Patriarchal News Bulletin

November 2016

The Holy and Sacred Synod convened under the chairmanship of His All-Holiness for its regular session from Saturday, November 26, until Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

The Holy and Sacred Synod made the following decisions:

  • At the proposal of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy and Sacred Synod conducted an election in the Venerable Patriarchal Church, unanimously voting to elevate the Very Reverend Archimandrite Stefanos Kates, Ierokyrix of the Holy Metropolis of Leros Kalymnos and Astypalaia, to the position of Assistant Bishop to His Eminence Metropolitan Paisios of the aforementioned Metropolis, with the title “Bishop of Stratonikeia.”
  • The Holy and Sacred Synod imposed on Archimandrite Daniel-Richard Toyne, of the Holy Metropolis of Singapore, the ultimate penalty of defrocking from the priesthood and he has now been returned to the order of the laity for canonical transgressions. 

During its sessions, the Synod reviewed all of the scheduled agenda items and made appropriate decisions.

At the conclusion of the Synod’s meetings, gifts and festive greetings were exchanged by His All-Holiness and by His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of the Princes’ Islands, on behalf of the members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, for the upcoming ecclesiastical feast days during the period of Christmastide.

***

On Sunday, November 27, 2016, His All-Holiness presided during the Divine Liturgy at the Church of Saint John of Rila in Şişli at the invitation of the Parish Council of the local Bulgarian Community.

Also in attendance were Their Eminences Metropolitans Joseph of Proikonnisos, Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, His Excellency Ambassador Michael B. Christides, Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and many faithful from the Bulgarian Community in Istanbul.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy His All-Holiness addressed those present both in Greek and in Turkish about the common spiritual inheritance shared by the Churches of Constantinople and Bulgaria.

***

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • Their Eminences Metropolitans Joseph of Proikonnisos, Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, and Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronesos.
  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Sophronios Karagiannakis, new Abbot of the Dormition of the Theotokos  Monastery in Agkarathos, and the Very Reverend Archimandrite Nikodemos Katrinis, Ierokyrix of the Holy Metropolis of Petra and Cherronesos.

***

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Neophytos Mandalos at a seminar on “The European Parliament’s proposals for furthering the institutional framework of the European Union,” organized by the Friends of Europe in Greece society in Athens, on Friday, November 25, 2016.
  • The Very Reverend Patriarchal Deacon Theodore at a wedding in the Venerable Patriarchal Church of Mr. Nikolaos B. Calamaris, Parish Council President of the Church of St. Demetrios Xyloporta, and Ms. Basiliki-Maria G. Binbir, on Saturday, November 26, 2016.
  • The Very Reverend Grand Ecclesiarch Fr. Benjamin at a presentation ceremony revealing the new plans for the Bakırköy Municipality, also on Saturday, November 26, 2016.

***

On Friday, November 25, 2016, His All-Holiness presided during the Divine Liturgy at the Sinaitic Dependency of Saint John the Forerunner in Balat for the feast day of St. Catherine the Great-Martyr, Patron of Sinai. The sermon was delivered by the Very Reverend Deacon Nephon.

Also in attendance were Their Eminences Metropolitans Elder Constantine of Nicaea, Iakovos of the Princes’ Islands, representative of the Dependency, Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, His Grace Bishop Adrianos of Halicarnassus, His Excellency Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul, and many local faithful.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Iakovos conveyed the respects and festal greetings of His Eminence Archbishop Damianos of Sinai, Pharan and Raitho, as well as of the Brotherhood of the ancient Monastery, presenting a commemorative gift on their behalf to His All-Holiness. The Patriarch responded with gratitude and invoked the grace and blessing of the Holy Great-Martyr Catherine, the All-Wise, upon all the faithful gathered there.

***

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • The Very Reverend Grand Preacher Panaretos and members of the Russian Community in this City, of which he is the presiding priest. They invited His All-Holiness to bless their community which will celebrate on their patron feast, the feast of Saint Andrew, according to the Julian calendar, at the church of Saint Andrew in Galata, a dependency of the Vatopedi Monastery.
  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Melchizedek Ambelikakis from the Holy Metropolis of Arkalochori, Kastelli and Viannos, Mr. Nikolaos Petrakis from Chania in Crete, and Mr. Pavlos Karadimas from Athens, Greece.
  • The Reverend Protoprebyter Fr. Konstantinos Kagianteles, presiding priest of the Kouskountzoukion Community, together with its Parish Council led by Mr. Ioannis Demirtzoglou, Archon Megas Referendarios and Principal of Zografion High School.
  • The Reverend Hieromonk Fr. Kaisarios Chronis, presiding priest of the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God Palaiou Baniou-Diplokionion in Besiktas.
  • Captain Georgios Kampourakis, Lieutenant Efstratios Manioudakis and Captain Georgios Stavropoulos of the Hellenic Navy.
  • Presbytera Anna Sakkoulidou and her daughter, who requested the blessing of His All-Holiness as they do each year.

***

His All-Holiness offered a Trisaghion on the feast day of St. Peter of Alexandria for the repose of the soul of the late Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria, as well as for Bishop Ieronymos of Eggra, Hierarch of the Most Holy Church of Serbia, who recently fell asleep in the Lord.

***

His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, director of the Office of the Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens, Greece, signed the official condolence book for the late former President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, conveying the sympathy of the Mother Church and Her Venerable Primate.

***

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Agathangelos Siskos, Librarian of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at a concert featuring guitarist Mr. Demetrios Kotronakis in the Albert Long Hall of the Boğaziçi University, on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.

***

For the upcoming feast day of Saint Nikolaos, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, His All-Holiness Received:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Eirenaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Hierarchal Proistamenos of the Bosphorus District, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Agathangelos Siskos, presiding priest of the Neochori Parish, as well as the Parish Council of the church of Saint Nikolaos, led by its president, Mr. Alexandros Kapountag.
  • His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Selybrium, newly-appointed Proistamenos of the district of Hypsomatheia, with  clergy and Parish Council members of the church of Saint Nikolaos Hypsomatheia, led by their president Professor Antonios Parizianos, Archon Lampadarios of the Most Holy Archdiocese of Constantinople, and the Parish Council of Saint Nikolaos Topkapi led by its president Mr. Athanasios Miranko.

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Amvrosios of Karpathos and Kasos.
  • His Grace Bishop Adrianos of Halicarnassus, Hierarchal Proistamenos of the Phanar and Golden Horn District, with clergy and Parish Council members of Saint Demetrios Sarmasikiou led by its president, Professor Antonios Parizianos, for the feast day of Saint Sebastian the Martyr, to whom the Holy Spring in their church is dedicated.
  • The Very Reverend Arhcimandrite Lazarus Theodosios, presiding priest of the district of Tataoula, Mr. Demetrios Bogiatzis and Mr. Konstantinos Titelis, Deputy Mayors of the Municipality of Thermi in Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • The Reverend Protopresbyter Lambros Photopoulos from the Holy Metropolis of Kifisia, Amarousio and Oropos.
  • For their upcoming name days, Mr. Andreas Rombopoulos, publisher and Editor in chief of the newspaper “Iho,” and Mr. Andreas Stamatiou, Press Secretary for the Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul.

***

On Monday, November 21, 2016, His All-Holiness attended a dinner hosted at the Consulate General of Italy in Istanbul. His Excellency Luigi Mattiolo, Ambassador of Italy in Ankara, offered a toast and congratulated the Patriarch once again for receiving the highest distinction of the Italian Republic from the President of Italy this past September.

***

His All-Holiness appointed His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Selybrium as Proistamenos of the district of Hypsomatheia, following the voluntary resignation from the position of His Eminence Metropolitan Chryostomos of Myra after nearly fifteen years of faithful service.

***

His All-Holiness congratulated Mr. Mehmet Durakoğlu, Lawyer and newly-elected President of the Istanbul Bar Association, on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Community in Istanbul, expressing best wishes to him for his new position. In turn, Mr. Durakoğlu thanked the Patriarch for the encouraging words and kind support toward him and his colleagues.

***

His All-Holiness visited the Patriarchal Cemetery at Egri Kapou to inspect the beautification work being done on the tombs of the Hierarchs and clergy of the Mother Church.

***

His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate and His All-Holiness in Moscow at the celebratory events in honor of the 70th birthday anniversary of His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. 

***

On Monday, November 21, 2016, His All-Holiness celebrated a Patriarchal and Synodal Divine Liturgy for the Feast Day of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple at the eponymous church in Stavrodromion. The Hierarchs serving with His All-Holiness included Their Eminences Metropolitans Iakovos of the Princes’ Islands, Meliton of Philadelphia, Eirenaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Chrysostomos of Myra, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Elpidophoros of Bursa, Athenagoras of Kydoniai, and Maximos of Selybrium.

The festal homily was delivered by His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of Miletos.

Also in attendance were Their Eminences Elder Constantine of Nicea, Elder Apostolos of Derkoi, Archbishop Nektarios of Anthedon, Vicar of the Holy Sepulcher in this City, Archons of the Holy and Great Church of Christ, Their Excellencies Vassilis Leventis, President of the Union of Centrists political party, with his entourage, and Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul, Professors and students of the Zappeion and Zografion high schools, as well as alumni from the classes of 1966 and 1976, and many local faithful.

Following the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Metropolitan Germanos of Tranoupolis, Hierarchichal Proistamenos of Stavrodromion welcomed His All-Holiness to the community. The Community Board President, Mr. Georgios Papalyari, also addressed the Patriarch, making mention of the ministries and activities of the parish. His All-Holiness thanked them and wished all those present many years on the occasion of the feast day. He also remembered the recently departed Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, former President of the Hellenic Republic, and in closing greeted His Excellency Vassilis Leventis. A reception followed in the Community Hall.

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Excellency Vassilis Leventis, President of the Union of Centrists, with his wife, Ms. Anastasia Mentesidou, as well as Member of Parliament Mr. Marios Georgiados, and Police Officer Christos Kyriopoulos.
  •  
  • His Excellency Gabriel Catalin Şopanda, new Ambassador of Romania in Ankara, with his wife Ms. Lavinia Ochea.
  • Mr. Dietman Öhring, responsible for human rights and religious freedom issues for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

***

On Saturday, November 19, 2016, His All-Holiness attended a banquet at the Pera Palace Hotel at the invitation of the Honorable Ahmet Misbah Demircan, Mayor of Beyoğlu. In attendance were other religious leaders of Istanbul, business professionals, members of parliament and artists, all of whom participated in a discussion on the topic “Dünya Yeniden Kurulurken – Diş Politika,” with His Excellency Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. The Minister responded to questions and expressed his support for the reopening of the Theological School of Halki. His All-Holiness was accompanied by the Very Reverend Deacon Paisios, Codicographer of the Holy and Sacred Synod.

***

His All-Holiness presided over Great Vespers in the Venerable Patriarchal Church of Saint George on Saturday, November 19, 2016. The following morning, the Patriarch presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Church of the Archangels in Mega Revma. The Very Reverend Patriarchal Deacon Theodore offered the sermon.

Also in attendance on Sunday were His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of Miletos, His Excellency Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul, as well as many local and visiting faithful.

Following the dismissal, the Patriarch offered a Trisaghion for the repose of the souls of the Patriarchs and Hierarchs laid to rest in the courtyard of the Church, including: Ecumenical Patriarchs Sophronios II, Gabriel IV, Constantinos II, Gregory VI, as well as the venerable Hierarchs Gennadios of Ilioupoli and Tire, Philotheos of Proikonnisos, Alexandros of Skopelos, Philip of Tyana (who also served the community in Mega Revma), Gabriel of Colonia, Gabriel of Comana, and Michael of Austria.

Afterward, a reception was offered in the community hall, where His All-Holiness addressed those gathered. A brief musical program followed, featuring Ms. Natalia Michaelidou, who was recognized by the Zografion High School for her contribution to the arts. The Patriarch presented awards to the participants of the “Students of Zografion Writing Competition” and congratulated the event organizers.

***

His Grace Bishop Adrianos of Halicarnassus, together with the Very Reverend Grand Preacher Panaretos, and the Parish Council of Saint Nikolaos Tzivali led by Mr. Elias Giofoglou, invited His All-Holiness to their upcoming feast day, through His Eminence Metropolitan Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Acting Chancellor.

***

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of Miletos, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Saint Anastasia Pharmakolytria in Halkidiki.
  • His Eminence Metropolitan Anthimos of Alexandroupolis and the Very Reverend Archimandrite Eirenaios Laftsis, Chancellor of the Metropolis, the Very Reverend Archdeacon Christodoulos Karathanasis and Mr. Alexandros Lykoudis.
  • Mr. Nektarios Stellakis, Professor Emeritus of the University of Patras, Dr. Georgios Filis, teacher at the American College of Greece in Athens, Mr. Fulvio Grassadonio, head of the “International Centre for the Promotion of Education and Development” in Palermo, Italy, and Ms. Elisabeth Tsigara, lawyer.
  • Mr. Evangelos Christopoulos and Ms. Natalie Michaelidou, from Athens, Greece.
  • A group of pilgrims from the Cultural Society of Gefyra, led by Ms. Sofia Bacharidou, from Thessaloniki.

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • His Eminence Archbishop Irenaios of Crete, at the enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Ierapytni and Siteia, in the Cathedral of Saint Photini in Ierapetra, Crete, on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

***

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Grace Bishop Makarios of Christoupolis, from the Church of Estonia.
  • Mr. Eugene Czolij, President of the Ukrainian World Congress, an NGO based in Canada, with Mr. Serhiy Kasyanchuk, Director of the UWC Mission to Ukraine.
  • Dr. Georgios Sianos, Professor in the School of Medicine at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, together with his family.
  • Mr. Panaghiotis Raktivan, Physicist, and Mr. Christos Charisis, Chemical Engineer, from Athens, Greece.
  • Mr. Konstantinos and Ms. Chrysoula Grafiadellis, from Imbros.

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • His Grace Bishop Kyrillos of Erythrai:
  1. At the funeral of Mr. Ierotheos Stergios, father of His Eminence Metropolitan Gregorios of Cameroon, at the Church of Saint Paraskevi in Megara, Greece, on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
  2. At an event organized by the Ionian Cultural Group of Ilioupoli, Greece, in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary since the election of His All-Holiness to the First Throne of Orthodoxy. The event took place in the City Hall of Ilioupoli on Wednesday evening, November 16, 2016.
  • His Grace Bishop Makarios of Christoupolis at a Pancretan Clergy Seminar on the topic “An Introduction to the texts of the Holy and Great Council,” which took place at the Orthodox Academy of Crete on Thursday, November 17, 2016. 
  • His Grace Bishop Theodoritos of Nazianzos, at an academic seminar entitled “Eugenios Voulgaris: The Homo Universalis of Modern Hellenism” organized by the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi at the Athens War Museum on Friday, November 18, 2016.
  • The Very Reverend Patriarchal Deacon Theodore at a reception on Friday, November 18, 2016, hosted by the Honorable Bahia Lebcir, Consul General of Algeria in Istanbul, in honor of Algeria’s Revolution Day.

***

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of the Princes’ Islands, representative of the Sinaitic Dependency of Saint John the Forerunner in this City. Metropolitan Iakovos and the Parish Council presented His All-Holiness with the customary offering of a fish for the upcoming feast of the Holy Dependency, the feast of Saint Katherine, patron of Sinai.
  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Felesakis, from Naples, Italy.
  • Mr. Tychon Troyanov, Archon Ekdikos of the Holy and Great Church of Christ, from Geneva.
  • Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis, Professor at Bilkent University in Ankara.
  • Mr. Peter Solej, President of the NAPS Institute, with his wife Lenka and Mr. Jaroslav Rebej, also members of the same educational organization, from Slovakia.
  • Ms. Victoria B. Laimopoulou, Principal of the Patriarchal Great School of the Nation, for her name day.
  • Mr. Theodoros Theodoroudis, Forestry Inspector for the region of Central Macedonia, with his wife Ms. Malamatis Valakou, lecturer at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
  • Mr. Zekeriya Yasemin, entrepreneur from Antalya.
  • Ms. Aikaterini Chrysopoulou, Ms. Aikaterini Dousa, Ms. Aikaterini Prokou, and Ms. Aikaterini Stanits, conveying their respects and requesting the Patriarch’s blessing for their upcoming name day.

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • The Very Reverend Grand Syncellus Fr. Ambrosios, at a reception hosted by the Honorable Sophie De Smedt, Consul General of Belgium in Istanbul, in honor of Belgian “King’s Day,” on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

***

His All-Holiness presided at Great Vespers for the feast of the Holy and Glorious Martyr Menas at the eponymous church in the district of Hypsomatheia, on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The sermon was delivered by the Very Reverend Deacon Joachim, Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod.

In attendance were: His Excellency Terence Quick, Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Mr. Victor Malingoudis, advisor to the Deputy Minister, His Excellency Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul, and many local faithful.

At the conclusion of vespers, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostom of Myra, Hierarchal Proistamenos of the district of Hypsomatheia, addressed His All-Holiness, who in turn introduced Deputy Minister Quick and bestowed his venerable Patriarchal prayers and blessings upon those present. A reception followed in the community hall.

***

The evening of Friday, November 11, 2016, His All-Holiness attended the opening of an art exhibition at the Sismanoglio Megaro entitled “The Byzantine World of Elias Kontozamanis,” co-organized by the Consulate General of the Hellenic Republic and the Zografion High School in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary since the election of His All-Holiness to the First Throne of Orthodoxy. The Patriarch expressed his warm thanks and congratulated the organizers.

***

On Saturday, November 12, 2016, His All-Holiness, together with His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa, led an excursion to Trilye and Kumyaka in Bithynia accompanying professors and secondary school students of the Greek Schools in this City, as well as university students and other youth from Greece who are currently residing and working here. The group paid a courtesy visit to the Honorable Hayri Türkyılmaz, Mayor of Mudanya, who hosted a lunch at the seaside restaurant “Mudanya Marina” in honor of His All-Holiness and the entire group.

***

On Sunday, November 13, 2016, His All-Holiness presided from the parathronion at the Divine Liturgy in the Venerable Patriarchal Church for the feast of our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople.

***

On Sunday afternoon, November 13, 2016, His All-Holiness visited His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Myra at the Church of Saint Nikolaos Topkapı to express his fraternal wishes and congratulations on the occasion of the Metropolitan’s name day.

Following festal vespers for the Holy Apostle Philip, His All-Holiness offered a Trisaghion for the repose of the soul of the venerable Metropolitan Phillip of Tyana.

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sasima, who requested the Patriarch’s blessing in anticipation of his upcoming name day.
  • His Grace Bishop Elias of Tartu, from the Orthodox Church of Estonia.
  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Chariton Ryziotis, from the Holy Metropolis of Alexandroupolis, leading a group of pilgrims from the parish of Saint Basil.
  • The Reverend Fr. Angel Velkov, Proistamenos of the Bulgarian Community in this City, with Mr. Christos Liaze, Vice President of the Parish Council, Parish Council members Mr. Demetrios Athanasof and Mr. Lüben Şestakof, Archon Protekdikos, and Mr. Kyriakos Liaze, Choir Director; during their audience, they invited His All-Holiness to visit their community.
  • Dr. Charilaos Platanakis, Professor of Philosophy at Koç University.
  • Mr. Nicola Longo Dente, Head of International & Multinational Banking at Yapı Kredı Bank, Mr. Aldo Kaslowski and his wife, Ms. Giovanna Delaini Manzini.
  • Mr. Raphael Zoumis, surveyor and chanter, with his wife Ioanna, from Edessa.
  • The Administrative Board of the Educational and Cultural Association of Feriköy, led by its president, Mr. Christos Dafnopatidis.
  • Mr. Arto and Ms. Mari Saruhanyan and their son, Artun.
  • Ms. Evangelia Piskera and Ms. Areti Kalesaki, journalists from Athens, Greece
  • Ms. Hatice Ürün, a local photographer.

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki, at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for a ceremony of the School of Theology, which conferred an honorary doctorate to His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.
  • His Eminence Metropolitan Andreas of Arkalochori, Kastelli and Viannos, at an academic seminar entitled “Byzantine Thessaloniki,” at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, on Saturday, November 5, 2016, as well as at the Church of Saint Demetrios the following day for a Patriarchal and Hierarchal concelebration of the Divine Liturgy.
  • His Eminence Archbishop Eirenaios of Crete at events organized by the Holy Metropolis of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos marking the 150th anniversary since the destruction of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Arkadi Monastery, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. His Excellency Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, was also in attendance.
  • His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronisos at the Patriarchal Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Crete for an international, inter-university, Greek-Russian Conference entitled “The Missionary, Philological and Cultural Contribution of Saints Kirillos and Methodios, Equal-to-the-Apostles, to the Slavs. A starting point for deeper relations between Greece and Russia.”
  • The Very Reverend Grand Syncellus Ambrosios, at the funeral of Vaia D. Frankopoulos, at Holy Trinity Church in Stavrodromion, on Friday, November 11, 2016.

***

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, at noon, His Excellency Terence Quick, Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate and was formally received by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch.  Following the warm and cordial meeting, the esteemed delegation was hosted for lunch. 

His Excellency the Deputy Foreign Minister was accompanied by the esteemed Victor Malingkoudis, Counselor, His Excellency Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul, the gracious Danai Vasilaki, Consul, and the esteemed Stavros Gioltzoglo, Educational Attaché.

***

On Monday, November 7, 2016, His All-Holiness presided at the Church of the Archangels in İstinye during Great Vespers for the Synaxis of the Chief of the Heavenly Hosts, Archangel Michael and Gabriel.  The sermon was offered by the Very Reverend Grand Ecclesiarch Benjamin.

After the dismissal, His Eminence Metropolitan Eirenaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Hierarchal Proistamenos of the Bosphorus district, welcomed His All-Holiness and greeted the faithful. The Patriarch responded to the Metropolitan, by thanking him and offering a reflection on the role of guardian angels in people’s lives, and how we should daily invoke the intercessions and protection of the Bodiless Powers.

A reception followed.

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Chryostomos of Myra, who requested the Patriarch’s blessing for his upcoming name day.
  • Professor Efstratios Zenginis, Archon Maestor, conveying his respects and requesting the Patriarch’s blessing for his name day.
  • The Honorable Carlos Diaz Valcarcel, newly arrived Consul General of Spain in Istanbul.
  • Professor Demetrios Keramidas, from Rome.
  • Ms. Nektaria Petrou, for her upcoming name day.

***

On Sunday, November 6, 2016, His All-Holiness presided during the Divine Liturgy at the newly-renovated Church of the Holy Twelve Apostles in Feriköy. The sermon was offered by the Reverend Patriarchal Deacon Gregory.

Among those in attendance were: Their Eminences Metropolitans Elpidophoros of Bursa and Maximos of Selybrium, the esteemed George Gaitanis, Consul of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul, Archons of the Holy and Great Church of Christ, Orthodox community leaders from this City, and visitors from abroad, including many whose ancestors were from this particular parish.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, Hierarchical Proistamenos of the district of Tataoula, spoke and presented a commemorative gift to His All-Holiness on behalf of the community. Mr. Konstantinos Santaltzidis, Archon Exarchos, President of the Parish Council, thanked those who restored the sanctuary, and the Patriarch congratulated all those who contributed to the restoration work, conveying his Patriarchal prayers and blessings to the members of the community. Afterwards, His All-Holiness presented an icon of our Lord for the sanctuary and revealed a commemorative plaque honoring the occasion.

A reception followed in the community hall during which a slideshow presentation of the progress of the restoration work was shown.

In the evening, His All-Holiness attended and blessed the official dinner offered by the community on this auspicious occasion.

***

On the evening of Thursday, November 3, 2016, His All-Holiness attended a concert by the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, organized in honor of the group’s sixtieth anniversary, featuring Greek singer Ms. Alkistis Protopsalti, at the Zorlu Performance Art Center.

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Irenaios Chatziefraimidis, a Professor from Florina, Greece, together with Mr. Christos Karagkiozis and his wife Mr. Barbara Karagkiozi, from Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Makarios Niakaros, from the Holy Metropolis of Boston, and Professor Christos Arabatzis from the School of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Athanasios Tziertzis.
  • The Rev. Carmine Donnici, the gracious Angela Caliaro, accompanied by members of the local Focolari Movement.
  • Mr. Paul Trohopoulos from Veroia, Greece.
  • Mr. George Demirtzis, theology student in Athens, Greece.

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Acting Chancellor of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on Saturday, November 5, 2016, during an alumni gathering organized by the Community Board of Feriköy at its former primary school.
  • His Eminence Amphilochios of Adrianoupolis, Director of the Representation Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens, on November 2, 2016, the enthronement anniversary of the Ecumenical Patriarch, during the presentation of the picture book prepared by Ms. Vasiliki Xynos entitled, “The Patriarch in Imbros,” organized by the Imbrian Society in Athens, Greece.
  • The Very Reverend Grand Ecclesiarch Benjamin, on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at the funeral of the late Triantafyllia Kaftoglou, President of the Philoptochos Society of Chalcedon at Holy Trinity Cathedral of Chalcedon.

***

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, His All-Holiness presided during the festal Divine Liturgy at the Church of Saints Kosmas and Damianos the Holy Unmercenaries, at the Baloukli Home for the Elderly.

After the dismissal, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Seraphim Stergiou, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Saint Nikanor Zavordas, addressed the faithful. The Patriarch then conveyed his own paternal words to those gathered, personally blessed the residents on the occasion of the new month and offered them gifts.

***

His All-Holiness visited His Eminence Metropolitan Theoleptos of Ikonium at Acıbadem Maslak Hospital, in order to offer his prayers for the restoration of his health.

***

On Wednesday morning, November 2, 2016, His All-Holiness visited the Preschool Daycare Center, located in the community hall of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stavrodromion. He blessed Ms. Agapi Papadopoulou, her staff and all of the children present.

His All-Holiness granted audiences to:

  • His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa, Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity on Halki, who conveyed his respects and received the Patriarch’s blessings for his name day.
  • His Eminence Cláudio Cardinal Hummes, from Brazil, with His Grace Bishop Edmond Madi of the Maronite Church, accompanied by His Grace Bishop Rubén Tierrablanca, Roman Catholic Bishop in this City.
  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Evloghios, new Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Saint Panteleimon on Mount Athos, the Reverend Hieromonk Timotheos, the Reverend Hierodeacon Charalampos, and Ms. Eleni Tarasova, from this City.
  • Ms. Maria Mertzani, Head of the Directorate of Conservation of Ancient and Modern Monuments of the Hellenic Republic’s Ministry of Culture, with her coworker Mr. Ioannis Mataragkas.
  • Mr. Kaplanis Iosefidis, president of the Center for Cappadocian Studies, with his wife Ms. Vasiliki, from Kavala.
  • Mr. Victor Zakos, President of the “Association for Aiding the Poor, Sick and Elderly” of Baloukli Hospital, conveying his respect and receiving the Patriarch’s blessing for his name day.
  • Ms. Tamara Karasu, from the local Bible Society, who presnted His All-Holiness with a copy of the Turkish translation of Pope Francis's book entitled "The Name of God is Mercy."

His All-Holiness was represented by:

  • His Grace Bishop Nikephoros of Amorion, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Vlatadon Monastery, on Monday, October 31, 2016, at the ninetieth birthday celebration of Charilaos Taliadoros, Archon Protopsaltis of the Most-Holy Archdiocese of Constantinople, organized by the Prefecture of Central Macedonia at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall.