The Fr. Raphael Morgan Divorce Documents


Fr. Raphael Morgan was the first black Orthodox priest in American history. He was ordained in Constantinople in 1907 and lived in Philadelphia until his death in 1922. He's an incredibly fascinating historical figure who has captured the imaginations of many people who have learned about him. He's also not...

The Massive Growth of the Orthodox Episcopate Since 2006


In 2006, there were 668 active, canonical Orthodox bishops in the world. Today, there are 947. That's a net increase of 279 bishops, or 42% -- and most of that growth is coming from the Moscow Patriarchate. Last week, I published an article estimating the number of Orthodox bishops in...

How many Orthodox bishops are in the world?


As best I can tell, there are 941 active, canonical Orthodox bishops in the world right now. Give or take. Compared to the 19th century, that's a big increase -- in 1859, we had just 278 bishops worldwide. But at the time of the First Ecumenical Council, there were a...

The Forgotten Greek Archbishop


Last week, I wrote about the remarkable pan-Orthodox youth festival in Pittsburgh in 1963. In that article, I mentioned in passing that the youth ministry alliance that put on the festival -- CEOYLA -- was, itself, organized with the blessing of Archbishop Michael, primate of the Greek Archdiocese in from...

The Biggest Pan-Orthodox Event in American History


In 1963, between 11,000 and 13,000 Orthodox youth, from seven jurisdictions, came together for a pan-Orthodox festival in Pittsburgh. Ten bishops and more than 150 priests celebrated Vespers in an arena, and a thousand-person pan-Orthodox youth choir sang. This was the biggest pan-Orthodox event in American history, and most Orthodox...

Under-30 American Orthodox Priests Are Disappearing


Fr. Andrew Damick, cofounder of SOCHA, was ordained to the priesthood in 2006. A few weeks ago, I published some preliminary data from a study I'm conducting on the ordination ages of American Orthodox priests, as well as the waiting period between convert priests' conversions and their ordinations. Since publishing...

How long do converts wait before ordination?


Archbishop Dmitri Royster of Dallas was 31 years old and had been Orthodox for 13 years when he was ordained to the priesthood in 1954. Last week, I wrote about the ordination ages of American Orthodox priests. In that article, I made some preliminary observations about the length of time...

How old are American Orthodox priests at ordination?


Fr. Thomas Hopko was just 24 years old when he was ordained to the priesthood. A few weeks ago, I published some data about American Orthodox bishops, including the fact that 58% of bishops in American Orthodox history were ordained to the priesthood before they turned thirty -- this, despite...

Statistics on Celibate & Widower Bishops in American Orthodoxy


Metropolitan Orestes Chornock, widower bishop and founding primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese I have a list of 213 Orthodox bishops who have served in America. Of these, 179 were never married (we'll call them "celibates"), and the other 34 were widowers. So 84% celibates, 16% widowers. (Two of...

Widower Bishops in American Orthodox History


Metropolitan Leonty Turkevich, 1952 (Los Angeles Daily News) Everyone knows that Orthodoxy doesn't allow married men to become bishops. This is kind of a live issue here in America, because a lot of our jurisdictions have trouble finding qualified episocopal candidates, while excellent priests are ineligible if they are married....