A senior Greek Orthodox clergyman with a specialization in public health, bioethics and inter-faith exchange has been unanimously chosen as Metropolitan of Chicago.
The Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, born in Thessaloniki in 1978, was elected by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate earlier this week.
A graduate of Hellenic College and of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, 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.
In September 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 relationships between the Archdiocese and numerous religious organizations, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and Permanent Missions to the United Nations.
Fr. Nathanael is a brother of the historic monastic community of St. George Epanosifis in Crete, Greece.
Immediately following the election, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America stated:
“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.”