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Matthewites

The term Matthewites represents a ‘family’ of schisms stemming from the person and ideology of Vicar-Bishop Matthew of Bresthena, Greece. Vicar-Bishop Matthew joined the early Greek Old-Calendarists as an archimandrite, was consecrated a vicar-bishop by the three original leaders of the Old-Calendarists (Metropolitan’s Chrysostom, Chrysostom, and Germanos) in 1935, but then broke away in schism from them in 1937 when he failed to persuade them to treat the New-Calendarist hierarchy of that time as outside the Church and graceless on account of the new-menaion innovation.

By the late 1940’s, believing himself to be the only Orthodox hierarch left in the world, he uncanonically single-handedly ordained hierarchs from his followers and then died. These later repented in the 1970’s and submitted to re-ordination by the ROCOR (which at that time was in communion with the Florinites [the synod of the original leaders of the Old-Calendarists]) which the Matthewites had appealed to judge their dispute with the other Greek Old-Calendarists. However, five years later they again changed their mind and, repudiating their corrective ordinations, again isolated themselves as ‘the only Orthodox’ and began a series of squabbles that has now created three or more schisms presently among them.

The Matthewites are the first schismatics and fighters against the canons from the Greek Old-Calendarists.

If they had known Orthodox ecclesiastical history, they would not have fallen into such a blatant error. For the Matthewite schismatics fell into the same mistake that Paulinus, Bishop of Antioch, fell into:

The Second Meletian Schism occurred in Antioch from 360 to 418. Bp. Paulinus, the rival of St. Meletius, instigated this schism, although both bishops were professing Orthodoxy. Bp. Paulinus rejected all the proposals of the Meletians to unite and end the schism. As he was nearing his death, Bp. Paulinus single-handedly consecrated Evagrius as his successor to the episcopacy in 388. The Orthodox bishops at that time and the conscience of the whole Orthodox Church rejected this unlawful elevation and considered Evagrius to be illegitimate — because Bp. Paulinus broke the first canon of the Holy Apostles.


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