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Greece’s Archbishop Christodoulos passed away January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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The head of Greece’s Orthodox Church, Archbishop Christodoulos, died of cancer on Monday at the age of 69.

Christodoulos died about 5:15 a.m. Monday local time, at his home in an Athens suburb, church officials said. He had battled liver cancer for several months and traveled to the United States in an unsuccessful attempt to get a transplant. He declined hospital treatment in the last several days.

archbishop_christodoulos.jpg  Archbishop Christodoulos [middle] on Epiphany Day in Volos town on 6 January 2006.

Christodoulos was a polyglot who surfed the Internet, instituted sign-language liturgies for the deaf, embraced rather than disgraced AIDS patients, launched a successful internet portal.

The archbishop also addressed centuries-old grievances with the Roman Catholic Church. He received the late Pope John Paul II in Athens in 2001 on the first papal visit to Greece in nearly 1,300 years.

During his visit to Greece, the pope asked for forgiveness for sins committed against Orthodox Christians during the 1,000 year split between the two traditions. The remarks drew applause from Christodoulos.

The 2001 declaration followed a roasting by Christodoulos, who told the pope that an apology was needed for grievances ranging from the Great Schism of 1054 to a lack of publicly expressed concern over the divided island of Cyprus.

“Traumatic experiences remain as open wounds on (the Greek people’s) vigorous body,” Christodoulos said. “Yet until now, there has not been heard even a single request for pardon.”

Despite widespread opposition from conservative adherents of the Orthodox faith, the influential clergyman, who was schooled by Catholic monks in Athens, followed up with a historic visit to the Vatican last year, meeting Pope Benedict XVI.

The divide between Rome-based and eastern European Christianity dates back to 1054, but it deepened in the 20th century .

Championing a more liberal image for an institution often considered a bastion of conservativism, Christodoulos, the son of a local mayor, enjoyed a popularity rating of nearly 75 percent — far higher than any Greek politician.

Related Links >

http://www.ecclesia.gr/englishnews/default.asp

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7212502.stm

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/01/28/obit.christodoulos/index.html

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