Adam (Philippovsky)

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Adam (Philipovsky), Acting Exarch, Archbishop of the Aleutian Islands and North America, was a Russian bishop of the Orthodox Church in the United States during the ecclesiastical chaos of the inter-war era of the 1920s to 1940s. He led a group of parishes whose members were of Galician Carpatho-Russian background. [1]


Adam Apollinarievich Philipovsky-Philipenko was born in 1886 in Carpathian-Russia. He attended the Faculty of Law of the University of Lvov, graduating in 1908. In 1912 he arrived in the United States and was [[ordination|ordained a deacon and then priest by Bp. Alexander {Nemolovsky). His ordination was apparently in violation of the canons as he had married to a widow. His wife subsequently died. He was tonsured a monk with the name Adam. In 1916, he moved to Winnipeg, Canada.

Adam (Philipovsky) was consecrated bishop of Canada on October 26, 1922 by Bishop Stephen (Dzubay) who was Bishop of Pittsburgh and senior auxiliary to Archbishop Alexander, then the ruling bishop of the Russian North American Diocese. Bp. Stephen had acted as the self-proclaimed "acting head" of the diocese, having not recognized Patriarch Tikhon's oral appointment of Metr. Platon as Abp. Alexander's successor.

After the confirmation of Metr. Platon's appointment by Patr. Tikhon, Bishop Adam left the North American Diocese and headed an independent "diocese" of Carpatho-Russian communities consisting mainly of parishes in the northeastern United States. In 1925, he was involved in the "ownership" disputes over the Russian Cathedral of St. Nicholas on ninety-seventh Street in New York City. [2]

In 1935, Abp. Adam rejoined the North American Diocese as an auxiliary (Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Carpatho-Russians) under Metr. Theophilus. During the latter part of the 1930s he was involved in the clergy dispute at the Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers, New York that was finally settled in 1940 with the New York Courts' recognition of the legitimacy of the North American Diocese and of Metr. Theophilus' election as ruling bishop. [3]

On July 27, 1939, the Moscow Patriarchate deprived Abp. Adam of his dignity for disobedience. In 1943/1944, he appealed to Patr. Sergius of Moscow for restoration as archbishop. Initially, denied due to his marriage to a widow, he finally regained his episcopate in 1944 and was retained in the Moscow patriarchal exarchate under Bp. Benjamin.

From August 21, 1947 to October 31, 1947, Abp. Adam was temporarily (locum tenes?) assigned to lead the exarchate. In 1953, he was appointed vicar to the Patriarchal exarchate in America. On July 30, 1954, Abp. Adam was granted retirement. He died on April 29, 1956.

The 1956 edition of the Yearbook of American Churches [4] lists Archbishop Adam Philipovsky as the "Officer" of the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church, Archdiocese of the Aleutian Islands and North America.

Bp. Adam is credited with writing a Russian language play, titled Maxim Sandovich, in 1931, about the martyred Priest St. Maxim Sandovich in Carpatho-Russia. [5]


  1. [[1]] Holy Trinity Orthodox Church History
  2. [[2]] New York Times article - Aug 3, 1925
  3. [[3]] Chap. 4 The Storm Clouds Burst 1930-1940
  4. [[4]] Edition for 1956, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A, 297 Fourth Avenue, New York 10, N. Y.
  5. [[5]] World Academy of Rusyn Culture, Elaine Rusinko - United States.


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