Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America

Archbishop IakovosArchbishop Iakovos (according to the world: Dimitrios Koukouzis) was born in 1911 at Saint Theodore on Imbros island (Turkey). He graduated from the Theological School of Halki in 1934 and was ordained in the same year to the diaconate. He continued his studies at Harvard University where he earned a Master of Sacred Theology Degree in 1945. He was ordained a priest in 1940 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and taught and served as assistant dean at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School, then in Pomfret, Connecticut, now in Boston. In 1954, upon the recommandation of the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, he was elected Bishop of Melita and was appointed as the first permanent representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches where he had a profound effect on the relations of the WCC with the Orthodox Church. In 1959, he was elected Archbishop of North and South America. He was also the first Greek Orthodox Archbishop to meet with a Roman Catholic Pope when he was received by Pope John XXIII at the Vatican in 1959, which led to the establishment of good relations between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches. As Archbishop of North and South America, he founded the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America (SCOBA) and became its first chairman. He resigned from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America in 1996, and died in 2005.