Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides Elected Metropolitan of Chicago


Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

NEW YORK – The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected unanimously today the Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides as Metropolitan of Chicago.

Immediately following the election, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America stated:

“I express my wholehearted congratulations on the election of Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides as Metropolitan of Chicago, wishing the abundant blessing of God on the sacred ministry the Church has entrusted him with. The newly-elected Metropolitan has served as Deacon, Priest and Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations for a number of years, and I am certain that he shall apply his experience and the gifts God endowed him with for a fruitful ministry in the service of the devout Greek Orthodox flock of the Holy Metropolis of Chicago.”

The announcement of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is as follows:


Under the chairmanship of His All-Holiness, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, convened today Wednesday February 7, 2018 for its regularly scheduled meeting and reviewed all the items in the agenda.

During this meeting, following the recommendation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the members of Holy and Sacred Synod duly casted their votes in the Sacred Patriarchal Church electing unanimously the Very Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Pitsis, Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Kos and Nisyros as Metropolitan of Symi; and the Very Rev. Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, clergyman of the Holy Archdiocese of America, as Metropolitan of Chicago.

From the Chief Secretariat
of the Holy and Sacred Synod

Biographical Note:

The Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides was born in Thessaloniki, Greece (1978). He is the third child of Irene and Vasilios Symeonides. He is graduate of Hellenic College (BA, 2000) and of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MDiv, 2003). He earned an STM (2003) and a ThD (2007) in Bioethics from Boston University. Fr. Nathanael has also studied the history and ethics of public health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He is a guest professor of Christian ethics and bioethics at Fordham University, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Saint Vladimir Theological School. He has authored numerous articles in theology and bioethics.

Fr. Nathanael was ordained a Deacon (2003) and a Presbyter (2010) by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. His ecclesial and pastoral work includes service as the Deacon to Metropolitan Methodios (2003-2006); Deacon to the Archbishop (2006-2010); Pastor of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, NY (2010-2013). During his time as a parish priest, Fr. Nathanael developed an urban ministry, Orthodox Professionals in Action (OPA), which harnessed the gifts and talents of over 400 young professionals of Manhattan, offering them opportunities to create meaningful change in the lives of those most vulnerable in society. Fr. Nathanael has also served the pastoral needs of the Holy Resurrection Church of Brookville, NY and the Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY.

In September of 2013 he was appointed Director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In his present position, Fr. Nathanael manages and directs the relationships between the Archdiocese and numerous religious organizations, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and Permanent Missions to the United Nations. As the Director of the Department, Fr. Nathanael is best known for promoting cooperation and inclusivity. Most recently, he convened a colloquium entitled, Orthodoxy and Humanitarianism: Ideas and Action in the Contemporary World, which provided experts from around the world the opportunity to meet and consider ways in which the Church may help respond to humanitarian crises and promote sustainable development in post-crisis regions.

Fr. Nathanael is a brother of the historic monastic community of St. George Epanosifis in Crete, Greece.

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  1. Looks like the new metropolitan has an impressive resume but can he lead the diocese to numerical growth when the GOA is dying numerically in America?

    So, he is an EO ethticist. That’s interesting and so….

    What does he think of the ethical state of the GOA?

    He is also a monastic and so….

    What is his position on elder ephraim, ephraimite fundamentalism and ephraimite priests in the Chicago diocese?

    What is his position on aerial toll houses and the elders new book on that subject?

    What will be his relationship with + Gerasimos who is the #1 protector, enabler and supporter of ephraim?

    It is the truth to say that Greek ethnocentric thinking is not helping the GOA grow in America and so….

    Will the Greeks in the GOA ever allow a diocese metropolitan not of Greek ethnicity into that position? If not, why not?

    It is obvious that the last metropolitan damaged this diocese greatly and so….

    Will this new metropolitan acknowledge the damage done and WHY and how it was done and what he is going to do to repair it?

    In the past I have seen the Orthodox get very excited over a new bishop or metropolitan and so will it be….

    Axios! Axios! Axios! Or Caution! Caution! Caution!

    Axios! Axios! Axios! Or Discernment! Discernment! Discernment!

    Axios! Axios! Axios! Or Verify before you trust and keep verifying even if you come to trust!

    The inconvenient truth to the GO in Chicago is simple. No matter what this man proves to be by leadership character and administrative competency if this man cannot turn the numerical dying state of this diocese around to growth in 15 years the diocese will be tiny compared to its size today. As much 75% numerically reduced.

    If the GOC in America cannot produce church growth by real evangelism outside of its ethnicity and produce and reproduce hierarchy and priest leadership that can lead that growth effort this church is going to continue to die in America.

    In two years or less the GO will know who this man is by character, leadership and competency.

    May God’s will be done in the GOA no matter what it takes for that to take place.

    How much is it going to take ???

  2. John’s School of Theology and Seminary, we have ecumenical Midday Prayer. It is a half-hour service based loosely on the ecumenical consensus on the structure of the Liturgy of the Hours, as seen in the reformed Roman office as well as the major Protestant hymnals of recent decades.

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