Benedict (Papadopoulos) of Jerusalem

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His Beatitude Benedict (Papadopoulos) of Jerusalem was the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Church of Jerusalem from 1957 to 1980.

Patr. Benedict was born in 1892. He was elected patriarch on January 29, 1957, succeeding Patr. Timotheos who had died over a year earlier. With his election the Jordanian government approved a law establishing new regulations concerning relations between the Confraternity of the Holy Sepulchre (Brotherhood of the Sepulchre - Hagiotaphites Brotherhood) and the indigenous Arab community of the Orthodox Church. While the rules gave the Arab laity a role in the financial affairs of the Patriarchate, and required that the candidates for the offices of the patriarchate be citizens of Jordan, lobbying by the patriarchate with the Jordanians soon resulted in the death of the reforms.

Following his election, Patr. Benedict actively pursued a rehabilitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Starting in 1961, after undertaking a North American tour to raise funds,[note 1] the structure was completely rehabilitated, including repair of the foundations, and cisterns, and restoration of the interior and exterior walls. Thousand of stones were replaced including removal of old and injection of new mortar. Columns were replaced and new capitals added where needed.

However, on December 11, 1980, as the rotunda dome was finished, further restoration of the church came to a halt with the death of Patr. Benedict.[note 2]

Succession box:
Benedict (Papadopoulos) of Jerusalem
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Jerusalem
Succeeded by:
Diodoros I (Karivalis)
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  1. "The presence of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Benedictos the I, in Toronto, if only briefly, is interpreted as a sign Christian shrines in the Holy Land are no longer in any real danger of exposure to Israeli-Jordanian crossfire. His Beatitude left here today after a two-day visit on the first stop of a North American tour. His purpose is to raise $3,000,000 to restore the crumbling shrines, among them the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Other shrines were heavily damaged in shellfire exchanges in the Israeli-Arab war in 1948. These were repaired cursorily and it is hoped they can be restored. The money will also be used to build or expand schools, hospitals and other charitable enterprises, and strengthen monasteries - all within the Patriarch's enclave in the ancient city and surrounding districts. It was the first time a Greek Orthodox Patriarch has visited Canada. His Beautitude was given $2,000 toward his goal by the Greek community here, the only sizeable Greek Orthodox congregation in the country. He is accompanied by two archbishops, two deacons, a personal physician (he is recovering from a severe cold), two archimandrites and the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for this continent and South America."
    • -----. “Patriarch Seeks Aid for Shrines in Jerusalem”. The Globe and Mail. Thursday September 28, 1961. Page 5.
  2. "Benedictos I, the Patriarch of Jerusalem and a leading figure in the Greek Orthodox Church, died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 90. The spiritual leader of about 160,000 Greek Orthodox followers in Israel and Jordan, he died in Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, where he was recovering from a stroke he suffered 10 days ago. The Greek Orthodox Synod of the Jerusalem patriarchate convened immediately and elected Metropolitan Germanos of Petra the acting patriarch."
    • -----. Jerusalem's Patriarch dies of heart attack. The Globe and Mail. Dec 11, 1980. Page 4.


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