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Archbishop Demetrios As He Begins Official Visit to Cyprus, Says It Is a Pilgrimage to a Sacred Place

Nicosia – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America arrived today, Oct 21, 2014, in Cyprus for an official visit to Cyprus, following the invitation of the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Anastasiades, and with the unanimous agreement of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus.

At the International Larnaca Airport, Archbishop Demetrios was welcomed by the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Mr. Nikos Koufialis and His Excellency Metropolitan of Kition Chrysostomos.

Mr Koufialis said, “it is indeed an honor to welcome His Eminence to Cyprus, we receive him with great joy, knowing fully his tireless work in America for the promotion of our national issues and the advancement of all the things that concern Hellenism.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos, representing the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus and His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos welcomed Archbishop Demetrios as an angel of peace and dear friend of Cyprus and added: “We express unequivocally our love and gratitude for all that he does for the people of Cyprus and for Hellenism in America.”

Archbishop Demetrios in his statement upon his arrival stated: “This visit for us it is not simply a visit but a pilgrimage. It is a pilgrimage in a sacred place that has given culture and has suffered injustice. In return for everything it has contributed it continues to suffer adversity, pressure and the occupation of a significant part of its territory. Cyprus continues to offer a lesson in resilience, a lesson of high principles and sticking to values, a lesson of pure patriotism and untainted Orthodoxy; and it is for this reason that we declare publicly that Cyprus for us is a very dear, venerable and sacred part of our Genos, of Orthodoxy and of universal Hellenism. Our pilgrimage here starts with a very deep feeling of duty, so that the days we spend on this island will give us additional data for when we return to America it will enable us to continue this struggle that we do all these years with the support of the Greek American community and especially with the Greek Cypriot American Community. It is a struggle we undertake regardless of results and it will continue because we believe that the God of justice and of love will at the end justify this blessed and pained people and will grant to all the people who live on this island a life of creativity and peace, as they continue to offer culture and peace to the whole world.”

Almost immediately upon his arrival to Nicosia, Archbishop Demetrios paid a visit to His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus and had with him the first of the three visits scheduled during this trip.

The delegation accompanying Archbishop Demetrios is comprised of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela (Chief Secretary of the Eparchial Holy Synod), Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos, the past president of the Cyprus Federation of America Mr. Panikos Papanikolaou, the present president Mr. Kostas Tsentas, the director of the Archbishop’s Office Mrs. Alice Keurian, the director of the Archdiocese Press Office Mr. Stavros Papagermanos, and the Archdiocese photographer Mr. Dimitrios Panagos.