Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria
His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore (Theodoros) II of Alexandria (born Nikolaos Horeftakis (Νικόλαος Χορευτάκης) on November 25, 1954) is the current Eastern Orthodox Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa. He is formally styled "His Divine Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria, Libya, Pentapolis, Ethiopia, All Egypt and All Africa, Father of Fathers, Pastor of Pastors, Prelate of Prelates, the Thirteenth of the Apostles and Judge of the Ecumene".
He was born on the Greek island of Crete in 1954, where he completed his schooling. He is a graduate of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School in Athens and holds a degree from the Theological Faculty of the Aristotelian University of Thessalonica. He also studied History of Art, Literature and Philosophy in Odessa. From 1975 to 1985 he served as Archdeacon and Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Lambis and Sfakion in Crete, where he developed significant Preaching and Philanthropic activities (hostels for needy youth, etc). From 1985 to 1990 he served as Patriarchal Exarch in Russia, based in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, during the tenure of Patriarchs Nicholas VI and Parthenios.
Theodore established the Institution of Hellenic Culture and the Philiki Eterea Museum with 600 children, where they were taught a thorough knowledge of Greek. In 1990 he was ordained Bishop of Kyrene and was appointed Representative of Patriarch Parthenios in Athens (19901997). He always accompanied Patriarch Parthenios on his travels throughout Africa and to many international, interfaith and theological conferences.
In 1997 he was appointed Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria by Patriarch Petros VII to assist him at the outset of his Patriarchate and after ten months he was elected as Metropolitan of Cameroon. He greatly developed missionary activity there. He built churches, schools and hospitals, helping many Africans and local Greeks. In 2002 he was transferred to the Holy Metropolis of Zimbabwe, where he established four missionary centres in Harare, a Hellenic Cultural Centre for 400 delegates, two large missionary centres in Malawi, with a hospital, technical schools and nursery schools. Aided by the Greek Parliament he renovated the Hellenic Square (School-Church-Vicarage) in Beira, Mozambique. He founded churches and contributed to the establishment of the Hellenic Communities of Botswana and Angola.
In the wake of the death of Patriarch Petros and other senior bishops in a helicopter crash in the Aegean Sea, Theodore was unanimously elected on October 9, 2004 by the Synod of the Alexandrian Throne as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. The enthronement ceremony took place at the Cathedral of Annunciation in Alexandria, on Sunday, October 24, 2004, in the presence of distinguished religious and civilian representatives and a great number of faithful.
Preceded by: Peter VII
Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria 2004 - present