Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate

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The Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate (AWRV) is the successor within canonical Orthodoxy of the Society of St. Basil.


The Western Rite Vicariate began when the Society of St. Basil was received into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America by Metropolitan Anthony Bashir in 1961 under the leadership of then Bishop (and subsequently, Father) Alexander Turner. Fr. Alexander had been in conversations with Metropolitan Anthony since 1952 concerning the regularization of the Society of St. Basil.

Fr. Turner served as the first Vicar-General for the new Western Rite Vicariate, a position which he held until his death.


Following the conflict over women's ordination within the Episcopal Church and the publication of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, several congregations began to look at the possibility of locating another communion with which they were more ideologically aligned. The first church to be received was the Church of the Incarnation in Detroit, Michigan. Additional congregations joined over the next several decades, including congregations formerly a part of the Evangelical Orthodox Church (many subsequently switched to the Byzantine Rite).

Current status[edit]

At present, the AWRV consists of more than twenty different congregations in all of the dioceses of the Antiochian Archdiocese. The ordinary of Western Rite parishes is Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) who appoints a Vicar-General to administer the Vicariate. The current Vicar-General is Fr. Edward Hughes. Western Rite parishes are encouraged and expected to be active in the local diocese in which they are located, and episcopal functions are usually performed by the local diocesan bishop.

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