Archbishop Demetrios of America Receives the High Title of “Geron”

This seems like a deserved honor for a fine hierarch. Regardless, I don’t know what the implications of this honor are. Does anyone know what this really means? I’ve asked several well-read people if they’ve heard of this title but so far, nobody has given me an answer.

Anyway, “Axios!” to His Eminence.

Archbishop Demetrios (GOA)

Archbishop Demetrios (GOA)

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announces with great joy and gratitude to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the elevation of the Holy Archdiocese of America to the rank of Gerontiki Eparchy (meaning an eparchy headed by a Geron/Elder hierarch) of the Ecumenical Throne in the person of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, who from now on will be called His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his letter to the Archbishop notes that the unanimous decision of the Synod was taken in recognition of the invaluable services to the Mother Church, the entire Orthodoxy and the Theological Literature.

A translation of the announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate follows:

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate met today, Thursday, November 26, 2015, under the presidency of His All-Holiness for its regularly scheduled meeting and examination of the agenda.

During the meeting, the Holy and Sacred Synod, following the proposal of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, elevated the Holy Archdiocese of America to the rank of Gerontiki (high-ranking) Eparchy of the Throne, in the person of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, who is to be called from now on His Eminence Geron Archbishop of America.

At the Patriarchate on November 26, 2015
From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod


  1. A few stray thoughts:

    A “geron” is an elder, which can mean a few different things in Orthodoxy. I have never heard of an entire eparchy called by a derivative of the name, however.

    Three things come to mind:

    1. I like Abp. Demetrios and have met him. It may simply be what it seems, a noble title for faithful service.

    2. In changing the form of address used for him, the Phanar gets the other American jurisdictions to address him as the “elder” (spiritually, of course, among them) if they agree to do so.

    3. There is the matter of Elder Ephraim . . . and if they lock horns at some point, better it be a thing between two elders, no?

    To a Russian, it’s a bit odd. For us, “elder-ness” of great spiritual magnitude is simply recognized rather than bestowed as a formal title.

    I would point out one other thing though:

    It is the archdiocese which is also elevated and identified with “the person” of Abp. Demetrios. This dovetails quite well with the Phanar’s evolving Roman notions about primacy being personal. It also means that the next Abp. of America presumably also inherits the same title since it is a title of the eparchy itself.

    Fun and games.

  2. Axios!

  3. Michael Kinsey says

    ?????????? Is he the boss of all Orthodox in America, now.? I will check to see if he has any free mason credentials.No one can serve 2 master, not even a Gerontiki. Jesus Christ is Lord. He may be a truly gifted Christian, I just don’t know.

    • know, just like Francis and John Paul, will kiss and venerates the Quran, might even celebrate hannukah,

  4. I have never heard of this honorific title, either. I wonder what the “criteria” are for this and what this now allows the Archbishop to do? Even +Iakovos never received this title, with all the work he did in civil rights, although this Archbishop has been in the forefront of environmental concerns.

  5. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Doesn’t it mean ELDERLY? Just saying. I think it’s often said that amongst the peoples of the East, the more an entity shrinks and becomes unnoticed, the longer and more magnificent its titles. In the 50s in college it was called “compensation.” I’m sure the Greek Archdiocese needs this boost and HONORS from the most honorable of all Patriarchates according to tenacious traditions!
    Perhaps this sort of magnificence of the HOMOGENIA trumps any “third Rome” talk elsewhere.

    Has The First Rome approved of this sort of thing by the Second Rome?

    What happened to the words “Great” and “Major?” Is “Elderly” more desirable?

    I thank George for bringing this SIGNIFICANT event to our attention–the Maoists and “liberal media” are simply ignoring it! in their dastardly way!

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      I just rea;ized that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is having a Senior Moment!

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        I just realized that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is having a Senior Moment!

        Not possible. He is several years younger than I.

    • Even if it is not a SIGNIFICANT event, it’s always good to know what the GOAA is up to and what is behind it. We have had enough behind-the-scenes shenanigans in the past to make us wary.

  6. Michael Warren says

    Geron or geronda is not an honorary title just as an archimandrite has no function or sense outside of a monastery, outside of monasticism. Typical GOA renovationist revisionism and fakery.

    An elder in the Orthodox Patristic tradition is one who has attained dispassion in askesis culminating in illumination. I find it comical that a crypto-uniate in Istanbul makes such pronouncements. I am thankful these things which cheapen Orthodox podvig don’t have a place in the Russian church but seem to be mainly confined to Greek renovationists in diaspora.

  7. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Archbishop Demetrios is a good and humble man and true biblical scholar. I think Misha may be right. By bestowing the title of ELDER it’s making statement about who the senior cleric and Archdiocese is and who should be in charge.

    This is not a good way IMHO of breeding Orthodox unity here in America. Still he is a good man and a good cleric so he is still worthy of the saying: “Axios.”


  8. Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

    For a long time the EP has given the title “Elder” to the hierarchs of various ancient Sees. This is the first time it is give to one of a modern See. For example, +Constantine of Nicea and +Athanasios of Chalcedon are “Elder” (Γέρων–Geron).

    You can see this here:

    It is an old practice. It is just “new” with regard to a hierarch in the “new world.”

  9. ReaderEmanuel says

    I believe Archbishop Iakovos also had this title conferred on him.

  10. Peter Millman says

    Isn’t he the same man who just recently gave Joey Biden an award for “human rights?”

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      No. Those were the Archons. The Order of St. Andrew that bestowed that on VP Biden. Now if Archbishop Geron Demetrios physically did it I do not know.


      • Peter Millman says

        Well, Pete, as a fellow Greek and Uechi Ryu practitioner, I have a great deal of respect for you. You are correct, Peter, it was the archons who awarded Biden the Athenagoras Award. These archons remind me of thirty three degree masons the way they honor one another with honorific titles. No humility whatsoever.
        By the way, Peter, you made some cogent criticisms of the archons on the Greek News Network website, of which I wholeheartedly agreed.


        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Thanks Peter. Look I know what the Archos are doing. They are keeping the establishment close because the they need the establishment’s protection, and establishment is a whore for accolades. VP Biden, like Pelosi, Cuomo, the Kennedys, etc,.,don’t give a you know what about Abortion or Gay rights, but to get into power and stay in power they have to walk the line. Just like the Republicans do with religious values, and Abortion and gay right keep right on going.

          The Church should be better than this. However the Archons don’t understand how dangerous it is to play with this type of fire and how the Church’s prophetic voice gets muted or lost in the process. They should never have done this.

          BTW where do you practice Uechi-ryu? Florida, New England or somewhere else?

    • Michael Kinsey says

      Joe Biden ???. US VP, Pelosi and Obama crony? If this is true, that’s all I need to know. Dropping napalm on peasants in Vietnam, was all I needed to know. Thou shalt not kill, has authentic spiritual authority. I went to Portsmith Federal Prison., the naval version of Leavenworth ,1968, costly economically. I just googled it. Thanks for the heads up. He did give Biden an award for human rights,.This guy ain’t no Holy man.

      • Michael Kinsey:

        I went to Portsmith Federal Prison., the naval version of Leavenworth ,1968

        Were you incarcerated there? Interesting punctuation, btw.

        • Michael Kinsey says

          Your a tiny ant ,gnat straining snarky git. The MVP award in baseball use to go to the pitcher who had the most strikeouts. Amazingly, this year it will go the batter who had the most strikeouts. That make more sense than giving Joe Biden a human rights award, after championing the murder of 55milliom innocent unborn. All you can come back with is a typo!!! I took the punishment they dished out, but I was obeying God’s Will, Try it sometime, costly obedience.

    • ReaderEmanuel says

      That award was given by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, not by the Church itself. It may have been PRESENTED to Biden by the Archbishop, but the Church doesn’t give the award. The Archons are laymen; the title is the highest award a lay person can get in the EP.

      • It also depends on how much cash is raised for the GOAA and Archdiocese, let’s not forget. It started out as an honorary for “exemplary” service to the Church and now showcases for the most part the exemplary contributions to various GOAA institutions. There are many serving the Church (yard workers, festival workers, cleaning teams, etc.) who also should be awarded more recognition that they are now and who are not able to contribute thousands of dollars.

  11. r j klancko says

    so, what has he done to earn the title – of you look at him he is a throw back to the byzantine era – no one who our policy makers would take seriously – he is a care taker and not a leader – certainly not an archbishop iakovos – why do we continue to wallow in the 18th century, Iakovos did not, i have a hardtime honoring an archaic title, on a passive scholar than an actual meaningful title on a leader who we can all rally behind – unite our american churches, free us of foreign control and intrigue – and bring us into the 22nd century as a religious denomination to be reckoned with — ohterwise – why even consider this news – we know that it is just a meaningliess title on someone with no administrative power who is a loyal lieutenant – things like thins make me ashamed to be cradle eastern orthodox christian who see our church in america crumbling away due to byzantine perspectives and policies – and my heart aches

    • Haven’t posted here for a while, but I had to answer this one, rj klanchko,

      First, gerondas is basically meaning he is acknowledged as a spiritual leader, as in confessor. This has nothing to do with lording it over other jurisdictions. There are a few other clerics acknowledged like this , such as Gerondas Arhimandrit Dionysios in Greece or the spiritual father of Gerondas Dionysios, Gerondas Aemilianos

      As for Archbishop Demetrios, I personally think that he is worthy of the title because he aften does things worthy of emulation. I was at a singing of the akathist in Washington, DC which he headed. He sang the whole akathist and led the ordinary laity to sing it, showing reverence with every minute. It was incredible what he could elicit from random Christian people showing up for an evening service

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Perhaps the title is a reward for steadfastly not condemning abortion EVER?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        The GOAA as a member of SCOBA and later the EA has joined with its Orthodox brethren is condemning Abortion and Homosexuality and ssm. If you know otherwise please let us know.


  12. Estonian Slovak says

    Your Aunt Zuzy is a throwback to the Byzantine era!

  13. Michael Kinsey says

    The beginning of the end is near it’s end, in Media/Persia. THE END OF THE WORLD COMES NEXT.. Where then can we place the time of great falling away which St.Paul predicted must come first. The confrontation with Iran, and the End of the World begins. When, pray tell us, does the great falling away happen? I say the great falling away is almost finished. The presentation of this human rights award by the Anchions is another glaring proof. Damn the typo’s full speed ahead!!

  14. Michael Woerl says

    and some people wonder why many want nothing whatsoever to do with an “American Orthodox Church” with the HQ in Istanbul. go figure …