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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Logo of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.jpg
TypeEastern Orthodox
Ecumenical Patriarch
and Archbishop of
Constantinople-New Rome
Bartholomew I of Constantinople
PrimateArchbishop of America
LanguageGreek, English
HeadquartersNew York City
TerritoryUnited States
Members476,900 total Adherents, 107,400 regular (weekly) attendees [1][3]
Archbishop of America
since 22 June 2019[1]
StyleHis Eminence
CountryUnited States
ResidenceNew York City

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, headquartered in New York City, is an eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Its current primate is Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.[1][4]

Current Archbishop

On May 11, 2019, the church's Holy and Sacred Synod unanimously elected Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa as the new archbishop of America following the voluntary resignation of Archbishop Demetrios.[4] In addition to serving as Metropolitan of Bursa, Elpidophoros has also served as Abbot of the Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Halki and Professor of the Theological School of the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki.[4] Metropolitan Methodios of Boston served as the locum tenens until Elpidophoros was enthroned on June 22, 2019.[5][1]

As of 2019 Archbishop Elpidophros serves the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He serves as:

Episcopal details include:

  • Consecrated as Metropolitan of Bursa March 20, 2011[6][7]
  • Elected as Archbishop of America May 11, 2019
  • Enthroned as Archbishop of America on June 22, 2019


The mission of the archdiocese is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, to teach and spread the Orthodox Christian faith, to energize, cultivate, and guide the life of the Church in the United States of America according to the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition.

The Greek Orthodox Church in America considers that it sanctifies the faithful through divine worship, especially the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments, building the spiritual and ethical life of the faithful in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, the doctrines and canons of the Ecumenical and local Councils, the canons of the Holy Apostles and the Fathers of the Church and of all other Councils recognized by the Orthodox Church.

The archdiocese states that it serves as a beacon, carrier, and witness of the message of Christ to all persons who live in the United States of America, through divine worship, preaching, teaching, and living of the Orthodox Christian faith.[8]


Before the establishment of a Greek Archdiocese in the Western Hemisphere there were numerous communities of Greek Orthodox Christians.[9] On June 26, 1768, the first Greek colonists landed at St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in America.[10] The first Greek Orthodox community in the Americas was founded in 1864, in New Orleans, Louisiana, by a small colony of Greek merchants.[11][12] The first permanent community was founded in New York City in 1892,[9] today's Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the See of the Archbishop of America. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America was incorporated in 1921[13] and officially recognized by the State of New York in 1922.

In 1908, the Church of Greece received authority over the Greek Orthodox congregation of America,[9] but in 1922 Patriarch Meletius IV of Constantinople transferred the archdiocese back to the jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople.[13] In 1996, the archdiocese was split by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, into four parts: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada, Central America, South America and the America which was left with the territory of the United States of America.

By 2019, there were rumors, that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was suffering financially and was now in "financial, administrative, and spiritual bankruptcy."[14]

Holy Eparchial Synod

The Holy Eparchial Synod of the archdiocese is composed of:


The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is composed of an archdiocesan district (New York City) and eight metropolises (formerly dioceses): New Jersey, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Boston and Denver.[15] It is governed by the archbishop and the Eparchial Synod of Metropolitans. The synod is headed by the archbishop (as the first among equals) and comprises the metropolitans who oversee the ministry and operations of their respective metropolises. It has all the authority and responsibility which the Church canons provide for a provincial synod.[16]

There are more than 500 parishes, 800 priests and approximately 440,000 to 2 million faithful in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, depending on the source of reports and the counting method being used.[17] The number of parishes in the Greek Archdiocese rose by about 9% in the decade from 1990 to 2000, and membership growth has largely been in terms of existing members having children.[18] Membership is concentrated in the Northeastern United States. The states with the highest rates of adherence are Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York.[19] However, there are also large numbers of members in Florida and California.

The archdiocese receives within its ranks and under its spiritual aegis and pastoral care Orthodox Christians, who either as individuals or as organized groups in the Metropolises and Parishes have voluntarily come to it and which acknowledge the ecclesiastical and canonical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[20]

The archdiocese also includes 21 monastic communities, 17 of which were founded by Elder Ephraim (former abbot of Philotheou monastery). The largest of these is St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, Arizona.

Additionally, one seminary is operated by the Greek Archdiocese, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, which educates not only Greek Archdiocese seminarians but also those from other jurisdictions, as well.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was a member of SCOBA and is a member of its successor organization, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Due to the order of the Diptychs, the Greek Archbishop of America serves as the Chairman of the Assembly.


The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese comprises some 525 parishes and 20 monasteries across the United States of America.[3] The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has one seminary school under its jurisdiction. This school is called Holy Cross. The seminary is located in Brookline, Massachusetts and in 2012 celebrated its 75th anniversary as a school of theology. The campus is also home to the only accredited Greek Orthodox undergraduate college in America, Hellenic College. These two schools are situated on the highest geographical point adjacent to Boston, known as the "Holy Hill".


Diocesan bishops

(This is the actual hierarchical seniority order and formal listing of the bishops.)

Auxiliary bishops

  • Bishop Andonios (Paropoulos) of Phasiane, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of America (and by extension also of the Direct Archdiocesan District), sought early retirement from Archdiocese in May 2019[21][22]
  • Bishop Demetrios (Kantzavelos) of Mokissos, assigned to the Metropolis of Chicago
  • Bishop Sebastianos (Skordallos) of Zela
  • Bishop Apostolos (Koufallakis) of Medeia, assigned to the Metropolis of San Francisco

Retired bishops

  • Metropolitan Maximos (Aghiorgoussis) of Pittsburgh
  • Bishop Iakovos (Pililis) of Catania
  • Metropolitan Philotheos (Karamitsos) of Meloa Reposed in May 2017
  • Bishop Dimitrios (Couchell) of Xanthos

Former Archbishops of America

Deceased hierarchs

  • Archbishop Athenagoras (Cavadas) of Thyateira and Great Britain (formerly of Boston)
  • Archbishop Athenagoras (Kokkinakis) of Thyateira and Great Britain
  • Metropolitan Anthony (Gergiannakis) of San Francisco
  • Metropolitan Germanos (Polyzoides) of Hierapolis
  • Metropolitan Iakovos (Garmatis) of Chicago
  • Metropolitan Joachim (Alexopoulos) of Demetrias (formerly of Boston)
  • Metropolitan Philaretos (Johannides) of Syros (formerly of Chicago)[23]
  • Metropolitan Silas (Koskinas) of Saranta Ekklesia (formerly of New Jersey)
  • Bishop Aimilianos (Laloussis) of Harioupolis
  • Bishop Eirinaios (Tsourounakis) of San Francisco[24]
  • Bishop George (Papaioannou) of New Jersey
  • Bishop Gerasimos (Papadopoulos) of Abydos
  • Bishop Germanos (Liamadis) of Constantia
  • Bishop Germanos (Psallidakis) of Synadon
  • Bishop Kallistos (Papageorgapoulos) of San Francisco[25]
  • Bishop Meletios (Diacandrew) of Aristeas
  • Bishop Meletios (Tripodakis) of Christianopoulis[26]
  • Bishop Paul (deBallester) of Nazianzos
  • Bishop Philip (Koutoufas) of Atlanta
  • Bishop Theodosius (Sideris) of Ancona
  • Bishop Timothy (Haloftis) of Detroit
  • Metropolitan Philotheos (Karamitsos) of Meloa


Office of the Archbishop

The Office of the Archbishop responds to the demands associated with the overall duties of the archbishop. Tasks include: scheduling of the archbishop's pastoral visitations, official and unofficial meetings with clergy and laity, public and official appearances, audiences, conferences and travels. In addition, the Office processes all forms of communication addressed to the archbishop.

Office of the Chancellor

The Office of the Chancellor is concerned with the well-being of the clergy, their ongoing assignments and reassignments, their continuing education, and the benefits provided to them by the Church. Recent chancellor of the Archdiocese Bishop Andonios of Phasiane submitted his letter of resignation in May 2019.[22]

Office of Administration

The Office of Administration has a responsibility for the administrative, financial and developmental functions of the archdiocese. This office manages the human resources and operations of the archdiocesan headquarters in New York. Additionally, the office acts as the coordinator and liaison for the Clergy-Laity Congress, the Archdiocesan Council and the various archdiocesan institutions.

Archdiocesan Council

The Archdiocesan Council is the advisory and consultative body to the archbishop. It interprets and implements the decision of the Clergy-Laity Congress and the Regulations of the archdiocese, administers the temporal and financial affairs of the archdiocese, and possesses interim legislative authority between Clergy-Laity Congresses.

Archdiocesan institutions

Information about different institutions throughout the United States which are part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Archdiocesan Cathedral of Holy Trinity

The Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity provides regular divine worship, counseling, Christian education, human services and cultural programs for people in the New York City area.

Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology

Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology together constitute a Greek Orthodox Christian institution of higher learning providing undergraduate and graduate education. Located on a 52-acre (21 ha) campus in Brookline, Massachusetts, Hellenic College and Holy Cross seek to educate leaders, priests, lay persons, men and women.

Saint Basil Academy

Saint Basil Academy is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese home away from home for children in need. Serving as a philanthropic center of the Church, the purpose of the Academy is to provide a loving Christian environment, where resident children are nurtured into adulthood. Although children are brought to the Academy for various reasons, the common thread of all the resident children is the inability of a parent of guardian to sufficiently care for them.[citation needed]

St. Michael's Home

Saint Michael's Home is a New York State Department of Social Services-certified residential adult care facility of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The programs and services of St. Michael's Home are specifically designed for senior individuals who seek assisted living in a Greek Orthodox environment.

St. Photios National Shrine

The St. Photios National Shrine is the only Greek Orthodox National Shrine in the country. It is primarily a religious institution and is located in America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida. The purpose of the Shrine is two-fold. First, it honors the memory of the first colony of Greeks in the New World and the succeeding generations of Greek immigrants (protopori). Secondly, it serves to preserve, enhance and promote the ethnic and cultural traditions of Greek heritage and the teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Over 100,000 people visit the Shrine each year.[citation needed]

Hellenic Cultural Center

The Hellenic Cultural Center of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was established in 1986 with the goal of cultivating the rich Orthodox heritage and the Hellenic customs, culture and traditions within the Greek-American community.

National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians

The National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians is the archdiocesan ministry responsible for liturgical music activities and the development, support, and recognition of church musicians. Chartered in 1976 as an auxiliary of the archdiocese, the National Forum serves as the liaison among local church musicians, metropolitan church music federations, and the archdiocese. It also serves as the gathering place for church musicians to discuss issues related to liturgical music and to formulate needed responses.

National Sisterhood of Presvyteres (NSP)

The National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, formally established in 1982, consists of all the Presvytéres (i.e. the wives of married priests) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The purpose of the Sisterhood is to promote the spirit of Christian love among the Presvyteres by giving them opportunities to get acquainted with one another. This is accomplished with retreats, meetings, social gatherings and newsletters which help the Presvyteres develop a unique bond. The Sisterhood National Board meets annually, whereas, the general membership convenes every two years at the Clergy-Laity Congress.[citation needed]

Philoptochos of Merrick, New York
Philoptochos of Merrick, New York

See also


1.^ The number of adherents given in the "Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches" is defined as "individual full members" with the addition of their children. It also includes an estimate of how many are not members but regularly participate in parish life. Regular attendees includes only those who regularly attend church and regularly participate in church life.[27]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Enthronement Address of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros - 2019 - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America".
  2. ^ "Parishes". Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. 56). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
  4. ^ a b c "Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa Elected Unanimously Archbishop of America - 2019 - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America".
  5. ^ Kalmoukos, Theodore (May 14, 2019). "Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa Elected Archbishop of America, Sends Message to Community through TNH".
  6. ^ "Elpidophoros of Bursa - Hierarchy of the Throne - The Ecumenical Patriarchate".
  7. ^ Jacobse, Fr Johannes. "EP Fast Track? Homily of Met. Elpidophoros of Proussa at His Ordination".
  8. ^ "The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". GOARCH. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Pappaioannou 1984, p. 180.
  10. ^ Pappaioannou 1984, p. 178.
  11. ^ Pappaioannou 1984, p. 179.
  12. ^ "Tracing Greek geography from Bayou Road to the banks of Bayou St. John". Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  13. ^ a b Pappaioannou 1984, p. 182.
  14. ^ Kalmoukos, Theodore (May 6, 2019). "Archbishop Demetrios of America Resigns".
  15. ^ "Metropolises". GOARCH. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  16. ^ "The Official Text of the Charter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". GOARCH. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  17. ^ "How many Eastern Orthodox are there in the USA?". Hartford Seminary. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  18. ^ "Orthodox Churches in USA: Origins, Growth, Current Trends of Development" (PDF). Hartford Seminary. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  19. ^ "2000 Religious Congregations and Membership Study". Glenmary Research Center. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  20. ^ "The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". GOARCH. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  21. ^ "Resolution of Thanks and Appreciation for His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane - 2019 - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America".
  22. ^ a b Kalmoukos, Theodore (May 9, 2019). "Bishop Andonios Resigns as Chancellor of the Archdiocese of America".
  23. ^ "Fr. Philaretos Johannides (Φιλάρετος Ιοαννίδης)". San Francisco, California: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Archived from the original on 3 August 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  24. ^ "Bishop Eirinaios Tsourounakis". San Francisco, California: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Archived from the original on 3 August 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  25. ^ "Bishop Kallistos Papageorgapoulos". San Francisco, California: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  26. ^ "Fr. Meletios Tripodakis". San Francisco, California: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Archived from the original on 3 August 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  27. ^ Krindatch, A. (2011). Atlas of American orthodox christian churches. (p. x). Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press


  • Pappaioannou, Rev. George (1984). "The Historical Development of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America". In Litsas, F.K. (ed.). A Companion to the Greek Orthodox Church. New York, N.Y.: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. pp. 178–206.

External links

Media related to Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at Wikimedia Commons

This page was last edited on 11 May 2021, at 18:19
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