Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople

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Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I (left) with Pope Paul VI
Patriarch Athenagoras I (born Aristokles Spyrou) (March 25, 1886 - July 7, 1972) was the 268th Patriarch of Constantinople from 1948 to 1972.

His meeting with Pope Paul VI in Jerusalem in 1964 led to rescinding the 1054 excommunications of the Great Schism. This was a significant step towards restoring full communion between Rome and Constantinople. It produced the Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration of 1965, which was read out on 7 December 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.

Athenagoras I was born in 1886 in Vasilikón, near Ioánnina, Epirus, Greece. In 1922 he became Metropolitan of Corfu, and in 1930 he became the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North and South America until 1948, when he was elected Ecumenical Patriarch. He died in Istanbul, Turkey in 1972.

Succession box:
Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Maximus V
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Demetrios I
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