So Long, Archbishop Christodoulos.........
He'd spent 10 weeks in a Miami, Florida hospital, hoping to get himself a liver transplant later that October --- but it was postponed indefinitely when it became apparent that the cancer had somehow spread. That, Christodoulos decided, was all he needed to know; and for him, one must assume, that was the signal to him that his work on Earth was done. Accordingly, in his last days, he refused all further hospital treatment.
Christodoulos Paraskevaides was enthroned in 1998, and had reigned as Archbbishop of Athens for close to a decade. He loved to surf the net, he embraced AIDS/HIV patients, and he launched his ever popular website, which undoubtedly will continue onward.
But what Christodoulos will always be well-noted for is the fact that, in addition to being one of Greece's most popular personalities, he will be recognized as the first Archbishop of Greece in some 1200 years to receive a Catholic Pope --- namely, the late John Paul II, the great union of the two having occured in 2001. And just last year, His Eminence followed that historic milestone with a visit to the Vatican, where he and Pope Benedict XVI signed a joint declaration calling for, among other things, interreligious dialogue and jointly opposing abortion and euthanasia.
Christodoulos was probably among the most wonderful unexpected characters one could possibly hope to encounter. He was the kind of person who could welcome you into his flock, and just give you a reassuring jolly smile and simply let you know that everything was well --- just the sort of good deed one might expect from an Archbishop! And that, dear children, was what made Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and all Greece a REALLY cool Orthodox Christian Dude.
Well, so long, Christodoulos. You were one totally awesome Archbishop, and man --- you were really cool! And that, I think, is why we're gonna miss Your Eminence. Luckily, thank goodness, your Dragonmaster's Top 5 Coolest Orthodox Christian Dudes are still here with us, savin' souls and takin' names: Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia, Armenia's Catholicos Karekin II, Pope Shenouda III of the Coptics, America's own Archbishop Demetrios, and of course, the Big Boss in Istanbul himself, His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Let's be thankful that these guys are still around, still keeping the faith --- and still keeping it cool!