His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios on Saturday officially tendered his resignation in writing during a meeting in Constantinople with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The 91-year-old Archbishop’s resignation will be considered by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at its next session on Thursday, May 9, when it is expected to discuss the matter of succession to the Throne of the Archdiocese of America.
The official announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate states that ‘Saturday, May 4, 2019, His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch received His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, who apprised Him on various affairs of his God-saved Eparchy.’
‘Thereafter, His Eminence, the Archbishop submitted his written resignation from the throne of the Holy Archdiocese of America, which he shepherded with God-loving care for twenty years, and which the Patriarch will bring for consideration before the Holy and Sacred Synod in its upcoming meeting of next Thursday, May 9.’
On more than one occasion did the Ecumenical Patriarch ask Archbishop Demetrios to step aside. After much discussion, it was agreed upon that the Archbishop would leave his post following Holy Week and Pascha 2019.
Archbishop Demetrios was born in Thessaloniki, Greece on February 1, 1928 to Georgia and Christos Trakatellis.
He attended the School of Theology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, graduating with distinction in 1950. He became a deacon in 1960 and was ordained as a priest in 1964. He moved to the United States in 1965, attending the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and obtaining his PhD in 1972.
On September 18, 1999, Elder Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity as Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Over the years, he has met with and received many leaders and dignitaries including Presidents William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama and Donald Trump, Secretaries of State, Senators, Congressmen and State and City leaders.
Annually, he has participated in the White House commemoration of Greek Independence Day, where he has presented remarks affirming both the uniqueness and relationship of Greek and American independence and emphasized the priority and necessity of freedom for all people throughout the world.
As a national religious leader, Archbishop Demetrios has been invited to offer prayers at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2016, and he attended the presidential Inaugural Ceremonies that followed each election.
Photography courtesy of Ecumenical Patriarchate / Nikos Manghinas