Do Holy Bishops First Live as Simple Monks?


Recently, on Twitter, a user named @EphraimChrist14 tweeted at our Orthodox History account, "Why are bishops not selected from those living under obedience in a monastery who have gained spiritual experience and are filled with the Holy Spirit? Is that because the bishops and patriarchs are Barlaamites and consider only...

The Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Turn of the 20th Century


For over a year now, I’ve been telling the story of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the nineteenth century. Here are the previous articles I wrote on the subject: The Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Mercy of the Sultan (1821 to 1835) The Patriarch Who Defied the Ottoman Empire (1835 to 1840) The Ecumenical...

An Interview with Meletios Metaxakis


In the spring of 1919, Meletios Metaxakis was the Metropolitan of Athens and primate of the Church of Greece. World War I had ended the year before, and the Great Powers were still sorting out what the world would look like going forward. On April 27, 1919, the Atlanta Constitution...

St John of Kronstadt’s Surprising Respect for Anglicanism


W.J. Birkbeck was a living bridge between Orthodoxy and Anglicanism at the turn of the last century. An Englishman, he fell in love with Russia and spent huge amounts of time there, developing contacts with pretty much every major figure in the Russian Orthodox Church. He visited monasteries and village...

Antiochian Metropolitan Elections: A Brief History


The recent retirement of Metropolitan Joseph has left the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America without a primate. In the coming months, the Archdiocese will undoubtedly hold a special convention to nominate candidates to be the next Metropolitan, and then the Holy Synod of Antioch will elect one of those nominees....

The Georgian Patriarch’s Rebuke of St Tikhon


For centuries, the Orthodox Church in Georgia was autocephalous, with its own Patriarch (also known as "Catholicos"). In fact, for a long time there were actually two autocephalous Georgian Churches, one in the east and one in the west, each led by its own Catholicos-Patriarch. In 1783, the King of...

The Origins of the ‘Barbarian Lands’ Theory


This paper was originally presented at the conference “The Greek Archdiocese at 100 Years,” Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, October 7, 2022. I am indebted to numerous friends and colleagues who reviewed the paper in advance and provided feedback. I am especially grateful to M., who provided...

Who Had Jurisdiction Over the Diaspora in 1907?


As readers of this website surely know, a large Greek diaspora emerged at the turn of the last century, with hundreds of thousands of Greeks (and other Orthodox Christians) emigrating from their homelands, particularly to the United States. These new immigrants established churches that were loosely tied to various Old...