Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105,8, ΑNA-ΜPA
Greek people are deeply moved at the death of Archbishop Christodoulos whose life countdown began on Saturday, June, 9, 2007 and passed away at 05:15 on Monday, January, 28, 2008 at the age of 69 after a tough eight month fight against cancer. His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Christodoulos, was born in the northern Greek city of Xanthi in 1939. He was a Doctor of Theology and holder of Law and Theology university degrees. He had a degree in French and English, while he also had a great command of Italian and German. He was ordained deacon in 1961 and priest in 1965. He served as preacher and senior spiritual father at the parish of Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Palaio Phalero, Athens, for nine years. He also served as a Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod for seven years. He was elected Metropolitan of Demetrias in 1974. Christodoulos took part in several missions abroad.
He is the author of a plethora of scientific and constructive articles and texts. He also wrote for the ecclesiastical press and various papers. In 1998, he was elected Archbishop of Athens and all Greece. Of his most recent publications, his books “Converted Hellenism – the Transition from Antiquity to Christianity,” which elaborates on how the Christian Church succeeded in prevailing and converting both the Greeks and Romans, and “The European Psyche,” which touches on Christianity’s role in the creation of the European world and the prospects of the Europeans in case they uproot their identity, were the ones that stood out.
His accession to the seat of the Prelate of the Church signalled the upgrading of the Church’s role in modern reality. His term witnessed the reorganisation of the Synodical Committees and the foundation of new ones, which enabled the Church of Greece to monitor and intervene whenever and wherever it was deemed necessary.
Under his leadership, the Church’s social work was also given a boost.
The existing bodies were strengthened, while new ones were established to offer their services to drug-addicts, immigrants, abused women, single mothers and trafficking victims. A network of daycares was also launched, with a view to supporting working mothers, poor and families and families with many children.
The establishment of Solidarity, a non-government organization of the Church of Greece, allowed the Church’s humanitarian intervention in Greece and beyond – in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.
Under his rule, a new day dawned on the Church’s communication. Archbishop Christodoulos ushered the Church of Greece into the digital era, favouring the creation of Internet services, as well as an online cultural centre, including a digital library, an art and music gallery and a portal of cultural news in Greek and English.
Christodoulos’ interest and contribution to issues pertaining to European affairs was also pivotal. While being at the helm of the Church of Greece, he supervised the launch of an ad hoc Synodical Committee, established the Church’s representation in the EU in Brussels and a site aiming to cement the elements that make up the European spirit.