Correcting the record on Bishop Nicholas Ziorov

Bishop Nicholas Ziorov, head of the Russian Mission in America from 1891 to 1898, is one of the most underappreciated people in American Orthodox history. I am afraid that I have done nothing to help this state of affairs. Back in June, I wrote dismissively that Bishop Nicholas “was a good man, but was also…

Rethinking the Myth of Unity

One year ago, I delivered a paper at St. Vladimir’s Seminary entitled, “The Myth of Unity and the Origins of Jurisdictional Pluralism in American Orthodoxy.” (Click here for the audio.) My thesis was that, contrary to a widely-held belief, American Orthodoxy was not administratively united prior to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Rather, from a very…

The Russian Archbishop welcomes the Greek Archdiocese, 1921

“[I]n 1921 … without the knowledge and canonical approval of the Russian Orthodox Church, a Greek Archdiocese was founded in America.” (Patriarch Alexy I of Moscow to Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, March 17, 1970.) Patriarch Alexy’s position has been shared by many people, particularly since the OCA was granted autocephaly by Moscow in 1970. But is…

The Failed Mission of Fr. Stephen Hatherly

Yesterday, May 19, was the 126th anniversary of the arrival in America of Protopresbyter Stephen Hatherly, a convert priest from England. Hatherly served under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and spent several months in the US, attempting to establish an Orthodox parish in New York. Last July, I wrote an article on Hatherly’s brief American tenure, but…