Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem

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Theophilus III
Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Holy Zion
Феофил III.jpg
Church Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem
See Jerusalem
Installed November 22, 2005
Term ended Incumbent
Predecessor Irenaios
Personal details
Birth name Ilias Giannopoulos
Born 1952
Messinia, Greece

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem (Greek: Η Α. Μακαριότης ο Πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύμων Θεόφιλος Γ' ) (born: 1952 - Ilias Giannopoulos, Ηλίας Γιαννόπουλος) is the current Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. He is styled "Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine."[1]

Theophilos (also spelled Theofilos or Theophilus) was elected by the Holy Synod of Jerusalem as the 141st primate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem on 22 August 2005, confirmed by the pan-Orthodox Synod of Constantinople. The election was endorsed by Jordan on 24 September 2005, as one of the three governments whose endorsement is required.[2] He was enthroned on 22 November 2005, despite Israeli objection. Theophilos had previously petitioned the Israeli government for recognition of the election.[3]

Theophilos was elected unanimously by Jerusalem's Holy Synod to succeed the deposed Irenaios I. Theophilos is regarded as having been more favorable to his deposed predecessor, which may assist him in bringing stability to the troubled patriarchate as Irenaios's supporters may thus unite around him and make peace with the synod. Upon his election, Theophilos said, "In the last few months we have had a lot of problems but with the help of God we will overcome them."[3]

Theophilos was formerly the Archbishop of Tabor.

Biography[edit]

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem in the Senate of the Republic of Poland (2010).
President George W. Bush listens as Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem, speaks during a visit to the Church of Nativity Thursday, January 10, 2008, in Bethlehem.

Theophilos was born Elias Giannopoulos in Gargalianes, Messenia, Greece in 1952 to parents Panagiotes and Triseugenia. In 1964, Ilias moved to Jerusalem.[4]

He served as archdeacon for then-patriarch Benedict I of Jerusalem. From 1991 to 1996, he was a priest in Kafr Kanna in Galilee, which had a predominantly Israeli Arab Christian community, there he also formed a society called "Nour al Masih" ("Light of Christ") to spread the Orthodox Christian faith throughout the region.

Theophilos studied theology at the University of Athens and went on to complete a master's degree in Durham. He has studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Besides his native Greek, he also speaks English, Arabic and Hebrew.

In 1996, he was one of the first Christian clergymen in centuries to make an opening into the closed Wahhabi Islamic society of Qatar, an area historically[citation needed] under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem where many Israeli Arab migrant workers live today, a considerable number of them Orthodox Christians. He subsequently served as Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Qatar.

From 2000 to 2003, he was church envoy to the Patriarchate of Moscow but mostly steered clear of Moscow, where the Patriarchate has an established metochion.

Before becoming patriarch, Theophilos served for a short time as the Archbishop of Tabor, consecrated to the episcopacy by Irenaios in February 2005.

He was officially enthroned as Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine[5] on November 22, 2005. Delegates from all of the Orthodox Churches as well as high secular dignitaries were in attendance, including the President of Greece, and senior officials representing the governments of Palestinian National Authority, Jordan and Qatar, as well as diplomats and military officials.[6]

Titles[edit]

Styles of
Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem
Reference style His Most Godly Beatitude
Spoken style Your Beatitude
Religious style Patriarch
Posthumous style N/A

The official title of the Patriarch of Jerusalem is:

His Most Godly Beatitude, the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, Arabia, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Holy Zion, Theophilus III;

in Greek:

Η Αυτού Θειοτάτη Μακαριότης, ο Πατριάρχης της Αγίας Πόλεως Ιερουσαλήμ και πάσης Παλαιστίνης, Συρίας, Αραβίας, Πέραν του Ιορδάνου, Κανά της Γαλιλαίας και Αγίας Σιών, Θεόφιλος Γ'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Irenaios I
Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
2005–present
Incumbent