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Seattle Archons Lecture on Early 20th Century History of Ecumenical Patriarchate

SEATTLE, WA – Archon Dr. Tom Papademetriou, Professor of Greek History and Director of the Dean and Zoe Pappas Center for Hellenic Studies at Stockton College in Galloway, New Jersey, presented a most interesting and informative lecture, titled ‘The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Great Catastrophe of 1922: History and Legacy,’ at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle after the Divine Liturgy on March 5.

Professor Papademetriou, who is also the President of the Modern Greek Studies Association, offered an extensive look at events in the early 20th century involving Greece and the Ottoman Empire, with special emphasis on impacts to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The event was sponsored by the members of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, from St. Demetrios, Paul Plumis, John John, Theo Angelis, and Cliff Argue to highlight and make known the research and analysis of fellow Archon Papademetriou.

Seattle Archons welcome Brother Archon Professor Tom Papademetriou to St. Demetrios Church for the lecture ‘The Ecumenical Patriarchate and The Great Catastrophe of 1922: History and Legacy.’ Left to right: Archons Paul Plumis, Theo Angelis, Guest Speaker Dr. Tom Papademetriou, St. Demetrios Proistamenos Protopresbyter Fr. Photios Dumont, Archons Cliff Argue and John John. (Photo: Courtesy of St. Demetrios Church)

His presentation included four main areas:

Part 1: The Ecumenical Patriarchate in a Decade of Wars: 1912-1922

Part 2: From the ‘Byzantine Solution’ to the Burning of Smyrna: 1919-1922

Part 3: The Ecumenical Patriarchate & the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923

Part 4: In the Wake of Lausanne: Internationalization of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from 1923 to the present.

Prof. Papademetriou illustrated his talk with numerous maps, photos, newspaper clippings, and drawings from that era.

He also covered the Young Turks Revolution, the Balkan Wars, World War I, the Genocides of the Pontian Greeks and Armenians, and the ongoing friction at the time between Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos and King Constantine I.

Dr. Tom Papademetriou displays a map of the growth of the Ottoman Empire. (Photo: Courtesy of St. Demetrios Church)

The lecture provided insights into the history and aftermath of these traumatic events and their impact on the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the following century.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Papademetriou remarked: “One hundred years ago, the Ecumenical Patriarchate faced its most significant existential crisis since 1453, triggered by political and military events worldwide. The loss of Ottoman territory, hastened by the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, the Great Catastrophe of Smyrna, and the dramatic events of 1922, along with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the exchange of Greek-Turkish populations, resulted in significant demographic losses that directly affected the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In an instant, the majority of the Greek Orthodox Church faithful in Asia Minor under the direct jurisdiction of the Patriarchate had disappeared.”

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