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Metropolitan Gabriel of Nea Ionia

Most Rev. Gabriel, Metropolitan of Nea Ionia and Philadelphia (secular name George Papanicolaou), was born in Moschato of Attica in 1976. He graduated from the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens, Greece, in 1999. In 2001 he obtained the “Certificat de Spécialisation en Théologie Orthodoxe” postgraduate degree from the Faculty of Theology of Freiburg, Switzerland of the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 

He is candidate Doctor of the University of Athens and Geneva, while he holds a Doctoral Degree and Doctor in Political Science of the World Trade Organization (WTC). He was ordained deacon on February 18, 1996, by Damaskinos (Bishop of Diavleia at the time and subsequently Metropolitan of Didymoteichon, Orestias and Souflion), and Presbyter on May 30, 2002, by the late Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens. 

He ministered as Vicar in the Holy Church of Saint Marina at Thesseion (Athens, 2002-2011) and as Protosyngellos (Chief Chaplain) of the Archbishopric of Athens, 2009-2012. From 2004 to 2008 he ministered as Associate of the Synodical Committee on Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece and represented it on repeated occasions in international meetings. 

In 2004 he served as associate of the EU Commission in the Office of the Greek Member of the EU Commission on Social Affairs. He took part in numerous delegations of the Church of Greece to international and inter-Christian conferences abroad (WCC, CEC etc.). From 2006 he served for a number of years as high-school teacher in Athens College. 

From January 2009 he has been on the Board of Directors of the Youth Foundation of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens in the capacity of Vice-Chairman. Permanent Member of the Central Committee of WCC, Member of the Board of the Pastoral Training Foundation of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens. On October 7, 2012, he was elected and on October 9, 2012 ordained Bishop of Diavleia and appointed Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. On October 10, 2014, he was elected and on November 1 was enthroned as Metropolitan of Nea Ionia and Philadelphia.