CONSTANTINOLE – His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonis Diamataris will attend the Thronal Feast of the Church of Constantinople commemorating the name of its founder St. Andrew, the First-Called Disciple of Christ, on November 29 and 30.
Patriarch Theodore will officiate at Great Vespers on Friday evening, November 29 and on Saturday he will co-Liturgize with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Archbishop Elpidophoros of America will also take part in the Liturgy. The Archbishop is visiting the Phanar where he has had meetings and discussions with Patriarch Bartholomew about the ecclesiastical issues of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The Patriarch will also ordain to the Holy Diaconate Vasilios Gregoriadis, a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology of Boston. Gregoriadis, born in Constantinople and the son of a priest, will serve at the Patriarchate.
Also at the Synod meeting from November 26-29 Archimandrite Joachim Cotsonis, Director of Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Center at Holy Cross will be elected auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Elpidophoros. Fr. Joachim is already in Constantinople.
Diamataris, as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Hellenes Abroad, which also includes Greek Orthodox Churches of the Diaspora, will represent Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the government of Greece at the Thronal Celebration. Diamataris will arrive in Constantinople on Friday night, November 29.
Representatives of Pope Francis will also be attendance, led by Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Pontific Council for the Unity of Christians.
The presence of His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria is of great importance after his official recognition of the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It is reminded here that he followed the lead of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, who first commemorated, along with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the name of the new Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanios. The Patriarchate of Alexandria ranks second among the ancient Patriarchates.
The commemoration took place during the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy in Cairo at the Church of the Archangels in Dahir, where Egypt’s largest Arabic-speaking Orthodox community lives.
Patriarch Theodoros in his speech said among other things that, “from here in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, I would like to talk about a great event for our Church. The Patriarchate of Alexandria, which is the second in rank, after much prayer and consideration, in the presence of the Holy Hierarchs, in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador of Greece, I would like to officially announce that our Patriarchate [commemorated] today the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine and His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanios.”
Patriarch Theodoros also said that, “I have served the Church for many years, and I know that from today, with the mercy of God, this great issue for our Church will be resolved. Unity, love, and hope will come,” and he added that “through our struggles, our efforts, we will see Christ be in our midst.”
Afterwards, the Exarch of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Athens, Metropolitan Georgios of Guinea, read the official announcement signed by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros.