New York City Cathedrals
By Paul Halsall
There seem to be at least 18 churches claiming Cathedral status in New York. The
City has many religious communities which maintain bishops claiming "apostolic"
descent. These are the main groups.
- Roman Tradition
- Latin Catholic - 2 NYC Cathedrals
The people usually known as "Roman Catholics" - the historic Church of the West
under the immediate supervision of the Pope.
- Eastern Catholic Churches - 1 NYC Cathedral
Sometimes called "Eastern Rite" or "Uniate" churches (although they
reject both terms), these a groups of Easter Christians (Both Chalcedonian and
Non-Chalcedonian) which united with Rome.
- Old Catholics
Groups which split from Rome over various issues
-The Church of Utrecht,
-the German "Old Catholics" over papal infallibility.
-the Polish National Caholic Church
- Independent Catholics
A number of Old Catholic bishops ordained "independent" bishops. There are now
literally hundreds of these "episcopi vagantes", of lesser or greater spiritual
probity. They seem to have a tendency to call living room sanctuaries
- Liberal Catholic
A group which has apparently preserved Catholic Orders, although adopting a Theosophist
theology (i.e. a sort of Western Hindu-Buddhism).
- Episcopalian - 1 NYC Cathedral
The American descendent of the Church of England. It claims to preserve the historic
episcopate. This claim is disputed by Rome, and the Orthodox are ambiguous about the
claim. The situation is made more complex by the long standing participation in
Episcopalian ordinations of Old Catholic bishops.
- Chalcedonian Orthodox
Orthodox churches which accept the definition of Christ's two natures made in 451 at
the Council of Chalcedon.
- Greek Orthodox - 3 NYC Cathedrals
The largest Orthodox Church in America. Largely made up of Greek and Cypriot immigrants.
Under the Patriarch of Constantinople. Services in Greek.
- Orthodox Church in America - 1 NYC Cathedral
A multi-ethnic but basically Slavic Orthodox Church. It derives from the old
"Metropolia" or "Greek Orthodox Russian Catholic Church". It is the
second largest Orthodox grouping in the US. Russians, Carpatho-Russians and a lot of
converts make up its congregations. Services are often in English. Claims to be
"autocephalous" (self-governing), but status this was granted by the Patriarch
- Ukrainian Orthodox - 1 NYC Cathedral
- Antiochian Orthodox - 1 NYC Cathedral
Branch of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. Has a large Arabic membership, but also a
lot of American converts.
- Serbian Orthodox - 1 NYC Cathedral
Ethnically based branch of Serbian Orthodox Church.
- [Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia] - 2 NYC Cathedrals
Pro-Tsarist Orthodox Church. Not in communion with other Orthodox groups.
- [Greek Orthodox - Old Calendarists - various types] - 2 NYC Cathedral
Greek's who reject the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, and split away from the Church
- Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches
Sometimes called "monophysite", a term which they strongly reject. These
churches reject the definition of Chalcedon in 451 and only accept the first three
- Coptic Orthodox
The historic Church of Egypt. There are still millions of Coptic Christians in Egypt.
- Ethiopian Orthodox
The historic church of Ethiopia
- Armenian Orthodox - 1 NYC Cathedral
- Armenian Apostolic- 1 NYC Cathedral
The two Armenian Orthodox Churches owe loyalty to different Patriarchs (called a
"Catholicos"), but are similar in all else. They are almost exclusively Armenian
Here are the Assembled Cathedrals of New York
- St. Patrick's Cathedral, 5th Avenue @ 50th St. (RC)
Spectacular late gothic pastiche.
- St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (Roman Catholic) 263 Mulberry Street, 1809 [offsite link]
Scene of anti-Catholic riots in the 19th century. Used for the baptism scene in The
- St. James Cathedral, 248 Jay St., Brooklyn (RC)
Queen Anne Style architecture. Most of its vibrant congregation deserted it in favor of
St. Boniface when the less-than-charismatic Bishop Daily replaced the well-liked Bishop
- St. Anne's Armenian Catholic Cathedral, East 12 Th, Manhattan (Armenian Catholic)
The Church also doubles as a Shrine of St. Anne [one of two in Manhattan - the other,
with a relic of St. Anne's forearm, is in the French-Canadian National Parish Church of
- St. John the Divine, 1027 Amsterdam Avenue and 112th St.
The largest cathedral in the world, with mix of Romanesque and gothic architecture. Has
a tendency to have trendy services.
- Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 319 East 74th St. (Greek Orthodox)
Converted standard Protestant church, so not especially special architecturally.
- St. Demetrius Cathedral,
31st St. and 30th Dr. Astoria, Queens, (Greek Orthodox)
A recreation of a small Byzantine Cathedral, for instance the Metropolis in Athens.
- St. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, 64 Schemerhorn St. Brooklyn, (Greek Orthodox)
- St. Irene of
Chrysovalantou, 36-07 23 Ave. Astoria (Greek Orthodox - Old Calendar)
A converted Protestant barn of a church, but with a spectacular over-the-top interior. Recently (May 1998) reconciled with main Greek Orthodox Church, and became a monastery.
- St. Markella of Chios, 22-68 26th
Street Astoria, N.Y. 11105 (Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church of America: Holy
Diocese of Astoria)
The church claims that it is modeled on St. Saviour in Chora in Constantinople.
- Protection of the Holy Virgin Cathedral, 59 East 2nd St., (Orthodox Church in America)
Another converted Protestant church. Reputedly excellent chior.
- St. Nicholas Cathedral, 15 East 97th St., (Russian Orthodox Outside Russia)
- Cathedral of the Resurrection, 228 N 12th St., Brooklyn, (Russian Orthodox Outside
Dramatic and detailed recreation of a Russian Church, onion domes and all.
- St. Nicholas Cathedral, 355 State St., Brooklyn, (Antiochian Orthodox)
- St. Sava's Cathedral, 16-20 W.
26th St. (Serbian Orthodox)
This has been St. Sava Cathedral since 1944 , but the building has its origin in 1850
as Trinity Chapel. The web page - run by the Church - contains links to Serbian
Nationalist pages. Nevertheless, it has some fascinating information about the history of
the building [where and Orthodox liturgy was celebrated as early as 1865.] Other pages,
unfortunately, have the brash confidence of small-minded sectarians.
- St. Volodymr's Cathedral, 160 W. 82nd St. (Ukrainian Orthodox)
Converted Protestant church.
- St. Vartan's Cathedral, 630 2nd Ave. @ 34th St. (Armenian
Detailed recreation of a 4th century Armenian church.
- St. Gregory the
Illuminator's Cathedral, 221 E. 27th St. (Armenian)
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