Matthew Namee

Matthew Namee serves as editor of OrthodoxHistory.org. He specializes in the history of Orthodoxy in America from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. He's written a lot about church history, both at this website and elsewhere, and he's spoken at numerous conferences and events. Matthew is the former research assistant to Bill James, the legendary baseball author and Boston Red Sox executive. He went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Kansas and serves as General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer for Orthodox Ministry Services. He and his wife Catherine and their children attend Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Vancouver, WA. Matthew can be contacted at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.


mfnamee@gmail.com

How the State Dept. Got Interested in Orthodoxy


In recent days, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. After the meeting, Pompeo tweeted that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a "key partner" of the United States. This is no secret; the close relationship between the United States government and the Ecumenical Patriarchate is well...

A Disappointing First Chapter of The Greek Orthodox Church in America


This summer, Alexander Kitroeff's new book The Greek Orthodox Church in America: A Modern History was published by Northern Illinois University Press. It's an ambitious book, attempting to span 150 years of history in a mere 264 pages. Unfortunately, in what seems to be his rush to talk about the Greek...

The Position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Orthodox Church (1924)


The remarkable article that follows was written by then-Metropolitan Christophoros of Leontopolis (future Patriarch Christophoros II of Alexandria) in 1924, and was published in Paintanos, an official organ of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and then translated into French and published in the journal Échos d'Orient in 1925 (see the French...

A Brief Life of Meletios Metaxakis


In the early 20th century, no fewer than six of the world's Orthodox Churches had succession crises (Cyprus, Greece, Constantinople, Moscow, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem). Meletios Metaxakis was involved in four of them. Meletios is best remembered for his tenure as Ecumenical Patriarch, but in fact he held that position...

When did the Roman Empire end: 1917 or 1922?


The era of World War I transformed global Orthodoxy as we know it and produced the context that we live in today. The Russian Empire fell, and with it the Tsar and the Byzantine double-headed eagle, and the Bolsheviks desecrated Orthodox churches and persecuted the clergy and faithful. So too...

How Many Orthodox Christians Are in the World?


In 1991, when Bartholomew I was enthroned as Ecumenical Patriarch, the Los Angeles Times ran the following headline: "Bartholomeos I Installed as Leader of 200 Million Orthodox Christians." Six years later, in 1997, the same newspaper wrote of Patriarch Bartholomew's visit to Southern California, describing him as "spiritual leader of the...

Patriarch Nikon’s Reforms and the Spoon Controversy


On June 8, the OCA website published "A Letter of a Parish Priest to His Flock." This letter has been shared widely on social media, by people of many different Orthodox jurisdictions. It was written by an unnamed OCA priest in the Diocese of the South and was made public...

How US Slavery Undermined Protestant Missionaries in 1860 Beirut


In the 19th century, American and English Protestant denominations sent loads of missionaries to the Ottoman Empire in an effort to convert the native Christian population -- most of whom were Orthodox -- to Protestantism. These missionaries would write letters to be published back home, usually condemning the "ignorant" Orthodox...

Greek Orthodox Opposition to Slavery in 1862


At the close of every year, the Greek newspaper Anatolikos Aster (Eastern Star), published in Constantinople for the local Greek Orthodox community, would write an annual retrospective on events around the globe in the year that had just ended. What follows appeared in the edition of December 31, 1862, which the...

Back to the Future: A New Old Model for Clergy Training


Today, the main way a man becomes an Orthodox priest in America is by completing an M.Div. program at an Orthodox seminary, the biggest being Holy Cross, St. Vladimir's, and St. Tikhon's. All of these seminaries opened at the same time -- 1938-39 -- and initially, they didn't offer master's...