Patriarch Bartholomew’s Enthronement Speech


On October 22, 1991, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was enthroned in Istanbul. As far as I can tell, his enthronement speech has never been published in English, although a broadcast of the enthronement -- available on YouTube -- conveniently includes an English voiceover. My research assistant Cassidy Irwin transcribed that voiceover....

Amazing 1915 Letter on Jurisdictionalism in American Orthodoxy


The following remarkable letter appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on March 18, 1915. It offers a well-informed but obviously partisan perspective on the Orthodox reality in America and globally in 1915 -- in the midst of World War I. There's so much happening in this letter, so many layers. It...

Freemasonry and the Orthodox Church


If you search the internet for Orthodoxy and Freemasonry, most of what you'll find will be condemnations of the movement. You might also find my 2012 article on Freemasonry in American Orthodox history. But, as far as I know, there hasn't been much work done to document the basic history...

New Book on American Orthodox Saints


Holy Trinity Publications, out of Jordanville, NY, has just published a book that will surely be of interest to many readers of this website: Glorified in America: Laborers in the New World from Saint Alexis to Elder Ephraim. Originally published in Greek, the book was written by the monks of the Monastery...

How Did Orthodoxy Get Into This Mess?


It almost goes without saying that the Orthodox world is a mess right now. The situation in Ukraine alone is a disaster: a Russian invasion of the country backed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) by the state, and a recognized-by-only-some Orthodox Church of...

The Condemnation of Unauthorized Orthodox Teachers in 19th Century Greece


The history of Orthodoxy in 19th century Greece is extraordinarily complicated. Beginning with the Greek Revolution in 1821, the Church of Greece began to detach itself from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, declaring itself autocephalous in 1833 -- a status that was not recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate until 1850. This newly-independent...

Fr Seraphim Rose and “Corrective Baptism”


There is not universal agreement about the manner in which converts are received into the Orthodox Church. In some Orthodox jurisdictions, all converts are received via baptism and chrismation, regardless of whether they were previously baptized in a heterodox tradition. Others receive these types of converts via chrismation only, provided...

A Patriarchate Is Not a Church


The Greek term typically translated as “Church” in the English New Testament (ekklesia, which can also mean “assembly”) is used throughout the Greek Old Testament to refer to the gathering together of the people of Israel. Its meaning is the same as in the New Testament—the Church is the assembly...

Patriarch Athenagoras, the CIA, and the State Department


Last fall, I spoke at a conference at Hellenic College-Holy Cross, commemorating the centennial of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. I've already posted my main paper from that conference, on the "barbarian lands" theory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. At that conference, I also spoke briefly about Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras,...

Classified British Documents on Meletios Metaxakis


In the fall, I visited Hellenic College-Holy Cross (where I delivered this paper on the EP's "barbarian lands" theory), and while I was on campus, I took the opportunity to visit the school's library and track down an extremely rare collection of 232 once-classified British government documents on Meletios Metaxakis....