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Chornock, Orestes/Chorniak, Orest

Chornock, Orestes/Chorniak, Orest (b. July 11, 1883, Ortut’ova [Hungarian Kingdom], Slovakia; February 17, 1977, Bridgeport, Connecticut) — priest and church hierarch among Rusyns in the United States. Upon graduation from the Greek Catholic Seminary in Presov, Chornock was ordained (1906) a Greek Catholic priest in the *Eparchy of Presov. Two years later he emigrated to the United States and for over three decades (1911-1946) served St. John the Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the largest Greek Catholic, later Orthodox, Rusyn parish in the United States. During the 1930s Chornock led the struggle against the Greek Catholic bishop Basil *Takach, who, abiding by the decrees of the Vatican, refused after 1929 to ordain married men into the priesthood. In November 1937 a congress of priests and laity displeased with Bishop Takach created the *American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church and elected Chornock as their bishop. He was consecrated by the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople/Istanbul on November 24, 1938. In 1950 Chornock moved the seat of the new diocese to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where under his direction an Orthodox seminary was established the following year.

Bibliography: Lawrence Barriger, Good Victory: Metropolitan Orestes Chornock and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese (Brookline, Mass., 1985).

Paul Robert Magocsi

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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