African News Dimension Zimgreats. com September 17, 2006
Johannesburg (AND) In yet another furore to grip the Christian community, the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece has joined the Pope controversy by attacking what he calls Islamic fanaticism in Africa.
In a scathing attack, barely 48 hours after a Somali Islamic cleric called for Muslims to kill the Pope for his Tuesday utterances, Archbishop Christodoulos told a sermon in Athens that Christians in Africa were suffering at the hands of ‘fanatic Islamists’.
“Many Christians on the Black Continent (Africa) suffer from fanatic Islamists. The example of Roman Catholic monks who were slaughtered last year… because they wore the cross and believed in our crucified Lord is still recent,” said Christodoulos.
The Archbishop’s remarks come as the Muslim world is seething with anger over Pope Benedict XVI’s quoting of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who said innovations introduced by the Prophet Mohammed (the Islamic supreme leader) were “evil and inhuman”.
The Pope has already been forced in submitting that he was “deeply sorry” after his remarks sparked outrage in the Muslim world, with Morocco calling back its envoy and Turkey casting doubts of Benedict’s scheduled visit in November – the first to a Muslim country.
His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Christodoulos was born at Xanthi, on 1939. In 1962 he graduated from the School of Law and in 1967 from the School of Theology. In 1961 he was ordained deacon and priest in 1965. He served as a preacher and senior spiritual father at the church of Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Palaio Phalero for nine years, and, for seven years he served as a Secretary of the Holy Synod. He took part in many religious missions abroad.
He was elected Metropolitan of Demetrias in 1974 and Archbishop of Athens and all Greece in 1998.
He is a Doctor of Theology, he has a degree in French and English, and he also speaks Italian and German. He is the author of many scientific and books.
He has received “Honoris Causa” Doctorates from the Univ. of Craiova and the Univ. of Iasi.