Learn more about His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios at the Archdiocese website
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America
Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
President of the Holy Eparchial Synod
Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
Consecrated as Bishop September 17, 1967
Elected as Archbishop of America August 19, 1999
Enthroned as Archbishop of America September 18, 1999
Archbishop Demetrios of America was born Demetrios Trakatellis in
Thessaloniki, Greece on February 1, 1928. In 1950 he graduated with
distinction from the University of Athens School of Theology. In 1960
he was ordained a deacon, and in 1964 a priest.
He was elected Bishop of Vresthena in 1967, an auxiliary bishop to the Archbishop of Athens with the primary responsibility for the theological education of the clergy. From 1965 to 1971, on scholarship from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, he studied New Testament and Christian Origins and was awarded a Ph.D. "with distinction" in 1972. After receiving this degree, he returned to his ecclesiastical position in the Archdiocese of Athens and undertook responsibilities for the theological education of the clergy, ministry among the youth, and other duties related to theological conferences in Greece and abroad.
In 1968, he was elected Metropolitan of Attika and Megaris, but he did not accept the post for reasons related to the canonical order of the Church and to the political conditions in Greece at that time.
Later, in 1977, he earned a second doctorate, namely a Th.D. in Theology from the University of Athens. From 1983 to 1993, he served as the Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. Serving as a faculty member for more than a decade, he taught many of America’s Greek Orthodox clergy. He also taught at Harvard Divinity School as Visiting Professor of New Testament during the academic years of 1984 to 1985 and from 1988 to 1989. On August 20, 1991 the Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece elevated the then Bishop Demetrios of Vresthena to a Titular Metropolitan of Vresthena with the simultaneous elevation of the Diocese of Vresthena to the rank of the Metropolis. After several years in the United States, he returned to Greece in 1993 to pursue full-time scholarly writing and research. At the same time, he resumed his responsibilities at the Archdiocese of Athens.
Elected Archbishop of America on August 19, 1999 by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned on September 18, 1999 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. He leads a church of more than one and a half million Greek Orthodox Christians in the United States.
As Archbishop of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and head of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese, Archbishop Demetrios has traveled extensively throughout the United States and globally. In the course of hundreds of pastoral visits to parishes, schools, and events nationwide, he has met with hundreds of thousands of faithful. He has joined with the dedicated Metropolitans and Bishops of the Archdiocese in leading services, consecrating churches, ordaining clergy, and extending the scope of the work of the Church in America, all the while sharing in the vitality and accomplishments of the people and the parishes. Each and every visit affirms the strength of the Church in America and his emphasis on the essential role of the faithful in the work of ministry.