Meliton, Metropolitan of Chalcedon

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Metropolitan of Chalcedon
Meliton, Metropolitan of Chalcedon.png
Native name
In office1966 – 1989
Consecration30 November 1950
Personal details
Birth nameSotirios Hatzis
Born1913 (1913)
Istanbul, Turkey
Died(1989-12-27)27 December 1989
Istanbul, Turkey
DenominationEastern Orthodox Church

Meliton (born Sotirios Hatzis) (1913 – 27 December 1989), was a prelate of the Eastern Orthodox Church who served as the Metropolitan of Chalcedon from 1966 until his death in 1989. Born in Istanbul and educated at the Halki Theological Seminary, he was appointed Secretary of the Holy Synod by Patriarch Benjamin I in 1937 and in 1948 Protosynkellos to Patriarchs Maximus V and Athenagoras I.[1][2]

As Metropolitan of Imbros and Tenedos (1953) and subsequently of Chalcedon (1966), Meliton was the right-hand man of Athenagoras I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He was strongly favoured to succeed Athenagoras in 1972, but the Turkish Government, in an effort to keep the Patriarchate under its control, had Meliton's name removed from the list of acceptable candidates.[3][4]

He was known for his role in ecumenical relations and for Pope Paul VI's gesture of kneeling to kiss his feet during a visit to the Vatican on 7 December 1975.[5][6] Meliton was no friend of the Regime of the Colonels and after his sermon "I condemn hypocrisy" at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens on 8 March 1970, ostensibly encouraging preparation for Lent but widely understood and intended as an attack on the Regime, enjoyed considerable following in Greece.[7]

In 1984 Meliton suffered a severe stroke from which he never fully recovered. He died five years later in Istanbul.[3]


  1. ^ Kallis, Anastasios (2011) "Meliton of Chalcedon". Religion Past and Present. Brill. ISBN 9789004146662. Online version retrieved 25 July 2019 (subscription required for full access).
  2. ^ Heaton, D.; Higgins, J. (1991). The Times Obituaries ... , Lives Remembered. Blewbury Press. p. 263. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b Chryssavgis, John (2016). Bartholomew: Apostle and Visionary, pp. 96–105. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 0718087291
  4. ^ Associated Press (17 July 1972). "Eastern Orthodox Church Chooses a New Patriarch". New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  5. ^ Mounier, Frederic (22 October 2014). "There was more to Blessed Pope Paul VI than meets the eye". La Croix (International Edition). Retrieved 25 July 2019 (subscription required for full access).
  6. ^ Wallechinsky, David (2009). The Book Of Lists, p. 160. Canongate Books. ISBN 1847676677
  7. ^ Meliton of Chalcedon (8 March, 1970). "I Condemn Hypocrisy, Sermon preached by Elder Meliton (Hatzi), Metropolitan of Chalcedon (1913-1989) in the Cathedral Church of Athens" (with afterword by W.J.L. 18 February 2018). Pemptousia. St. Maxim the Greek Institute. Retrieved 25 July 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Papas, Athanasios (2006). Rome & Constantinople: Pope Paul VI & Metropolitan Meliton of Chalcedon. Orthodox Research Institute. ISBN 1933275111
  • Congar, Yves (1984). "L'oecumenisme de Paul VI". Publications de l' Ecole Française de Rome, pp. 807-820 (in French)