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Metropolis of Rhodes

The metropolitan cathedral of the Annunciation, built by the Italians in the 1920s as a Catholic church

The Metropolis of Rhodes (Greek: Ιερά Μητρόπολις Ρόδου) is the Greek Orthodox metropolitan see covering the island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese island group in Greece. It belongs to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.


The foundation of the Christian community of Rhodes is traditionally attributed to the Apostle Paul, as the island is mentioned (Acts 21) during the latter's third missionary journey. Paul's companion Silas is also held to have preached and performed miracles on the island.[1]

The exact date of the establishment of an episcopal see in Rhodes is unknown, although tradition mentions Prochorus as the first bishop in the 1st century AD. Euphranor is attested as a bishop during the 2nd century, while bishop Photinus is mentioned in the late 3rd century. During the First Ecumenical Council in 325, Rhodes was represented by bishop Euphrosynus.[1] In Late Antiquity, Rhodes became the capital of the Roman province of the Islands, encompassing most of the Aegean Islands. Consequently, it was raised to a metropolitan see, probably some time in the late 4th or early 5th century, with a number of suffragan sees in the other islands of the province.[1][2]

In the earliest of the Notitiae Episcopatuum dating to the early 5th century, Rhodes ranked 26th among the sees under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, falling to 28th place after the Fourth Ecumenical Council in 451, to 33rd in the mid-6th century, and rising to 30th in the early 9th century. In Late Antiquity and until the early 9th century, the metropolis of Rhodes counted 11 suffragan sees.[1] In the mid-9th century, the foundation of two new sees, in Nisyros and Astypalaia, raised the number of suffragans to 13, but in the early 10th century the number briefly fell to 10, after the two new sees were disbanded and Andros came under the Metropolitan of Athens. Soon, however, the two sees were re-established, and the see of Ikaria added, bringing the number back to 13, and, after the 970s, to 14, with the addition of the bishopric of Tracheia. Eventually, the metropolis counted 15 suffragan sees, with the addition of the bishops of Linos and Apameia.[1] The metropolis held the 38th rank from the 10th to the early 12th century, before falling to the 45th from the late 13th until the early 14th century.[1]

Seal of George, Metropolitan of Rhodes (13th century)

From 1308/9, the island fell under the rule of the Knights Hospitaller. The Knights evicted the Orthodox metropolitan, and installed a Latin Archbishop in his stead. The Patriarchate of Constantinople continued to appoint metropolitans in exile, but after 1369 the see of Rhodes was awarded to the metropolitan of Side on the coast of Asia Minor. The Orthodox community on the island was administered by a council comprising local priests and secular potentates.[1] In the early 15th century, the rising power of the Ottomans forced the Knights to adopt a more conciliatory stance, and the Orthodox metropolitans were allowed back on the island. The Union of the Churches in the Council of Florence (1447) met with ardent opposition by the Orthodox populace of the island, forcing the Knights to violently suppress their reactions.[1]

Rhodes finally fell to the Ottomans in 1522, allowing for the full restoration of the Orthodox Church on the island. Ottoman rule was characterized by relative calm, despite occasional disputes.[1] Having lost all its suffragan sees by the early 14th century,[3] by the early 17th century, the metropolis had risen back to 38th place among the metropolises under Constantinople, with a single suffragan, the see of Lerni, until it was raised to a separate metropolis in 1888.[1][3] During the Greek War of Independence (1821–29), the Orthodox Church on the island suffered persecution, and its privileges were suspended until 1835, when a new firman restored them.[1]

In 1912, during the Italo-Turkish War, Rhodes along with the rest of the Dodecanese was occupied by Italy. Although at first welcomed as liberators, and promising autonomy for the islands or even a union with Greece, the Italians soon began to implement a policy of Italianization in their new colony. As the main native institution on the islands, the Orthodox Church was a major target of this campaign, such as the gradual revocation of its Ottoman-era privileges, attempts to split it from the Patriarchate and make the Dodecanese Church autocephalous, and persecution of the leading clergy. The period of Italian rule came finally to an end with the German occupation of the islands in 1943, leading after the war to the union of the Dodecanese with Greece (1947). The metropolitan of Rhodes, Apostolos Tryphonos, played a leading role in maintaining the islands' Greek identity throughout the period.[4]

In April 2004, the islands of Symi, Chalki, Tilos and Kastellorizo were split off to form the new Metropolis of Symi, while the island of Nisyros came under the Metropolis of Kos.[1][3]

Currently, the Metropolis of Rhodes comprises 17 parishes in the municipal unit of Rhodes City,[5] 2 in the municipal unit of Ialysos,[6] 6 in the municipal unit of Petaloudes,[7] 8 in the municipal unit of Kameiros,[8] 6 in the municipal unit of Attavyros,[9] 10 in the municipal unit of South Rhodes,[10] 5 in the municipal unit of Lindos,[11] 3 in the municipal unit of Archangelos,[12] 2 in the municipal unit of Afantou,[13] and 4 in the municipal unit of Kallithea.[14] The current metropolitan bishop is, since 20 April 2004, Cyril (born Konstantinos Kogerakis).[15]

Episcopal list

This is a list of the known bishops who have occupied the see of Rhodes (Roman Catholic archbishops under Hospitaller rule not included):[3][16]

Name Name in Greek Tenure Notes
Prochorus 1st century
Photinus 284–305
Euphrosynus 305–325?
Hellanodikos 431–?
John I 449–454
Agapetus 455–459
Essaias 513–528
Theodosius I 553–?
Isidore 680–681
Leo I 783–801
Theophanes 814–832
Nilus I 833–?
Michael 858
Leontius 858–868
Michael 868–879 2nd time
Leontius 879–? 2nd time
Theodore 997–?
John II 1070–1100
Nicephorus 1147–1156
[Anonymous] 1156–1166
John III 1166
Leo II 1166–?
George 1256
Theodoulos 1256–1274
[Anonymous] 1274–?
John IV 1350–1355
Nilus II Diassorianos 1355–1369
[Anonymous] 1393–?
Andrew of Chios 1432–1437
Nathanael 1437–1439
Makarios 1450–1455
Nilus III 1455–1470
Metrophanes I 1471–1498
Metrophanes II 1498–1511
Jeremias I 1511–1522
Clemens 1522–1523
Euphemios 1524–1525?
Theodosius II 1541–1548
Kallistos 1576–1594
Nikandros 1581
Paisios I 1595–1603
Jeremias II 1603–1604
Philotheos II 1604–1610
Ignatius I 1610–1612
Pachomios 1612–1637
Meletios I 1637–1639
Paisios II 1639–1643
Meletios II 1643–1651
Gregory I 1651–1652
Nathanael II 1652–1656
Joachim I 1656–1676
Parthenios 1676–1691
Constantius of Mytilene 1692–1702
Ignatius II 1702–1722
Neophytus of Chios 1722–1733
Jeremias III of Patmos 1733–1758
Kallinikos I of Veroia 1758–1792
Agapios of Thera 1792–1811
Zacharias of Veroia 1811–1823
Agapios of Thera 1823–1829 2nd time
Paisios III of Andros 1829–1831
Methodios of Crete 1831–1832
Paisios IV 1833–1836
Kallinikos II of Crete 1836–1839
Jacob of Patmos 1839–1856
Ignatius III of Adrianople 1856–1861
Cyril I Papadakis of Crete 1861
Dorotheos Prasinos of Constantinople 1862–1865
Synesios 1865–1876
Germanos 1876–1888 Subsequently Patriarch of Constantinople, 1913–1918
Gregory II of Lesbos 1888–1893
Constantine I Alexandritis of Adrianople 1893–1900
Hierotheos Dimitriadis of Nisyros 1900
Joachim II Valasiadis of Antigoni 1900–1910
Benjamin Kyriakou 1912–1913 Subsequently Patriarch of Constantinople, 1936–1946
Apostolos I Tryphonos of Krithia 1913–1946
Timotheos Evangelinidis of Mytilene 1947–1949
Spyridon Synodinos of Cephalonia 1951–1988
Apostolos II Dimelis of Archangelos 1988–2004
Cyril II Kogerakis of Crete since 2004


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ιστορία της Μητροπόλεως Ρόδου (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  2. ^ Gregory, Timothy E. (1991). "Rhodes". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 1791–1792. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
  3. ^ a b c d Kiminas, Demetrius (2009). "Metropolitanate of Rhodes". The Ecumenical Patriarchate: A History of Its Metropolitans with Annotated Hierarch Catalogs. Wildside Press LLC. pp. 115–117. ISBN 978-1434458766. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  4. ^ Εκκλησιαστική Ιστορία της Δωδεκανήσου κατά την Ιταλοκρατία (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  5. ^ Ενορίες Δ.Δ. Ροδίων (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  6. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Ιαλυσού (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  7. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Πεταλούδων (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  8. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Καμείρου (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  9. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Ατταβύρου (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  10. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Νοτίας Ρόδου (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  11. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Λινδίων (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  12. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Αρχαγγέλου (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  13. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. Αφάντου (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  14. ^ Ενορίες Δ. Δ. καλλιθέας (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  15. ^ Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Ρόδου κ.κ. Κύριλλος (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  16. ^ Επισκοπικός Κατάλογος (in Greek). Metropolis of Rhodes. Retrieved 4 October 2014.


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Metropolis of Rhodes
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