Demetrios (Kantzavelos) of Mokissos

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 19:05, March 11, 2016 by Katjuscha (talk | contribs) (Adding info about Fr. James Dokos case / criticism of leadership)
Jump to: navigation, search
Bishop Demetrios (Kantzavelos) of Mokissos

His Grace the Right Reverend Bishop Demetrios (born Demetri C. Kantzavelos) is an auxiliary bishop of Mokissos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate serving in the United States. He is the Protosyngellos (Chancellor) of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago.

Early life

Demetrios was born in Chicago, the son of Christos and Merope Kantzavelos. He grew up in the "Assumption" Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago, and served as an acolyte. While still in high school, he began working for the office of the Diocese of Chicago. He was accepted to Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Upon completing his studies and receiving a Master's of Divinity degree in 1987, he pursued post-graduate work at Loyola University of Chicago.

He was ordained to the diaconate in 1989 and served as deacon to Metropolitan Iakovos (Garmatis) of Chicago. Upon ordination to the priesthood in 1992, he served as associate pastor of Chicago's Annunciation Cathedral, and later was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese, a position he still holds. In 1995 he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.


Fr. Demetrios became one of the first Orthodox clergy in America to address the issues created by the AIDS crises when he founded the Bishop's Task Force on AIDS. He has also been a leader in the movement in Illinois opposing the death penalty, working with other faith leaders to pressure the Governor of Illinois to issue a moratorium on executions in the state. He served two terms (from 1993 to 1995) as President of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Fr. Demetrios is a member of the Executive Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, where he heads the nominations committee of the Board.

Bishop Demetrios has been heavily criticized for his handling of the embezzlement case of Rev. James Dokos, a priest in the Metropolis of Chicago. During this case, Bishop Demetrios was formally warned by a Milwaukee prosecutor, not to intimidate or threaten Fr. Angelo Artemas, a witness in the case. Furthermore, the prosecutor wrote, " "... I believe that Bishop Demetrios needs to retain independent representation as quickly as practical[1]." It was also revealed that in May 2014, Bishop Demetrios had written David Feiss, the prosecutor, complaining that "Annunciation leaders 'have taken advantage of the ongoing investigation by your office to avoid their own responsibilities in the administration of the Parish.'" and "'They have wrongfully attacked the integrity of the Metropolis of Chicago or myself personally, knowing that any response is either construed as 'tampering' with an investigation or is actually prevented by our own protocols and regulations. In short, there is no doubt that the Parish has gone 'rogue.[1]'"' Because of the appearance that Bishop Demetrios tried to cover up and meddle in this case, many of the faithful are calling for his removal from his position as bishop[2].


On October 30, 2006, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected Fr. Demetrios as Bishop of the titular see of Mokissos. The Mega Minima took place at the Archdiocesan Chapel of St. Paul on December 7, 2006, with the consecration taking place at Chicago's Assumption Church on December 9. Concelebrating hierarchs were Abp. Demetrios, Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, Metr. Maximos of Pittsburgh, Metr. Isaiah of Denver, Metr. Paisios of Tyana, Abp. Damaskinos of Jaffa, Abp. Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, Bp. Philotheos of Meloa, Bp. Savas of Troas, Bp. Andonios of Phasiane, and Bp. Ilia of Philomelion.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chicago bishop warned against intimidating witness Black, Lisa; Chicago Tribune; 6 February 2015
  2. Greek Orthodox Christian Clergy and Laity site


Succession box:
Demetrios (Kantzavelos) of Mokissos
Preceded by:
Bishop of Mokissos
Succeeded by:
Help with box