Enthronement of Metropolitan Athenagora of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Brussels
On Saturday, 21 December 2013 at the Cathedral church of St. Michael the Archangel in Brussels (Belgium) Metropolitan Athenagoras was enthroned. Many high representatives of religious and state institutions from many countries of the world attended the enthronement.
The Serbian Orthodox Church on this occasion was represented by His Grace Bishop Andrej of Remesiana, who also concelebrated to Metropolitan Athenagoras at the first Liturgy which he served as the enthroned Metropolitan.
Metropolitan Athenagoras, was born as Yves Peckstadt on 24 March 1962 in Ghent in Belgium by father Archpriest Ignace Peckstadt who served at the Orthodox parish in Ghent and mother Marie-Thérèse Janssens. After two years of law school at the University of Ghent, he began study at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece, having received a scholarship granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
He successfully graduated with a Master's degree in Theology and continued his studies at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey (University of Geneva), also graduating with a success. In November 1989 he was ordained to the diaconate by Metropolitan Bartholomew of Philadelphia (presently the Ecumenical Patriarch), who gave him the name of Athenagoras in honor of the great Patriarch Athenagoras. Later, Metropolitan Panteleimon of Belgium ordained him as a priest. In September 1996 he was elected as Vicar Bishop of the Archdiocese of Benelux countries. On the 13 November 2003, he was unanimously elected as auxiliary bishop to the Metropolitan of Belgium with the ancient and honorary title of Bishop of Sinope. As a new Metropolitan, he continues to carry on most of his former duties.