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Patriarch of Alexandria Killed

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  • Reader Timothy Tadros
    Greece air crash kills top cleric Petros was elected Patriarch seven years ago A senior leader of the Greek Orthodox Church has been killed along with 16 other
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 11, 2004
      Greece air crash kills top cleric


      Petros was elected Patriarch seven years ago
      A senior leader of the Greek Orthodox Church has been killed along
      with 16 other people in a helicopter crash off the coast of northern
      Greece.
      Patriarch Petros VII of Alexandria, the spiritual leader of Greek
      Orthodox Christians in Africa, was heading north from Athens when
      contact was lost.

      He was going to a monastic community on Mount Athos for a religious
      event.

      Aircraft and ships mounted a rescue operation which located wreckage
      and bodies in the nearby Aegean Sea.



      No cause has yet been established for the crash, which occurred when
      conditions were good.

      'Huge loss'


      Military officials said the helicopter was in a good condition and
      the pilots were experienced.



      The Patriarch, 55 - one of the most senior figures in the Greek
      Orthodox Church - was on a visit to Greece from Egypt accompanied by
      Orthodox priests and laymen from the Alexandria area.

      His helicopter went missing about two hours into the flight from
      Athens to Mount Athos - known as the Holy Mountain - for a religious
      ceremony.


      A church spokesman said the death of Patriarch Petros was a huge loss
      as he had breathed new life into the Orthodox Church in Africa since
      being elected seven years ago.

      Mount Athos - a male-only community of Orthodox monasteries - has
      been a centre of Eastern Orthodoxy since AD963 and is classed as a
      semi-autonomous monastic republic.
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