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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-22

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] New Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III enthroned
  • [02] Kefaloyannis addresses IMO Assembly
  • [03] Inner Cabinet discusses defence procurements bill
  • [04] Party's renewal includes everyone, Papandreou says

  • [01] New Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III enthroned

    JERUSALEM (ANA - M. Papoutsaki) The new Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine Theophilos III was enthroned on Tuesday, in a ceremony at the Church of the Ascension that onlookers described as "modest but impressive".

    The enthronement was attended by Greek President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis, representatives of the Greek political parties and of all the Orthodox Churches and Patriarchates, including the head of the Church of Greece, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos.

    In his enthronement speech, the new Patriarch referred to the recent problems experienced by the Jerusalem Patriarchate and stressed the difficult task that lay before him in his efforts to "emerge from the sea of corruption and fraud".

    Papoulias termed the day "historic" for the Jerusalem Patriarchate and said it marked the start of its new course.

    "The Jerusalem Patriarchate recently underwent major upheavals that momentarily threatened to turn it aside from its path. Your unanimous election, however, trumpeted the desire of the Holy Sepulchre's Brotherhood to fight to restore it to the glorious position it deserves in the modern world," Papoulias said.

    The Greek president stressed that the Patriarchate was a factor for peace and stability in the region and said that it would always have Greece's support in its struggles.

    Archbishop Christodoulos, speaking to Theophilos later during the proceedings, stressed that the work facing the new Patriarch would be difficult and strenuous, while expressing confidence that the beliefs, experience and courtesy of the new Patriarch would contribute to the peace and unity of the Church.

    Skandalakis said the ceremony on Tuesday marked the end of a "long and difficult period of disruption" that had rocked the Jerusalem Church and congregation.

    "I would like to once again note that the only and steadfast concern of Greece was always to protect this institution for the good of Orthodox faith and the message that it gives to all the world for peace, reconciliation and progress," he said.

    On Tuesday afternoon, the Greek president met his Israeli counterpart Moshe Katzav.

    The ousted former patriarch Irineos, who remains shut in his quarters at the Patriarchate, on Tuesday made a statement to the Israeli newspaper "Jerusalem Post" that he was still the "rightful Patriarch" and that those putting a new Patriarch on the throne were acting illegally.

    Irineos was removed in a "rebellion" by the Jerusalem Patriarchate's Holy Synod and several senior clerics, following a scandal that implicated him in the long-term lease and sale of Patriarchate land in the Old City of Jerusalem to Israeli interests.

    The current Patriarch Theophilos, formerly Archbishop of Tabor, was elected to replace the deposed Irineos on August 22 by a unanimous vote of the Jerusalem Church Holy Synod.

    Groups of worshippers from Messinia, birthplace of the new Archbishop Theofilos III of Jerusalem, also flocked to the Holy City for the enthronement ceremony, which was held at noon Tuesday.

    Theofilos is the 140th Patriarch of Jerusalem, Palestine, Syria, beyond Jordan River, Cana of Galilee & Holy Zion.

    It is noted that the Israeli authorities have not yet acknowledged the new Patriarch, but this was not an obstacle to his enthronement, according to the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre. Under Church law and custom, any new patriarch must be approved by the governments of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. Palestine and Jordan in September approved Theofilos' election by Jerusalem's Holy Synod.

    The Greek President, Archbishop Christodoulos, and Skandalakis will spend the afternoon in Jerusalem, and depart at 7:30 p.m. for the scheduled return flight to Athens.

    The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is known as the "Mother of All Churches". The Brotherhood, or Guards, of the Holy Sepulchre (Holy Tomb)comprises everyone belonging to the Patriarchate -- metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, Archimandrites, priests, monks and deacons, and is administrated by an 18-member standing council, the chairman of which is the Jerusalem Patriarch.

    Theophilos was born in 1950 in Messinia, Greece. In 1964, he went to Jerusalem. He served as archdeacon for then Patriarch Benediktos. From 1991 to 1996, he was a priest in Cana in Galilee, which had a predominantly Israeli Arab flock.

    In 1996, he was one of the first Christian clergymen in centuries to make an opening into the closed Wahhabi Islamic society of Qatar, historically under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. He subsequently served as Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Qatar. From 2000 to 2003, he was church envoy to the Patriarchate of Moscow.

    Before becoming patriarch, Theophilus served for a short time as the Archbishop of Tabor, consecrated to the episcopacy by the now deposed patriarch Irineos in January of 2005.

    Theophilus studied theology at the University of Athens and went on to complete a master's degree in London. Besides his native Greek, he also speaks English and Arabic.

    Other Patriarchs of Jerusalem bearing the same name were Theophilos I, Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1012 to 1020, and Theophilos II, Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1417 to 1424.

    [02] Kefaloyannis addresses IMO Assembly

    London (ANA/L. Tsirigotakis) -- Quality in merchant shipping does not concern only ships and engines, but also well-trained seamen in an upgraded profession and working conditions, Greece's merchant marine minister Manolis Kefaloyannis said Tuesday, addressing the 24th Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which is being held at IMO's London headquarters from November 21 to December 2.

    Kefaloyannis said that the present Assembly session was taken place at a time when important developments were taking place on a global level and protection of the sea environment was arising as the most fundamental investment by the present generation for future generations.

    Today, he said, "shipping is a much safer industry than in the past, and its environmental credentials have improved significantly".

    Kefaloyannis said that IMO and its member countries, in the framework of their authorities and their influence, have an equally important role to play in this respect as well. The international safety standards must in now way create areas of commercial competition among the flags. The disreputable factors involved in shipping must comprehend that the credentials of maritime are not negotiable, but applied in a uniform way on a global basis," he said.

    The Greek minister, who was one of the keynote speakers at the Assembly session, also stressed the "need for investment in the human potential".

    "Quality in merchant shipping does not concern only the ships and engines. It also concerns well-trained seamen with an upgraded professional status and working conditions," he explained. "Prospective measures of a regional extent must be avoided at all cost", Kefaloyannis said, stressing that any measures should "reflect the international activity of maritime".

    IMO is the United Nations agency concerned with maritime safety and security and the prevention of marine pollution from ships. Piraeus-born Efthymios Mitropoulos is currently at the helm of the IMO, after being elected as the organisation's 7th secretary general by IMO's 90th Council meeting in June 2003 and the approval of his appointment by the 23rd regular session of the IMO Assembly on November 2003. He will serve as IMO chief for an initial four-year term which started on January 1, 2004.

    Urgent priority is being placed by the Assembly on the rising incidents of piracy against merchant ships, ship safety, and protection of the sea environment.

    Also, the final phase in the development of the new voluntary IMO Member State audit scheme is set to be launched at the present Assembly.

    The adoption of the Scheme will herald a new era for IMO, in which the Organization will have at its disposal a tool to achieve harmonized, standardized global implementation of IMO standards, which is key to realizing the IMO objectives of safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.

    The Scheme will address issues such as a Member State's conformance in enacting appropriate legislation for the IMO instruments to which it is a Party; the administration and enforcement of the applicable laws and regulations of the Member State; the delegation of authority by a Member State in terms of the implementation of convention requirements; and the control and monitoring mechanism of the Member State's survey and certification processes and of its recognized organizations.

    It will help to identify where capacity-building activities would have the greatest effect and it will also enable appropriate action to be much more precisely focused. Individual Member States which volunteer to be audited will receive valuable feedback and, on a wider scale, generic lessons learnt from audits could be provided to all Member States so that the benefits may be shared. The regulatory process at IMO may also benefit from the results of this learning experience.

    Alongside the audit scheme framework, the Assembly is expected to adopt a Code for the Implementation of Mandatory IMO Instruments, which will provide the audit standard.

    [03] Inner Cabinet discusses defence procurements bill

    The Inner Cabinet met on Tuesday, chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis, to discuss procurements of defence materiele.

    National defence minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos presented a relevant draft law to the Inner Cabinet, noting that for the first time a bill on defence procurements and aimed at consolidating transparency, competitiveness and efficiency, as well as monitoring of the Armed Forces' procurements, was being introduced.

    He said the bill would also contribute to boosting the Greek defence industry.

    The minister said that the provisions contained in the bill were in the interests of the Greek citizens, the Armed Forces procurements, and transparency in the management of public monies.

    He said a detailed announcement would be issued by the defence ministry describing the provisions of the bill.

    [04] Party's renewal includes everyone, Papandreou says

    Clarifying his statements concerning the "renewal" of main opposition PASOK, party leader George Papandreou on Tuesday told the PASOK Parliamentary group's coordinating body that these had been misinterpreted.

    "Obviously we will all move together," he underlined, stressing that all PASOK MPs should feel part of the efforts being made by the party to win the next elections.

    The renewal, reform and changes should not be "handed over" to New Democracy, he added, calling on coordinators to fully brief the Parliamentary Group on the party's renewal and saying that "futile conflicts" would not be tolerated.

    Over the past week, Papandreou upset historic party members by urging the media to turn the spotlight more on the up-and-coming faces within the party, rather than focusing exclusively on MPs and the more well-known political figures in its ranks.

    During the meeting, PASOK's leader also predicted that the government would not risk early elections, saying that such a move at present would put it "between a rock and a hard place" given the impasses it had created for itself.

    He said the government had no policies and nothing to show for itself, while noting that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had visited a public works project carried out under PASOK during his visit to Grevena.

    Regarding his election to the Socialist International presidency, for which he is the sole candidate, Papandreou stressed that it was a great honour and a privileged position on the international scene.

    At the same time, he stressed that his new duties would not lead him to abandon Greece and PASOK or distract him from his work here, which was his first priority.


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