Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos delivers SS. Cyril & Methodius lecture

I drove out for the 12th Annual SS. Cyril and Methodius Lecture in Pittsburgh last night. Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos (consultant on canonical affairs to the Greek Archdiocese, the Carpatho-Russian Diocese, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate) gave a talk on unity and the state of the Church called Challenges Facing the Orthodox Church in America. Met. William (Skurla) for the Byzantine Catholics and Met. Savas for the Greek Archdiocese were in attendance along with Catholic and Orthodox clergy and laity from the area.

Dr. Patsavos' version of the history of the entrance and growth of Orthodoxy in America was in opposition to what he called the "St. Vladimir's account." If you are a proponent of the "Greek" version of how things developed over the last two hundred years and how things sit now (the Chamb├ęsy process, connection with the mother churches, etc.) you would have felt quite at home. If you are a reader and espouser of the "OCA/Schmemann" chronology and position, you would have found yourself biting your tongue and sitting on your hands at phrases like diaspora, under the care of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and sidelong references to canon 28.

Less divisive were his comments on issues of one-city-one-bishop, even and uniform pastoral care irrespective of jurisdictional boundaries, duplication of efforts, etc. After the talk, a short Q&A session was held. Met. Savas stood up and spoke in glowing terms about the work of Matthew Namee and the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas over at orthodoxhistory.org. I was surprised that many people were not aware of the historical research SOCHA has been doing.

I'm already looking forward to next year and will try and do a better job of advertising the talk here some weeks in advance.

Finally, below is embedded a talk he gave last year on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at St. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Catedral in Potomac, MD. If you hear the accent and are reminded of the Kennedys, it is because he is from Cambridge, MA. Much of the same material of last night's talk is covered in this video. Enjoy.


  1. Dr. Patsavos should see this:

    1. I'll tell him when I see him next. It should be next month.