Category: Global Orthodoxy


Orthodoxy in Ukraine: A Brief Overview


Even before the current war, the landscape of Orthodoxy in Ukraine was incredibly complicated, and any attempt to summarize it will inevitably fail to do the subject justice. This is compounded by the fact that it’s nearly impossible to avoid bias. If I refer to the head of the “Orthodox...

Meletios Metaxakis’s Failed Jerusalem Coup d’Etat


In the summer of 1908, an insurgent group known as the "Young Turks" rebelled against the Ottoman Emperor Abdul Hamid II, forcing him to restore the long-suspended Ottoman constitution. In the wake of the Young Turk Revolution, the local Palestinians in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem saw an opportunity to increase...

Orthodoxy’s Holy War and the Ecumenical Patriarchate


In a previous article, I wrote about the Ecumenical Patriarchate during the challenging years of 1840-52, leading up to the Crimean War. During this period, the Ottoman government repeatedly meddled in the internal affairs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which created tensions between Turkey and Russia, which viewed itself as the...

Trouble in Istanbul: The Early Years of Patriarch Athenagoras


Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras was elected at the end of 1948, thanks in no small part to the intervention of the United States government, in coordination with the governments of Turkey and Greece. Athenagoras was flown to Istanbul in January 1949 aboard a plane provided by U.S. President Harry Truman. Born...

The Ecumenical Patriarchate on the Eve of War, 1840-1852


The great Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory VI was deposed by the Ottoman authorities in 1840. After this, next few Ecumenical Patriarchs came and went in rapid succession: after a year on the throne, Anthimus IV was deposed by the Sultan and replaced by Anthimus V, who lasted a year himself before...

The Patriarch Who Defied the Ottoman Empire


  Previously, I told the story of the Ecumenical Patriarchs from the outbreak of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until the resignation of the weak and ineffective Patriarch Constantius II in 1835. Today we're picking up where we left off, and the protagonist of this story is one of the...

The Ecclesiological Vision of Patriarch Bartholomew


Thirty years ago, October 22, 1991, the 51-year-old Metropolitan Bartholomew of Chalcedon was elected Ecumenical Patriarch, inaugurating a new era in not only the Patriarchate of Constantinople but the Orthodox Church globally. One of the first major acts of the new Patriarch was to convene a Synaxis of the primates...

The Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Mercy of the Sultan


At around five o’clock in the afternoon on Holy Saturday, 1821, Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory was celebrating the Vesperal Divine Liturgy at the Phanar when Ottoman police surrounded and seized Gregory and the other bishops who were concelebrating with him. They dragged the Patriarch, fully vested, to the main gate of...