Metr. Samuel David of Toledo

Metropolitan Samuel David was consecrated by three rogue bishops of the Russian-American Metropolia, acting without their synod's blessing, in an attempt to bring the Syro-Antiochian parishes back under the Russian omophorion after the last of them had already been released to go under Antioch. Samuel was consecrated on April 19, 1936, the same day as Metr. Antony Bashir, the official representative of Antioch in America.

 

Despite the desire of the Russian bishops for Samuel to lead parishes under their jurisdiction, he instead formed a rival Antiochian jurisdiction based in Toledo which competed with the official New York archdiocese under Antony Bashir. Initially excommunicated for this act, Samuel was later to be received back into communion as different factions in the synod in Damascus played one archdiocese against the other in America.

 

With the consecration of both men on the same day, antipathy between the "Russi" (Samuel) and "Antaaki" (Antony) factions solidified and entrenched. The Toledo Archdiocese was much more defined by ethnicity and regionalism (many of the clergy and parishioners were from the Zahle region in Lebanon), so while Antony's New York Archdiocese grew and began to make use of English in services, the Toledo group remained small and insular. The division lasted for nearly 40 years, when the New York and Toledo Archdioceses merged in 1975 under the leadership of Metr. Philip Saliba and Metr. Michael Shaheen, the latter choosing to become an auxiliary archbishop.

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Taken on February 18, 2009
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