A term of Greek origin signifying “general,” “universal,” and used as a title given to high-ranking secular officials, and later as an honorary title for certain ecclesiastical dignitaries ranking below a but above a metropolitan.

On 25 June 1959, a protocol was issued in Cairo the relationship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian church. Article 1 stipulates that the supreme spiritual head of the latter church is the pope of Alexandria and the of the see of Saint Mark, while article 4 provides for the elevation of the spiritual head of the Ethiopian church to the rank of patriarch.

Basilios was raised to this rank, and was consecrated at the Cathedral of Saint Mark, Cairo, on 28 June 1959, by Pope CYRIL VI (1959-1971).


  • Neale, J. M. A History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol. 1, p. 141. London, 1850.