Source of the week: Schmemann on Vatican II

Fr. Alexander Schmemann was one of the observers at Vatican II, the landmark 1960s council of the Roman Catholic Church. His reaction to the event is priceless — Schmemann took the “opportunity to thank God” that he was Orthodox. Here’s the story, from the New York Times (11/16/1963): A Russian Orthodox theologian-observer at the second session…

The Forgotten Saint of the Forgotten Church on the Forgotten Island

Archimandrite Theoclitos Triantafilides is one of the most remarkable figures in American Orthodox history. An ethnic Greek, he served as tutor to the future Tsar Nicholas II and went on to establish the multiethnic parish of Ss. Constantine and Helen in Galveston, Texas, under the Russian Mission. His story has been mostly untold, until now. The following article,…

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 Reversal of Platon Rozhdestvensky

On today’s podcast on AFR, we discuss the American Orthodox Catholic Church, an early attempt at multi-ethnic jurisdictional unity in the United States. One of the issues brought up was that, within about a year after the creation of the AOCC by Russian Metropolia authorities in February of 1927, the Metropolia’s head, Metr. Platon Rozhdestvensky,…

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…