On Saturday December 4, 2021, at 6.45 p.m., at the conclusion of the first day of his apostolic journey to Greece, Pope Francis returned to the Nunciature, where waiting for him was a group of seven of the nine Jesuits working in Greece, that is, the members of the Athens community. Theodoros Kodidis was part of this community until being appointed archbishop of Athens in September. The pope entered the hall of the Nunciature, greeting those present personally. Then, when they were seated in a circle, a spontaneous conversation began that lasted an hour. Everyone introduced themselves, telling their stories and starting a brief dialogue with Francis, who asked to be questioned in his usual free and spontaneous manner.
The superior, Fr. Pierre Salembier, recalled that the community is now part of the Province of France and French-speaking Belgium, whereas in the past it was linked to the Province of Sicily. He introduced himself personally, reminding the pope that they had been together at the Congregation of Procurators held in 1987. He had been a professor in Bordeaux, and then he was asked to move to Athens. After him, a Jesuit brother, Georges Marangos, who plays the organ and is the bursar, introduced himself. The pope intervened saying:
I’ll make a confession: When I was provincial and had to ask for information which would allow me to admit Jesuits to priestly ordination, I found that the best information came from the brothers. I remember once there was a student of theology who was finishing his studies. He was particularly good, intelligent and likeable. But the brothers told me: “Be careful, send him to work a little before ordination.” They “saw under the water.” I wonder why the Jesuit brothers have the ability to understand what is essential in a life.