Athenagoras: The EP is not an Orthodox Vatican


For a while now, I've been documenting the close relationship between the U.S. government and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras in the early years of the Cold War. It was thanks in large part to American influence that Athenagoras attained the throne in Constantinople, and he relished the idea that he was...

Meletios Metaxakis’s Support for St Tikhon


The 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress is most (in)famous for proposing the Revised Julian ("New") Calendar, which was subsequently adopted by many (but far from all) of the world's Orthodox Churches. The Congress occurred at one of the most tumultuous moments in church history (you can read all about the crazy year...

A Non-Chalcedonian Bishop Converts to Orthodoxy in 1912


The following is a translation from Asad Rustum's History, vol. 3 pp. 357-362. It is not only interesting in terms of the description of the ceremony, but also because the conversion seems to have occurred through the Syriac bishop's contact with Russian pilgrims. Recalling this moment of hope for Christian unity...

St Raphael Hawaweeny vs the Pope of Rome


In 1894, Pope Leo XIII issued a papal encyclical on the "Eastern Rites" -- that is, the Uniates, those groups who use ancient Orthodox liturgical rites but submit themselves to the Pope of Rome. In 1898, St Raphael Hawaweeny, then an archimandrite in New York, published a response in a...

Son of Antioch: The American Ministry of Metropolitan Antony Bashir


Antony Bashir arrived in America in 1922, as a 24-year-old archdeacon. He and Archimandrite Victor Abo-Assaly were accompanying the Antiochian Metropolitan Gerasimos Messara, who was ostensibly coming to the US to attend a convention of the Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon. Soon, however, another agenda emerged: the establishment of an...

Patriarch Bartholomew’s Enthronement Speech


On October 22, 1991, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was enthroned in Istanbul. As far as I can tell, his enthronement speech has never been published in English, although a broadcast of the enthronement -- available on YouTube -- conveniently includes an English voiceover. My research assistant Cassidy Irwin transcribed that voiceover....

Amazing 1915 Letter on Jurisdictionalism in American Orthodoxy


The following remarkable letter appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on March 18, 1915. It offers a well-informed but obviously partisan perspective on the Orthodox reality in America and globally in 1915 -- in the midst of World War I. There's so much happening in this letter, so many layers. It...

Freemasonry and the Orthodox Church


If you search the internet for Orthodoxy and Freemasonry, most of what you'll find will be condemnations of the movement. You might also find my 2012 article on Freemasonry in American Orthodox history. But, as far as I know, there hasn't been much work done to document the basic history...

New Book on American Orthodox Saints


Holy Trinity Publications, out of Jordanville, NY, has just published a book that will surely be of interest to many readers of this website: Glorified in America: Laborers in the New World from Saint Alexis to Elder Ephraim. Originally published in Greek, the book was written by the monks of the Monastery...

How Did Orthodoxy Get Into This Mess?


It almost goes without saying that the Orthodox world is a mess right now. The situation in Ukraine alone is a disaster: a Russian invasion of the country backed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) by the state, and a recognized-by-only-some Orthodox Church of...