October 2004

NEW PARIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA ELECTED 9/10/04

His Eminence Metropolitan Theodoros was unanimously elected as the 115th patriarch of the Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.

The new Primate of the Church of the Saint and Apostle Mark was first elected as one of the final three candidates together with Metropolitan Petros of Aksum and Metropolitan Dionysios of Leontopolis, receiving 22 of the 27 votes of the Bishops of the Throne, against the 15 of the Locum Tenens Metropolitan Petros and the 10 of Metropolitan Dionysios.

Immediately thereafter, in the sanctuary of the Church of St Savvas, the 13 Metropolitans of the Holy Synod unanimously elected Metropolitan Theodoros as successor of His Beatitude Petros VII of blessed memory.

The new Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodoros II, was born in Heraclion, Crete in 1954. He is a graduate of the Theological Faculty of the University of Thessalonica. He was ordained Deacon in 1975 and Priest in 1978. He served as Archdeacon and Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Lambis and Sfakion. From 1985 he was appointed as Exarch of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Odessa. In 1990 he was elected Bishop of Kyrene and was appointed Patriarchal Representative in Athens up until March 1997. He then began his tenure as Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria. On 23rd September 1997 he was elected Metropolitan of Cameroon and in October 2002 as Metropolitan of Zimbabwe.

The locum tenens of the Alexandrian Throne Metropolitan Petros of Aksum was the one who announced at 12h10 (Greek Time) the unanimous election of Theodoros II as the new Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, in the crowded church of St Savvas in Alexandria.

While the bells were ringing joyfully and the crowd shouting “Worthy”, the new Primate of the Church of St Mark emotionally blessed all who came to congratulate him. Among these were the Ambassador of Greece in Cairo Mr Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, the Vice President of SAE (Society of Hellenes Abroad) Mr Stephanos Tamvakis, the President of the Hellenic Community of Cairo Mr Christos Kavalis and his counterpart in Alexandria Mr H Katsimbris.

The Patriarch, Theodoros II, directly following the singing of his feme  by his flock and the Hierarchy, wanted to thank all who had supported him in his work to the present day. Turning back the clock of time, he recalled the 31 years of his priesthood. Firstly, he recalled Patriarch Petros of Blessed Memory whom he succeeds at the helm of the Church of St Mark. He also commemorated Patriarchs Parthenios and Nicholas for the help they gave him in his work. He made special mention of his mother Cleopatra who supported him throughout his life.

Addressing the Hierarchs of the Throne, he stressed that he would be their “brother” adding that no-one would leave his side embittered, leaving us to understand that he would maintain the current balance as it exists at the Patriarchate of Alexandria, making no changes.

He also thanked the “Patriarch of Modern Hellenism and the Nation”, Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, whom he met in 1975, when Metropolitan Theodoros was still a Deacon on the island of Crete. He also made special mention of Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem.

He especially thanked Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece.  “I thank this charismatic leader because I know how much he supported me, how much he helped me…And I wish to say to him: “Your Beatitude, I will always stand faithfully by you. The Greece which you shepherd is our homeland; the rocks, sea and sun, are the mother that helps us to lift the cross of absence abroad, here in Africa”. Finally, he also thanked the authorities of Egypt.

Statements regarding Theodoros II, the new Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, were afterwards immediately made by all those who were present at this historic event for Alexandria and the Church of Africa.

The representative of Greece in Cairo, Ambassador Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, stressed that  “this day is a day of thanksgiving, because the Patriarchate of Alexandria, this Ancient Patriarchate managed to heal the wound left by Petros of blessed memory, so unexpectedly. In a short space of time, and in total harmony and love, the Hierarchs elected a new Patriarch. The Hellenic nation wishes him success and assures him of its support”.

On his part, the Vice President of SAE, Mr Stephanos Tamvakis, stated that “the unanimous election of the new Patriarch is of special significance, because the result unites both clergy and people. We were and are at his side”. Finally, the President of the Hellenic Community of Cairo, Mr Christos Kavalis, stated that “we had asked God for the right person to continue the work of Petros VII of Blessed Memory. We stated our position publicly and in the end were justified by God’s will. We will support the new Patriarch Theodoros II in the easy and difficult tasks”.

The enthronement of the new Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa will take place in Alexandria on 24th October 2004 at 11h00.

On Sunday 17th October in both Alexandria and Cairo, there will be a 40-day memorial service for the late Patriarch Petros VII.    

Athens, Greece, 09/10/2004

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS – Telegram of congratulations from Mr Skandalakis to the newly-elected Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodoros II

HELLENIC REPUBLIC

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

INFORMATION SERVICE

Athens 9th October 2004

ANNOUNCEMENT

The Deputy Minister responsible for the issues Hellenes Abroad Mr Panayiotis Skandalakis, sent a congratulatory telegram to Theodoros II, the newly-elected Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. In his telegram he stated the following:

“Your Beatitude,

On your elevation to the Throne of St Mark, please accept my warmest wishes and hearty congratulations.

I pray that the Lord will grant you abundant health, long life and every support from above for the completion of your significant spiritual mission, for the benefit of the most Ancient institution, the Hellenes abroad and your entire flock in Africa”.

Panayiotis Skandalakis 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

HERAKLION GREECE 10/10/2004 (Reporter G Mysirlakis)

Heraklion – Election of Patriarch of Alexandria – Congratulations

The election of Theodoros II, as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, was received with great satisfaction and feelings of joy and emotion in his birthplace of Crete. As soon as the announcement of his unanimous election was made known, the bells of the churches of Nea Alikarnassos, where his family lives, rang out joyfully. There was a celebratory atmosphere in the Archdiocese of Crete, too, and Timotheos, the Archbishop of Crete, expressed his congratulations to Theodoros II the new Patriarch and stressed both his virtues and the work which he has contributed to this day from whichever position he had served in the Church.

Also, warm congratulations to His Beatitude Theodoros II the newly-elected Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa were expressed both in a telegram and in press statements by the General Secretary of the Area of Crete Mr Seraphim Tsokas. His telegram reads as follows:

“Your Beatitude,

Please accept my warm congratulations on your unanimous election to the post of Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. Your election is a great honour for Crete and for Hellenism.

I wish you great success in your significant and difficult tasks for the benefit of Orthodoxy, Hellenism and your African flock”.

In answering questions posed by reporters regarding the election of the new Patriarch, Mr Tsokas said:

“We need to understand the importance of this Patriarchate for Greece. Especially, when this seat of Pope and Patriarch is adorned by one from Crete. One for whom, even though I do not have a personal view, all the messages I have received, speak of a most worthy Hierarch who will represent us and who will continue the work in Africa. And I am sure that he will extend it. My warm congratulations”.

NICOSIA CYPRUS 09/10/2004 (Reporter G Leonidas)

Congratulatory Telegram – New Patriarch – President Papadopoulos

A congratulatory telegram was sent by the President of the Republic Mr Tassos Papadopoulos to Theodoros the new Patriarch of Alexandria.

President Papadopoulos congratulates the new Patriarch on his election and wishes him great success in the difficult tasks he must accomplish.

ATHENS GREECE 09/10/2004

Archbishop Christodoulos on the election of Theodoros as new Patriarch of Alexandria

Congratulations and praise on the election of the new Patriarch of Alexandria Theodoros II were sent on behalf of the Church of Greece and himself personally, by Christodoulos the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, in which he stressed that “we will be at your side, assisting and supporting you in you pastoral, missionary, social work”.

On hearing the announcement of Theodoros as the new Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa our heart was filled with joy and gladness as the recently vacant 2nd Throne of Orthodoxy was taken by a young, sensible, gentle Shepherd, who has knowledge of the pastoral needs of the African continent, who is loved by us all. Patriarch Theodoros encompasses all those talents and attributes which are necessary for the continuation of the bold and well-known tasks of his predecessor Petros of Blessed Memory in Africa, while he also bears the hopes, the expectations and the visions of the Hellenes in Egypt”, said Archbishop Christodoulos.

ALEXANDRIA EGYPT 09/10/2004 (N Katsikas)

INVITATION

We would like to inform all the faithful Christians that the enthronement of His Beatitude, the Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria & All Africa THEODOROS II will take place at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos (Evangelismos) in Alexandria on Sunday, October 24, 2004, at 11 am

(please be seated by 10:45) 

HOLY SYNOD – PRESS RELEASE

Hierarchal Elections – New Archdioceses

During its meeting on the 27th October 2004, following a proposal by His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, the Holy and Venerable Synod of the Second –Throne Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa appointed:

A)   As Representative and Director of the Office of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Athens His Eminence Petros Metropolitan of Aksum, in appreciation of his multifaceted and lengthy contribution to the Patriarchal Throne

B)    As Chief Secretary of the Patriarchates and the Holy Synod the Very Reverend Archimandrite Gennadios Stantzios. (The new Chief Secretary cones from Drama. He served 12 years in the Holy Metropolis of Philippos, Neapolis and Thassos [Kavala] beside His Eminence Metropolitan Prokopios of Philippos, as a deacon and Archimandrite in the offices of the Holy Metropolis as a Secretary, in charge of Youth, as Preacher and Parish Priest of the Cathedral Church of the Apostle Paul).

Immediately thereafter, the Body of the Venerable Metropolitans met until late in the evening, for the following issues on the Agenda:

1.    Proposal of an Honourable elevation of Metropolitans to Elders.

2.    Re-establishment of the Holy Metropolis of Tripoli, having its see in Tripoli, Libya and its territorial area the Republic of Libya and the Community of Marsa-Matrouh (Egypt) being detached from the Metropolis of Carthage which up till now was merged. The Metropolitan of Tripoli bears the title “exarch of Libya”

3.    Re-establishment of the Holy Metropolis of Ptolemais, having its see in Minia in Egypt, and its territorial area Upper Egypt (Communities of Minia, Fagioum, Luxor, Asiout, Aswan, Beni Souef), being detached from the Holy Archdiocese of Alexandria. The Metropolitan of Ptolemais bears the title “exarch of Upper Egypt”.

4.    Elevation of the Holy Diocese of Nigeria to Metropolis having its see in Lagos, Nigeria, and territorial area the Diocese of Nigeria. The Metropolitan of Nigeria bears the title “exarch of the Gulf of Guinea”.

5.   Renaming of the Holy Metropolis of Dar Es Salaam as Metropolis of Irenoupolis.

6.   Detachment of the Seychelle Islands from the Holy Metropolis of Kenya and annexation thereof to the Holy Metropolis of Irenoupolis. The Metropolitan of Irenoupolis bears the title “exarch of Eastern Tanzania and Seychelle Islands”.

7.    Filling vacant and evacuated Holy Metropolises and Dioceses.

8.    Proposal that Provincial Bishops attend the Holy Synod of the Throne as observers, without a vote.

Elevation of Auxilliary Bishop to Titled Metropolitan

The new Venerable Metropolitans and Bishops elected in the recent Hierarchal elections are:

To the Holy Metropolis of Carthage (Tunis, Morocco & Algeria):

His Grace Bishop Alexios of Nitria

To the Holy Metropolis of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Malawi & Mozambique):  

His Grace Bishop George of Nilopolis

To the Holy Metropolis of Tripoli (Libya):

His Grace Bishop Theophylaktos of Babylon (Old Cairo)

To the Holy Metropolis of Ptolemais (Egypt):

His Eminence Metropolitan Proterios of Dar Es Salaam

To the Holy Metropolis of Pilousion (Port Said – Egypt):

His Grace Bishop Panteleimon of Ghana

To the Holy Metropolis of Irenoupolis:

His Eminence Metropolitan Dimitrios of Cameroon

To the Holy Metropolis of Cameroon:

Archimandrite Gregorios Stergiou

To the Holy Diocese of Ghana:

Archimandrite Damaskinos Papandreou

To the Holy Diocese of Madagascar:

Archimandrite Ignatios Sennis

To the Ancient Former Holy Diocese of Babylon (Old Cairo):

Archimandrite Emmanuel Kagias

From the Patriarchal Press Office

In the Great City of Alexandria – 27th October 2004

Updated 29/10/04