Patriarch Demetrius I

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Demetrius I or Dimitrios I, (born Dimitrios Papadopoulos in 1914 - October 2, 1991) was the Patriarch of Constantinople from July 16, 1972 to 1991.

Demetrius I was born in Istanbul, the son of Panagiotis Papadopoulos and his wife Irene. He was ordained a deacon in 1937 and a priest in 1942. From 1945 until 1950, Demetrius was head of the Orthodox community in Tehran, Iran and taught Ancient Greek at the University of Tehran. In 1964 he was ordained Bishop of Elaia and served in that capacity until February of 1972 when he became Bishop of Imvros and Tenedos. Five months later he succeeded Patriarch Athenagoras on the Ecumenical throne. The election was controversial since the favoured candidate, Bishop Meliton of Chalkedon, was bypassed as he did not please the Turkish government.

Demetrius I worked for Orthodox unity but also for Christian solidarity. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope John Paul II were among his guests at Phanari.

In May of 1987, Demetrius toured the world and became the first Ecumenical Patriarch to visit the United States.

He died on October 2, 1991

Preceded by:
Athenagoras I
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Bartholomew I