Archbishop Demetrios of America

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His Eminence
Archbishop of America
Archbishop Demetrios & POTUS GWBush, 2007March23.jpg
George W. Bush smiles as he welcomes Demetrios to the White House Friday, March 23, 2007. White House photo by Eric Draper.
Installed September 18, 1999
Term ended Incumbent
Predecessor Spyridon
Personal details
Birth name Demetrios Trakatellis
Born (1928-02-01) February 1, 1928 (age 87)
Thessaloniki, Greece
Nationality Greek
Denomination Greek Orthodox
Residence New York, New York, USA
Parents Georgia and Christos Trakatellis
Alma mater University of Athens, Harvard University

Archbishop Demetrios of America (born Demetrios Trakatellis; Greek: Δημήτριος Τρακατέλλης) is the current archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.


Archbishop Demetrios is the son of the late Georgia and Christos Trakatellis and was born in Thessaloniki, Greece on February 1, 1928. Upon graduation from high school in 1946, he pursued continuous research in the field of Biblical Studies, enrolling at the University of Athens School of Theology. In 1950, he graduated from the University of Athens School of Theology with distinction.

The Archbishop was ordained a deacon in 1960 and a priest in 1964. Prior to moving to the United States in 1965, Demetrios spent time as a monastic. He was elected titular Bishop of Vresthena in 1967, as an auxiliary bishop to the Archbishop of Athens with the primary responsibility for the theological education of the clergy.

From 1965 to 1971, on scholarship from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Archbishop Demetrios studied New Testament and Christian Origins and was awarded a Ph.D. "with distinction," in 1972. Later in 1977, he earned a Th.D. in Theology from the University of Athens.

In 1968, he was elected Metropolitan of Attika and Megaris, but refused the post for reasons related to the canonical order of the Church and to the political conditions in Greece at that time.

From 1983 to 1993, he served as the Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. Serving as a faculty member for more than a decade, Demetrios taught many of America's Orthodox clergy. He also taught at Harvard Divinity School as a Visiting Professor of New Testament during the academic years of 1984–85 and 1988–89.

After several years in the United States, he returned to Greece in 1993 to pursue full-time scholarly writing and research. At the same time, he assumed responsibilities at the Archdiocese of Athens.

On September 18, 1999, Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity as Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.[1] The cathedral on New York City's Upper East Side serves as the national cathedral of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Archbishop.[2][3][2][3]


A prolific writer, he is the author of six major books:

  • Presence of the Holy Spirit (1984)
  • Authority and Passion (1987)
  • The Transcendent God of Eugnostos (1991)
  • Christ, the Pre-existing God (1992)
  • The Fathers Interpret (1996)
  • A Call to Faith (2004)

He is also the author of hundreds of articles and essays published in various periodicals.

Academy and Holy Synod[edit]

In November 2002, the Archbishop was unanimously elected by the prestigious Academy of Athens as an abroad-residing member in the Discipline of Theology in the areas of Ethics and Political Sciences. He was officially inducted into the Academy on November 14, 2003.

As Archbishop of America and Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Demetrios was elected on February 19, 2004, as a member of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This election was part of a modification in the Synod to include six hierarchs from eparchies of the Ecumenical Throne outside of Turkey. The Archbishop attended his first meeting of the Synod which met in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 9–11, 2004.

Archbishop Demetrios delivered invocations at the Democratic National Convention on August 27, 2008 and the Republican National Convention on September 4, 2008.[4] He also delivered the benediction at the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon on January 21, 2013.[5][6]


His brother, Antonios Trakatellis, is a New Democracy MEP for Greece.



  • Biographical profile of Archbishop Demetrios (GOARCH)

External links[edit]

Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Archbishop of America
1999 –
Succeeded by