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The enthronement of the new Metropolitan of Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon

On Sunday, 7 July 2024, the new Metropolitan Theodore of Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon was enthroned.

The enthronement ceremony took place after the Divine Liturgy, presided over by the representative of His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa, His Eminence Metropolitan George of Guinea, along with His Eminence Metropolitan Theodosios of Kinshasa, His Eminence Metropolitan Theodore, Protosyncellus of the Holy Metropolis of Kinshasa Archimandrite Gerasimos, and clergy from the Metropolis of Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the newly enthroned Metropolitan processed into the Cathedral of Saint Dimitrios in Pointe-Noire, accompanied by five polyphonic choirs of the Metropolis, chanting hymns in French. The new Metropolitan read the prayers, and then Father Jacob Miayokela read the Patriarchal encyclical.

Subsequently, Metropolitan George delivered a speech, conveying the Patriarchal blessing and paternal wishes of Pope and Patriarch Theodore II to the new Metropolitan. He spoke about the personality of the new Metropolitan, his long service in his homeland of Crete, France, South Africa, and Egypt, emphasising the invaluable experience gained serving alongside the Patriarch at the historic seat of the Patriarchate in Alexandria and Cairo—a unique experience not attainable in any school but through dedication and self-sacrifice alongside a predecessor.

Among other things, he said: “You hail from holy Crete, born and raised by the sea, and now you come to serve in countries washed by the ocean, where young lives drown daily trying to escape to Europe for a better tomorrow. You leave Europe and come here to foreign lands to bring love and hope, to help these children stand on their own feet and create a better tomorrow in the land that bore them, through the education and love of Christ, which you will strive to teach and practice. In difficult times, you will think of the struggle and tears of our Patriarch and gain courage and strength”.

Addressing the congregation, the Metropolitan expressed his admiration for the works of the Patriarchate in the country and thanked all who contributed to their achievement, without exception. He emphasised that Greeks have been and will continue to be pioneering missionaries, not only because they grew up with Christian values and the Gospel of Christ, but also because they have a duty to be missionaries since the holy feet of Christ’s Apostles walked in Greece and the Gospel was written in the Greek language.

The new Metropolitan was welcomed by the senior priests and the faithful flock on behalf of the Holy Clergy and his pious flock. The Metropolitan then delivered his enthronement speech in French, recounting the key milestones from the establishment of the Metropolis to the present day, naming his predecessors who were pioneering missionaries working for the spread of the Gospel and the growth of the Orthodox Church, thanking them gratefully.

Metropolitan Theodore underscored the role and sacrificial mission of the Bishop in the Church and addressed the needs of his entrusted flock. He also stressed the need for cooperation and compassion among all members of the Church, expressing his intention to work, with God’s grace and the Patriarch’s blessing, for progress, prosperity, and above all for the divine advancement and the salvation of souls in the Local Church, as well as to support every distressed fellow human being regardless of religion or origin.

Finally, he expressed grateful thanks to the Most Blessed Primate of the Alexandrian Church for his love, trust, support, and the honor bestowed on his humble person, to the present Holy Archbishops of the Throne, to the President of the country for his assistance to the Orthodox Church, to the present representatives of the local authorities and other Christian denominations, to the clergy and the present congregation, wishing all God’s goodness and blessings.

Before the conclusion of the enthronement, the talented choirs sang the Fimi of the new Metropolitan in French, while he offered commemorative blessings to the entire congregation. The day concluded with a meal for all attendees and traditional African songs.