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Patriarch of Alexandria: We respect all the Orthodox Churches, but we are not the ones who violated the Canons

A General Priests’ Synaxis of the Holy Clergy of the Metropolises of Kinshasa and Brazzaville and Gabon was held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, following an invitation by Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, in the presence of the Metropolitans Theodosius of Kinshasa and Daniel of Aksum, at the Hellenic Community Cultural Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In his greeting, the Patriarch welcomed his spiritual children and colleagues, the Priests. At the start of his address, he spoke of the late Metropolitan Nicephorus of Kinshasa, praying for the repose of his soul.

He then introduced to the clergy of Kinshasa their new pastor Metropolitan Theodosius of Kinshasa, referring to his election by the Venerable Hierarchy of the Alexandrian Throne and the Enthronement ceremony that took place last Sunday.

“The Holy Metropolis of Kinshasa is entering a new blessed period of development, progress, creation, blessing, and grace of God with the arrival of the new Metropolitan Theodosius”, said the Patriarch.

He also referred to the promotions of three Congolese clergymen, Fathers Chrysostom, Gerasimos, and Claudius, who are placed in the service of the Local Church of Kinshasa.

The Primate of Alexandria made a historical review of the ecclesiastical history of the fathers, from 64 AD. and the founder of the Church of Alexandria, the Apostle and Evangelist Mark, later to the Great Fathers and Patriarchs Athanasius and Cyril, who founded through their teaching the dogma of the Church, to the Ecumenical Councils they participated in, which faced schisms and heresies and that with the Holy Canons their problems were solved. They also defined the structure (Pentarchy) and the geographical boundaries of the Local Churches, up to the present day where many local Churches have been enrolled in the Diptychs of our Church.

The Patriarch referred to the history of the granting of Autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Mother Church of these Local Churches (Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia, Romania, Greece, etc.), the last of which was Ukraine, explaining the problem that has arisen, with the reactions and retaliation of the Russian Church against the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa and the irregular invasion of its geographical boundaries.

Our Patriarchate has been on the ramparts of Africa for over 2,000 years. From the Evangelist Mark to the present day, passing through “heavy boulders”, it humbly and silently serves our African brothers with its meager means and strength. And everyone recognizes this and everyone knows it! Lately, however, they are fighting us from within.

But we do not bend, we are not afraid, we do not retreat from what we inherited from the Fathers. We promised before God and man to defend the rights of the Throne of Alexandria. Let no one have the illusion that we will go back on our sacred duty.

We respect and love all the Orthodox Churches. But we are not the ones who violated the Canons. We want nothing more than what Tradition and the Sacred Canons have passed on to us. “Let them respect us, as we respected them!”, the Patriarch said to the priests.

Metropolitan Theodosius then thanked the Primate of Alexandria for his presence and the joy of his visit to the Congo, as well as for his initiative for the Priestly Synaxis.

The Patriarch then gave the floor to the Reverend Fr. Maximos Oumba, Hierarchical Vicar General of the Holy Metropolis of Brazzaville and Gabon, who on behalf of the Clergy thanked the Patriarch for the honorary invitation and expressed the joy and devotion of all those present to the Alexandrian Throne.

Immediately after the end of the Hierarchical Assembly, the Patriarch did a Trisagion for the blessed missionary Metropolitans of Central Africa, Timotheos (Kontomerkos) and Kyprianos (Papadopoulos), a Greek from Egypt by descent and the first Metropolitan of Central Africa, praying for the repose of their souls.