are supported by, the Church. At the same time, we admire their labours and their hard work as they extend from North to South Africa, and from West to East; their work is credible and justifiably engenders trust and announces their presence.

Finally, Mt Kyriakides spoke and thanked the Patriarch for his presence and for accepting the invitation, asked for a Patriarchal blessing for the progress of their work in Ethiopia and wished him success in the work of the Patriarchate of Alexandria on the African continent.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PATRIARCHAL DIVINE LITURGY IN ETHIOPIA 

On Sunday 9 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St Froumentios in Addis Ababa. His Beatitude was assisted by His Eminence Petros Archbishop of Axum, His Eminence Chrysostomos Archbishop of Kition, His Grace George Bishop of Nilopolis, Hieromonk Iakovos Yiannakis, Reverend Spyridon Kladakis and Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos.

Present at the Eucharistic gathering were the Ambassador of Greece Dionysios Kountoureas, the Ambassadors of Romania and Bulgaria, the President of the Hellenic Community Mr George Stavrou, Diplomatic and Community officials, crowds of faithful, as well as teachers and pupils of the Hellenic schools.

In addressing the Patriarch, His Eminence Patros, Archbishop of Axum, with great emotion referred to the more than 30 years of love with which he is connected to the Alexandrian Patriarch and among other things said: “I thank you most gratefully that you tried so hard to fulfill my avid wish to officially receive you here in the historic Archdiocese of Axum in the beautiful country of Ethiopia, which I have served now for 25 years and which I naturally do not know how much longer God will allow me to serve in life and I am grateful for I wanted very much to receive the re-creator of the Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Great pilot at the rudder of the most ancient Church of the glorious Apostle Mark, the mighty Patriarch at the head of our historic Patriarchate, he who has embraced the multi-faceted tasks of the Patriarchate through the extension of the preaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, the salvation of people, independent of colour and race, country or place, language and dialect.”

He went on to itemize the multi-faceted work of the Patriarch, referred to the history and the present path of the Archdiocese of Axum and concluded with the following: “As I mentioned at the beginning, Your Beatitude, you recreated the Patriarchate not by living faith, churches and institutions, communities, association and parishes, travels and conferences, all of which create a wondrous and unceasing history, but you complete this recreation by the great material and spiritual work of the construction of the new Patriarchal Palace. It is a monument which the centuries will follow, which will adorn Orthodoxy and Greece and in which will be the spiritual figures who will labour for Orthodoxy and our Patriarchate and in which the pages, volumes, books, works of art and treasures from its inception, will be kept.”

In his response, the Patriarch said, amongst other things: “Your Eminence, through our presence here and this Divine Liturgy, we honour Your Eminence and the faithful of your region, whom you have shepherded for many years in a  God-pleasing and God-loving manner. Your spiritual talents and especially your lengthy ecclesiastical experience comprise the necessary guarantees as well as the security of your successful Episcopal service. Your entire service was always pastorally placed in and ecclesiastically dependent on the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, always adapted to the local conditions and to the needs of the faithful children of the Church of this region. You gave your example to the younger hierarchs of the Throne and you enjoyed the honour and esteem of all, both within the jurisdiction of our Patriarchate as well as in the worldwide Church of Christ. In closing, we thank you for your invitation, for all that you are doing during this pastoral and official visit to your region and we honour you for all that you have contributed, without bound and without asking for return. That is why in total contentment we thank you for your kind words and we wish you length of days and strength from God, so that you may continue to give your love to the children of your region, who are also children of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. To all those present and praying with us we bestow our Patriarchal blessing and paternally pray that the Grace of our Lord and God will be with you throughout your lives”.  

Finally, His Beatitude gave the Archbishop of Axum a silver Patriarchal pectoral cross and the icon of St Athanasios as a token of the recognition of his work and his many years of contribution to the Patriarchate. After the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch was interviewed by the MEGA television channel of Greece which recorded the Patriarchal con-celebration.

The local Archbishop then hosted a reception at the Metropolitan Palace which was attended by all those present at the Divine Liturgy, and at lunchtime he hosted an official lunch in honour of the Patriarch at a hotel in the capital. Apart from the Patriarchal entourage, present at the lunch were the Ambassador of Greece, the President of the Hellenic Community of Addis Ababa, the President of the Hellenic Community of Dirindawa Mr John Georgallis, the President of the “Olympiakos” Sports Club Mr Nasos Roussos and Messrs Dimitris Sykas and George Doukas.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE THIRD DAY OF THE PATRIARCHAL VISIT TO ETHIOPIA

In the afternoon of Sunday 9th May 2004, H.B. Petros VII, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, visited the Holy Monastery of Sabata of the Ethiopian Church. H.H. Paul, the Patriarch of Ethiopia, together with members of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Church led the Alexandrian Primate to the above-mentioned Monastery so that he could visit the girls’ orphanage which is on the premises of the Monastery.

At the entrance to the Holy Monastery, the two Patriarchs were received by the nuns and the 200 little girls of the orphanage singing traditional hymns. The Pan-Cypriot Association for the Fight against Hunger, through its President Archbishop Chrysostomos of Kition, undertook to adopt the orphanage, with the blessings of both Patriarchs.

His Beatitude was taken on a conducted tour of the Monastery as well as of the handicraft and sewing workrooms, the classrooms and the dormitories of the orphanage and then the sisters of the Monastery offered a light lunch in the guest hall. Before departing, gifts were exchanged and the Archbishop of Axum donated clothing.

All those mentioned above then went to the offices of the J & P company, where, following the invitation of the General Manager of the company in Ehtiopia, Mr Fivos Kyriakides, the Patriarch performed the service of the Blessing of the Waters and blessed the employees of Cypriot origin.

That night His Beatitude went to the “Olympiakos” Sports Club where the Hellenic Community hosted a reception in his honour, with the presence of the Ambassador of Greece Mr. Dimonysios Kountoureas, the members of the Executive Committee of the Community and many others.

The Alexandrian Primate was addressed by the President of the Community, Mr George Stavrou, who expressed wholehearted feelings of respect, honour and love to the person of the Patriarch, at the same time stressing that his presence gives strength and hope for the future of the community to all.

The President of the “Olympiakos” Sports Club, Mr Nasos Roussos, then also welcomed His Beatitude, stating that the society over which he presides, in many and various instances, has received and still receives unreserved assistance as well as moral and material support from the Church. 

In his response, the Patriarch said the following, amongst other things: “The reason that we have been called today to address the members of the Hellenic Community here is direct and honest. Direct, because Hellenism in the Holy Archdiocese of Axum is flourishing and is the continuer of the long tradition of Hellenes. Honest, as it is not our aim to exaggerate by using descriptions which might not reflect reality. Through directness and honesty we will continue our glorious past and our ancestral tradition… Hellenism is a source of joy when it also expresses ecclesiastical conscience, for the Church, especially in the diaspora, apart from its pastoral duty, must also carry out its national task, a mission of national unity and co-operation. This work and mission are successfully  continued by our Patriarchate throughout Africa, especially in regions and areas where Hellenism is deeply rooted, as it is in Ethiopia. Together with our thanks for the very cordial hospitality of the local Hellenic Community, for the love and the cordiality which we are enjoying during our visit here, we bestow our paternal blessing and we call on you to remain faithful to our Hellenic traditions and to the Patriarchal Throne of Alexandria and All Africa, for you are its faithful members”.

Commemorative gifts were then exchanged. During the reception His Beatitude had the opportunity to talk with all present.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COURTESY VISITS TO THE EMBASSIES OF GREECE AND EGYPT

On the morning of Monday 10 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa paid courtesy visits to the Embassies of Greece and Egypt. His Beatitude and his entourage were welcomed with much joy by the Greek Ambassador Mr Dionysios Kountoureas and the entire complement of Embassy staff.

During the meeting which took place in the Greek Ambassador’s private office matters concerning the Patriarchate, the Greek Community of Ethiopia and the Hellenes of Africa were discussed.

The Patriarch then went on to visit the Egyptian Embassy were he was warmly welcomed by the Egyptian Ambassador Mr Shamel Nasser. His Beatitude spoke of the historic presence of the Patriarchate in the land of the Nile and the assistance and support which the Patriarch enjoys from the Egyptian authorities, mentioning as well the peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the country, a fact which makes it an example to emulate.

The Egyptian Ambassador expressed his joy and honour for the visit of the Patriarch and stated that he and the staff of the Embassy were at his service. During both visits His Beatitude gave commemorative gifts as a blessing for his presence there.

He then went on to the “Babis shopping Centre” which belongs to Mr Babis Tzoumas and after performing the service of the Blessing of the Waters he inaugurated the newly reconstructed business which was returned by the new government of the country after it had been nationalized 24 years ago.

Mr Tzoumas welcomed the Alexandrian Primate very emotionally and in his short address said that the achievement of the return of the business to his hands, is thanks to God as it is the first business which was returned to its owner after the process of nationalization of the previous government. The Patriarch blessed the Tzouma family and the staff and wish them success, stressing that the Church is always with its members. Commemorative gifts were then exchanged and food and refreshments were offered.

At noon His Beatitude attended a private lunch hosted by His Eminence Petros, Archbishop of Axom at the Metropolitan Palace.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DINNER HOSTED BY THE AMBASSADOR OF GREECE

ON the night of Monday 10 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa attended an official dinner hosted by the Ambassador of Greece Mr Dionysios Kountoureas at the Sheraton Hotel and attended by important guests. 

Present at the dinner which took place in a very friendly atmosphere were, amongst others, H.H. Paul the  Ethiopian Patriarch and members of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Church, His Eminence Petros Archbishop of Axum, His Eminence Chrysostomos Archbishop of Kition, the Ambassador of Egypt Mr Shamel Nasser, the President of the Greek Community of Addis Ababa Mr Geogre Stavrou, the President of the “Olympiakos” Sports Club Mr George Roussos, Mrs Argyro Syka and the Patriarchal entourage.

In his address the Ambassador of Greece expressed his great joy and his honour at hosting the dinner for the Alexandrian Primate and on behalf of the Greek Government he expressed warm congratulations  for the work of the Patriarchate and the progress of dialogue between the other Churches, especially that of Ethiopia. Finally, he wished that the traditional close ties between the two Patriarchates of Alexandria and Ethiopia would continue and become even closer, as he hoped the ties between Ethiopia, Greece and Egypt would become.

A greeting was then also addressed by the Ethiopian Patriarch who mentioned the fraternal ties of the two Churches and the edifying exchange of views.  He congratulated His Beatitude on his work and his contribution to his flock and wished the Ambassador of Greece great success in his work as a representative of Greece in the friendly country of Ethiopia.

His Beatitude in his response, among other things also said the following: “The meetings of the Primate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa in each place and country is always a cause of great joy, as in this way their interest is revealed, as is their respect for the expresser of Orthodoxy on the African continent.

This interest is clearly indicated by your presence here, and is reflected in the Patriarchal Throne of our Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, while it also reflects the most obvious expression of love and the interest of the Hellenic State in the Church of Alexandria. This relationship between our Patriarchate and the Hellenic State is most deeply rooted and continually extended and it offers the necessary guarantees for the common contribution to the Hellenes and the Orthodox Christians of Africa.  

Dear Mr Ambassador, You know well, as do we,  that the progress of the Hellenic Nation co-exists with the service of the Church, as is the case with the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. This eminent Apostolic Throne which by the Grace of God we serve,  boasts not only of its past achievements and its long contribution to man and to the Church. It boasts humbly, especially, of its historical path and its astonishing development of mission. All the expressions of the Alexandrian Church blossom with the aid of many agents and of the simple faithful, who contribute whatever they can, as our work is the common achievement of the children of the Church.

It is evident that the Hellenic and Cypriot States occupy a special place, as do the Churches of Greece and Cyprus, for they express their love both in persons as well as with material means. Here then is the reason why our beginning expression of joy is not a formal and superficial one, but rather the result of our gratitude.’

Commemorative gifts were then exchanged.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH AT THE HELLENIC SCHOOLS OF ETHIOPIA

On the morning of Tuesday 11 March 2004, H.H. Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by their Eminences Petros of Axum and Chrysostomos of Kition, visited the educational buildings of the Hellenic and English departments of the Community School of Ethiopia. 

On behalf of the Community, the Patriarch was met by the first Vice Chairman Mr Theophilos Moldovanos, the Head of the School Hostel Mr Dimitrios Sykas, the Headmaster of the Lyceum and High School of the Greek section Mr George Katopodis, the Headmaster of the Primary School Mr Nicholas Marinos and the Head of the English section Dr Y. Prassat.

Immediately afterwards, the Patriarch was led out to the front yard of the schools where he was met by the lecturers, teachers and pupils of the Greek section. His Beatitude was welcomed by Mr Katopodis, who expressed the joy of all at the presence of the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Africa.

His Beatitude then addressed the young students and among other things said the following:

“If we seek the deeper aim of school, we will have to locate it in the transformation of the relationships both between the pupils themselves as well as between the pupils and their teachers. The Church supports these relations and blesses them, for their aim is not only to offer knowledge, but to transform complete and healthy personalities and to make the manner and quality of human relationships notable.

As the Gospels tell us, the Apostles of Christ comprised a small circle of close followers of Christ, while after Pentecost they were sent out into all the world to preach and to teach about the Resurrection. In this way they followed the example of Jesus who taught at every opportunity. Christ, then, was a teacher, the Apostles were pupils and then teachers, and the Saints of the Church also teachers. The Church does not deny or fear knowledge, which on the contrary it strengthen in every possible way and supports with all her powers. We bless the pupils and teachers of the Hellenic Schools and bestow on all our Patriarchal blessing, as we know the gifts and the fruit, as well as the abundant difficulties which exist. Love, when it meets knowledge, is the most powerful weapon. May God be with you.  Amen.”

The children then sand Greek songs and the Patriarchate gave them little icons of St Mark, urging them to love education and to always be close to the Church nad the Community because children are the future of both.

His Beatitude then visited the classrooms in the English section and held discussions with the teachers and the children. There are around 800 pupils and they are of 52 different nationalities.

The Patriarch then went to the staff office where Mr Katopodis read the record of the lecturers which referred to the visit of the Alexandrian Primate and in which the joy of all was expressed for the great honour of his visit. The Archbishop of Axum in his turn also spoke and expressed his emotions at the presence of the Patriarch and announced a 30,000 Bir (local currency) donation as a first amount to assist towards the new school building Coffee and sweets were then offered.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PATRIARCH AT THE THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE OF THE HOLY TRINITY

On Tuesday 11 March 2003, H.H. Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa accompanied by the Archbishops of Axum and Kition visited the Theological College of the Holy Trinity of the Ethiopian Church.

The Patriarch was received by the Paul, the Ethiopian Patriarch, the Dean of the College Archbishop Timothy and members of the Holy Synod, while the students of the college sang traditional Ethiopian hymns.

In the College hall the Patriarch was addressed by the Dean, who spoke about the history of the college, about its re-opening after the fall of the communist regime, its present path and its contribution to the Church and the community in general, not forgetting to point out the honour of the visit of the Alexandrian Primate.

His Beatitude in his response, among other things, said the following: “Today, with true joy, we are in a genuine workroom of theological knowledge, the Theological College of the Holy Trinity of the Ethiopian Patriarchate. Our joy is the result of the evident relationship of the College with the Church, as Theological science and Theological Studies generally, when connected with the Church, bear important and very great results. Theological quests and their methodology, their directions and explorative presumptions, as well as the wider contribution of the study of theology have a long history in the Christian Church, as for example in the “Catechetical School of Alexandria” from which emanated many great ecclesiastical personalities, Fathers and Teachers of the Church. Through their works and their speculation they did not only translate Biblical texts, but essentially pushed forward human knowledge and introduced new principles for the study of the texts and the experiences which are imprinted in them. Having this long and heavy heritage of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa as a basis, we are establishing throughout the African continent, where our missionary presence is continually expanding, small and larger theological seminaries and Schools, and an effort is being made to constantly improve the theological education which they offer. Receivers of this education are not only the Orthodox Christians and the clergy who come from these institutions, but also all the clergy of every country, for as is well-known, “knowledge gives freedom”.

The Ethiopian Patriarch then spoke and thanked the Alexandrian Primate for his kind words which encouraged the lecturers and students of the College, stressing the positive energy which the Patriarch always radiates and passes on to all. He also thanked him for visiting the Theological College of the Church in this way blessing all the students. He mentioned the great contribution of the Catechetical School of Alexandria and its enormous contribution to Christianity and expressed the joy of all who had the blessing of sharing together these historic moments. Commemorative gifts were then exchanged and as a blessing His Beatitude gave all the students an icon of St Mark.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------LUNCH HOSTED BY THE EGYPTIAN AMBASSADOR IN HONOUR OF THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA

At noon on Tuesday 11 May 2004 the Ambassador of Egypt in Ethiopia Mr Shamel Nasser  hosted a formal lunch in honour of H.B. Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.

Among the lunch guests were the Ambassador of Greece Mr Dionysios Kountoureas, His Eminence Petros Archbishop of Axum, His Eminence Chrysostomos Archbishop of Kition, His Grace George Bishop of Nilopolis, Hieromonk Iakovos Yiannakis, Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos, Mr Dimitrios Sykas and diplomatic officials of the Embassy.

The Ambassador, Mr Nasser expressed his great joy and gratitude for the presence of the Leader of Orthodoxy in Africa at the home of Egypt, and thanked His Beatitude for always expressing the most kind words about Egypt and the peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the country of the Nile.

In his response His Beatitude noted among other things the following: The communication between the Primate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa and their Excellencies the Ambassadors of the Republic of Egypt throughout the world, is the most consistent and non-negotiable proof of the relations between Christians and Muslims.

This relationship is not limited to a formal act of external behaviour, but in a most clear way presents the co-existence of the two religions in the historic land of Egypt. There is mutual support and we accept this assistance. We labour vigourously for the co-existence of the religions and cultures and we do not neglect any suggestion of demonstration of interest for its permanent extension, for peace and love have no boundaries and never cease, rather they are continually increased, extended and multiplied.  

The relations and the honour shown by the Egyptian Authorities and conversely by the Patriarchate to the Authorities, is the request of the peace-loving and serene Egyptian people who, throughout their history and their contemporary conduct constantly prove that they are a rare, but exceptionally important example to follow… The geographical position of Egypt historically encourages the external relations and the internal structures of the Country, especially because they are based on the propelling and the consolidation of peace, conciliation, equality and equality of rights.

We are historically vindicated, dear Mr Ambassador, that from the beginning the seat of our Patriarchate is in Egypt, at the entrance to the African continent, throughout which our spiritual jurisdiction extends. We do not cease to travel around due to our various pastoral and spiritual obligations and we also do not neglect to praise and to proclaim the imperturbable manner and the privileged operation status of our Patriarchate in its administrative centre in Egypt. The results of the operation of the Patriarchate are easily ascertained by both Christian pilgrims as well as by our other official guests.

The Patriarch then gave the Egyptian Ambassador commemorative gifts.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DINNER HOSTED BY THE ETHIOPIAN PATRIARCH

On the night of Tuesday 11 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa attended the official dinner which was hosted in his honour by Paul, Patriarch of Ethiopia at the Ethiopian Patriarchate.

Present at the dinner were His Eminence Petros Archbishop of Axum, the Alexandrian entourage of the Patriarch, the Ambassador of Greece Mr Dionysios Kountoureas, the President of the Greek Community Mr George Stavrou, Mr Dimitrios Sykas and all the members of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Church.

During the dinner the Ethiopian Patriarch addressed the Alexandrian Primate and thanked him once again for his presence in the friendly country of Ethiopia, mentioning that he heads an histories Church, as well as the Hellenes of Africa who from ancient years have contributed much. He continued by mentioning the historic relations between Greece and Ethiopia which began in the time of Homer and to the necessity of retightening those relations which is accomplish through the exchange of meetings and the close co-operation between the Primates of the Churches, with the admirable co-operation with the incumbent representative of the Patriarch in Ethiopia as well as with the representative of the Greek government, but also through the education of Ethiopian youth at educational institutions in Greece. The Ethiopian Patriarch did not omit the mention of the difficult years during which the country was plagued by hunger and civil war, and to thank His Eminence Archbishop Petros of Axum for his perfect co-operation as well as his enormous contribution towards the relief of the suffering people of Ethiopia. He also thanked His Eminence Archbishop Chrysostomos of Kition for the great contribution of the Pan-Cypriot Association for the Fight Against Hunger and for his undertaking to feed 200 orphaned little girls.

His Beatitude thanked the Ethiopian Patriarch for the warm hospitality as well as for the repeated meetings which they had during his stay in the Ethiopian capital and above all for his love. He also referred to the very good relations between the two Churches and invited the Ethiopian Patriarch to formally visit the Patriarchate in 2005. Lastly, he mentioned the contribution of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Kition especially his undertaking, through the Pan-Cypriot  Association for the Fight Against Hunger, the adoption of 200 orphaned girls, by contributing the amount of $3000 US monthly and donated the amount of $21000 US to cover seven months.

With great emotion the Ethiopian Patriarch received the monetary contribution and assured His Beatitude of his eternal love and gratitude.

Finally, His Eminence Archbishop Petros of Axum spoke and stressed the importance of the presence of the Alexandrian Primate in Ethiopia, the very good relations of the Orthodox Church with the Ethiopian Church and, in his turn, donated the amount of 50,000 Bir to the orphanage of the Ethiopian Church in Axum.

Lastly, then, commemorative gifts were exchanged.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DEPARTURE OF THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA FROM ETHIOPIA

Late on the night of Tuesday 11 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa departed from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia to continue his pastoral visit in Tanzania.

His Beatitude was seen off at the airport by His Eminence Archbishop Petros of Axum, the Ambassador of Greece Mr Dionysios Kountoureas, a representative of the Embassy of Egypt, Hieromonk Iakovos Yiannakis and Mr and Mrs Dimitrios and Argyro Sykas.

His Beatitude heartily thanked those present for the success of his visit and wished all health and prosperity.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ARRIVAL OF THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA IN TANZANIA

In the very early morning hours of Wednesday 12 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied again by His Eminence Archbishop Chrysostomos of Kition (Church of Cyprus), His Grace George, Bishop of Nilopolis, Reverend Spyridon Kladakis and the Patriarchal Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos, arrived in Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania (Irinoupolis) on a pastoral visit.

His Beatitude was received at the airport by His Eminence Proterios Archbishop of Dar Es Salaam, the Honorary Consul of Greece Mr George Ferentinos, the local hieromonks Filaretos and Vartholomaios and Mrs Kleopatra Papadimitriou.

His Beatitude stayed at the presidential suite of the Royal Palm Hotel hosted by Mr Emmanuel Mathaiakis Honorary Consul of Cyprus and General Manager of the hotel.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FIRST DAY IN TANZANIA

At noon on Wednesday 12 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, visited and blessed the home of Mr and Mrs Constantinos Samaras and attended a lunch which they hosted in his honour, in the presence of the local Archbishop Proterios, his Alexandrian entourage and prominent members of the Greek community of the Tanzanian capital.

That night he attended a dinner which was hosted in his honour by the President of the Pan-Tanzanian Federation Mr Michael Kazamias at the Greek Club in the city, in the presence of the Homorary Consul of Greece Mr George Ferentinos, the Ambassador of Egypt Mr Sabri el Sabri and the entire community.

In his address, Mr Kazamias welcomed the Alexandrian Primate, expressed the feelings of joy of all the community at the presence of their Patriarch, gave thanks for the enormous work undertaken by the Patriarchate in Tanzania and wished that His Beatitude would visit Dar Es Salaam again soon.

In his response His Beatitude also expressed his great joy in being among the Hellenes of Tanzania, faithful and dear members of the Alexandrian Church. He assured them that their Patriarch is always with them in thought and prayer and his big heart and love covers them always. The Patriarch also thanked the Egyptian Ambassador for his presence and mentioned the good relations which govern the Patriarchate and the Egyptian authorities, as the peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the land of the Nile.

Lastly, the Patriarch gave Mr Kazamias a silver icon of the All Holy Virgin, wishing the the Mother of the Lord would bless and protect him, the members of his family and the Hellenes of Tanzania.

During the dinner, His Beatitude had the opportunity of talking with all present.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------VISIT TO THE EMBASSY OF EGYPT 

On the morning of Thursday 13 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa visited the Ambassador of Egypt, Mr Sabry M Sabry at his home, accompanied by His Eminence Proterios Archbishop of Dar Es Salaam, His Eminence Chrysostomos Archbishop of Kition and his entourage from Alexandria.

The Egyptian Ambassador received the Alexandrian Primate very cordially, expressing feelings of gratitude and honour and stressing the importance of his visit to the home of Egypt and the blessing of his presence.

During his presence there His Beatitude among other things referred to the historic presence of the Patriarchate in the land of the Nile and the assistance and support which the Patriarchate and its faithful enjoy from the Egyptian authorities, referring also to the peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the country, which is an example to be emulated.

Before departing, the Patriarch gave commemorative gifts as a blessing from his visit there.

At noon His Beatitude attended the lunch which was hosted in his honour by Mr Michael Kazamias, President of the Pan-Tanzanian Federation in the presence of the Honorary Consul of Greece Mr George Ferentinos.

In the evening the Patriarch met privately with His Eminence Proterios, Archbishop of Dar-Es Salaam, who informed him about the progress of the mission in the country. In his turn His Beatitude gave the necessary guide lines and paternal instructions.  

That night the Patriarch attended a dinner hosted in his honour by Mr Dimitrios and Mrs Marie Matthaiakis at their home. During the dinner Mr Matthaiakis addressed His Beatitude and expressed feelings of joy and honour for the blessing of his presence in his home, mentioned the current presence of Hellenes in the hospitable, peaceful and progressive Tanzania, to the efforts to improve the Greek school of St Constantine in Arusha and finally, on behalf of all Hellenes in the country, he thanked His Beatitude on the election and placing of His Eminence Proterios in Tanzania, stressing that all have accepted him with love and respect and that he enjoys full support and recognition.

In his reply the Patriarch thanked Mr Matthaiakis for his kind words as well as for the traditional hospitality offered him by the Matthaiakis family whenever he visits the country, from the time that he was the Exarch in East Africa. His Beatitude among other things also expressed his joy at the work being done by the community and especially that love and unity reign among its members, his great love for the beautiful country of Tanzania and especially for its people who make it beautiful. He also expressed his joy at the love which they have for the Archbishop and for their good co-operation with him.

Commemorative gifts were then exchanged.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ARRIVAL IN IRINGA 

On the morning of Friday 14 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by His Eminence Proterios of Dar Es Salaam, His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition and his Alexandrian entourage went to the city of Iringa in Tanzania.

The Patriarch arrived at the airport in Iringa on a special flight of Tanzanair, belonging to Mr Constantinos Samaras. He was received there by the native clergy Presbyter Avgoustinos and Presbyter Kleopas, the President of the Hellenic Community of Iringa Mr George Emmanuel, Mr and Mrs George Fliakos, Messrs John Roussos, Nicholas Roussos, Philip Mainetis, John Fliakos, Mr and Mrs Constantinos Kalogeris, local authorities, representatives of other doctrines, and the native Orthodox Christians of the area who danced and sang in traditional rhythm, holding Greek flags.

Immediately after his arrival, His Beatitude went to the Holy Church of St Dimitrios, where the appointed Doxology was sung for his arrival. After the Doxology the Patriarch addressed warm greetings to all present and among other things said the following: ”The respect of the Tanzanian faithful for the Church is admirable and exemplary for they are connected to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, which in every way offers the necessary spiritual food and the necessary conditions both for their spiritual growth and their continual progress…The glorious history of our Apostolic Church, which was founded by the Apostle and Evangelist Mark is connected to missionary care, so that Christ’s Gospel may be spread on the entire African continent and that every African may receive the pleasure and joy of God’s love for man. Our effort is not easy, but it is blessed by God, for it is the result of His command for evangelization of the nations, with total respect for the peculiarities of each nation and people…Reiterating our most deep and justified joy which we referred to previously, we embrace the worthy, hardworking and beloved hierarch of this region, the clergy of the area and every one of the faithful children of the Church and to all we bestow our paternal prayer and Patriarchal blessing, and finally, we pray that God will deem you worthy of all His goods during your life on earth, as well as all those things He has prepared for His everlasting heavenly Kingdom.

After his greeting the Patriarch gave an Icon of St Athanasios the Great as a blessing and memento of his visit there, blessed all present and gave icons of St Mark and candies to the little children.

His Beatitude then went to the Hellenic Club of Iringa where he had the opportunity of discussion with all the faithful, Hellenes and Tanzanians, as well as with the representatives of the officials and of the other doctrines among whom were Mrs Louta the District Commissioner, the former Minister Mr Peter Sioviloua and the Police Commissioner.

He then attended the lunch hosted in his honour by the Hellenic Community which was attended also by all those mentioned above, all the Orthodox and a 20-member delegation of Cypriot pilgrims who had arrived in Iringa to attend the inauguration of the Holy Church of Ss Andronikos and Athanasia. The Cypriot friends of the mission are from the Xylotymbos community of Larnaca and are accompanying their Archbishop Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition.

During the lunch the Patriarch addressed his greeting and among other things said: “Coming to this Hellenic Club we firstly express our joy in meeting and communicating with the Hellenes who, as lighthouses spread the light of the Hellenic soul to all corners of Africa. Our joy is combined with hope and trust in God, for we hope that Hellenism in Africa, despite its transient changes, is an able continuer of the great and lengthy Hellenic tradition, while at the same time we are filled with the confidence  which tells us of the achievement of progress…The Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa with its Greek Orthodox identity, through the activities of its Archbishops and Bishops and in co-operation with the local Hellenic Embassies and Consulates, offers the necessary spiritual and often all types of other assistance to the Hellenes who reside within its spiritual jurisdiction…As true and genuine Hellenes you continue our Hellenic traditions, you keep our traditional customs and also remain faithful to your Church and your Patriarchate because you know that our love and concern are constant, undiminished and always increasing. No difficulty and no problem is able to hinder or cease the dedication of Hellenes to the Patriarchate, and not even the care of the Patriarchate towards Hellenes, albeit that through the missions new members are constantly added to the Church and our responsibilities and duties are increased… The dynamic and thriving Hellenic Communities will always be the strongest part of our Patriarchate, because while no Orthodox Christian is underestimated, the Hellenes remain the nurseries and the links of the presence and progress of universal Hellenism. All Hellenes together comprise Greece and the Hellenic culture which is not limited to the Hellenic State, but is extended to all the world and contributes to its progress and development”.

That night the Patriarch stayed at the guest house of Mr and Mrs George Fliakos within the area of their large farm in Kitamalou. Prior to that he visited the newly built Holy Church of Ss Andronikos and Athanasia on the property.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SECOND DAY OF THE STAY IN IRINGA

On Saturday 15 May 2004, the second day of the stay of His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa to Iringa, His Beatitude, accompanied by His Eminence Proterios of Dar Es Salaam, His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition, his entourage from Alexandria, Messrs George Fliakos and Philip Mainetis  and the delegation of Cypriot pilgrims from Xylotymbos, visited the Ruaha National Park and admired the beautiful African nature and the wild animals.

In the afternoon he had successive meetings with the Hellenes of the region and discussed with them the various issues which concern them as well as the prospective for development of the missionary effort in the area, through the building of an orphanage which will offer shelter and love to the orphaned children of the area, as well as a clinic for free medical treatment to those who are suffering.

That night Mr and Mrs George and Loulla Fliakos hosted a dinner at their home in honour of His Beatitude and the visitors from Cyprus.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------INAUGURATION OF THE CHURCH AT KITAMALOU

On the morning of Sunday 16 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa inaugurated the newly built Holy Church of Ss Andronikos and Athanasia in the Kitamalou area. His Beatitude was assisted in the inauguration and the Divine Liturgy which followed by His Eminence Proterios of Dar Es Salaam, His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition, His Grace Bishop George of Nilopolis, Rev Ieronymos Gerolaimou from the Xylofagou region of Larnaca, the local clergy Fr Kleopas and Fr Avgoustinos, Rev Spyridon Kladakis and Deacon Nektarios Kontogeorgos.

The Divine Liturgy was conducted in Greek and the local Swahili dialect while the 50-member choir of the Church sang in Swahili. The inauguration and the Divine Liturgy were attended by the Honorary Consul of Greece Mr George Ferentinos, the President of the Pan-Tanzanian Federation Mr Michael Kazamias, the President of the Iringa Hellenic Community Mr George Emmanuel, Mr and Mrs George Fliakos who donated the ground on which the Church was built, all the Hellenes of the region, as well as Hellenes who arrived from the capital Dar Es Salaam especially for the inauguration, the Cypriot pilgrims, Mrs Louta the District Commissioner, representatives of other doctrines and all the Orthodox Christians of the region.

Before the end of the Liturgy, His Eminence Proterios Archbishop of Dar Es Salaam, addressed His Beatitude and referred to his fruitful missionary activity throughout Africa, thanked all who contributed to the building of the Church and the residence for the priest, making special mention of His Eminence Chrysostomos Archbishop of Kition and Mt George Fliakos, describing in detail the works accomplished in the Holy Archdiocese of Dar Es Salaam from the day that His Beatitude entrusted him with this Archdiocese.  

In his response, the Patriarch, after expounding on the meaning of the day’s Gospel of the Blind Man, among other things also said the following:  “It is our obligation and duty to thank all who contributed to the completion of this Church, namely Protopresbyter Kyriakos Panayiotou, who with the blessing of his Archbishop, His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition, acted in order that the residents of Xylotymbos, together with the Holy Monastery of Ss Raphael, Nicholas and Irene in Xylotymbos, would contribute so that the beautiful Church and the priest’s residence could be built, a task which will give joy on earth, and in which we will prepare ourselves for the eternal Kingdom of God.

Together with our thanks to the donors of the Church, we express our deepest gratitude to the local Archbishop of Dar Es Salaam, His Eminence Proterios, for his spiritual work and the pastoral care which he showed. With the strength which he has he struggles in a concerted and systematic way for the progress of the Holy Archdiocese which he worthily was entrusted with by the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa…At the same time, on this festival day and hour it is necessary to thank His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition, for his great love which he always and in every possible way shows for the Church and our Patriarchal Throne. His presence here, as well as that of his entourage from Cyprus, is very strong proof of his love and concern for the progress of the missionary programmes and the completion of our ecclesiastical visions… During this day of the inauguration of this Church, let us all unite our prayers to God, who gave sight to the Blind Man of today’s Gospel extract, that He will constantly expand our mission here as well as throughout Africa, wherever our spiritual jurisdiction and responsibility end”.

The Patriarch gave His Eminence Proterios a pectoral Cross and donated to the Church as a blessing a silver Icon of St Nektarios. He then gave out to all the faithful an icon of St Mark and St Andronikos and sweets to the little children. The Orthodox youth sang and danced traditional songs and dances in the grounds of the Church. All present were then offered lunch.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THIRD DAY OF THE STAY IN KITAMALOU

Late on the afternoon of Sunday 16th May 2004 His Beatitude Petros VII Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa conducted the service of the Lesser Blessing of Waters at the home of Mr and Mrs Constantinos and Maroula Kalogeris and then attended the celebratory dinner which they hosted in his honour and which was attended by all the Hellenes of the area, the visitors from Dar Es Salaam, as well as the Cypriot pilgrims. The Patriarch thanked the Kalogeris family for their hospitality and offered commemorative gifts both to them as well as to all the guests at the meal.

In the evening His Beatitude blessed and laid the foundation stone for the tobacco factory of the Fliakos and Mainetis families, which is under construction.

That night he attended the farewell dinner hosted in his honour by Mr George and Mrs Loulla Fliakos at their home. There, the Patriarch honoured the host by giving him the Cross of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark, 2nd Class, for his contribution to the Church to this day and wished him and his family health and progress. Greatly moved, Mr Fliakos accepted the great honour, warmly thanked the Patriarch and promised that he would continue with even greater zeal to contribute to the spread of Orthodoxy in the region and to the easing of the unjust sufferings of his African brethren. His Beatitude finally offered gifts to all the members of his family.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DEPARTURE FROM IRINGA

On the morning of Monday 17 May 2004 His Beatitude Petros Vii, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by His Eminence Proterios of Dar Es Salaam, His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition and his entourage from Alexandria, departed from the Airport of Iringa on a special flight of the Tanzanair Air Company, owned by Mr Constantinos Samaras the destination being the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam.

At the Airport, the Alexandrian Primate was seen off by the local priest Fr Kleopas, the President of the Hellenic Community of Iringa Mr George Emmanuel, Mrs Loulla Fliakos and Mr John Fliakos.

Before departing His Beatitude thanked everyone for their hospitality and above all for their love and dedication to their Church and their Patriarchate and wished all health and spiritual progress as well as progress in their work.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COMPLETION OF THE STAY IN DAR ES SALAAM

Returning to Dar Es Salaam from Iringa on the afternoon of Monday 17 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa was met at the airport of the capital of Tanzania by Mr Constantinos Samaras, Mr Dimitrios Samaras, owners of the private airline Tanzanair and the President of the Pan-Tanzanian Federation Mr Michael Kazamias.

The Patriarch went on to the Archdiocesan Palace where he had a private meeting with His Eminence Proterios of Dar Es Salaam and Mr Kazamias, where they discussed issues which concern the Hellenes and the activities of the Church in the country.

Late that afternoon, His Eminence Proterios hosted a lunch during which His Beatitude honoured Mr Kazamias with the Cross of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark, 2nd class,  for his great contribution to the Church and the Hellenes of Tanzania, wishing that his zeal for contribution to Hellenism may continue always.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DEPARTURE FROM TANZANIA

On the evening of Monday 17 May 2004, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa and his entourage departed from Dar Es Salaam with a final destination of Cairo with an en route stop in Addis Ababa.

In the V.I.P. lounge of the International Airport in Dar Es Salaam, His Beatitude was seen off by His Eminence Proterios of Dar Es Salaam, the Egyptian Ambassador Mr Sabry M. Sabry, the Honorary Consul of Greece Mr George Ferentinos and the native Hierodeacon Filaretos.

Before his departure the Patriarch expressed his satisfaction with the missionary activity of the local Archbishop and wished all health and progress.

During his three hour lay-over in Addis Ababa, the Patriarch met with His Eminence Petros of Axom, the representative of the Greek Embassy Mrs Argyro Sykas, Mr Dimitrios Sykas and Mr and Mrs Dimitrios and Zafeiria Asimacopoulos in the V.I.P. lounge.

In the early hours of Tuesday 18 May 2004 His Beatitude arrived at the International Airport in Cairo completing his twelve day pastoral visit to Ethiopia and Tanzania.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Updated 20/05/04