Turkish Interference in the 1972 Ecumenical Patriarchate Election


Athenagoras Spyrou was elected Ecumenical Patriarch in 1948 thanks largely to the influence of the United States government, particularly Secretary of State George Marshall. At the time, Marshall had consulted the powerful Greek-American businessman Spyros Skouras, and Skouras recommended the Athenagoras, who was then the Archbishop of the Greek Archdiocese...

Jerusalem Wasn’t Really Autocephalous from 1669-1845


From the fall of the Byzantine Empire until the 17th century, it was customary for the Patriarch of Jerusalem to appoint his own successor, usually by making the chosen heir the Metropolitan of Caesarea. In 1666, Patriarch Nektarios of Jerusalem appointed his 25-year-old archdeacon, Dositheos Notaras, as Metropolitan of Caesarea,...

Was Alexandria Really Autocephalous in the 19th Century?


The Patriarchate of Alexandria was founded by the Apostle Mark, at a time when Alexandria was essentially the second city of the Roman Empire, after Rome itself. Largely because of this, in the earliest centuries of church history, the Church of Alexandria was second only to Rome in preeminence among...

Protopresbyter Pontius Rupyshev – a spiritual light from Vilnius


I serve in Vilnius Cathedral of the Dormition which is the historical cathedral of the Orthodox Church in Lithuania. Today it functions as a simple parish, our metropolitan lives and mostly serves the Divine Liturgy in the monastery of the Holy Spirit. It was so already in the 19th century...

A Tribute to Bishop Basil of Wichita


Bishop Basil Essey, the longtime Antiochian Bishop of Wichita and Mid-America, is preparing to retire at the end of this year. Many Antiochians learned of this for the first time over the weekend, when the Archdiocese held a virtual convention. Metropolitan Joseph announced Bishop Basil's retirement in his address to...

The End of the “Greek Captivity” of Antioch


For most of the 18th and 19th century, the Patriarchate of Antioch was controlled by ethnic Greeks rather than the local Arabic-speaking people. The Patriarch was always a Greek, a member of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre, which controlled not only Antioch but also Alexandria and Jerusalem. (Today, Jerusalem...

The Phanar vs. the French Revolution


In 1797, revolutionary France conquered the Republic of Venice, and, with it, the Ionian Islands, which were a Venetian possession but were inhabited by Greek Orthodox Christians. The next year, the Russian, British, and Ottoman empires formed an alliance with the aim of, among other things, driving the French out...

The 1821 Massacre of Greeks in Cyprus


In October 1818, Archbishop Kyprianos of Cyprus met with representatives of the Filiki Eteria, the Greek secret society that was preparing to launch a war for independence. While some sources claim that he was initiated into the secret society, there appears to be no direct evidence for this. On the...