World Council of Churches -
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13 September 2004
WCC tribute to Pope Petros VII,
patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
It was with "deep sadness" that the World Council of Churches (WCC) received news of the "tragic accident in which Pope Petros VII, Greek Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa and other members of the Patriarchate, including bishops, priests and lay staff, lost their lives".
In a letter sent today to the Patriarchate's authorities, WCC acting general secretary Georges Lemopoulos laments the loss of "a tireless witness of the gospel, a true servant of the people committed into his care by God, an advocate of fraternity and peace among peoples, an enthusiastic animator and renovator, a builder of the ecumenical movement in the Middle East, in Africa, and the world".
His Beatitude Pope Petros VII, Greek Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, was killed last Saturday in a helicopter crash over the Aegean Sea while he was travelling to the Mount Athos monastery in northern Greece. Along with him, 17 other people were killed in the accident.
The full text of the letter is available at
A statement from the Middle East Council of Churches is available at:
Biographical information on H.B. Petros VII is available at:
Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.