Monday, January 28, 2008
New York, New York
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, issued this statement on behalf of SCOBA on the falling asleep of the late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, the ever-memorable Christodoulos.
"On behalf of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, I convey to the blessed Orthodox people and to the Government of the Hellenic Republic, the condolences of their fellow Orthodox Christians throughout the Americas, as we mourn the passing of this great Churchman and Hierarch."
"The passing of His Beatitude Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece today Monday, January 28, 2008 in the early morning hours constitutes the consummation of his valiant struggle with illness, and an affirmation of his great faith in God. The late Archbishop faced the long and agonizing months of his sickness with courage, determination and a love for his flock that were truly remarkable."
"Always seeking to continue to serve his faithful, Archbishop Christodoulos did not spare himself any sacrifice, even at the time of his difficult medical treatments, in order to continue his mission of love and service to the people of Greece. For those who regret that he died too soon, let them thank God that he was with them the way that he was. The legacy of Archbishop Christodoulos will surely exceed the years of his life. His dedicated and dynamic service to Christ and His Church will be permanently remembered as we pray for his eternal repose in the mansions of the saints a righteous of God."
Note: The Church of Greece, which ranks seventh in the order of commemoration among the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, was established by the missionary activities of the Holy Apostle Paul. In the 19th century, following the liberation of the Greek lands and the establishment of an indigenous State, the Church of Greece was granted the status of Autocephalous by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church of Greece is the official State Church of the Hellenic Republic.