Posts tagged Philaret Ioannides
June 21, 1863: Jovan Dabovich was born in San Francisco to Serbian immigrants. He would be baptized by an Orthodox priest aboard a visiting Russian ship, and he later became Fr. Sebastian, one of the most prominent Orthodox clergymen in America.
June 18, 1878: Fr. Paul Kedrolivansky, dean of the Russian cathedral in San Francisco, died under mysterious circumstances. I did a podcast on this one awhile back. Was he murdered by his assistant priest? The Russian vice consul? A random nihilist? Or was it a freak accident? Summarizing the story just won’t do it justice; listen to the podcast for the whole thing, and click here to read more.
June 21, 1923: Fr. Philaret Ioannides was consecrated Bishop of Chicago for the Greek Archdiocese — the first Orthodox consecration in the city’s history. At one point in the service, some in the crowd began to shout, “Anaxios!” and a near-riot broke out. Here’s how the Chicago Tribune described it the next day:
Archbishop Alexander, according to custom, had chanted out the query: “Is our new bishop worthy of the honor that has been bestowed upon him?” As if by prearranged signal a dozen or more in the audience sprang to their feet. “No, no, no. He is unworthy.”
Those backing Bishop Joannides accepted the challenge by leaping at the shouters and in a moment the ceremony had been turned into one of confusion.
Fists started flying, someone called the police, and when the dust settled, eight people were arrested. The whole mess was part of the broader split between “Royalists” (supporters of the Greek King Constantine) and Venizelists (supporters of the Greek prime minister) — a division that tore through Greek communities throughout the United States. According to the Tribune, Bishop Philaret was viewed as a Royalist.
June 19, 1933: Bishop Apollinary Koshevoy died at the age of 58. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Apollinary spent three years as a bishop in Jerusalem before coming to America. He initially served as Bishop of Winnipeg for the Russian Metropolia (today’s OCA), and in 1926 he became the Archbishop of San Francisco. Right around this time, relations between the Metropolia and ROCOR soured, and Apollinary sided with ROCOR. He remained in San Francisco and founded the famed Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral. One of his successors, of course, was St. John Maximovitch.
June 23, 1941: Fr. Jacob Korchinsky, formerly a priest in America, was martyred by Communists. In a previous article, I pulled together a bunch of different sources on Fr. Jacob’s remarkable and well-traveled life. Click here to read it.
June 22, 1969: The convert priest Fr. Dmitri Royster was consecrated Bishop of Berkeley and auxiliary to the Metropolia’s Archbishop of San Francisco. Bishop Dmitri later went on to establish the OCA Diocese of the South, which he led for many years.
June 24, 1975: The rival Antiochian Archdioceses of New York and Toledo formally united into a single jurisdiction. In the wake of St. Raphael’s death in 1915, the Antiochians in America split into “Russy” and “Antacky” factions. This division persisted until the early 1930s, when the various competing hierarchs all left the scene (by death or otherwise) at basically the same time. It looked as if the schism would die with those bishops, but in 1936, a new split opened, with one bishop in New York and the other in Toledo. This new division lasted for almost forty years, until Metropolitan Philip Saliba and Metropolitan Michael Shaheen agreed to merge their Archdioceses, with Philip emerging as the primate.
June 19, 2009: Three years ago, we launched OrthodoxHistory.org. Thanks to all who have read and supported our work!
On October 19, I wrote about Archbishop Panteleimon of Neapolis (today’s Nablus), a bishop of the Jerusalem Patriarchate who was active in America in the 1920s. Since then, thanks to help from some readers, I’ve learned more about Abp Panteleimon’s later years in America. Here’s an update.
Abp Panteleimon seems to roughly parallel the Antiochian Metropolitan Germanos Shehadi. Both came to America for specific, temporary purposes (Germanos to raise money, Panteleimon to attend an Episcopal Church conference and also to raise money). Both were initially quite popular and well-received. Both developed a liking for America, and decided to stick around indefinitely. Both attracted some parishes to join them. Germanos was opposed by the Syro-Arab leadership under the Russian Mission, as well as the later leadership of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Panteleimon was opposed by the Greek Archdiocese and the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. And finally, both ultimately left the US in the early 1930s.
On March 12, 1924, Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory I wrote to Patriarch Damian of Jerusalem, explaining that Abp Panteleimon was meddling in the affairs of the Greek Archdiocese in America. Later that year, on September 5, the Greek Bishop Philaret of Chicago complained to his superior, Abp Alexander, that Panteleimon had come to Chicago and was “trespassing on canonical territory.” Shortly after this, in November, Panteleimon assisted the Antiochian Metropolitan Zacharias of Hauran in consecrating Abp Victor Abo-Assaly to be the first head of the new Antiochian Archdiocese.
For the rest of the 1920s, Panteleimon caused one problem after another for the leaders of the Greek Archdiocese, and successive Ecumenical Patriarchs asked Jerusalem to recall him. At one point, reference was made to a “dependency of the Jerusalem Patriarchate in New York”; this seems to refer to Panteleimon’s metochion (embassy church).
By the late ’20s, Abp Panteleimon was in Canada. On February 23, 1929, leaders of an Episcopal church in Montreal wrote to the Greek Abp Alexander:
We expect to proceed against the emissaries of Panteleimon at any moment, and hope to secure their punishment and deportation. Panteleimon himself will never again be permitted to enter this country, being now known to the Canadian Department of Immigration as an imposter and fraud one, who took part in securing large sums of money in Montreal by false pretenses.
The story wasn’t over, though. In 1930, both Abp Alexander and the Ecumenical Patriarch were trying to arrange for Panteleimon to leave North America. By November, the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate seem to have hit upon a solution: Panteleimon could be assigned to the Jerusalem Patriarchate’s metochion in Constantinople, thus removing him from America and offering him a comfortable alternative. Finally, in January of 1931, the Patriarch of Jerusalem recalled Panteleimon.
But in March, Panteleimon was still in America, apparently requesting funds in order to leave the country. The new Greek Archbishop, Athenagoras, worked with the Greek Ambassador, and they came up with the money: 100 British pounds, a small price to pay to get rid of what by 1931 was quite a migrane for the Greek Archdiocese.
At long last, on August 14, Abp Athenagoras sent a telegram to the Greek Ambassador, informing him that Panteleimon “is immediately departing from the United States.” Panteleimon initially planned to go, not to the Jerusalem Patriarchate, but to the Patriarchate of Alexandria. This switch was said to be for “personal reasons.” (Interestingly enough, the Patriarch of Alexandria was none other than former Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis, the founder of the Greek Archdiocese of America.) In the end, Panteleimon doesn’t seem to have actually gone to Egypt; as best I can tell, he returned to the Jerusalem Patriarchate. I can’t find any traces of him after 1931.
Most of this information comes from Paul Manolis’ three-volume collection of primary sources, The History of the Greek Church in America in Acts and Documents. Unfortunately, most of the documents are in Greek, which I can’t read, so I’m relying mainly on the short English summaries provided by Manolis at the beginning of each document. The gist, however, is clear enough: Abp Panteleimon, who came to the US as a sort of religious ambassador / fundraiser, ended up contributing his share to the jurisdictional chaos that was American Orthodoxy in the 1920s.