Archbishop Demetrios of America submitted his resignation to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios during a visit to Istanbul on Saturday.
Demetrios stepped down on the second day of his visit, during which he also informed Vartholomaios about the current affairs of the Archdiocese of America, including steps to improve its finances following the reports of financial mismanagement in the construction of the Saint Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center in New York.
“His Eminence the Archbishop submitted his written resignation from the throne of the Holy Archdiocese of America, which he shepherded with godly love for 20 years,” the Patriarchate said in a statetement.
Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, had twice called on the 90-year-old Demetrios to resign but the latter had resisted.
The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will discuss the matter of succession when it convenes on May 9.
Demetrios was born in Thessaloniki, Greece on February 1, 1928 and became Archbishop in 1999.