Podcast series on past attempts at unity

American Orthodox History podcastI thought I’d let all the readers of this website know that I’ve launched a bit of a miniseries on my Ancient Faith Radio podcast. For the next five or six episodes, I’ll be interviewing experts (and SOCHA members) Fr. John Erickson, Fr. Andrew Damick, and Fr. Oliver Herbel. In each interview, we’ll be talking about a different historical attempt at American Orthodox administrative unity. The first episode, which went live late this afternoon, is Part 1 of an interview with Fr. John on the subject of the Russian Mission in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Here’s the plan for the miniseries:

  • Fr. John Erickson on the Russian Mission (1890s-1910s) (2 parts)
  • Fr. Andrew Damick on Abp Aftimios Ofiesh’s American Orthodox Catholic Church (1920s/1930s)
  • Fr. Oliver Herbel on the Federated Greek Orthodox Catholic Primary Jurisdictions in America (1940s)
  • Fr. John Erickson on SCOBA (1960s-present)
  • Fr. John Erickson on the OCA (1970-present)

Every single one of those efforts tried, in different ways and with different specific goals, to bring together Orthodox Americans of various ethnic backgrounds. And while each of those groups accomplished some significant things, none of them has resulted in a single, unified, canonically-regular American Orthodox Church. In unpacking their stories, we will, in part, be unpacking the story of American Orthodoxy. By the end, I hope we’ll all (myself included) have a much fuller understanding of just how we got where we are today.

All of this, of course, is done with a present elephant in the room — IV Chambesy, and the upcoming first meeting of the North American Episcopal Assembly in late May 2010. Can Chambesy succeed where others have failed? And how exactly is Chambesy any different than these past efforts? By the end of this miniseries, I hope we’ll all have a better understanding of all that.