Ex Oriente Lux

This chapter in the history of nineteenth century Christendom has been sadly neglected by writers and Church historians. During the middle of the 19th century Stephen Hatherly, an English church musician and Dr. Joseph Overbeck, a Prussian Catholic scholar priest who had settled in England, both converted to Orthodoxy. Tragically, an early clash of personalities caused them to be life-long enemies. Hatherly believed the Byzantine Liturgy the very essence of Orthodoxy and told the Greek community in Manchester, “I glory in nothing more than that I stand before you as a Greek priest.” Dr. Overbeck’s scheme for a Western-rite Orthodoxy was repugnant to Hatherly and he wrote to his rival that he would not stand by and see him “blend any figment of your old popery or any old Protestantism with our Orthodox ritual.”

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