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16/02/2019

ARRIVAL OF HIS BEATITUDE THE ALEXANDRIAN PATRIARCHATE IN CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

On 15th February 2019 His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied by His Grace Theodoros Bishop of Babylonos, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St George in Old Cairo, arrived in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, as part of his official visit to the country and t the Local Church (15th – 19th February 2019).

His Beatitude was welcomed at the Maya-Maya International Airport by His Eminence Panteleimon Metropolitan of Brazzaville and Gabon, His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Jean Claude Gakosso, His Excellency the Minister of Culture Mr. Dieudonné Moyondo, His Excellency the Governor of Brazzaville, His Excellency the Ambassador of Egypt Mr. Halem Hassan Kandit, the Honorable Consul of Greece Mr. Nicholas Perris, the Mayor of Brazzaville, Clergy, representatives of the Military, the Security Forces and many faithful. At noon His Beatitude attended a lunch, hosted by the Consulate of Greece.

Early in the evening he paid an official visit to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso at the Presidential Mansion in the capital. During the meeting at which His Eminence Panteleimon Metropolitan of Brazzaville and Gabon was present, together with His Grace Theodoros Babylonos, the Very Reverend Hierarchal Vicar of the Holy Metropolis of Brazzaville Protopresbyter Maximos Oumba, Their Excellencies the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Culture of the Congo and the Honorable Consul of Greece Mr. Nicholas Perris, His Beatitude expressed his joy on his third successive visit to the country, which is however, his first since the election of the first local Bishop (2012) and the elevation of the Holy Diocese of Brazzaville to a Holy Metropolis (2017). He also expressed his gratitude to the President for the whole-hearted support of the country for the local Orthodox Church and its Metropolitan.

In his reply His Excellency the President stressed the joyful feelings brought on by the blessed presence of the Primate of the Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria in the Congo, for whom his visits "are a source of blessing, spiritual euphoria and hope in a world undergoing a crisis of values and experiencing multiple conflicts". He added that the work of the Patriarchate is peacemaking work, filled with love for every human being without distinction, leading to progress and development. The official visit was concluded with the giving of an icon on behalf of His Beatitude the Patriarch to the President and statements made to the representatives of the Media.

Visits by His Beatitude to the Parish Community of Brazzaville and to the Embassy of Egypt.

His Beatitude then went on to visit the Parish Community of the Resurrection of the Lord in Brazzaville, where a Doxology was sung, in the presence of representatives of the Government, the local government and the Christian Churches, after which the Chairman of the Parish Community Mr. Adrian Hossie gave an address, and handed over a painting of the Church as well as two rare photographs from the years of Hierarchal ministry of His Beatitude Theodoros together with his late predecessors, Parthenios III and Petros VII.

The first day of the Patriarchal visit ended with an official dinner hosted by His Excellency the Ambassador of Egypt to the Republic of the Congo-Brazzaville, Mr. Halem Hassan Kandit in honour of His Beatitude at the Ambassadorial Residence.

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