Says the Russian Church Will Remain Here for the Present.




Union of the Orthodox Greek and the Episcopalian Churches Improbable.


The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas of the Eastern Orthodox Church, who enjoys the distinction of having the same name as the Czar of Russia, has returned from St. Petersburg.

The Bishop was called to Russia on official matters connected with his church eight months ago. He made his report to the Holy Synod, which administers the affairs of the Russian church, of which the Czar is head; and he had an audience with the young Emperor.

Relative to the published report that the headquarters of the Orthodox church would be removed from this City and established at New York or Pittsburg, Bishop Nicholas said last night that there would be no change at least none for the present. He said that such matters were directed from Russia, and he would have no knowledge of a change until it had been finally decided upon. He felt certain, however, that the cathedral church and the headquarters of the titular Bishop of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska would remain in San Francisco for some time to come. What the ultimate end would be he was not prepared to say.

While in New York a few days ago Bishop Nicholas dedicated a new Greek church where the Syrians will worship for lack of a church of their own. Rev. Rafael Hawaweeny, of Damascus, Syria, who accompanied the Bishop on his homeward journey, will have charge of the church, at a salary or 2000 rubles a year and 600 rubles for traveling expenses.

The Bishop was given a reception by the Russian and Syrian residents of New York and entertained on a grand scale. He also stopped over at Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Paul on his trip home.

While abroad Bishop Nicholas traveled extensively. He visited all the cities of importance on the Continent. In Paris he officiated at a grand service, and again in London, where he celebrated an anniversary requiem for Emperor Alexander III. The mass was sung in the Russian Embassy chapel, and was attended by the Prince of Wales, the Crown Prince of Greece and other notables.

Bishop Nicholas was asked to express an opinion on the probable union of the Eastern Orthodox with the Roman Catholic or Episcopalian churches, rumors of which affiliation have been heard from time to time. He replied through his interpreter that such a change might be brought about in the coming centuries.

Messrs. Popoff, Grepachevsky, and Pashkovsky, graduates of seminaries in Russia, accompanied the Bishop to San Francisco and will enter the services of the church here.

The San Francisco Call, Sunday, December 1, 1895, 13:1.

Reprinted in the Holy Trinity Cathedral LIFE, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 1994.