New patriarch in Alexandria

The Cretan-born Bishop of Zimbabwe was elected on Saturday as head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Africa, replacing Patriarch Petros, who was killed in a September 11 helicopter accident in northern Greece. The 115th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, Theodoros II – born Theodoros Horeftakis – won the unanimous backing of the 13 members of the Patriarchate’s Holy Synod in the second round of voting in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria, which was a major center of Greeks of the diaspora until the mid-1950s. Theodoros, 50, secured the highest number of ballots in the first round of voting, in which he ran against the bishops of Axum and Leontopolis. The new patriarch studied theology in Thessaloniki and served at the beginning of his career in his native Crete. He was elected bishop of Cameroon in 1997, and took over the Zimbabwe bishopric in October 2002.