Catholic Apostolic Church in North America
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Arrendale)
Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church
122 W 129th St., New York, NY 10023
The African Orthodox Church was founded in 1921 following the consecration of George Alexander McGuire (1866–1934) as a bishop by Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte (1854–1929) of the American Catholic Church. The ceremony culminated a long search by McGuire, an African American, for recognition for his ministry.
McGuire, an immigrant from the West Indies, had joined the Episcopal Church in 1895 and was ordained two years later. Like all American denominations with both episcopal leadership and a significant black membership, the Episcopal Church faced problems and pressures related to electing and elevating their first black member to the bishopric. Within the Episcopal Church the cries for a bishop drawn from among black members grew even louder after the Civil War. The leadership refused these demands, arguing that, since the church did not recognize racial distinctions, it could not elevate a man to the bishopric just because he was black. A step toward the solution came in 1910 with the creation of black “suffragan” bishops, bishops without right to succession and without vote in the house of bishops. Among those who complained that suffragans were not enough was Dr. McGuire.
McGuire served parishes in Cincinnati, Ohio; Richmond, Virginia; Philadelphia; and Cambridge, Massachusetts, before becoming the archdeacon for the Commission for Work Among the Colored People under William Montgomery Brown, the bishop of Arkansas. In 1911 McGuire became field secretary for the American Church Institute, but two years later he left the country for his native Antigua, where he remained for five years serving as a pastor. Then, in 1918, McGuire moved to New York City to participate in the movement led by Marcus Garvey, the United Negro Improvement Association. Working with Garvey only strengthened McGuire’s dissatisfaction with serving a church where black people were systematically denied positions of leadership, and he became determined to pursue an independent course. In 1919 he left the Episcopal Church to found his own congregation, the Good Shepherd Independent Episcopal Church.
McGuire seems to have settled on the idea of a separate black church with a recognized apostolic succession. On September 2, 1921, in the Church of the Good Shepherd in New York City, a meeting of independent black clergy resolved itself into the first synod of the African Orthodox Church and designated McGuire as its bishop-elect. The synod then entered into negotiations with the Russian Orthodox Church in America in its search for episcopal orders for its newly elected bishop. The Russians indicated a willingness to consecrate McGuire, but only if they controlled the newly created jurisdiction. The idea of nonblack control had no appeal to either McGuire or his followers. They then turned to the American Catholic Church, headed by Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte, who was willing to confer orders and asked little or nothing in the way of control. On September 29, 1921, Abp. Vilatte, assisted by Carl A. Nybladh, consecrated Dr. McGuire in the Church of Our Lady of Good Death in Chicago. Upon his return from his consecration, McGuire was enthroned as the first bishop of the new African Orthodox Church.
The new jurisdiction grew quickly, and within two years had parishes in Brooklyn, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; New Haven, Connecticut; and outside the country in Nova Scotia, Canada; Cuba; and Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Soon afterward, congregations in Philadelphia, Boston, Florida, and the Bahamas were added. McGuire also initiated an order of deaconesses. Its major appeal was to African Americans of West Indian heritage.
McGuire died in 1934 and was succeeded by William E. J. Robertson (1875–1962). In the wake of the passing of the original leadership, the church went through a period of turmoil and several schismatic churches, all now defunct, emerged as bishops left or were suspended from office. However, the time of trouble passed and Robertson remained in the archbishop’s throne until his death in 1962. He was succeeded by Richard Grant Robinson (served 1962–1967), who adopted the patriarchal name Peter IV. Among Robinson’s major accomplishments was the reunion he effected with the last remaining group that had left a generation before, the Holy African Church, then under the leadership of Gladstone St. Clair Nurse. Nurse succeeded Robinson as the archbishop of the reunited African Orthodox Church. Nurse was succeeded in turn by William R. Miller (served 1976–1981) and Stafford J. Sweeting. The current archbishop is George Walter Sands.
Endich Theological Seminary, New York, New York.
African Orthodox Church Inc. www.netministries.org/see/churches.exe/ch26904.
Burkett, Randall K. Garveyism as a Religious Movement. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978.
The Divine Liturgy and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church. Chicago: African Orthodox Church, 1945.
Newman, Richard. “The Origins of the African Orthodox Church.” In The Negro Churchman. Millwood, NY: Krause Reprint Co., 1977.
Terry-Thompson, Arthur C. The History of the African Orthodox Church. Author, 1956. 139 pp.
Trela, Jonathan. A History of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. Scranton, PA: Author, 1979. 124 pp.
6455 Silver Dawn Ln., Las Vegas, NV 89118
In 1950 Bp. Mark I. Lipa came to the United States with authority from the ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople to organize the Albanian faithful. The following year he formed the Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America, which is a member of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. Bishop Mark died on March 23, 1982. Rt. Rev. Ilia Katre is his current successor.
In 2001 the diocese reported 2 parishes, 1,300 members, and 2 clergy.
Albanian Orthodox Diocese. www.goarch.org/en/otherpatriarchal/alb.asp.
312 Garfield St., Johnstown, PA 15906
The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church was founded in the 1930s by a group of former members of the Roman Catholic Church who had migrated to the United States from Carpatho-Russia. Carpatho-Russia had been forcefully converted from Eastern Orthodoxy to the Roman Catholic Ruthenian Rite by a series of rulers who basically followed the Latin Rite. Once the church was established in the United States, a process of further latinizing the Ruthenian Rite parishes began. Among other things, attempts were made to curtail the assignment of married priests to American parishes.
As early as 1891, a Carpatho-Russian Catholic parish sought to return to Eastern Orthodoxy. It was soon joined by others. Then in 1936, approximately 40 parishes that had left Roman jurisdiction organized and selected Orestes P. Chornock (1883–1977) as their leader. The next year they designated him their bishop-elect and turned to the ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople for recognition. In 1938 the patriarch consecrated Chornock and authorized the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese as an independent body. In 1966 the patriarch elevated Chornock to the dignity of a metropolitan. The present ruling bishop is Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko.
The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church is an independent autonomous body directly under the authority of the ecumenical patriarch. It has a working relationship with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, whose archbishop is the exarch of the patriarch. The archbishop intercedes when the appointment of a new bishop is requested by the church and has the task of consecrating him. The church is at one with Eastern Orthodox faith and practice, though its liturgy still retains a few minor peculiarities reflective of its Roman Catholic history. The church is a member of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas.
In 2008 the church reported 82 parishes being served by 132 priests.
Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Cerkovny Vistnik–Church Messenger. • A.C.R.Y. Annual. Available from 211 W Grand Ave., Rahway, NJ 07065.
American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. www.acrod.org/.
Barringer, Lawrence. Good Victory: Metropolitan Orestes Chornock and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1985.
Roman, Jaroslav. “The Establishment of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese in 1938: A Major Carpatho-Uniate Return to Orthodoxy.” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 20 (1976): 158.
c/o Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, PO Box 398, Etna, CA 96027-0398
International Headquarters: c/o His Eminence, the Most Reverend Cyprian, Metropolitan of Oropos and Fili, Bishop-Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saints Cyprian and Justina, T Th. 46006, 133 10 Ano Liosia, Greece.
The Old Calendar movement in the Greek Orthodox Church had its inception in 1924, when the state church of Greece, which had hitherto followed the Old or Julian Calendar—a calendar that continues to be followed by the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Christians throughout the World—adopted the Gregorian Calendar. Refusing to accept this innovation, hundreds of thousands of the faithful walled themselves off from communion with the state (new calendar) church, in the hope that they might thereby exert pressure on the hierarchy to restore the traditional calendar.
One issue that has divided the movement since its separation from the state church is whether any saving Grace (i.e., the efficacious Mysteries) remains in the Church of Greece. The Old Calendarists under Metropolitan Cyprian are the only group acknowledging that such Grace does exist in the state church, in spite of the fact that, in their view, this church has seriously compromised its integrity by actively participating in what the Old Calendarists see as relativistic excesses that characterize much of the contemporary ecumenical movement.
The monastery founded and headed by Metropolitan Cyprian had originally belonged to the state church, but returned to the Julian Calendar in 1967 and broke communion with the New Calendar church two years later, accepting the authority of the Old Calendarist hierarchy. Metropolitan Cyprian was consecrated to episcopacy in 1979. The Old Calendar movement in Greece was disrupted in the early 1980s, and the various factions reorganized themselves into independent groups. The more moderate groups accepted Metropolitan Cyprian as their leader. The synod of bishops under Metropolitan Cyprian, the Holy Synod in Resistance, hopes for a future reunion with the state church, viewing a return on the part of the latter to the Julian Calendar and a decisive withdrawal from the ecumenical movement as necessary conditions for the restoration of ecclesiastical communion.
The Church is organized into five dioceses: two in Greece, two in Italy, and the diocese of Etna, which includes the parishes and monastic centers in North America. Along with the parishes, there is one monastery and one convent in Etna, California, and one convent in Bluffton, Alberta, Canada.
In 2008, the Diocese of Etna reported 11 parishes in the United States and 2 in Canada.
Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, Etna, California.
Orthodox Church of Greece, Holy Synod in Resistance. www.synodinresistance.org/.
Chrysostomos, Archimandrite, with Hieromonk Ambrosios and Hieromonk Auxentios. The Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece. Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1991.
“Greek Old Calendarists in the U.S.A.: An Annotated Directory.” Orthodox Tradition 2, no. 2 (1985): 49–61.
810 E Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91101
The American Orthodox Catholic Church was founded in 1969 as the Church of God in the Lord Jesus Christ by Bp. Steven A. Kochones (b. 1931). Kochones was raised as a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, but left the jurisdiction as a young man. In 1956 he was ordained as a minister in the Independent Assemblies of God, a Protestant church of Pentecostal faith, after he had experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues. After some years as a Pentecostal minister, Kochones was drawn back to his Orthodox heritage and in 1967 accepted ordination as an Orthodox priest by Abp. Walter A. Propheta (1912–1972) of the American Orthodox Catholic Church (Propheta).
In 1969 he established the Church of God in the Lord Jesus Christ, an independent church in fellowship with the American Orthodox Catholic Church (Propheta). It combined Orthodox faith with Pentecostal piety and some insights from messianic Judaism. Kochones developed a system of seven sacraments and seven sacramentals. The seven sacraments were baptism and confirmation, confession and absolution, Holy Eucharist and Holy Communion, ministry and priesthood, marriage, private and public prayer, and preaching and teaching. The seven sacramentals were bowing or kneeling to pray and praise; singing choruses, hymns, and psalms; clapping or uplifted hands in prayer; dancing and singing in the Holy Spirit; music and drama; making the sign of the cross and smiting the breast; and speaking in tongues, prophecy, and interpretation. The church used Jewish symbols, such as the Star of David, in its iconography, and speaks of God as Yahweh. It acknowledged the continuing validity of the Seventh-Day Sabbath, and services are held on both Saturday and Sunday.
The church observes the biblical dietary laws as found in Leviticus. Women, otherwise meeting ordination requirements, may be ordained to the priesthood.
In 1979, following a burglary at the church’s headquarters in Pasadena, California, at which time the corporation papers and seal were stolen, the church’s name was changed (for legal reasons) to the Catholic Church of God. The church’s symbol combined a latin cross, the Star of David, and the Jewish seven-stemmed candelabra. The name chosen also reflected a trend within the church to bring it more in line with the perceptions of the historical and ancient church being made by Kochones. Included in this trend was a new emphasis on apostolic succession, and Kochones began to seek consecration as a bishop. He was consecrated in 1980 by Bp. David Baxter of the Orthodox Church of America.
In 1989 The Catholic Church of God changed its name to the American Orthodox Catholic Church, though it remains separate from the jurisdiction of the same name of late founded by Archbishop Propheta.
The Christian Liturgy. Pasadena, CA: Church of God in the Lord Jesus Christ, 1977. 9 pp.
The Feast of Passover. Pasadena, CA: Church of God in the Lord Jesus Christ, n.d. 8 pp.
Ward, Gary L., Bertil Persson, and Alan Bain, eds. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit, MI: Apogee Books, 1990. 524 pp.
c/o Metropolitan Samuel, 2004
Esprit Glade, Baldwinsville, NY 13027 The American Orthodox Catholic Church was incorporated in 1965 by Walter M. Propheta (1912–1972), a former Ukranian Orthodox priest. In 1964 he was consecrated to the episcopacy by Abp. Peter Zhurawetsky (1901–1994), exarch in the United States for the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria, assisted by Abp. Joachim Souris, metropolitan primate of the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Abp. Theodotus DeWitow, metropolitan primate of the Holy Orthodox Church in America. In 1966 he was consecrated as archbishop by Abp. Theoklitos Kantaris of the Old Calendar Greek Orthodox Jurisdiction, Greece, and Archbishop DeWitow.
Propheta continued the task of building an independent and indigenous American Orthodoxy, which had been initiated by his direct predecessor, the Most Rev. Aftimios Ofiesh (1889–1966) of Brooklyn, who in 1927 received canonically and formally from the synod of bishops of the American dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church the mandate to initiate an American Orthodox Catholic Church. As Archbishop and Patriarch Wolodymir I (as Propheta was ecclesiastically known), he ordained and consecrated a number of clergymen who became part of his jurisdiction. Some of them left the jurisdiction and founded their own autonomous groups, and others were received into different jurisdictions as a result of the struggle for control of the church after Propheta’s death.
Abp. Francis Joseph Ryan (d. 1986), successor to Abp. Propheta and Abp. John A. Christian (d. 1984), was consecrated to the episcopacy in 1969 by Abps. Propheta, Christian, and Uladislau Ryzy-Rysky. His successor was Abp. Jeremiah, (David William Worley), consecrated to the episcopacy in 1972 by Abps. LaVon Miguel Haithman (Gabre Kristos Mikael), Francis Ryan, Jamed Edward Burns, and Anthony Everhart.
Archbishop Samuel, the current patriarch of yhe American Orthodox Catholic Church, was consecrated to the episcopacy in 2004 by Archbishop Jeremiah. The American Orthodox Catholic Church Holy Synod in 2005 ratified and approved this appointment and confirmed him as patriarch of the church.
The American Orthodox Catholic Church is Orthodox in doctrine and follows the decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. It adheres to the Nicene Creed and requires only adherence to the traditional Orthodox text. A variety of preschismatic rites are allowed, though the Eastern, or Byzantine, is most frequently used.
The church follows an episcopal polity and is governed by the patriarch and the Holy Synod.
In 2008 the church reported congregations and more than 100 monastics in the United States, Africa, and Great Britain. Membership is estimated to be 1,200.
Holy Mother Theotokos Seminary, Baldwinsville, New York.
Northern University and Seminary, Lusaka, Zambia.
St. Columba of Iona Institute, Flint, Michigan.
American Orthodox Catholic Church (Propheta). www.forministry.com/USNYAMOCCNOCCN.
Patriarch Samuel and Bishop Daniel. Renewing American Orthodoxy: The History of The American Orthodox Catholic Church. New York: Archdiocese of Baldwinsville, 2007.
Propheta, Walter M. Divine Liturgy for 20th Century Christians. New York: American Orthodox Church, 1966.
c/o Chancellery of Church, 19 Aqueduct St., Ossining, NY 10562
Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski (1925–1978), a Belarusian priest, was consecrated in 1965 by Abp. Walter A. Propheta of the American Orthodox Catholic Church as the Bishop of Laconia, New Hampshire and the New England States. During this period he also met Abp. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994) of the Old Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America, who on November 4, 1967, in the presence of a congregation of four, elevated him to the status of Archbishop. Without leaving Propheta’s jurisdiction, Ryzy-Ryski began to create archbishops-patriarchs for each national/ethnic group and—quite apart from any laity demanding leadership—to build a hierarchy which he envisioned as international in scope. The World Patriarchate was very loosely structured, and established in large part by the elevation to patriarchal status of other independent bishops not otherwise required to recognize Ryzy-Ryski’s authority or come under his jurisdiction. In 1972, as one of the last acts before his death, Propheta excommunicated Ryzy-Ryski from the American Orthodox Catholic Church, an action that merely spurred the growth of the American World Patriarchates, who established patriarchs for Canada, Hungary, Germany, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Nigeria, the West Indies, Norway, Sweden, Formosa, and the Ukraine. Only rarely were new congregations established as a result of a patriarch being named. Occasionally, the new patriarch could claim a small following.
In connection with the American World Patriarchates, Ryzy-Ryski organized the Peoples University of the Americas, an educational center designed to meet the needs of various ethnic and immigrant groups in the Bronx, New York. A well-educated man, with a good academic background, he led a faculty that offered a wide variety of courses in the humanities, and especially in English as a second language. The school also provided the World Patriarchates with a seminary.
Since the death of Patriarch Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski in 1978, the work has continued under his brother, Abp. Emigidius J. Ryzy, who holds the title of Apostolic Administrator of All American World Patriarchates. He is assisted by Abp. Adam Bilecky, Patriarch II of the American World Patriarchate, Abp. Frank Barquera, and Bp. Piot Huszoza.
In 1997, the church reported 19,457 members, 17 congregations, and 54 priests in the United States. There were also one congregation and three priests in Canada. Affiliated work was to be found in 17 foreign countries. The newest work was in Ryzy-Ryski homeland, Belarus. There are a reported 54,542 members worldwide.
Peoples University of the Americas, American College and Seminary, Bronx, New York.
American World Patriarchates. members.aol.com/AmWorldpat/
358 Mountain Rd., Englewood, NJ 07631
In 1895 the Russian Orthodox Church began a Syrian Mission in the United States to provide spiritual guidance for Orthodox Christians from the Eastern Mediterranean basin. In 1904 the first Orthodox bishop ever consecrated in North America, Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny (1860–1915), became the bishop of the Syrian Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Germanos came to the United States in 1914 and began organizing Syrian churches. These two efforts paralleled each other until 1925, when an independent church was created. In 1936 Archimandrite Anthony Bashir (1898–1966) was elected and consecrated bishop by the American Syrian churches. He became metropolitan of New York and all North America in 1940 and provided leadership for 30 years.
In the 1936 election, in which Bashir was elected to the bishopric, Archimandrite Samuel David of Toledo, Ohio, polled the second-highest number of votes. On the same day that Archbishop Bashir was consecrated in New York, Russian bishops consecrated Samuel David as archbishop of Toledo. Abp. Samuel David was condemned and excommunicated in 1938 but then recognized the following year. The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Toledo, Ohio, and Dependencies that he led existed as a separate body until 1975.
In 1966 the Mt. Rev. Philip Saliba succeeded Bashir and became primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of New York and All North America. Archbishop Philip was a leader in promoting the use of English in the liturgy. He gave priority to missions and emphasized the cause of Orthodox unity in North America and abroad.
In 1958 Archbishop David died, and hope for reunion of the two Antiochian churches emerged. Abp. Michael Shaheen succeeded Archbishop Samuel and conducted talks toward union, which were finally consummated in 1975. The new Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America selected Archbishop Philip as head of the church with the title of metropolitan. There are four auxiliary bishops: Bishop Antoun, Bishop Joseph, Bishop Basil, and Bishop Demetri.
In February 1987 the former Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC) was received as a body into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, thus ending for its members a pilgrimage that began almost two decades earlier. The Evangelical Orthodox Church had its roots in the late 1960s, when a number of the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ left their positions. Some launched independent ministries; some affiliated with various independent evangelical churches. In the early 1970s several of these leaders—Peter Gillquist, John Braun, Dick Ballew, Ken Berven, and Jack Sparks—banded together as the New Covenant Apostolic Order (NCAO).
The formation of the NCAO afforded a context for study that led to a concentrated reappraisal of a common view of Evangelical Protestant Christians, that the first-century church had become corrupted over the centuries until restored by Evangelicals in relatively modern times. Gathering in Chicago in 1979, the leaders of the movement announced the formation of the Evangelical Orthodox Church to supercede the NCAO and to call Evangelicals back to their historic roots. Special emphasis was placed on ritual, a subject largely neglected in Evangelical circles. The new church immediately turned its attention to a search for valid Orthodox episcopal orders. Initial talks were held with the Orthodox Church in America. Although a major obstacle was overcome when the leaders of the EOC professed their belief in the Blessed Virgin Mary as theotokos, the Mother of God, the talks eventually reached a stalemate. Finally, the EOC was able to work out an arrangement with the Antiochian Church by which the leaders dropped their designation as bishops and were reordained by Archbishop Philip.
Over the years the leaders of the EOC have written a number of books that received wide circulation within Evangelical circles. Most of these were published by Thomas Nelson, where Gillquist worked as an editor, and included Gillquist’s Why We Haven’t Changed the World and It Ain’t Gonna Reign No More by Jon Braun. Most notable among them was The Mindbenders, by Jack Sparks, an anticult book that led to a lawsuit for libel by the Local Church, one of the groups treated in the volume, and its eventual withdrawal by the publishers.
In October 2003, the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Church allowed the Archdiocese to proceed under autonomous rule in an effort for more efficient self-government, internal organization, and effective outreach ministries.
On July 28, 2005, the Archdiocese voted unanimously to withdraw its membership from the National Council of Churches (NCC), becoming the first Orthodox jurisdiction to leave the NCC. The Archdiocese cited the increased politicization of the NCC and irrelevancy of its relationship as the main reasons for the withdrawal.
In 2002 the archdiocese reported 240 parishes and missions, 350,000 members, and 400 priests and deacons.
The Word. 1777 Quigg Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15241-2071. • Again. Box 106, Mt. Hermon, CA 95041.
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. www.antiochian.org/.
Aydin, Edip. The History of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in North America: Challenges and Opportunities. M.Div. thesis. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary, 2000.
Braun, Jon E. It Ain’t Gonna Reign No More. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1978.
Corey, George et al., eds. The First One Hundred Years: A Centennial Anthology Celebrating Antiochian Orthodoxy in North America. Englewood, NJ: Antakya Press, 1995.
Gabriel, Antony. The Ancient Church on New Shores: Antioch in North America. San Bernardino: St. Willibrord’s Press, 1996.
Gillquist, Peter E. Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith. Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 1992.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Apostolic Catholic Church of the Americas was founded as the American Orthodox Catholic Church in Colorado in 1962, with Robert S. Zeiger as its Archbishop of Denver and Primate. He was consecrated in 1961 by Archbishop Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994) as an Orthodox bishop for Westerners.
The Anglican Church of the Americas was founded by Gordon A. Da Costa (d. 1991) in Indiana in 1971. In 1976 a synod was held at Marion, Indiana, at which Da Costa and others became members of the American Orthodox Catholic Church. At that time, the American Orthodox Catholic Church, in order to avoid confusion with Archbishop Walter A. Propheta’s church in New York, took an alternative official name, the Apostolic Catholic Church of the Americas, which became its most commonly used designation.
Da Costa was elected Archbishop Primate of the Apostolic Catholic Church of the Americas. Zeiger, who had resigned as head, was elected chancellor. There was no actual merger of the American Orthodox Catholic Church and the Anglican Church of the Americas. However, Da Costa continued parallel activities as head of the Anglican Church of the Americas for some time in order to carry out responsibilities for those of his clergy who wished to continue as members of that church.
In 1977 Zeiger resigned and submitted to the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church. As a condition for union with Rome, he was required to agree not to exercise his office as bishop or priest. In 1981 Zeiger returned to Orthodoxy. At that time, he became a cofounder of the Holy Synod of Denver in 1984. This venture floundered after a dispute in 1986. At that time, Zeiger returned to the Apostolic Catholic Church of the Americas as Archbishop ad personam of Lakewood, Colorado. Zeiger has since been arrested twice in connection with pro-life activities.
Archbishop C. F. Quinn of Dallas, Texas, was elected Archbishop Primate Coadjutor with the right of succession to Da Costa in 1986. Quinn succeeded as primate in 1988, when Da Costa could no longer serve. Quinn continued as Archbishop Primate after Da Costa’s death.
The Apostolic Catholic Church of the Americas employs Western liturgy, accepts as the rule of faith the Sacred Scriptures and Divine Tradition as expressed in the writings of the church Fathers and the dogmatic degrees of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The church makes clerical celibacy optional, even for bishops. It rejects females as candidates for the priesthood. Church property is held in lay trusteeship. The church is in the Apostolic succession; Catholic, not Protestant; Orthodox, not Roman; and American, not a foreign mission.
The Door. Send orders to 4201 Fairmount St., Dallas, TX 75219.
The Order of Daily Prayer. Dallas: Diocese of Texas, Apostolic Catholic Church, n.d.
Zeiger, Robert S. The Independent Catholic Orders Valid? The Understated Case. Lakewood, FL: St. David’s Press, 1994.
PO Box 1834, Glendora, CA 91740
The Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church was founded by Bps. Richard J. Ingram and Charles Ingram, both former bishops in the Western Orthodox Church in America (WOCA). Richard J. Ingram had been consecrated on June 17, 1984, by Charles David Luther, assisted by Bps. Peter Brennan and Alan Maxwell Bain. He was also consecrated sub conditione in 1988 by Bp. Luis Fernando Castillo-Mendez, assisted by several of his fellow bishops in the Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira, Josivaldo Pereira de Oliveira, Galvao Barros, and Walbert Rommel Coelho. Richard Ingram consecrated Charles Ingram on September 10, 1989; before the end of the month, both had resigned from the WOCA. The Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church is like its parent body in faith and practice, the differences leading to its founding being primarily administrative.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The use of the Western Rite in Orthodox Churches experienced a revival during the twentieth century as Eastern Orthodoxy flourished in the West. It has a long history, though little noticed because of the predominance of the Roman Rite. Some held the view, verified by such examples as the Western Rite Vicariate within the Antiochian Orthodox Church, that Western Rite parishes do not remain Western within a predominantly Eastern Rite church body. The Orthodox Church of France is a Western Rite diocese founded in 1953 by Fr. Evgraph Kovalevsky (1905–1970) and several other priests who withdrew from the Russian Orthodox Church. As priests in Lithuania they had followed a Western Rite, and Father Kovalevsky had pastored a Western Rite parish opened in 1944 in Paris. That parish became the source of several others.
After leaving the Russian Orthodox Church, the priests and their parishes affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Bishop John Maximovitch (1896–1966) ordained several new Western Rite priests and saw to the publication of the liturgy, the old Gallican Rite according to Saint Germain, Bishop of Paris (555–576), not to be confused with the eighteenth-century occultist of the same name. The death of Bishop John led to a break with the Russian Church, and, as relations worsened, Kovalevsky, who had been consecrated in 1964, led his followers in forming an autonomous diocese. But he died in 1970 without having a successor consecrated. Finally, in 1972, the Patriarch of Romania agreed to consecrate Pere Gilles Hardy as the new bishop of the Orthodox Catholic Church of France. He was known as Bishop Germain. The Western Rite was reintroduced to America by Fr. Stephen Empson, who founded a parish in New York City. In 1981 he organized the Association of Occidental Orthodox Parishes to further promote Western Rite Orthodoxy.
Unofficial: Axios. 800 S Euclid St., Fullerton, CA 92632.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church is an independent Orthodox jurisdiction founded by Mt. Rev. Paul W. Seese, formerly with the Western Orthodox Church in America. He had been consecrated in 1989 as a bishop by Mt. Rev. Richard J. Ingram of the Western Orthodox Church in America, assisted by Mt. Rev. Patrick M. Cronin of the Independent Catholic Church of America and Timothy W. Browning of the Byzantine Orthodox Catholic Church. The Western Orthodox Church, though an Orthodox body, follows a Western Rite, and Seese, wishing to follow an Eastern Rite, withdrew in 1991.
Bogolepov, Alexander A. Toward an American Orthodox Church: The Establishment of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church. New York: Morehouse-Barlow Company, 1963.
Pruter, Karl. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Sucession. San Bernadino, CA: Brogo Press, 1906. 104 pp.
Ward, Gary. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990. 524 pp.
PO Box 17105, St. Bernard, OH 45217
The Autocephalous Traditional Orthodox Catholic Church is a small Orthodox jurisdiction founded in 1963. It is headed by the Mt. Rev. Athanasius K. Armstrong.
Not reported. The church reported priests in the United States and Canada. Missionary branches are reported in Japan, the Philippines, Russia, Poland, Singapore, Mexico, and in Africa.
Bogolepov, Alexander A. Toward an American Orthodox Church: The Establishment of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church. New York: Morehouse-Barlow, 1963.
c/o Archbishop Mikalay, Primate, St.Cyril’s of Turau Cathedral, 401 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217
Belarus, which achieved independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is west of Russia, north of Ukraine, east of Poland, and south of Latvia and Lithuania. During the Soviet era the region was called Byelorussia. A national church, called the Metropolia of Kiev, under Greek jurisdiction, was established in Belarus in 1291. At that time the city of Kiev was under the authority of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Subsequent elected church heads, or Metropolitans, were Belarusans.
The church eventually came under the control of the Moscow head of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1922 the Bishop of Miensk, Metropolitan Melchizedeck, called a council of clergy and laity under his leadership, and attempted to organize a Belarusans Church independent of Moscow. This action was met with the furious disapproval of both the communist government and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church. Over time the government arrested all the pro-Belarusan leaders, bishops, priests, and laity and sent them to Siberia; the church reverted to its dependent status. During the German occupation of Belarus in 1942, the church again attempted to organize independently, but this effort ended with the defeat of the German forces.
The Belarusan Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which emerged among refugee Belarusans in Germany after the war, is one of two Orthodox groups serving Belarusan immigrants. Their own bishops had turned to the Russian Church, while the clergy and laity followed the Ukrainian Church. Metropolitan Palikarp not only blessed the reorganization of the church among the Belarusans, but in 1948 granted permission for one of his bishops, Siarhej, to leave his jurisdiction and join the new church. In 1949, accompanied by his former Ukrainian colleagues, Siarhej consecrated a second bishop for the church, Bishop Vasil. As the church spread among immigrants worldwide, two more bishops, Andrej (Alexander Kryt) and Mikalay (Michael Macukievic) were consecrated in 1948.
Archbishop Mikalay was elected primate of the church in 1984, serving until his death in 2007. He was succeeded by Metropolitan Iziaslau (b. 1926).
Carkouny Paslaniec (Church Messenger), the quarterly bulletin of the Parish Council of St. Cyril’s of Turau Cathedral.
In 2007 the church reported four parishes in the United States, two in Canada, three in the United Kingdom, and two in Australia.
519 Brynhaven Dr., Oregon, OH 43616
The reestablishment of relations between the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church (Diocese of North and South America and Australia) and the resultant manifestation of that accord in the joint visitation of North American parishes in 1963 by Bishop Andrey Velichky (d. 1972), metropolitan of the American church, and Bishop Preiman, metropolitan of Nevrokop, Bulgaria, led to major protests throughout the Church. Bishop Andrey was accused of violating the declaration made in 1947 that the Bulgarian Church in America would not accept any orders from the Church in Bulgaria. In March 1963 protesting leaders representing 18 churches and missions met in Detroit, Michigan, and reconstituted themselves as the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church (Diocese of the United States of America and Canada) and elected Archimandrite Kyrill Yonchev (1927–2007) as their bishop.
They turned to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for support. The Russians, also cut off from their homeland by a hostile communist regime, gave the new Bulgarian jurisdiction their canonical protection, and their bishops consecrated bishop-elect Yonchev in 1964 at their monastery in Jordanville, New York.
The Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church differs from its parent body only in matters of administration. It lays claim to all properties belonging to the undivided Church in America though it has not been able to take control of them. It was staunchly anti-Communist during the Soviet era.
In the mid-1970s the church reported 21 parishes and missions.
550-A W 50th St., New York, NY 10019
Bulgarians arrived in the United States throughout the nineteenth century and by 1907 were numerous enough to begin establishing congregations. The first parish was formed in Madison, Illinois. Soon, the Holy Synod in Sofia established a mission to oversee their American members. In 1937 a diocese was created, and Bishop Andrey Velichky (d. 1972) came from Bulgaria as its head. Bishop Andrey returned to Bulgaria during World War II and worked on various projects, among which was the handling of negotiations between the ecumenical patriarch in Istanbul and the Bulgarian patriarch, which helped repair a 70-year-old broken relationship.
Soon after the war ended, Archbishop Andrey returned to America. In 1947 he incorporated the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia. The constitutional assembly meeting in March of that year realigned its relationship to the Church in Bulgaria by declaring that while it saw itself as part of the whole of Bulgarian Orthodoxy, it could not accept orders from the church leaders in Sofia as long as a Communist regime ruled their homeland. They then proceeded to formally elect Andrey as their leader. The Holy Synod reacted by declaring the election null and void. The American diocese ignored the Synod, and for the next 15 years the diocese operated independently of the church leaders in Sofia. In 1962 the church in Bulgaria recognized the Metropolia and reestablished a working relationship. In 1969 the jurisdiction was divided into two dioceses, and in 1972 Bp. Joseph Znepolski succeeded Archbishop Andrey as Metropolitan. In 1989, the year the communist government fell in Bulgaria, the two dioceses were again merged into one under Metropolitan Joseph.
The Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese follows standard Orthodox faith and practice. It is a member of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas.
In 2008 the diocese reported 22 parishes in the United States, 4 in Canada, and 3 in Australia.
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia. www.bulgariandiocese.org/.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
When refugees and immigrants from Byelorussia came to the west after World War II, some organized as the Byelorussian Autonomous Orthodox Church and elected their own bishops. Others formed independent congregations and sought the canonical blessings of other Orthodox bishops. The Byelorussian Orthodox Church consists of three congregations that placed themselves under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Iakovos, head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, in his role as exarch in America for the ecumenical patriarch. Besides the congregation in South River, New Jersey, parishes are found in Chicago and Toronto.
19818 Hart St., Winnetka, CA 91306
The Byzantine Catholic Church, Inc., assumed its present form in 1984 through a merger of the Byzantine Old Catholic Church (BOCC), Inc., and the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, Eastern and Apostolic (HOCCEA). The BOCC, originally an Old Catholic jurisdiction and now an Orthodox Catholic jurisdiction, has a history that is intimately tied to the career of its leader, Mar Markus I, who was elected patriarch in 1967.
Mar Markus I was born Mark I. Miller in 1927. In the early 1960s, he joined the North American Orthodox Catholic Church, in which he was ordained in 1964 after completing his seminary training. Miller was consecrated by Christopher Maria Stanley (1902–1976), who was assisted by Bp. John Joseph Frewen, in Kentucky in 1965. The church itself was incorporated in 1964.
In 1966, in an attempt to engender an expansion of the church, Stanley commissioned Miller to work with the Orthodox Old Catholic Church headed by Bp. Claude Hamel (b. 1935), but Miller’s objections to aspects of Hamel’s leadership led to a myriad of problems. Thus, after Stanley fell ill and died, Miller separated his work from Hamel and changed the name of the jurisdiction to the Orthodox Old Roman Catholic Church II, to try to salvage some of the work for expansion in 1967. Miller then moved to Los Angeles, California, and in 1967 the synod of bishops unanimously elected him to succeed Stanley as patriarch, naming him Mar Markus I.
In the mid-1970s, Mar Markus reorganized the church and changed the name back to the North American Orthodox Catholic Church, as it was called when he was originally consecrated. During this period he was moving both theologically and liturgically away from the Old Catholicism toward Eastern Orthodoxy.
In 1981 the church reorganized again, the result being the formation of the Byzantine Old Catholic Church, Inc. The reorganization occurred during a period of great flux in the congregations. After the new church was formed, Mar Apriam I (Abp. Richard B. Morrill, d. 1994), who headed the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, Eastern and Apostolic (HOCCEA), joined with Abp. Mar Markus in the formation of a Sacred Synod of Bishops. Mar Apriam became president of the synod and Mar Markus became vice president of the synod and chief justice of the Spiritual Court of Bishops, in addition to maintaining his own jurisdiction.
A further merger in mid-1984 united the BOCC and the HOCCEA and led to the formation of the Byzantine Catholic Church, Inc. However, before the year was out, Morrill withdrew with approval and reconstituted the HOCCEA. Mar Markus remained as head of the Byzantine Catholic Church, Inc., which came into full communion with the reconstituted HOCCEA, their differences being purely administrative.
The possible merger of Morrill’s jurisdiction with the Byzantine Catholic Church, Inc. was again raised and in 1991 a synod was called with that idea on the agenda. However, before it could meet, Mar Apriam died. When the synod did meet, it agreed to unite the various segments of the church previously under Mar Apriam under Mar Markus.
The Byzantine Catholic Church, Inc. is Orthodox Catholic in faith and practice. It celebrates the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil in the vernacular of its various jurisdictions. The church also has a growing Western Rite vicariate that is Orthodox Catholic in creed and tridentine in liturgical practice.
In 1997 the patriarchate reported over 500 congregations worldwide. Affiliated congregations are spread throughout the United States. Outside the United States, affiliated congregations are found in Great Britain, France, Italy, Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, Haiti, and South America and together have a reported membership of over 100,000.
St. John’s Theological Seminary, Los Angeles, California.
L’Institute Orthodoxe Ecumenique de St. Jean Chrysostome, Port au Prince, Haiti.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Byzantine Orthodox Catholic Church is a small Orthodox jurisdiction founded in the 1980s by Bp. Harry C. Armstrong. On December 3, 1988, assisted by bishops of the Western Orthodox Church in America, Timothy W. Browning was consecrated as a second bishop for the church.
6329 E 55th Pl., Indianapolis, IN 46226-1647
The Byzantine Orthodox Catholic Church is a small Orthodox jurisdiction founded in 1986 in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Most Rev. Donald St. Peters.
In 2002 the church had 12 congregations served by 32 priests. There are foreign congregations in Germany and the West Indies.
Pruter, Karl. Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession. Springfield, MO: Author, 2006.
Ward, Gary. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit, MI: Apogee Books, 1990.
Current address could not be obtained for this edition.
Though officially reconstituted in 1983, the Catholic Apostolic Church in America has had an unbroken existence since 1950, the year in which Stephen Meyer Corradi-Scarella (1912–1979) established an American outpost of the Catholic Apostolic Church in Brazil. The Catholic Apostolic Church in Brazil was formed in 1946 by Dom Carlos Duarte Costa (1888–1961), a former bishop of the Roman Catholic Church who had been excommunicated by Pope Pius XII because of his criticism of the church during World War II. Among those whom Costa consecrated was Dom Luis F. Castillo-Mendez, who succeeded him as patriarch of the church in 1949. Corradi-Scarella was consecrated by Mendez in 1949 and established the church as an exarchate with headquarters in New Mexico. During the 1960s, following the death of Costa, Corradi-Scarella lost touch with the Brazilian group and began to associate with the various Old Catholics in the United States. By 1970 he called his jurisdiction the Diocese of the Old Catholic Church in America.
The church grew slowly until the 1970s. In 1973 Corradi-Scarella was joined by Francis Jerome Joachim (1928–1997), a priest ordained by Abp. Bartholomew Cunningham of the Holy Orthodox Church, Diocese of New Mexico. Joachim brought an Eastern Orthodox perspective with him, in contrast to Corradi-Scarella’s Catholic tradition, but soon became Corradi-Scarella’s chief associate. Corradi-Scarella arranged for Joachim’s consecration by Abp. David M. Johnson of the American Orthodox Church, Diocese of California, on September 28, 1974. Two months later, on December 1, 1974, Corradi-Scarella, then almost 70 years old, resigned in favor of Joachim.
Under Joachim the small jurisdiction grew, at one point having almost 100 clergy, but over time it lost significant strength due to the defections of many to other independent jurisdictions. In 1980 Joachim renamed his jurisdiction the Western Orthodox Church in America. At the request of Mendez, Joachim changed the name of the church back to the Catholic Apostolic Church of North America. In 1985 Joachim was named primate of all North America and the church was recognized as the Autocephalous Catholic Apostolic Church in Brazil in North America.
The church believes in the Nicene Creed, the Apostle’s Creed, and the Athanasian Creed and practices sacraments such as the Eucharist, baptism, matrimony, and anointing of the sick. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to join and the church makes a point of reaching out to individuals who may not feel welcome elsewhere. The church recognizes the pope as the bishop of Rome but not as the supreme leader of Catholics throughout the world.
The church is currently led by Abp. Rev. Anthony Santore, who succeeded Mt. Rev. Willard E. Schultz, the presiding bishop emeritus and now the church’s historian. Bishop Santore is also assisted by Bps. Francisco Betancourt and Carl Purvenas-Smith.
In 2008 the church reported 10 parishes in the United States.
St. John Chrysostom Theological Seminary, San Francisco, California.
St. Charles Academy of Theology, San Francisco, California.
Catholic Apostolic Church in North America. www.cacina.org/home.php?flag=1.
c/o Deaconess Elizabeth, Cele De, Box 72102, Akron, OH 44372
The Celtic Orthodox Christian Church, founded in the 1990s, is one product of the revival of interest in Celtic religious life, especially in the Christian community toward the end of the twentieth century. The church sees itself as continuing the faith and practice of the Christian Church in the West prior to 1000 and traces its history to Saint Irenaeus of Lyon (c.115–c. 202 c.e.), who resided in Gaul (modern France). Irenaeus was a student and disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna, and St. Polycarp was reputedly a student of the Apostle John. The church uses the Liturgy of the Lorrha “Stowe” Missal in its worship, the only surviving Celtic liturgy. It is also the only surviving Eucharistic liturgy according to the form used by churches of the British Isles, France, Germany, Switzerland, and northern Italy prior to 900 c.e.
Celtic churches were largely replaced by the Roman Catholic (Latin-Rite) by 1172. The suppression of the Celtic church began in England during the seventh century and was continued by Charlemagne in the ninth century. Suppression followed in Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The last stronghold, Ireland, gave way in the twelfth century following the synod of Cashel in 1172. The suppression meant that no line of apostolic succession through Celtic bishops survived into the modern era. The revived church received its apostolic succession through independent bishops representing the lineage of the Antiochian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.
In using the term Orthodox, the Church does not, however, identify with Eastern Orthodoxy; rather, the term Celtic Orthodox is interpreted to mean that the church is committed to the belief and practice of the undivided church (which split into Roman and Eastern in the eleventh century). That belief and practice is believed to have been held by the saints of the Celtic churches, whose writings are especially valued.
The church follows the belief promulgated by the seven ecumenical councils. It stands apart from both Eastern Orthodoxy and the Roman Catholic Church in its understanding of original sin that is expressed in its understanding of Mary, Jesus’ mother. It uses the term Theotekos (Birthgiver of God), and understands that Mary was free from both the stain of a sinful life and the guilt inherited from Adam. In that respect, she is like all people. Original guilt is seen as an error attributed to St. Augustine (354–430 c.e.). The idea of original guilt requires the further error of the Immaculate Conception, which posits Mary’s freedom from the stain of original guilt. In contrast, the Celtic Church teaches that although original sin is a deficiency that causes individuals to tend toward sin, it does not impart guilt nor does it cut people off from God’s grace. Guilt follows from sin committed by an individual.
The church does not admit women to the priesthood; however, it offers females the opportunity in the ordered religious life as a Celi De (or Culdee), a Companion or Servant of God. The Celi De serve through prayer, teaching, and/or service. They may be male or female, married or monastic. Contemporary Celi De look to St. Maelruain, who in 755 c.e. established a monastery at Tallaght. The writings of that monastery have survived, including the Rule of St. Maelruain.
The church is currently led by Abbot-Bishop Maelruain, Cele De, Metropolitan and Archbishop of Armagh. He is assisted by Bishop Timothy, Cele De, of Nashville and Glasgow, and Bishop Photius, Cara Cele De, of Iona.
In 2008 the church reported two parishes in Akron, with a third forming in Nashville, Tennessee.
Celtic Orthodox Christian Quarterly.
Celtic Orthodox Christian Church. www.celticchristianity.org/.
c/o The Order of the Servants of Jesus, PO Box 350, Clarkdale, GA 30020
The Celtic Rite Orthodox Diocese is a rite of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church that wishes to bring the strength of Celtic spiritual expression into the twenty-first century. The diocese considers itself Christian, Orthodox, and Celtic—that is, Christian in love and mission; Orthodox in theology, beliefs, and practices; and Celtic in the expression of spirituality and heritage. The diocese uses the vernacular in worship and freely experiments with an array of ancient and modern music. The Order of the Servants of Jesus is a small ordered community affiliated with the diocese. The church is a member of the International Federation of Orthodox Catholics United Sacramentally (FOCUS).
Pruter, Karl. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession. San Bernadino, CA: Brogo Press, 1996.
Ward, Gary. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990.
110 Masters Dr., St. Augustine, FL 32086
The Charismatic Orthodox Church was founded in 1989 by Bishop Symeon John I. Born Mark D. Kersey into a family who were members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as a young man the future bishop began a spiritual search that led him to become a Baptist pastor. From there he became influenced by Pentecostalism, especially its teachings on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and modern activity of the gifts of the spirit (as mentioned by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 12). He also was led to Eastern orthodoxy by his study of church history, but found that no church accepted both his belief in charismatic gifts and Orthodoxy.
After receiving consecration as a bishop in a lineage of apostolic succession, Bishop Symeon John I founded the Charismatic Orthodox Church in 1998. The new church attempts to continue the Eastern orthodox tradition while being thoroughly charismatic. It affirms the Nicene and Apostles’Creed. It is Eastern in theology and spiritual focus while allowing both Eastern and Western practice, including worship formats. It attempts to blend three streams of what some call the Convergence Movement, meaning that it is orthodox (faith), charismatic/liturgical (in style), and evangelical (practice). Women may serve as deacons (evangelists, prophets, and teachers), but not as priests or bishops.
The church has its primary presence on the Internet, and its bishops travel around the United States to oversee the needs of the scattered faithful. The Transformation Theological and Rabbinical Institute, the church’s training school, operates primarily by correspondence through e-mail. Men may apply for ordination as a priest, bishop, monastic, or deacon.
The church is divided into four dioceses, including one in West Africa. Missions are supported in China, the Czech Republic, and Belgium. The cathedral congregation in St. Augustine is currently meeting in a church-owned building erected in 2005.
In 2008 the church reported six parishes, missions, and works in the United States, and one in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Theosis Christian College & Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Holy Cross Academy (kindergarten through fifth grade), St. Augustine, Florida.
Charismatic Orthodox Church. userpages.aug.com/~mdkersey/wizzg.html.
c/o Metropolitan Demetrios, Holy Cross Church, 50 Goddard Ave., Brookline, MA 02140
International Headquarters: c/o His Beatitude Serephim, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ag Philotheis 21, GR-10556 Athens, Greece.
The Church of Greece refers to those ancient churches in the Orthodox tradition that used Greek as their dominant language and continued a Greek heritage. The church operated on a territorial basis from the old patriarchates at Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Constantinople (now Istanbul). Over the centuries, each of these churches assumed jurisdiction in different territories and relinquished territories as new autonomous national churches and patriarchates were created. In the twentieth century, with the massive movements of people, the lines between jurisdictions blurred.
In 1850 the Church of Greece was granted autonomy, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate relinquished jurisdiction over most of the country. However, he retained jurisdiction over the Americas. Thus the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, to which most Americans who are Greek Orthodox belong, is affiliated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. However, Greek immigrants in the twentieth century who wished to remain attached to the Church of Greece organized a diocese in America. It is at one in faith and belief with all of Orthodoxy, but administratively separate.
Church of Greece. www.ecclesia.gr.
Orthodoxy. Regensburg: Ostkirchliches Institute, 1996.
Tomkinson, John L. Between Heaven and Earth: The Greek Church. Athens: Anagnosis, 2004.
c/o Church of the Holy Protection of the Holy Theotokos, 26-37 12th Street, Astoria, NY 11102-3723
International headquarters: The Holy Synod of the Prelacy, 22 Constantinoupoleos St., Athens 11854, Greece.
The Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece considers itself the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, alone in preserving the unadulterated Apostolic Faith, continuing unbroken the Apostolic Succession, and preserving all the sacred traditions without adding to or subtracting from them. One such tradition is the church calendar, used by the church from the beginning of its history.
On March 10, 1924, supported by the revolutionary military government, the state church of Greece replaced the Old (Julian) calendar with the New papal (Gregorian) calendar. This change was implemented without the consensus of the whole church, and against prior consensus of the church reached in 1583, 1587, and 1593, at the Pan-Orthodox Synods, which forbade, condemned, and anathematized any change to the church calendar. However, the calendar change was mandated by a 1920 Encyclical of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as a first step toward the ecumenical communion of all Christian denominations and the amalgamated unification of Orthodoxy and, in the church’s view, all the heresies.
Because of this change, the new-calendar state church of Greece became schismatic and cut itself off from the Orthodox Church. The Greek Orthodox who respectfully abided by the historical church decisions regarding the calendar, and whose conscience militated against the schismatic innovation, refused all communion with the state church. In 1935 they gained episcopal oversight when three Church of Greece bishops accepted the Orthodox Confession of Faith. The three bishops quickly ordained four new bishops, among whom was Bishop Matthew of Vrestheni. However, within a few months a significant difference of opinion arose among the Old Calendar bishops concerning the status of the state church. Metropolitan Chrysostomos released a statement saying that, by adopting the Gregorian Calendar, the state church was in a position of potential schism and that, if no other heretical moves were made, it retained the grace of the Holy Spirit and valid sacraments.
Bishop Matthew steadfastly rejected Metropolitan Chrysostomos’s position and cut the latter off from the main body of the Old Calendarists. He argued that the Church of Greece was in schism and that grace was no longer present in its sacraments. In 1948, two years before his death, Bishop Matthew consecrated four more bishops. The other Old Calendar factions did not recognize these consecrations, arguing that it takes more than one bishop to perform the ceremony. Nevertheless, Metropolitan Chrysostomos, who had three more bishops on his side, refused to ordain new bishops and left no successors when he died in 1955; this was seen as proof that he recognized the state church as orthodox. Moreover, two of the bishops aligned with him entered into full communion with the state church.
In 1971 Bishop Matthew’s successors attempted to unite with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on the basis of an Orthodox confession of faith, but their communion broke down when the latter violated this confession. The issue of the position of the state church continued to divide the several Old Calendar factions, and even though various bishops of the other Old Calendar groups moved toward the Matthew position, the fragmentation was not overcome.
In 1995 the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece defrocked Archbishop Andreas and two other bishops because of their views regarding the veneration of icons. The church is currently led by His Beatitude Archbishop Nicholas of Athens and All Greece, and in the United States by the Very Rev. Archpriest Anthony Gavalas, who serves as the Episcopal deputy.
In 2008 the church reported 10 parishes scattered across the United States.
Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians in the United States. orthodox-christianity.net/.
Chysostomos, Archimandrite, with Hieromonk Ambrosios, and Hieromonk Auxentios. The Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece. Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1986.
“Greek Old Calendarists in the U.S.A.: An Annotated Directory.” Orthodox Tradition 2, no. 2 (1985): 49–61.
c/o Most Rev. Clyde Ramon Allee, PO Box 92497, Long Beach, CA 90809-2497
The Community of St. James the Just is an autonomous Orthodox jurisdiction formed in 1960 in Los Angeles by then Fr. Clyde Ramon Allee to serve the spiritual needs of those who could not attend a regularly scheduled Divine Liturgy because of incapacity, location, or vocation. In 1988, after Fr. Allee’s consecration by Bp. Alan Bain (assisted by Bsps. John Lester Peace and Morris Saville), the community became fully self-governing. Mar Ramon traces his apostolic succession through the lineages of his consecrators from Antioch (Melkite Greek Catholic and Syrian Orthodox), Constantinople (Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox), and Rome (Utrecht Old Catholic).
Bishops, priests, and deacons now serve in Texas, California, Tennessee, Great Britain and the Philippines. Their ministries include hospitals, convalescent homes, and hospices; prisons, military, and veterans organizations; and also parish congregations. English-language translations of Eastern and Western Orthodox liturgies are used as the pastoral needs require. Dialogue with other Orthodox and Catholic jurisdictions seeking reciprocal communion is ongoing.
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit, MI: Apogee Books, 1990.
c/o John Paul the Great Eastern Orthodox Catholic Monastery, PO Box 15302, San Antonio, TX 78212-8502
The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, North American Synod (EOCC) was originally founded in the 1980s as an Eastern Rite Division of the Independent Catholic Church (based in Nashua, New Hampshire), and incorporated separately in Texas in 1989 as the Independent Byzantine Catholic Church (IBCC). When the Independent Catholic Church disbanded, the IBCC affiliated with The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of North America (THEOCACNA) based in Denver, Colorado, and took its present name. When the Denver jurisdiction also disbanded, the EOCC formed as a new jurisdiction, independent of any other group. Most Rev. George Michael Jachimczyk was named the first bishop.
The church is at one in faith and practice with the other Eastern Orthodox churches. The founders saw the EOCC as having a special ministry to open a path of spirituality to those disenfranchised from their native (ethnic) churches without losing the tradition embodied in the rites of the church. They tried to incorporate different practices from different churches (including the Roman Catholic) into the liturgical life. The church also adopted the Gregorian calendar (as opposed to the Julian calendar used by the more conservative Orthodox churches).
In practice, clergy are allowed to marry. The church has instituted a female deaconate. Candidates for the clergy are considered apart from their sexual orientation. However, the church has strict rules concerning anyone accused of molesting a minor. The church is led by its presiding bishop and administered by its board of directors with the presiding bishop serving as president. The church is based in John Paul the Great Eastern Orthodox Catholic Monastery in San Antonio, where the religious order it supports, the Community of Divine Charity, is based. There is also a mission in Miami, Oklahoma.
The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, North American Synod. www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/5793/.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Ecumenical Orthodox Christian Church was founded in 1991 with orders from the Russian and Albanian Orthodox Churches. Its leader is His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Sergius (Quilliams), who is assisted by Bps. Yuri Spaeth Jr. (Florida) and Ignatius Cash (Erie, Pennsylvania). The Ecumenical Orthodox Christian Church is an Old Calendar church adhering to the Julian Calendar in its liturgical practice. It is strictly Orthodox, accepts the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the third through seventh centuries, and uses an English translation of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in its celebrations. As with most Orthodox, it rejects the Filioque addition to the Nicene Creed made by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.
The church has separated itself from most independent Roman, Old Catholic, High Anglican, and Orthodox jurisdictions in which it finds unacceptable doctrine and practice. It does not allow Western Rites within the church, and priests must wear the proper vestments, including a hat indicative of their marital status. The church’s Synodical Statutes offer detailed instruction on the proper dress of a priest and furnishing of a sanctuary in which the liturgy is to be celebrated. It rejects the doctrines of papal infallibility, papal supremacy, and purgatory. It also rejects the idea of using unleavened bread in the Eucharist. The church adheres to the idea of Mary as Theotokos (birth giver of God) and affirms Mary’s holy (but not immaculate) conception, her assumption into heaven, and her role as one who can make supplication for the believer, but it rejects the title of Mary as co-redemtrix.
Holy Wisdom Correspondence Seminary, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Ecumenical Orthodox Church is a small jurisdiction founded by Bp. Stanley J. Anjulis, who was consecrated in 1986 by Bp. Denise Mary Michele Garrison of the American Orthodox Church (now the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America). He remained in Garrison’s jurisdiction for only a year, although he was appointed vicar general of the church. In 1987 he left to found his independent work.
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit, MI: Apogee Books, 1990.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
In 1944 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics gained political hegemony over Estonia. Primate of the Estonian Orthodox Church Archbishop Alexander fled to Sweden, where he organized the Estonian Orthodox Church in Exile. The church is under the Greek Orthodox Church’s ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople and at one in faith and worship with the Greek Orthodox Church.
In 1949 the V. Rev. Sergius Samon established the first congregation of the Estonian Church in North America at Los Angeles. Large numbers of Estonians had come to the United States and Canada following World War II. Congregations were subsequently established in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City. Canadian parishes were established in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
Estonians were surprised by the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of a free and independent Estonia in 1991. Subsequently the autonomous Estonian Orthodox Church was reestablished and in 1996 the Patriarchate of Constantinople formally acknowledged the autonomous church as being under its jurisdiction. Archbishop John of Finland was named to head the church until a episcopal election could be held. This action led the Moscow Patriarchate to sever relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate (there still being an Orthodox church in Estonia under the Moscow Patriarchate). The events in Estonia signaled the end of the period of exile for Estonians abroad, though otherwise their lives continued much as in previous decades.
In 2008 there were several thousand Estonians of the Orthodox faith in North America.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America, formerly known as the Autocephalous Syro-Chaldean Church of North America, derives from the Ancient Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of the East through the Metropolitan of India, Mar Basilius, who in 1902 consecrated Mar Jacobus (Ulric Vernon Herford) bishop to bring the line to England. In 1952 Mar Georgius (Hugh George de Willmott Newman) was brought into the episcopal lineage by Mar Paulus (William Stanley McBean Knight), successor to Mar Jacobus.
Mar Georgius consecrated Charles D. Boltwood (1889–1985) bishop in 1952. In 1959 Bishop Boltwood was elevated to archbishop of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church in England. That same year, Archbishop Boltwood consecrated John Marion Stanley (b. 1923) bishop of Washington State. Bishop Stanley subsequently withdrew from the Free Protestant Episcopal Church and formed the Syro-Chaldean Archdiocese of North America, taking the name of Mar Yokhannan. In 1969 Mar Yokhannan received into the archdiocese Mar Jacobus (James A. Gaines), who had received consecration in the Ukranian Orthodox succession.
The series of events that led to the formation of this body began at a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Syro-Chaldean Archdiocese, December 13–14, 1974. The synod designated Archpriest Bertram S. Schlossberg as bishop-elect with the task of organizing a Diocese of New York. By that action, Father Schlossberg came under the direct authority of Mar Jacobus, who had received authority from the Archdiocese for the Eastern half of the United States. Together, on April 16, 1976, they incorporated their new work as the Autocephalous Syro-Chaldean Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America. On October 31, 1976, Mar Jacobus and Mar Yokhannan consecrated Father Uzziah bar Evyon (Schlossberg). In December, the diocese of the Northeast was erected with Mar Uzziah as bishop.
On April 2, 1977, Mar Yokhannan released Mar Jacobus and Mar Uzziah from “all canonical obedience” and then withdrew from the Syro-Chaldean Archdiocese to join the Patriarchal See Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, Eastern and Apostolic, located in California. Mar Jacobus and Mar Uzziah then recognized all the work within the Eastern Archdiocese and in October 1977 incorporated the Autocephalous Syro-Chaldean Church of North America. Mar Jacobus was archbishop and metropolitan. Mar Uzziah was bishop of the Northeast. Upon his retirement in 1978, Mar Jacobus elevated Mar Uzziah to be metropolitan of North America.
Since 1978 the church has grown slowly, concentrating on proclaiming the Gospel to the unsaved and ministering to the broken and wounded in the spirit of Isaiah 61. The Northeastern Diocese was erected as a mission diocese with the expectation that smaller local dioceses would be carved out of it. The intention was that the church would be organized along small diocesesan lines, each diocese being a city or county. In the years since, the Diocese of Fairfield in Connecticut and the Diocese of Westchester in New York have been created. In addition to New York and New England, the church has work in Florida, a mission parish in the Philippines, and a mission in the Middle East.
In 1992 the Episcopal Synod agreed to change the name to the Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America. The church follows the Orthodox theology of the Church of the East. It affirms the Bible as the Word of God and both the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. It keeps seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation or chrismation, holy communion, reconciliation, annointing for healing, holy matrimony, and holy orders. Its official liturgy is a simplified English-language version of the Liturgy of Mar Addai and Mar Mari, but it allows parishes freedom in their use of the liturgy. Several alternative forms are also authorized. The church is evangelical, believing that all persons need to repent and be converted to Christ; catholic, stressing the historical doctrines, sacraments, and practices of Christianity; and charismatic, emphasizing the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is strongly opposed to the acceptance of homosexuality and other forms of sexual liberalism that it considers to be a sin. The church stands opposed to the practice of abortion. Women are ordained to the diaconate, but not to the priesthood.
Not reported. In 1991 the church reported 1,000 members. There were 16 clergy, including three active bishops in three dioceses with five parishes altogether.
Christ the King Seminary and School of Discipleship, Rockville, Connecticut.
Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America. www.eacna.org.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The first Orthodox missionaries reached Finland in the tenth century and founded Valamo Monastery. While the church has remained small, it has persisted. Finland gained independence from Russia in 1919 and a wave of nationalism swept the church. In 1923 the church was given autonomy under the Greek Orthodox Church’s ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople. The following year a non-Russian bishop was named primate. The church is Orthodox in faith and practice and uses the Finnish and Russian languages. The selection of archbishops must be submitted to Constantinople for approval.
In 1955 the first attempts to call together Orthodox Finns residing in the United States found most already attached to Russian congregations, but a small mission chapel was established in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was not able to minister to the 1,300 Orthodox Finns and ceased to exist in 1958. In 1962 Fr. Denis Ericson implemented a new plan, which entailed traveling from his home base of Lansing, Michigan, to four worship stations, conducting services in English but preserving Finnish hymns and customs.
Finnish Orthodox Church. www.ort.fi/en/index.php.
Purmonen, V., ed. Orthodoxy in Finland: Past and Present. 2nd ed. Kuopio, Finland: Orthodox Clergy Association, 1984.
Venkula-Vauraste, L. “800 Years of Orthodox Faith in Finland.” Look at Finland 5 (1977): 42–47.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Free Orthodox Church International, formerly known as the Greek Orthodox Eparchy of Lincoln, was founded in 1984 by the Most Rev. Dr. Melchizedek, the archbishop-metropolitan. Trained as a Roman Catholic, the future archbishop converted to Orthodoxy in 1983. He affiliated with the Holy Orthodox Synod for Diaspora and Hellas, a free Holy Synod which had been organized in Greece in 1950, and began to work within its jurisdiction. He moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1986 and the following year became the pastor of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Church. He was consecrated in 1993. In 1994 the American work became autocephalous as a step in adjusting to the American situation.
As a free jurisdiction, the church is not affiliated with either the Church of Greece (or any other national jurisdiction) or any of the ancient patriarchates. Archbishop Melchizedek believes that since society has abandoned patriarchal structures, the church has no scriptural mandate to continue them. It is, however, at one with the Orthodox world in faith and practice and accepts the authority of the Holy Scriptures and the Seven Ecumenical Councils. It recognizes any jurisdiction that teaches and practices the Orthodox faith in nonjudgmental Christian love. Members of the church are encouraged to devote their lives to the service of Christ according to their own life experience.
The church has some opinions that differ from the main body of Orthodoxy. It accepts the authority of the intertestament books commonly called the Apocrypha. It denies the doctrine of original sin. The church allows bishops to marry. Baptism is by triple immersion in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The church retains the power to pronounce the forgiveness of sin through the sacrament of forgiveness (confession, penance, and counseling). Life is sacramental but focused in holy baptism, crismation, absolution of sins, the Eucharist, holy anointing of the sick, priesthood, and matrimony.
Various rites have been approved for workshop in the several parishes including the Sarum Rite, the Tridentine Roman Rite, the Liturgy of St. Chrysostomos, the Qurbana, and the Gallican Rite. Worship in the vernacular is recommended but Greek and Latin allowed. Among the structures sponsored by the church is the noncommunal Oblate Order of the Blessed Virgin Theotokos, whose members offer themselves to the life of the Blessed Virgin in the spirit of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55). When received, the new member is given a blue robe and matching scapular which is worn on special occasions, though on a day-to-day basis members do not dress in special clothing. They are also assigned an individual obedience, in most cases a specific daily prayer to follow.
The church has formal communion with the Diocese of Emmaus, Christ Catholic Church International, the Free Orthodox Catholic Church of Germany, and the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, and fraternal relations with the Federation of St. Thomas Christian Churches, the Holy Catholic Apostolic Orthodox Church, and the Shekinah Glory Mar Thoma Orthodox Church.
St. Elias School of Orthodox Theology, Lincoln, Nebraska.
8-10 E 79th St., New York, NY 10021
As early as 1767 Greek Orthodox Christians settled in New Smyrna, Florida. Greek merchants in New Orleans established Holy Trinity, the first Greek Orthodox Church in America, in 1864. Other parishes sprang up across the country. No attempt was made to organize the parishes until 1918 when the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, as it was initially named, was organized. Archbishop Alexandros headed the archdiocese from 1922. He began the extensive work of bringing the many Greek parishes under his jurisdiction. The greatest progress in this direction was made by his successor, Metropolitan Athenagoras Spirou (1886–1972), who became the ecumenical patriarch in 1948.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has over the years become the largest in the United States. It has ten districts, each headed by a bishop. Archbishop Iakovos (1911–2005), as chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops and exarch for the ecumenical patriarch, was a recognized spokesman of the Greek Orthodox community to the outside world for much of the latter half of the twentieth century.
Currents of change that have flowed through the Orthodox world made Archbishop Iakovos a subject of intense controversy as he emerged as a founding father of the modern ecumenical movement. Much of the criticism was directed against the growing openness of Patriarch Athenagoras toward Rome and the World Council of Churches, while Archbishop Iakovos was criticized for approving this openness and initiating contact on his own in the United States with various Protestant and Catholic bodies. Ultratraditionalists see such ecumenical activity as compromising Orthodox faith. Mt. Athos, the most famous Orthodox monastery, has become a center of traditionalism and at times has been critical of Archbishop Iakovos and of changes in the contemporary church, which has always been done under the aegis of the mother church and headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Archbishop Iakovos retired in 1996 (amid rumors that it had been forced). He was succeeded by Archbishop Spyridon (b. 1944), whose short three-year tenure was filled with controversy. He resigned in 1999 and was succeeded by Archbishop Demetrios (b. 1928).
Liturgy being the most important aspect of Orthodox church life, changes affecting liturgy have been met with extreme resistance when not in conformity to early church tradition and the ecclesiology of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 1922 the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, following the mandate of the Ecumenical patriarchate, accepted the Gregorian calendar. Some other patriarchates continue to use the Julian calendar. For the canonical Orthodox Churches, the calendar controversy has been a nonissue.
In 2004 the archdiocese reported 563 churches, with 834 clergy serving 1.5 million members.
Holy Cross School of Theology and Hellenic College, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. www.goarch.org.
Constantelos, Demetrios J. The Greek Orthodox Church. New York: Seabury Press, 1967.
———. An Old Faith for Modern Man. New York: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 1964.
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Brookline, MA: Greek Orthodox Theological Institute, Press, 1950.
Geanakoplos, D. A Short History of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (330–1990): “First Among Equals” in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1990.
Litsas, Fotios K. A Companion to the Greek Orthodox Church. New York: Department of Communication, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, 1984.
Poulos, George. A Breath of God. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1984.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Greek Orthodox Church of America (not to be confused with the other church of the same name) was established in the mid-twentieth century as the outpost of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria (Egypt). In the first century c.e., Christianity spread among the Greek-speaking residents of Egypt and from them to the Coptic-speaking peoples. In the fifth century c.e., the Patriarch of Alexandria became a monophysite, a position denounced by the Council at Ephesus in 451, and a new Patriarch, Proterios, was installed in his place. The mass of Coptic-speaking peoples followed the deposed patriarch, but a small minority stayed with the Patriarch of Alexandria, whose jurisdiction extended across North Africa. It was substantially reduced by the Muslim conquest of the territory but has survived to the present. The American exarchate was organized among Greek-speaking migrants to North America from North Africa.
In 1964 the exarchate received a young priest into its jurisdiction by the name of Makrogambrakis (1919–2005). He had migrated to America in the previous year and served under Bishop Petros of the Hellenic Orthodox Church. In 1983 Makrogambrakis was consecrated as Bishop Dionysios and named Exarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America. Several years later, the exarchate was granted autonomy, and as Archbishop Dionysios he became primate of the new church.
Clarke, Boden. Lords Temporal and Lords Spiritual. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 1985.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Greek Orthodox Diocese of New York was formed in 1964 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by priests and laity formerly under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Iakovos (1911–2005) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, to whose administration they objected. As the only Orthodox body in the West that allows the laity the sole right to elect bishops and to keep the monies of the church under the control of the members they were able to select new leaders. Oxford-educated Bishop Photios was elected archbishop, and Theocletos of Salimis, auxiliary bishop. Photios has gathered the largest group of Greek Orthodox followers not under Archbishop Iakovos. The installation of the archbishop took place in St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church in Memphis, Tennessee, where Archbishop Photios resided for several years.
In 1965 jurisdiction was extended to Australia. Archbishop Photios was in communion with the late Bishop Dionisije of the Serbian Orthodox Free Diocese of the United States and Canada and Bishop Alexis of Adelaide, Australia, of the Byelorussian Autocephalic Church.
Spasovic, Stanimir. The History of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America and Canada, 1941–1991. Trans. Nedeljko Lunich. Belgrade, Yugoslavia: Printing House of the Serbian Patriarchate, 1998.
44-02 48th Ave., Sunnyside/Woodside, NY 11377
The Greek Orthodox Missionary Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis was founded in 1970 when Archimandrite Pangratios Vrionis was elected and consecrated by Romanian Bp. Theofil Ionescu, Russian Patriarch Dositheus Ivanchenko, and Albanian Apb. Christoforus Rado to serve among the Greek-Americans who had migrated to Long Island from Albania, Romania, and parts of Russia. The name Vasiloupolis (“royal city”) refers to Queens, New York, where Metropolitan Pangratios was consecrated. The church grew out of a refugee program started by the late Fr. Alexander Tzulevitch, pastor of St. Nicolas Russian Orthodox Church in New York City. At a “Synod of the Diaspora,” Archimandrite Pangratios was chosen to be the archbishop over those people who had declared their desire for a leader who was traditionalist with a multicultural background, an American citizen, and missionary-minded. In addition, he would have to be approved by the exiled royal families of Greece and Romania.
Through the 1970s, Metropolitan Pangratios moved to build the archdiocese, which had grown primarily through the addition of conservative ethnic parishes. He is assisted by five titular bishops: Michael Pangratios (Rouse) of New Carthage, Kyrill Esposito of Taormina, Elias Milazzo of Apollonia, George Dimitre Pias of Palation and Metropolitan, and Leontios de Noronhos of Brazil and Argentina. Together with Metropolitan Pangratios they constitute the Hierarchical Consistory.
In 1999 the archdiocese was accepted fully as a sister church by the Old Calendar and Traditionalist Church of Greece, under the jurisdiction of Abp. Maximos Vallianatos (Auxentios).
The archdiocese is Orthodox in faith and takes a traditionalist stance, although it does accept and maintain, in a canonical Orthodox manner, Western Rite Orthodox parishes. It is an Old Calendarist group, meaning its liturgical life follows the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar. It opposes what it considers to be the modernist trends and attempts at liturgical reform represented in the churches that make up the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America.
In 2008 the archdiocese reported 42 parishes and 8 monasteries.
One of Metropolitan Pangratios’s consecrators was Abp. Christoforus Rado, who around 1958 had founded the Independent Albanian Orthodox Church of St. Paul. Archbishop Christoforus died in 1974. While some of his parishes joined the Orthodox Church of America, some came under Pangratios, who consecrated Stavros Skembi to lead them. Pangratios also inherited the following of Greek-Romanian Bishop Theofil. In 1981 Pangratios consecrated Stephen Degiovanni to minister to a group of Italo-Greek immigrants located on Long Island, New York, and New Jersey.
Blighton, Paul. Memoirs of a Mystic. San Francisco: Holy Order of MANS, 1974.
Book of the Master Jesus. 3 vols. San Francisco: Holy Order of MANS, 1974.
The Golden Force. San Francisco: Holy Order of MANS, 1967.
Spasovic, Stanimir. The History of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America and Canada, 1941–1991. Trans. Nedeljko Lunich. Belgrade, Yugoslavia: Printing House of the Serbian Patriarchate, 1998.
St. Markella of Chios, 22-68 26th St., Astoria, NY 11105
At the time the state Church of Greece adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Old (Julian) Calendar it had followed for centuries, pockets of opposition began to arise immediately. Continued adherence to the Old Calendar also emerged among Greek Orthodox believers in the United States. In 1952 Bishop Petros, then a monk from Mt. Athos, arrived in the United States from Greece as the representative of the Old Calendarists to pull together the scattered American believers. In 1962 he was consecrated as bishop of Astoria (New York), where he had established his headquarters, and Exarch of the American work. He was consecrated by two bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Throughout the years of its existence, the Old Calendar Movement had been split by an ongoing controversy over the presence of grace in the state Church of Greece, given its abandonment of the traditional liturgical calendar. The moderate faction held to the position that grace remained in the state church. In 1974, however, Archbishop Auxentios, the head of the synod of the moderates, issued a statement (seemingly in an attempt to placate the more extreme group, which denied the presence of grace in the state church) in which he accepted the essence of the extreme position.
As a result of Archbishop Auxentios’s action, Petros left his jurisdiction and reorganized his work independently as the Hellenic Orthodox Church in America. He followed the traditional belief and practice of Orthodoxy. By 1967 he had five churches and some 9,000 members. St. Sincletike Convent is located in Farmingdale, New York. He started a newsletter, The Voice of Orthodoxy, and a radio show of the same name. Membership in the jurisdiction is centered among Greek Americans on Long Island.
In 1985 there were parishes in Astoria, Bethpage, and Hensonville, New York.
The Voice of Orthodoxy.
Chrysostomos, Archimandrite, with Hieromonk Ambrosios, and Hieromonk Auxentios. The Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece. Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1986.
“Greek Old Calendarists in the U.S.A.: An Annotated Directory.” Orthodox Tradition 2, no. 2 (1985): 49–61.
733 Tick Rd., Mountain View, AZ 72560
The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America was canonically established on February 2, 1927, with the approval of the Russian Patriarch. Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh (1889–1966) was appointed first archbishop of this church and headed it until his death in 1966. The church was incorporated in February 1, 1928, and continues as the same church and same corporation. It is a Western Rite jurisdiction but includes some Eastern Rite clergy and liturgies.
Prior to the death of Archbishop Aftimios the church had only one bishop after the deaths of Dr. Joseph Zuk (d. 1934) and Bishop Sophronios Bishara (1888–1934), leaving only Archbishop Aftimios. Upon the death of Aftimios the church continued “in locum tenens” until its clergy were able to obtain consecration in acceptable lines. Metropolitan Victor Prentice was corporate vice president under locum tenens prior to his election in 1997 as Metropolitan President of the Church.
The church reports that its name, over the years, has been used by others in the independent movement who have claimed to be this church or related to it, as a “status symbol” because of the 1927 charter. However, because the charter was issued to Archbishop Aftimios, who subsequently incorporated the church, and the church has continued without cessation, the church asserts that these claims are untrue and misleading.
In 2002 the church reported a membership of 4,274.
The American Orthodox Patriarchate: Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America. www.geocities.com/theocacna/index.html.
c/o Cathedral of the Theotokos of Great Grace, South Street at Howard Avenue, Utica, NY 13201
Orthodoxy established itself in southern Italy and Sicily in the Greek communities that had established themselves in ancient times. Most of these Greek churches came under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church after the Synod at Bari in 1097. Only two bishops refused to submit, and they led their Orthodox followers into what became an increasingly underground church. The church survived in spite of severe measures to convert its members to Catholicism. Cut off from mainline Orthodoxy, however, it developed several peculiarities, including a married bishopric. The church also has a mobile episcopacy, in part due to the persecution it felt, and began to designate its bishops as being “in” a See location rather than “of” a See City. The Church became fully autonomous in 1428. The first Italian Orthodox priests came to America in 1904 and established parishes in Brooklyn, New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Philadelphia. Progress was slow until 1979, when Emilio Rinauldi and Luciano Gaudio were elected bishop in Newark and Las Vegas respectively. They were consecrated by a deputation of bishops from Italy headed by the late Primate Constantino, Bishop in Catania.
In the United States, Sicilian immigrants organized the first community in 1902 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first Italian Orthodox priests came to America in 1904 and led in the funding of additional parishes in Brooklyn, New York, and Newark, New Jersey. Progress was slow until 1979, when Emilio Rinauldi and Luciano Gaudio were elected bishop in Newark and Las Vegas respectively. They were consecrated by a deputation of bishops from Italy headed by the late Primate Constantino, Bishop in Catania. They worked through the 1980s but then the church entered another period in which they existed for two decades without Episcopal leadership. Recently a bishop, Metropolitan Stephen, has been appointed. He is assisted by four priests and two deacons.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Holy Eastern Orthodox Church of the United States (Orthodox Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Metropolitan See) dates itself to 1927 and the establishment of the American Orthodox Church under Bp. Aftimios Ofiesh (1889–1966), as authorized by the American bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1971 Abp. Trevor Wyatt Moore and the priests under his jurisdiction incorporated the Orthodox Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Moore had been consecrated in the Ofiesh lineage, on July 11, 1971, by Abps. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994) and Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski (1925–1978). A month later Ryzy-Ryski, head of the American World Patriarchs, in his plan to establish a hierarchy of patriarchs representing the various ethnic groups, elevated Moore to archbishop with jurisdiction for the English-speaking world. In 1972 he designated Moore a metropolitan.
From the very beginning the archdiocese was incorporated independently as a self-protective measure against any irregularities, heterodoxy, or heresy that might develop within the American World Patriarchs. Within a few years, Metropolitan Trevor saw a significant and unacceptable drift within the American World Patriarchs as evidenced by its following a pan-ecumenism, developing anti-Russian attitudes, espousing the use of a self-created Western liturgy, and most important, failing to perpetuate the necessary conditions set forth by the synod of Russian bishops in 1927 for the American Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Trevor had rigorously followed those conditions in theology, liturgy, and otherwise.
As a result of the irregularities, the archdiocese severed all connections with the American World Patriarchs in 1976, when the official name became the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church of the United States, an abridgement of the original name given to Ofiesh’s jurisdiction, the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America.
Metropolitan Trevor asserted that his jurisdiction was the only remnant of the original jurisdiction headed by Archbishop Ofiesh in that it was the only one that adhered to all of the conditions set forth in the original charter and constitution. It has remained truly Orthodox in all aspects of its life and, though independent, has acknowledged the primacy of the Russian jurisdiction, preserving a filial relationship to the Orthodox Church of Russia by the Patriarchal Authority of Moscow and All Russia. (Note: In Orthodox practice, the first Orthodox Church to initiate work in a new country is generally acknowledged to have canonical primacy for that country. In the case of the United States, the Russian Orthodox Church was present for a century prior to any other Orthodox jurisdiction’s establishment of a parish.)
The church is strictly Eastern Orthodox in faith and practice and adheres to the Byzantine rite. It holds to the Nicene Creed and follows its Eastern text.
The church is episcopal in polity. It is organized into the Metropolitan See of Philadelphia, the Orthodox-Greek Catholic Missionary Eparchy of Trenton and All New Jersey, and the Orthodox-Greek Catholic Diocese of Providence and All New England. Congregations can be found in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and Nebraska. There is a mission church in Puerto Rico.
The church has been most attuned to the issues that have dominated the established churches in the United States, particularly in matters of social concern. It has spoken out forcefully on peace and nonviolence. It operates a social service center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and through its affiliated Society of the Helpers of Saint Herman of Alaska, a mental health ministry in Florida. It has been active in civil rights and interracial and intercultural efforts, particularly in Spanish-speaking communities. Metropolitan Trevor was one of only a few independent Orthodox leaders to gain some recognition from the larger Christian community, through his authorship of several books and service as an editor-at-large for the Christian Century magazine.
c/o Paul Gilbert Russell, 5831 Tremont, Dallas, TX 75214
Formed in 1965 as the American Orthodox Church, this body changed its name in 1972 to the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church. It was headed by Bishop Paul G. Russell, who was consecrated on August 22, 1976, by Bishops David Baxter and William Henry. The church accepts the idea of female priests and the ordination of homosexuals to Holy Orders, but in all other respects it holds to the Orthodox-Catholic faith.
c/o St. Basil’s Cathedral, 355 Tusculum Rd., Nashville, TN 37211-6101
The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, though restructured in 1974, was originally established as the American Orthodox Church by the Russian Orthodox Archdiocese of Brooklyn in 1932 under the episcopacy of Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh (1889–1966) for the communicants of Western Rite Orthodoxy. Aftimios’s mission, assigned him by the Moscow Patriarchate, was to unite the various ethnic-Orthodox jurisdictions in America into a single American jurisdiction. The unification effort failed because of both foreign and domestic influences, and the Russian Church directed Aftimios to abandon the mission, disband the diocese of Brooklyn, and turn over its cathedral and assets to the Syrian Orthodox Church.
Aftimios had established the orthodox Western (Gregorian) Rite in America in January 1932 and ordained the former Episcopal Church priest William Albert Nichols (1867–1947) to the Orthodox priesthood. With the understanding that he would follow the Gregorian rite, Aftimios assigned him as pastor of the very first canonical Orthodox Western Rite parish in America, located in New York City.
As directed, Aftimios began closing down the affairs of the Brooklyn Archdiocese. Among his last actions before turning over the archdiocese to the Syrian Orthodox Church, Aftimios, assisted by Bishops Joseph Zuk (d. 1934) and Sophronios Bishara (1888–1934), consecrated Nichols to the episcopacy on September 30, 1932. They named him archbishop of the newly established Western Rite archdiocese under the identity of the American Orthodox church. Nichols took the name Ignatius as his episcopal name.
The Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil, commonly known as the Basilian Fathers, was founded by Aftimios and Nichols as the missionary arm of the newly formed Western Rite apostolate, with Nichols as the superior general. Eventually, as Nichols’s health failed, Fr. Tyler Turner (1905–1971), S.S.B., was elected superior-general of the Order and was subsequently consecrated in 1939. Taking the religious name Alexander, he succeeded Ignatius as head of the Western Rite archdiocese of the American Orthodox Church.
In 1960, of the 19 then active members of the Order of Basilian Fathers, four were incardinated as priests in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, then led by Metropolitan Archbishop Anthony Bashir (1898–1966). Two years previously, the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch had authorized Bashir to establish a Vicariate for the Western Rite communicants.
The Basilian Order, as such, did not become part of the Syrian Vicariate. It remained an autonomous entity unto itself committed to the Western Rite apostolate. Nearly two years after Alexander’s death, Fr. William Francis Forbes, S.S.B., was elected a superior general of the Order in 1973. In the summer of 1974, following a tenure of 15 years with the Syrian jurisdiction, Father Forbes withdrew from the Vicariate to give full time to the Western Rite apostolate of the Basilians. On October 20, 1974, two bishops within the Aftimios-Ignatius line of succession, Abp. Thomas Jude Baulmer and Bp. John Chrysostom Martin, consecrated Forbes to the episcopacy, thus restoring the original line of apostolic succession to the Basilians and the American Orthodox Church. Shortly thereafter, Bishop Forbes restructured both the Basilian Order and the American Orthodox Church. He sold the Basilian Motherhouse in New York and moved the entire operation of the Order and the church to Antioch, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, where the Cathedral of St. Basil is located.
The church is thoroughly Orthodox in faith and sacramental practice. It accepts the original Nicene Creed and the doctrinal affirmation of the seven Ecumenical councils. The majority of the parishes are Western Rite. Though the Eastern Rite is allowed, few choose to follow it.
The ecclesiastical order of the church is vested in its Synod of Bishops, which has five members. The Synod has authority over its Metropolitan-Archdiocese of Nashville, the Archdiocese of Boston (Bridgewater) Massachusetts, and the Dioceses of Philadelphia, Louisiana (New Orleans), and Montreal-Quebec.
St. Basil’s Seminary, a tutorial structure for preparing priests.
The Communicator. • The Reconciler. c/o Emmaus House, 27 N Walker, Taunton, MA 02780.
St. Basil’s Cathedral—Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction. www.stbasilscathedral.org/home.cfm/sid/146.
Samuchin, Michael. A Brief History of the Holy Orthodox Church (American Jurisdiction). Antioch, TN: Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil, 1992.
PO Box 192-B, Preston Hollow, NY 12469
The Orthodox Church in America grew out of the early interest in Christian Mysticism of Rosicrucian George Winslow Plummer (1876–1944). Plummer had been one of the founders of the Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIA) in 1907 and became its leader when Sylvester Gould died two years later. In the 1920s Plummer’s particular interest in mysticism led him to found the Seminary of Biblical Research, through which he issued lessons on Christian mysticism. About this same time he founded the Anglican Universal Church and sought consecration from a Puerto Rican bishop, Manuel Ferrando.
In 1934 Plummer was reconsecrated by Bishop William Albert Nichols (1867–1947) of the American Orthodox Church, originally founded by Lebanese Orthodox bishop Aftimios Ofiesh (1889–1966), and took the religious name Mar Georgius. Following his consecration, he reconsecrated three of his bishops of the Anglican Universal Church and incorporated as the Holy Orthodox Church in America. The Holy Orthodox Church in America (Eastern Catholic and Apostolic) accepted through Nichols the mandate of Bishop Ofiesh to develop an American Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Holy Orthodox Church, while endorsing the canons of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, has remained intimately connected to the Rosicrucian organization that Plummer headed. The original episcopal leadership was drawn from the SRIA, and the original parishes were all located in cities with an SRIA group. The liturgy of the church is that of St. John Chrysostom; however, the church places special emphasis on spiritual healing and holds weekly special services for that purpose.
Plummer died in 1944 and was succeeded by Abp. Theodotus Stanislaus DeWitow (formerly Witowski; d. 1969). When Dewitow died, the church was without a bishop from 1969 to 1981. The work was carried on by three deaconesses, two of whom, Mrs. G. E. S. DeWitow (aka Mother Serena), widow of the last archbishop, and Lucia Grosch were consecrated in 1981 by Abp. Herman Adrian Spruit (1911–1994) of the Church of Antioch. Mother Serena died in 1989. She was succeeded by Abp. Matriarch Lucia Grosch, who in 2008 was the presiding bishop.
In 2008 the church reported that it had two churches, one chapel, and a membership of approximately 100.
c/o The Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, 1476 Centre St., Roslindale, MA 02131-1417
The Holy Orthodox Church in North America is the American branch of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece (the Synod of Archbishop Maximos). The church was established as a result of the problem that emerged in the State Church of Greece in 1924 when the Gregorian Calendar replaced the older Julian Calendar and ecumenical events between the state church and non-Orthodox bodies began to occur. Rejecting these developments, the old calendar faithful saw a need to organize separately. In 1963 Archbishop Auxentios (1912–1994) became their leader. The old calendar movement had also found some response in America, and parishes began to emerge there in the 1930s. The State Church of Greece, in the meantime, declared the sacraments of the Old Calendarists invalid and instituted a persecution by which the faithful were killed and their churches destroyed or confiscated.
In 1974 Archbishop Auxentios issued an encyclical in which he declared that the sacraments of the State Church of Greece were devoid of grace, hence invalid. This encyclical earned him the animosity of the State Church; in the Western Hemisphere, his American Exarchate, under the leadership of Bishop Petros, left him. In 1987 Archbishop Auxentios’s jurisdiction in America was again augmented by the addition of a number of parishes that had withdrawn from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Since its formation following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia had become the bastion of conservative traditionalist eastern orthodoxy. It stood against the subversion of the Russian Church under the hostile antireligious regime and opposed changes in the Orthodox community that had entered into the post-World War II spirit of dialogue and ecumenical accommodation with both Protestants and Roman Catholics. In the United States, priests and believers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds were drawn to this church. Among the issues disturbing twentieth-century Orthodoxy were the increasing ecumenical activities and statements and joint prayers that were contrary to centuries-old Orthodox Church traditions. Many saw the involvement in ecumenism as a serious compromise of the Orthodox faith, and the Russian church opposed these developments.
In 1986 clergy within the Russian Church, some of whom were Greek-Americans, leveled a series of charges concerning the Russian Church’s change of course and its failure to discipline clergy who had participated in extracanonical ecumenical events. This protest was brought to a head by encyclicals, published by the Russian bishops, which confirmed the charges made by these clergy. As a result, in December 1986 a group of 17 congregations, 25 clergy, and 2 monasteries left the Russian Church and placed themselves under Bishops Akakios and Gabriel, two Greek Old Calendar bishops. That arrangement did not work out administratively, and in the fall of 1987 the group placed itself under Archbishop Auxentios.
In June 1988 Auxentios made his first visit to the United States to meet with his new following. At the church’s Holy Synod in July 1988, Hieromonk Ephrem of Transfiguration Monastery was elected to the Episcopate; he was consecrated on August 17. In 1991 the Diocese of Toronto was created and Bishop Markarios (consecrated in Greece in January 1991) was placed in charge. Following the death of Archbishop Auxentios in 1994, Archbishop Maximos was selected to succeed him.
In 2008 the church reported 62 congregations, 100 clergy, and 9 monastic establishments in the United States and Canada with over 6,000 members. The church is the largest of the Greek Old Calendar Orthodox churches. Affiliated branches are found in Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Italy, and France.
Orthodox Christian Witness • Orthodox Ligh • The True Vine • The Struggler
Sister Churches: Five Hundred Years after Florence. Boston: Holy Orthodox Church in North America, 1994.
PO Box 703, Browns Mills, NJ 08015
The Holy United Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church traces its history to 901 c.e. and the founding of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church, Order of Saint Gregory of Nyssa by Father Jakot of Worms and Father Hugo of Cologne. The occasion for the founding of this Orthodox church in what was nominally Roman Catholic territory was the recovery of the lost writings of Gregory of Nyssa (a fourth-century bishop). In 1065, eleven years after the Great Schism between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, envoys from Constantinople arrived in Cologne and consecrated Bishop Johann as the German Orthodox bishop. The lineage of Bishop Johann was passed on through the centuries.
The relatively small church suffered greatly through the Reformation era (sixteenth century) but survived to the present. The German Orthodox bishops participated in several conferences following the establishment of the Old Catholic Church in the 1870s. In 1873 Abp. Wilhelm Von Strom (1840–1928) was the coconsecrator of German Old Catholic bishop Joseph Hubert Reinkens (1821–1896). He was succeeded by Abps. Otto Stefan Von Strom and Hansel Johann Von Strom; the latter consecrated James Stroms as archbishop and enthroned him as Patriarch of the Order of Saint Gregory of Nyssa in 1988. Following Archbishop Hansel’s death in 1996, Archbishop Paul II (James Stroms) moved the headquarters to the United States and the following year brought Saint Gregory Seminary from Cologne to Saint Paul Cathedral in Hyder, Alaska. In 1997 he was formally enthroned as Archbishop of the Holy United Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of America (German-American Rite).
The church is Orthodox in faith and practice. The church operates through seven regional divisions, four archdioceses, and three dioceses. The church has been active ecumenically. In 1995 Archbishop Paul II was consecrated into the Order of Saint Gregory of the West African Rite by Patriarch Behazin Optat of Lagos, Nigeria. In 1996 he brought the church into the Holy Patriarchate of the Americas. Archbishop Paul II also served as the commander in chief of the United Chaplains Service and Association.
In 2008 the church reported over 70,000 members in 38 congregations worldwide (including Germany, Poland, and Nigeria), and 20,000 members in five congregations served by 14 priests in the United States. There were over 200 members in two congregations in Canada.
Saint Gregory Seminary, Hyder, Alaska.
Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
1814 Slate NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104-1320
The Independent Greek Orthodox Church of the United States is a small Eastern Orthodox jurisdiction under the leadership of Rt. Rev. Elias, the bishop of San Francisco. As a group, the church members see themselves as being at odds with the mainline Orthodox institutions and as moving into the modern world. At the same time, the church believes that Eastern Orthodoxy as the true way, unclouded by what it considers to be heresies promulgated by western Christianity. The church adheres to the eternal truths put forth by the ancient church concerning the nature of God, the incarnation of His Son, the position of the Holy Spirit, the believers’relationship to the Theotokos (Mary, the God Bearer), and her relationship to her Son. These truths are set forth in the Nicene Creed and the affirmations of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Many of the later canons promulgated by the Orthodox Church were of a more temporal nature, more suited to medieval rural life than to modern urban existence. They do not have the significance of the ancient canon that defined the faith.
The church supports a small monastic community, Protection of the Holy Theotokos Skete in New Mexico.
In 2008 the diocese reported two parishes and a monastic community: Sts. Theodore Tiro and Theodore Stratilates Parish in San Francisco; St. Elijah the Prophet Parish in Los Angeles; and the Protection of the Holy Theotokos Skete in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Independent Greek Orthodox Church of the United States. www.orthopraxis.org/.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Independent Greek Orthodox Holy Archdiocese of North and South America was started in 1975 by Abp. Dorotheos Flengas. Archbishop Dorotheos was born in Greece, and after completing his studies at the University of Athens, he became a priest in the Greek Orthodox Church. He came to America in 1953. He left the Greek Orthodox Church and in 1958 was consecrated as a bishop. He died in 1981. He was succeeded by Metropolitan Andreas. The archdiocese is aligned with other independent bishops and churches in Greece.
St. Fanourios Greek School, Elizabeth, New Jersey.
American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese, Eastern American Deanery, 5073 Onondaga Rd., Syracuse, NY 13215
A schism in the Serbian Church occurred in 1947 when, under pressure from Marshall Tito’s Communist government, a new church was created to serve the geographic area of Macedonia, which extended through parts of Yugoslavia, Greece, and Bulgaria, though its strength was in South Serbia. In 1959 the patriarchate was “forced” to recognize it as autonomous but under the Belgrade patriarch, and Bishop Dositej was placed at its head. In 1967 Dositej proclaimed separation and independence, an act not recognized by the patriarch (or by anyone but Tito) and thus became schismatic.
In the United States the Macedonian Church was begun in Gary, Indiana, in 1961 during a visit of Rev. Spiridon Tanaskovski. Other parishes were established in Syracuse, New York, and Columbus, Ohio. In 1972 a schism developed in the Sts. Peter and Paul Macedonian Orthodox Church in Gary. As a result of disputes, Reverend Tanaskovski left and founded a new church, St. Clement Ohridski, which he claimed was loyal to the American flag and not to Tito.
Since the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the end of Communist control and repression in the church, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has clashed with the Serbian Orthodox Church over the former’s recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the method used to gain autocephaly. While the two groups have attempted to reconcile, no settlement has been reached.
The Macedonian Orthodox Church is headed by Archbishop Stephen of Ohrid and Macedonia. There are seven dioceses in Macedonia and six outside the country. The American and Canadian diocese is headed by Mt. Rev. Metropolitan Metodij.
In 2008 the church reported 22 churches in the United States and 10 in Canada.
Macedonian Orthodox Church. www.m-p-c.org/History/history.htm.
Macedonian Churches in North America (USA and Canada). faq.macedonia.org/religion/.
Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God, 33-11 89th St., Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Orthodox American Church is a small Orthodox jurisdiction that focuses upon the inner teachings of Orthodoxy but does so apart from the monastic tradition (where such inner teachings are usually found). It recognizes that there are a variety of mystical traditions within Orthodoxy, each of which contribute to the fullness of the body of Christ. The church offers a step-by-step program that leads from fundamental and foundational concepts to the most advanced teachings of the inner life. This program is based on the mystical interpretation of the New Testament supplemented by prayerful reading of and meditation on the Psalms. At the same time, members are introduced to spiritual exercises based on the practice of the Cross of Light and the Tree of Light (Kabbalah), along with the set feasts of the Orthodox Church. In addition, the church strives to follow The Way of the Holy Cross, and the iconographic representations known as the “twenty-two holy pictures” (tarot) are seen as depicting the way of the Eternal Life. Meditation and prayer on the tarot are seen as a means of opening the consciousness to eternal truth and eventually full illumination.
Members are invited to participate in the mystical lesson and the church’s worship services. Devotion and reception of Holy Communion in and at the Divine Liturgy is a sine qua non of this spiritual path. This mystical path does not involve the disciplined practice of the Jesus Prayer, one of the more famous Orthodox practices.
The church lays claim to a line of apostolic succession from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, though it emphasizes that it is completely independent of the older Russian jurisdictions. It is also an English-speaking church. The church is led by Metropolitans John Schneyder and James Johnson.
Not reported. There are parishes in New York, Texas, and Connecticut.
Orthodox American Church. orthodoxamericanchurch.com.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Orthodox Catholic Autocephalous Church was founded in the 1980s by Bp. James E. Henderson. Henderson had been consecrated by Abp. Trevor Wyatt Moore of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church in the United States, and for a number of years Henderson functioned as a bishop in that church. The Orthodox Catholic Autocephalous Church resembles its parent body; the occasion for the split was primarily administrative.
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit, MI: Apogee Books, 1990.
c/o Most Rev. Carlos A. Florido, Presiding Bishop, 544 Oak St., San Francisco, CA 94127
The Orthodox Catholic Church was founded in the mid-1980s by Carlos A. Florido. Florido was born in Cuba and became a priest in 1961. He subsequently moved to the United States. In 1983 he was consecrated as a bishop by Lewis S. Keizer of the Independent Church of Antioch and shortly thereafter founded the Independent Catholic Church headquartered at the St. Francis of Assisi Church in San Francisco. At a later date that church became known as the Orthodox Catholic Church. In 1990 Florido consecrated Katherine Kurtz as a bishop in charge of an order community, the Third Order of St. Michael, based in Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow, Ireland.
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990.
c/o Michael Edward Verra, 238 Mott St., New York, NY 10012
The Orthodox Catholic Church, known through the mid-1980s as the American Catholic Church, Archdiocese of New York, was established in 1927 by Fr. James Francis Augustine Lashley. Father Lashley, himself an African American, was moved to establish a Catholic jurisdiction to serve those African Americans who were drawn to the Roman Catholic faith but felt rejected by the Roman Catholic Church. He also fostered the religious vocation of African-American men called to the priesthood who were refused admission to Catholic seminaries because of their race.
In 1932 Bp. William F. Tyarks, of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, consecrated Father Lashley in the lineage of Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte, an episcopal line-age originating in the Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch and the East. Lashley built a substantial jurisdiction, which in the mid-1960s reported 20 congregations (nine in the United States and 11 in the West Indies). Lashley died in the mid-1980s and was succeeded by Bishop Verra.
The Orthodox Catholic Church in America does not consider itself independent but a part of the Body of Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The church takes as its standards of faith the Sacred Tradition, the accumulated teachings of the fathers of the Christian Church; the Holy Bible; the truths of the Seven Ecumenical Councils; and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1692, all believed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. It specifically rejects the universal episcopal jurisdiction and infallibility of the pope, the Filioque clause in the Apostles’ Creed; purgatory; indulgences; the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary; limbo; and the use of unleavened bread in the Divine Liturgy. The church uses a Western Rite liturgy in conformity with its Orthodox Catholic beliefs concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the changing of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ by the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist. Both icons and statues are used. Clergy may marry.
Not reported. In 2002 the church reported two parishes and three priests in the United States and two parishes and two priests in Trinidad.
c/o Metropolitan Skip Carsten, Crosswood Centre, 5355 CR 35, Auburn, IN 46709-9717
Several jurisdictions derive their orders from Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte (1854–1929), founder of the American Catholic Church through the orders given to the African Orthodox Church. In 1926 William F. Tyarks, a priest in the American Catholic Church who had been ordained in 1916 by Vilatte’s successor, Abp. Frederick E. J. Lloyd (1859–1933), left Lloyd’s jurisdiction and with other priests and members formed the American Catholic Orthodox Church. The group applied to the African Orthodox Church for orders, and Abp. George A. McGuire (1866–1934) consecrated Tyarks in 1928.
In 1930 Tyarks consecrated one of the priests who had come from the American Catholic Church with him, Clement John Cyril Sherwood (1895–1969). Sherwood soon left Tyarks and was reconsecrated by McGuire in 1932. The next year he formed the American Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Eastern Church. Sherwood’s career overlapped that of Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh’s activity, and Sherwood became acquainted with his vision of a united American Orthodoxy. He incorporated it in an ecumenical organization, the Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America.
Among Sherwood’s bishops was George A. Hyde, whom the patriarch consecrated in May 1957. Hyde had formed the Eucharistic Catholic Church in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1946. This first exclusively gay ministry in America continued until 1959 when Hyde moved to Washington, D.C., and formed the Society of Domestic Missionaries of St. Basil the Great, an order of priests. The following year, he left Sherwood and formed the Orthodox Catholic Church of America. He believed that Sherwood was too narrowly Eastern in his approach to liturgy and theology and wanted to restructure the church making it open to Western Rite Orthodox practice. In spite of leaving Sherwood’s jurisdiction, Hyde continued to participate in the ecumenical Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America.
In 1969 Sherwood died. At a meeting of the Synod the next year, Hyde was elected to succeed him as head of the Patriarchate, and the Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Eastern Church voted to become the Eastern Rite Diocese of the Orthodox Catholic Church of America. Thus Archbishop Hyde took control of all the work begun by Sherwood.
Doctrinally, the Orthodox Catholic Church of America follows the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and rejects doctrinal innovations such as purgatory, papal infallibility, the immaculate conception, communion in one kind only, and an unmarried clergy. The church uses both the Eastern and Western rites in its liturgy. Under Hyde’s administration, the church was active in promoting a ministry to homosexuals and is the ultimate source of the present Eucharistic Catholic Church. After Hyde’s retirement in 1983, this and other special ministries were discontinued in favor of work directed to all people.
Hyde’s elected successor was Alfred Louis Lankenau, bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis and Chicago. Under the new archbishop, the Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America, which had ceased to function during the 1970s, was revived, and several Catholic and Orthodox jurisdictions affiliated. In 1983 the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, headed by Abp. James Francis Miller, which had broken from the church of the same name headed by Abp. William Francis Forbes, merged into the church. Bp. Perry Sills of the Western Rite Orthodox Church was incardinated in 1988.
Archbishop Lankenau’s tenure of leadership was marked by the church’s expansion into sixteen states and movement into Canada. He also opened the ordained ministry to women. The first woman was ordained to the priesthood in 1995. Archbishop Lankenau retired in 1999. He was succeeded by Abp. E. Paul Brian Carsten, who had been consecrated as a bishop the previous year. Archbishop Carsten had led the church into further growth at all levels. He also reinstated the church’s Synod of Bishops.
In 2008 the church reported communities and missions in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and Hidalgo, Mexico. There are 35 priests and over 1,000 members.
In 1986 the Orthodox Catholic Church of America entered into an agreement of intercommunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church in America led by Abp. Walter X. Brown and jointly formed the Holy Orthodox Synod of America. The synod is a confederation that independent Orthodox bishops may join.
Orthodox Catholic Church of America. www.orthodoxcatholicchurch.org.
Bernard, R. J. A Faith for Americans. Anderson, SC: Ortho, 1974.
The Divine Liturgy. Elberton, GA: Orthodox Catholic Church of America, 1966.
Hyde, George Augustine., ed. The Courage to Be Ourselves. Anderson, SC: Ortho-Press, 1972.
———. The Genesis of the Orthodox Catholic Church of America. Indianapolis, IN: Orthodox Catholic Church of America, 1993.
PO Box 1213, Akron, OH 44309
The Orthodox Catholic Church of North and South America was inspired by the ideal of the American Orthodox Church founded by Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh under the guidance of Patriarch Tikhon of the Russian Orthodox Church. A new attempt to bring this into reality began with Bp. Joseph W. Alisauskas Jr. (d. 1980), who had been consecrated in 1968 by Abp. W. H. Francis Brothers (1887–1979) of the Old Catholic Church in America. Early in the 1960s Brothers had taken his jurisdiction into the Russian Orthodox Church, but in 1967 he withdrew and reconstituted the Old Catholic Church in America. Alisauskas left Brothers’s jurisdiction in 1969 and formed the Orthodox Catholic Diocese of Connecticut and New England, a name selected to designate accurately its geographic extent. In choosing the name, he was also drawing upon the impulse of Abp. Joseph Rene Vilatte (1854–1929), who had ordained Brothers in 1910 and consecrated him in 1913. The church adopted a new constitution in 1976, at which time it assumed its present name.
Associated with Alisauskas was the Holy Protection of the Mother of God Monastic Community of Cleveland cofounded by Roman Bernard, a layman. Bernard was ordained by Alisauskas and in 1978 was consecrated bishop of Ohio City and Cleveland. The same year, Alisauskas was elevated to the rank of metropolitan and, upon his death on August 26, 1980, was succeeded by Archbishop Roman.
The Orthodox Church of North and South America is Orthodox in faith and practice but follows a variety of liturgical rites including the Orthodox-Byzantine, the Ambrosian-Milanese, a modified (de-protestantized) Anglican, the Gallican (but only in the van der Mensbrugghe translation, approved by the 1985 synod meeting), and the Roman Tridentine.
This jurisdiction grew significantly in 1988 when the Catholic Orthodox Church of Guatemala and Latin America, some 200,000 strong, affiliated with it, bringing several parishes and priests plus a seminary with 46 students. At the 1990 synod held at Akron, Ohio, a bishop (Jose Imre of Tiquisate, Guatemala) was consecrated by Archbishop Roman and Bishop Emanuel of Montreal, Quebec, for Central America.
In addition to its spiritual activities, this independent Orthodox body has a strong consciousness. Father Andres Giron, once a member of the Guatemalan Parliament, has been a member of the United Nations Human Rights Commission for quite some time. He is also the president and founder of ANACAMPRO, a collective farm system for poor and disenfranchised peasants without land. In the United States two facilities care for the homeless (St. James House in Philadelphia and Holy Cross Home in Cleveland), while N.T.S./St. Paul’s Mission in Glassport (Pittsburgh area), Pennsylvania, locates jobs, free of charge, for the unemployed.
Not reported. In 1997 the church reported 28 parishes and missions and 11 mission stations, two of which are in the United States (Warren, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), semi-monastic communities (in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Barberton, Ohio), and a Shrine of St. Jude, also in Barberton. Among the personnel are two bishops, 13 priests, three sub-deacons, three seminarians in the United States, and nine members of religious communities (including monastics) with a total membership of approximately 214,300.
St. Nicholas Seminary, Akron, Ohio.
Seminario de San Jose, Nueva Conception, Escuintla Province, Guatemala.
The Orthodox Catholic Voice (5/year). • The Image (monthly). Send orders to 594 5th Ave. NE, Barberton, OH 44203. • The Western Orthodox Catholic (periodic). Send orders to Box 27-406, Willow Station, Cleveland, OH 44127. • The Clarion. Available from St. Michael’s Monastery, PO Box 8219, Phoenix, AZ 85066.
According to Archbishop Roman, Archbishop Brothers had always considered himself head of the Western Orthodox Catholic Church of America and had a large, oval, episcopal ring (used for sealing official documents) which bore that designation. Vilatte, consecrated by the Oriental Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, had been permitted to use the title Exarch of the Old Catholic Church in America, a tacit admission of the Patriarchate’s equation of “Old Catholic” and “Western Orthodox.” Since that time the name “Old Catholic” has taken on a variety of meanings not envisioned by the Patriarchate in 1892.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas is a small independent Catholic jurisdiction founded in 1986 by Msg. Antonio Fuoco. Most of its work is among French Canadians, and it is also known by its French name, Eglise Catholique Orthodoxe des Ameriques. Fuoco was consecrated in 1983 by Abp. Andre Barbeau (1912–1994) of the Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada, assisted by Andre Letellier and Jean-Marie Breault. He assumed the ecclesiastical name Mar Petros Johannes. In 1985 Fuoco founded the Religious Order of Saint Michael (Communaute Ecclesiale Oecumenique de Saint-Michel), over which he serves as superior general.
PO Box 1107, Thonotosassa, FL 33592
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Mercy is a relatively new independent Catholic jurisdiction that emerged out of the dissolution of the American Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church, Holy Synod of the Americas. The Holy Synod had formerly existed as the Diocese of Florida of the American Catholic Church but had become independent as an Eastern Orthodox body, though keeping the American Catholic Church’s stance toward an inclusive ministry that opened its doors to women and to gay and lesbian people in all areas of ecclesiastical life. On November 4, 2000, Fr. John Missing, a tonsured Stavrophore monk with the church, was consecrated as a bishop. Less than two months later (December 31, 2000), Metropolitan Abp. Vladimir Sergius II resigned as primate and appointed the new bishop to assume the primacy. However, he also dissolved the corporation, and in 2001 he reorganized his own ministry as the Pride Church International, which developed a primary relationship to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community.
In the wake of the events at the end of 2000, Bishop John reorganized the church as a separate jurisdiction, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Mercy. He has developed a ministry to the “neglected” elements of society—the aged and AIDS patients in nursing homes, alcoholics and addicts, and the imprisoned. He envisions the opening of a hospice that will combine elements of a home environment with the spirituality of a monastic community. It would combine healthy diet, some gardening, prayer and meditation, and modern and alternative medical care into a healing environment. Through his life, the bishop moved from a Baptist to an Eastern Orthodox perspective; his current perspective is one shaped by an appreciation of Gnosticism, Buddhism, Theosophy, and Creation Spirituality. He is also working with the teachings of famed British Spiritualist healer Harry Edwards (1893–1976).
The ministries of the small jurisdiction are limited to supplying religious services at meetings of the Society for Creative Anachronism, providing prayer and counseling at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, intercessory prayer for healing, and spiritual counseling over the Internet.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Mercy. churches.net/userpages/Mercy.html.
Chancery Administration Offices, 6850 N Hempstead Turnpike, PO Box 675, Syosset, NY 11791
The Orthodox Church in America is the oldest continuously existing Eastern Orthodox body in North America in general and the United States in particular. As the first Orthodox church began to arrive, it assumed a hegemony over what became in the nineteenth century a multiethnic Orthodox community, and many of the presently existing independent Orthodox churches in America began as parishes and/or a diocese within what is today known as the Orthodox Church in America.
The OCA began in Alaska with the arrival of missionaries of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1794 eight monks and two novices arrived on Kodiak Island to follow up on the work of converting the Native Americans already begun by a generation of Russian lay people in the Aleutians. Among these ten was Father Herman, later canonized by the church. In 1824 John Veniaminov (1787–1879), a married priest, was sent to the Aleutians. After the death of his wife, he was consecrated the first bishop of a missionary diocese. Bishop Innocent had an outstanding career in Alaska, building the first cathedral at Sitka, among other accomplishments. He was called in 1868 to be the metropolitan of Moscow, the highest office in the church, and in 1977 was canonized.
The sale of Alaska to the United States left the missionary diocese on its own. It moved its headquarters to San Francisco in 1872 and changed its name to the Russian Orthodox Church, Diocese of the Aleutian Islands and North America. The period during the episcopacy of Bishop Nicolas (d. 1915) beginning in 1891 was a time of noted growth. The Alaskan mission was expanded, and the work in Canada and the eastern United States began.
In 1905 the diocese moved its headquarters from San Francisco to New York City. Its growth was recognized by its elevation to the rank of archdiocese. Under the archbishop was a bishop for Alaska and an Arabic-speaking bishop, Raphael Hawaweeny (1860–1915), who as bishop of Brooklyn had oversight of Orthodox from the Middle East. Two additional bishops in Cleveland and Pittsburgh were soon added. The church progressed steadily until disrupted by events in Russia during World War I.
The Russian Revolution proved a disaster for the American Russian church. Russian Orthodox Christians had always carried a special loyalty for the royal family, which had been executed by the new government in Moscow. Also, money from Russia, which had always assisted in the support of the archdiocese, was abruptly curtailed, only to be followed almost immediately by a wave of immigration by refugees looking to the church for spiritual guidance and support. The patriarch of Moscow was arrested and the American church split over loyalty to him versus acceptance of the new government. Representatives of what was termed the “Living Church” (those supportive of the Communist regime) arrived in the United States in 1923. At a synod of the Russian Church in 1924 in Detroit the credentials of the Living Church were rejected and the church asserted its administrative, judicial, and legislative independence from Russia. It assumed a new name, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America, and declared the imprisoned Archbishop Platon “Metropolitan of All America and Canada,” an action that led the church to be popularly called the “Metropolia.” However, before the church was able to validate legally its separation from Moscow, the Living Church representatives were able, through a court ruling, to win the transfer of the title of St. Nicolas Cathedral in New York City into their hands.
In 1925 Archbishop Platon died. He was succeeded by Archbishop Sergius (1867–1944), who in 1927 issued a declaration calling for loyalty and cooperation with the new Russian government. Prior to this declaration, the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America had cooperated with other Russian bishops around the world caught outside of Russia and also cut off by the Revolution. Following the declaration, Metropolitan Platon declared his loyalty to Sergius but specifically denied him any power to make administrative decisions concerning the American church. In spite of the challenges of competing branches of Russian Orthodoxy—one branch staunchly opposed to any cooperation with the church under Communist domination (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) and the other administratively tied to the patriarch of Moscow (the American Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church)—the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America retained the support of most American believers.
During the years following the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, the Metropolia assumed the position that it would give recognition to the spiritual authority of the patriarch in Moscow if he would recognize its administrative autonomy. However, the church in Russia continued its support of those parishes in the exarchate who recognized his complete authority. Finally, in 1970, the separation of the Metropolia from the church in Russia ended when the patriarch of Moscow, His Holiness Alexis (1877–1970), granted autonomous status to the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America, renamed the Orthodox Church in America. The exarchate was dissolved and most of its parishes moved into the OCA.
For quite different reasons, the creation of the Orthodox Church in America created a controversy within the larger American Orthodox community. For many years there had been various attempts to move away from the ethnic divisions within American Orthodoxy. In creating the Orthodox Church in America, the Russian community asserted its status as the oldest Orthodox church in North America and as such the most fitting focus of Orthodox unity. Other Orthodox groups, particularly the Greek Archdiocese, saw the emergence of the OCA as a unilateral effort not deserving of recognition.
The OCA is headed by its archbishop, Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko), whose jurisdiction extends throughout the western hemisphere. There are nine dioceses in the United States, one in Canada, and an exarchate in Mexico. Also under its canonical jurisdiction are the autonomous Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese and the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. The latter places the OCA in a peculiar position, having a relationship with the Romanian Episcopate while holding membership in the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops which includes the rival Romanian Orthodox Church of America.
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Tuckahoe, New York.
The Orthodox Church • The Canadian Orthodox Messenger
Orthodox Church in America. www.oca.org.
Koulomzin, Sophie. The Orthodox Christian Church through the Ages. New York: Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America, 1956.
The Orthodox Liturgy … According to the Use of the Church of Russia. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1964.
Tarasar, Constance. Orthodox America, 1794–1976: Development of the Orthodox Church in America. Syosset, NY: Orthodox Church in America, Department of Archives and History, 1975.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Orthodox Church of America was formed on June 29, 1970, by Bp. David Baxter. Bishop Baxter had been consecrated the previous year by Abp. Walter Propheta of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, assisted by Bps. John A. Christian and Foster Gilead. The church uses the Western Rite, but places emphasis upon its Eastern orders and Eastern spirituality. Its faith is based on the Nicene Creed, the seven sacraments, and the necessity of orders in the apostolic succession.
Archeparchy of Edmonton & All Canada & North American Missions–Eastern Rite, 5824-118 Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada T5W 1E4
The Orthodox Church of Canada is an autocephalous metropolia in the apostolic lineage of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. As a daughter church of the UAOC it remains rooted in those traditions both canonically and historically. It also describes itself as an Orthodox church with both Eastern and Western components and maintains a broader jurisdictional affiliation with several churches in the United States as the Orthodox Church of the East and West (Canada & USA). Since 2004 the church has been led by Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph Royer.
Not reported. In 2008 the church was headquartered at All Saints Orthodox Cathedral in Edmonton, Alberta, where it also had a mission; affiliated U.S. churches were in Hartly, Delaware; Camden, South Carolina; and Rockdale, Texas.
Orthodox Church of Canada. www.orthodoxchurchofcanada.org.
Orthodox Church of the East and West. www.holyspiritorthodox.com.
W. Henry Ave., Tampa, FL 33604
The Orthodox Church of the West—USA is an autonomous Orthodox jurisdiction established in 1996. It grew out of the career of its founder, Bishop Gabriel, who spent three decades as a monk in several jurisdictions connected with the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia. In 1978 he founded the St. Seraphim of Sarov Monastery. In 1994 he was asked to affiliate with the Hellenic Orthodox Church in the Diaspora, one of several Old Calendar Orthodox churches based in Greece, and the following year he was consecrated as the church’s bishop for Greek and American Old Calendar Greeks. In 1998 Bishop Gabriel founded the Diocese of the Assumption/Dormition of the Orthodox Church of the West—USA.
The new church and diocese were established as an expression of the belief and practice of the undivided Christian church of the first millennium c.e. It rejects changes that were introduced in the west during and after the schism between the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates and the Roman Catholic Church. Most notably, it rejects the use of the Gregorian calendar, which largely replaced the older Julian calendar.
The church considers itself an Orthodox Catholic church. It is Orthodox in following the faith and practice of the undivided church, but it follows western formats. It has also organized a western monastic community that follows the Benedictine rule. Its uses a western liturgy, most notably the eucharistic rite of the Mass (liturgy) of St. Gregory of Rome. It honors saints of the ancient western church such as Irenaeus of Lyon, Martin of Tours, Hilary of Poitiers, and Patrick of Ireland.
The church supports the Holy Cross Benedictine community and an associated lay order, the Benedictine oblates. It hopes to found a convent for women who wish to take the Benedictine vows.
Orthodox Church of the West. www.orthodoxchurchofthewest.org/.
c/o St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral, 15 E 97th St., New York, NY 10029
Following the Russian Revolution, the members of the Russian Orthodox Church in both Russia and the United States were split over rejecting or acknowledging the new government that had risen to power. Within the United States, especially after the arrest of the patriarch of Moscow, the sentiment was largely against any accommodation, and the American archdiocese declared itself administratively autonomous of the homeland. Meanwhile, within the Soviet Union, leaders of the so-called Living Church, those who supported accommodation to the Communist government, assumed control of the church and elected John Kedrovsky as the new bishop for the West. Kedrovsky arrived in America in 1923 prepared to take up his leadership role. However, at the same synod meeting in 1924 at which the church declared its autonomy, Kedrovsky’s credentials were rejected. As the official representative of the church in Russia, however, he did find some support and in 1926 won possession of the headquarters’cathedral in New York City.
Kedrovsky’s situation was further complicated in 1933 by the arrival of Metropolitan Benjamin Fedchenkov. In the years that Bishop John had lived in the United States, the church in Russia had regained some stability and the Living Church faction had died away. Metropolitan Benjamin represented a more acceptable accommodationist position and gained some support. He established the American Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church. However, for another decade Bishop John, succeeded by his son Nicholas Kedrovsky, whom he had consecrated, kept possession of St. Nicholas Cathedral. Finally, in 1945, after the deaths of both John and Nicolas, the Kedrovsky faction was left without either support of the church in Russia or an episcopal leader. Rev. John Kedrovsky, Bishop John’s other son, signed over the cathedral to the Exarchate.
Negotiations continued sporadically in an attempt to work out differences between the church authorities and the larger autonomous Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America. These reached fruition in 1970. The Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America became the Orthodox Church in America and recognized the patriarch of Moscow as its spiritual authority. The patriarch, in turn, recognized its autonomous status. As part of the agreement, the Exarchate was dissolved. At the time of the dissolution of the Exarchate, it was agreed that any parishes that wished to remain under the direct administrative authority of the Moscow patriarchy could remain outside of the Orthodox Church in America. These several parishes reformed as the Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada. A vicar bishop was placed in charge of the approximately 40 parishes. St. Nicholas remained with the patriarchal parishes and served as its headquarters. Over the years parishes have been allowed to transfer to the OCA. The church is also a member of the National Council of Churches.
The church reported over 10,000 members in 45 parishes.
Russian Church (Moscow Patriarchate). www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?ln=en.
Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). www.mospat.ru/index.php.
Pokrovshy, M. St. Nicholas Cathedral of New York, History and Legend. New York: St. Nicholas Cathedral Study Group, 1968.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Reformed Orthodox Catholic Church is a small Orthodox jurisdiction founded by Most Rev. Thomas Ephraim (the ecclesiastical name of Bishop Dennis Smith). Smith had originally been consecrated on July 1, 1971, in Miami, Florida, by Abp. Richard E. Drews, head of the Reformed (Slavonic) Orthodox Church of Florida, assisted by Abps. Mark Karras and George Erline. He later left Drews’s jurisdiction.
808 W Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
The Reformed (Slavonic) Orthodox Church is a small Orthodox jurisdiction founded by Abp. Richard E. Drews. He was originally consecrated on October 4, 1969, at St. Fanourios Orthodox Church, Woodside, New York, by Abp. Lowell Paul Wadle of the American Catholic Church, assisted by Abps. Mark Karras and George Erline. He later founded the Reformed (Slavonic) Orthodox Church in Florida.
The church is Orthodox in belief and practice. The liturgy is in English.
5410 N Newland Ave., Chicago, IL 60656-2026
The Romanian Orthodox Church of America, officially known as the Romanian Orthodox Missionary Archdiocese in America and Canada, had its beginning in the formation of the first Romanian Orthodox parish in North America, formed in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1902. Two years later a parish was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, the first in the United States. These parishes and others to follow functioned under the hegemony of the Russian Orthodox Church. A diocese was created in 1929 and a bishop assigned in 1935. Bp. Policarp Morusca (1883–1958) returned to Romania at the beginning of World War II; after the war he was detained and in 1948 involuntarily retired by the new Romanian government. A new bishop, consecrated and sent by the church in Romania, arrived in 1950. The appearance of Bishop Andrei Moldovan (d. 1963) divided the American church, which had a bylaw providing for the consecration of a bishop only after election by a diocesan congress.
The majority of the American Romanian Orthodox rejected Moldovan. The Romanian Orthodox Church in America began with the 12 parishes that accepted him. They organized as the Canonical Missionary Episcopate in the United States, Canada, and South America. The church is fully Orthodox in faith and practice, a member of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), and differs from the larger Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America in administration.
As of 2008, there were 28 churches and missions (1 monastery and 1 monastic center) in the United States; 23 churches and missions (and 1 monastery) in Canada; 1 mission in Argentina and 1 church in Venezuela.
The Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas. www.romarch.org/.
2535 Grey Tower Rd., Jackson, MI 49201-9120
The first Romanian Christians came to America at the end of the nineteenth century. A parish of the Romanian Orthodox Church was organized in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1902, and two years later St. Mary’s Church was founded in Cleveland. Individual congregations cooperated with Russian bishops but were related directly to the hierarchy in Romania. After a quarter of a century, a church congress was held in Detroit and in 1929 the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate (diocese) of America was organized. In 1935 the first bishop, His Grace Policarp (Morusca) (1883–1958) came to the United States and settled in Grass Lake, Michigan.
The second bishop, the Most Rev. Archbishop Valerian (Trifa) (1914–1987), was succeeded by the Most Rev. Archbishop Nathaniel Popp (b. 1940), the current ruling bishop of the episcopate. Canonically the episcopate is under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America.
In 2001 the episcopate reported 70 parishes, 100,000 members, and 120 clergy, including 18 parishes and 13 clergy in Canada.
St. Andrew House, Detroit, Michigan.
SOLIA, The Herald. Send orders to PO Box 185, Grass Lake, MI 49240-0185. • Lumina Lina. • Joyous Light SOLIA CALENDAR Annual Almanac.
In 1939 Bishop Polycarp went to Romania, but because of political events he could not return. After World War II he was detained by the Romanian government and in 1948 placed in retirement. The Romanian patriarchate, without the knowledge or consent of the American diocese, consecrated a new bishop, the Rev. Andrei Moldovan, a parish priest in Akron, Ohio, who had gone to Romania to be consecrated without the concurrence or support of the American parishes. His return to the United States created a major crisis as the status and bylaws of the diocese provided for ordination of bishops only after election by the diocesan congress. The majority party (48 parishes) declared themselves in full separation from the Romanian patriarchate. Later, in 1951, they elected Viorel (Valerian) D. Trifa, who had recently arrived in the United States as their bishop. Through a fraternal tie, Trifa was able to bring the episcopate under the canonical protection of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America (now the Orthodox Church in America), which recognized Trifa’s church as a self-governing body.
The episcopate faced a second major crisis in the 1970s when Bishop Trifa was charged with concealing an alleged role in Nazi atrocities in Romania. In 1980 he surrendered his U.S. citizenship and in 1984 went into exile in Portugal. He died there in 1987 and was succeeded by Bp. Nathaniel Popp.
In 2008 the episcopate requested the initiation of talks with the Church of Romania in order to clarify a number of issues between the two organizations and seek understanding. Representatives from both organizations participated jointly in worship service. They also drafted and released a joint statement of clarification explaining the influences of communism in Eastern Europe that led to the separation while asking for mutual forgiveness for misunderstandings and past tension. The statement also made clear a mutual desire for reunification.
Romanian Episcopate of America. www.roea.org.
Beliefs of Orthodox Christians. Jackson, MI: Romanian Orthodox Episcopate, n.d.
Bobango, Gerald J. The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. Jackson, MI: Romanian American Heritage Center, 1979.
50th Anniversary, 1938–1988. Vatra Dedication. Jackson, MI: Publishing Department, Romanian Orthodox Episcopate in America, 1988.
Holy Liturgy for Orthodox Christians. Jackson, MI: Romanian Orthodox Episcopate, n.d.
Lascu, Traian. Valerian, 1951–1984. Madison Heights, MI: Knello Printing Services, 1984.
Trifa, Valerian D. Holy Sacraments for Orthodox Christians. Jackson, MI: Romanian Orthodox Episcopate, n.d.
c/o Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Orthodox Parish, Right Rev. Andrew of Pavlovskoye, 95 Elm St., Elmwood Park, NJ 07407-1610
The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America is the North American representative of the Free Russian Orthodox Church, which was formally established in 1994 in Russia. It draws on the tradition of resistance to the former Soviet Union’s atheism and subversion of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate. The church traces its history to 1920 and a decree issued by Patriarch Tikhon, calling on the church outside of Soviet control to organize separately and preserve the heritage. This decree led to the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. In the 1970s, that church assisted in the process of setting up independent underground churches in the Soviet Union and supplying them with Episcopal leadership.
During the years since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russian began talks that eventually led to its reconciliation with the Moscow Patriarchate. The Free Russian Orthodox Church saw these negotiations and their culmination as a betrayal of trust. It continues to view the Moscow patriarchy as an apostate body that has not rid itself of the subversive element acquired during the Soviet years. In the wake of the actions of the Russian Church Outside of Russia, it broke fellowship and in 2000 began to establish parishes outside of Russia. Its leader, Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal and Vladimir, had particular concern for North America, which had been a Russian missionary territory prior to the Russian Revolution (1917).
The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America continues the beliefs and practice of the Russian Orthodox Church prior to the rise of the Soviet Union. It is opposed to the ecumenical endeavors of the modern Russian Orthodoxy. The American diocese is led by Bp. Andrew of Pavlovskoye, the administrator of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America.
Not reported. In 2008 there were six parishes.
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America. www.roacusa.org/.
Monastery of Saint John the Wonderworker, 1105 W Deming St., Roswell, NM 88203
The Russian Orthodox Church in America (not to be confused with either of the large Russian Orthodox jurisdictions, the Orthodox Church in America or the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), traces it history to the career of Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh (1880–1971), who in the 1920s was part of a short-lived experiment by the then Russian Orthodox jurisdiction in America to create an American Orthodox church. Ofiesh, of Syrian ancestry, was consecrated as a bishop in 1917 and elevated to archbishop in 1923. He formed the American Orthodox Church in 1927. The church came to a crossroads when the Russian bishops withdrew support and in 1932 moved Ofiesh out of his church in Brooklyn, New York. He pushed forward with the independent effort but lost what little support remained within the larger Orthodox community in 1933 when he married. The bishops consecrated by Ofiesh would through the twentieth century become the source for a number of small Orthodox groups.
The American Orthodox church was centered upon a monastic community, the Monastery of Saint John the Wonderworker, originally founded in Wyoming in 1987 by two monks of northern European descent. The monastery later moved to Denver (1984), where a distant-learning seminary was also established.
In 1996 the church faced a crisis when its leader, Archbishop Vladimir, resigned his position and left the church altogether. At that point, a monk named Symeon, who had retired due to ill health, was the only bishop remaining in the church and was asked to assume the role of metropolitan. Two years later, now assisted by Bishop Macarius, he re-chartered the church under its present name, the Russian Orthodox Church in America, to more correctly reflect its history. In 2002, Metropolitan Symeon founded the cathedral parish of Mary Joy of the Sorrowing in Aurora, Colorado.
The church faced another crisis when Archbishop Macarius withdrew from the church in 2005, again leaving Metropolitan Symeon as the only bishop. Metropolitan Symeon subsequently invited Bishop Ioan, who headed the independent Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in western Denver to affiliate with the Russian Orthodox Church. Together, they rebuilt the church’s hierarchy.
Metropolitan Symeon moved from Denver, Colorado, to Roswell, New Mexico, in 2006. He also relocated the Monastic Skete of Saint John the Wonderworker and established the parish of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia. In the summer of 2008, the seminary began classes on a new campus also in Roswell campus of the Saint Innocent of Alaska Orthodox Theological Seminary.
In 2008 Metropolitan SYMEON also received the Church of the Holy Faith of the Christian East (also known as the Orthodox Church of Columbia) into the Russian Orthodox Church in America. As part of the ceremonies, its bishop, Jairo Gonzales y Montoya, was elevated to the archepiscopacy and named Archbishop for the Western Rite in Central and South America.
In 2008 the church had parishes and missions scattered in 17 states and an affiliated archdiocese in Columbia, South America.
Saint Innocent of Alaska Orthodox Theological Seminary, Roswell, New Mexico.
Russian Orthodox Church in America. www.russianorthodox.org.
75 E 93rd St., New York, NY 10028
Following the Russian Revolution and the cutting of lines of authority and communication between the patriarch of Moscow and bishops serving Russian Orthodox communities outside of Soviet control, attempts were made to reorganize the church. In 1921 a conference of Russian Orthodox bishops in exile met at Sremski Karlovtsy, Yugoslavia. Among the participants was Metropolitan Platon (1866–1934), leader of the American archdiocese. Metropolitan Platon continued to work with the Council of Bishops Abroad until 1926 when he ran into conflict over the movement toward autocephalous status of the American church. Metropolitan Platon declared the Council of Bishops an uncanonical organization. The Council dismissed Platon and assigned Bishop Apollinary in his place.
Bishop Apollinary was elevated to archbishop in 1929 and, after a short period of leadership, died in 1933. He was succeeded by Bishop Vitaly (1910–2006). Efforts to heal the schism between the Church Abroad and the autonomous Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America (popularly called the Metropolia) led to a temporary rapproachment in 1935, which continued through the period of World War II. In the mid-1940s, however, it became evident that the larger body wished some realignment with the patriarch of Moscow, and in 1946 it broke completely with the Church Abroad. The American followers of the Church Abroad asserted their continuity with Russian Orthodoxy in America and declared the Metropolia schismatic. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia thus became the major voice of the anti-Soviet faction of Russian Orthodoxy and has tried ever since to continue the traditional practices of the Russian Church.
In 2007 the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia signed the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, reestablishing the canonical link between the churches.
In 1994 the church reported 177 parishes in the United States, 25 parishes in Canada, and 37 parishes in South America, with approximately 100,000 members in the United States. In 2008 the church reported over 400 parishes globally and over 400,000 members.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, New York.
Orthodox Life. Available from Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY 13361. • Orthodox America. Send orders to PO Box 3132, Redding, CA 96099.
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/.
A Cry of Despair from Moscow Churchmen. New York: Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, 1966.
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Montreal: Monastery Press in Canada, 1971.
Holy Transfiguration Monastery. A History of the Russian Church Abroad and the Events Leading to the American Metropolia’s Autocephaly, 1917–1971. Seattle: Saint Nectarios Press, 1972.
Rodzianko, M. The Truth about the Russian Church Abroad. N.p. 1975.
Young, Alexey. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia: A History and Chronology. San Bernardino: St. Willibrord’s Press, 1993.
c/o Bishop Vladimir, PO Box 191363, Sacramento, CA 95819
In 2001 Metropolitan Vitaly (1910-2006), the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, retired and was succeeded by Metropolitan Laurus. Vitaly moved to the Transfiguration Monastery in Mansonville, Quebec, which he had built during his years as head of the church’s Canadian work. However, only a few weeks after announcing his retirement, Metropolitan Vitaly rescinded his announcement and attempted to reassume his role as the church’s First Hierarch. Even before this, relations with his fellow bishops had deteriorated and strongly polemical statements began to be issued by both sides. In particular, Vitaly condemned the Council of Bishop for taking hasty steps to reconcile with the Moscow Patriarchate.
Vitaly called upon his fellow bishops and all of the church’s priests and members to reject Metropolitan Laurus and what he termed the “robber council.” With his supporters, he formed the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile, under which name the new organization was incorporated in 2002. Two bishops and approximately a dozen priests and monks from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia aligned with him. The name Russian Orthodox Church in Exile was rejected in 2003, and the church resumed using the name Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and claimed to possess and continue that church’s heritage. In its present form it continues the belief and practices of the Russian Orthodox Church from the years prior to the Russian Revolution (1917)
The jurisdiction led by Metropolitan Vitaly steadily picked up the support of bishops, priests, and parishes, though it failed to match the strength of the jurisdiction led by Metropolitan Laurus. It continued a polemic his jurisdiction based on its reconciliation with the Moscow patriarchate.
Metropolitan Vitaly died in 2006. No successor has been named as of 2008. The church is currently led by its four bishops, of whom Bishop Vladimir, who heads the Diocese of San Francisco and the Western United States, is the most prominent. Dioceses cover North and South America, Russia, and Europe.
Not reported. In 2008 there were 14 parishes in the United States and 11 in Canada. Outside of North America parishes could be found in Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Russia.
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (Vitaly). www.rocorv.com/rocor/engindex.html#.
For information: archbishop.alexy&gmail.com
The Russian True Orthodox Church is one of several churches that arose after the fall of the Soviet Union. During the years of Soviet rule, many rejected the Russian Orthodox Church, which they felt had been subverted by the government. However, as a more religiously free climate emerged in the 1980s, those opposed to the Russian church, many of whom lacked any episcopal leadership, disagreed about which bishops to follow into the post-Soviet era.
In 1996 one group of Russian Orthodox believers turned to Patriarch Dimitry of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, seeking the restoration of an acceptable hierarchy. Patriarch Dimitry gave his consent for two Ukrainian archbishops, Roman and Methody, to consecrate Hieromonk John as the first bishop of what became the Russian True Orthodox Church. Shortly thereafter, Bp. Methody joined Bp. John in consecrating Archimandrite Stefan as the second bishop for the Russian True Orthodox Church. Bps. John and Stefan consecrated additional bishops. In 2000 the Russian True Orthodox Church added “Metropolia of Moscow” to its name in order to distinguish it from other groups that were also emerging at the time. As the church grew, leadership passed to Metropolitan Vyacheslav of Moscow and Kolomensk and Abp. Mikhail of Krutitski and Bronitski.
The jurisdiction of the Russian True Orthodox Church was extended to the United States in 2003 when Abps. Vyacheslaw and Michael consecrated Bp. Alexy as the bishop of Minneapolis and Chicago. Two years later the churches synod elevated him to the office of archbishop.
The church is at one with the Orthodoxy in belief and practice.
Russian True Orthodox Church. theorthodox.org/true_orthodox_church.htm.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Arrendale)
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church was founded in 1980 by Abp. James Augustine Arrendale and other former members of Abp. James Francis Augustine Lashley’s American Catholic Church, Archdiocese of New York. Arrendale was consecrated on August 10, 1981, by Bishop Pinachio, who was assisted by Bps. Donald Anthony and William Wren. The group adheres to the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the three Ecumenical Creeds. Archbishop Arrendale died in 1985 and the future course of the archdiocese is in doubt.
Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church
260 Lauer Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church was founded in the late 1990s as the Anglican Catholic Byzantine Orthodox Church by Paul Victor Verhaeren and Wayne Moore Hay. Verhaeren and Hay had been consecrated in 1997, first by Ronald D. Nowland, a bishop in the line of Carlos Duarte Costa of the Brazilian Apostolic Catholic Church, and then by Irwin R. Young, Jr., a bishop in the Old Catholic Church succession of Arnold Harris Mathew. Both bishops carried several lines of Apostolic succession. Verhaeren, now known as Stephanos I, serves as the church’s patriarch and Hay as its metropolitan. Through its lines of succession the church has drawn its authority from both Eastern and Western rites. This is reflected in the several liturgies it promotes—a corrected Tridentine Mass, St. Tikhon’s Mass based on the Book of Common Prayer, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and a specially approved Gallican Liturgy.
Although it draws on various traditions, the church is basically Orthodox in it use of the Nicene Creed without the Filioque clause inserted by the Roman Catholic Church in the eleventh century and its adherence to the seven ecumenical councils of the undivided church. The western church has continued to hold councils, the most recent being Vatican II (1962–1965). It accepts seven sacraments (rather than two as held by the Anglicans and Protestants) and believes in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Great emphasis is also placed on church tradition from the seven councils and the early fathers of the church, which are honored as being agreeable to Holy Scripture and the church’s authority. Authority in the church is placed in its bishops as Orthodox bishops in apostolic succession. In 2008 there were four bishops in the church.
In 2003 the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), claiming that the use of “Anglican Catholic” was a violation of copyright laws, threatened legal action against the Anglican Catholic Byzantine Orthodox Church. Faced with a costly legal battle, the Anglican Catholic Byzantine Orthodox Church complied with the ACC’s request to cease using the words “Anglican Catholic,” and changed its name to the Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church.
In 2008 the church reported four affiliated parishes and missions in the United States and one in Mexico.
Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church. whozontop.com/whozon/memberSite.asp?wsID=684&hitzone=HZ0011.
St. Sava Monastery, PO Box 519, Libertyville, IL 60048
Few churches have been so affected by the changes in modern Europe as the Serbian Church, which has survived centuries of shifting political division of the traditional Serbian homelands in the Balkan region. An independent Serbian Orthodox Church had been established in 1219 under Archbishop St. Sava (1169–1236). A patriarchate was established in the fourteenth century. From 1389 to 1815 Serbia was under Turkish rule and the church suffered severe persecution, but a nineteenth-century revival followed independence from Muslim control.
In 1765 Serbian autonomy ended, and the church returned to the jurisdiction of the ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople, who began a hellenization program. In 1832 the archbishop of Belgrade was given the title metropolitan, and in 1879, as a result of the Congress of Berlin, the Serbian Church regained autonomy. In 1920 it joined with the independent Serbian churches in Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Dalmatia, and Croatia—regions that, like Serbia, were now constituent parts of the political state soon to be known as Yugoslavia—to form the Serbian patriarchate. The seat was established in Belgrade, and its independence was recognized by the ecumenical patriarch in 1922.
Immigrants from Serbia began to arrive in the United States in significant numbers in the 1890s. In 1892 Archimandrite Firmilian arrived and began to organize parishes. The first was in Jackson, California, but others soon followed in Chicago, Illinois; Douglas, Alaska; and McKeesport, Steelton, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. All of these early parishes were placed under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church in America. The Serbian Church began to seek autonomous status as early as 1913. With Russian encouragement, Serbian Father Mardary was sent to the United States to organize an independent diocese in 1917. In 1919 the Russians elevated him to archimandrite. In 1921 the Serbs separated from the Russian Orthodox Church, and Mardary became the administrator. In 1926 he was consecrated bishop for the American diocese. The Serbian Church grew slowly in this country until World War II, when a flood of refugees came into the United States. St. Sava Monastery at Libertyville, Illinois, was built soon after Bishop Mardary’s consecration, and the church headquarters are currently established there.
The changes in political structure in Yugoslavia after World War II drastically altered the American diocese. In 1940 Bp. Dionisije Milivojevich was sent to the United States to assume authority for the church. Because Bishop Dionisije was a vocal defender of the Serbian monarchy and foe of Marshall Tito, the new ruler of Yugoslavia, Tito encouraged the Belgrade patriarch to release Milivojevich of his duties. At the same time, Tito moved against the church by confiscating all church property, thus placing the church under his financial control. The American Archdiocese was divided into three dioceses. Milivojevich was left in charge of the Midwest. He rejected the actions of the patriarch in Belgrade, which he interpreted as coming from an atheist government bent on absolute control of the church. He was suspended from office and excommunicated the following year. He appealed the actions of the Belgrade patriarch to the clergy and laity of the American church and individual congregations, and priests began to take sides. Each side filed suit against the other, and two churches evolved: the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States of America and Canada and the Free Serbian Orthodox Church–Diocese for the U.S.A. and Canada.
The Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States of America and Canada was the canonical body loyal to the Mother Church with its Patriarchal See in Belgrade. In 1963 it was reorganized into three dioceses. Leading the church since 1991 is Metropolitan Christopher (Kovacevich), who heads the Metropolitanate of Midwestern America, located in Libertyville, Illinois. During the period of the 1960s and 1970s when the headquarters property of the church at St. Sava Monastery was being contested in court and under the control of Bishop Dionisije, the Midwestern Diocese erected a large church building in Chicago that served (until 1980) as its temporary headquarters. The Western American Diocese is headquartered in Alhambra, California, and the Eastern American Diocese in Edgeworth, Pennsylvania. In 1983 the Canadian parishes were separated from the Eastern Diocese and organized into a new Canadian Diocese. The Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States of America and Canada is a member of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. Through its ties to the church in Belgrade, it is also a member of the World Council of Churches.
In 1992 major steps were taken to heal the division between the two bodies of Serbian Orthodox believers in North America. On February 15, following discussions with the patriarchate in Belgrade, bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of New Gracanica, concelebrated the Divine liturgy with Patriarch Pavle. The action formally healed the schism. Only the formalities of working out the legal and administrative issues remained. By 1998 a common Constitution was being worked out for the entire Serbian Church in North America. Once agreed upon and accepted, territorial reorganization of the churches and dioceses will take place, so that administrative unity can follow.
Not reported. In 1986 the church reported 67,000 members, 68 parishes and missions, and 82 priests.
St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Seminary, Libertyville, Illinois.
The Path of Orthodoxy • The Clergy Messenger
Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States of America and Canada. www.serborth.org.
Dionisije, Bishop. Patriarch Gherman’s Violations of the Holy Canons, Rules and Regulations of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Tito’s Yugoslavia. Libertyville, IL: Serbian Orthodox Diocese in the U.S.A. and Canada (Free Serbian Orthodox Church in Free World), 1965.
Divine Liturgy, Prayers, Catechism. Libertyville, IL: St. Sava Seminary Fund, 1979.
Gracanica. Grayslake, IL: Serbian Orthodox Free Diocese of the United States and Canada, 1984.
A Time to Choose. Third Lake, IL: Monastery of the Most Holy Mother of God, 1981.
Todorovich, Jovan. Serbian Patron Saint, Krsna Slava. Merrilville, IN: The Author, 1978.
Velimirovich, Nicholai D. The Life of St. Sava. Libertyville, IL: Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese, 1951.
c/o The Right Reverend Mitred Archpriest Michael, Moderator, PO Box 687, New Albany, OH 43054-0687
The Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops (SEC), formerly the Holy Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America (HOCPA), traces its origin to Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost, having survived through schisms and heresies. According to church history, Orthodox missionaries reached the North American continent via exploratory voyages long before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. By the mid-1800s various ethnic jurisdictions, predominantly the Russian Orthodox Church, were firmly planted in America. In 1921 the Holy Synod of Moscow, under the authorization of Patriarch Tikhon, gave its consent to the formation of a group of Orthodox bishops in North America. This was the first definitive act by an “old world” jurisdiction to establish an Orthodox body indigenous to the Americas.
At its earliest beginnings, the American Patriarchate bishops ordained and consecrated, even outside their ethnic boundaries, to ensure canonical clergy to serve their churches in America. The church acknowledges a tremendous debt to Archbishop Palladios Rudenko of the Holy Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church in Exile and to Archbishop Athenagoras Spyrou (1886–1972), Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, who became the Ecumenical Patriarch in 1948.
In Orthodoxy, valid Apostolic Succession ensures heredity from the historical church of the Apostles. HOCPA’s unbroken line derives from Archbishop Sophronios Bishara (1888–1934), Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America; Metropolitan Theophan Noli (1882–1965), Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese; Metropolitan Christopher Contogeorge (1894–1950), American Exarch, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria; and Archbishop Benjamin Fedchenkov (1880–1961), Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow.
On March 1, 1945, Archbishop Athenagoras Spyrou issued a letter, on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, confirming the canonical character and validity of the ecclesiastical acts of Metropolitan Christopher Contogeorge. It was Contogeorge who consecrated Abp. Nicholas Kedroffsky (1902–1944) for the Moscow Patriarchate, who then consecrated Metropolitan Joseph Klymowycz (1880–1961), who would become HOCPA’s first archbishop.
On October 14, 1950, canonical Orthodox bishops met at Springfield, Massachusetts, to formally break all ties with Moscow and function as an American Jurisdiction working independently of Russia. On January 15, 1951, Metropolitan Joseph Klymowycz and Abp. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994) met in Albany, New York, to incorporate the Holy Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America, erected and existing under the canonical authority and blessings of the Holy Synod, inseparably joined in faith with the Great Church of Constantinople and with every other jurisdiction of the 300 million worldwide Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church.
In March 1951 HOPCA established the Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops (SEC) that bound several bodies in unity of faith and communion in the Seven Sacraments. Its founding members included canonical Orthodox bishops from the Greek, Alexandrian, Albanian, Ukrainian, and Russian jurisdictions. Member bishops continue to be “equals among equals” in all matters of church administration and discipline.
All members of HOPCA profess the Word of God as being inspired in Holy Scripture, the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), seven Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) instituted by Christ, veneration of the Theotokos, the ever-virgin Mary as Mother of God, and intercession of saints. Absolute adherence to the dogmatic definitions of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils (325–787) is demanded. Members promise to remain faithful to the written and oral traditions that have been taught (II Thess. 2:15), including the articles of the Nicene Creed, Holy Scriptures, and the decisions of the Local, Ecumenical, and Pan-Orthodox Councils. Ordination to the priesthood has been limited to men since Apostolic times, but either the married or celibate state within all levels of sacerdotal life is permitted. Respect for the legitimate Eastern and Western Liturgical Rites of Orthodoxy is maintained; however, the co-mixing of different liturgical traditions is not tolerated.
In 1950 the HOPCA leadership gathered for a fiftieth anniversary celebration. At that time, they adopted a new name, The Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops, by which it has been subsequently known. The SEC is headed by the Right Reverend Mitred Archpriest Michael, whose jurisdiction extends throughout the Archdiocese of Columbus, Ohio, and Dependencies.
In 2002 the Holy Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America reported 14,500 members in 56 congregations with 72 ordained priests and deacons. The Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops reported a worldwide membership of approximately 10 million in more than 2,500 congregations.
St. Alexis Toth Orthodox Seminary, Ontario, Canada.
Three Hierarchs Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.
Our Missionary, The Chancery, 4636 Commons Park Dr., New Albany, OH 43054. • The Monastic Newsletter, 4977 N. Chippewa Rd., Coleman, MI 48618.
Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops. www.ourchurch.com/view/?pageID=26340.
c/o Saint Mary the Theotoko Orthodox Catholic Church, 5907 Grand Avenue, Duluth, MN 55807
The Syro-Russian Orthodox Catholic Church continues the work begun by Abp. Joseph RenÈ Vilatte (1854-1929), one of the pioneers of independent Catholic and Orthodox groups in the United States. His lineage was carried on by, among others, Joseph Gabriel Sokolowski (1903-1989), who for many years headed St. Paul’s Monastery Old Roman Catholic Church, headquartered in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. Sokolowski was associated with several jurisdictions through the years, but in 1970 he was consecrated a bishop by Joseph John Skureth of the Western Orthodox Church. Skureth had been consecrated by Bp. Konstantin N. Wendland, who for several years (1963-1967) headed the American work of the Russian Orthodox Church, before being recalled to Moscow.
In 1987 Archbishop Joseph consecrated three bishops-Stanislaus Bullock, Tage Howes, and Stephen Thomas. Bishop Thomas was subsequently elected and enthroned as sixth metropolitan archbishop and protohierarch of the lineage claimed by Archbishop Joseph. Renamed, by Archbishop Stephen, the Syro-Russian Orthodox Church sees itself as continuing the work started by Archbishop Vilattee.
The church is Eastern Orthodox in faith and practice, and its worship utilizes the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (with other liturgies both Western and Eastern allowed for specific settings). It allows married men to enter the priesthood, but only celibate males may become bishops.
The Church is in communion with the Byelorussian Orthodox Autocephalous Church in Exile led by Archbishop Jovan. It is also a member of the Council of Canonical Autocephalous Orthodox Bishops.
In 2008 the church reported 10 parishes in the United States. Internationally, it reported 25,000 members of its Archdiocese of the Americas and Diaspora, which includes work in Cuba, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya, Congo, Tanzania, Spain, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
The church oversees St. Mark-Romano Byzantine College (Alexandria, Virginia), St. Mark-Romano Byzantine College Extension (Bolton, Ontario, Canada), St. Basil Seminary (Nicaragua), St. Nicholas Institute (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania), St. Vasilios College (Athens, Greece), and St. Dionyssios Seminary (also Athens).
Syro-Russian Orthodox Catholic Church. rbsocc.org/.
306 Mendocino Ave., Apt. 314, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Traditional Orthodox Christian Church (TOCA), also known as the Russian-Greek Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, was founded by Archbishop Seraphim, its metropolitan. A priest of a Russian Orthodox jurisdiction, he left to join the Serbian Orthodox Church. He affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New Jersey in 1997 and was consecrated in 1998 as a missionary bishop by Archbishop Andreas, the head of the archdiocese. The archdiocese is an independent Old Calendar Orthodox church under the leadership of Abp. Joachim Souris. Souris, who resided in the United States in the middle of the twentieth century, was associated with Abp. Christopher Contogeorge (1894–1950) and Abp. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994) (of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Catholic Churches of the Americas and Europe) and the source of several lineages of independent orthodoxy. He currently resides in Athens, Greece.
TOCA follows traditional orthodox belief (Nicene Creed) and practice (in the Greek Orthodox liturgy) but has opposed the adoption in the twentieth century of the Gregorian calendar, which replaced the Julian calendar that had been used for centuries in the Eastern Orthodox churches, and by the Greek Orthodox Church that was established as an independent entity again in the nineteenth century. They also oppose the ecumenism in which the majority of the national Orthodox churches now participate. Through Archbishop Souris, TOCA asserts its own apostolic succession.
The jurisdiction is small with only a few parishes affiliated with it. Also affiliated with the church are St. John the Baptist Hermitage in Hawaii and the Holy Theotokos Community in Buena Vista, California. Assisting the metropolitan is Archbishop Ignatius.
Traditional Orthodox Christian Church. www.netministries.org/see/churches/ch03236.
c/o Archbishop Haralambos, PO Box 7007, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
The Ukrainian National Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Exile (formerly the Holy Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church in Exile) was organized in New York City in 1951 among immigrants who had left the Ukraine, primarily that part formerly controlled by Poland, as a result of the disruptions of World War II. A diocese was formed under the guidance of Abp. Palladios Rudenko, former bishop of Krakiv, Lviv, and Lemkenland, and Abp. Ihor Huba, former bishop of Poltava and Kremenchuk, both refugees then living in the United States. The church was incorporated in 1960.
The church was briefly associated with the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America in the 1960s, but has since existed as an independent jurisdiction. In 1978, leadership of the church passed to Abp. Nikolaus Ilnyckyj (d.1998). He was consecrated as a bishop by several of the independent Orthodox bishops then active, most notably Abp. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994), Abp. Joachim Souris, and Bp. Lavrentios Maniatakis.
Metropolitan Nikolaus served a declining jurisdiction, many of the members leaving for the larger Ukrainian jurisdictions. In 1997 he elevated Bp. Haralambos Bouchlas, whom he had previous consecrated to the episcopacy, to the office of archbishop. Upon the death of Metropolitan Nikolaus, Archbishop Haralambos succeeded to the office of metropolitan. Haralambos, of Greek heritage, is attempting to lead the church beyond its ethnic roots to serve a more inclusive American constituency. He has also assumed leadership of Saint Michael Academy, established in 1985, which a variety of ecclesiastical degree programs. The Archdiocese also has a monastic community, Holy Theotokos Monastery.
In 2008 the church reported on congregations, active missions, a monastery, a college, and a retreat house.
Saint Michael Academy, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Ukrainian National Autocephelous Orthodox Church in Exile. www.unaocinexile.org/.
St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Diocese, 9034 139th St., Jamaica, NY 11435
A new era in the relationship between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukrainians was opened in the late nineteenth century when many immigrants, especially from western Ukraine, came to the United States and Canada. Prior to World War I, no universally recognized Ukrainian Orthodox jurisdiction existed in North America, and many Ukrainians converted back to Orthodoxy under the Russian Church hierarchs in America, with the predictable result that their ethnic heritage was once again submerged.
The movement to reestablish direct ties between the ecumenical patriarch and his Ukrainian children received a new impetus on April 9, 1929, when a church congress was held in Allentown, Pennsylvania, attended by 15 clergy and 24 laymen. At this meeting, the decision was made to form a separate Ukrainian Orthodox diocese. A second congress took place in New York in July 1931, when Fr. Dr. Joseph Zuk (d. 1934) was nominated to be the first bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America and Canada. Bishop Zuk served the diocese until his untimely death on February 23, 1934.
A new bishop, Fr. Bohdan Shpylka (d. 1965), was consecrated on February 28, 1937, in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York by Archbishop Athenagoras (1886–1972), the future ecumenical patriarch. During Bishop Bohdan’s tenure, many pastoral visits were made and a cathedral and adjoining building at Fourth Street and Avenue C in New York were acquired along with a monastery in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Bishop Bohdan passed away on November 1, 1965.
On January 28, 1967, Fr. Andrei Kuschak was consecrated in New York by Archbishop Iakovos (1911–2005). Through careful diligent management he was able to improve the precarious financial position of the diocese, including the acquisition of the current Cathedral of St. Andrew in Jamaica, New York. His missionary travels included meetings with His All Holiness Patriarch Dimitrios (1914–1991), Patriarch Elia IV of Antioch, Patriarch Maximos (b. 1914) of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Justin (1910–1986) of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and Abp. Michael Ramsey (1904–1988) of Canterbury, England. Bishop Andrei was elevated to metropolitan in 1983 at the same time that Fr. Nicholas Smisko was consecrated as auxiliary bishop. Metropolitan Andrei passed away on November 17, 1986.
Bishop Vsevolod of Scopelos was consecrated on September 27, 1987, by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos. His efforts aimed at generating a new spirit of respect among the members for the Orthodox faith and Ukrainian heritage. Special emphasis has been placed on a rejuvenated youth program.
Not reported. In 1977 the church reported 28 parishes, 25,000 members, and 35 priests. A 1980 survey indicated 23 parishes, 3,465 confirmed members, and an additional 2,000 adherents.
Ukrainian Orthodox Herald.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America. www.uaocamerican.net.
9 St. John’s Ave., Winnipeg, MB, Canada R2W 1G8
At the time of the Russian Revolution, the Ukrainian National Republic came into existence and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians began asserting their independence. Full separation from the Russian Orthodox Church and the proclamation establishing an autonomous national body came about in 1919. As news of the Revolution spread, immigrants to Canada acted quickly to found an independent jurisdiction. Approximately 150 delegates met in July 1918 at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Growth of the new jurisdiction was augmented by the movement of Eastern Rite congregations of the Roman Catholic Church into Orthodoxy. At the time, Rome was attempting to have the Eastern churches adopt the Latin Rite.
In 1919 Metropolitan Germanos of the Antiochean Orthodox Church agreed to take the new church under his jurisdiction as a temporary measure. Rev. S. W. Sawchuk became the administrator. He traveled to Europe to attempt to secure a bishop but was prevented entry to the Ukraine by Soviet officials. In 1924 Abp. John Theodorovich arrived in the United States to care for the Ukrainian Orthodox. The Canadians accepted him as their spiritual head, though Reverend Sawchuk continued to administer the church. In 1946 Archbishop Theodorovich asked to be relieved of his Canadian obligations. The Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Exile suggested that Bp. Mstyslaw Skrypnyk lead the Canadian work, which was growing into the largest segment of Ukrainian Orthodoxy outside of Ukraine. He began his tenure in 1947 and retired in 1950. In 1951 Skrypnyk was succeeded by Metropolitan Ilarion Ohienko and an assistant, Abp. Michael Horoshij. In 1990 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada entered into eucharistic union with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Since 2005 the jurisdiction has been headed by Metropolitan John Stinka.
The church also operates St. Andrew’s College, affiliated with the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. It was the only center for Ukrainian Orthodox theological education of its kind outside of the former Soviet Union and was used by other Ukrainian jurisdictions of the United States, England, and Western Europe. In recent years, several additional Ukrainian Orthodox theological institutions have been opened.
In 2008 the UOCC had only two bishops, one fewer than necessary to create a Council of Bishops.
In 2002 there were 140,000 members in 250 congregations, and 85 priests.
St. Andrew’s College, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Visnyk • Ridna Nyva
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. www.uocc.ca.
Bilon, Peter. Ukrainians and Their Church. Johnstown, PA: Western Penn. Branch of the U.O.L., 1953.
PO Box 495, South Bound Brook, NJ 08880
Ukrainian Christians, primarily Roman Catholic followers of the Uniate Eastern Rite, arrived in the United States and organized parishes in the nineteenth century. However, they soon encountered efforts of the Roman Church in America to further Latinize the Uniate parishes. In response, some left and joined the Russian Orthodox Church, in spite of what many felt were imperial designs against Ukrainians. In 1915 a Ukrainian National Church was founded. It placed itself under the independent Catholic bishop Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958), head of the National Catholic Diocese in North America and later primate of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, with an understanding that it would affiliate with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church when and if it was allowed to exist in the Ukraine. In 1917, as the Russian Revolution progressed, the Ukrainian National Republic came into existence, and in 1919 it proclaimed the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church the official church of the land. Unable to find a bishop who could give them orders, the clergy and lay leaders assembled at a church council in 1921 and consecrated several candidates for bishop by the laying on of hands of all present. In this manner Archpriests Wasyl Lypkiwsky and Nester Sharayiwsky were elevated to the office of bishop. Lypkiwsky was designated metropolitan.
The Ukrainian-Americans immediately began to establish an independent church. An initial All-Ukrainian Orthodox Council of the American Ukrainian Orthodox Church met in 1922. It petitioned for a bishop and two years later John Theodorovich, who had been consecrated by Metropolitan Lypkiwsky, arrived to head the new church. He established his see in Philadelphia in 1926.
The arrival of Bishop John (who had been consecrated in 1921 in the Ukraine by the Autocephalous Church) led other Uniate congregations to leave the Roman jurisdiction and become Orthodox. In response Rome appointed a bishop over its Ukrainian parishes. However, the new bishop soon came into conflict with many of the members. They broke with Rome and, not yet resolved to become Orthodox, formed the independent American-Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. During the 1920s, the parishes decided to become Orthodox and looked to Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh (1889–1966), head of the American Orthodox Church, for episcopal leadership. In 1932 he consecrated Joseph Zuk (d. 1934) as the bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America. He was succeeded by Bp. Bohdan Shpylka (d. 1965).
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America existed side by side for several decades as competitors. Several attempts at union failed. However, in 1948, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America elected Mstyslav Skrypnyk, then head of the Ukrainians in Canada, as their new archbishop and named Bishop Bohdan as the auxiliary. Resigning from his Canadian post, Mstyslav took the lead in seeking ways to unite the two churches. Through several gatherings in which members of both churches participated, the barriers to union were removed. As agreed to in the negotiations, Archbishop John was reconsecrated in order to silence any objections to the regularity of his original consecration.
Archbishop John was elected metropolitan of the new church, Archbishop Mstyslav headed the consistory, and Archbishop Hennadij became the auxiliary bishop. Bishop Bohdan did not join the union and, with several parishes, continued to exist separately as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America (Ecumenical Patriarch).
Archbishop Mstyslav emerged as the most potent leader in the new church and eventually succeeded to the post of metropolitan. He developed the St. Andrews the First-Called Apostle Memorial Center, the headquarters complex in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, which now includes the seminary, St. Sophia Press (the publishing enterprise), a museum and archives, and the Home of Ukrainian Culture.
The church is at one in faith and practice with all of Orthodoxy. It accepts the Nicene Creed. It adheres closely to a rule against instrumental music and uses only vocal music in its worship.
Headed in 2008 by its primate, Metropolitan Constantine, the church comprises three eparchies in the United States: Central, Eastern, and Western. The archbishop is also designated the metropolitan of the church in diaspora. In this task he is assisted by archbishops in Paris, France and Australia. Eparchies have been established for Latin America, Great Britain, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. A sobor of bishops meets every two years. In some countries, general sobors of synods of the church meet every three years to establish general and specific administrative policies. The church is also served by the United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods and the Ukrainian Orthodox League of the USA. The church is in communion with the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church in Canada.
St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Bound Brook, New Jersey.
Ukrainian Orthodox Word (Ukrainian and English editions). • Vira (Faith). • UOL Bulletin.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. www.uocofusa.org.
Bilon, Peter. Ukrainians and Their Church. Johnstown, PA: Western Pa. Branch of the U.O.L., 1953.
PO Box 1303, Seaside, CA 93955
On May 2, 2001, in the state of Ohio, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church–Western Rite Metropolia was incorporated to serve the larger Orthodox faith community in North America and to express the faith of Americans from all cultural backgrounds and ancestry. The Metropolia traces its history to 1884 and the arrival in America of Fr. Ivan Wolansky, an Eastern Rite Roman Catholic priest from the Ukraine. At the time, the Latin Rite Roman Catholics who dominated the American church were quite hostile to the presence of Eastern Rite communities. That hostility would lead to the defection of many Ukrainians and others to Orthodoxy.
However, more important to the history of the Metropolia was the attempt early in the twentieth century made by Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh (1889–1966) to create an Orthodox church that would be truly American. His initial support from the Russian Orthodox Church ceased when the Episcopal Church, which provided substantial subsidy for the Russian Church, objected. It claimed that it was the American equivalent of the Orthodox Church. Ofiesh continued his efforts, though with little success. He did leave behind a lineage of bishops with Orthodox church orders, a lineage that included, among others, Abps. Sophronios Bashira, Christopher Contogeorge, Nicholas Kedroffsky (1902–1944), Joseph Klymowycz (1880– 1961), and Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994).
Zhurawetsky was the primary consecrator (1978) of Metropolitan Nicholas Llnyckyj. In 1989 Metropolitan Nicholas, assisted by Bps. Christopher Jones and David Quilliams, consecrated Metropolitan Yuri Spaeth. On January 17, 1999, Metropolitan Yuri, assisted by Abp. Matthew McCarthy, consecrated Abp. Michael Damian-Benedict Palladino. On April 25, 2001, Metropolitan Michael Damian-Benedict, assisted by Bps. Martin-Benedict Tindall and Brendan Nuadha Donovan, consecrated Metropolitan Abp. Brian Joseph Kennedy, a Benedictine monk.
Abps. Michael Damian-Benedict and Brian Joseph Kennedy, along with Abp. Joseph Thaddeus and Archpriest-Abbot John-Sebastian, became the founding core group of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church–Western Rite Metropolia. They were further assisted by Bishop Martin-Benedict, Bishop Brendan Nuadha, and Abbot David Francis of Alberta, Canada. In forming the new church, the group was in part inspired by the example of the Orthodox Church of France, which in the 1930s had been able to create a Western Rite Orthodoxy using the Gallican Rite.
The Metropolia acknowledges the ecumenical patriarch, the honorary head of the Eastern Orthodox community, but ascribes no jurisdiction to him in the West. The church sees as its task building an Orthodox church that is at one in essentials with the Eastern churches but that may be identified with North America and the West as a cultural base. Its faith is not a different faith from that of their fathers and mothers who came to North America from ancient Scythia (Ukraine), but it is expressed in Western terms. The Metropolia believes that there is only one holy orthodox church and that it is larger than any one nationality, culture, or tradition.
The church recognizes the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils as summarized in the Nicene Creed. It has established its authority through bishops in apostolic succession. It rejects the primacy of the pope and the doctrine of papal infallibility. While having the highest respect for Mary as the immaculate, ever-virgin Mother of God, it rejects the idea of the Immaculate Conception. It also holds that the vision of the children at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 was a deception of Satan. It does not admit females to the priesthood.
1000 Lake Maurer Rd., Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
The United American Orthodox Catholic Church is one of several independent Orthodox jurisdictions that emerged in the 1980s out of the Western Orthodox Church in America. It began in 1988 as a regional meeting of the Western Orthodox Church held at the Monastery of St. Anthony in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Abbot David L. Jones of St. Anthony’s and Fr. Michael Kilarsky were chosen as bishops, with Jones selected as presiding bishop. Jones and Kilarsky were consecrated in February 1989 by Bps. Ignatius Cash, Patrick M. Cronin, Max Broussard, and Joseph Turnage.
Early attempts at recognizing a variety of liturgical expressions served only to confuse and frustrate both the clergy and the lay people. Instead of serving to unite people under the teachings of the ancient Christian church, it served to divide. By September of 1992, the organization was reduced to only Bishop David and a handful of clergy and faithful who desired to pursue development of a truly united American Orthodox church. All subsequent activity has centered on reestablishing the work begun early in this century by Bp. Aftimios Ofiesh and Metropolitan Theophan Noli, both of whom appear in Bishop David’s succession.
The group continues to practice the Eastern Orthodox faith according to the canons of the ancient and undivided Christian Church. Only the usual Eastern Rite liturgies are used, although Bishop David believes that there is room for a Western Rite liturgy. The church maintains a fraternal relationship with the Orthodox Church of France and steers those interested in Western orthodoxy to that group.
The church has one parish, St. Innocent, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
The Monastery of St. Anthony coordinates a clergy training program in cooperation with local pastors.
United American Orthodox Catholic Church. www.orthodoxusa.org/uao/abouttheuao/index.htm.
Church Manual. Excelsior Springs, MO: United American Orthodox Catholic Church, n.d.
202 International Ave., Hyder, AK 99923
The United Orthodox Church, headed by Abp. Gregory Robertson, is an Orthodox church with a Russian Orthodox Church heritage and lineage but believes that the church was never intended to be structured along ethnic or national lines. It is also a conservative body that rejects what it considers to be the Russian church’s departure from tradition and participation in the larger ecumenical movement. The church staunchly adheres to the Nicene Creed and rejects prayer or common worship with other Christians (deemed heretics). The church also has married bishops (believing that the naming of unmarried bishops was an expedient adopted by the church that is no longer needed) and does not allow women to participate vocally (such as having membership in church choirs) in liturgical worship.
The church is a member of the Synod of Autonomous Canonical Orthodox Churches of North America.
Saint Gregory Seminary, Hyder, Alaska.
Pruter, Karl. The Directory of Autocephalous Bishops of the Apostolic Succession. San Bernadino, CA: Brogo Press, 1906. 104 pp.
Ward, Gary. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990. 524 pp.
c/o Most Rev. Mark Athanasios Constantine Karras, PO Box 1771, Camarillo, CA 93011
Father Mark Karras, the American-born son of Greek parents, was consecrated in the Church of Saints Damian and Cosmas in Newark, New Jersey, on July 17, 1966, and on the following day elevated to the position of archbishop of Byzantium by Abp. Peter A. Zhurawetsky (1901–1994), patriarch of the Orthodox Patriarchate of America. He was assisted by independent Greek Apb. Joachim Souris, the American exarch of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. In the month following his consecration, Archbishop Karras founded the Universal Shrine of Divine Guidance, assisted by Veronica Perweiler (nee Szcente Janos, of the ancient noble House of Hungary), whom he consecrated as abbess the following year.
The Universal Shrine views itself as continuation of the Apostolic Church based upon Pentecost. The first stage was the regulatory period of Judaism and the second the instructional stage of Christianity. In the third stage, a period of fulfillment through enlightenment and grace will ensue. Archbishop Karras promulgates a pure philosophy of faith in God and spiritual values, a universal faith emphasizing moral achievement and merit. At the heart of the doctrine is the Christian teaching of love. To protect the church against ridicule, in 1974 Archbishop Karras moved in the American courts to counter the author, publishers, and filmmakers of the book and film The Exorcist for the unauthorized use of his name and work.
He is the supreme prelate of the ancient (312 c.e.) dynastic Christian Order of Saints Constantine the Great and Helen of the Byzantine House of the Lascaris Comnenus of Constantinople. Under his auspices, the Universal Shrine upholds the principle of the Americas as New Byzantium, which is the outcome of Western Christian civilization based upon the influence of the influence of Byzantium.
Karras, Mark. Christ unto Byzantium. Miami, FL: Apostolic Universal Center, 1968.
c/o Most Rev. Martin J. Hill, 4109 Louisiana St., San Diego, CA 92104-1691
The Western Orthodox Catholic Church of California is a small Orthodox jurisdiction founded and led by Bp. Martin J. Hill. Hill was ordained to the priesthood in 1981 by Charles David Luther of the Western Orthodox Church in America and consecrated two years later by Francis Jerome Joachim. Hill subsequently established the Western Orthodox Catholic Church as an independent jurisdiction. The church is Eastern Orthodox in faith but follows a Western ritual format.
In August 1993 Hill consecrated Douglas Rees as auxiliary bishop. In 1994 Rees was installed as bishop of Camarillo and Central California and then elected to succeed Hill as the presiding bishop. Rees also serves as the superior general of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity and the director of St. Sergius Seminary. In 1996 Hill founded the interdenominational Order of Agia Sophia (Holy Wisdom Fathers) for the study and teaching of mysticism for Christians.
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Western Orthodox Church in America (WOCA) grew out of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil founded by the former Roman Catholic Church bishop Carlos Duarte Costa (1888–1961), which had been brought to the United States by Bp. Stephen Meyer Corradi-Scarella (1912–1979), an independent bishop in New Mexico. In 1973 Corradi-Scarella gave Fr. Charles David Luther, a priest he had ordained, directions to found the Community of the Good Shepherd as a fellowship of priests and priests-in-training. In 1977 the name was changed to Servants of the Good Shepherd (SGS). The community’s mission was to accept qualified men into the priesthood, train them, and assist them in starting mission churches, usually as worker priests.
In 1977 Luther was consecrated by Bp. Charles R. McCarthy, assisted by Jerome Joachim (1928–1997) and Wallace David de Ortega Maxey. In 1974 Joachim had succeeded Corradi-Scarella as head of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA). In 1980 he renamed his jurisdiction the Western Orthodox Church in America. After his consecration Luther brought the Servants of the Good Shepherd into Joachim’s jurisdiction. He became bishop of the Diocese of Altoona and was later (1981) made archbishop. In 1983, however, Joachim and Luther decided to become independent of each other. Joachim and his following became the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America, while Luther retained the name Western Orthodox Church in America.
In 1984 Luther consecrated Richard J. Ingram as bishop of Hobart (Indiana) and James F. Mondok as bishop of Euclid (Ohio). During the next few years, the church experienced significant growth across the United States but also a series of administrative and canonical disagreements among its five synods, leading to affiliation changes and jurisdictional dissolution. In 1989 two bishops resigned and founded the Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church in Glendale, California. In the 1990s two main jurisdictions were carrying on the WOCA name: the SGS/WOCA group under Luther and another that was incorporated as WOCA of Minnesota. After Luther’s death in 2000, the Servants of the Good Shepherd eventually reorganized as an order within the Unity Catholic Church, and the Minnesota jurisdiction became the most active branch of the WOCA. Then, in 2007, the Minnesota jurisdiction, under Abp. Randolph A. Brown, was received into the Catholic Apostolic National Church as an archdiocese restored to full communion with the Catholic Apostolic (National) Church of Brazil, the mother church founded by Duarte Costa.
Western Orthodox Church in America (WOCA). home.comcast.net/~woca/woca.htm.
Servants of the Good Shepherd. www.unitycatholic.org/page12.html.
A Brief Description of the Servants of the Good Shepherd. Altoona, PA, 1980.
The term "Orthodoxy" first appeared in respect to Judaism in 1795, and became widely used from the beginning of the 19th century in contradistinction to the *Reform movement in Judaism. In later times other terms, such as "Torah-true," became popular. Yet, in general, Orthodox came to designate those who accept as divinely inspired the totality of the historical religion of the Jewish people as it is recorded in the Written and Oral Laws and codified in the Shulḥan Arukh and its commentaries until recent times, and as it is observed in practice according to the teachings and unchanging principles of the halakhah. Orthodoxy as a well-defined and separate phenomenon within Jewry crystallized in response to the challenge of the changes which occurred in Jewish society in Western and Central Europe in the first half of the 19th century: Reform, the *Haskalah, and trends toward secularization. Those who opposed change and innovation felt it necessary to emphasize their stand as guardians of the Torah and its commandments under altered conditions and to find ways to safeguard their particular way of life.
Orthodox Judaism considers itself the authentic bearer of the religious Jewish tradition which, until *Emancipation, held sway over almost the entire Jewish community. The term Orthodoxy is actually a misnomer for a religious orientation which stresses not so much the profession of a strictly defined set of dogmas, as submission to the authority of halakhah. Orthodoxy's need for self-definition arose only when the mold into which Jewish life had been cast during the period of self-sufficient existence of Jewish society had been completely shattered. Orthodoxy looks upon attempts to adjust Judaism to the "spirit of the time" as utterly incompatible with the entire thrust of normative Judaism which holds that the revealed will of God rather than the values of any given age are the ultimate standard.
At the very dawn of Emancipation, many Orthodox leaders foresaw the perils which the breakdown of the ghetto walls incurred for Jewish survival. Some of them were so apprehensive about the newly available political, social, and economic opportunities, which they felt would make it almost impossible for the Jew to maintain his distinctive national and spiritual identity, that they went so far as to urge the Jewish communities to reject the privileges offered by Emancipation. Others, while willing to accept the benefits of political emancipation, were adamant in their insistence that there be no change in the policy of complete segregation from the social and cultural life of the non-Jewish environment. R. Ezekiel *Landau was so fearful that exposure to the culture of the modern world might ultimately result in total assimilation of the Jew that he proclaimed a ban on the reading of Moses *Mendelssohn's translation of the Pentateuch, even though Mendelssohn had advocated strict observance of the halakhah. Fear of assimilation was intensified by a number of developments, seen as alarming, ranging from numerous instances of outright conversion to Christianity to the efforts on the part of the Reform movement to transform radically the character of Judaism in order to facilitate the total integration of the Jew within modern society.
The Orthodox leadership believed that the aesthetic innovations which characterized the first phase of the Reform movement were motivated by the desire to model the synagogue on the pattern of the Protestant Church – a move that was regarded by its advocates as indispensable for gaining for the Jew full acceptance by his Christian neighbors. The claim that the introduction of organ music or the substitution of prayers in the vernacular for those in Hebrew did not violate talmudic law was refuted by 18 leading rabbinic authorities who joined in writing the book Elleh Divrei ha-Berit (Altona, 1819). The Orthodox community, intuitively realizing that liturgical reforms were only the beginning of a long-range process designed to change the tenets and practices of Judaism so as to remove all barriers against full immersion in the majority culture, reacted with an all-out effort to preserve the status quo. The slightest tampering with tradition was condemned.
Orthodoxy in this sense first developed in Germany and in Hungary (see Samson Raphael *Hirsch; *Neo-Orthodoxy). As its religious and political ideology crystallized, it emphasized both its opposition to those who advocated religious reform and the essential differences in its outlook and way of life from that of the reformers. At the same time, it refused to countenance any possibility of cooperation with those advocating different viewpoints. Herein lay Orthodoxy's main impetus toward organizational separation, a trend epitomized in Germany after 1876 when separation from the established community became legal, thus permitting the formation of the "separatist Orthodoxy" (Trennungsorthodoxie). This trend was opposed by R. Isaac Dov *Bamberger, one of the outstanding German Orthodox rabbis of his day. Underlying the opposition to secession was the reluctance to jeopardize the unity of the Jewish people. Historically, membership in the Jewish community was never regarded merely as a matter of voluntary identification with a religious denomination. One's status as a Jew was not acquired through the profession of a particular creed. With the exception of converts, the privileges and responsibilities devolving upon a member of the people of the Covenant derive from the fact that he was born a Jew. To this day Orthodoxy has not been able to resolve the dilemma that a considerable section of Jewry today no longer obeys the halakhah. There are those who lean toward a policy of withdrawal, lest they be responsible for the implicit "recognition" of the legitimacy of non-Orthodox ideologies. Others, concerned with preserving the unity of the Jewish people, advocate involvement of Orthodoxy in the non-Orthodox Jewish community even at the risk that their policies might be misconstrued as a willingness to condone non-Orthodox approaches. It was, ironically, the issue of separation that precipitated most of the internal conflict that has plagued Orthodoxy. In its early history, *Agudat Israel was torn asunder by the controversy over whether Orthodox Jews should be permitted to take a leading part in the organization if they, at the same time, also belonged to groups in which non-Orthodox Jews were allowed to play a prominent role. The influence of the Hungarian element finally swayed Agudat Israel to adopt a resolution barring its members from participation in non-Orthodox movements. Isaac *Breuer, a grandson of Samson Raphael Hirsch and one of the leading Agudat Israel ideologists, formulated in his Der neue Kuzari a philosophy of Judaism in which refusal to espouse the cause of separation was interpreted as being equivalent to the rejection of the absolute sovereignty of God.
*Mizrachi, on the other hand, espoused a policy of cooperation with non-Orthodox and secular elements. It is also noteworthy that in eastern Europe most Agudat Israel circles frowned upon secular learning, while Mizrachi, as a general rule, adopted a far more sympathetic attitude toward worldly culture. In central and western Europe, however, Agudat Israel circles were guided not only by Hirsch's separationist policy toward the non-Orthodox community, but also subscribed to his philosophy of Torah im derekh ereẓ (Torah with secular education), and espoused the synthesis of Torah with modern culture. In Israel, the split between the two approaches is especially noticeable. Mizrachi and Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi have favored full participation in the political life of the yishuv and subsequently in the sovereign State of Israel. Agudat Israel circles, however, refrained from joining the Keneset Yisrael (the recognized community of the Jews in Palestine) and refused to recognize the official rabbinate appointed by that body. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Agudat Israel participated in elections to the Knesset and for some time even participated in a coalition government. A far more extreme position was adopted by *Neturei Karta. They have categorically refused to recognize the authority of a secular Jewish state which, in their opinion, came into being only through the betrayal of the religious values of Jewish tradition.
Although the followers of the Torah im derekh ereẓ approach advocated openness to modern culture and discouraged the insulation of the Jew from the intellectual currents of his time, they nonetheless unequivocally rejected any doctrine which in the slightest manner would jeopardize the binding character and validity of the halakhah. They were unbending in their insistence that the traditional belief in Torah min ha-Shamayim entailed: that the Masoretic text represents an authentic record of divine communication of content; and that the Oral Torah represents in essence the application and extension of teachings and methods that are ultimately grounded in direct divine revelation (see *Oral Law). This view not only clashed with Abraham *Geiger's radical doctrine of "progressive revelation," according to which even the Bible was the product of the religious genius of the Jewish people, but also with the more moderate theory of "continuous revelation" as formulated by the positivist historical school. According to Zacharias *Frankel (considered by some to be the spiritual father of Conservative Judaism), the original Sinaitic revelation was supplemented by another kind of revelation – the ongoing revelation manifesting itself throughout history in the spirit of the Jewish people. Orthodoxy balked at Frankel's thesis that the entire structure of rabbinic Judaism was the creation of the scribes, and subsequently of the tannaim and the amoraim, who allegedly sought to adapt biblical Judaism to a new era by inventing the notion of an Oral Torah. From the Orthodox point of view, rabbinic Judaism represents not a radical break with the past, but rather the ingenious application and development of teachings which ultimately derive their sanction from the Sinaitic revelation. Whereas for the positivist historical school the religious consciousness of the Jewish people provided the supreme religious authority, the Orthodox position rested upon the belief in the supernatural origin of the Law which was addressed to a "*Chosen People."
[Walter S. Wurzburger]
German Orthodoxy exerted a significant influence upon Jews in Western lands, especially Holland (to which Reform had not yet spread) and Switzerland. Hungary became the center of a specific type of Orthodox development. The spread of Haskalah there and the reforms in education and synagogue worship led to tension within the communities, especially from the 1840s on (see Aaron *Chorin). Orthodoxy became very much aware of its distinctive character, especially under the influence of R. Moses *Sofer and his school. Later the call for independent organization became more pronounced. Preparations for a nationwide congress of Hungarian Jews at the end of the 1860s gave this trend an organizational and political expression in the formation of the Shomrei Hadass Society (Glaubenswaechter, "Guardians of the Faith"), founded in 1867 to protect and further the interest of Orthodoxy, thus becoming the first modern Orthodox political party. In a congress held from December 1868 to February 1869, the Orthodox and Reform camps split; afterward the Orthodox withdrew, announcing that the decisions of the congress were not binding on them. Independent Orthodox communities were set up in those areas where the established communal leadership had passed to the Reform camp, and a countrywide organization of these separate communities was set up. Orthodox autonomy was confirmed by the government in 1871. Approximately half of Hungarian Jewry joined the Orthodox communities.
Within Hungarian Orthodoxy, two strands can be discerned:
(1) traditional Orthodoxy, encompassing the ḥasidic masses in the northeastern districts; and
(2) non-ḥasidic Orthodoxy, which contained a segment that bore the marks of modern Orthodoxy – a measure of adaptation to its environment, general education (without the ideology of Torah im derekh ereẓ), and use of the language of the country. Non-ḥasidic Orthodoxy was shaped by the school of R. Moses Sofer.
In eastern Europe until World War i, Orthodoxy preserved without a break its traditional ways of life and the time-honored educational framework. In general, the mainstream of Jewish life was identified with Orthodoxy while Haskalah and secularization were regarded as deviations. Hence there was no ground wherein a Western type of Orthodoxy could take root. Modern political Orthodox activity first appeared in eastern Europe at the beginning of the 20th century with Agudat Israel. Orthodoxy's political activity was especially noticeable in Poland. During the period of German conquest at the time of World War i, an Orthodox political party was organized (with the aid of some German rabbis), the Shelomei Emunei Israel. In the communal and political life of the Jews in the Polish republic, Orthodoxy was most influential in the townlets, and was supported by the ḥasidic masses. The central political aim of Orthodoxy was to guarantee its autonomy in all religious matters. After World War i, a definite shift may be detected in Orthodoxy in Poland toward basic general education to a limited degree. Agudat Israel established an educational network, with Horeb schools for boys and Beth Jacob schools for girls.
European Orthodoxy, in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, was significantly influenced by the move from small settlements to urban centers (within the same country), as well as by emigration. Within the small German communities there was a kind of popular Orthodoxy, deeply attached to tradition and to local customs, and when it moved to the large cities this element brought with it a vitality and rootedness to Jewish tradition. From the end of the 19th century, countries in western Europe absorbed newcomers from the East, who either constituted an important addition to the existing Orthodox congregations or set up new communities. After World War i, scholars from eastern Europe (among them the rabbis Abraham Elijah Kaplan and Jehiel Jacob *Weinberg) went to Germany and other western countries. They exerted a perceptible influence on western Orthodoxy, providing it with a direction in scholarship and drawing it closer to the world of talmudic learning. In the interwar period, young Orthodox students from the West went to the yeshivot of Poland and Lithuania, and yeshivot of the traditional type were later established in western Orthodox centers.
In the United States, Orthodoxy constituted one of the mainstreams of life and thought within Jewry. Different varieties of Orthodoxy coexisted. In 1898 the *Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America was founded. Its declared aims were to accept "the authoritative interpretation of our rabbis as contained in the Talmud and codes." Among the leaders and teachers prominent in American Orthodoxy were the rabbis Bernard *Revel, Joseph D. *Soloveichik, and Joseph H. *Lookstein. One of the influential Orthodox centers in the United States, *Yeshiva University, inspired the establishment of many other schools offering instruction in both Jewish and secular subjects on the elementary and high school levels. This trend of U.S. Orthodoxy published the periodicals Jewish Life, Jewish Forum, Tradition, and Intercom (publication of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Societies). The differences within American Orthodoxy were evidenced by the establishment of different rabbinic bodies there. Rabbis from eastern Europe, representing traditional Orthodoxy, make up the *Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada (founded in 1902), while rabbis educated in America united to form the *Rabbinical Council of America (in 1923; reorg. 1935). Ḥasidic groups, who became influential chiefly after World War ii, constitute a separate division within American Orthodoxy. Especially well known are those associated with Menahem Mendel *Schneersohn of Lubavitch and Joel *Teitelbaum of Satmar. Rabbis, scholars, and the heads of yeshivot who came after World War ii and built yeshivot according to the Lithuanian tradition added their special quality to American Orthodoxy. Most prominent among them was Rabbi Aaron *Kotler.
The senior central organization of the Jews of England, the *United Synagogue, is an Orthodox body in its constitution and rabbinic leadership. However, the lay leaders and congregants are not necessarily all observant in the light of the accepted Orthodox standard. Those who were dissatisfied with the degree of observance and religious spirit prevailing in the United Synagogue founded separate congregational organizations. The Federation of Synagogues, which in composition was more suited to the spirit of those who came from eastern Europe, was founded in 1887, and its numbers multiplied with the extensive Jewish emigration to England. In 1891 the society known as Machzike Hadath ("The Upholders of the Faith"), was formed, and immigrants from western Europe founded the congregations known as Adath Yisroel in the spirit of German Orthodoxy. In 1926 R. Victor Schonfeld established the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations which attempted to unite the various branches of western traditional Orthodoxy.
Trends within Modern Orthodoxy
In spite of the new impetus given to Orthodoxy by the success of the day school and improved methods of organization and communication, evidence of grave dangers cannot be ignored. The rapid polarization within the Orthodox camp seriously threatens to split the movement completely. While much of the controversy seems to revolve around the question of membership in religious bodies containing non-Orthodox representation, the real issue goes far deeper. The so-called "modern Orthodox" element is under severe attack for allegedly condoning deviations from halakhic standards in order to attract non-observant Jews. On the other hand, there constantly come to the fore mounting restlessness and impatience on the part of significant elements that are dismayed over the slowness with which Orthodoxy has responded to the upheavals of Emancipation, the Enlightenment, and the establishment of the State of Israel. The charge has been made that, instead of coming to grips with these events which have confronted the Jew with entirely new historic realities, Orthodoxy has been satisfied with voicing its disapproval of those who have reacted to them.
Some of the more "radical" thinkers regard the Hirsch type of synthesis between Torah and culture as an invaluable first step, but it must be developed much further if it is to meet contemporary needs. They look askance at the feature of "timelessness" which in Hirsch's system constitutes a hallmark of Torah and which, in their opinion, ignores the dynamic character inherent in the processes of the Oral Torah. They contend that, as long as the domain of Torah remains completely insulated from the culture of a given age, the authorities or the halakhah cannot creatively apply teachings of Torah to ever-changing historic realities. What, therefore, is needed is not merely the coexistence but the mutual interaction of the two domains. This view, of course, runs counter to the basic tenets of "right-wing" Orthodoxy, which frowns upon the intrusion of elements derived from secular culture as a distortion of the authentic teachings of the Torah. The exponents of the more radical positions of "modern Orthodoxy" are frequently charged with cloaking under the mantle of Orthodoxy what essentially amounts to a Conservative position. This argument, however, is countered by the claim that no modifications of the halakhah are condoned unless they are sanctioned by the methods governing the process of halakhic development. There is no thought of "updating" the halakhah in order to adjust it to the spirit of the time. What is advocated is only that its meaning be explicated in the light of ever-changing historic conditions. The contention is that, as long as halakhic opinion is evolved in conformity with the proper procedures of halakhic reasoning, its legitimacy as a halakhic datum is assured.
To bolster their case, the proponents of this "left wing" frequently claim to derive the basic elements of their position from the teachings of Rabbi *Kook, as well as from the philosophy of the most influential contemporary Orthodox thinker, R. Joseph B. Soloveichik. Neither of these two seminal thinkers has in any way identified himself with the views advanced by the more "progressive" wing. But Kook's readiness to attribute religious value to modern secular movements, as well as his positive stance toward cultural and scientific developments, provide a key element to a philosophy that seeks to integrate the positive contributions of the world within the fabric of Judaism. Similarly, Soloveichik's characterization of the man of faith in terms of the dialectical tension between a commitment to an eternal "covenantal community" and the responsibilities to fulfill socio-ethical tasks in a world of change is widely hailed as an endorsement of the thesis that the Jewish religious ideal does not call for withdrawal from the world but for the confrontation between human culture and the norms and values of the Torah.
Obviously, such a conception of the nature of the commitment of the Jewish faith completely disposes of the charge of "moral isolationism" that time and again has been hurled at Orthodoxy because its alleged preoccupation with the minutiae of the Law renders it insensitive to areas which do not come within the purview of formal halakhic regulation. Actually, the covenantal relationship between man and God embraces all aspects of life and cannot be confined to a mere adherence to a set of legal rules. The observance of the halakhah, far from exhausting the religious task of the Jew, is designed to make him more sensitive and "open" to social and moral concerns.
the dilemma of orthodoxy in the modern world
Although many segments of Orthodoxy have veered away from the course of "splendid isolation" which has been espoused by the "right wing," they have not as yet been able to formulate a systematic theology capable of integrating the findings of modern science and historic scholarship. For that matter, there has not yet been developed a theory of revelation which would satisfy the demands of modern categories of thought. There are some isolated voices clamoring for less "fundamentalist" or "mechanical" approaches to revelation which would utilize some of Martin *Buber's notions and assign a large role to man's subjective response to the encounter with the Divine. But it remains to be seen whether such a solution is feasible within the framework of Orthodoxy. At any rate, some of the widely recognized Orthodox authorities unequivocally reject any approach which compromises in the slightest with the doctrine that divine revelation represents direct supernatural communication of content from God to man.
Even more serious is the problem of the increasing resistance to the Orthodox emphasis on the authoritative nature of the halakhah. This runs counter to the prevailing cultural emphasis upon pluralism and the individual's free subjective commitment, a freedom which challenges acceptance of objective religious values or norms imposed upon the individual from without. What renders the problem even more acute is the paradox that the Orthodox community, which places so much emphasis upon the authority of the rabbis to interpret the revealed word of God, is the one that has been plagued most by conflicting claims of competing authorities. Characteristically, all efforts to establish some central authority have failed dismally. The proposal to revive the Sanhedrin, far from promoting cohesiveness, has actually precipitated considerable disharmony within the Orthodox camp. The latter, so far, has not even succeeded in evolving a loose organizational structure which would be representative of the various ideological shadings within the movement.
[Walter S. Wurzburger]
Developments in Modern Orthodoxy
Orthodox Judaism is by no means monolithic; the diversity in faith and practice is legion; it has no ultimate authority or hierarchy of authorities; and it has never been able to mobilize even one national or international organization in which all of its groups would speak as one. The diversity in halakhic rulings is typical of most legal systems. It stems principally from reliance on different sources, all of which are deemed authoritative, or from methods of reasoning, applied to the sources, which are also deemed normative by all halakhists. Philosophy or teleology plays little part in the decision-making process, except for a few among the Modern Orthodox.
The Modern Orthodox constitute neither sect nor movement. They convene no seminars and no colloquiums. They have no organized group and no publication of their own. There is no list of rabbis or laymen who call themselves "Modern Orthodox." They are at best represented by a group of rabbis who see each other from time to time and share the same commitment, namely that the Torah does not have to be afraid of modernity since there is no challenge that the Torah cannot cope with. Some prefer the word "centrist" because the word "modern" is too often associated with permissiveness. Others reject the term "centrist" because it suggests being in the center on all issues. But the Modern Orthodox are extremists on the positive side of many issues, such as the centrality of ethics in religious behavior and the need for improving the status of women in halakhah.
The diversity among all Orthodox Jews that evokes the most acrimony revolves around three issues: the nature and scope of Revelation; attitudes toward secular education and modern culture; and the propriety of cooperation with non-Orthodox rabbis. To systematic theology very little attention is given. The writings of the medieval Jewish philosophers are studied and expounded, but they appear to stimulate no new approaches. Orthodox Jews are still rationalists or mystics; naturalists or neo-Hegelians; and, even existentialists, most notably Joseph D. *Soloveitchik. Starting with the premise that all the Torah is God's revealed will, he holds that logically all of it must have theological significance. Therefore, he sees the totality of Torah as the realm of ideas in the Platonic sense, given by God for application to the realm of the real. Just as the mathematician creates an internally logical and coherent fabric of formulas with which he interprets and integrates the appearances of the visible world, so the Jew, the "Man of Halakhah," has the Torah as the divine idea that invests all of human life with direction and sanctity. "The halakhah is a multidimensional, ever-expanding continuum that cuts through all levels of human existence from the most primitive and intimate to the most complex relationships." And though the halakhah refers to the ideal, its creativity must be affected by the real. "Man's response to the great halakhic challenge asserts itself not only in blind acceptance of the divine imperative, but also in assimilating a transcendental content disclosed to him through an apocalyptic revelation and in fashioning it to his peculiar needs. It is rather the experiencing of life's irreconcilable antitheses – the simultaneous affirmation and abnegation of the self, the simultaneous awareness of the temporal and the eternal, the simultaneous clash of freedom and necessity, the simultaneous love and fear of God, and His simultaneous transcendence and immanence."
As for conceptions of the hereafter and resurrection of the dead, Soloveitchik holds with earlier authorities that no man can fathom or visualize precisely what they signify in fact, but the beliefs themselves can be deduced logically from the proposition that God is just and merciful. God's attribute of absolute justice and mercy require that he provide rewards and punishments and that He redeem Himself by being merciful to those most in need of mercy – the dead. Soloveitchik holds with many earlier philosophers that the immortality of the soul after death is to be distinguished from a this-worldly resurrection of the dead in a post-Messianic period; the Messianic period itself will produce only international peace and order.
Essentially the doctrines represent fulfillment of Judaism's commitment to an optimistic philosophy of human existence. In Soloveitchik's intellectual development there was a period when there was a clash, a confrontation between two ways of life and modes of thought: that of Brisk (Brest-Litovsk), where he became the great Talmudist, and that of Berlin, where he later became the great philosopher.
For many of his disciples who call themselves Modern Orthodox there was no such clash. They grew up in both cultures simultaneously, and the synthesis they sought and attained was a gradual achievement over a long period, virtually from elementary school days through graduate study. What little they achieved was not born altogether from anguish but more by the slow natural process of intellectual and emotional maturation. That is why they often part with the master in whose thought existentialism plays the major role, and they are more likely to embrace a more naturalist theology.
Theology and eschatology generally receive very little attention from Orthodox Jewish thinkers. The case is not so with Revelation, on which the range in views is enormous. There are those who hold literally that God dictated the Torah to Moses, who wrote each word as dictated, and there are those who maintain that how God communicated with Moses, the Jewish people, the Patriarchs and the Prophets will continue to be a matter of conjecture and interpretation, but the crucial point is that He did it in history. As creation is a fact for believers, though they cannot describe how, so Revelation is a fact, though its precise manner is not clear. This less fundamentalist approach would not deny a role to man's subjective response to the encounter with the divine, but all Orthodox Jews would agree that the doctrine of divine Revelation represents direct supernatural communication of content from God to man.
There are those who hold that every event reported in the Torah must be understood literally; some are less rigid in this connection and even regard the Torah as the ultimate source for a Jewish philosophy of history rather than Jewish history itself. This accounts for the fact that presently some authorities insist that Orthodox Jews must hold the age of the earth to be some five thousand years plus, while others have no difficulty in accepting astronomical figures.
The head of the Lubavitch movement, Rabbi Menachem *Schneersohn, insisted that the age of the earth was what the tradition holds it to be. The Modern Orthodox are more likely to hold with Rabbi Menaḥem Mendel *Kasher that it is not imperative that one so hold, and he thus advised scientists who sought his definitive opinion on the issue. He made no dogma of the traditional view. There are many Orthodox scientists, researchers, and academicians, who bifurcate their position. They hold to the traditional view as believers and to the scientific views in their professional pursuits – and this schizoid position does not disturb them.
With regard to the legal portions of the Torah, many Orthodox Jews still insist that they are eternal and immutable. Others maintain that the Oral Torah itself affords conclusive proof that there are laws that are neither eternal nor immutable. In the Oral Torah one also finds that some commandments were deemed by one authority or another never to have been mandatory but, rather, optional. Such were the commandments with regard to the blood-avenger and the appointment of a king. However, exponents of Orthodox Judaism generally affirm eternity and immutability, even though they engage in halakhic development without regard to the fiction they verbalize. The Modern Orthodox are more likely not to articulate the fiction as they explore ways to make the eternal law cope with the needs of the period.
With regard to parts of the Bible other than the Pentateuch, some hold that all of them were written because of the Holy Spirit; others are more critical and do not dogmatize with regard to their authorship, accuracy of texts, dates of composition, or literal interpretation. Some extend the doctrine of the inviolability of the Torah to all the sacred writings, including the Talmud and the Midrashim, and do not permit rejection even of any of the most contradictory legends or maxims. Others are "reductionists" and restrict the notion of inviolability to the Five Books of Moses.
Many of these views were expressed before the modern period. They are found in the writings of Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages, and some are clearly expressed in the Talmud and Midrashim. The so-called Modern Orthodox are more likely to be found among those who hold the more liberal views with regard to these issues. Similarly, on the basis of tradition, the Modern Orthodox differ with their colleagues with regard to secular education and modern culture and the cooperation of Orthodox Jews with non-Orthodox Jews.
There were Orthodox rabbis who bemoaned the collapse of the ghetto walls because they fathomed what this would mean to the solidarity of the Jewish community and especially the future of its legal autonomy. Halakhah, which had always been applicable to the personal, social, economic, and political existence of Jews, would thereafter be relevant to very limited areas in the life of the Jew. These rabbis opposed any form of acculturation with their non-Jewish neighbors. Others advocated acculturation in social and economic matters but retained commitment to a Judaism totally unrelated to, and unaffected by, the ideas and values that dominated the non-Jewish scene. Others advocated the fullest symbiosis, outstanding among them, Rabbis Abraham Isaac Hacohen *Kook and Joseph D. *Soloveitchik. Rabbi Kook maintained a very positive attitude to all modern cultural and scientific developments; Rabbi Soloveitchik described the believing Jew as one who is forever in dialectical tension between his being a member of the covenanted community and his obligation to fulfill his socio-ethical responsibilities with and for all humanity in a rapidly changing world. Disciples of theirs even find that their secular education and exposure to modern culture deepen their understanding and appreciation of their own heritage, even as it helps them to evaluate modernity with greater insight and a measure of transcendence.
Because of differences of opinion, one finds contemporary Orthodox Jews holding many different views with respect to their own mode of living, their careers, and the education of their children. Those who want no part of modernity prefer to live in isolation and earn a livelihood by pursuing "safe" careers in business. They want the same for their offspring. Others seek to bifurcate their existence. They are modern in dress, enjoy the culture which surrounds them, but avoid intellectual challenges, and build a protective wall around their religious commitment, forbidding the environment to encroach upon their faith and ancestral practice. Usually they too want for their children what they enjoy, and they also encourage their young to pursue "safe" careers at college-courses in business, law, medicine, accounting, but rarely the social sciences or the humanities.
Then there are those who are determined to cope with all the challenges that modernity can offer. Some, like Samuel *Belkin, held to this view but spoke of the "synthesis" between modernity and traditional Judaism as a merging of the two cultures in the personality and outlook of the Orthodox Jew. His predecessor, Bernard *Revel, the first president of Yeshiva University, had a more exciting goal – a genuine synthesis of the best in both worlds. He craved the sanctification of the secular as did Rabbi Kook; the integration of the best that humanity has achieved with the eternal truths of Judaism; the greater appreciation of Judaism because of its differences from other religions and cultures; and the reformulation of the cherished concepts and practices of Judaism and their rationalization in modern terms. This goal has been achieved by only a few, but most of the intelligentsia among the Modern Orthodox share Revel's dream rather than the less difficult goal of Belkin.
The attitudes of Orthodox Jews to their non-Orthodox co-religionists also range from one end of the spectrum to the other – from hate, presumably based on revered texts, to toleration, total acceptance, and even love, similarly based on revered texts. Those indulging in hate are responsible for the physical violence occasionally practiced against any who deviate from the tradition. Theirs is a policy of non-cooperation in any form whatever with any who disagree with them, and they not only pray for the destruction of the State of Israel but even take measures to achieve that end. Others simply desire total separation from those who deviate from their customs and practices, even in the matter of dress.
A further group is reconciled to the fact of pluralism in Jewish life but has no affinity whatever for the non-Orthodox. A fourth group loves all Jews irrespective of how they behave, but does not accord even a modicum of tolerance to organizations that represent non-Orthodox rabbis and congregations. It is more tolerant of secular groups – no matter how anti-religious. A fifth group is even willing to cooperate with non-Orthodox groups in all matters pertaining to relationships between Jews and non-Jews, at least in the United States. They are even less open-minded with regard to the situation in Israel. Only a very small group goes all the way with the inescapable implications of the thought of Kook and Soloveitchik and welcomes the challenge of non-Orthodoxy, even as it views secular education and modern culture as positive factors in appreciation of the tradition.
It is also in this last group, Modern Orthodox, that one is likely to find those who will project halakhic decisions that are based on the sources but not necessarily the weight of the authorities. Especially with respect to the inviolability of the persons of all human beings, including Jewish dissenters, they are zealots. Thus they encourage dialogue with all Jews, solutions to the painful problems in Jewish family law, more prohibitions with community sanctions against the unethical behavior of Jews in business, in the exaction of usury, in the evasion of taxes, and in the exploitation of the disadvantaged. They propose the use of more theology and teleology in the process of halakhic decision. Their principal difference with so-called right-wing Conservative rabbis is that they do not wish to "update" the halakhah to adjust it to the spirit of the time but rather within the frame and normative procedures of the halakhah – its sources and its method of reasoning – to express the implications of the halakhah for the modern Jew and his existential situation.
The Modern Orthodox are especially attentive to historical, psychological, sociological, and teleological considerations. A few illustrations may be of interest.
They oppose any form of religious coercion by Jews against Jews and not by resort to the legal fiction that every Jew is now to be considered the equal of one who was taken captive in his early childhood and never raised as a Jew.
The tradition exempts such a person from religious coercion. The Modern Orthodox prefer the approach which says that religious coercion was only permitted when it might truly change the attitude and inner feeling of its victim. However, coercion now only angers the victim more and makes him or her more hostile to Judaism. Therefore, it defeats rather than advances its original purpose. Similarly, Jewish family law developed to give dignity and sanctity to the status of every member of the family, with every individual enjoying the right freely to serve God and fulfill his or her responsibilities as a member of the family. When Jewish law, however, no longer serves this purpose and becomes an instrument for exploitations of one by another and the literal enslavement of spouses or offspring, then there must be legislation and the sooner the better. Therefore, the Modern Orthodox especially favor antenuptial agreements anticipating certain unfortunate events and the reactivation of the annulment of marriages – all of which has ample sources in the halakhic literature. Last but not least, the Modern Orthodox are more likely than others to lend a sympathetic ear to halakhic changes in the face of developments in modern medicine – especially the right to volunteer one's organs for transplanting. This is a field in which very little creative work has been accomplished by rabbis, except to assemble ancient sources with little or no philosophical analysis. Because of the enormous diversity among Orthodox Jews in both creed and practice, there is a tendency at present to speak of the ultra-Orthodox, the Orthodox, and the Modern Orthodox. Yet in each of these groups there is substantial diversity, and the outlook in a free world and open society is for more, rather than less, of it.
(For the political and ideological expression of right-wing Orthodoxy in Israel, see *Gush Emunim.)
E. Schwarzschild, Die Gruendung der israelitischen Religionsgesellschaft zu Frankfurt am Main (1896); J. Wohlgemuth, in: Festschrift… David Hoffmann (1914), 435–53; S. Japhet, in: hj, 10 (1948), 99–122; I. Heinemann, ibid., 123–34; J. Rosenheim, ibid., 135–46; H. Schwab, History of Orthodox Jewry in Germany (1950); B. Homa, A Fortress in Anglo-Jewry; the Story of the Machzike Hadath (1953); E. Rackman, in: Judaism, 3 (1954), 302–9; 18 (1969), 143–58; Y. Wolfsberg, in: ylbi, 1 (1956), 237–54; S. Federbush (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ma'arav Eiropah, 3 vols. (1958–65); S.K. Mirsky (ed.), Ishim u-Demuyyot be-Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Eiropah ha-Mizraḥit Lifnei Sheki'atah (1959); I. Grunfeld, Three Generations: The Influence of Samson Raphael Hirsch on Jewish Life and Thought (1959); S. Poll, The Ḥasidic Community of Williamsburg (1962); C.S. Liebman, in: ajyb, 66 (1965), 21–97; D. Rudavsky, Emancipation and Adjustment (1967); N. Lamm, Faith and Doubt: Studies in Traditional Jewish Thought (19862); idem, in: Jewish Life (May–June, 1969), 5–6; N. Katzburg, in: R. Braham (ed.), Hungarian Jewish Studies, 2 (1969); S. Belkin, Essays in Traditional Jewish Thought (1956); M. Davis, in: L. Finkelstein (ed.), The Jews, their History, Culture and Religion, 1 (19603), 488–587; I. Epstein, The Faith of Judaism (1954); I. Grunfeld, Judaism Eternal (1956); S.R. Hirsch, The Nineteen Letters on Judaism (1960, 1969); N. Lamm and W.S. Wurzburger (eds.), A Treasury of Tradition (1967). additional bibliography: L. Bernstein, Challenge and Mission: the Emergence of the English Speaking Orthodox Rabbinate (1982); S. Bernstein, The Renaissance of the Torah Jew (1985); M. Breuer, Modernity Within Tradition: the Social History of Orthodox Jewry in Imperial Germany, tr. E. Petuchowsky (1992); R.P. Bulka (ed.), Dimensions of Orthodox Judaism (1983); M.H. Danziger, Returning to Tradition: the Contemporary Revival of Orthodox Judaism (1989); D.H. Ellenson, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creationof a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy (1990); T. Frankiel, The Voice of Sarah: Feminine Spirituality and Traditional Judaism (1990); J.S. Gurock, The Men and Women of Yeshiva: Higher Education, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism (1988); S.C. Heilman, Defenders of the Faith: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry (1992); S.C. Heilman and S.M. Cohen, Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern Orthodox Jews in America (1989); W.B. Helmreich, The World of the Yeshiva: an Intimate Portrait of Orthodox Jewry (1982); H.C. Schimmel & A. Carmell (eds.), Encounter: Essays on Torah and Modern Life (1989); Z. Kurzweil, The Modern Impulse of Traditional Judaism (1985); L.J. Kaplan & D. Shatz (eds.), Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Jewish Spirituality (1994); B. Kraut, German Jewish Orthodoxy in an Immigrant Synagogue: Cincinnati's New Hope Congregation and the Ambiguities of Ethnic Religion (1988); A. Rakeffet-Rothkoff, The Silver Era in American Jewish Orthodoxy: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and his Generation (1981); N.H. Rosenbloom, Tradition in an Age of Reform: the Religious Philosophy of Samson Raphael Hirsch (1976); J. Sacks, Arguments for the Sake of Heaven: Emerging Trends in Traditional Judaism (1991); N. Solomon, The Analytic Movement: Ḥayyim Soloveitchik and his Circle (1993); J.D. Soloveitchik, The Halakhic Mind (1986); idem, Reflections of the Rav: Lessons in Jewish Thought (1979); W.S. Wurzburger, Ethics of Responsibility: Pluralistic Approaches to Covenantal Ethics (1994).
The very suggestion of a unified tradition implicit in the idea of the word orthodox renders its meaning problematic for the simple reason that conceptions of any religion's traditions are notoriously pluralist. Moreover, the term is hardly universal, since it is seldom applied to indigenous traditions around the world, even though there are some beliefs and practices within each aboriginal group that might be regarded as orthodox to some practitioners—for example, the Plains peoples in North America regard the Sundance as an "orthodox" rite. Generally the articulation of a theological system is one requirement of an orthodox tradition, and indigenous traditions rarely have such a publicly acknowledged construction. Despite its problems, though, major religions continue to use the term, and believers, external observers, and sometimes scholars find it useful. In the contemporary period, it embraces notions of the traditional, conservative, basic, and customary, all of which point to a normative idea about a religion's self-understanding. Because history, rituals, institutions, and doctrines all combine in manifold ways in each religion, orthodoxy really has to be understood from within each religion. Key notions will be drawn from diverse religious traditions.
Christianity, for example, has a major group of churches whose links to each other in a single communion constitutes the Orthodox Church. Adherents look back to the great ecumenical councils and even to Jesus's apostles as the root of their identity, but the groups that make up national churches known as autocephalous (meaning that they are in full communion with each other, but independent of external, patriarchal authority) also acknowledge autonomous churches—that is, those that are not in full communion with them (usually because of some jurisdiction issue). Other issues related to identity also play a role; Orthodox Christianity makes much of its connection to the Greek fathers, has adopted the Julian calendar, affirms the validity of married parish priests, and gives an important place to monasticism, especially that of Mount Athos, from which the episcopacy is drawn.
Orthodox Christianity's central doctrinal difference with Western Christianity concerns the Trinity as developed by St. Augustine; Orthodoxy rejects the filioque affirmed by the Latin Church; the Latin idea was that the Holy Spirit proceeded from both the Father and the Son. Orthodoxy made the rejection of this doctrine a central fixture of its beliefs. Perhaps as a result, a different spirit is to be found in Orthodox liturgy, where the worshipper is encouraged to experience the presence of God in the sacraments, the icons, and the beauty of the rituals. This emphasis implies an engagement with God's mystical presence in many forms, whereas the Western Church emphasizes the person of Jesus Christ as the principal focus of that engagement.
Beyond this reference to particular institutional churches, however, one must acknowledge that Christianity in general holds certain notions to be orthodox: the idea of a sacred writing called the Scriptures, the role of the community of believers, the church, the central place of Jesus Christ in the understanding of revelation, and a firm commitment to the concept of God. While each of these doctrines is configured according to each group's theological instincts, all Christian groups insist on these conceptions as normative, and in some sense they all see them as existing from the beginning of the tradition. Feminist theologians have raised questions about the representativeness of such "orthodoxies," since, they hold, the orthodox theologians ignore the patriarchal substratum within which conventional theology was framed. The feminist claim is to a more authentic equality and inclusionary model before the official orthodoxy shaped the accepted discourse. Despite these claims, one point seems convincing: included in the term orthodoxy is the idea that it reflects a loyalty to the original or authentic content and expression of the religion.
Religious orthodoxies are not necessarily historically ancient. Judaism's distinctive Orthodox tradition is fairly recent: 1791. In this year, France recognized Judaism as a separate religion. This was partly in response to Moses Mendelssohn's influence, but also to Hasidism (established by Shem Tov [1700–1765]), which became an international movement emphasizing the return to the fundamentals of the tradition. By the beginning of the nineteenth century it had become clear to practicing Jews that the Orthodox way of life could be demarcated from those who affirmed a reforming vision of the tradition. Those who believed that the law, whether oral or written, was divine came to be known as Orthodox; for them, Torah could not be subject to modernization or cultural alteration, as the Reform Tradition insisted should be done.
For the Orthodox believers, however, the central ideas of their faith had nothing to do with Reform doctrine. Rather, Orthodoxy was based on limitations on the kinds of food that could be eaten under the laws of kashrut, proper observance of the Sabbath (i.e., restraint on activities on the day of rest), and a vigorous commitment to family purity. In effect, Orthodoxy was (and is) home-centered in ways other Judaic traditions were not, for the purity of the family arose out of relations between husband and wife and could not be observed by outsiders, while the laws of kashrut were principally practiced in the home. A life of training at home coupled with school-supported teachings and solid synagogue attendance constituted the main parameters of the Orthodox way of life; a corollary of this approach was (and is) a certain reluctance toward participation in modern life and even a trend towards isolation, especially in the face of contemporary secularism.
These beliefs have institutional impact; a central perception is that both non-Orthodox rabbis and converts to Judaism are beyond Orthodoxy and hence outside the community of those who practice the true Torah life. Consequently, community membership is hence strongly defined. In North America, Orthodox communities have steadily maintained their presence through an emphasis on the Hebrew language, yeshivot (day schools), and a trained rabbinate through Yeshiva University. Such an emphasis on a "true" Torah education also sets the Orthodox tradition apart from believers in the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist branches of modern Judaism. The experience of the Orthodox in Judaism highlights the fact that orthodoxy is not always rooted in religion's antiquity.
Islam also reflects how difficult it is to define the term orthodoxy, even for a tradition that holds that the umma (the Islamic community) is theoretically united as one because God is one and He has given one divine Scripture, the Koran. There is, for example, no word in the Koran that is equivalent to the English word orthodox. Western writers often regard Sunnism, the tradition to whom the majority of Muslims belong, as orthodox, and many introductory texts define orthodoxy that way. But such a view is not valid, because Shiism, the other important group in Islam, does not regard Sunnism as defining Muslim orthodoxy for a variety of reasons, and even Sunnis would be reluctant to regard their beliefs as "normative," implying that others are not, because the Koran insists that one's true religion is to be judged by God, not by humans.
Moreover, contemporary Islam has been challenged by Islamism, or fundamentalism, which cuts across traditional distinctions between Sunni and Shii and embraces a neoconservative ideology that its practitioners regard as orthodox. Part of the doctrine of that stance involves an antipathy to all non-Muslim ideas and cultural expressions. Currently the West, in all its cultural diversity, is the object of that negative reading. This perception of Islamic orthodoxy is rejected by both mainstream Sunnis and Shiis.
Some scholars prefer to regard Sunnism as an orthopraxy, meaning that the way of life developed by most Muslims around the world reflects important common elements of belief and practice. The formation of a normative path for the believer to walk, particularly by means of the shari'a (Islamic law), became the preferred idea. Insisting on such a view accords with Sunni notions of their own tradition, because at a critical time in its development (c. 900 c.e.), Islamic doctrine moved away from Greek intellectual categories and the use of the mind to construct theologies. Such a movement reduced the input of the mind in constructing the true understanding of Islam. Still, even Shiis would accept that restriction with some modifications.
Of all the things you can teach, Gemara (explanations of the Mishna) is more important than anything else. Gemara is everything. It is Torah sheh ba'al peh' (the Oral Law). It's the real stuff. Everything else will follow. In this world it is Torah sheh ba'al peh', which is the harder way, not the sweet way; it's demanding.… But we also give them what the guys call "bags of candy." We always laugh about it. They themselves call other studies bags of candy after a while. The rabbi calls it that, too. He says, "Okay. Give out bags of candy."
Despite these important qualifiers, orthodoxy does have a place in Islamic self-expression. For example, the Koran itself implores, "guide us in the mustaqiam [straight] path" (1:6), thereby implying that there is a singular way of being Muslim that all should follow. Moreover, Muslims have always valued the noun salaam, a word whose meanings include soundness of being, an attribute of God, as well as peace; in its verbal form it means "surrender" or "submit," and in another form it gives the name of the religion, Islam. Furthermore, submitting to God is held to bring a special perfection to the human being, a perfection called salaam. Finally, from the Koran, the verbal form waqaa, which means to protect, defend, or preserve, has a noun form taqwa, god-fearing or righteousness. This word takes on special meanings in pious circles, for it suggests someone who lives according to normative Islam.
Some contemporary Muslim women have argued that too much of traditional scholarship, and indeed, most of the tradition since the Prophet, has been crafted without proper regard to the principles of equality. They therefore maintain that the true orthodox position of Islam was essentially gender-neutral; male scholarship subsequently skewed the true orthodox position away from women's equal rights (see Ahmed). They contend that Islam must return to the true orthodox position on gender relations. All these interpretations delineate the idea of ethical and religious exemplariness involved in any definition of orthodoxy.
Hindu tradition has always privileged diversity, and at first blush, discovering any form of orthodoxy in Hinduism may seem to be impossible. Indeed, there is no institutional form that the majority of Hindus would consider the orthodox group. Nevertheless, there are ideas within Hinduism that fulfill the notion of orthodoxy, such as those designated by the word astika, or assenting to the authority of the Vedas. Almost all Hindus would acknowledge the singular importance and basic religious authority of the collection of texts known as the four Vedas. Moreover, the ordinary believer would probably insist that the most important marker of orthodoxy is the religious activity and interpretation approved by the local Brahman; he defines normativeness for the common folk.
Scholars acknowledge that some rituals are not propounded in the Vedas—rituals such as cremation, for example. Yet cremation acts are certainly smriti ("that which is remembered"); they are required acts that go beyond the Vedic record but are held to be essential for an acceptable Hindu life. Such requirements may be found in writings such as the Laws of Manu, a work that provides evidence that local custom can also be a source of the true dharma (duty). Yet once again such teachings are likely to be defined for the faithful by the most respected local authority. Those of a more philosophical bent might insist that the system of belief known as Vedanta is likely the most orthodox "theology," even where some of the notions of the philosophical system pose serious problems.
Finally, in Hinduism, even if orthodoxy is not enshrined in any one particular sect or group, it does take a social form. An orthodox Hindu social form is represented most plainly by the caste system. Following one's designated caste in everything, from how and with whom one associates, to the minutia of life (i.e., what caste the person is who prepares lunch) indicates a marker of special gravity in Hindu tradition. Hindu women are deeply affected by the traditional stance of the dharma on caste, for it has defined women's roles almost completely within the role of marriage. The subordination of women to their husbands is most graphically expressed in the rite of suttee (from the Sanskrit sati, "faithful wife"), in which the widow immolated herself on her husband's funeral pyre. Modern Hindu women struggle with the implication of an identity tied to husbands and not to their own dharma. Still, for many Hindus, whether male or female, proper caste interaction is a true measure of one's orthodoxy.
The method of final salvation that I have propounded is neither a sort of meditation, such has been practiced by many scholars in China or Japan, nor is it a repetition of the Buddha's name by those who have studied and understood the deep meaning of it. It is nothing but the mere repetition of the "Namu Amida Butsu," without a doubt of his mercy, whereby one may be born into the Land of Perfect Bliss. The mere repetition with firm faith includes all the practical details, such as the three-fold preparation of mind and the four primordial truths. If I as an individual had any doctrine more profound than this, I should … be left out of the Vow of the Amida Buddha.
The issue of orthodoxy in Buddhism has been a matter of no little disputation; the earliest form of the teachings of the Enlightened One (the Buddha) held sway for several centuries before the variety of Buddhist converts pushed the tradition to embrace doctrinal diversity. The "original" dharma, meaning the teachings or truth taught by the Buddha, was embodied in a sangha, or religious order, which encompassed both lay and ordained disciples. These "three jewels"—the Buddha, dharma, and sangha—constitute the fundamental building blocks upon which the worldwide Buddhist community rests. Yet the tradition became so diversified and those who pursued enlightenment so far removed from the milieu of ancient India, where the Buddha flourished, that three distinctive ways or "vehicles" developed: the Theravada, the Mahayana, and the Vajrayana.
The Theravadans hold that they are loyal to the original Buddhist tradition, insisting, then, that they are orthodox in their teachings. They are often dubbed Hinayana ("Little Vehicle") by rival Buddhists, implying that they have restricted the means of enlightenment to a single kind of experience. Both the other vehicles, however, hold that they are just as orthodox. They maintain that they accept other cultural frameworks for configuring the dharma and they notably give great significance to the Bodhisattva in the practice of Buddhism. For the ordinary believer, weighed down by the chores of life, the assistance of one who has completed the way is a magnificent boon: the Bodhisattva puts off entering into nirvana in order to assist those who are less endowed with good karma by transferring some of the merit obtained in the process of enlightenment to the less advanced searcher for enlightenment.
Debates about orthodoxy arose largely because of Buddhism's swift successes across manifold cultural frontiers, and these debates pitted those committed to the earliest texts and most common social forms associated with earliest Indian Buddhism (termed the Way of the Elders) against more manifold expressions. Buddhist orthodoxy, then, rests upon claims of authentic connection to the ideas, doctrines, and social forms deemed consistent with those of this early period. Those committed to the Theravadan tradition believe that theirs most closely follows these normative dimensions of that early Buddhism. Others insist that their enlightenment truth is the same (i.e., is orthodox) but that the formulas for expressing it in human language must be diversified in order to appeal to humans in their rich cultural environment. Initially such groups designated themselves as Mahayanist or "Big Vehicle."
In addition, Mahayanist tradition developed several philosophical schools as ways to comprehend the true impact of the Buddha's teachings for all kinds of minds. One of the most important of these was begun by a Brahman convert called Nagarjuna. His position is referred to as the "Middle Way," or Madhyamika. It is sometimes regarded as the most orthodox of the many schools in Mahayana Buddhism. Nagarjuna declined to debate whether or not one could talk about what is absolutely real. He insisted, rather, that anything that could be claimed to be real had to be "empty" of self-essence or absolute truth claims. This was because all the evidence around us in the world of phenomena points to the fact that nothing is permanent. Nagarjuna noted that everything appears to have an essence that abides forever, but in truth it does not. Thus what is true must be empty of such claims—it is truly "nothing" in its most authentic expression.
His orthodoxy of thought is often contrasted to orthodoxy of practice, such as that expressed in the great Yogacara school of meditation practice developed by a bhiksu, or monk, named Maitreya (270–350 c.e.), who insisted on the momentariness of all conscious awareness. Once one had meditated to the point where the false nature of substance became apparent, one could then proceed to the point where consciousness itself would merge into ultimate reality. His sketch of the processes of meditation provided the foundation for subsequent meditational developments and hence took on a kind of conservative orthodoxy. The citation of these schools as orthodox shows that the term relates to fundamental stances toward what is real or what exists.
Buddhist women in particular have no problem with the traditional religious understandings of the way, whichever of the three vehicles they belong to, but more and more they are objecting to the social restrictions imposed by the patriarchal structures of the Buddhist societies in which they live. Traditionally, monks were regarded as superior to nuns, and seldom were female practitioners of any Buddhism school accorded a leadership role. Monastic codes almost always insisted that females adopt a male stance in order to progress along the path. Currently women are insisting on the equality expressed by the Buddha's original teachings, a notion of orthodoxy that differs considerably from the norm. In the final analysis, the case of Buddhist orthodoxy raises the issue of whether orthodoxy's meaning can be limited to a single linguistic or cultural expression. Rather, it might well rest upon a core intuition which is then embodied in many cultural forms and languages, all of them ultimately unreal but all provisionally necessary for human knowledge.
This survey does not exhaust the religious environments in which the ideas of orthodoxy flourish, but what has been noted here should throw into relief some of the key ideas and affirm the multidimensionality of the term. Since the very use of the word implies exclusion, it runs counter to the more positive instincts of inclusion important today, especially in the West. Still, orthodoxy reminds us again of the immense power that religious affirmation and division have encapsulated in the human family.
See also Buddhism ; Christianity ; Hinduism ; Islam ; Judaism ; Orthopraxy ; Religion .
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Earle H. Waugh
Orthodoxy has been an integral part of Russian civilization from the tenth century to the present.
The word Orthodox means right belief, right practice, or right worship. Also referred to as Russian Orthodoxy or Eastern Orthodoxy, all three terms are synonymous in Orthodox self-understanding. Orthodoxy uses the vernacular language of its adherents, but its beliefs and liturgy are independent of the language used. The Russian Church is Eastern Orthodox because it maintains sacramental ties (intercommunion) with the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople. This differentiates it from Oriental Orthodox groups such as the Nestorians, Monophysites, and Jacobites who broke with Byzantium over doctrinal and cultural differences between the fifth and eighth centuries. The distinctive characteristics of Orthodoxy in comparison with other expressions of Christianity explain some unique features of Russian historical development.
Orthodox theology is generally characterized by a strong emphasis on incarnation. It upholds Christian dogma related to the life, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed through Christian tradition shaped by the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the earliest teachings of the Christian leaders in the second to fourth centuries (the Church Fathers), and the decisions of seven ecumenical or all-church councils held between the fourth and eighth centuries. God is understood to be creator of the universe and a single being who finds expression in the Trinity or three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Although the essence of God is unknowable to human beings, they can gain knowledge of God through nature, the revelation of Christ, and Christian tradition. God is described as eternal, perfectly good, omniscient, perfectly righteous, almighty, and omnipresent.
Human beings are described as possessing both body and soul and having been originally made in the image and likeness of God. The image of God remains, although the divine likeness is seen as corrupted by original sin, a spiritual disease inherited from Adam and Eve, the first humans. Thus, Orthodox doctrine does not support the idea of total human depravity as defined by the fourth-century western theologian St. Augustine of Hippo. The goal of human existence in Orthodox theology is deification, often described using the Greek term theosis. Humans are understood to be striving for the restoration of the divine likeness, becoming fully human and divine following the example of Christ.
Incarnational theology is expressed in popular practice as well as in dogma. Holy images or icons express incarnation through religious paintings that provide a window into the redeemed creation. The subjects of icons are God, Jesus, biblical scenes, the lives of saints, and the Virgin Mary, who is referred to as Theotokos (God bearer). Icons are holy objects that are always venerated for the images they represent. Some icons also are believed to have divine power to protect or heal. Miracle-working icons are sites of divine immanence, where the energies of God are physically accessible to the Orthodox believer. Immanence is also seen in holy relics, graves, and even natural objects such as rocks, fountains, lakes, and streams.
liturgy and worship
The Orthodox faith is expressed through the Divine Liturgy —a term synonymous with Eucharist, Mass, or Holy Communion in Western Christianity—and other services. All Orthodox services center around the prayers of the faithful; for Orthodox believers, worship is communal prayer. Monasticism had a particularly strong influence on the Russian liturgical tradition. From the sixteenth century, worship in parish churches imitated the long, complex forms found in monasteries. The structure of the Orthodox liturgy has unbroken continuity with the earliest forms of Christian worship and has remained basically unchanged since the ninth century, just before the conversion of Russia. Russian as a written language traces its origins to the work of two brothers, Cyril and Methodius, who were missionaries to the Slavs in the ninth century. The Russian Orthodox Church has maintained the language and forms of worship that it received from Byzantium during the tenth century, including the use of Old Church Slavic as a liturgical language. As a result, the Russian Orthodox liturgy sounds archaic and at times even incomprehensible to modern Russians.
Orthodox worship includes the seven sacraments defined by the Roman Catholic Church (baptism, chrismation, Eucharist, repentance, ordination, marriage, and anointing of the sick). Orthodox theologians frequently note, however, that their church's sacramental life is not limited to those seven rites. Many other acts, such as monastic ton-sure, are understood to have a sacramental quality. Baptism is the rite of initiation, performed on infants and adults by immersion. Chrismation, also known as confirmation in the West, involves being anointed with holy oil and signifies reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Eucharist lacks any theological interpretation of transubstantiation or consubstantiation. Instead, the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ is explained as a mystery beyond human understanding. Communicants receive both bread and wine, which are mixed together in the chalice and served to them by the priest on a spoon. Repentance involves confession of sin to a priest followed by an act of penance (in Russian, epitimia ). Ordination is the sacrament for inducting men into clerical orders. The Orthodox ceremony of marriage is distinctive in its use of crowns placed on the heads of the bride and groom. Anointing of the sick, as known as unction, is not reserved for those who are dying but can be used for anyone who is suffering and seeks divine healing.
Orthodox believers are served by three types of clergy: bishops, priests, and deacons. All clergy are male and are differentiated by the color of their liturgical vestments, which are in turn related to their form of ecclesiastical service. Married priests and deacons who serve in parishes are called the white clergy (beloye dukhovenstvo ), while those who take monastic vows are known as the black clergy (chernoye dukhovenstvo ). Men who wish to marry must do so before being ordained. They cannot remarry, either before or after ordination, and their wives cannot have been married previously.
Marital status decides clergy rank. Married clergymen can be either priests or deacons who are ordained by a single bishop and can serve in either monasteries or parish churches. Priests assist bishops by administering the sacraments and leading liturgical services in places assigned by their bishop. Deacons serve priests in those services. As long as his wife is alive, a member of the white clergy cannot rise to the episcopacy. Should his wife die, he must take monastic vows and, with very rare exceptions, enter a monastery. Bishops are chosen exclusively from the monastic clergy and must be celibate (either never married or widowed). A new bishop is consecrated when two or three bishops lay hands upon him. He then becomes part of the apostolic succession, which is the unbroken line of episcopal ordinations that began with the apostles chosen by Jesus. Bishops can rise in the hierarchy to archbishop, metropolitan, and patriarch, but every bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church is understood to be equal to every other bishop regardless of title.
The rise of Kiev in the ninth century as the center of Eastern Slavic civilization was accompanied by political centralization that promoted the adoption of Orthodox Christianity. The process of Christianization began with the conversion of individual members of the nobility, most notably Princess Olga, the widow of Grand Prince Igor of Kiev. Her grandson, Prince Vladimir, officially adopted Orthodoxy in 988 and enforced mass baptisms into the new faith. Vladimir's motives for this decision to abandon the animistic faith of his ancestors remain unclear. He was probably influenced both by a desire to strengthen ties with Byzantium and by a need to unify his territory under a common religious culture. The story of Vladimir's purposefully choosing Orthodox Christianity over other faiths—a story that is difficult to substantiate despite its inclusion in the Russian Primary Chronicle—plays an important role in Russian Orthodoxy's sense of divine election. Christianity spread steadily throughout the Russian lands from the tenth to thirteenth centuries, aided by state support and clergy imported from Byzantium. Close cooperation between political and ecclesiastical structures thus formed an integral part of the foundations of a unified Russian civilization. Slavic animistic traditions merged with Orthodox Christianity to form dvoyeverie ("dual faith") that served as the basis for popular religion in Russia.
The years of Tatar rule (the Mongol Yoke, 1240–1480) gave an unexpected boost to the spread of Orthodox Christianity among the Russian peoples. The collapse of the political structure that accompanied the fall of Kiev forced the church to become guardian of both spiritual and national values. Church leaders accepted the dual task of converting the populace in the countryside, where Orthodoxy had only slowly spread, and promoting a new political order that would avoid the internecine political squabbles among princes that had led to the Mongol defeat of Russia. The church accomplished its political goals by backing leaders such as Prince Alexander Nevsky for his defense of Russia against western invaders (he was canonized for his efforts). Conversion of the masses took place largely through the efforts of monastic communities that spread throughout Russia during the period of Mongol domination. Hesychastic or quietist spirituality based on meditative repetition of the Jesus Prayer fed the proliferation of monasteries under the influence of St. Sergius of Radonezh (1314–1392), founder of the Holy Trinity Monastery outside Moscow. Monastic leaders gained significant political influence, as evidenced by St. Sergius's blessing of Prince Dmitry Donskoy as he marched his army to victory over the Mongols at Kulikovo Pole in 1380.
Moscow emerged as the true political and religious center of Russia by the middle of the fifteenth century. The senior bishop of Russia acknowledged his support for the Muscovite princes and their drive to reunify the Russian state by moving to Moscow in 1326. The Russian Orthodox hierarchy declared independence from Byzantium after the Council of Florence-Ferrara (1439–1443) where Constantinople tried in vain to solicit western military aid in return for acceptance of Roman Catholic policies and dogma. Church leaders promoted a messianic vision for Muscovite Russia after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Having broken Mongol domination, Muscovy understood its role as the only independent Orthodox state to mean that it must defend the true faith. The description of Moscow as "the Third Rome" captured this messianic mission when it came into use at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Russian political power grew increasingly independent from Orthodoxy in the Muscovite state, however, and church leaders struggled with the consequences. During the early 1500s, a national church council sided with abbots who argued for the rights of their monasteries to accumulate wealth ("possessors") and against monastic leaders who advocated strict poverty for monks ("nonpossessors"). The possessor position promised greater political influence for the church. Tensions between secular and ecclesiastical power increased under Tsar Ivan IV ("the Terrible," 1530–1584), although the Stoglav Council held in 1551 issued strict rules for everyday Orthodox life. The struggle for succession to the throne following Ivan's death also brought religious instability by the end of the century. Success in elevating the Moscow metropolitan to the rank of patriarch in 1589 added to the church's influence in defending Russia from foreign invaders and internal chaos during the Time of Troubles (1598–1613). Rivalry developed between secular and ecclesiastical powers by the middle of the seventeenth century when Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich disagreed with the prerogatives claimed by Patriarch Nikon. Nikon's position was undermined by the Old Believer schism (raskol ) that resulted from his attempts to reform Russian Orthodoxy following contemporary Greek practice. Nikon was exiled and eventually deposed on orders from the tsar, who with other Russian nobles of the time became fascinated with Western lifestyles and religion. Limitations on the power of institutional Orthodoxy increased through the second half of the seventeenth century.
Orthodoxy in the imperial period (1703–1917) was heavily regulated by the state. The authoritarian, Westernized system of government implemented by Peter I ("the Great") and his successors meant that secular Russian society lived side-by-side with traditional Orthodox culture. The Moscow patriarchate was replaced with a Holy Synod in 1721. Church authority was limited to matters of family and morality, although the church itself was never made subservient to the state bureaucracy. Western ideas had a striking influence on the clergy, who became a closed caste within Russian society due to new requirements for education. Church schools and seminaries were only open to the sons of clergy, and these in turn tended to marry the daughters of clergy. The curriculum for educating clergy drew heavily on Catholic and Protestant models, and clergy often found themselves at odds with both parishioners and state authorities. Monastic power declined due to government-imposed limitations on the numbers of monks at each monastery and the secularization of most church lands in 1763. Monastic influence recovered in the nineteenth century with the emergence of saints embraced by Russian believers who saw them as models for piety and social involvement. An intellectual revival in Orthodoxy took place at this time, when writers including Alexei Khomyakov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Vladimir Soloviev sought to combine Orthodox traditions and Western culture. Various leaders in church and state also embraced pan–Slavism with an eye toward Russian leadership of the whole Orthodox world.
Twentieth-century developments shook Russian Orthodoxy to its core. The revolutions of 1905 and 1917 weakened and then destroyed the governing structures upon which the institutional church depended. The emergence of a radically atheistic government under Lenin and the Bolsheviks promised to undermine popular Orthodoxy. Nationalization of all church property was quickly followed by the separation of church from state and religion from public education. Orthodox responses included the restoration of the Moscow patriarchate by the national church council (sobor ) of 1917–1918 as well as an attempt by some parish priests to combine Orthodoxy and Bolshevism in a new Renovationist or Living Church. In reality, the institutional church was unable to find any defense against the ideologically motivated repression of religion during the first quarter century of the Soviet regime. Neither confrontation nor accommodation proved effective within emerging Soviet Russian culture that emphasized the creation of a new, scientific, atheistic worldview. The Stalin Revolution of the 1930s accompanied by the Great Terror led to mass closures of churches and arrests of clergy.
Orthodoxy remained embedded in Russian culture, however, as seen by its revival during the crisis that accompanied Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Soviet policy toward the Russian Orthodox Church softened for nearly two decades during and after World War II, tightened again during Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization campaign (1959–1964), and then loosened to a limited extent under the leadership of Leonid Brezhnev (1964–1982). Mikhail Gorbachev turned to the church for help in the moral regeneration of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. This started a process of reopening Orthodox churches, chapels, monasteries, and schools throughout the country. The collapse of the Soviet Union accelerated that process even as it opened Russia to a flood of religious movements from the rest of the world. Orthodoxy in post-communist Russia struggles to maintain its institutional independence while striving to establish a position as the primary religious confession of the Russian state and the majority of its population. It faces the dilemma of accepting or rejecting various aspects of modern, secular culture in light of Orthodox tradition.
See also: architecture; byzantium, influence of; dvoeverie; hagiography; metropolitan; monasticism; patriarchate; religion; russian orthodox church
Belliustin, I. S. (1985). Description of the Parish Clergy in Rural Russia: The Memoir of a Nineteenth-Century Parish Priest, tr. and intro. Gregory L. Freeze. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Cracraft, James. (1971). The Church Reform of Peter the Great. London: Macmillan.
Cunningham, James W. (1981). A Vanquished Hope: The Movement for Church Renewal in Russia, 1905-1906. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.
Curtiss, John S. (1952). The Russian Church and the Soviet State, 1917–1950. Boston: Little, Brown.
Davis, Nathaniel. (1995). A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Fedotov, G. P. (1946). The Russian Religious Mind. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Fennell, John L. I. (1995). A History of the Russian Church to 1448. New York: Addison-Wesley.
Florovsky, Georges. (1979). Collected Works: Vols. 5–6, Ways of Russian Theology, ed. Richard S. Haugh; tr. Robert L. Nichols. Belmont, MA: Nordland.
Freeze, Gregory L. (1977). The Russian Levites: Parish Clergy in the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Freeze, Gregory L. (1983). The Parish Clergy in Nineteenth–Century Russia: Crisis, Reform, Counter-Reform. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Husband, William B. (2000). "Godless Communists": Atheism and Society in Soviet Russia, 1971–1932. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press.
Levin, Eve. (1989). Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900–1700. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Michels, Georg B. (2000). At War With the Church: Religious Dissent in Seventeenth-Century Russia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Ouspensky, Leonid. (1992). Theology of the Icon, 2 vols. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.
Ware, Timothy. (1993). The Orthodox Church, new ed. New York: Penguin.
Edward E. Roslof
The concept of orthodoxy is variously used as: (1) a historically specifically located term; (2) a descriptive-analytic term to describe traditions or writers that may not describe themselves by that term; and (3) a titular self-description in various religious communities (e.g., Modern Orthodox Judaism, Greek Orthodox Church). Often, orthodoxy is juxtaposed with orthopraxy, whereby orthodoxy would apply more appropriately to cognitivist traditions, such as Christianity and its emphasis on faith and theology, rather than to traditions that define themselves along behavioral lines, such as Judaism and Islam with their emphases on religious law. This juxtaposition is artificial, however, since Judaism and Islam, as well as Christianity, develop discourses of orthodoxy and authenticity.
The historical origin of the concept of orthodoxy (from the Greek word for correct or normative faith) as the antonym of heresy (Greek, “faction”) can be traced back to early Christian literature. Conceptually, orthodoxy emerges as a by-product of the early Christian practice of heresiography, whereby the two antonyms were aligned with other oppositional pairs, such as, importantly, truth and its perversions. To a large degree, the heresiographers opted to define orthodoxy by what it was not—namely, the aberrant heresies—rather than to formulate what orthodoxy actually entailed. First-century writers such as Josephus (37–c. 100 CE) could still employ the term heresy in the sense of “school of thought,” as in his description of the various schools of thought in first-century Judaism (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and potentially Zealots). Hence, this first-century phenomenon is most often described as sectarianism rather than as a struggle for orthodoxy. To Josephus, none of these groups constituted an orthodox versus a heretical version of Judaism, or an exclusionary normative Judaism from which the others were to be excluded as deviant marginal groups. What distinguishes the heresiographical texts of the second half of the second century and onward from first-century writers such as Josephus is precisely this shift in meaning from heresy as a school of thought, still subsumed under the umbrella of the larger category term of Judaism (in Josephus’s case), to heresy as a deviant aberration from the true religion, hence to be excluded from its boundaries of identity. Only the latter allows a notion of orthodoxy as the true, authentic version of Christianity (and subsequently Judaism) to emerge.
It may be debatable as to the degree to which the early Christian leader Paul already engaged in a heresiographical practice in his epistles without resorting to the concept of heresy when in his Epistle to the Galatians (1:6–7) he denounced his opponents as those preaching “another gospel” and thereby “perverting the gospel of Christ.” However, it appears that the first author of what turned into the genre of Christian heresiography was Justin Martyr (100–165 CE) with his Refutation of all Heresies, a text that is no longer preserved. Subsequently, Irenaeus’s treatise Adversus omnes haereses (Against All Heresies, 185 CE) drew on Justin’s work, and from then on heresiographies present a distinct genre of Christian literature and theology. Around the same time, Jewish writers, such as the authors of the earliest Rabbinic text, known as the Mishnah (c. 200 CE), began to adopt heresiographical practices.
The early Jewish and Christian debates were carried out in a context in which the writers lacked the support of institutional or political authority. A case may be made that these strategies of self-representation contributed to, if not entirely caused, the institutional consolidation of the Catholic Church, ultimately backed by the political authority of the Roman Empire, and the rabbinical leadership of the Jewish community at the end of the late antique period.
The heresiographers employed a number of strategies to render persuasive their notion of the true and therefore authoritative or normative version of theology and practice. One strategy to establish authenticity was to attribute historical or chronological priority to their norms. For example, the early rabbis claim that their traditions or their “oral Torah” was already given to Moses on Sinai (Mishnah Avot 1:1), and the Christian heresiographers attribute their teachings to the first apostles and ultimately Jesus himself. The historical priority of authentic traditions is subsequently secured by chains of traditions that lead from the source to each respective heresiographical author. Heresies then are represented as groups (“them”) that split off from the normative tradition and perverted it, versus the projected “us” who continue the authentic and original tradition. This classic strategy of self-representation is employed in various other religious contexts, often in order to disguise innovative practices and beliefs. In the case of early Judaism and Christianity, this strategy was so successful that modern historians have often assumed such claims to be descriptive rather than recognizing them for their rhetorical work.
Another strategy of the heresiographers was to adduce and at the same time reduce the origin of what they wished to portray as false belief to a founding figure whose name would give the denounced faith its name. Paul juxtaposes the idea of following Christ with merely following Paul, Apollo, or Cephas (Peter) in his argument against divisions in the early church communities (1 Cor. 1:12). Subsequently, heresiographers provide lists of named and supposedly nameable groups who may not have described themselves by those names, as Justin Martyr does in his Dialogue with Trypho : “Some are called Marcionites, some Valentinians, some Basilideans and some Saturnalians, and some others by other names” (Martyr 1930, p. 70), just not the name Christians. This strategy allows for contrasting these marginalized categories of groups with the universal unnamed category employed to promote the appearance of authenticity, whether that is represented by terms like orthodox and catholic (Greek, “universal”) in the Christian case, or “Israel” versus groups such as Sadduceans and Boethusians in the early Rabbinic case. Both these strategies—the attribution of historical priority to that which is promoted as authentic, and the reduction of opponents to marginal movements contrasted to one’s own universality—are repeated in numerous other conflicts, mostly of a religious nature.
While the concepts of orthodoxy and heresy have specific historical origins, and are mostly used in the contexts of religious practices and religious studies as well as in sociology of religion, they have come to be used more broadly in various other disciplines and subject matters. Any established tradition or symbolic order perceived as truth, as the law, or as political consensus can be described as orthodoxy, and anyone diverging therefrom as heterodox or heretic. A discipline of study may be legitimated by one normative methodology, leading to a perception of innovative approaches as heterodox or heretic.
In the social sciences, Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) elevated the concepts of orthodoxy and heresy to methodological principle in his analysis of social behavior, accompanied by a third concept, doxa. In his classic work Outline of a Theory of Practice (1977), he defines orthodoxy as “a system of euphemisms, of acceptable ways of thinking and speaking the natural and social world, which rejects heretical remarks as blasphemies” (Bourdieu 1977, p. 169). Hence, orthodoxy is always a social fiction, a socially established convention in the realm of discourse. Doxa, on the other hand, refers to the “preverbal taking-for-granted of the world that flows from practical sense” (Bourdieu 1990, p. 68). At times, Bourdieu maps all three terms on class distinctions in that doxa is the product of a system of domination. Accordingly, he defines doxa as the viewpoint of the dominant, which disguises itself as universal, neutral, or objective, and which the dominant classes have an interest in defending, whereas the dominated have “an interest in pushing back the limits of doxa and exposing the arbitrariness of the taken for granted” (Bourdieu 1977, p. 169). Doxa is a stronger tool of domination because it is “an ensemble of fundamental beliefs which do not even need to affirm themselves in the guise of an explicit dogma, conscious of itself” (Berlinerblau 2001, p. 346), that is, orthodoxy. Hegemony and orthodoxy are interchangeable. The heretic then is the person, a prophet or homo academicus, who discovers some unrecognized belief about the world that supplies the means of thinking the unthinkable.
Bourdieu is not the first to translate the concepts of orthodoxy and heresy or heterodoxy, originally coined in a religious context, into analytic vocabulary for sociological and political analysis, but his is the most influential to date.
SEE ALSO Bourdieu, Pierre; Christianity; Galbraith, John Kenneth; Hegemony; Judaism; Kuhn, Thomas; Religion; Revolutions, Scientific; Roman Catholic Church; Science
Bauer, Walter. 1971. Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, eds. Robert Kraft and Gerhard Krodel. Trans. Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins. Philadelphia: Fortress.
Berlinerblau, Jacques. 2001. Toward a Sociology of Heresy, Orthodoxy, and Doxa. History of Religions 40 (4): 327–351.
Bourdieu, Pierre.  1988. Vive la Crise!: For Heterodoxy in Social Science. Theory and Society 17 (5): 773–787.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Bourdieu, Pierre.  1990. The Logic of Practice. Trans. Richard Nice. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
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Kurtz, Lester. 1983. The Politics of Heresy. American Journal of Sociology 88 (6): 1085–1115.
Le Boulluec, Alain. 1985. La notion d’hérésie dans la littérature grecque II-II siècles. 2 vols. Paris: Études Augustiniennes.
Martyr, Justin. 1930. Justin Martyr: The Dialogue with Trypho, ed. and trans. A. Lukyn Williams. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK).
Zito, George. 1983. Toward a Sociology of Heresy. Sociological Analysis 44: 123–130.
Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert
The word orthodoxy, derived from the Greek, means ỏρθός (right) and δόξα (belief). This word is primarily used in connection with those churches of the Christian East. The title itself is ancient and was not used by the Orthodox Churches to express their position in reference to Rome so much as to indicate their fidelity to the first seven ecumenical councils. Unlike the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church of the East, the Orthodox Churches insist upon their orthodoxy by their reception of the christology of the Council of Chalcedon (451). In using the term "orthodoxy" to describe themselves, the Orthodox Churches speak of not only preserving true belief about God and Christ but also preserve right worship; they glorify God in the true way in the liturgy. This extension of the term orthodoxy to embrace not only right belief (ortho-dogma) but also right glory (ortho-doxa) indicates the importance of the Church as a worshiping community, revealing the deep liturgical foundations of the Christian East.
Bibliography: s. bulgakov, The Orthodox Church (Crestwood, NY 1988) v. lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (Cambridge 1957) j. meyendorff, The Orthodox Church (Crestwood, NY 1981) a. schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (Crestwood, NY 1973). a. schmemann, The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy (Crestwood, NY 1977). k. ware, The Orthodox Church, rev. ed. (New York 1997)
[m. e. williams/eds.]
or·tho·dox·y / ˈôr[unvoicedth]əˌdäksē/ • n. (pl. -dox·ies) 1. authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice: monetarist orthodoxy | he challenged many of the established orthodoxies. ∎ the quality of conforming to such theories, doctrines, or practices: writings of unimpeachable orthodoxy.2. the whole community of Orthodox Jews or Orthodox Christians.