Hieronymus II

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Hieronymus II is the current Archbishop of Athens and all Greece.

Hieronymus, born Ioannis Liapis in 1938 in the town of Oinofyta, Boeotia prefecture, is a graduate of the School of Philosophy (archaeology department) and the School of Theology of the University of Athens, followed by Byzantine studies via a state scholarship, as well as post-graduate studies in Austria and Germany.

He was academic assistant to Anastasios Orlandos, a subsequent president of the University of Athens, at the Archaeological Society of Athens, while he also worked as an instructor of literature at the Leontios High School in the Nea Smyrni suburb of Athens and at other high schools in Athens and Avlona.

His teaching career ended after entering the clergy.


Hieronymus served as Coadjutor Metropolitan of Thebes & Livadeia from 1967-78, where he was unanimously elected Metropolitan in 1981, after serving as abbot of two monasteries (1971-1981) and as secretary and later chief secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece (1978-81). He has served on the committees on ecclesiastical education, church property, Church-state relations, and Church scholarships, and as vice-chairman of the Church of Greece's radio station, as well as on joint Church-state committees regarding monastery property and ecclesiastical education, and as chairman of the Church-society dialogue committee.

Under his term as Metropolitan, six monasteries (with a total of 45 monks) and 17 convents (with a total of 110 nuns) were renovated and staffed, while he has also written numerous articles, studies and books on theological, social and historical topics, while his book "Medieval Monuments of Evia (Euboea)" received the Athens Academy's top award in 1970.

His social work also includes the founding of boarding schools, orphanages and introduction of the institution of foster families, shelters for the elderly, rehabilitation centres for the mentally retarded, a training centre for the creative occupation of children with special needs in cooperation with prefectural agencies, a drug prevention centre, food pantries for the needy, including foreign guest workers, consulting centres, and a Centre of Historical and Archaeological Studies, while, as a former academic, he developed a special relationship with the teaching community in Boeotia.

Other accomplishments in his bishopric include the establishment and operation of parish cultural centres, youth centres, and a model camping facility on Mt. Parnassos, while at his initiative the Viotia History and Culture Research Centre was founded, which collaborates with the universities of Durham and Cambridge.

Hieronymus was a protagonist in the creation, in his home town of Oinofyta, of a Population Awareness Centre on environmental and economic migrants' issues.

He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Craiova in Romania for his charitable work in the Metropolis on health issues, and is also president of the Hellenic Heart Foundation (ELIKAR), a public benefit foundation.

Archbishop of Athens

He was a candidate for the office of Archbishop of Athens in 1998, losing to Christodoulos. After Christodoulos' death in 2008, Hieronymus once again sought that office and was elected on February 7, 2008.

Hieronymus authored the book "Christian Boeotia", on the subject of the conversion of Boeotia to Christianity, in 2005.