Eminence Metropolitan Maximos
Irene Rithianos and Bishop Maximos
November 2, 2020
New York, NY Archbishop Elpidophoros of America conveys with great sadness the passing of Metropolitan Maximos, formerly of Pittsburgh, who fell asleep in the Lord today. The late Metropolitan retired due to failing health in August 2011, but continued to be a beloved and much respected figure in the Metropolis, which he served for over thirty years.
Bishop Maximos with his mother and father, Chios Greece
Born to Father and Presvytera Evangelos Aghiorgoussis in Chios on March 5 1935, the future Metropolitan attended the Patriarchal Theological School of Halki, where he received his degree in Orthodox Theology in 1957. He was ordained a deacon at Halki on April 28, 1957, and ordained a priest on his native island on July 26, 1959. He pursued graduate studies at the University of Louvain, Belgium, where he received a Doctorate in Theology and Baccalaureate in Philosophy in 1964.
From 1966 to 1979 (his election as a Bishop) he taught at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology as Professor of Systematic Theology. During his tenure at the school, he also served as Vice President of Hellenic College and Academic Dean of the Holy Cross School of Theology. On April 11, 1978, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected him Bishop of Diokleia. Archbishop Iakovos consecrated him to the Episcopacy on Pentecost Sunday, June 18, 1978, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. He was as elected in March 1979, and enthroned as the first bishop of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis (then Diocese) of Pittsburgh on April 27, 1979. In 1997, He was elected a Metropolitan of the Throne of Constantinople to preside in Pittsburgh, and later in 2003 became Metropolitan of Pittsburgh.
Archbishop Elpidophoros, commenting on the passing of the beloved Metropolitan, said:
"I was deeply grieved to learn of the passing of Metropolitan Maximos, a beloved spiritual father of so many clergymen of our Archdiocese, who studied with him at our Seminary, and indeed a beloved spiritual son of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. I know that I express the condolences of the Holy Eparchial Synod to his surviving family members and indeed to all of the Faithful of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, which he shepherded for thirty-two years. As Chairman of the Board, I also wish to express the sympathies of Hellenic College and Holy Cross, which knew his daily presence and wisdom in his time there as a Professor. He was among the best and brightest who emerged from Halki in the 1950 s and became leaders in the Ecumenical Movement. His ministry in Rome as young clergyman and theologian was instrumental in renewing the relationship of the Sister Churches, and his pastoral perspectives were always considered the world over for their sagacity. As we grieve the loss of this great Hierarch and scholar, we also acknowledge that he is worthy of the rest in God, into which he has now passed after a lifetime of service to Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church. "