Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Memory Eternal to Archbishop Christodoulos!

From the AP News Report:

New York, NY – With great sorrow and deep heartfelt emotion the entire flock of the Holy Archdiocese of America learned of the passing of the late Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Christodoulos of blessed memory.

The late Archbishop Christodoulos reposed in the peace of God at 5:15 a.m. (Greek time), today, Monday, January 28, 2008, at his residence, after battling with a disease that lasted many months and which required lengthy medical treatments administered to him at home, which is where he desired to be, despite the swift deterioration of his health.

His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America, as soon as he was informed of the passing of the late Archbishop Christodoulos, issued this statement:

"The passing of the late Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Christodoulos of blessed memory, saddens us deeply, for with his departure from this world the Church has lost an exceptional and highly esteemed Hierarch, as well as a brilliant champion of Orthodoxy and of the universal values of the Hellenic cultural tradition. I had the special honor to know him from the time he attended high school, and afterwards, to appreciate his dynamism, his kindness, his intellect and his great offering to the Church in important areas such as the divine worship, pastoral and social care, as well as inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian relations. I pray fervently to the Lord for the repose of the soul of the distinguished and ever-memorable brother and concelebrant, the late Archbishop Christodoulos, in the tabernacles of the saints and of the righteous."

The illness of the late Archbishop was diagnosed on June 9, 2007, when he was admitted to the “Aretaio” Hospital of Athens. On August 18, 2007, the Archbishop traveled to Miami, Florida, with the prospect to receive a liver transplant, which in the end was not possible, and for which reason he returned to Greece on October 26.

Immediately after the announcement of the passing of the late Archbishop Christodoulos, a four day mourning period was declared. The funeral service will take place in the Cathedral of Athens on Thursday, January 31, 2008.

Archbishop Demetrios of America will depart for Athens tomorrow, Tuesday January 29th, in order to accompany His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the funeral services of the late Archbishop Christodoulos.