Mattingly: The Orthodox question for 2010

By TERRY MATTINGLY – Scripps Howard News Service |

Terry Mattingly

Terry Mattingly

The first Orthodox missionaries to reach Alaska traveled with the early Russian explorers and, in 1794, a party of monks established the Orthodox Christian Mission to America.


“Before the 1920s, there was only one jurisdiction in North America — that of the Russian Orthodox Church, which, as we know, was open to … the widest variety of ethnic communities,” said Archbishop Justinian of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, during last week’s Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs in North and Central America.

“Much has changed since that time. The tumultuous events of the 20th century forced many citizens of traditionally Orthodox countries to leave their native homes and seek refuge in other countries, which led to the rise of large ethnic Orthodox communities beyond the boundaries of corresponding local churches.”

But the key to conditions today, he stressed, is the fact that an “increasing number of our faithful belong to the Orthodox Church not as the result of their ethnic background, but of a conscious choice in favor of Orthodoxy’s truth.”


Read the complete article on the Terry Mattingly website.

Terry Mattingly blogs at Get Religion.


  1. There is another Fr. Arseny (Arsenie Boca) venerated as a saint in Romania.

    Arsenie Boca, a modern prophet in Orthodox Church established by Jesus in year 33

    So in the Holy Mountain he prayed to Jesus , in a deep forest . He prayed and prayed for a spiritual Father to help him go on the hard path of salvation. But Jesus din not respond. The Father Arsenie started praying even more powerful to Holy Mother of God. And, after a time, as Father said, Holy Mother of God came from clouds to him and took him on his hand and put him on a Mountain so high that you could not even look down.And there , on the top of this Mountain , Holy Mother of God let him to learn from a Saint that lived 200 to 300 years before, Saint Seraphim of Sarov. Then Holy Mother of God disappeared in skies as she appeared. And for 40 days he learned from Saint Seraphim of Sarov , going on the Mountain. And for 40 days Father Arsenie fasted continuously with help from Holy Mother of God. And after one year he came back to Romania but he was another man. He was a true prophet and his great power that only if you looked at him you would start shacking. And he knew all your thoughts , your name without even knowing you and everything you did good or bad he knew and you could not hide from him.This is how Father Arsenie changed and how our life changed too.

  2. Geo Michalopulos :

    Great post, Fr Hans. I took the time to read the entire essay. Mattingly has a way of distilling a complicated issue to its core. Very insightfull. Bassically, what Mattingly is describing is two different narratives: mission field or colony? Ironically, it appears that those that wish to view America as a colony have gravitated to a pole centered on Istanbul, whereas those who view America (rightly) as a mission field, are centered around the +Jonah/+Philip axis.

    Which however is the correct view? Again, Mattingly describes the foundation of Orthodoxy in North America as a mission field. Perhaps this answers the dogged question of why so many Phanariote functionaries and partisans have been reduced to propagating several contradictory views one could say, preposterous views. Among them,

    1. Constantinopolitans were here in North America before the Russians (in the Middle Ages),

    2. C’pole has universal jurisdiction (canon 28 mythology),

    3. Alaska is not part of America,

    4. There is no need to harp on territorial integrity, and

    5. There were no Russian Mission churches in the lower 48 before 1870.

    All of these assertions btw are not true.

    3. Ther

  3. cynthia curran :

    In the middle ages, I doubt that Constainoplians were in the US or North America, now the vikings yes, but not Byzantines. Unless, you are talking about Columbus and some of them relocated after the fall of Constaninople in 1453 to Italy. A lot of Orthodox complain about Venice’s involvement in the 4th crusade, but a lot of Byzantines includng sailors went there and Genoa after the fall of Constaninople.

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