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Meletius IV (Metaxakis) of Constantinople

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[[Image:350px-Meletius-metaxakis.jpg|thumb|Patriarch Meletius]]
His All-Holiness '''Patriarch Meletius IV''' (Greek: Μελέτιος Δ' Μεταξάκης), born '''Emmanuel Metaxakis''' (Greek: Μεταξάκης), was the 261st Successor to the [[Apostle Andrew]] and [[Patriarch of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople]] from 1921-1923. He Afterward, as Meletius II, he also served as a XXXth Successor to the [[Apostle Mark]] as and [[List of Patriarchs of Alexandria|Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa]] from 1926-1935.
He was born on September 21, 1871 in the village of Parsas on the island of Crete. He entered the [[Seminary of the Holy Cross]] in [[Jerusalem]] in 1889. He was tonsured with the name Meletius and [[ordination|ordained]] a [[hierodeacon]] in 1892. He completed the theological courses at Holy Cross and was assigned as secretary to the [[Holy Synod]] in Jerusalem by [[Damianos of Jerusalem|Patriarch Damianos]] in 1900.
Meletius was evicted from the Holy Land by Patriarch Damianos, along with the then administrator Chrysostomos, later [[Archbishop of Athens]] in 1908 for "activity against the Holy Sepulcher." Meletius Metaxakis was then elected [[Metropolitan of Kition]] in 1910. In the years before the war , Metropolitan Meletius began successful talks in New York with representatives of the [[Episcopal Church of America]], with the intention of "expanding relations between the two Churches."
After the death of [[Joachim III of Constantinople|Patriarch Joachim III]] on June 13, 1912, Meletius was nominated as a candidate for the Patriarchal Throne in [[Constantinople]]. However, the Holy Synod decided that Meletius could not canonically be registered as a candidate. Instead, he would serve as a [[bishop]] in [[Cyprus]] until 1918 when, with the support of his political allies and acquaintances, he was uncanonically elevated to the position of Archbishop of Athens in 1918. This would be a termporary measure, for after a series of political changes he was later deprived of his see.
== Archbishop of Athens ==
A staunch support of Greek Prime Minister [[Eleftherios Venizelos]], his fortunes were linked with those of the [[Venizelists]]. The expulsion of King Constantine in 1917 allowed Meletius installation as Archbishop of Athens, but the 1920 electoral defeat of Venizelos allowed the King's return and Meletius' deposition. His replacement as Archbishop was the Royalist [[Archbishop Theocletos of Athens|Theocletos]], the man whom he had displaced two years previously.
During his tenure as Archbishop
Metaxakis was one of the most fascinating characters in Orthodox church history. He was the only man successively to lead four autocephalous (independent) Orthodox Churches: those of [[Church of Cyprus|Cyprus]], [[Church of Greece|Greece]], [[Church of Constantinople|Constantinople]], and [[Church of Alexandria|Alexandria]]. On the basis of a 1908 decree of the [[Ecumenical Patriarch]] that the independent "trustee" Greek parishes in America should receive episcopal oversight from the Church of Greece, Metaxakis journeyed to America in the summer of 1918 to survey the situation. Three months later he returned to Greece and appointed [[Bishop Alexander of Rodostolou]] as his resident American legate. Alexander was charged with the unenviable task of initiating canonical order among the independent Greek parishes throughout North America.
In the Greek elections of 1920, however, Venizelos was defeated. The king returned to power, and Metaxakis was deposed as Archbishop of Athens. His place was taken, on December 10, 1920, by the rightful canonical candidate, Theocletos, who had previously been deposed as Archbishop. While Meletius was still Archbishop of Athens, he along with a group of like-minded persons visited England where he conducted talks concerning the union between the Anglicans and the Orthodox Church. Like so many other political refugees, Metaxakis fled to the United States (February, 1921). Still recognized as the legitimate head of the Church of Greece by his American legate, Bishop Alexander, Metaxakis presided over the organization of some Greek parishes in North America into a formal "Greek Archdiocese" on September 15, 1921.
== Patriarchate and Orthodoxy in America ==
A known supporter of Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, he served as Bishop in Cyprus, until he was elected Archbishop of Athens following King Constantine I's abdication, replacing Archbishop Theocletus I, a known Royalist. Two years later King Constantine I was restored to the throne, Archbishop Meletius was ousted, and former Archbishop Theocletus I was reinstated. In 1921 he was elected Ecumenical Patriarch. He resigned in 1923 following the defeat of the Greek Army in Asia Minor.
before=creation of see|
title=[[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America#Archbishops of America|Archbishop Greek Orthodox Primate of America]]|
after=[[Alexander (Demoglou)]]}}
after=[[Nicholas V of Alexandria|Nicholas V]]}}
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[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
[[Category:Patriarchs of Alexandria]]

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