Archbishop Demetrios of America who is visiting Istanbul has handed his resignation to Ecumenical Patriarch on Saturday.
Bartholomew has twice called on the 90-year-old Demetrios to resign but the latter has resisted. The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is expected to discuss the matter of succession when it convenes on May 9.
The official announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has as follows:
“Herein it is announced that today, Saturday May 4, 2019, His All-Holiness received in audience His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America, who informed Him of various matters involving his God-saved Eparchy.
Furthermore, His Eminence the Archbishop submitted his written resignation from the throne of the Holy Archdiocese of America, which he shepherded with godly love for twenty years. The Patriarch will bring the resignation before the Holy and Sacred Synod in it upcoming meeting on May 9th.”
Demetrios was born in Thessaloniki, Greece on February 1, 1928 to Georgia and Christos Trakatellis.
He attended the School of Theology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, graduating with distinction in 1950. He became a deacon in 1960 and was ordained as a priest in 1964. He moved to the United States in 1965, attending the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and obtaining his PhD in 1972.
On September 18, 1999, Elder Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity as Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Over the years, he has met with and received many leaders and dignitaries including Presidents William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama and Donald Trump, Secretaries of State, Senators, Congressmen and State and City leaders.
Annually, he has participated in the White House commemoration of Greek Independence Day, where he has presented remarks affirming both the uniqueness and relationship of Greek and American independence and emphasized the priority and necessity of freedom for all people throughout the world.
As a national religious leader, Archbishop Demetrios has been invited to offer prayers at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2016, and he attended the presidential Inaugural Ceremonies that followed each election.