17 October 2019

The new Bishop of Knossos and
his student days in in Ireland

With the new Bishop of Knossos, Father Prodromos Xenakis, when he visited the Church of Ireland Theological Institute with Dr Katerina Pekridou, now the Dialogue Secretary of the Conference of European Churches

Patrick Comerford

It is always interesting to hear news about someone I have known but have lost touch with. I got to know Father Prodromos Xenakis from Crete when he was a post-graduate student in Maynooth in 2010-2012.

He was following a programme in Biblical studies leading to the MTh degree, and was attached to the Greek Orthodox Church in Dublin.

During that time we took part in Greek community events in Dublin, a broadcast service on RTÉ, and he came to the Church of Ireland Theological Institute when I was presiding at the Community Eucharist on the day the calendar of the Church remembers Saint Polycarp, a second century martyr and Bishop of Smyrna.

It was good to hear today that Archimandrite Prodromos, who is now the Chancellor or Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Crete, has been elected the next Bishop of Knossos in Crete.

As Bishop of Knossos, Archimandrite Prodromos will also serve as assistant bishop to the Archbishop of Crete, Archbishop Ireneos. Father Prodromos Xenakis has been a long-time associate of Archbishop Ireneos and has held several positions in the Archdiocese of Crete.

Knossos is a titular see in the Church of Crete. The separate diocese was abolished in 1823 and was attached to Metroplis, based in Iraklion.

The new bishop was elected late on Wednesday [16 October 2019]. His predecessor as Bishop of Knossos is the present Bishop of Rethymnon, Metropolitan Evgenios of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos.

The Bishop-elect of Knossos told the Greek media last night: ‘The election is a special honour to me. I feel joy and gratitude to everyone.’ His episcopal ordination will take place in Saint Minas Cathedral Iraklion on Saturday 26 October.

Father Prodromos Xenakis at a Greek community dinner in Dublin in 2012 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Bishop Prodromos was born Zacharias Xenakis in Stavrakia, Iraklion, in 1979. He studied at the Theological Seminary of the University of Athens, and was ordained a monk and deacon in the Monastery of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou near Athens in 2005.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos then sent him to Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he followed a postgraduate programme in Biblical Theology in 2010-2012. On his return to Crete, he was ordained a priest in January 2013 and became an archimandrite.

He is the head of the press office and has served on a number of boards and committees in the Church of Crete, with special interests in communications, culture and church charities.

He has been a director of youth programmes and a programme producer with Light, the radio station of the Archdiocese Crete. He was a member of recent delegation of the Church of Crete to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Government. Bishop Prodromos will remain secretary of the Council of the Church of Crete.

Archbishop Prodromos Xenakis … elected Bishop of Knossos in Crete last night

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