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Africa's Greek Patriarch visits SA

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  • Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
    Africa s Greek Patriarch visits SA February 28 2005 at 11:08AM By Miriam Mannak The former Greek Orthodox archbishop of Zimbabwe, who in 2004 became the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2005
      Africa's Greek Patriarch visits SA

      February 28 2005 at 11:08AM

      By Miriam Mannak

      The former Greek Orthodox archbishop of Zimbabwe, who in 2004 became
      the continental Patriarch, is on a visit to South Africa for the
      first time in his new role of African spiritual leader.

      Theodoros II, born as Nicholas Choreftakis, set foot on African soil
      for the first time 20 years ago. Since then he travelled extensively
      through the continent.

      He also lived in several African countries, including Cameroon,
      before he became the Archbishop of Zimbabwe in 2002.

      'I feel African'
      "Inside, I feel African. I lived with the people, in huts and in
      poverty," he said.

      He started his official visit on Sunday with a service at the Greek
      Orthodox Cathedral of St George in Woodstock, the first Greek
      Orthodox church in South Africa.

      The Patriarch's main message in the service was the relevance and
      necessity of love and peace above hate.

      After the service, the spiritual leader took time to talk about some
      of the serious issues facing Africa.

      Discussing HIV and Aids, he said part of the solution was providing
      medication for the sick.

      'Africa is the future'
      "The pandemic is an enormous problem. But one day people will be
      enlightened. They will know how to be in control of their own bodies,
      so they can stop getting sick and from spreading the virus."

      About the situation in Zimbabwe, Theodoros II said: "Zimbabwe faces
      many problems, for instance hunger. But I see positive developments
      and the situation is getting better."

      Theodoros II said South Africa could help the situation in Zimbabwe
      by "putting more pressure" on the Zimbabwean government.

      But he was positive about the future of the African continent.

      "Despite the problems, Africa is the future. The West should not
      forget or give up on Africa. They should help as they are partially
      responsible, but Africans have to work as well as African soil is
      their soil."

      When he leaves Cape Town, Theodoros II will visit George on Tuesday,
      Durban on Thursday and Welkom on Saturday. He will remain in Gauteng
      for most of next week, then end his visit in Pretoria on March 13.

      http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?
      set_id=1&click_id=139&art_id=vn20050228084348690C677702
      This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on
      February 28, 2005
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