Alexander (Demoglou) of Corfu

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Alexander (Demoglou) (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Δήμογλου; 1876, Chalcedon - 1942, Corfu[1]) was the first Greek bishop to head the ethnic Greek Orthodox parishes in North America. He was appointed by the Metropolitan of Athens Meletius (Metaxakis) during the chaotic period for the Orthodox Church of the Russian Civil and the Greek-Turkish Wars following World War I.


He was born in 1876 in Chalcedon. He studied at the Theological School of Halki, where he graduated in 1902.

He was ordained deacon in 1895 and priest in 1902. He served in the Holy Metropolises of Ephesus, Andrianoupolis, Xanthi, Thessaloniki and Athens. On 21 October 1917 Father Alexander was elected titular Bishop of Rodostolou.

In 1918 he traveled with Metropolitan Meletios (Metaxakis) of Athens to the Ecclesiastical Mission in America and on October 29, 1918, he was named the synodical vicar of the proto-archdiocese, formed by Metr. Meletius of Athens, of all Greek Orthodox faithful in North and South America, with Metr. Meletius as its head as Exarch of America. After the royalists returned to power in Greece, Metr. Meletius was deposed, but on November 27, 1921 he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in a Turkey that was also at the time deposing the government of the Ottoman Sultan. Meletius then returned to the United States where he presided over the formal organization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America on May 11, 1922. As one of his first official decrees as patriarch, Meletius appointed Bp. Alexander the titular Bishop of Rodostolou as his Patriarchal Exarch in America.

The years of Abp. Alexander's tenure were punctured by the political dispute in Greece between the supporters of the royal house and that of Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos in which Metr. Meletius and Abp. Alexander supported Venizelos. This dispute was reflected in a division among the Greek parishes in America.

In 1930, the dispute had reached the point that Ecumenical Patriarch Photius II, supported by the Church of Greece, sent a representative as exarch, Archbishop Damaskenos of Corinth, to America to begin a program on reconciliation. During the latter months of 1930, Abp. Damaskenos effected the transfer of the hierarchs created by Patr. Meletius to new sees in Greece. After the transfer of Abp. Alexander, his successor, Archbishop Athenagoras (Spyrou), arrived in early 1931. He arrived as the ruling hierarch supported by assistant bishops.

After his departure from his position in the Archdiocese of America, Metropolitan Alexander pastored in Corfu for twelve years to the tragic days of 1942 (German Occupation). Metropolitan Alexander of Corfu saved from execution 23 high school students when the military commander of the Ionian Islands condemned them to death as a result of their involvement in actions against Mussolini [2].

Succession box:
Alexander (Demoglou) of Corfu
Preceded by:
Archbishop of Rodostolou
Succeeded by:
Athenagoras (Spyrou)
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