Three names were selected by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s Synod of Metropolitans to fill the vacancy left after the passing of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago last year.
In order of votes, Fr. Timothy Bakakos, pastor at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church on Chicago’s west side received the most votes, followed by Fr. Nathaniel Symeonides and Fr. Constantine “Dean” Moralis from Baltimore.
Although the Very Rev. Nathaniel Symeonides is the second name on the list, called a “triproposon” by the Church, or “list of three names,” it is widely believed that he will be the most likely choice, according to a source at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“It is widely known in the Phanar that His All Holiness (Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew) wants Fr. Nathaniel for this position,” according to an anonymous cleric in Istanbul who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The list will now be delivered to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, where a Synod meeting will take place this week and a name from that list will be selected to assume the role of Metropolitan of Chicago.
Traditionally, the Patriarchal Synod selects the first name on the list, which is Bakakos, but Constantinople is not bound by a rule to select the first name.
The Patriarchate also has the option to reject the list, as it did with the last one, and ask for a new list.
The New York City-based Symeonides was born in Thessaloniki and is a Graduate of Hellenic College and a 2003 Graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
He holds a doctorate of Theology in Bioethics from Boston University, and a masters degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
He has served the Archdiocese of America in numerous capacities, including as a deacon to Archbishop Demetrios, as well as numerous parishes in the New York City area.
Fr. Nathaniel’s notable work includes his current work as director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.