Today 26 November 2014, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa convened at an appointed Session under the Chairmanship of His Beatitude Theodoros II, in the Board Room of the Holy Synod.
Prior to the Session a Divine Liturgy was served at the Patriarchal Chapel of Ss Theodori. The meeting began immediately thereafter. The deliberations were opened by His Beatitude, greeting the Synodal members. His Eminence Makarios Metropolitan of Kenya replied on behalf of their Metropolitans and Bishops. His Beatitude briefed the Holy Synod at length on the work undertaken during the past year in all facets of the Ecclesiastical ministry of the Patriarchate.
On completion of the Patriarch’s opening address, His Eminence Gregory Metropolitan of Cameroon took over as a token of mutual respect and love and spoke on the tenth anniversary of His Beatitude’s election. His Beatitude then awarded the Supreme Order of St Savvas the Sanctified to Their Eminences Metropolitans Ioakeim of Zambia and Angola, Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria, Ignatios of Madagascar and Gregory of Cameroon for the ten years since their election and enthronements. Also, by Patriarchal and Synodal Decree, the Holy Diocese of Katanga was elevated to a Metropolis.
The vacant Holy Metropolis of Pilousion was then filled. The new Metropolitan of Pilousion, elected unanimously, is His Grace Niphon, Bishop of Babylonia, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St George, Old Cairo. Having accepted the resignation of His Eminence Proterios of Ptolemaid, who was named Retired Metropolitan of Diospolis, His Eminence Emmanuel of Kavasos was appointed new Metropolitan of Ptolemaid, to whom His Beatitude gave an award for his decade hierarchal ministry. Next to be filled was the vacant Diocese of Botswana through the election of the Very Reverend Archimandrite Vasileios Varvelis, who has served for many years at the Representative Office of His Beatitude in Athens.
In conclusion, three Auxiliary Bishops were elected. Auxiliary Bishop of Nafkratis is the Very Reverend Archimandrite Meletios Koumanis. Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria. Elected as Auxilliary Bishop of Vereniki is the Very Reverend Archimandite Chrysostomos Karagounis, Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Tripolis. Elected Auxilliary Bishop of Nitria is the Kenyan Very Reverend Archimandrite Neophytos Kongai.
The deliberations of the Holy Synod will continue in the afternoon.
Curriculum Vitae of His Emnience Niphon Metropolitan of Pilousion
His Eminence Niphon Metropolitan of Pilousion (born Nikitas Tsavaris) was born in Nicaea Attica in 1959. He holds a degree from the Sivitanideios Model School of Mechanics. He graduated from the Ecclesiastical School of Athos on Mount Athos and the Educational Academy of Heraklion in Crete. He holds a degree from the Theological faculty of Athens. As a seminarian he worked in the private office of the former Metropolitan of Pireaus His Eminence Kallinikos, and was tonsured a monk in 1982 at the Holy Monastery of Agarathos in Crete by the late Timotheos, Archbishop of Crete. He was ordained Priest in 1984 at the Holy Monastery of the Forerunner in Balli Rethymnon by the late Metropolitan Titus. For twenty (20) consecutive years he worked at the Holy Metropolis of Peristeri as Dean and Parish Priest, and as Parish Priest of the the Holy Churches of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Agia Marina Anthopolis and of Ss Constantine and Helen which he totally renovated and prepared the plans for the orphanage of the Holy Metropolis, which was built by His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Peristeri. He was consecrated as Archimandrite by His Eminecne the Mteropolitan of Peristeri. In 2005 he was seconded to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and since then has served in the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St George Old Cairo as Abbot, having the responsibility of its total renovation. On 6 October 2009, by proposal of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, he was elected Auxiliary Bishop under the title of the once brilliant Diocese of Babylonia, maintaining his duties as abbot in the Holy Monastery. He was ordained Bishop by His Beatitude on 18 October 2009. On 26 November 2014 he was unanimously elected by the Holy Synod, following a proposal by His Beatitude, as Metropolitan of Pilousion.
Curriculum Vitae of His Eminence Emmanuel Metropolitan of Ptolemaid
His Eminence Emmanuel Metropolitan of Ptolemaid, was born Xenophon Kiagias in Athens in 1956. He holds a degree in Theology from the University of Athens. He was ordained Deacon and Priest by the Elder Metropolitan Petros of Aksum. He served as a Deacon in Cairo and as a Priest in Addis Ababa in the Holy Metropolis of Aksum and for 17 years he served at the Holy Metropolis of Peristeri. On 27 October 2004, he was unanimously elected by the Holy Synod, by proposal of His Beatitude as Bishop of the once Brilliant Diocese of Babylonia and appointed as Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St George Old Cairo. On 1 November 2006 he was elected Metropolitan of Khartoum and All Sudan. On 21 November 2013 he was elected as Metropolitan of Kavasos. On 26 November 2014, by proposal of His Beatitude, he was elected by the Holy Synod as Metropolitan of Ptolemaid.
Curriculum Vitae of His Grace Vasileios Bishop of Botswana
His Grace Vasileios, Provincial Bishop of Botswana (born Vasilieos Varvelis), was born in Peristeri Attica in 1969. He studied at the faculty of Health and Welfare and at the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens. He was ordained Deacon in July 1997 and Priest in March 1998 by His Eminence Chrysostomos Metropolitan of Zimbabwe. He served as parish Priest in Johannesburg and in Cairo. Thereafter by Venerable Order of the late Patriarch Petros VII, he was appointed as Parish Priest and Confessor of the patriarchal Church of St Athanasios, Nicholas and Fotios, in Ano Kypseli, the Dependency of the Patriarchate and as Secretary of the representative Office of His Beatitude in Athens, serving there for fifteen years. On 26 November 2014, by proposal of His Beatitude, he was elected by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa as Provincial Bishop of the vacant Holy Diocese of Botswana.
Curriculum Vitae of the Elected Auxiliary Bishop Meletios of Nafkratis
His Grace Meletios the Elected Auxiliary Bishop of Nafkratis (born Konstantinos Koumanis), was born in Kalamata Messinias in 1970. He is a graduate of the Ecclesiastical High School of Patras and holds a degree from the Higher Ecclesiastical School of Athens, as well as from the Department of Social Theology from the Theological Faculty of Athens. He also holds a degree from the School of Catechists of the Apostoliki Diakonia of the Church of Greece. He speaks English, Russian and Arabic.
He was tonsured a monk in 1996 and was ordained Deacon at the Holy Monastery of Voulkano in Messinia by the late Metropolitan Chrysostomos Themelis of Messinia, and was appointed to the Holy Cathedral of the Meeting of Christ in Kalamata. He was ordained Priest by the same Hierarch in 2000, at first appointed as Parish Priest at the Holy Church of St Basil in Ellinoekklisia and then at the Holy Church of the Archangels, in Asprohoma, Kalamata, where he received the office of Archimandrite. In the year 2007, he was appointed Chairman of the Administration and Management Committee of the Church Camps of the Holy Metropolis of Messinia, for their renovation. He also served as Abbot Advisor of the Holy Monastery of Voulkano in the years 2007-2008.
From November 2008 he was seconded to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and was appointed as Parish Priest of the Church of St Savvas in Alexandria. He received the office of Sacristan of the Patriarchal Throne and on 25 November 2010 he was enthroned as Abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas by His Beatitude Theodoros II Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. Since then he has been serving in the Secretariat of the Patriarchate, he is responsible for the Website Office and Internet and teaches the subject of Ceremonial Ritual at the “St Athanasios” Patriarchal Academy in Alexandria. He accompanied His Beatitude Theodoros II, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa on official visits overseas and on missionary travels in Africa. He was in charge of the production of the Honorary Volume for the 10-years of contribution and ministry of His Beatitude. On 26 November 2014, by proposal of His Beatitude, he was elected by the Holy Synod as Auxiliary Bishop of the once brilliant Diocese of Nafkratis.
Curriculum Vitae of the Elected Auxiliary Bishop Chrysostomos of Vereniki
His Grace Chrysostomos, Auxiliary Bishop of Verenki (born George Karagounis), was born in Tithorea Fthiotida in 1960. He holds a degree from the seven-class Seminary in Lamia, the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Athens and the Department of Theology of the Faculty of Theology of the Athens University.
He was ordained Deacon in 1983 and Preiest in 1986. He served as Parish Priest, Dean, Preacher and Catechist of the Holy Metropolises of Fthiotida and Peristeri. He built from foundation the new beautiful Holy Church of St Panteleimon on Lofos Axiomatikon in Peristeri.
He was seconded in 2005 to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and was appointed Dean of the Holy Church of St George “of the slaves” in Tripoli, Libya and as Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Tripoli. In November 2008 he was appointed Dean at the Community Church of Ss Constantine and Helen in Cairo and Parish Priest at the God-walked Holy and Patriarchal Monastery of St George Old Cairo. In 2013 he returned to Libya as Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Tripoli. On 26 November 2014, proposed by His Beatitude, he was elected by the Holy Synod as Auxiliary Bishop of the once brilliant Diocese of Vereniki.
Curriculum Vitae of the Elected Auxiliary Bishop Neophytos of Nitria
His Grace the elected Auxiliary Bishop of Vereniki Neophytos Kongai was born in 1970 in the village of Kesengei, in the Nandi district of Kenya. He holds a degree from the “Archbishop Makarios III” Patriarchal Academy in Kenya. He was ordained Deacon on 13 September 1998 and Priest on 27 of the same month from the then Metropolitan Seraphim of Kenya, now of Zimbabwe and Angola. He served in parishes in Nairobi and at the Patriarchal Academy there as Deputy Principal. On 27 February 2005, he was consecrated as Archimandrite by His Eminence Makarios of Kenya. In the same year he was awarded a post graduate title in Theological Studies from the Theological College of the Holy Cross in Boston. In 2007 he was tonsured a monk at the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration in Veroia. He is a candidate for a Doctorate in Pastoral Theology, with a scholarship from the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki. On 26 November 2014, proposed by His Beatitude, he was elected by the Holy Synod as Auxiliary Bishop of the once brilliant Diocese of Nitria.