Metropolitan Meletios, Subject of Book “Beauty for Ashes,” Resposes in the Lord

21 June 2012 • Memory Eternal

Metropolitan Meletios (1933-2012)Metropolitan Meletios (1933-2012)His Eminence Meletios (Kalamaras) who was Metropolitan of Nikopolis and Preveza, Greece, passed from death to life early this morning, according to the Website Romfea.gr (Sword). Metropolitan Meletios, who had lately faced several serious health issues, was 79.

His Eminence was born 1933 in Alagonia, Kalamata, and was a graduate in theology, and in classical literature-philosophy from the University of Athens. He was chosen and ordained Metropolitan of Nikopolis and Preveza in 1980, having been ordained both deacon and priest by the Metropolitan of Messenia, His Eminence Chrysostom (Daskalakis).

Metropolitan Meletios was especially well known for his transformative work in the Metropolis of Messenia, which was captured in the book, Beauty for Ashes: The Spiritual Transformation of a Modern Greek Community, by Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffett (SVS Press, 2009). The book covers the political history and religious character of the region of Nikopolis, from time of the Apostle Paul in AD 63 to the arrival of Bishop Meletios in 1980. 
With great sensitivity, the book deals with the issue of sexual misconduct within the church, the restoration of the local church to spiritual health, and the renewed trust between church leaders and the laity. The book recounts how Bishop Meletios, along with the local monastic community, applied his ancient faith in a modern context to bring about social and religious change.

His Eminence was also well known for his preaching in the Holy Metropolis of Messenia, and, in a broader ecclesial context, he served as secretary to the Holy Synod on matters of Interchurch Affairs. He himself authored several books, and he received an award from the Theological Academy of Athens for his book The Fifth Ecumenical Council.

Starting today, in St. Constantine in Church in Preveza, his body will lie in repose for veneration. On Saturday, June 23rd at 11 a.m., the Divine Liturgy with the funeral service will be celebrated, at which the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, His Beatitude Ieronymos II, will preside.