Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens

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His Beatitude Christodoulos of Athens
His Beatitude Christodoulos (Paraskevaides), Archbishop of Athens and All Greece (1939-2008) was the primate of the Church of Greece from 1998 until his death in 2008.

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

He was a very charismatic leader who engaged the youth of the country, and who is also credited with reinvigorating the vast institution of the church in Greece during his ten year tenure.

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, Florida 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. He died from the spread of cancer on January 28, 2008. A four-day period of mourning was announced by the nation of Greece following his death including funeral plans befitting a head of State.

Succession box:
Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Demetrias
Succeeded by:
Ignatios (Georgakopoulos)
Preceded by:
Seraphim (Tikas)
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece
Succeeded by:
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External links

  • Listing at the Orthodox Research Institute


Books Authored

  • Christodoulos Paraskevaides. Converted Hellenism: The transition from Αntiquity to Christianity. Media Ecclesiastica, Athens, 2005.
  • Christodoulos Paraskevaides. The European Psyche. Solidarity, Athens 2005. (Excerpts).