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 also served as a Successor to the [[Apostle Mark]] as [[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 ==
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.
== Patriarchate and Orthodoxy in America ==
before=creation of see|
title=[[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America#Archbishops of America|
Archbishop of America]]|
after=[[Nicholas V of Alexandria|Nicholas V]]}}