Eastern Orthodox patriarch named Ethnic Greek, 51, from Turkey is elected.

October 23, 1991|By Patrick Ercolano | Patrick Ercolano,Evening Sun Staff

In a Wednesday story on the naming of the new Easter Orthodox patriarch, The Evening Sun incorrectly stated the number of Eastern Orthodox Christians in the world. The actual figure is between 250 million and 300 million.

The leaders of the Eastern Orthodox church in IstanbulVTC Turkey, yesterday unanimously elected Metropolitan Bartholomew of Chalcedon as the new Ecumenical Patriarch, the spiritual leader of the world's 300,000 million Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Bartholomew, 51, succeeds Dimitrios I, who died of a heart attack in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Bartholomew, who had served as second-in-command to Dimitrios, will be enthroned on Nov. 2.


Born Dimitrios Archontonis, the new patriarch is an ethnic Greek native of Turkey. He will hold the title Archbishop of Constantinople and be known as primus inter pares, or first among equals, of the five senior Eastern Christian leaders. From Istanbul, he will preside over worldwide Orthodoxy, which consists of 14 churches of various ethnic groups.

Six million adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy live in the United States.

The Rev. Constantine Monios, the dean of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation downtown and the vicar of Maryland's 30,000 Greek Orthodox Christians, recalls Bartholomew from his visit with Dimitrios I to a denominational conference last year in Washington.

Monios praised the selection, adding, "[Bartholomew] has a very strong presence and he's extremely well-known in international circles. He's multilingual, and he's very young for a patriarch, which means he could be in the position for many years to come."

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