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Encyclopedia > Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople

His All Holiness Athenagoras I, by the grace of God, Archbishop of Constantinople New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch (Greek: Πατριάρχης Αθηναγόρας, born Aristokles Spyrou) (March 25, 1886 - July 6/7, 1972) was the 268th Patriarch of Constantinople from 1948 to 1972. March 25 is the 84th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (85th in leap years). ... 1886 (MDCCCLXXXVI) is a common year starting on Friday (click on link to calendar) // Events January 18 - Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England. ... July 6 is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 178 days remaining. ... July 7 is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 177 days remaining. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Patriarch of Constantinople is the Ecumenical Patriarch, ranking as the first among equals in the Eastern Orthodox communion. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ...



Patriarch Athenagoras was born Aristokles Spyrou in Vasilikón, near Ioannina, Epirus, Greece, on March 25, 1886, the son of the village doctor. His mother died when he was only 13. He attended the Patriarchical Theological School at Halki, Turkey, graduating in 1910. Upon graduating he was ordained to the diaconate taking the name Athenagoras. He served as archdeacon of the Diocese of Pelagonia before becoming the secretary to Archbishop Meletius (Metaxakis) of Athens in 1919. He was raised to the episcopacy as the Metropolitan of Corfu in 1922. For other senses, see Patriarch (disambiguation). ... Ioannina (Greek: [Ιωάννινα], often Γιάννενα /janena/ or Γιάννινα /janina/; anglicized to Janina or Yanina) is a city in Epirus, north-western Greece, with a population of approximately 100,000 including suburbs. ... Epirus (Greek: Ήπειρος, Ípiros), is a periphery in northwestern Greece. ... March 25 is the 84th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (85th in leap years). ... The Halki seminary was, until its closure by the Turkish authorities in 1971, the main school of theology of the Eastern Orthodox Churchs Patriarchate of Constantinople. ... This article is about the sacrament. ... An archdeacon is a senior position in some Christian churches, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. ... In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated bishop. ...

Returning from a fact-finding trip to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America in 1930, Metropolitan Damaskinos recommended to Pat. Photios II that he appoint Metr. Athenagoras to the position of Archbishop of North and South America as the best person to bring harmony to the American diocese. The patriarch made the appointment on August 30, 1930. In hierarchical Christian churches, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop (then more precisely called Metropolitan archbishop) of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of an old Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital. ... Photius II was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1929 till 1936. ... August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ...

When Abp. Athenagoras assumed his new position on February 24, 1931, he was faced with the task of bringing unity and harmony to a diocese that was racked with dissension between Royalists and Venizelists who had virtually divided the country into independent dioceses. To correct this he centralized the eccelesiastical administration in the Archdiocese offices with all other bishops serving as auxiliaries, appointed to assist the archbishop, without dioceses and administrative rights of their own. He actively worked with his communities to establish harmony. He expanded the work of the clergy-laity congresses and founded the Holy Cross School of Theology. Through his capable leadership he withstood the early opposition and gained the love and devotion of his people. February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... The noun or adjective, Royalist, can have several shades of meaning. ... Venizelism was one of the major political movements in Greece from the 1900s until the mid 1970s. ...

On November 1, 1948, Abp. Athenagoras was elected Patriarch of Constantinople. He was honored to be flown to Istanbul to assume his new position in the personal airplane of the American president Harry Truman. As patriarch, he was actively involved with the World Council of Churches and improving relations with the Bishop of Rome. He died in Istanbul on July 7, 1972. November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 60 days remaining. ... The World Council of Churches (WCC) is the principal international Christian ecumenical organization. ...


His meeting with Pope Paul VI in 1964 in Jerusalem led to rescinding the 1054 excommunications of the Great Schism. This was a significant step towards restoring communion between Rome and Constantinople. It produced the Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration of 1965, which was read out on December 7, 1965, simultaneously at a public meeting of the Second Vatican Council in Rome and at a special ceremony in Istanbul. The declaration did not end the 1054 schism, but showed a desire for greater reconciliation between the two churches, represented by Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. Nevertheless, not all Orthodox leaders at the time were happy with this Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration, e.g., Metr. Philaret's 1965 epistle to the patriarch. The current Pope is Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger), who was elected at the age of 78 on 19 April 2005. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... The term Great Schism refers to either of two splits in the history of Christianity: Most commonly, it refers to the great East-West Schism, the event that separated Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman Catholicism in the eleventh century (1054). ... December 7 is the 341st day (342nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Equally unpopular[citation needed] to both Orthodox and the Papacy was his acceptance of the special relationship that exists between the Orthodox, specifically Greek, and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, wherein the Melkites never severed their ties with the Orthodox[citation needed], and consider their church an especially unique bridge between the separated Churches due to its Patriarchal nature, and the culture of the Near East where the Great Schism is treated by the laity and many clergy as if it had never happened. The Melkite Greek Catholic Church (Arabic: ‎, ) is an Eastern Rite sui juris particular Church of the Catholic Church in communion with the Pope. ... The term Melkite (also written Melchite) is used to refer to various Christian churches and their members originating in the Middle East. ...

Preceded by:
Maximus V
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Demetrius I

Maximus V was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1946 till 1948. ... // [edit] Bishops of Byzantium (until 330) 1. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Demetrius I or Dimitrios I, (born Dimitrios Papadopoulos in 1914 - October 2, 1991) was the Patriarch of Constantinople from July 16, 1972 to 1991. ...


  • Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople, an OrthodoxWiki article

OrthodoxWiki is a MediaWiki-based online encyclopedia specialized in the topics of Orthodox Christianity. ...

External links

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople
  • Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration of 1965
  • A Protest to Patriarch Athenagoras On the Lifting of the Anathemas of 1054 by Metr. Philaret of New York (December 2/15, 1965)
  • Another Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I dated 28 October 1967
  • Remembering Patriarch Athenagoras



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