GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
8-10 East 79th St. New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 570-3530 Fax: (212) 774-0215
For Immediate Release
January 31, 2006
ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS OF AMERICA COMPLETES HISTORIC VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF
NEW YORK - His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Primate of the
Greek Orthodox Church in America, completed a six day visit to the Republic
of Cyprus on Sunday, January 29, 2006. He was invited by the President of
Cyprus Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos and the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus.
This was the first official visit of an Archbishop of America to the
Republic of Cyprus.
On Friday, January 27, Archbishop Demetrios placed a wreath on the
"imprisoned graves" of those who had been executed by hanging and buried in
prison during the Cypriot struggle for Independence of 1955-1959. His
Eminence offered memorial prayers for the eternal repose of their souls and
visited the jail cells and the execution chambers where heroic fighters were
Following, Archbishop Demetrios and his entourage visited City Hall in
Nicosia and were greeted by Mayor Michael Zampelas, the City Council,
various dignitaries and the general public. During ceremonies that
followed, Mayor Zampelas presented Archbishop Demetrios with the Golden Key
to the City, citing His Eminence's tireless work for a just solution to the
Cyprus issue and the Archbishop's contributions to Hellenism and Orthodoxy.
In response, Archbishop Demetrios thanked Mayor Zampelas stating that he
accepts the honor in the name of Greek Orthodox Christians in America, who
will continue to support a just and fair solution for Cyprus. Mayor Zampelas
and members of the National Guard escorted Archbishop Demetrios to the
military post at the "Green Line", which separates the heart of the city in
two. Nicosia remains the last divided capital in Europe.
Later on the 27th, Archbishop Demetrios visited the historic Church of
Panayia Phanoromeni and the Mausoleum where the holy relics of the martyred
Archbishop Cyprianos rest. He also visited the world renown PanCyprian High
School where he spoke to the students about what can be accomplished with
hard work and the importance of education.
Next, His Eminence traveled to the Holy Metropolis of Kition in Larnaca,
meeting with Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition. Later he visited the
Metropolis of Kirenia, which is currently headquartered in Nicosia since its
displacement in 1974. There he was greeted by Metropolitan Pavlos of
Later, also in Nicosia, His Eminence met with the President of the
Parliament Mr. Demetris Christofias, who hosted a dinner in honor of His
On Saturday, January 28, Archbishop Demetrios visited the Metropolis of
Morphou where he was greeted with warmth and enthusiasm by Metropolitan
Neofitos, clergy and laity. Following, Archbishop Demetrios visited the
Holy Stavropegial Monastery of Kikos where he was greeted by Bishop
Nikiforos, the abbot of the Monastery. Together they visited the Tomb of
Archbishop Makarios III, the first leader of the Republic of Cyprus, where
the Archbishop placed a memorial wreath and offered a Trisagion Service.
Later in the day, Archbishop Demetrios visited the Apostolic City of Paphos
and met with Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Paphos. The final Metropolis
visited on Saturday was the Metropolis of Lemesos where Archbishop Demetrios
was greeted by Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemesos and civic leaders of the
city at a reception in his honor.
Finally, on Saturday evening, US Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald Schlicher
hosted a dinner at his residence in Nicosia in honor of Archbishop Demetrios
On Sunday, January 29, Archbishop Demetrios of America, and hierarchs of the
Church of Cyprus, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of Panagia
Palouriotissa in Nicosia. The Divine Liturgy was broadcast via live TV
throughout Cyprus. In the afternoon, Archbishop Demetrios hosted a
reception, attended by some 400 guests, to thank President and Mrs.
Papadopoulos for the gracious invitation and the hospitality of the people
of the Republic of Cyprus.