The Very Rev. Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios Nikiforos

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Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios

The Very Rev. Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios Nikiforos

Canon Law

The Very Rev. Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios, Director of the Private Office of His All-Holiness, was born in 1989 in Kavala (Greece), where he received his primary and secondary education. In October 2006 he entered the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), from which he graduated in October 2010. In November 2010 he entered the MPhil Program in Public Law and Political Science of the same Law School, majoring in Constitutional Law, from which he graduated in November 2012. His MPhil thesis in European Constitutional Law was entitled “The Principle of Proportionality as a Medium of the National and the EU Legal Orders: The Withdrawal of Constitutional Conflicts via Common Fundamental Principles.” In August 2013 he entered the LLM program in Legal Theory of NYU School of Law (NY, USA), on a Fulbright Scholarship, from which he graduated in September 2014. His LLM Thesis in Constitutional History was entitled “National Unity as the Precondition for the Fulfillment of Inclusive Constitutionalism in Constantine Karamanlis’ Constitutional Philosophy.” In August 2015 he entered the MDiv Program of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood NY, USA), from which he graduated in May 2018. His honors MDiv thesis in Canon Law, for which he received commendation, was entitled “The Influence of Greco-Roman Legal Thought on the Development of the Methodological Principle of οἰκονομία in Byzantine Canon Law: The Local Cappadocian Traditions of Gregory Thaumaturgos.” He is currently a PhD candidate in Canon Law at Cardiff Law School (Wales, UK), under the supervision of Professor Dr. Norman C. Doe.

From 2012 to 2019 he worked as Lawyer of Fist Instance. On March 16th, 2019, he was tonsured monk, on the next day he was ordained to the holy diaconate and on November 3rd, 2019, he was ordained to the holy priesthood and received the offikion of the Grand Ecclesiarch of the Holy Great Church of Christ by the hand of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Venerable Patriarchal Church of St George in Phanar (Istanbul, Turkey). On March 17th, 2021, he was appointed by His All-Holiness Director of the Private Patriarchal Office. He also serves as Secretary of the Canonical Committee and of the Committee on Inter-Orthodox Matters of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and as member of the Planning Committee of the 2023 General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches.

Educational Background

  • LL.B., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Law
  • M.Phil. in Public Law and Political Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Law
  • LL.M. in Legal Theory, NYU School of Law
  • M.Div., St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
  • Pg.Cert. in Canon Law, Cardiff University School of Law
  • Ph.D. (can) in Canon Law, Cardiff University School of Law

Teaching Interests

Canon Law, Ecclesiastical Law, Comparative Religious Law, Principles of Christian Law, Law and Religion, Legal and Ecclesiastical History, Legal Theory and Methodology