Seraphim (Tikas) of Athens

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His Beatitude Seraphim (Tikas), Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, was the head of the Church of Greece from 1974-1998. While he was conservative and anti-intellectual, he was extremely popular due to his down-to-earth nature. His tenure was during the transition between Greece's military dictatorship and democratic government.

Life

Archbishop Seraphim was born in Artesianon, Greece, on the 15th of August, 1913. He attended the University of Athens, graduating with a degree in theology in 1941.

After his 1942 ordination to the priesthood, Fr. Seraphim was active in the Greek resistance to Nazi occupation, fighting with the Greek Democratic National Army resistance group. He also established soup kitchens and orphanages.

Fr. Seraphim, in 1949, was consecrated a bishop with the see of Arta; later, in 1958, he was moved to the see of Ioannina. As Bishop of Ioannina, he responded to the governmental suppression of the Greek minority's religious practices in southern Albania, taking up their cause. Aside from this, he supported guerrilla warfare for the union of Cyprus with Greece in the 1950s.

Bishop Seraphim, in the final months of the military dictatorship in Greece, 1974, was elected and elevated to Archbishop of Athens and all Greece. He was able to keep his post when the dictatorship ended and democratic government was restored.

Archbishop Seraphim would go on to clash with government leaders in resisting societal changes due to a lessening of the church's influence. While these protests were generally unsuccessful, in the mid-1980s he was victorious in preventing the government from expropriating church landholdings.

In the last years of his archepiscopacy, Abp. Seraphim's service was notable for his opposition to Roman Catholic missionary activities in Eastern Europe and even to other Orthodox leaders, and also by resisting his bishops' requests for resignation.

Abp. Seraphim reposed in Athens, Greece, on the 10th of April, 1998.

Succession box:
Seraphim (Tikas) of Athens
Preceded by:
unknown
Bishop of Arta
1949-1958
Succeeded by:
unknown
Preceded by:
unknown
Bishop of Ioannina
1958-1974
Succeeded by:
Theoklitos (Setakis)
Preceded by:
Ieronymos (Kotsonis)
Archbishop of Athens
1975-1998
Succeeded by:
Christodoulos (Paraskevaidis)
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Source

  • Encyclopædia Britannica Article

External link

  • Listing at the Orthodox Research Institute
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