Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios (Trakatellis), Geron of America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was elected Archbishop of America on August 19, 1999 by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople and was enthroned on September 18, 1999 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York.
A graduate of the University of Athens School of Theology, he received his Doctorate Degree “with distinction” from the Harvard School of Arts and Sciences and a second Doctorate “with distinction” from the University of Athens. He is the recipient of thirteen honorary degrees, a member of the prestigious Academy of Athens, and the namesake of three endowed chairs in his honor at prestigious American Universities.
As Archbishop of America and head of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese, as well as Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, Archbishop Demetrios has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and globally, officiating at services, consecrating churches, ordaining clergy, participating in religious, humanitarian and academic conferences, and extending the scope of the work of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. He has led the Church in responding to national and international issues and crises, including the tremendous challenges confronting the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001 and the destruction and rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Macedonian issue, and the Cyprus issue. He has initiated numerous philanthropic responses to natural disasters nationally and globally. In 2012 and 2013 when financial crises in Greece and Cyprus took immense proportions, the Archbishop initiated and led a rigorous campaign for humanitarian assistance to the people of Greece and Cyprus. Both efforts continue to date. In recognition of his efforts on various endeavors he has received the highest honor of the Republic of Cyprus, the medal of the Great Cross of the Order of Archbishop Makarios III, and the Great Cross of the Order of Phoenix, the highest honorary distinction of the Hellenic Republic.
An Orthodox hierarch for more than 50 years, a theologian, statesman, author and biblical scholar of international recognition, His Eminence has faithfully demonstrated the healing power of Christ’s truth and compassion. His message has been one of unity, genuine relationships, and an ever-increasing commitment to God and to service in the name of Christ. He has manifested the effectiveness of God’s grace in establishing peace, tranquility, stability and trust both within the Church and throughout the world.