Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
was born in 1967 in Bakirköy, Istanbul. He studied at the Department of Pastoral Theology at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, graduating in 1991. In 1993, he completed postgraduate studies at the Philosophical School of the University of Bonn in Germany, submitting a dissertation entitled: “The Brothers Nicholas and John Mesarites.” He was ordained to the Diaconate in 1994 at the Patriarchal Cathedral and appointed Kodikographos (Scrivener) of the Holy and Sacred Synod.
In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod. From 1996-1997 he studied at the Theological School of St. John the Damascene in Balamand, Lebanon, where he advanced his knowledge of the Arabic language. In 2001, he presented a doctoral dissertation at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the title: “Severus of Antioch and the Council of Chalcedon” and was proclaimed a Doctor of Theology. In 2004, he was invited to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, where he taught as Visiting Professor for a semester.
In March 2005, at the proposal of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, he was elevated by the Holy and Sacred Synod to the position of Chief Secretary and ordained to the priesthood by the Ecumenical Patriarch in the Patriarchal Cathedral. In 2009, he submitted two dissertations to the Theological School of Thessaloniki and was unanimously elected Assistant Professor of Symbolics, Inter-Orthodox Relations, and the Ecumenical Movement. The dissertations are entitled: “The Synaxes of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne (1951-2004)” and “Luther’s Ninety-five Theses: Historical and Theological Aspects. Text - Translation - Commentary.”
Father Alexander Karloutsos
Fr. Alexander (better known as Father Alex) has been an assistant to three Archbishops. Currently he is the spiritual adviser to the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, and to Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. He serves as special assistant to the Archbishop working as liaison with heads of churches, the White House, the Congress, state and local officials, Greek American organizations, political action and religious freedom and human rights groups. He is also the Orthodox chaplain for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Together with his son-in-law, Father Constantine Lazarakis, he pastors the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons.
Father Alex previously served as the executive director of Leadership 100, (1986 to 1992 and 1999 to 2004), and was appointed by Archbishop Iakovos as the first vicar of public affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in 1985, holding that position simultaneously until 1992 when he was appointed special assistant to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
He graduated magna cum laude from Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1966. He received a Master of Theology degree, also magna cum laude, from the Holy Cross School of Theology there in 1969. He received a Certificate in Ecumenical Theology from the University of Geneva in 1970. He was ordained a deacon and a priest in September of 1970; respectively by Archbishop Eugenios of Crete and Archbishop Iakovos of America and was elevated by Archbishop Iakovos to Protopresbyter in February of 1984. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew named Father Alexander Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1994, the highest honor a married clergyman can receive in the Orthodox Christian Church.
Father Alexander first served as an assistant priest at SS. Constantine and Helen in Chicago in 1970 where he was active in youth ministries. He was appointed Archdiocesan Director of Youth Ministry in 1974, moving to the Archdiocesan headquarters in New York. In 1978, he was appointed Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Church and Society where he served until 1980 when he assumed the directorship of the newly established Department of Communications.
He, along with his wife Presbytera Xanthi, have been instrumental in fundraising efforts for the ministries and beautification of Long Island's jewel-- the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Southampton. They are now involved in efforts towards the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.
Father Alexander and Presbytera Xanthi are the parents of three children, Michael, Anastasia, and Olga and have nine grandchildren, Alexander, Konstantine, Xanthi, Luca, Konstantina, Demetrios, Steven, Leo, and Michael.