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
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
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
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".
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
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.