Demetrios I of Constantinople

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Demetrios I
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Demetrios I of Constantinople.jpg
InstalledJuly 16, 1973
Term endedOctober 2, 1991
PredecessorAthenagoras I
SuccessorBartholomew I
Personal details
Demetrios Papadopoulos

(1914-09-08)September 8, 1914
DiedOctober 2, 1991(1991-10-02) (aged 77)
Phanar, Istanbul, Turkey
NationalityOttoman and Turkish
DenominationEastern Orthodox Church

Demetrios I also Dimitrios I or Demetrius I, born Demetrios Papadopoulos (Greek: Δημήτριος Αʹ, Δημήτριος Παπαδόπουλος; September 8, 1914 – October 2, 1991) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from July 16, 1973, to October 2, 1991. He was the 269th successor to St. Andrew (the apostle to whom the See of Constantinople traces its roots), and was the spiritual leader of more than 5 million Eastern Orthodox Christians.[1] Before his election as patriarch he served as the metropolitan bishop of Imvros. He was born and died in Constantinopole, in modern day Turkey.

Role in ecumenism[edit]

On November 30, 1979, Demetrios proclaimed the establishment of the official theological dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Church, at that time led by Pope John Paul II. He also met with two archbishops of Canterbury representing the Anglican Communion.

In 1987, Demetrios travelled to the Vatican where he was received by John Paul II.[2] At a solemn ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, the patriarchs of East and West together recited the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of the Church in Greek as originally defined in AD 381, without the controversial Filioque clause. The Pope later recalled the event in his ecumenical encyclical letter Ut Unum Sint.[3]

In an 8-city tour of the United States in 1990, Patriarch Demetrios met with President George H. W. Bush, with Christian and Jewish leaders, and with public officials, and spread the message that: "Today, Orthodoxy is not a strange or alien factor in America. It is flesh of its flesh and bone of its bone".[4][5]

Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Regnal titles
Preceded by
New office
Co-Head of State of Mount Athos
Succeeded by


  1. ^ New York Times | 1991-10-03 |
  2. ^ Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Joint Declaration of Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Dimitrios I, 7 December 1987, accessed 24 August 2021
  3. ^ John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint: On commitment to Ecumenism, 25 May 1995, paragraph 24
  4. ^ New York Times | 1990-07-03 |
  5. ^ Image of Patriarch Demetrios I with US President George H.W. Bush | 1990-07-08 |