The Ecumenical Patriarch Snubbed Vatican I


In 1868, the Roman Catholic Church was making preparations for the first Vatican Council, which would go on to proclaim papal infallibility to be a dogma. Ahead of the council, Pope Pius IX sent invitations to the Orthodox patriarchs, attempting to summon them to participate. Italian newspapers got hold of...

Should Antioch Make Its Own Chrism?


Editor’s note: Today, nine Orthodox Churches consecrate their own Holy Chrism: Constantinople, Moscow, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, the Orthodox Church in America, the Macedonian Orthodox Church (or whatever you want to call it), and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The rest of the autocephalous churches – the ancient patriarchates of Alexandria,...

Fifteen Amazing Facts in LOST HISTORIES


As you may have seen, Ancient Faith recently published my book, Lost Histories: The Good, the Bad & the Strange in Early American Orthodoxy. If you like this website, you're the target audience for the book. And while reading it should give you a good handle on the early history of...

Melkite Catholic Identity and Relations with Orthodoxy


Earlier this week, the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch, Yusuf al-Absi, gave a very significant speech at an event celebrating the publication of a volume about the history of the so-called “Zoghby Initiative”, which sought to create a form of double communion for his church with both Rome and the Antiochian...

St John Maximovitch on the Purpose of the Russian Diaspora


Last week, the World Russian People's Council, chaired by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, issued a document called "The Present and Future of the Russian World." The document contains several problematic ideas. It describes the "Russian World" in this way: "The borders of the Russian world as a spiritual, cultural and...

The Ecclesiology of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Over Time


Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is undoubtedly one of the most consequential figures in modern Orthodox history – not only the longest-tenured Patriarch of Constantinople ever, but also a man whose leadership has proven decisive for Orthodoxy around the world. It is for this reason that, in my article on the political...

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...