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Theophilus (also spelled Theofilos and Theophilos; né Ηλίας Γιαννόπουλος [Ilias Giannopoulos]) was elected the 141st primate of the Church of Jerusalem on August 22, 2005, and enthroned on November 22 of that year. Formerly the Archbishop of Tabor, Theophilus was elected unanimously by Jerusalem's Holy Synod to succeed the deposed Irenaios I. Theophilus 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, Theophilus said, "In the last few months we have had a lot of problems but with the help of God we will overcome them."
Before becoming patriarch, Theophilus served for a short time as the Archbishop of Tabor, consecrated to the episcopacy by Irenaios in February of 2005. Prior to his return to Jerusalem and ordination as a bishop, Theophilus served as Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in the country of Qatar for some years.
Since his enthronement, Theophilus has taken a major step forward in the pastorate of his primarily Palestinian flock by appointing Palestinians to the episcopacy and even to the Holy Synod of Jerusalem.
Patriarch Theophilus, a native of the Peloponnese in Greece, is a cousin of former US CIA director George Tenet and also has met with American Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Theophilus studied theology at the University in Athens and went on to complete a master's degree in London.
Besides his native Greek, he also speaks English and Arabic.
In May 2007, the Government of Jordan revoked its previous recognition of Patriarch Theophilus III, who is still also not recognized by the Israeli Government. Metropolitan Theodosios (Attallah Hanna) of Sebastia, Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, has also called for a boycott of Patriarch Theophilus III. But on Tuesday 12 June 2007 the Jordanian cabinet reversed its decision over the Patriarch of Jerusalem and announced that it is once again officially recognising Theophilos as Patriarch.
|Archbishop of Tabor|
|Patriarch of Jerusalem|