Neutral Principles of Law in a Bulgarian parish dispute

Today I’ll be discussing Aglikin v. Kovacheff, a 1987 Illinois appellate court case involving a dispute over control of St. Sophia Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Chicago. The key question, in this case, concerns the extent of the diocesan bishop’s authority over the local parish. The bishop had dismissed certain members of the parish board of trustees — did he have…

The census record of Fr. Misael Karydis

Fr. Misael Karydis is one of many odd, mysterious figures from early American Orthodox history. We’ve discussed him at length in past articles. He was the longtime pastor of Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans, from 1881 until his suicide in 1901, and besides his pastoral work, he was apparently something of an inventor. Among…

American Orthodox demographics, 1906-1936

Every ten years, from 1906 to 1936, the US Census Bureau compiled a Census of Religious Bodies. These censuses are gold mines of information on early American Orthodoxy. Also, unlike so many of the inflated numbers that you’re likely to see floating around, the census data is reliable. With its considerable resources, the Census Bureau…

The Bulgarian Diocese in Exile

The longest-serving hierarch in American Orthodox history was Abp. Kyrill Yonchev (1964-2007), until late this past June, when his record tenure of nearly 43 years was exceeded by Metr. Philip Saliba of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Kyrill was well-known and well-loved as the OCA’s diocesan bishop for Western Pennsylvania as well as its Bulgarian diocese. What…

Fact-checking the Bulgarian Monk

Continuing on the theme of Rev. A.N. Experidon (aka “the Bulgarian Monk”) from yesterday, I thought I would check out some of the claims made by our itinerant friend. In the Atlanta Constitution (April 30, 1876) Fr. Experidon is reported to have met Loring and Colston, two former Confederate soldiers, in Egypt, where they were…

The Bulgarian Monk visits San Jose

In the latest episode of my American Orthodox History podcast,  I talk about Rev. A.N. Experidon, better known as “the Bulgarian Monk.” He was, without a doubt, the weirdest man in the history of American Orthodoxy. For the whole story, I’d encourage you to listen to the podcast, but below, I’m reprinting an article from…