The blessed Hierarch fell asleep peacefully at the Holy Monastery of Vlatades, of which he had been a longtime abbot, with his successor and spiritual son, Bishop Nikephoros of Amorion, at his side.
The funeral service will take place on Friday, August 9, at 11 a.m. at the Monastery of the Vlatades, where he will be buried.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America stated the following:
“With profound sadness at the falling asleep in the Lord of Metropolitan Panteleimon of Tyroloi and Serention, I celebrated the Trisagion for the repose of the soul of the departed Hierarch, to whom I owe much, because as my teacher in the university he taught me not only Canon Law, but also he was by his example the model of ecclesiastical ethos for all of us younger clergy. As the Archdiocese of America, we are especially grateful to the late teacher for having served, devotedly and effectively, our Holy Cross Theological School in Boston. Eternal and unforgettable be his memory.”
The official resume of the departed Hierarch of the Ecumenical Throne follows:
His Eminence Panteleimon (Rodopoulos), Metropolitan of Tyroloi and Serention, the most honorable Exarch of Thrace, was born in 1929 in Athens, where he received his elementary and secondary education. He studied Theology at the University of Athens. He was ordained as a deacon in 1952 and as a priest in 1954. He attended postgraduate theological studies at the universities of London and Oxford (1954-1957) and Frankfurt, Germany (1957-1958), submitted a dissertation at the University of Oxford on the topic of “The Serapion School of Philosophy,” and received the B. Litt Master’s Degree. He was called to Greece and was appointed chancellor of the Metropolis of Thessalonica and dean of its cathedral church of Holy Wisdom. In 1958, he was appointed professor at the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens, and in 1960, he became a fellow of the Theological School of the University of Thessaloniki. While continuing to serve as a lecturer at the University of Thessaloniki, Fr. Panteleimon was appointed Dean of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston (1963-1966). In 1968, he was elected Professor of Theology at the University of Thessaloniki, in the fields of Canon Law and Pastoral Theology. He was a member of the Senate of the University of Thessaloniki (1976-1977) and Dean of the Theological School (1977-1978). He was elected by the professors of the University of Thessaloniki to serve as Vice Dean and Dean (1981-1983).
In addition to his duties as professor at the University of Thessaloniki, he took over as Dean of the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology of Balamand, first in Lebanon (1972-1975) and then in Thessaloniki (1975-1979), during the time when the school was relocated to Thessaloniki because of the war in Lebanon. He organized the school there and obtained recognition from a top university school, as well as from the Lebanese Ministry of Education and from the Orthodox Theological Schools of Greece. In 1974 he was elected Metropolitan of Tyanon, and later (1977) as Metropolitan of Tyroloi and Serention. He was sent by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Rome to be an observer at the Second Vatican Council (1964), and also on other ecclesiastical missions. He has been a member of many international religious committees and organizations, and has participated in many synods and ecumenical and academic meetings and conferences. He was elected President in 1982 of the International Academic Association of Eastern Churches, and since 1991 he has been Honorary President of the Society. He was the Orthodox Co-President of the Joint Committee for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the World Council of Churches and chairman of the Organizing Committee that planned theological symposia in Thessaloniki each year under the auspices of the Dimitria events, under the general theme of “Christian Thessaloniki.”
He served as abbot of the Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of Vlatades in Thessaloniki (1984-2012), chairman of the Board of Directors in the Cloister of the Patriarchikon Idryma Paterikon Meleton (1985-1989) and its vice-chairman (1989-2012). He was an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Vienna Pro-Oriente Foundation, author of books and articles on Canon Law, liturgy, pastoral theology, ecumenical relations and more. He was honored with ecclesiastical, academic, and state awards. He was a Distinguished Doctor of Theology at Holy Cross of Boston and the Theological School of the University of Sibiu, Romania. He was invited to teach courses at the Theological Seminary of Minsk in Belarus and the Theological School of the Free University in that city. He also taught a course at the Theological School of the University of Presov in Slovakia.