The new Primate of the Orthodox Church of Greece was enthroned on Wednesday (16 January), in Athens Cathedral, and he promised to give absolute priority to reconciliation within the Church.
GV Ext. Athens Cathedral
SV INT. Throne in Cathedral
GV & SV Government officials (2 shots)
GV Archbishop Seraphim mounts to throne
SCU Greek Premier AND ROUTS OPOULOS surrounded by aides
SV Archbishop giving blessing
SV Bishops looking on
SV Archbishop greeting bishop with kiss
Initials SC/1805 SC/1829
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Background: The new Primate of the Orthodox Church of Greece was enthroned on Wednesday (16 January), in Athens Cathedral, and he promised to give absolute priority to reconciliation within the Church.
The election of the Primate, Archbishop Seraphim, a week ago, caused considerable controversy. He succeeded Archbishop Ieronymos, who resigned last month after the fall of President Papadopoulos.
The new Greek regime of President Ghizikis issued a fresh Constitutional act which stated that the nomination of Archbishop Ieronymos had been a violation of both the Constitution and the Church laws. It also disqualified 34 of the 66 bishops from voting for the new Primate.
Archbishop Seraphim, who is 61, recited a prayer in his enthronement speech for the health of archbishop Ieronymos. He said that his predecessor's contribution to the Church would be judged impartially by history.
The procedure by which the new Primate was elected has raised serious objections from churchmen. After the coup last November, the oath of office for the new President and his government, was administered by Archbishop Seraphim, who was then Metropolitan of Ioannina.
SYNOPSIS: The Cathedral in the Greek capital Athens was crowded on Wednesday for the enthronement of the new Primate of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Archbishop Seraphim. His election a week earlier caused great controversy. After the military coup in November, the Archbishop -- then Metropolitan of Ioannina -- administered the oath of office to President Ghizikis and his government in place of the Primate, Archbishop Ieronymos's resignation -- a new Constitution Act disqualified half the bishops from voting.
Many old-guard bishops objected to the procedure and at least two said they would boycott the new Primate's election. At his enthronement, Archbishop Seraphim promised to give absolute priority to pacification within the Church, and he urged rival factions to show their desire for reconciliation.
The Archbishop, who is sixty-one, recited a prayer for the health of Archbishop Ieronymos. He said his contribution to the Church would be judged impartially by history.