John S. Romanides

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Rev. Prof. John S. Romanides

Father John Savvas Romanides (1927 - 2001) was a prominent 20th century Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, and writer. Fr. Romanides served under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Church of Greece.


Protopresbyter John S. Romanides was ordained in 1951 while studying at Yale University Divinity School, and served at Holy Trinity Church in Waterbury, Connecticut, from 1951 till 1954. After finishing his studies at Yale he was transferred for the summer of 1954 to Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City until he left for studies at St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris (1954-55). He did his doctoral work at the University of Athens from 1956 to 1957. His dissertation, The Ancestral Sin, was accepted and published in 1957, but over the objections of faculty members Panagiotes Trembelas and P. I. Bratsiotis. Although the dissertation focused on original sin, Christos Yannaras writes, "Romanides succeeded in summarizing the whole of Orthodox dogma, emphasizing the deep gulf separating it from the intellectualist and juridical expressions of Western dogma".[1]

He was appointed professor at Holy Cross, Brookline, Massachusetts, where he taught between 1957 and 1965 while continuing his studies and research at the Harvard Divinity School and then at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. All this time, between 1957 to 1968, he was also a parish priest. He was appointed to the parish of Newport, New Hampshire, in 1958. Then in 1959 he was appointed the first priest of St. Athanasios the Great Orthodox Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, which he helped found and organize. He resigned from Holy Cross in 1965 in protest over the removal of Father Georges Florovsky from the faculty by Archbishop Iakovos. He was professor of dogmatics at the University of Thessaloniki from 1970 until his resignation in 1982. From 1970 on, he also taught at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. He continued to teach even after his retirement. Between 1965 and 1968 Father Romanides served as the pastor of Holy Apostles' Parish in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Protopresbyter John Romanides petitioned Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos, on April 13th, 1998, to be transferred to the Holy Metropolis of Nafpaktos and St. Vlassios. Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos petitioned Archbishop Spyridon of America, on June 17, 1998, for the canonical discharge of Fr. Romanides from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in order to be added to the Clergy of the Holy Metropolis of Nafpaktos and St. Vlassios. The request was granted on October 8, 1998. Thus, from October of 1998 until the day of his death, 1st November 2001, he belonged to the Clergy of the Holy Metropolis of Nafpaktos and St. Vlassios. He reposed in Athens on November 1, 2001.

He also represented the Church of Greece as member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and in the dialogues with the Lutherans and the Oriental Orthodox.

His legacy lives on through his more then 2,000 students, including many priests, monks, and at least 10 bishops.


Romanides argued for the existence of a "national, cultural and even linguistic unity between Eastern and Western Romans" that exisited until the intrusion and takeover of the West Romans (the Roman Catholics) by the Franks and or Goths (German tribes).

  • The Ecclesiology of St Ignatius of Antioch (1956).
  • Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine: An Interplay Between Theology and Society (1982) ISBN 0916586545
  • Ancestral Sin (2002) ISBN 0970730314
  • An Outline of Orthodox Patristic Dogmatics, edited by George Dion Dragas. (2004) ISBN 0974561843
  • The Life in Christ, translated from the French with an introduction by James L. Kelley (2010) ISBN 919672752


  • Aidan Nichols. "John Romanides and neo-Photianism," in Light From the East: Authors and Themes in Orthodox Theology. 1995. ISBN 0722050801
  • Andrew J. Sopko. Prophet of Roman Orthodoxy: The Theology of John Romanides. 1998. ISBN 978-0919672253
  • James L. Kelley. A Realism of Glory: Lectures on Christology in the Works of Protopresbyter John Romanides. Rollinsford, NH: Orthodox Research Institute, 2009. ISBN 9781933275376
  • Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos. "Empirical Dogmatics of The Orthodox Catholic Church. According to the Spoken Teaching of Father John Romanides." Volume 1. 2012. ISBN: 978-960-7070-75-3. Volume 2. 2013. ISBN: 978-960-7070-81-4


  1. Christos Yannaras, Orthodoxy and the West, p. 276 (ISBN 978-1885652812)


External links