Torok, John

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Torok, John

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  • Torok, (Rev.) John

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John Torok, born in Hungary in 1890 to a Jewish father and a Christian mother, arrived in the United States in 1920 and received into the Episcopal priesthood by Diocese of Maryland Bishop Murray on June 9, 1921.

In 1923, a group of Uniate churches in Pittsburgh elected Torok as their bishop, with the idea that he would lead them out of the Roman Catholic communion and into The Episcopal Church. Torok was consecrated on October 19, 1924 at the Serbian Legation Chapel in Vienna by Bishop Gorazd and Bishop Dositej, both Orthodox bishops. Upon Torok’s return, he found that due to other plans regarding intercommunion being carried out at the same time, any exercise of his episcopal privilege would likely result in a split in the Church.

To mitigate potential discord, Torok retired to secular life. However, several years later a renewal of interest in intercommunion brought him back to Church life. After much canvassing on his behalf by Bishop Frank Wilson of Eau Claire, Torok was elected Suffragan Bishop of that diocese in May of 1934. His primary focus was foreign language work among the Uniate peoples in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, but Bishop Wilson could get neither firm approval nor firm disapproval for this work from the rest of the Church. Furthermore, General Convention declined to confirm Torok’s consecration.

Torok returned to secular employment until 1946, when he took up parish work, first in Mexico and later in Puerto Rico. From 1947 to 1950 he served Grace Church in Brooklyn.

John Torok died in 1955.

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