JERUSALEM (Dec. 11)
The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Israel, Patriarch Benedictus 1, died here yesterday. He was 92 years old.
Benedictus was the 96th Patriarch in the Mideast after the foundation of this church. He was born in Turkey, and came to Palestine at a young age. Altogether he spent some 70 years of his life in this country. He was appointed as leader of his church in 1957 and has since been considered as one of Israel’s greatest friends in the Christian leadership in the area.
His funeral will take place tomorrow of Sunday. It is expected to turn into a major Christian event, with religious leaders attending from the USSR and Greece as well as a delegation of 22 Greek Orthodox bishops from the U.S. who are presently in Israel.