Debates on unity: three issues

In various places on the Internet, there have been debates and discussions concerning the question of Orthodox administrative unity prior to 1921. Often, people seem to be talking past one another. The issue of “Orthodox unity” actually encompasses a variety of areas, some of them historical, some not. I thought I would try to summarize just what those…

SOCHA on the AOI weblog

Interested parties may care to look at this post from the American Orthodox Institute weblog commenting on the SOCHA website. The comments section contains some notable material, as well, highlighting what SOCHA members feel is vital: an earnest engagement with the primary sources of American Orthodox history unencumbered by jurisdictional agendas.

Two Columns from 2005

Readers may be interested to read the following two columns from 2005, written by Theophilus Eardwine and appearing on the OrthodoxyToday website. Both are notable in that they deny the commonly held notion that pre-1921 Orthodoxy in America was united under the Russian Archdiocese, something that in 2005 was unthinkable in many circles. The first…

Not Quite SCOBA

Few photos from the early 20th century history of American Orthodoxy are so rich in significance as this one. This was taken during the 1921 visit of then-deposed Abp. Meletios (Metxakis) of Athens to America, beginning the process of founding the Greek Archdiocese. He came traveling with Bp. Alexander (Demoglou), who would become the first…

The Failed Mission of Fr Stephen Hatherly

From 1870 to 1883, Fr Nicholas Bjerring was pastor of a Russian Orthodox chapel in New York City. Bjerring was a convert from Roman Catholicism, and he basically operated an “embassy chapel.” He held services for Russian and Greek officials stationed in America, he ministered to the few Orthodox Christians living in New York, and…

July 4, 1892

Last month, I did a podcast on the attempt to form a pan-Orthodox parish in Chicago in 1888. (You can also read a post about it here.) That attempt failed, and in 1892, separate Greek and Russian parishes were founded in Chicago. The Greek church was founded in April, under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Athens,…

St. Vladimir’s lecture

The talks from the recent conference at St. Vladimir’s Seminary may now be viewed online, courtesy of St. Andrew House in Detroit. You can also listen to the audio at Ancient Faith Radio. The video of my own talk, “The Myth of Past Unity,” can be found here: (A direct link is here.) For audio only, click…

Chicago, 1888

In 1888, a pan-Orthodox parish was almost established in Chicago. On my Ancient Faith Radio podcast, American Orthodox History, I devoted an episode to that story. I read from a couple of newspaper articles, the most interesting of which is below (Chicago Daily Tribune, May 14, 1888):