February 2005

THE PATRIARCH IN CAIRO
 

His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa travelled to Cairo on Saturday 5th February 2005.
 
His Beatitude went immediately to the Holy Monastery of St George, Old Cairo, were he held talks with the Patriarchal Vicar, His Eminence Alexios of Carthage.
 
That afternoon he cut the traditional New Year Cake of the Graduates of the Ambetios School of Cairo at a special function. On the evening of the same day he was honoured by the Dean of the School of Philosophy of the University of Ioannina, Mr Papaioannou.
 
On the next day, Sunday 6th Februsry 2005, His Beatitude conducted the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Church of the Archangels in Daher, accompanied by His Eminence Alexios of Carthage and His Eminence Nicholas of Ermopolis.
 
Following the Divine Liturgy a reception was hosted in honour of His Beatitude by the Arab-speaking Orthodox Community of Cairo and at noon an official lunch was hosted at a well-known city restaurant.
 
THE ALEXANDRIAN PARTRIARCH IN TANTA
 

On Sunday 13th February 2004, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, travelled to Tanta in Egypt, accompanied by Hierarchs and clergy of the Patriarchate and of other Churches.
 
His Beatitude, who was visiting the third-largest city of Egypt for the first time, was welcomed at the entrance to the Holy Church of the Meeting of the Saviour, by His Eminence the Metropolitan of Ermopolis to whose jurisdiction the city of Tanta belongs, local authorities and crowds of faithful Greek and Arab citizens of the city, as well as pilgrims who arrived from Cairo, Alexandria and Damietta.
 
His Beatitude then conducted the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Church of the Meeting of the Saviour, together with His Eminence Nicholas of Ermopolis and His Eminence Sergios of the Cape of Good Hope, as well as clergy from Alexandria, Cairo, Damietta and Greece.
 
Present at the Divine Liturgy was Bishop Paul of the Coptic Church in Tanta, authorities from Cairo and Alexandria, and the Greek Embassy was reprented by the Consul General in Cairo, Mr Eracles Asteriades.
 
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude spoke of the unity between the Arab-speaking and Greek communities and of the contribution of Hellenes to the land of the Nile, and then thanked everyone for their presence. A reception was held in the grounds where once the Metropolis of Ermopolis was housed and which now unfortunately is in ruins. His Beatitude inspected the area and immediately began discussions on renovating the buildings and placing clergy there in order that this historic Memorial may be preserved.
 
The Patriarch then visited the Holy Church of St George where the seat of the Holy Metropolis of Ermopolis is situated today, and inspected the renovations of the Church there; he then held discussions with the Metropolitan of Ermopolis regarding these works and the contribution of the Missionary Society of "St Kosmas", which, through its Chairman Mr Aslanides, has undertaken all the costs of the maintenance of the Church.
 
A reception followed in the Church hall, during which gifts were exchanged. His Eminence the Metropolitan of Ermopolis thanked His Beatitude for his help, saying: "...Your Beatitude, it is important for our Churches to remain open. With every Church that closes, the importance of the Patriarchate is lessened and all of us here in Tanta, Greek and Arab-speaking Orthodox Christians, are one and we are trying to keep our Churches open...We thank you very much for your help". His Beatitude then referred to the unity of the Church and that his aim is that all Churches in Egypt will remain open. He did not fail to thank the President of the Egyptian Republic, Mr Hosni Mubarak for the protection and freedom which he grants to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria  and All Africa. He promised support in order that all our Churches remain open and witness to Hellenism and Orthodoxy.
 
A formal lunch followed, hosted in honour of His Beatitude by the Hellenic Community of Cairo with which the Hellenic Community of Tanta has been amalgamated.


THE MAYOR OF ATHENS AND MR MITSOTAKIS VISIT THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA
 
His Beatitude Theodoros II went to the Hall of the Hellenic Community of Alexanria on the night of Sunday 20th February 2005, accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan Dionysios of Leontopolis, His Eminence Metropolitan George of Zimbabwe and the clergy of the Patriarchate where he attended a dinner in honour of the Mayor of Athens Mrs Dora Bakoyiannis and of the Honorary President of the New Democracy Mr Konstantinos Mitsotakis.
 
Before the dinner, the Chairman of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria welcomed the honoured guests to Alexandria and spoke of the history of the Most Ancient Hellenic Community of Alexandria. He then gave the Mayor and Mr Mitsotakis silver commemorative gifts of the city.
 
Mrs Bakoyiannis and Mr Mitsotakis then addressed the gathering.
 
His Beatitude then addressed the gathering and among other things spoke of the history as well as the future of Hellenism in Alexandria and of the Ancient Patriarchate. He also mentioned, through speaking of the past, the cordial relations between his father and Mr Mitsotakis and then welcomed them both to Alexandria, seat of the Alexandrian Patriarchate. Also present at the dinner were the Ambassador of Greece in Cairo Mr Panayiotis Vlasopoulos, the Consul General of Greece in Alexandia Mr Theocharis Lalakos, the Chairman of the Greek Associations and Societies and all local residents.
 
On the next day, Monday 21st February 2005, the Mayor of Athens Mrs Dora Bakoyiannis and the Honorary President of the New Democracy Mr Konstantinos Mitsotakis visited the Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas where the Patriarchate is temporarily being housed.
 
After venerating at the historic Patriarchal Church of St Savvas they went to the Great Hall of the Monastery where the Primate of the Alexandrian Throne welcomed them to the Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa and gave them each a silver table Cross of the Patriarchate for their offices. The Mayor of Athens then gave the Alexandrian Primate a silver-plated icon of the Panagia.
 
Immediately thereafter they went to the Patriarchal Palace which is under renovation and to the Holy Church of the Annunciation. The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of Athens, the Honorary President of the New Democracy and their entourage were taken on a conducted tour of all the buildings of the Patriarchal Palace by His Beatitude, including the underground areas which were discovered during the works and are an anicent reservoir which will become a museum, as well as the Library of the Patriarchate and the area which is being turned into a Museum of Manuscripts.
 
The Mayor of Athens stated that the municipality of Athens will support with all its powers the work of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
 
Mrs Bakoyiannis also expressed the wish that the Municipality of Athens will offer all assistance needed in order that the richness of the wisdom of the books and the volumes which make up the history of the Patriarchal Library be re-established and classified.
 
On hia behalf, Mr Mitsotakisstressed that Greece should show more concern for the Hellenic Orthodox Patriarchates which can expect help from nowhere else. Mr Mitsotakis praised a "worthy servant of the Most High, who is modest and humble and is dedicated to the works of good" in the person of Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria. He did not fail to stress the importance of the work left behind by Patriarch Petros of Blessed Memory. The former Prime Minister ended by saying: "I have seen the Patriarchate of Alexandria in difficult times. Today, I see that it lives again. The assistance necessary is not great. We will help it to arrive as soon as possible".

THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA IN SOUTH AFRICA
 

His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa arrived in South Africa on Saturday 26th February to pay a Pastoral Visit to the local Archdiocese there.
 
The Primate of the Alexandrian Throne, accompanied by Archimandrite Markos Theodosi, arrived at the Johannesburg International Airport early in the morning. During his brief stopover at the airport, he met with the Ambassador of Egypt, the Consul General of Greece and Metropolitan Seraphim of Johannesburg and a short while later departed by air for Cape Town.
 
At the International Airport in Cape Town His Beatitude was welcomed on the steps of the aircraft by His Eminence Sergios Metropolitan of Cape Town, the Consul General of Greece in Cape Town Mr Christodoulos Margaritis, the Chairman of the Hellenic Community Mr Athanasios Martalas, clergy of the Archdiocese and Mrs Christine Joelson, courtesy officer, on behalf of the Premier of the Western Cape. Faithful Christians from all the Orthodox communities of the area bearing the flags of the nations from which they come, congregated at the Airport and enthusiastically welcomed the Alexandrian Primate.
 
His Beatitude and his entourage then left for the Archdiocesan House where they were to stay. His Eminence Sergios Metropolitan of the Cape hosted a lunch at noon attended also by the Consul General of Greece and the Chairman of the Hellenic Community.
 
On the evening of the same day the Hellenic Community hosted a reception at their grounds in honour of His Beatitude. The Chairman of the Hellenic Community welcomed His Beatitude and stressed the great significance of the visit of the spiritual leader and father of the Orthodox Christians of the African Continent for Hellenism in South Africa, referring especially to the benefit which the Hellenic Community derives from the close collaboration of the Church with the Hellenic Communities. Also present was the representative of the Hellenic Federation of South Africa, Mr G. Philippou who also thanked His Beatitude for the paternal concern which he shows to his spiritual children, and stressed the necessity for making the youth more sensitive to issues of Hellenism. He asked for the Patriarch's assistance for the promotion of co-operation between the Federation and the two Archdiocese of South Africa.
 
In his reply His Beatitude expressed his emotion and his great joy at being among the Greeks of Cape Town. He stressed the importance of keeping the faith and Greek language for the survival of Hellenism far from our Motherland. He thanked the Chairman and the representative of the Federation for their efforts for the progress of Hellenism. Taking up the opportunity of the presence of the Consul General of Greece Mr Christodoulos Margaritis, he thanked the government of Greece for the assistance offered to Greeks living abroad and to the Church of Alexandria. Among those present were His Grace Dimitrios, Bishop of Thermi, His Grace Evmenios Bishop of Lefki, and Archpriest Father Telemachos Margaritis, clergy from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, guests of the Consul General whom His Beatitude warmly welcomed.
 
A cultural programme was then presented by the "Dancing Academy" pupils of the Community. The function ended with the Patriarch's visit to the Greek School "St Cosmas the Aetolian" which is based on the grounds of the Hellenic Community and he had a brief discussion with the teaching staff.

Updated 01/03/05