Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens

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His Beatitude Christodoulos of Athens

His Beatitude Christodoulos (Paraskevaides), Archbishop of Athens and All Greece is the current primate of the Church of Greece.

Christodoulos was born at Xanthi in 1939. In 1962 he graduated from the School of Law and in 1967 from the School of Theology. In 1961 he was ordained deacon, and priest in 1965. He served as a preacher and senior spiritual father at the church of Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Palaio Phalero for nine years, and, for seven years he served as a Secretary of the Holy Synod. He took part in many religious missions abroad. He is a Doctor of Theology, he has a degree in French and English, and he also speaks Italian and German. He is the author of many scientific and constructive books. He has been writing articles in religious press and in dailies.

He was elected Metropolitan of Demetrias in 1974 and Archbishop of Athens and all Greece in 1998.

"Christodoulos [has] often stirred controversy with politically tinged statements. He was instrumental in attempts to improve ties with the Catholic Church; in 2001, Christodoulos received in Athens Pope John Paul II - the first pope to visit Greece in nearly 1,300 years - ignoring loud protests from Orthodox zealots. He followed up last year [2006] with a historic visit to the Vatican, where he and Pope Benedict XVI signed a joint declaration calling for inter-religious dialogue and restating opposition to abortion and euthanasia. In Greece, politicians accused the archbishop of meddling in their affairs, angered by his vocal criticism of everything from homosexuality and globalization to Turkey's efforts to join the European Union and a recent government effort to tone down nationalism in school history books." (1)

In June 2007 the Archbishop was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer after undergoing intestinal surgery in Athens. He then waited 50 days in Miami for a compatible liver to become available, however the transplant was halted in October 2007 after tumors were found in the archbishop's abdominal cavity.


External link

  • Listing at the Orthodox Research Institute


  • Address to the Conference organised by the Synodal Committee on European Issues, entitled “Islam: the extent of the problematics.” 12 May, 2007. Transl. Dr Nikolaos C. Petropoulos.