ALEXANDRIA IN CONSTANTINOPLE
by H.G. George,
Nilopolis, Patriarchal Vicar in Alexandria
On July 21, 2003, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and
All Africa arrived in Constantinople for an unofficial visit as a guest of His
All Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch. On this trip he was escorted
by H.E. Petros, Metropolitan of Axume (Ethiopia), H.E. Theodoros, Metropolitan
of Zimbabwe and Deacon Nektarios Kontogiorgos. At the international airport of
Istanbul he was received by H.E. Gennadios, Metropolitan of Sassima and the Very
Revd. Archimandrite Athenagoras.
At the Fanar he
met with the Ecumenical Patriarch. Then the two Patriarchs
traveled to Sylyvria where they spent a couple of days for reconciliation
and rest. During these days they discussed various issues regarding the two
Churches and the entire Orthodox Church as a whole.
On Friday, July
25, they returned back to
same evening they
attended a dinner hosted by Mr. Athanasef.
July 26, the Patriarch of Alexandria presided over the Divine
Liturgy at the Holy Church of St. Paraskevi in Pikridia. The Ecumenical
Patriarch prayed at the Holy Altar. After the service the Ecumenical
Patriarch welcomed the Patriarch of Alexandria and referred to his strong
personality and presence in the Orthodox Church also highlighting that the two
sister churches are following the same path. H.B. Petros
thanked His All Holiness for his invitation to visit
expressed his joy for being once again with the Ecumenical Patriarch who
gives comfort to all who are near him; referred to the life and works of St.
Paraskevi and wished that her intercessions would accompany all. He also
presented the icon of the Theotokos to the Church.
they attended a dinner hosted by Mr. Tsakos.
On Sunday, July
27, the Patriarch of Alexandria presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Holy
Church of St. Panteleimon in Kuzkunzikia in the Chalkedon diocese. Concelebrants
were H.B. Leo, Archbishop of Finland; H.E. Joseph, Metropolitan of New Zealand
and the hierarchs of the Patriarch's entourage. His All Holiness prayed at the
Holy Altar. After the service the Ecumenical Patriarch welcomed the Patriarch of
Alexandria and referred to his service to the Church and the importance of his
presence in the contemporary world. His Beatitude Petros, with deep emotion,
thanked His All Holiness for the love and honor that he always receives
form the Ecumenical Patriarch and highlighted that everything they do is done
for the benefit of the Church and her faithful. Then he preached the sermon of
the day and wished that H.E. Joachim, Metropolitan of Chalkedon would recover
soon from his long time illness. Later on both patriarchs visited H.E. Joachim
at the hospital.
On Monday, July
28, His Beatitude Petros and his entourage departed for
Before his departure he extended an invitation the His All Holiness to visit
Alexandria in 2004 during the inauguration of the Patriarchal Palace, which is
Patriarch attended a dinner hosted by Mr. I. Magkriotis, the Alternate Minister
of Foreign Affairs in the presence of H.E. Chrysostomos, the Metropolitan of
Carthage (North Africa); H.G. Agathaggelos, the Bishop of Phanarion, the
Director of Apostoliki Diakonia of the Church of Greece; members of the House of
Parliament and others.
On Tuesday, July 29, the Patriarch met with His Beatitude Christodoulos,
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece and discussed with him various Church
issues. He also thanked him once again for his contribution to the missionary
work of the Patriarchate. Archbishop Christodoulos reassured Patriarch Petros
that the Church of Greece would always stand by the Church of Alexandria.
returned back to Alexandria on Wednesday evening, July