Russian Orthodox Church

Article

October 20, 2021

The Russian Orthodox Church (Russian: русская православная церковь?), Or Moscow Patriarchate (Russian: Московский Патриархат?), Is an autocephalous Orthodox Church, led by the Patriarch of Moscow with all the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches, among which it occupied the fifth place, after the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. Since 2018, by decision of the synod of Russian bishops, it is no longer in communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople alone, "first among equals" among the Orthodox patriarchs, following the decision by the latter to readmit the Church to full communion Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate), led by Filarete Denisenko, who previously separated from the Moscow Patriarchate and for this reason was excommunicated.

History

The Russian Church traces its origin to the baptism of Prince Vladimir I of Kiev in 988 (See Conversion of Kievan Rus' to Christianity). The Chronicle of Past Years reports that in 987, after a consultation with the boyars, Vladimir sent envoys to neighboring nations, whose representatives had invited him to embrace their respective faiths, in order to assess which religion was best for his kingdom. . The result is described in the following apocryphal legend. The envoys reported that among the Muslims of Volga Bulgaria there was not joy but only sadness and a great stench and that their religion was to be avoided because of its prohibitions against the consumption of alcohol and pork; to these Vladimir then replied "Drinking is the joy of Russia". Russian sources also describe the Prince's meeting with Jewish envoys (who may have been Khazars). After questioning them thoroughly about their religion, he refused to convert to it on the pretext that the loss of Jerusalem evidenced that the Jewish faithful had been abandoned by God. Lastly, Vladimir asked for Christians. In the gloomy German churches his emissaries told him that there was no beauty, but of the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople they reported: "We did not know if we were in heaven or on earth." It is not possible to know how impressed Vladimir was by the descriptions of his messengers. Certainly the conversion to the Christian religion of the Greek Orthodox rite would have allowed his state to strengthen economic and diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire. The Ecclesiastical Province was founded in Kiev under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Subsequently the Metropolitan of Kiev had to move to Vladimir and Moscow, in 1299 and 1325. The latter was dismissed and exiled in 1441, following the refusal to accept the Union of Florence by the Pomestnij Sobor of the Russian Church. In 1448 (following the refusal to accept the Union of Florence) through the delegates of the Pomestnij Sobor of the Russian Church, which represented all the people of God understood as clergy and laity of their territory, he took the state of autocephaly. The bishop of Ryazan 'Jonah was elected Metropolitan of Moscow and all of Russia without the approval of Constantinople. Only in 1589 the Patriarch of Constantinople Jeremiah II Tranos formalized, with his decree, the appointment of Metropolitan Job as patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia. In 1654 after the ascension of Patriarch Nikon a Sobor was assembled in order to re-establish the uniformity between the liturgical practices of the Greek and Russian Churches. A second Sobor, held in Moscow in 1656, approved the revision of the works as ordered by the first council and launched anathema on the dissident minority, which included a faction of the Zelators of the Pieta and Bishop Pavel of Kolomna. The reforms coincided with the great plague that devastated Russia in 1654 and with the period of ter

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