Archbishop Chrysanthus of Athens

Archbishop of Athens Chrys (born Charilaos Filippídis, Gratini Rodopi, 1881 – Athens, 28 September 1949) was a Greek theologian and scholar (1940) and one of the great figures of the Orthodox Church in later years, Metropolitan of Trebizond (1913-1938) and Archbishop of Athens (1938-1940).


Early years

Born in 1881 in Gratini of Komotini g (Thrace) where he received the first circular letters. 1897 introduced at the Holy Theological School of Halki, from which he graduated after six years. In 1903 he was ordained deacon the same year followed in Trabzon Metropolitan Constantine Karatzopoulos where there began his service as preacher and professor in the “Tutorial” (High School) of the city, where he taught religious classes and replenishing the diocesan bishop (who had gone to Constantinople) as president of the school committees. After the death of Bishop Chrisanthos maintained its position and to its successor bishop of the later Ecumenical Patriarch Constantine VI until 1907 when he departed for broader studies in Europe with the financial assistance of the notables of Trebizond. After four years of attending university colleges in Leipzig, Germany s in Lausanne, Switzerland As he returned to Constantinople, where the Patriarch Joachim III of commissioned management and chief of the official patriarchal institution “Ecclesiastical Truth”. During this stage of his stay at the Ecumenical Patriarchate Chrisanthos initiated into venerable ecclesiastical order and delivery as well as on the problems of the Church and the nation. At the same time he met Ion Dragoymi and his close collaborator of that Athanasius Soulioti – Nikolaidis with whom he developed a great friendship by which, and became the high idealism on the slope. Also Hellenocentric ideas Pericles Giannopoulos at the same time not ceased to fascinate him.

At that time the Ottoman Empire agitate two wavering currents. To hand inside the apoklitheisa then “move nationalities” Christians and Muslims certainly spiritual, economic and numerical superiority of Muslims pushed the Young Turk chauvinism. Now to the outside really erases a threat unborn “crusade” of Christian lands primarily in the Balkans against the Empire. Indeed the race of these movements the second Prevent championing the moving nationalities in which many Greeks distinguished between them Chrisanthos but of course foreigners associated with synarpastikotero perhaps a vision of gradual reform of the declining empire in a liberal isonomoumeni dominant state to neovyzantina traces. For this vision very few were known to the Greek guy who knew but the very best King George I of the Hellenes and the then heir to the Sultan. Unfortunately they had learned and the English.

Immediately after the war with Bulgaria Chrisanthos n is struggling desperately to his hometown in order to manage to unite Greeks and Turks at the request of the autonomy of Western Thrace to prevent impaction of Bulgaria in the area between Greece and Turkey. At the same time the March 1913 the metropolitan of Trebizond was transferred to Cyzicus and Trebizond demanded Chrisanthos as their new bishop. So in the same year 1913, Chrys elected bishop in Trabzon of Pontos.

Period 1913-1922

But the decade that followed altered greatly the whole state of affairs in the Middle East. Historians those wars admittedly doubled the size of Greece respectively reduced the severity of
Hellenism in the East. The Young Turks, proven historically Encouraged and assisted mainly by the Germans began to prepare their inhuman persecution against indigenous millennia of Greek element. In 1914 the group began deportations from Thrace and the once Ionian and Aeolian coast of Asia Minor began but quickly extended to the East. As “great feat” then charged for Chrisanthos who guns his spiritual gifts, the persuasion of his word and his personal presence curbed border of the metropolitan province of the path of the wave of persecutions contestant during regressive phases Retaking the four War Russians and Turks almost without Greek losses. In April 1916 he took command of Trebizond by the Turkish vali Mehmet Cemal Azmi Bey. From this position managed to effectively extends protection to the Greeks and the neighboring regions Rodopolis and Chaldeias. Even managed to unite the Turks and the Greeks but also the remnants of horrendous slaughter of Armenians in the Russian juggernaut of stationed Russian troops in the region, during the Russian revolution of March 1917 that a complete dissolution of discipline had begun disasters (¹). Was this a manifestation of the mystical vision of the concept of governance and partnership TOTAL peoples. The two-year chairmanship of Chrysanthou was a real break democracy and peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims. So in the period of truce s, when the Treaty of Mudros, the form of Hrisanthos dominated the Pontic area and is the most authoritative and popular personality among expatriates and allogeneic recognize him and the “Great Powers” of the Entente.

So, under these circumstances being recognized in 1919 Chrisanthos summoned by then the locus tenens of the Ecumenical Throne Dorotheus (Bursa Metropolitan) and Alexander Pope represent the unredeemed Hellenism of Pontos in Paris during the conferences there. From the letters, the then Foreign Minister N. Politis, writing and practical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and from press reports (Greek and foreign) of the time there seems to be enthusiastic echoes on the manipulation of Chrysantho trusted in matters before the ‘big’. Then Eleftherios Venizelos authorized him to proceed with calibration capabilities directly talks with the Turks. Followed many encouraging contacts, but Venizelos chose not to follow when diagnosed as “… the claims to Western Thrace and Macedonia could find diplomatic send off.”

In 1920 Chrisanthos traveled to Georgia after the Russian revolution had imiaftonomithei to rectify matters ecclesiastical orthodoxy had enskypsei. In fact, the main purpose of Hrisanthos his journey that was to establish boundaries between the newly established state of Georgia and the planned autonomy of Greek state of Pontus. And indeed this was accomplished with the signing of a bilateral secret agreement Chrysanthou – Hatisian (Armenian Prime Agriculture) called and Agreement of Yerevan city name concluded. 1921 Dimitrios Gounaris Chrisanthos invited to participate in Greek mission in London. At the time of his stay in London Hrisanthos in Turkey special “Court of Independence” condemns the Metropolitan of Trebizond absentia to death. This resulted in early return of Hrisanthos headquarters and then to n avoid arrest by the Kemalist forces that had already been installed in metropolitan area took refuge at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. But after the inglorious end of the Asia Minor campaign 1922, Chrisanthos eventually fled to Athens.

Period 1922-1938

Since 1922 the “Trabzon” (Metropolitan) Chrys is located in Athens and stays away from the happenings, as a mere spectator of events without taking any position in them. In 1926 appointed by the then government as “apokrisarios” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Athens, a position he would retain until 1938. From this position Chrisanthos the beginning had managed all aspects of external relations and the Great Church. 1927 took over and brought out the first ecclesiastical agreement with Tirana arranging the first subjects of the Orthodox Church in Albania. But when later the government of Tirana breached the agreed 1929, immediately Chrisanthos tried a long trip to Bucharest, Belgrade and Warsaw in order to inform and orientate the churches of these countries on the default of Albania and recommend prejudice and abstinence in irregular contacts. Consequence of that trip was the subsequent event compliance of Albania agreed religious themes. 1930 Chrys presided over the Holy Mountain as a representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the then Orthodox Conference which he defined the agenda items of the Pan-Orthodox Synod but never met. In the same year Chrisanthos the assistance and representations of the Jerusalem Patriarchate of Alexandria and managed to travel to Damascus n restore peace to the Patriarchate of Antioch (Antioch Church) the recognition of the Patriarch of Antioch Alexander. The next year Chrys rushed for the same purpose in Rhodes to restore religious peace of the Dodecanese Church and soon after found in Cyprus when the English broke coup of 1931.

For Chrisanthos considered that no area church, both extra-and Helladic Helladic stern, was left out of its religious interest, offering each the care and affection. When it finally became Chairman of the Board of the Fund exchangeable Community and Public Welfare Properties (T.A.K.K.P.) from its composition, achieved with exemplary management of the proceeds thereof to cure the minimum spiritual needs of refugee communities with newly developed subsidiary financing of erecting schools and churches and supply them with books, sacred vessels, vestments, images etc. respectively. Especially for this great offer of Andreas Chrysanthou Michalakopoulos told characteristics:

1937 he received an honorary doctorate of the University of Athens.

Archbishop of Athens

After the death of Archbishop Chrysostom (22 October 1938) the ‘Trabzon’ Chrys elected to pursue the Synod of Bishops of the Church of Greece, the position of Primate of the Greek Church as having rival Bishop of Corinth and later Archbishop of Damascus prelate with intense a social activity. Thus, on 5 November 1938 was elected after the third ballot Corinth Damascus marginally election taking 31 votes against 30 Chrysanthou. With the election but that the then Bishop Ambrose Fthiotida rose to challenge the result considering it as invalid. Ambrose then followed almost half the hierarchy of Greece, thereby creating huge church question. The grounds of invalidity for which reacted then half the Holy Synod led by Ambrose were mainly two:a) In the election that under current legislation then the Trabzon Chrys was able to stand but not to attend and vote for himself because he belongs to another “climate”, ie it was as they said then “exoelladikos.” As happened and did not vote, unlike his opponent plums attended and voted.b) immediately before the election, by mistake (as suggested) Ministry of Religious Affairs, the list of voters included and the (former) Bishop John Dryinoupoleos already meanwhile deduct the administration of the province and had paftei of metropolitan accused of simony, which finally had voted as metropolitan Dryinoupoleos.These are reasons led the case, at the request of bishops Ambrose (Fthiotida), James (Mytilene) and Irenaeus (Samos), the Council of State which was the jurisdiction to resolve it, which eventually annulled the election of Damascus .

The Government then (John Metaxas) in order to end the whole thing down, for the mistake that had happened ceased Minister religions K. Georgakopoulos and also a proposal by the then Minister Th Nikoloydi and Maniadaki issued on December 3, 1938 Emergency Law (Law 1493/3-12-1938) with whom he abolished the existing law of the Revolution of 1922 which established the election of the archbishop and reinstated the previous relevant law applicable throughout the first century Greek independence. So according to him on December 12, 1938 followed by new elections under “according to merit Synod” (Summit, whose members are chosen arbitrarily by the government) they finally emerged three candidates: the Trabzon Chrisanthos with 11 votes and the metropolitans and Limnos Drama of 4 each. So, according to the provisions of the old law, King George II Chrisanthos elected Archbishop of Athens.


In 1939 he was elected member of the Academy of Athens.

With the involvement of Greece As in World War II, Archbishop Chrys developed strong national action, animating the people and the country’s army. When Greece fell to the Axis in 1941, Archbishop Chrys refused to swear the collaborationist government of George Tsolakoglou saying: “I can not swear Government raised by the enemy, we know that the governments of the states or the people the King. » The placement of Hrisanthos against the first occupation government was clear: he refused to move to the political legitimacy, remaining loyal to the king and his government to continue the war effort in Crete and the allied country’s commitments with Britain. Chrisanthos had angered the Germans as the address which he delivered on the occasion of the declaration of war against Germany As Greece. The German professor at Munich Franz Dölger, furious, demanded an explanation for the announcement of Hrisanthos by the President of the Academy of Athens Georgios Sotiriou. To stop this, on June 2, 1941 by the Constituent Act of the occupation government, was deposed from office. H arranging the removal is enhanced by the Damascene who was willing to give his consent to the formation of the occupying government judging it as emergency measure. Also, the government then highlighting the authoritarian character of the regime of August 4, wanted to equate the Chrysantho the Metaxas government. Chrisanthos will react characterizing the Government Tsolakoglou equally dictatorial with its predecessor. The occupation Minister of National Economy Plato Hadjimichalis linked friends with Chrysantho and consider it legitimate archbishop, while believing that the government had attended official character, so it had no jurisdiction to resolve the archbishop issue. On theJune 1941, the Government published Tsolakoglou Legislative Decree convening Meizonos Synod will decide on the validity of the election of the Bishopric Chrysanthou and “essentially arranges [...] the restoration of Damascus in the leadership of the Church”. The Meeting considered by decision as void the election of Chrysanthou and lacking the archbishop’s service, he was described as a passenger on the throne, namely illegally evriskomenos the leadership of the Greek Church.


Chrisanthos throughout the German occupation kept the same hostile attitude towards all dosilogikes governments, even when he was given by the Government of Ioannis Rallis the opportunity to return to the archbishop, which rejected it.  During the Civil War, advocated the “dynamic response” of communists, like his successors in the leadership of the Church of Greece.

During the occupation does not seem to developed its own mobility. Testified that he was president of the so called “National Resistance” or “National”, which must have been a committee personalities Royalists space with rather small presence in political and ideological guidance right resistance organizations.


Metapeleftherotika the Greek governments have failed to cancel the decrees of the Government Tsolakoglou with which he had been dismissed Chrisanthos. The then governments of Greece and Great Britain and King George have questioned the power and authority of the laws of occupation, with whom ascended the throne of Damascus “would automatically conditional and the office of regent, held … ” If Chrisanthos resorted to the Council of State had high hopes that it would negate the legislative decrees Tsolakoglou. So will be asked not to return the claim to the throne and finally and formally submitted his resignation. After he died of Damascus and one month before he died himself, Archbishop Spyridon Vlachos recognized him Removes ecclesial oikonomian as former Archbishop of Athens, mainly to strengthen it economically and take the appropriate syntax. He died in 1949.

Posts Archbishop Chrysanthou

•Chrys Filippídis, metropolitan of Trebizond, “The Church of Trebizond”, Archives of Pontos, vol. 4/5, (1933), pp. 1-1070

Members of the Academy of Athens

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece

Greek Resistance

Metropolitans Trebizond

Asia Minor Campaign


Graduates Theological School of Halki

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