New York, NY - Upon the tragic news of the crash of a Greek military helicopter which was transporting Patriarch Petros of Alexandria and All Africa and his entourage to Mount Athos and went down approximately 15 miles off the shores of Mount Athos killing all 17 persons aboard, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America expressed on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod, the clergy, and the entire Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America his deep sorrow for this great loss:
With all our heart we share in the deep sorrow of the Holy Patriarchate of Alexandria and of all Orthodox people around the world for this tragic event which unexpectedly today took away from us a prominent leader of our Church, Patriarch Petros of blessed memory; and a number of distinguished hierarchs, clergymen, laypeople and the crew members of the helicopter.
Patriarch Petros of Alexandria of blessed memory was a distinguished patriarch who during his tenure moved forward the work of the total revitalization of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, both in Egypt and in the rest of Africa. Most notable was his work in the development of the Metropolises all around Africa. Due to his work, Orthodoxy made great strides in the African continent and drew ever-increasing numbers of African people into the Orthodox family.
We pray fervently for the repose of the soul of Patriarch Petros of blessed memory and for the repose of the souls of those who perished along with him in this tragic event. We ask of our ever-compassionate God for His support from above to the deeply afflicted and bereaved Patriarchate of Alexandria and its people.