Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople

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'''Patriarch Athenagoras I''' ([[March 25]], 1886–[[July 7]], 1972) was the 268th [[Patriarch of Constantinople]] from 1948 to 1972.
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His All-Holiness '''Patriarch Athenagoras I''' (Greek: ''Αθηναγό
 
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==Early Life==
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[[Patriarch]] Athenagoras was born Aristokles Spyrou in Vasilikón, near Ioánnina, Epirus, Greece, on [[March 25]], 1886. The son of the village doctor, his mother died when he was only 13. He attended the [[Theological School of Halki|Patriarchical Theological School]], graduating in 1910. Upon graduating he was [[tonsured]] a [[monk]] and [[ordination|ordained]] to the [[diaconate]], taking the name Athenagoras. He served as [[archdeacon]] of the [[Diocese of Pelagonia]] before becoming the secretary to [[Meletius IV (Metaxakis) of Constantinople|Archbishop Meletius]] of Athens in 1919. He was raised to the [[episcopate]] as the [[Metropolitan of Corfu]] in December 1922, while still a deacon.
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==Archbishop of America==
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[[Image:Athenpaul.jpg|thumb|Patriarch Athenagoras I (left) with Pope Paul VI]]
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In 1930, [[Metropolitan Damaskinos]], after returning from a trip to the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]], recommened to Patriarch [[Photius II of Constantinople|Photios II]] that Athenagoras be appointed Archbishop of America. Damaskinos felt that Athenagoras was best suited to fix the many problems of the archdiocese, and Photios made the appointment on [[August 30]], 1930.
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When he assumed his new position on [[February 24]], 1931, Athenagoras 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 Archdiocesean offices with all other bishops serving as auxiliaries, appointed to assist the archbishop, without dioceses and administrative rights of their own.
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During his 18-year tenure, he actively worked with his communities to facilitate these reforms, in part by expanding the work of the clergy-laity congresses. He established the women’s [[Philoptochos]], the philanthropic arm of the Church, as well as an orphanage, [[St. Basil’s Academy]]. He also founded the first Greek Orthodox seminary in America, the [[Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline, Massachusetts)|Holy Cross School of Theology]]. His capable leadership allowed him to withstand the early opposition he faced and eventually gain the love and devotion of his flock.
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==Patriarchate==
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[[Image:AthenagorasIwPaulVI.jpg|thumb|Athenagoras I and Paul VI]]
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On [[November 1]], 1948, Athenagoras was elected Patriarch of [[Constantinople]], and was flown to Istanbul in the personal airplane of US President Harry Truman. As patriarch, he was actively involved with the [[World Council of Churches]] and improving relations with the [[Pope]]. His long reign ended with his died in Istanbul on July 7, 1972.
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His 1964 meeting with [[Pope Paul VI]] in [[Jerusalem]] led to the mutual lifting of the Bulls of [[Excommunication]] that resulted in the [[Great Schism]] of 1054. This was a significant step towards restoring communion between Rome and Constantinople. It produced the [[Catholic-Orthodox Joint Declaration of 1965]], which was publicly read 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 schism, but showed a desire for greater reconciliation between the two churches. Nevertheless, not all Orthodox shared this sentiment, including [[Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York|Metropolitan Philaret]], who wrote a response to the patriarch that same year.
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{{start box}}
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{{succession|
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before=[[Alexander (Demoglou)]]|
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title=[[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America#Archbishops of America|Archbishop of America]]|
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years=1931-1948|
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after=[[Michael (Konstantinides)]]}}
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{{succession|
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before=[[Maximus V of Constantinople|Maximus V]]|
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title=[[Patriarch of Constantinople]]|
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years=1948-1972|
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after=[[Demetrius I of Constantinople|Demetrios I]]}}
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{{end box}}
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==External links==
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*[http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/athenagoras.htm St. Paul's Greek Church]
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*[http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/speeches/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19651207_common-declaration_en.html Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration of 1965]
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*[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/philaret_lifting.aspx A Protest to Patriarch Athenagoras On the Lifting of the Anathemas of 1054] by Metr. Philaret of New York (December 2/15, 1965)
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*[http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/ch_orthodox_docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_19671028_athenagoras-i-paul-vi_en.html Another Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I] dated [[October 28|28 October]] 1967
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*[http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/athenagoras.htm Remembering Patriarch Athenagoras]
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*[http://orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/resources/hierarchs/constantinople/former/john_thermon_athenagoras.htm "Patriarch Athenagoras: Prophet of Love"] by Bishop John (Kallos) of Thermon (Orthodox Research Institute)
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[[Category:Bishops]]
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[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
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Revision as of 09:39, September 12, 2006

File:Athinagoras.jpg
Patriarch Athenagoras


His All-Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras I (Greek: Αθηναγό

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