lts Past and Its Role in the World Today

Revised and Expanded by Nicholas Lossky

By me same autho r, [wrll SVS PrC.5S:

The lJyz.a1~t:in' 1 fgtlCY in the Orthodox Clmr.r.h BJZil..ntium lind tbl: Ris« ofR1mia

Catlfotidr.y and the Church

Cbrist in Eastern Ch,'istia:n TJJ()t~ght

Imperial Unity ,and Christian Di,vhion,$; The CJmn:h 45 ()..68'O TJHl ofSt, Vladimir (ed.]

Livin.,g Th.rditiorl'.' Orthodox \~!imfSS h'2 tbe C:ontenqxmny 'l.f0rld M arri4ge: An Orthodox Paspflaive

Ron-tf?, O:m.strmtinopk, MOlCOW,~ H~'st(J,.imt and Theowgkai Studies &, Gregory p.d;ama$ an.d Ort/?odox Spin:trtafity

Vision t)fUnity

l¥1'tm,'5S to the'Varfd


Its Past and Its Role in the World Today'



with s eke ted reuis io ns by Nicholas Lossky

Fourrh Revised Edition


Libnu-y of Congress Carwog.i I!"Ig-illJ.rLlblic~Iio!l Dat. ..

MeY~J"ldorff, john, J 926-19'92 The Or~hodox Church,

R~i5cJ. trsnslaeion of L'EgJLS~ orthodoxe, Bi bllogmphy: p.

I ncl udes ind~x.

L Orcl·i(}dO':o; bts(el'.1:i ChUICh-Hi.5wry, J. Tide.

ElX29Q,M413 19S 1 281.9

ISBN 0-913836-81-8

81-497S AACR2


Its Past and Irs Role in the World Tod.ay

Copyright © 1981 St. Vladimir's S(;'mina.ry Press All righ ts reserved

First pui:lli~hd in 1960 under the tide

L'Egltse Ort/;od(Jxc; bier .et mljourd1JIIi., by tdi[iuilS du Seui]

ISBN O~913836-81-8

This revised and augmented edition is the work of Pl'Of't'.5sor Nicho.!as Lossky, a J~mgrt me . frien d of J 0 h 11 Mcye nod orif, wn 0 5 pared ne tiher his nme nor his dIorr i 11 prodllcing it, He has my deepest gratitude for [his 'lChicvemen~, AI~o 1 add ~. norc of thanks [0 Michael Plekon fl1f tr;JnsliJJring Prof. Losskys rext from • he French.

- Marie Me r'~ ndorff




Foreword , . " , , , .

The Apostles. Holy Scripture. The ApOSIO.~ic

huhc'l'$. The Early Church.. + •••• , ••••••••• ,

2 The Christian Church and the Roman Empire. The

Church of the Ecumenical Councils , , 15-


3 Schism :::!nd. Attempts at Reunion , .. + ••• , .

:I The (iOive.rnmC:1il r, Liturgy, and Spirituality or rhe

r) 5.'

Orrhodox Chmch. Orthodox Monasticism " .. ,

- The Orthodox Church ::md Islam.The Confessions

of Faich, The Sevenreenrh and Eighteenrh Centuries 75

6 The Russian Church From its Beginnings to 1917, 93,

7 The Orthodox Church and the Comm.tmlst State .. , ] I 1 8. The Orthodox Church T(ld;'LY , .. , ...•..... , , . ,. 119

t, 7J1t! Ecummir.·al P{arinT(hat~ vI Consiaruinopl« , , , . _. ! 52 2. Th.e Patriarcbate 4A1,'xarul"ia ... , .. , , .. , , , ..... ' ! 35

h 136

.3. The Patriarchase r{ Amioc, , , .. , , , .

4. Tbe Patrim .. hrH:¢ ofJerusakm , , .. , , . , .. 137

5. 77ft! Pasriartbaso ()fMosc{)IJ.I. , , , , , •. , , , , , .. 1'38

6. The Serbian Orthodox Clmn:h-. .. ' , , , , , , .. , 145

7, Thtt Romanian Orth.odfl.x rJJurrlJ ,. ., , .... ," 119

.s C'I h .152

8. The B'fJ.igm"ian Orthoa(}x' rUV't:' .', • . . . • . . . . . . • • , , •


9. TheChrud4Crew:." , , ,'" ,.


to. 7"hr! C!mr~7h rJ/ Grorgia ..• , , , , .. , .

]1_ Thi! Chun:h of CyprUi " .. J 60

12. TIlt Archbishopric 0/ SiI10i_. . . _ .. . . . . . . . . . __ .. Hil

13. The AfJ)£mi£m· Ort.bodo.x Church __ .. _ _ • . . . . .. 161

14. TIle Polis}) Orth()alJ;x Cimt<.h, ; _ 162

15 TJ)( Or<,hotlox Chttl'ch ofCzi~c-hosl{)tJajda ....•.... _.. lrS3

16. The Orlh'Odox Ch~lr(h of Fit.lami __ .. . 164

} 7~ The Orthodox Mi.5sitms; t})e OrdJoalJ~: in Wettm

Eiwop6 andAmerie«, .. - _ . " .•........... " __ ...... 165

9 Orthodox Faithand Spirituality. _ . " . . .. . . . . . . . . .. 173

10 Orthodox View of the Church + •• _ • • • • • • •• • • • • • •• 189

Conclusion + - ••• + " ••• " ••••••••••• __ • " • • •• 207

Postscript " _ .. _ . _ •... " + __ •


Rela.t:ifm~- u/ith Ramr1J'l Ca.dJ.()I/c1's1:I1_ ..... __ , .••••.. _ _ 232

T(nI!Jl~-.ds .an Orthodox Y/r(!ftt Council'? __ _ 235

Select Bibliography - - _ - _ " _ . __ 239

Index _ - _ .. - .. '" " _ .,. __ _ 245

Foreword to the Fourth Edition

'The search for Un'i.icy .uonstinnes one of the !~~t .'hOL.r~C[eristic . and also mOSI POSIUVC aspects of modem Christian history.

"As you, Farhcr, are in me and I am in yon, may ehey also be one in us, so dmt the world may believe [hat YOli-ha;v€ senr me" (john 1 i:2l)-

This prayer of the Head of rhe ChUICtJ. establishes a dependence of ca use ~nd. effect be tween the u o.~ [j' of Christians an d rhei [' wirness in r.he world: in order for the world to believe, the fa.ithful ofJesu.s Christ rnusr make manifest their unity in God and appe-al [Q their non-Christian brothers and sisters to share in this unity; No l the historical reality runs t:he risk of rna kin g the world believe the contrary, rhar the .Fa.ther bas not <I~.all heard the prayer or His Son. thar the redemptive work of Ch1'.ist has brought not peace but discord, rhae the -Gospel. is no man; than one docrrare among orhersvwhich, up to the present, has been unable to couquer human iry as a whole ..

This is the scandal of which Chrisrhm missionaries were the first to become aware. They nourished. a current of thoughr caned "ecumenical," which raised the problem of unity for the Christian conscience. They asserted thar, in practice, this problem djd not concern JUSt the specialists, but that if had to do with the Gospel irsdf;lod its effi,cacy in the modern world, and finally; i~ had to do wirh a response to. rhe will of God. Himself.. Originally [he personal initiative of certain pioneers in the beginning of {he century, today ecnmcnisrn is the preoccupation of all the Chmchf,;$_ II: is in the Light of ~he specracular progress of rhis movemenr rhar we seek ro present in [his book rhe history, doctrine and particular message of [he Orthodox Church.





.Funher On below We willexamine [he histol'.ka~drcUl.nsI:ance~ whkh progressively sha trered [he unfli}' of the Gr,\co~Roman world, after wodd .. had received theaposrolic preach~ng in the first o~'nw.ryj and whicl; ecntrib utedto divid.e Christians of the East from those of che Wes Il'. It is eviden e thar wuay these circumstances are ~.atge]y everthrown by theevents for which our plrJii'l,ct is rhe theater, Thepdi tical and economic centers of 0 ur world have been displaced and. even the eradirienal GO!1:ceprs of "Easr" and "WeSt" hdong now more to history than to our present realiry OrrhodoiX communities are today numerous d1tollghou.r the part of the world called "'th.e Wesll',~'<Iind conversely the Rcoman Church as well as [he confessk)QS of the Reform.<ulotl! are present in the Near East, the. Balkans andin Russia, It has become banal today 1'0. am rm [ha.c QUE planet is s'm[lJ!,th3lt we must gjve up the isolation of.Qu.r cultures and. our traditions .. As for the the ceuntries of~Ia and. Ailim, these look for rhe Gaspd in irs auehentie pll.dty andtbe Church in he.rr divine rea.liry, ignorlI'!Jg [he medieval q uarrels which ha ve torn Chdstianiry apan. AI! [his incon ItCst3Jbly an nouuces an em. l~~ which ~h~ ecumenical problem should be posed in its essen tkd con rent as a debate ab.out the fiith.. Hisrery itself chaJlenges us to free curselves of the secondary problems sociclogically tied up in the old versions of Chrisrinnity. by pu~ring b(;:fore LlS the the very HI-nul problems, imposing {he idenrical solurions, That all of us are nor yet members of rhe one and only Church. of Jesus Christ constitutes d1:el'l,.,<l facr which ought to------or necessarily will one day----1e explained by subsranriai reasons, Our comemporades Or our descendants ':vill findir more and more diflkll~[ [0 acceprthe jusriflcarion of schisms F01" reasons other than~hose offolth, A.ndit .LS here, wirhout a doubt, thae we come upon one .of the positive feaWr.,es: of our em: (h..efl~ght frorr! false problems .:l.nd dle search for the real ones_W'h<.l!I amagnif]cent occasion fm us Oui~dafis to sea.tch our conscienceaand finaUy ira ,;ngage in a real deb8i ee about i;,l n i ty!

In this debate, the Orthodox. ChUIch occupies a peculiar position, She remainsvindeed, a srrnnger to the most serious 0011 ision which modern Christiani lY" knows: thatwhich ccnrinues eo d.ividethe Roman Chlurch fwm the commuaities issuing from the Refo<nnatlQfl .. In this r,eg<l.fd~ she remains the Church of coatinuity and tradition. This is the sense which she gives to the adj ective which most often is used jo designate her: that of Orthodoxy .

In the 00 urse of the dogmadc con rroversies which followed the Constaminian peaQe, the Gr,eek words ctlthofi.c:o.s and .ortJ:).odox()s concurrently served. ro d.esi.g;mne those who held onto rhenue doctrine. The first ofrhese ad.jecdves, used for the flrsrrime in the fim century by S[. Ignazius of Antioch (Smyrneam 8,2) to desal be [he Christian Ch L1.rch.-dl..e Cad'lO] ic o.lurch-reflecm the fullness, the universality and. also the cemrn unal HJ(Ur,e of (he Christian .. message: in [he face ofall "particular" opinions, the Church proclaims a. doctrine which is a totalityaerd wh]rn~s destined for all to hear and believe, The. destiny of thisterm in Christian lireraruee and theology was so gr-ea( that it 'W'<1S adopred in the very symbols of the fairh and. finally by [he composers .of the Creed ofNi.cea~Consm.n[i.n!Op]e: "one, holy> catholic and apo.s~ relic Church." In the \'\fest, the term was u sed most generaHy: one would speak of both "Carhclic" Chrisuans and. of the "Catholic" .. lin the East, by centrasr; [he rerrn "catholic" WJ.3 used [a designate the Ch urch, whH.e individual Chris dans were mos [ often called "Orthodox," "diose of nuefutch.'" in opposition to the heredes .. FunaUy. d~dl'lg rhe M.udd.le Ages, one spoke more and. more of rhe'~O rthodox Ch 1,;1 rch, " nOW in con C:,,",Sl: W Roman "Catholicism, "

In r~e ecurnen ical debare, [he 0 rthodox Chl.w:::b then pl'e~lems herself as [he guard ia n of [he c rue rakh, rha r of the apostles and. the Fathers of the Church, & a condition. of uniort, she proposes


a return of ~IJ Christians: to this one unique fahh, the fu][h of the first ecumenical councils,

Burthis pretension and hope might well seem to be utopian, This return ro the sources, necessary ~nr reesr a blishlng unity, does it not seemto be like only an artificial rerum to a pas~ now gone? And, what is 11101"e. the .1.1i~ rcrica I weaknesses of Easeern Orrhod.oxy, whic~ has claimedto have preserved this heritage from [he pas(, does HOC make such a return parriculariyamacrive. Whar then would be the j ustificarion for such a returu?

In this book] we win try to show thar it would. be inexact to pose the problem. in chis W'ay \Vhilr:: Orthodoxy speaks of a "return to the sources," this does not have so much to. do with a retu 1'1::1 to the pasr as wkh the permanence and fidel i ly of Revelatjou. This Revelarion judges nor only the P;, but also (he presem and the fmure of both Eastand WesL One of the most basic problems for theologians wd.ary Is k flowing: how to discern between [he holy Tladition o f the Church-c-an expressi on adeq uare 0.[ appropriate to Rev~i.adon.~and thee human rradiriens which express Revelation only irnperfecrly and, vcry often, which even oppo51e and obscu re .i E:. Ho\v many of [hes~, human trad i ti om; shou~,cl the Orthodox abandon before other Chrisrians will accept [heir claim of h8!ving the true and unique Tfo:id~tion? The merit, that is, the histcricnl merit of the Christian East, . is I)Q have 13ll"gdy allowed an 0piOn d.ool" [0 such an exarnjnaticn ofconscience,

Fortunately; rhe Orthodox Christian Easr has alwavs suecceded inavoiding [he rragck pitfall of com ide ring o:Iny luu".Llan institution, or even any human formuhuiol1 of Chrisdan dogma, as being absolute and infallible as such" Indeed, even Scripture is God's word, but spoken by human. beings, so that the IivlngTruth which .1 r contains rn u st be understood nor 0 nly in it's li teral rneani ng but also th rou gh the power 0 f rhe Spi fir, w~ ich inspired the authors arid conrinues to inspire rhe fui[hful in rhe body oftjre


Church, Historical knowledge and critique are [herefu['c~r;:(essa[y fo rthe u nders eanding of how imp irarion occu rs,

Out book, therefore, will havea double goal rhat of p~,esem~ ing [he 0 rthodox ell urch-s-irs p3i~t and i ts:pn~sent stare-c-eo Wegn::rrlJ readers who] whh rare exccpticns, have only a very I imi ted knowledge of her, and {hal of enticing the 0 rrho dox themselves to an examination of conscience which [hey ve,ry much need ..

In our presentarion.wewill follow the histcrical development of the Orthcdox Chmrn fl"wn. [he apostolic time 1)0 0 ur OWn, Ir is [he .~ nterp [eta tion we will give to the S(Jges of d11s historywhich will permit [he reader co 1,:1 ode r1'; rand the essent ial dogmatic posi[Ions of 0 nhodoxy. The basic d.ogmas abou r Scri prure an d Trad [; don, about the Church and aboutecclesiastical authority will dum be defined in the 0 pening chap rezs, Ar rhe concl us i On of the book, vn; will return to Cena]l~ oth~r doctrinal asp-eeLs in [he forms in which Ihey are expressed md~y;

This .IS therefore nor a systematic expose of Orthodox fdith which. we are attempting here bur [I g"enenalbu!'oduc[j·on CO rhe pas[ and pre$em Hfe of [he Orrhodcx Church, I

I Ch~pter VI 11 (<<Th~ Orthmj()x Chmch Tm!~() ~nl1Jmir)s ~ d~soripdon of 0 rthcdOk)' such as ir \\r;:1S in the l%()'~, wh~[). [be fHJnk w:~~ pt.!!;.1 i~h~(t E ~~n rlHJugh rh~ Ul,~j{)rl~' {If whaeis described remai ~J~ il'uIHm;Hlt fm OI,J!I" Llnd,~rmuulillg of [h~ ,oc)[lt·empm:uy o:.iru~(ion, a po.smcripr here w~lI try W u p(b~)~ thus il~rOfll1;-u~i on, Om posEcripI here resrares [he essenrials of whar Ft, John Mey~od(J[I1· ill .~ ~l!n for ehe publi.cadon of [he JrJ edirion of his hook ili. E<ligli~~L .A=~diJ1g [() hb O~'!'n. 5UggCHi0I1, WI:i take d16 Ukny here of reCOfrlfltefldLi1g [h~[ [he r<1':l.d~l1Ig of vm be done ill conjunction widl rhe posrscripr, The lauer comments on recent h~p,l:>eriii1g.s between the Onhodox Church and Rome, comp~emcm:in:l; Wil8J[ is disct15Sed in X r Ec.cie;;.ioJ.ogicnl Poshions"}, IN ore by N icolas Lossky, i


'·'I.· [was. in t1~e fifteenth year of the emperor Tiberius' fejgnl\~:heD1

Pontius Pilate was governor of judaea, when Herod was pnnce in Galilee, his brnrher P~ilip in. the Ituraean and Trachonitid region, and Lysan ias in AbH ina, in. ehe high priesthood of An 11<!$ and Caiaphas, that the Word of God. came U pOll J ohn, the soon. of Zachariah, in the desert" (Luke 3:1-2) .. It is in this exact, his tori,c.1.Uy accurate '\vay thar the Evangelist St. Luke begins his ,1CCOUIH of the messianic work ofJesus. Chrisdaniry, as a matter of facr, is based on a his torically attested inrervention of God in the co ncrete affairs of mankind, narnelv, the incarnation of his Son, We Bud the same concern for hisOC:dca.[ aocurncy in [he Creed, which tells us that Christ suffered "under Pontius Pilate." \Xi'hy should [his relarivel y obscure provincial ()ffi,d~] be mentioned in a shorr, solemn statement Oof the Christian faith, except] n order to .i m press upon us the ['aCt that Jesus was indeed a real hisrorical person, a rna n Ii ke all of us, a Jew who suffered u ode I: the Roman yoke like all his compatriots, and ro emphasize the fact that l.iving men. had heard hjrn, had seen him with their own ,eye5, and had couched hiruwith rheir hands' (ef ] John ]:l).?

This historical nature of the messianic work is aliso attested by rhe way in which me Gospel was rransmined to the Greco-Roman world and later generadons; \'iVhen he Vi.13S about to ]eave his disciples and ascend to heaven, the Master solemnly declared [0 them: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and you. will receive strength from him. You are to be my witnesses j n jenisalern an d rhro ughou r J udaea,




in Samaria, yes, and to the ends of rheearrh" (Acts 1 :8).

Like aJI other historical filets, the RC!iS performed bv Jesus-s-and especially 'rhc most exrraordinary acr which God' ever performed in him: his resurrection On the rhird day-mus{ be arrested by wi messes: "There were Peter and J oh~, James an Andrew, Fhilip and Thomas, Banholomew and Mai:[hew~ James rhe son of and Simon the Zr;:a10[, and Judas the brother of James. AI!~he$e, with nne; mind, g~vc themselves l.j,p to prayer. togerher with the women, and Mary the Mother ofjesus, and his brethren H (Acts 1: U-14)., They wen; rather dul.l-witted witnesses, at best ", those rwelve fishermen .fi'OlTl Galilee-who were only eleven after the ibeCi<i"yal of] udas-and [he few dose relatives of Jcsus, }\f[er the tragedy of Golgotha, after the Resurrection, a.fl;r;:c J.1l chat the Mas eel.' had told r.hem Ieg'll'd~ng his ki ngdo rn, they s ri U persis red in a$l~iJ1g him when he ineended ro r,eSl;Or~ the mOi1"rchy of David (Acts 1 :6). However, they had fol]ow,ea him from '[h~ beginning of his ministIy: Was the necessary condirion for being 3J.mernher of rhe apostolic college, as is dear from the account of the elecdon of Marrhias to su,cc~'cod Judas: "There are men who have walked in our company aU rhmugh. time when the Lord Jesus came and went among us, .from rherime when John used ro baptize ro rhc day when hc,.Jesus, was taken from us. One of rhcos,e ought to be added to our number as a witness of his resurrec tion" (Ans 1 :21-22),

Eager as they were to serve as wi messes of [he risen Master; th~r we~~ not fully capable as yet' of gl"aSpi61.g the overwhelming univers,all£y of the ministry with which they had been invested, It Was m:Iy after <l! promise which §eYLiS had t'epeaccdJy made had b~en fulfilled rhm they were able [0 exchange rheir Galilean d].alecr for (he universal language of the Gospe.l: [he Holy Spirir alighted on each of them and 'rhcy "began to speak in mange ]ulliguages, as rhe Spiri: gave urrerance ro each" (Ac[s 2:4). Only then did Peter feel hirnsdf aluhor:ii;cd [0 announce ro Israel th~

The Apostles, 'h~ Early Chtm:h

beginning of rhe true messianic reign, the fulfillment of the it be known, then, beyond all doubt, [Q all the house of Israel, [hat God has made him M'1S[,er and Christ. this jesus whom you tmciA.ed'" (Acts 2:36).

In order to establish [he community of the New Covenant, it was necessarv both to have ¢\Fe" v irnesses of the risen Christ and for the Holy SPlri( to descend o'n the infant Church in order to make this witness plausible and its fiuIcs immediately evident to. all:

"And about three thousand souls were won f~}[ the Lord that day" (Acts 2.;41),

To this day the Church lives only by the witness of rhe Apostles and thanks to the Holy S pirir, 'who dwells in i r fmJU the day of Pentecosc ir is rhus both "holy" and "aposeolic," The Spirit, HcrualJY, has ddded nothing tothe work perfOrmed by Christ, for "i twas God's good please re [0 let all cornpleeeness dwell in him" (Col 1:1 9). The Spirit "bears witness, because he is the truth" (1 John 5:6): '~I\!1.d he will bring honor EO me," said Jesus, "became it is limn rne rh .. at he wiu derive wha[ he makes plain EO you" (John] 6:14)" Thecoming of me Spirit therefore does not make the human witness of [he Apostles wirh respect to [he historical resurrection of the Lord superfluous: ir pi aces a. seal upon it and aurhe nticates ir,

ThL~ last point is particularly important when we consider the significance of rile boo/? of rhe New Testament and the forrnarion of the canon of Holy Scripture. The four Gospe15j thebook of Acts, ehe epistles of Paul, and [he Apccalypse are primarily C011- cerned with fu m ish i ng inform ,1 do n concern i ng the perso n of Jesus Christ, rlie I1cUUl'e of his sacrifice. and. the fact of [he Resurrecti on: dwy co nstitu re ~ i 11. 0 rher words, a written acco u nr of the message of the Apostles. 1. heir authority comes both from their apostolic origin and f"rom [heir inspi ration, Tradition insists, as a matter of fact, on rhe apostolic origin of the Gospels of Mark and Luke, although [heir authors were not members of rhecollege of the Twelve and probably did nor know [esus; in order to establish



the authenticity of these Gospels it appeals f,O the authority of Perer and Paul, whose preaching was taken dOWI1L by MilI kand Luk~. Thi,s ra~1er elastic conception of authenticity h<1JS allowed the inclusion tn the canon of such. works and the Epistle '00 the Hebrews or rhc apocalypse, with regard IO which their have beef! dou brs since the earliest times of rhe Church: he nee we rna y sav [hat aposrolic auehenticity does not necessarily mean material au:~entici'7> but rha.[ iti:~ .~. giJarant>ee" vouched fm by the Holy S'pl:nt~ of the apostolic Ol"Jgm ofrhe contents of ,the Holy Boob.

As a matter of fa,ct; the witness of the Apostles would have been valueless without the miracle of Pentecost, unless rhe Spirit had come nor merely to [he Twelve burro the entire Church. The Church is thus: founded not on]y by the apostles but on. them as well as in rhe Holy Spirit. It occurred 1:0 no one to add eo the S.cdp.u~~l canon a. work [hat was nor of aposrofic otigin; becau;e the Spirir does not reveal anything except Christ. [0 whom the Aposdes witnessed. BUi: it is [he Spiritwlm defines the canon of Scdpt~re~ in the Church and. preservesrhe Church through the centunes in rrurh and in fairh.full1ess to its Head.

~ :rhese are the bask elemenrs ofthe Orthodox conception of Scriptu:'e f.l,nd Tradition. Scripture includes the t.otality of the apostolic wrrness and nothing can be added by way of completing OUi: knowledge of the person ofjesus, his work, and rhe salvation which he b roughr us; bu r this: written wi mess regarding Christ \VaS not launched in a the manner of the Koran, which; according to Islsmictradition, feU f~om heav-en and is read. byrnen~!1 a ~~rm fixed once and. for aU-bur. W~lS given to J oom.luurm,), :wfuch had. been founded by these apostles and which had received rhe same Spirit, This community is: the Church

IL· ~ 1· )

wmcn aas ,~ce,ive~ the. SnupwfC's anducknowledges in ie rhe

Tr~(,h; fixe,~ In Irs limits f?r aU dine, and interprets this corpus of wnCHlgii with [he help ot the Spirit. This interpretation and irs acknowledgmenr are what is known as Tradition.

The Apostles. The Early Churcl2


The early history of the Church ]5 described in the books of Acts, written by Sf. Luke, and au[hm of the third GospeL The book is divided, s·omecwhar schematically, into 1:\\'0 rather unequal parts: the first pan (chapters 1 [00 9) is concerned with the' primitive Church at [erusalem, irs fOUi1.dadon a.fPen.tecost, irs internal organization, and the activities of its leaders: [he second par r comprises the rest of the book and has to do no longer with the Church .. at jerusalem but with the person of the Aposde ofthe Gentiles; whom Luke here calls Paul (ACES 8:9); whereas in the previous chapters he was known as Saul.

The cornrnuniey of [erusalem is governed by 'the college of the Twelve, but in this college the apostle Peter clearly occupies the first place: he speaks in the name of all and actsas head, It .IS pro ba Me that (he filil1110 us 'words 0 f Jesus on the road to Caesarea reponed by [he Jel'usalc;mire Gospel of Matthes .... relate 1]0 this predoruinanr role ofPet{;;I at jerusalem: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I wm build mY' Cburch" (Mt 16:] 8) ,I, The Church of Jerusalem, of course, VVOlS not one church among many; it was actually the Church, rhe only Church, she "remnane' of Israel" foretold by the prophets, wh.ich had received the Messiah. The Chu rch 0 f the Gr;]l riles, for which Paul would be the s pef;.u~.l Apostle" could only be a. "wild olive" graf£ed OIl the authentic olive tree (Rom l l : 17). G overned by the twelve Apos de.s, the origiiial JiJdaeo~ChristiJ.ocornmunityw'asan anticipation of the heavenly jerusalem, rhe holy cit}' '[hat wiU descend from heaven and concerning which [he seer of the Apoc~!ypse says: "The city , .. ,all~ tOO, had t¥ldv,e foundation stones': and rhese [00 bore names, (hose of rhe Lambs rwelve Aposdes" (Apoc 21,14). History and eschatol-

1 See my ardde "Sacrement er hicrmt:h'i~ dans ~·l~glis~. Cortrriberion (lr;thodoxe a lin di:.1IQg!J.c~,lm..=mi,qlle-slHl;;I Pri'll1iJjU'll! remalne," ill DeiuvilJl1nt, no, 2..6 (1954), pp, 8~-91 ~ :\150 V. K~~idt. "The Pr{lb~em of Peter's Prim~cy in rhe New '.1 t'stHtrlO?JU ~he' I:'~rly Cfu':i~[i;1.r~ Exegesis," in S~. Vlc"dimirs S<7l1imlry Qtl'l~rlJ' vo], q., 11m. 2,·3 u ~60}, pp. 2-25.



ogy are $'0 intimately bound up with each other in the first ell ~lpters of the boo k of Acts that .i r is di fficLi lr to isolare the distinguishing featul',es of each .. In Peter:" speech, rhe day of Pentecost, thecoroing of [he Spirit is inrerpreted as the fulfillment of the eschatological prophecy of Joel, and rhe ~ife of the infant community is pom:<lyed as a constanr miracle: "They used to gather rogerhcr with one accord in Solomon's Porch. N~ one else dared jo in them, at though the peo ple held them in high honor'; (Acts ): 12-13).

.' Chapter 12 bl'inf,r8 dll~s exceptional period i 11 the history of the Church [0 a. definite close. The college of the Twefve ceased to exist:

Herod caused. "J:;unes; the brother oOohn, CO be beheaded" (Acrs 12:2), and no one rhought of replacing him by eleotiri,g a successor in Older ro keep Lip the symbolical number of 'Iwelve, as rhey had in [he C;,I!SC of Judas. Peter; af~er hL s arrest and miraculous escape, "k:tt them and! weatelsewhere" (Acrs 12: 17). He will retain his personal mithority as "First Aposric,". buc rhis authority will liar be re.g<lrded as absolute; since he win be direcdy contradicted by Pan] (Gal 2). Moreoeer, at jerusalem the f:1rst place win henceforth be assumed by james, the brother of the Lord (Acts 15), ... vho was nor a. member of the c.o~kge of [he Tw-eive. The pal'!: played 1)'"y Peter in the found~tion of:the Churchwill b(;; .pel'Pe;~!ated-as we shallsee larer on-by [he episcopal office. bLH he wiUb,eovefmrh be confined to the 'Apostle ofthe Circumcised" (GaI2:7~8), a ministry which unfonuil~tely VIaS nor desr(ned to have a. brilliane future inasmuch as Israel would deflnit,c;:ly reject its Messiah, the miserable "remnant" which acru~iy d]~ ~,xeive: him being flnaHy swallowed up by the disaster of rill 10 wtacb :>w~pt over Palestine.

. ~ror):,i th~n 011 the fu~u[{;: will. belong hisrorically I'll the Apostle of [he Gcntdes, Paul; co whom chapters l3 to 28 of the book of Acts are devoted. As a result of his missionary journeys t.hroLigh [he Medrrerranean basin Cbristian communities will spring up every~ where, All "churches orGod," like rhar before them, will

The Apostles. The EarlJ Church


receive the Gospel. and the Holy Spirit. However, the community in Palesdne was always 1',eg:uded by Paul an ,enjoying a. peculiar authoricy and at special prirnacy because of its early fDm!J.~ati~n ,tv,en after the college of me Twelve had. left jeTusru,em. He tried 1i:I particular to ge[ irs appwv"J..-af['er a great deal of t~ouble-ror the basic p.incipie underlying his mission to the Gentiles, and h.e never forgot the wUec[ion «for the brothers of Juda,ea,'" a sym~ol and expression of [he unity of me Chm'ch. However; .. for hun, every chusch was the "Church of God" in. v.:hi,~ "rhere ,was neither Greek nor Jew." He Insisted mat :Jl Chnswmswhoiiv'cd in one place should bdong w one church, a point that 'W,OlS a source of fr,icrr:ion with rhe parallel mission [0 the Je, .... s which. did not share this view, He was indignan r wi th thema t Corinth where

C d· . . . . "r. _Ii- . l' h

they wished to torm rwo ' i.s~I!1C[ cormnunmes: JC:.3iWlO'; y?U . as

a cry of his own: 1 am fur Paul, I am fOr Apd~o:.1 am for Cepha0, 1 am for Christ,, has Ouist been "livlded up?" (I Cor 1:n~13), Christians, as <Ii whole, "form" Chrisc they are one indivisible bodywhich ought to be evident in its entirely arid its

tuUnessc in each church,

. hese friclLions with Je,,, .. rish ChrisriaJlls do not seem 10 have affecr;:ed Paul's ['Cla:rlDns ~ith Peter, [he Apo,,,de of [he Circumcised. According, W [<Ildltio 11 , both Aposries came to Rome and bore witness by their blood, perhaps only a fe\ ... ' months apart, 1;'0 the unversahrv of snlvariou in Jesus Christ- This communion of che two "nrs~ Apos.t!es"2. in death in [he capital or the Em~ pire--the l1[s[ of "Twelve who presided over the Church alI Jen~salern, and the 6rH Aposde of the GemHes-conuibw:ed gre-ady I? rhe p .. estige of rhe Roman Church, 'when; the me:n0!:,~ of thc~Jr teaching and preSlence r~rn~~ined. alive and where their relics would

soon be vCI1,era'[ed,

J\nwng rhe eadie-s~wimesse5 W ~heReslU'recdon we also find



the mysterious figu:!"!:: of the "beloved disciple," J()h n, the son of Zebede~. He too, Hk" Peter and Paul, is regardedas the author of certain books of rue New Testament and is associated with a particular IocaHcy;,oamdy Ephesus, john was one of the 0 uts randing members of the apostolic college. personaUy very dose to Perer. and because of [his he played a very impertanrrols in the life-of theprirmrive Church at Jerusalem. His intimacy with the Master seems to have conferred on hi m a kind of spiritual primacy ru'nQng the Aposdes; sprimacy which some have opposed or compared to the more insIil:utionalprimacy of Peter, and which is reflected in the pages of his GospeL3 Nevenhdess, his name is mentioned only ence in [he epistles of Paul: John is referred Eo along wkh James and Peter as one of [he "columns" of the Church. of }emsal,em (Gal l '9}. \Ve do no know whetherhe later assisred Petcrwith~.h.¢ Jewish mission of this church. Accord.i ng to T['tldidon he resided. during rhe latter years of his life ar Ephesu~" church founded by Paul (Acts ] 9.~8-9)-bur he does not appear [0 have been connecred wid" any kind of opposition ro Pauline doctrine .. His works, the IaS'L IW be ind uded in' [he New Testamem canon are strongly marked. by the author's Own personal, visionary conception of the Christian message, and the Byzantine Church has therefore accorded him the' tide of "the Theologiau.,," John emphasizes particularly the sacramental side of [his message, and it is not unreasonable w conclude, as some have done; that rhe monarchic episcopate derives tl.'Om the Johannine traditlon."

In OUF time, Proteseane exegesis i~ corning ItO admit more and. more rhe importance of the sacramenral element in thelik of [he

1 Ch ._le"

ear y ....' urcn, ~ Now it is beyond dispute t1,1,t;L[: baptism and the

Eudl>;lrist, the essential dements in the earliest Christian preaching,

.3 s~~ Mg~, C:llssi~mi; "Sooim[llcr.~· er r ~gi ise d.?J:ns lc N ouveau T.~:mlfnent·, ~ in Ig;J1A. no .

.3 ('I9j5}, pp. 261-304, . , .

..;: Sec L ~Lsnlil,. L' d,m,f !~S Ci);llrlwnn:lIIb primiti'IHf~: IFtlditio.n JNltl"linit:1me et mrdmotJ}o/utmq1tt'de. tt.piJ£'Qpm d~ i):n!?in~s J JI1;m irinll! O~ris, t 9, 1 ).

5 See: fOor ex~n~p!e 0" Cullmann, £tlr!:y Chris/inn \'Vonhip (l .. oniloli! SCM Press, 195:»>.


are acts of a ritual and corporare nature and presuppose a Gerwin organization of the community which celebrates dl'em..~ur pre~ sene krlo"l""ledge- of (bie primitive eucharistic prayer points to a close pala]d between Jevv]sh, worship in the time of Chri$r, especially me prayers-e-preserved in the Talmud--ICha[ were recited by certain jewish broilierhoods when common meals were cd,ebra~; and its Christian counterpart, Christ and his disciples formed one of these brotherhoods and celebra ted such a ritual meal described for us briefly by the Evangelists, in [he course of w,h.idl}esus blessed bread and wine, dec.l:uing them eo be his Body and his Blood, and directed his disciples to ~d.o '[his" in remembrance of him.

The fact that we find liturgical elements of c.Qllremporacy JudaiScm in the earliest Chrlo:;r.ian anaphoras is a clear indication ofrhe apostolic origin of the Cllljs:~ian rire or tile Eucharise rha t is ro say" rhe earl iese communities celelmu:,ed the Supper in the same way thar is was cele brared by Jesus In the Upper Room. But this still leaves us: with the problems of determining who presided over these Christian gatherings and therefore wok the place of the Jewish head ~f the mm ity or president of the friuemicy. This problem has a particular relevancy for us, because the Last Supper] as the prototype and origin of rhe Christian Eucharist, was presided over bythe Masa:e[' in person, and. consequently the president of the Chrisdan assembly would. be the logkal person 'W pl'Onounce the words wh.ich Be unoed and co perform me acts which He performed,

The problems can be solved. almost certainly ir would seem, for the primirive comrnLUli[j'" <II Jerusalem. The first twelve chapLets of the Acts showclearly that the Aposrle Peter was; the head. of the Apostolic college and the head of rhar church. This role of Perer ar Jerusalem appears to follow naturally from the words ,of [he Lord: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this; rock I will build my Chu.rc:h" (Me 16: 18); "\iVhen, a while, rbou has come back to me, it is for thee to be the support of my brethren" (Lk 22;32);



".8~ed my sheep " On 21: 15 - I 7), J es us was hlmi\;1df rheRock <I ad rhe Shepherd, but he gave ro one of disciples the power to perform this ministry; the Apostle Simon n::IerW<l.S the disciple who perfo.rmed this funcrio n in the pri rni rive J ewish-Chn s [ian community at Jefusal.em, which came to be regarded as the

unique model for all future Christian churches, -

But Peter ~eft Jen .. rsalern "for another place" ~cts 12:17} and \~a.:.~ replaced by james as the head of the Church 8:t Jerus.dem. Fr~nl then Oil, rheJc\posdes-the Eleven Uames, brother of John, beJOg dead: Acts ]2:2}; Paul, and certain mhets-w"el'"e the itineram witnesses of the risen Christ: everywhere [hey went [he'll founded Christian churches, leaving 1:0 'o[hers rhe respol1sibHitv ~f ~residil1g Over them and perfOITnitlg the sacrarnenml rites, -The Apostle ~au!, for ex~aJnpfe> celebrared rhe rite of bap[ism only on extf<1lordul<l.ry occasions, for, he said, "Ch.l".isr did not send me to baptize; he sent me 'EO preach the Gaspe]" (I Cor 1:14-17). for t.he postapostclic period, the Did4che specifiC'-<Llly states: 'Let each Apostle, when he comes to you. be received like rhe Lord; burler him remain on iy 0 ne dillY> o r rwo days in c-ase of need; if he remains three days, he is a false prophet" (9:4-5). After Peter arid the other Il:embers of the apostolic coHeg:c.; had ceased to preside over [he Church of Jen.J.s~:dem.., the aposrolie ministry became it[nemn'~> and no ancient document has survived indicaring ['hat; the Aposdes personally presided. over anyparticular church. SI.". Irenaeus o~f Lyons in the second. century, for example, describes the role of the Apostles <IS being rhar of "found'ers" or "builders":

"After haviD'g ~olmded and built the Church, rhe blessed Aposdes entrusted. to litiUI> the ch,,:grgc of the episcopate ... A.n~Hjetus succeeded him. Af[e.r him, in the third place from the Apostles, it is [0 Clement that rheepiscopare felt .. "(Agai'nst th'e Heresies, iiL3).

A sha~~ disrincdon thus c,"?e to exisr between rhe aposroJ~i:e-,m rnneranr and universal witness-a.nd the episcopal offioe, or a sacramental, 'K!minisrmriv(;":,. and local lunction.

The book of Aces and the epistles of Paul se-em to assume that then: was 01. certain collegiality .in the government of the earliest churchescwe hear of epis.k(}jJoi (overseers), j)"e1'byteroi (elders), proista.mentJi (presidems), in [he plural. By the end of the farne century, however, all the churches were presided over by one person,. the tpiJkopos, or bishop. Did a revolution take place in the organizatiooof the Church? No, fOi there is no evidence of any protesr being made by Christi ans of [he earliest period against the establishment of a "mouarchic'tepiscopate, As a likely explanation we must remember thar the sacramental orientation of d'l,e primitive Christian cornmuniry naturally caUed fO[· ~!nd. presupposed the: existence of a single head.

The whole life of the comrnunirv, as a matter of fan, was

.' -" '- oJ

centerederound the celebration of t.h.e Eucharist, Now die Slipper has co be presided over by one person, the image of the Lord .. This function of president wasperformed by Peter <It jcnJ.salem. Since al~ the local churches founded by the apostles were essentially identical in organization widl [he Church of jerusajem andwere reproductions, as ie were, of [11('; same communal and esch~t()~ogicajproto type, rh is primitive cornm uni ry, as descri bed in [he first twelve chapters of the book of Acts, served. as a model for all the rest, and r-l~ter himself, when reporting at Jerusalem "on the baptism ofCornelius and other pagans, declared rh .. ar "the Holy Spidt Eel I upon rhem, just as it was with us in the beginning" (Acrs hi: 15; d. 10:44, 47; 11: 17), SL Ignatius of Antioch, the earliest and principal wi mess to the monarchic episcopate (about AD 100) describes the Christian church ar Magnesia 01' Smyrna as having a single bishop~the image of God-e-whowas assisted by the "prebyteriurn," which corresponded ro the college ofAposrles at jerusalem: "I conjure you, have a heart ro do all things in the divine concord, under rhe presidency of rhe bishop who holds the place of God, the presbyters, who hold rhe ph'ce of [he senate of [he Aposrles, and the deacons who are so dearro me, ro whom bas becn enrrusred the service of Jesus Christ" (Mt.tgrt, vi 1); "Let us 8iU revere the deacons Ii ke J esus Christ, as well as rhe b is h 01' who is



the image of [he Fa ~het,. and thepresbyrers as the senate of God and <1$ ~he assembly of [he Apostles'" {Bztit. iii. 1 }.

The essential poine about the ecdesioJogy of Sr. Ignatius is []Hl~ the 10c<1.1 chu reb is not regarded'as <l! pan of the body of the Church bUI 1]$ the whole, haying at It'> hesd the Lord himsdfand. altdl;e Apostles, If S[. Iguadus is aware ofan apo.stoHc succession in [he Ch urch, ]( is IO be found in the collegial m~nisn'Y of dle presbyters, The bishop's funcrion is to ~epresent the Father, to be [he source and. uniq ue center of church uni l1'~ <IS the Father is the $0 U.[,Ge o.f the!';' .D ]vini ry.

Mcrecver, the episcopal offlce, hy definition rhe function of a single individua], was thougbr of in the primitive Church <IS a continuarion in ea:ch church of the ministry \ ... .bieh Perer pe.r~ formed at jerusalem, Ir is in this sense rhar wemust jnterpret [he words whicb Christ addressed to Simo.!'l:P·'eter on the road [0 Caesar~~. "[he gre:a[expor:l!(~m of rhis idea ] uthe third cemury WaS St. Cyp dan, the bisho P of Carthage .. For St. Cypr.ia.i'. rhee piscopaIe .1$ "one" by virtue of d1! of f~dth~th.e fai~h of Peter-e-of a II rhe churches and all che b whops si [ on ehe one cha i r (c.athedra ~J.n(l), Hmrndy, that of Perer, by confessing this true fa]th.G Rep,·.es,endng [he "'imag;e of the Lord"'~n the Christian communi t:y, the bl,ShQP thus appeared nor only as the consecrator of [he Eucharis t bur as [he teacher 0 f~t~t;;' dourine.

The definire hierarchic structure of the early CI1JI.',m comrnuni cies is thus de~entlined by rheir sscramen c;l nature.

The Sunday eucharistic gathering, [he meal in common which servesto peocleimand anticipate the joyous .t¢<Ist of the Kingdom ro come, is the moment when the Church f~,Uy became the Ch u rch, fot it was then rha t .<I.! ~ commu nicated j I' the Lord, rhen

6 There is a CQnWll.sIIIS. ~od~y th{! unt~rpr~[:;H10tl of St- Cyprian's r:im():~IS (l'2!a~ise D~ tl1tholiCilIt ItCC.b:,:Qff !mi{~[I.' .i III dl.iS £!n~c: cf . .in parriu!~~.r ~h~ rranslared text in. AJ1dmt Qlr/4![tm Wri~t:IT, TU)_ 25, Wilh .i'LOt,E; by M. Beveno~ (W.6;rIl1linm"r,. MD:

FY57), ~h'J) P. T, Camelcr, u581nr Cypl'ien et b pfima~ml,u i.n !lthm. 11,0,1 U95.7).

The Apostles. T"'h, Eady Cimn:h

<l;~S'O that baptism was COn [ened j ins t ruction i n the fa.i [h W';;l.S given, and bishopsaod p{esby~er.s were eleceeds Ir was d.ell WQ thar bishops came from J~dghbodng oomm uni des re consecrare new bjs~hops; it was then that discussions were field regarding the common pro blems facing the communi 0/. Nothiag, not even rhe persecudons, wasallowed to inrerfere with Chrisrian participation in [he Supper ofthe Lord .. Because these Christian garheringswere rather sIz<1JMe, they Wiele inevitably known to the Roman po]ic-.;;"md the corporate worship of the r(tligio illicit a thus had the: effec~ Chris dans vulnerable to artack by their enemies, Yel [hey insisted upon meeting together for worship, and. refused ro substitute any kind of personal or private prayer no.r rhe corpora~e gatherings. The reason for [his was simply that they regarded thes-e .~i.tufgical gatheJring~ as belongi ng: to the voery essence ofthei r fai rh. Like [he Church at jerusalem, ~Ihey occupied themselves continually with. the Apostles' teaching, theirfellew~h;p in the breaking of the bread,. ;iJl,d rhe fLx~d. rimes of prayer" (Acm 2:42). They could not give IIp [his CUSIOm. withont violating rhe commandment ofl:he New Covenant.

The Cl"udous hisrorian of course must be ~ nhoutpainting IDO bright a picture of the early Christians and porrraying them as pr;':rk·>(.t in all respects.. Yet,as long as the fledgling seatus ofclle tlie'\V Church ~rlswdjas long as being a member of the New Covenam enrailed a certain risk or at least oil conscious ilion to pIO()~S the faith" It\iV'J.:S natural rhar tnefi:dthfMl should! bemore aware rhan h.rer genera~~Dns of the true natureof dle: Chr.i$~1ail communityIn this sense and in rhis oary, the Church of the first three cermiriescan be said to be the golden age of ChristiJiniry=anci also, to a certainextent, a criterion ~y whidl In j udg.~ rherest of Christian .hi$~ory;

UnfQ.ITu.nately we cannot ling:CO't overthis iot:eresdng form~dve period but rnus C content au rselves whh havi ng po inred our some ofL~8: salient fearures, of panicubr importance because of their infiuenoe On later church history

Chapter 2


R· O"M. A'-N'" EA"[P-IRE': T'HE· C-'HU'R··C·· 'H'c O··.F'I; THI IE__'

. ,_,: =;.:.~ I-V_,. , .• ,' .. ",.' ._"" __ ', 1',1- _ '_


FIOl" morethan three centuries the Roman Empire adopted a hostile anirude toward Christianity, varying from .indi.fference or scornful toleration to 01;1 ttigh.c violent persecution, Ne:venhel.ess the earliest Christian apologists were on thewhole 'iio/eU disposed toward [he empire and even viewed it optimistically all th~' grounds that it pertormed a useful fimcrion as an educator ofthe nations on the purdy natural level, in S'O far as the Kingdom oEGod W.1S 11m ye( fully realized on earth: ~ every so ul mUSE be submissive to its ~awfu~ superiors; authoriry comes fi"Om God only, and all. au thoriries that hold ~ay are 0[hi5 ordinance ..... A good conscience has no need to go in it:;,l.[ of the magisrrare, ~1S a bad conscience does, Ifthou would be free from rhe fear of authority; do right, and thou shalt win its approval; the magi.%ctil~~e is God',s minister. working for thy good" (Roml.3:! -4).

Unfortunately, these hopes were not justified .. "God's minister, working for thy good" n:;:quired [he disciples of Christ to deny their Master and rhus merited the anathemas hu 'led at him. by later Biblical writers (Apoe 14:8; 16:19<m~ 18:9-24). The politleo-religious outlook of the Roman sta~e was borh totalitarian and syncretistic and could 110C" brook the absolute claims of a gospel which stripped the imperial power of irs sana] nature and showed an absoluce hostility ro rhe othercults of the Pantheon. The fact that Ch,rust1ans rhus refused to acknowledge any l'e.~igiOllJls basis wh;]tever for the Empire caused them. to beregarded not only f1S religious but as political criminals, and [he law declared; Non lices esse cbristianos (It is not lawfu1 so be a Christian).



The radical transtormation which 'WaS hrougl')!.r about in the fourth CCntUI) . in the relacionsberween the Christian Church and the Roman State has long been a subject of study;. and scholars have endesveredto determine exactlv wn3i;teffeci! it bad on [he stare and on


the Church. \Xi'henthe srare ceased to persecute the Christian.s, did ir

somehow undergo (11 ruudamenmJ. ch.ange in character and in out.Iook? Or was the change in the Churcb? The traditional view, since the Middle .o\gcs" has been rhar me empe .. rors were suddenly transformed from persecumrs inro the ":equals of rheAposdes" and henceforrh everything they did was ill accordance with me mind of the G ospel.Li bel'3l1 theologians, ,on the other hend, especially Pro resrant historians of the nineteenth cenrurv, maintained that Christianirvwas

. ,

:5'0 enslaved by the stare-and SO 'con taminared by the introducricn of

pagan elements it! the fourth cennuy that it amounted to a betrayal. of me evangelical I]]eSsage. As a marrer of fact, however. ehe historical truth Lies s-omewhere in betweenthese two extremes,

W11 He the Em pel'OI' Constantine grJ11Ded ~11 kinds of favors and privi~eges to the Church, he did not become at full-fledged Christian himself until he W[lS 00 his deathbed, Throughout Ilisreign he remained h.gdy faithful [0 [he syncretistic principles inherited from his; while atthe Same time Christian beliefs. Christian monotheism had f6·r him. simply taken cl;_e place of solar monotheism as the ultimate rallying point for all cults and religions. In m~.!1y respec[S this was <I .. n acceptable artitude from the Christi3lJ!ll paine ofvi-ew, all the more So in mar the personal convictions of Constantine hi msel f and. [hose of his successors were continually developing in clle direction of greate!: devotion IO the doctrines of the Ch urch, This developmeo r grad.ualJy brought abOUT the emergence

f ",1 h' k L "r·n..·· E -" .

ofthat pi enornenon nown as rne \._.,jU'ISf!~~l1nlplre, an empne

whose ruler bore the official. tide of "Iaithful king in Christ-God" and whose governmental sy:m:::m came ro be permeated mo re and more by the Chrisrhm ourlock and Christian doctrine. From the fourth to the sixrh century rhe various emperors, especially Consra . ntjnc himself Theodosius I, aad justinian I, granted the

Th-e Christian Church .md the Roman E.mpin:


ChUf\ch very extensive j udicial authority, and turned over to ,it the control of public welfare. Magnificent chur,ehes were raised ov,er the holy places of Christianity andthe tombs of the martyrs, and their new capital) Com~aJfiiino,ple or (he New Rome, was adorned no longer with temples to Victory orjustice, as in the pagan past. but with churches dedicated to Christ":Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) or Divine Peace (Hagia Eirene),

In adopdng the new religion and employing 1[ more and more as the basis for their policies. !ill.e emperors were clearly trying to inject new I.ife into the sraee, and above all. to assure rhe unilY ,of the Empir,e. Secure ar last in the enjoyment of imperial protecdon, the Church opened irsgates wide to the masses who s)()ugh~ admittance. and when Justinian dosed the last pagan university at. Athens in 53'9, he could j ustl Y' pride himself on being the head of a. completely Christian state, for the boundaries of hi" political power coincided with those: of the Church, The people of GO?, taken as a whol;. were thought of' as unitedunder the scepter o,f iI. s,ingie monarch: Churchand state Wil:te no longer [WoO separate eotiries, concerned about defining [heir mutua! relations, bu~ one single society governed by MO hierarchies: th,e ,ecd~siasdml and the political, thelatter headed by [he emperor,' The status of Chrisrianity inche E~st during the medieval period. was rims practically identical. with its status in the We'st, eXGep[ for rhe fact rha r in the East no one s~!ocee,de,d in ga [hering in to his hands che supreme power over borh temporal and spiritual affairs as the popes: dud in lCbeWes r,

The Byzami ne emperors.i r is true, made certain efta,res along these lines. particularly from the rime of Justinian, The polid~oreligious unity which they dreamed of bring~rlg about was being constamly threatened by dogmatk com;r-oversies, for the uni versal ChUFiCh which they regarded as <I prop for the Empire was distress-

For d~~ theocratic .iileas of JtlS[Jni~ll. soc A Sch:m~m~:IiJIl, "13}l"lllll'IIi ae 'l'!DC(lCIt'IC"Y lila r:h;;: Orrhodox Chu.Kh," in St. VLadimir'S !)~Tmimw)' Quarterly, vok ], IUL 2 {l9S3),



ingLy d ivided, .fi rST by L~'l;e A.r ian cont roversies, and. [hen by the endless later christological disputes, In order to restore church tinily the >emperor§" had r emu rse to rhe method of holding: ecurnenical councils, but this proved to be rime-consuming <lind the ou rcorne W[l8 some times Li.i:)c<:n;<! in. from, the time of Just! nlaJJ1J. they began to embark on [he dangerolls parh of iss l1ing dogmaric decrees 0 n their own, but they <1.[ once GUT!i,e 1,;1 p agaInst a stubborn facr: [he Church W[lS no ~ disposed 1:0 reoogrl! ize their claim to

in fallibility. '

Besides, ] ustinlan and his immediate seccessors had much too good a gl'asp of r~leo!ogkaj principles IO take ser.iously the formal claims of caesaropapism, Their '~UL tude is indicated by J U$~i.nians'i; $ix[h Novella, dared March 16,. 535: "The grt.'"alteSt gffts which God has granted to men are tbe priesthood and me empire, die prlesthccd concerns things divi ne, the empire presides over rnorrals," The gOrl~ to be achieved wasan <l!gr'"ICmem or "symphony" between these rwo i nsrirutions, and not [he subjecrion of One to the other. Ac, fur as BYZJmiurn V!.>"OlS concerned, this harmony was neverworked our in precise juridical termsrwe have EO do rather with a STfI[e .o.fmind than a sys rem .. of g,0venllnt:l1T, which allowed certain em perOI'S m<lC~ arbinarily bm did. n.o[flotm~lIy subject the Church 1)0 the stare. The Bji2<:l.nd nc Chur-ch was always ca,p;,t ble, especiaHy alter [he n i !'lith cennuy, of produci 1!1 g patriarchs willi ng EO seand up to .. arbi muy c;:mpewrs. Abuses of power for which the larrer were respcnslbls, although accepted by weak-willed prelates I, were almost alwavs con-

demned. beer on by the church authoriries, -

In mer, there ~s no basis in Christian reaching for the religious power clai med by rhe em PCroLS, even i ndirecrly The sa.c.lil.! characrer of rhe Imperial. office under the old pagan empire could nor su rvive .i n a Christian em pi re, exce pt in popular fan~y or as amere s urvi v<ll Never~h ekss it is a L1.c r that, because theemperor reigned over an empire at least theorerically Christian, because of [he universal nature of his power, and becnuse the ChUTCh, equally

Tile' Christ'iarJ Church and the Roman Empire


universal, had accepted his support: and his protection, the Byz:arlti:ne empE:'wr was regard~·d as the Chosen ofGod~ as the ~.J,nMy neHe.oion of theodestial powe'!; ofChdsc, and me B,~bl kaJ ddes <1pp&ied 1;0 ~he Jwi",h kingsin the OM Tesra.rnem were applied to him in court ceremonies,

This whole field of relations between the emperor and we ecdesiasrica.~. he:r<1!rchy; between sate and Clluoch, remained rather wgue1y defined. Thisvagueness and pragmatism reveala positive fuct: the awareness of] lnscabiliry of me relations between the C~mch and. the world. between.the Kingdom of God and [hm of [he fu[~co 'World, had. not been. wholly lost. That unsteady balance, estab~isbBd during the early centuries ofthe Chrisdan Empire, was re~~y only~p!)e'~filr me fi1's[ time b~r the iconoclastic eJnperm:s Leo TIl (7T7~74i) and Constantine V (741~775). Of all the E<l!,'jt.ernr;mperom mer were the only oneswho forrrl;a[[y claimed the plenitude of both powers, spiritual and. temporal. Their campaign. agai:n:s:r the cult of images amounted to ;L~ :;IJ:tempt ro es(~JM.i$h imperial c(JnITO~ over all. me manifesrations of religious ]ife and to inaugurate in Bj"bu'l.dum a theacr.!dc type of toralirarianism, Doubtless tIt,;:/" w~:~ i ntluencedin chis re:specr, either consciously or unconsciously; by [he ex.'U11ple of [he Mo~~,e..rn khalifSj for it is \i\~11 known thai! in Islam, the people of G od, mere is no distiaction bc~~n~em.p'0f:,;J ~md spiritual between Church .a:I1,d State. Cousranrine V wished to be both. "priest and king" (b.asiteus kdt itier(!:us) and to realize the fGnd ambition, alreadyguardedly entertii~'iili';x;I byj usrinian, of m~kingrhe [e~r.resu'ia~ Empire an exaCt replica of m'e Kifigd.on1 of Heaven.

AJier a crisis lasri ng for more dian a. cen [Ury (725-843), the [oonodasti.cprai"[j' in tiurn Vilas finally defeated . .A balance was once more achieved between Clnuch and state mil <lin even fiI1:TIJer ba::!;'fs" later expressed 'by Parriarch Photius in a dccument called the Ep9n.agoge, which d'~Mly distinguishes between rll.e righ rs ofthe empem.r and. rhose of the panj,uc~1"2 In spi [e of n!1Wtly ex [rav[lgam

2. An Ealg~ish l:r,mib, of this f~~~ i~ w bd:Oul1{~ inW .. 1< .. M~!dl i n, MOJ(~'w lmd East !i:tJme (Gcne .. ~I., ] 952), pp, 2.32-3.3,



ideas about Byzanrine caesaropapism arc current, .I[]S a. faCt that fronli the ninth c:enn.u:y 0[1 the emperors of N e'W Rome were 11.0 longer in .a position [0 impose their doctrinal will on the Byzantine Church.. The brief effons io this direction by the Cornneni and even more s_o by the P:a.I;;}eologi were aU brought CO naught and canner possibly he: compared with the doctrinal. decrees of a Z~no, a Justinian, 0:1: a Heracli us in [he .6 fth, sixth and. seventh centuries.

The true ] of the Christian Empire fo un ded when Constantinewas converted, the:n:::foie~ was no t caes~wpapism but the ideal of a. single "Christian state." Empire and Church no longer ccnstituted two socieries but a. single sociery; rhe "Christian society" (chrntepMymon politeumll) (he orthodox oikoumene (world), i n ... .!J.lI.i:ch the pD.1 i ~icl'l] and the religious powers wouldhenceforeh he regarded only as two Go,mplemeot;.uy aspects of the same or-ganized society, Confronted 'by the evident danger inherem in [hi.., scare of affairs, namely ehe risk offol'ge[ting rharthe Kingdom of God presen c j n ~he Church sd"Uremaj ns anenti IrV rhar will be .ftll.l.y realized only in the future} proclaimed and anticipated by the sacramenrs but not idenriHabIl:with theearthly Empire, the Ch urch, responding to the voice of conscie nee, reacted in various ways, particularly by placing a special emphasis on the liturgy and by the promotion of monasticism.

Before rhe rounh century Christianw"Orship had beencht; worship of a persecuted minority.. This had helped to emphasize the corporate nature of the ]]IUrgy. Only true Christians, whos-ewho were prepared to accepr the Gospel in a.lli.ts fUUness and in I:h,(;: tidl awareness of irs meanjrigj were members of rle ChUl'ch. Cbrisrian 'Worship was the mysrery ofrhe cornmunirymeering together. From the fourth century onward, however, it gradually became a worship dominated. by [he sanctuary, Was a developmenr of rhis kind norinevitable Once the liturgy came to be celebrated in the great basilicas which Constantine had ,en;:>etecl throughour rhe Em-

The Christian Church a.n.d the Rvnlttn Empire


pir"-in i:he"G[·ea.t Chu'~'ch» o~'H<l,gia Sophia, fo:exal11fle, which held thousands of worshippers? Moreover, the fa.! rhfu l themselves feh that they now belonged 'to a privileged religion, to an imperial Christkmity. [hey were no longer a g:wup hated by the "world."

But, basically speaking, [be Church di.d. not modify either its stand toward the world or its consciousness of being "ourside the wodd."lit the new circumstaaces in which it round irself it could not help new methods for proteceing [he Chrisdan mystery. Formerly [he non-baptized had been forbidden. EO enter the c,cc:ksia (church); henceforth rhe hity were fOrbidden to enter the sanctuary since many of them we-re only superficially baptized at best. The liturgy vi.rasg:radu<llly transformed into an "o:f'fice" chanred by the clergy in the "presence" oi(he people. In sermons, rheological works, and the symbolism of church art, from now Of'! there would be- much more emphasis on tbceerrifying mys[ery of die divine p.resence in the eh urch, on [he dangers of an un worthy reception of the "communion" in [he mystery; and on the role of [he clergy as mediators between the people and the M ys[ety,

This increased empha,sis upon ecclesiastical formali.ty, which obscured but did 110[ deny the essential trans of Christian wors hip, was necessary in orde .• to maintain the sense of rhe Sacred in [he Church over the centuries. This was particularly true at at rime when confusion between the sacred and 'the profane was quite ,general. Taken over; prorecred, used by the Kingdom of this world, the Church had [0 conriaue '[0 assert rhar its true Mas[er W'I$ the King who was to come again DOC day and 'who wished [0 manjJest himself now on~y under the sacramental veils.

Certain Chrisrians, however, went even. further, They refused outrlgl.H rohave anything to do with [he new "Christian society": they iii bandoned it altoge [her and retired to the desert to wi mess there to the supernatural and eschatological uature ofthe Church.

It is-rather odd bu nevertheless a fact that rJH:: Church of rhe fig;st rhree centuries was, not acquainted with rhe institurion of



monasticism, as the word is gene:raUy understood. This is strange, beca use we know whar dose bon cis there were between the early Chr.isdan comm uni ry, its lirurgy; org:an ization and outlook, and contemporary judaism, for the Apostles were :31jl jews, Now judaism had a bog tradition of aSCe[LClSm which was experiencing ,I revival precisely in the time of Christ. St. John the Baptist was [he most 0 uts randi ng example of [his re nde.ncy~ and Christian monks ,later adopted him as their chosen model. Had the Lord himself nOI withdrawn into [he desert to fast for forty days before beginning his ministry? The New covenant was first preached ill the desert, as if to show that history W<l.S being given anew beginning and that the New C]IY should. owe nothing to [he old, But Christians did not follow [his precedenr, because it was all too apparen r ro them that wherever their comm un iries were established they were surrounded by a hostile desert, The stark. contrast between the Church and the world was all roo apparent forthem to wish to emphasize [his faceor byl:Ollowing a particular way of life: their ve.ry existence was a propheric announcement of the Kingdom to come.

Only after peace had been concluded between rhe Empire and [he Church do we find thousands of Chr.Lsdans fleeing into the desert. ~ A few ofthem preferred to live completely isolaeed I ive$ there, others established coramuniriesand sought eo reCOIlSIn.lC[ the ideal of the first community in jerusalern: '''All the fa.ithfllJ heM tOgethe.r, arid shared all they had, selling the I. possessions and [heir means of livelihood, so as ro distribute: to an. as each had need" (Ac[S 2:44-45). Aware of having a prophetic mission to fulfill ill the Christian world, these individuals, soon. ro be called "monks," practiced chasriry, for Wd,S it not their role [:0. announce (he sNfe"..... nl#uml nature of d,.e Ki ngdom of God? Now in this kingdom. "there is no rna frying and givi ng in marri ;;ige; they are as the f1nge!s in heaven are' (lvtt 22:.30). They were cons tan d y given up to prayer,

3 Sec on [hi~ wllole subiece [he Ilerle[riLtillg study ofL, Bouyer, La Vie d~ foint j]nro.itt~ {~.didol);s de hm tencl le, Abbaye d~ S:1I:int.-\\i'lilldrille, 19.50)., pp. 7.[1,

The Ch1'istian Church and the Roman Empire


dcherrhe chanting of the psalms in monastic: communieies or rhe "pure'~ OF "rnonologic prayer" of the hermits, Soon monks began to rake up residence ill the towns; where they could make the f~.1 impact of their eschatological cslling appa.renl: to one and, all 111 we very midst of the new sociery;

The monastic world was certainly nor immune to temptations and deviations of an kinds, but by andlarge it GIn be saidthar the monks remained fakhful '[0 the doctrinal. heirarebic, and sacramenta] structure of the Church and. In time became a permanent insritution. Throughout the' medieval period, both in the East and the \X'est" the monastic ideal can tin ned to atrract the best elements in Ch ristian society. In the East. H:OIU rhe sixth cen tu ry. the episcopare was reserved e:xchasivdy to monks; while in [he We~[ rhe ideal of monastic celibacy was later extended to the clergy m genera]. The moral. prestige of the monks, n~oreove[. sc;rved as a kind of brake On the of absorption and control by the state 1:0 which the Church wascontinually subject. Among them also the great traditions of mysticism and holiness flourished, which have nourished Orthodox spirituality rhroughour [he ages.

The founding of a "Christian srare" in the GKeco-Rom<1!tl worldin the fOu rrh century did. not pu ( an 'end to the docrrinel controversies ,of the early;hns, Ccnsrantineand his i.~nmed.iate successors had. to cope with the Arian crisis and rhis was then foUQ'iNed by- ~le chrisrelogical connoversies of [he fLfth, sixth and seventh centun~. Fi.nally, in me eigbrh century, the Byzamine Empire was shaken to lIS very (oulldations by the iconoclastic rontrover1.Y.

Before Constantine's rirne rhe Church had had ~'O deal. with Slchisms and heresies by relying entirely upon irself Each bishop WM doctrinally supreme in his own diocese and sat «on the chai r of Perer," h was Up' whim [0 solve '~he various disputes rhar arose concerning the r.l.~t.h and to condemn heretics, Some~imes> how~ve['~ disagre(,;ments between bishops 01' rhe spread of heresy made nc;;'Cessa.ry-amono: $okmnwim.essing to the Christian truth .. In that



case synods or councils would be held. We employ the term "witness" here purposely to mark the true significance of these gfl[herings. The bishops were all deposi caries of the same grace and ~U equal in offiGe~ ~hey gathe:redU1lot to ad.d. an.ychi~g ro the grace that each possessed i.~ irs c;;ntireo/~itJ !.f)lidum~ as St. Cyprian of Carrh1l!ge usedto s<l:y~' ~but to witness totheir unanimity in the Wile doctrine, That is why councils never adopted the procedure of modem parliamenrary assemblies intheir dd.ibe:rm::!OHS: iewasnora question of G<UJ$iBg cl'1e opinion of the majorityto rri umph, hut (If assistingthe adoption by O1!U of the [rue revealed doctrine. Heretical :m<!:j()<ll n.Motlophytite, icotJ:.odM:cic-somcdme~ sueceeded inimposing themselves Oft "£8iwe councils." The mere bc:[ of their being a majority therefore could. not be [eg!lld~. as a criterion of.i.nfllmhility; The Church ultimately uphelda St. Athanasius or a St. Maximu,$) who, ,It one time, 'were almostalene in. fighting fo.r the truth. Nor have these "fuIs:e councils" ever succeeded in bringing [he Institution and authority into disrepute, any more than heretical blshops have succeeded in undermining the authori ty of rhe ep]sx::opa~e"Wh:hOln ever heingceasidered Infall ible individ uaUy,. [he bishops-sepm'JIely or gadH::[~d in council=-were the normal witnesses IO rhe true and u[ was [hey perforce who bore wi mess w the final triumph oif orthodoxy over heresy.. Mel' hel'eS:y had rri i)imphed remroffiril~ lo:iJ) in whjch an orehodox unanimi ly W~,~ppl:l~:f! r wculd ~Jw;ay$ succeed io l7eaffirmi ng th~ revealed Truth.

Tltese ecciesiastical norrnsccn tin uedw be observed in th~ fonrthcenruryas In the past. However, a newfactor was introduced when imperial suppm~ made possible [he holding of COI1Inr cils more fn;-quco.dy and with <I largerattendance, Hence, wheEl Constantine became worried abut [he spread ohhe Ariau contreversy, he decided on the summoning of an "ecumenical" counc,i~ which would include all the bishops .of the whole "inhabi~eGl.!~ [ecumen ical) world.


Ecumen ical councilsare distinguished from those which p.rea;::a.ed CO'[ISmnTLne by t'W'o!ie<1lnl,res; ~hey were convoked by the. smperor and their decisions were held to be laws ofrhe Empire. While [he Church had entered inro an3Jgl'e>CtneO ~ with the Empire, the E.ltlp~f,e,for its part, had assumedthe responsibility for proteC[k.1I1 the orthodox faith.]t W<lS natural, undee the circumseances, [hal: the c;;mpero]" should. beeageJr W have an exact defi!!li~ [ion of the £aid, so dla[ he couldappeal to i~ in his use of the political and judicial machinery of the state, Thiswas the real purpose of eca men ieal councils fromthe imperial palm of view.

In fuc~, however; the Church and irs Tradition never bowed cornple tel}' to the irn perial will, The ecumenical. councils never became org<l!r1s ofinfil&Hbmty whose decisions were accepted autoffi.[].rUcaity. They rarely wonthe {IJ.ccepr<lnce of the whole Empire .aI once, The Hm councjl, that of Nicaca (325). W(l!S rejected for more dun. hilj:f a cen wr}' before i rob rai ned general rccogniticn and came to beregarded as the symbol of art ecumenical councll p0!.r excellence. Again at Ephesus, i n.44 9, a council forrnaUy declared to be ecumen j ad was repudia ted and has go.~e down in historv as the Lat'J'ocinium or "Robber Council." The Council of Ch.ak~on (451), held uoder excepricnal circumstances wid, regard [.0 freedom. of attendance and discussio n (lind. with rep resen tatives of different theological schools presen I, should have been able, 1t would seem, ro work our an acceptable synrhesis of vaclous views, but its decisions were never re-ceived by [he majority 'Of the no.n~Greek elements in the Eastern Empire,

The\'XZesl1e rn C hri.$d~ul [0 day Illay find hi msel f somewhat perplexed by tbis absence of <it. precise and rheological erirerion, [f be is a Roman Catholic: he is accustomed to think .of Tmd.idofi as something that is [¢oogt~i:;,:.ed or can. be defined by ~~lJ.e do'C[rinal <'I,U tho ri ty of the Roman see> or, if he is a sGme~hlng which ~s determined ultimately by Scripture alone, He has d~fficul.ry in s¢e~ng how the Church car! conrinue (0 express



itself organically inthe maze of dogmatic controversies without a penna nent criterion of truth. He will prefer rhe apparent securi ty offer,ed cheWest by the medieval papacy, O[ hewilltake refuge in the principle of SfJ'/a scnptum.-The Roman. Catholic will maintain that a certain "dcgrn a cic development" WJ8 necessary to bring some measure of order out of the initial chaos of conflicting doctrines during che early centuries: and to make ,~ppa£en the concept of the doctrina] authority of the Roman see which the .Fathers had only recognized irnplicidy The Protestant win generally rejecrrhe very basis for these dogmatic controversies, since in his view those who wok parr in [hem had already departed from written revelation" The Orthodox hisrorian, however.sees in the ecumenical 'councils an obvio us S]g·.· n of rhe COn tinual fidelity of

. .

O'iris't 'to his Chtwch,<!i miraculous fidelity rhar no definite juridi-

cal instirurion can express £uUy. Of course OUl' theological handbooks speak of the infuUibiLiry of ecumenical councils], bur rbe tact remains and cannot be denied rhar several councils, regarded as ecumenical today, were not so recognized at the time, while others, declared to be ecumenical. were later repudiated, Russian theologians of the nineteenth century, particularly A. S. [(hom]~kov], made much of rhis "reception." of conciliar decisions by the entire Church] rhough 'ch,ey were nor the first to do so. In fact, it would be wrong [0 see an opposition between this idea of "reception" and that ~f the infallibiliry of the councils] as is sometimes done. An ecumenical council truly represeneerive of Christw.U certainly be inspired by the Holy Spirit and wnl rherefore be infallible. However, ir belongs to the Spirit andro the Church guided by him [0 j udge wherher a declares itself or is declared to beecumenical is actually so or not. The council ]5 nor an organ exrernal to the body of [he ChuJ['c\h. The Church's .uufaUibiH-ry is ultimarely always the infallibility of the Spirit cf'Tiuch alone, who resides in d .. e whole orga.nism of the Church. This erganisrn is subject to its own special law, r.he .law 't;if the Spirit, and h~s irs own peculiar form or structure, the hierar-

The Christian Chu1'ch and .the Roman Ernpi.r~

chic organization of rhe Church, both heing dependent upon a de-! iberate personal pro fessi 0]] of the [rue faith, by ::d I a nd at all


The Orthodox regard the period of t:he ecumenical councils as a normarive period .. It was rhen, by and large, ~h:l[[he dogmatic and canonical norms of rhe Orthodox fa]dl were laid down, as we know them today, rather than. in later ages as was rile case with '\Xlestern Christianity.

The Orthodox church acknowledges seven ecumenical councils:il 1. The First Counci! o/Nh'aea (325), which condemned Arius and defined the incarnate Son of God as "consubstanrial" with the Father.

2. The Fint Council of Camtantin.opie (380, wh ich fi nally settled rhe Aeian co ntrovcrsy, Laser on this cou neil was credited with haying adopted rhe present Creed known as the NicaeanConstandnopolitan Creed.

3. The Counci! ofEphr:sus (431), which condemned Nesi:orianlsm and declared that there were not rwo persons existing side by side in Chrisr-+God and a man called Jesus-hut rhar rhe d.iyinity and humanity were united in one person (rhe "hypostatic union "'). the Person of rhe ,IVord; the Son of God j ncamate. Canseq uenrly, Mary; [he Mathe ~ of J esuscis the MOIhe r of God. t Th.eotoRvs),

4. The Council of Cbaieeden (450, which" while confirming the existence in Christ ofa single Person, condemned. [he Mon~phjsires, because the latter refused to d.istinguish between the concepr,$ of Person (hypostasis) and Nature (physt's), If Christ were one Person, they chimed, he could ~10[ have two natures but only one (mono-],"on:c;:/' physis, "nature"), The council :'!Jfirmed [hat the sen of 'God must be confessed in (\"10 natures "unconfusedly,

1\0 English '[[',1:lt:;l ~d{lil of d:llc ~;;::;lrI(ll1$ ,IDid dogmarlc decrees nf th~ seven counctls may be· fOUlld iJi "fk Nicenr and Pmt.iVi(1'!t1! fathe'l'J., Second Series, vol, '1" (Gl<I!flll Ibp:ids, 19%).



iuunumhly;. .i nd ivisibfy, i!'lrscpru::ably, united '" In one Person or <11!.yposcasis"," Many of the nOflJ-Gl',eekdemems In [he Empire (Copts, Ethiopians, Syw-Ja.cobhes, Armenians) left the Orthodox Church ar this rime and formed schismatic Monophysiste churches.

5,. The Second Cmmcil of Court/tnt/nople- (533). The Em p~ror Justinian was anxious [0 win back me Monophysil:es and wished [0 prove to them that the Council of Chalcedon had nor fallen into Nestorianisrn and was nor GQIU[<lfY to the doctrine pro~, claimed at EphesllS. Summorsing a. new council, he had three theologi<lfis of the fifth cenmry (rhc "Three Ch.ap~e[s") suspected of eueerraining Nesrorian views condemned ..

6.. The "Th.b'd Cotmdl of CcmsUlrJ:tinf}pre 0630L which condemncd <I.IJCl.8t3lfd form of Monophysirism known as M.onO[heU~ tism .. According eo the Monmhdi[.ecs (thdef'l:s. "wiU") wb.ik: ChdS'[ has two nature; he has only 0 ne will, his divi:r!ijt;; win OF "energy." The GOw.1Jdl maintained that thehumaniry l.S nor an abstract en ei ty j n Christ buris manifested by i [~~ Own wm,s:u bj ecr ftec;~y and in aH d:'llngs [0 the divine will, Chrbt therefore has !:\-VD wins.

7. Tbe S(cf)nd Councii ofNicaea (787), which defined rhe Orthodox. doctrine concerning the image's (jcens) which represent Chrisr 0., [he saints. TheWotd of GOdwaB truly incarnate and became trueman, He .may therefore ht;' p.k:roria.Uy~.epn;5~[Ue.d~ a.nd.~h~ same LS [rue .g.f~h~ saints, While sacred images ougli ~ co b~e venerated, the one WhOB::l rhey n e presenr is d1.e ~[UH! object of [he ve neration, However, it is nor .bwfi1~ to pay ro them rhe highes t. form of worship (kurcia) ~ which is due ro God alone ([he distincdon between "ven . eraticn" [proskynesis] and. "true worship" [.la~ tf'e~'a] has become classical in rheology), The veneration ofimages was opposed by several Byzanrine emperors, who were responsible for rhe iconoclastic controversy.

The work of the ecumenical councils was nor lirnired to decjding these purdy dogmatrc questions, but was alsoccncerncd Wid'l rhe Chu.rch'~ constitutional and adn1!iniSftadve organization,


Dudng the pre-Consrantinian period there were no precise [uridlcal norms goveI'ni,ng the .rd,a~ion$ ?f~oGal ,.chwxhes with each other. These relations were determined ultimately by the ll.\' aU ChlE.isdans had. of belonging to the one lord. and eo rhe one GHhoUc Church, Chun:h. unitywas martifesred in a pracdcal w-ay: fo.r example, when the bishop from neighboring districts convened in a dEY which had. lost i [:'> chief pas [01' for [he c011:sccrarlon of a new bishop. Occasions of this lund soon came to be used for the holding of syaods, which became a regular .featu.rc in rhe Ufe of the Church, In tbis way local churches carne [0 be grouped into provinces, which generally coincided wiah (he administrative divisions of [he Empire, Moreover, ir wasinevitable thar [he bishops of the larger sees, [he heads of sizable <lind wealthy communities, s'ho~ld preside over these synods, Or coundis, and althcug]i they exercised no j urisdicrional power over th.dr colleagues, ·the latter were neverrheless prepared to acknow~edg;erhdr de /acto au~ho[ity. Their votes were ofren rhe derermining factor in reaching ccmrnon decisions,

The councils of [he Constantinian period simply co dified and. brave juridical form to this State ofaffain in their C'tmM]$,

The Canons .of [he Council of Nicaea (325) are almost aU eoucemed with the adjustment IQf the goVt;;nlmc~u of the Church to thar of {he Empire, which was now of course well-disposed toward [he Chmch: [he local churches were groupedtogerher in ~c£~esi~1.~:[icalpwvlnot;0 which had the same boundaries asthe civil pI'OVinGeii.~ and rhe pwv!tlldal synod, which W~CS to meetregularlj; WilS IO be presided over by rhe hishop of the capital of the p~ovinc(;t or "menepojitan." Canon 6 allows fm an exception to this rulein rhe case of the three greater sees of Rome, Akx,<i!1dria and Antioch, whose jurisdicrion in any ,3.$(: bythis rimeexrended far eey,and rhe lim i ts ofa si ngle P rev i nee, The Co unci l of Nicaea ofEidaJlly granted them rhe rugh~ ro ~ppmve the episcopal elections in civil provinces, The overwhelming Impertance of these


THE ORTHODOX CHURCH fat the i8irgen in the Emph-t-''W<l.8 certainly the determining fam;.l.r in [his. decision. Lateran ,w::eml)~ wOI!.d.d. be made ro explain Canon 6 011 the basis of the apostolic origin of the three churches, but the objective; historiancannor be unduly impressed by this argument (to which. the cou neil never refe["\S:O for it could be alleged more COB vi.ndngiy on beh<l.lf of certain 0 rher churches, especially jerusalem, In spite of the honor conferred on him by Canon 7, Nicaea still decreed that the bishop 00 erusalern should be sub ject rothe metropojitan of Caesarea in Palestine,

The second. ecumenical council at Ccnsterrri nople (381) deb creed a similarexception in the case of the Church of Ccnsrantinople,becat,D;.·).~ of its status as the New Rome, rhe capi tal of the Empire •. bur LK remained subject ro the overall primacy ·o.f [he ElderRome (Canon 3).

SII!.U fa teuespecially ar Chaloedon (45]) j rhe Roman world was divided I om fiY'~~'pania,[cba tes" -Rome, Co nstan tine pi.e ,Alex~ andria, Antioch and Jems:a.l.etu-whichh;<l!d t}~.e p.dvikgc of pI:C· siding Over the merropolitan elections in groups of provinces, while theme zropolirans rhemsel ves COn rinued to COnsecrate the bishops und.ertheir immediate jln·.isd.bion.5 The Novellae of ]usl;inian [ef~t to the five patriarchates as the five senses of the Empire.

This gfildu3J evolution of the Churchs g'Ove.rnmenm~ srrucrure did. HO~ eake place wirbout certainclashes, Beginning in the fifth cen n.ny; foI' example, we can dlscernthe seeds of ru ture COra fl ic[ over the exact role which the Church of Rome was destined ro phliY.Wh~rl;;:a1> for the Orientals-who were always in a majcriry ,u [he ecumenical ceuncils-c-the privileges of Rome} lmivens:aHy ~.~ ogl].uzed, were based on the numerica ~ i m po rta nee 0 f th~ Roman bee and also on the hcr that ir WJS located in. [he capital or [be

S Withi [I each 1'<l.Lriaoc:hate, as .lL rmarrer (If f::1(:t, ~. dlf&;reliit p r.~x;cdl!~ ms foUow~d:thj; bishop .of AJ.e-~~!tdria, fair eX:l:llIple' •. had i~f)(l~ i'&heJ [~le I?~i"'ik~~ Qf m~;~mp<JJ [wn~s ss c~r~r illS the founh ·eenmry him:reJF C()ifi~'Cr.,tt~d :l~~ rh~ hdmp..~ of tile d~il

~d:i{lOm:5" of Egyrr. libra and ~he Pe.rullpoJi:s_ .

The ·Christia'n Cf:nuch and the Roman Empire


Errrpire. In Rome itself there was an awal'eness [hat thislnrerprerarion cou ld [eadto rhe complete disappearance of the Roman pdroacy,liJr was Ccnstantiacple not the new capital and thus capil b]e ofeclipsing the g1.ory of the . old capi tal? 0 n the 0 rher hand, Rorne was thcon{y "apostolic' Church in the West; [he rdcs of the holy Aposdes Peter and Paul had long been venerated there and [here was no question at all that, for ~heWeS!:em Chriscian, Rome was the center of Chrisd<l~1Jil)'. Byappealing ro these considerations the popes, particularly St. Leo the Great (440z461 ), arrernpred IO oppose the rise of the see of Consrantinople, but they could not succeed inrheir ptirpos;e, excep[ [ernpo~ r;ad1y, fori rs rise was logical and in the na tu re of things. From (he rime oj: Parriarch john the Paster (528~595), the bishop of New Rome adopted the. tide of "ecumenical patriarch," which W<!i.S partly of honorary significance, but which in any case was not: intended toinfringe UptHl. the Roman. primacy.

Howevee th1s may be, it is undeniable char [)B a result of these diffe~en·ces ~'\¥o opposing ecclesiologies began to take shape, each WI[h its own view of what the primacy mea I').~ which a II [be wDrid a.ckr!o'i,~,dedged belo nged 1;'0 Rome. For one side this primacywas ofdirecIapn.cSwHc: and lienee "divine" origin, while for rhe orher it was only a primacy of "ecclesiastical law" and origin, theexact sigruiflca.nce of which it was u;p W the councjls to define and which in any case could. only function with the consent of and subject to control by the other churches, The CJIlO.1lS of the ~o!Jjnci.~s definitely mvm: this latter imerpretatioo."

It is impossible to dwell any longer on rhe history of the CCiundls.,.We must be content wl[b having pointed out their imporfa:ri.ce fOr ehe O[;chocioCl: Church, Later ecclesiasrical writers have sometimes compared (hem with the Seven Pillars of Wisdom or with

G· For.~ Illore ( ~~Ildy of i:h~ (~ll:5ti.o.n •. see om' miJc "La ~~rimll,l.t~ mm~~~te dam. b ~Ji[;(m c"1!nof~iqn~ jlJSqll\LLt concile de CldcMioj!t~:' in 'rnnn. llO. ~ (1 %7). pp. 463-.32; s(':C rlGW ;W~l]e srudv of Prof. F, D~'orlT!ik, The U~O; IJj"AposttJiid,y il1 lJ,Ul11ti1l.m ond ~m Le-g&.d /)ft~)e jJJW~;k Andl'~w {C~mbrMge. MA! 953}.


me' Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. But such symbolical !e~pl<1lnar dons stressing me number seven have only a relative importance. They indicate that the Councils have indeed been venerated by rradition, hut mer have no real rheological meaning, \When the O.rhGdox. Ch arch S;a.ys ~haf i~ recognizes onMy these sCV:C'.l'I cou ncils as ecumenical, it is not claiming, of 'COUTh"ej that irs aUdlDl'ity is confined ro one historical period, or mac other councils or witnesses to rrn,d.idon-· -che Church Fathers or lirurgical formulas,-may not also witness m the Tiuth, We shall. see furrher on rhar certain local councils, recognized later as having universal validity defined me Orthodox position on grace in the romteerrth century, anda:. similar funcrlon W.:i.S pt.;'Lformed by still other councils which met between. the sevenreenth @ind nineteenth centunes,

The seven ecumenical councjls recognized as such by the Orthodox Church. were held under certain definite hisrerical circumstances, those prevailing at [he time or the Christian Roman (Dr Byzanrine) Empire, Nowwhile it IS perfecrly truethat the Church remainsessentially the same at' ~]I times) historical circumstances vary from time to rime, Consequently in: would be foolish to think that we can simply reproduce the forms and procedures rhar govcmed the ancient New forms and procedures will be caned for in keeping wid'! the new conditions rhat wili prevail, and we nursr nor suppose that this natural evolurionary pwc{;:$S detracts in any way from the permanence of Trurh in the Churcb. Moreover, the Roman Carholic Church commonly recognizes [l,veru:y council, as ecumenical today; bUI[ ir does not pretend to claim thar the later ones were held in accordance wirh rhe same forms and procedures governing theearlier ones. In fac[,rhe word .. ccu rnenical" is used roday in such a variety of senses that ir has become rather vague. 'Wh,(It marrers is nor rhc number of councilssecognized as "ecumenical," bur rhe awareness which [he Omr:ch has of itself and of the Teurh .. The Orthodox Church claims thar ir remains faithfu1 to rheancienr

COU!']s-:the common heritage of Eastern and Western Chris~~n:dom-and it believes itsdf [0 be the One Church 1)0. which the ancient councils bore witness,

Chapter 3


T' "h.e schism between Byz<lmiurn and Rome was without doubt [he mOSI tragic event in the historyof the Church. ChrisTendom became divided in two halves, and this separation still endures wd;,l,Y and has derermi ned the desri ny ofb orh East and Wesr to a very great extent. WhHe the Eastern Church claimed-e-and :still claims today-w be the ou iy true Church of Ch rist, it saw j 1:.5 cultural an d its ~ogtaphic;jl field of vision restricted: historically; it became id,ent.il1eclwid1 [he Byz:aruine world." The Chu,ch of the, West, as viewed by [he Orrhcdcx Church, lost the doctrinal and ecclesiological balance of primitive Chrisrianiry and this lack of balance' .... ~s ultimately responsible for provoking the reaction of the sixteenrh century, the Protestane Reform<'l~i()n"

If we wish to assess [he true me-aning, and extent ofrhis earastrophe, we must avoid rhe romantic £-illa<.y of rliinking thac [here was ever an "undivided 011JKh" which lasted for some nine centuries, A~ a matter offacr, [he Church hasexperienced a succession and schisms fiom the very earliest times, A particularly impormntand kmg- lived

• IL - • I eLIL d si ~L ..' ··1' II • I

separanon rn::gan 10 rne nm 1 an I SL.XUl cenrunes over c'1nSm]og[C;]J

issues, Vi/hen whole narions-c-Egypr, Ethiopia, Armenia, and large segments of the Syrian population-s-abandonedthe comrnuruon of the orthodox "'Great Charch," which meyreferl'e>d. ro scomfuUy as rhe "M 11"" «. ",I" Ch t Th I· h b d' "d f

ie UIe or ]mpemuUrC[l. . . e atte.r was t ere y .' ,epnve or

communion with various venerable non-Greel traditions ofChrisrianity. thos;:; of the Semites and. Copts, and found itself reduced, pra.ctica!ly' speaking. to the (;l11'eek and Larin par~ of (he E.mpi reo In the ninth and tenth centuries this Greco-Roman world was in turn divided inro '[WO g:re;lt branches. along the linguistic and political. frontiers which [hen dem,!;rcated the two zones of the ancient Roman Empire.




HOW<:V(;I, these various schisms cannoc be regarded merely as evidence of an inescapable tendency toward fi:aJgtnent<H~ion On the part ofthe churches, The Gn:.ek. and Latin Churches both continued «0, exhibit the signs of true (::at~(l.~ido/. Neither allowed itself zo be rtanslormed into a purely national. church. Borhconrisnied to direct their energies, outward toward, the spreading of the GospeL \(fhile Rome was preoccupied with the conversion ofthe new nations of the; Wm. the "barbarians" of the North. Bvzanrium could claim credit fOl' ehe conversion of the Slavs and was .(::"'ndmj~l~ Iy active throughout its history i.n the aH'e!np~ ro win back (he Monophysires [0 union with the Church. We have to admit, 'rhei!¢fou~, that in addition to [he various linguis~.ic, culturakand politicalreasons for the separation, theological di.ffel'ences of a profound. nature were also ar work rowa .• d this end. In attempting to . explain. the naeure of the schismwe are forced to admit [hac both theoiogjcal and non-rheological £;,coors were hopelessly mixed up rogerher, If would be pointless to deny either the one or the other, We shall find. later on, however, that ch.eological causes are ar the rOOE of [he matter because allarternprs ~r eocciliation and reunion have been frusrrared by rhe f.lllurt; to overcome: these hurdles" Moreoven rhey still constitute today the major obstacle co r he ultimate gpru. of ecumenisrn.

We have seen rhat from the fourth [0 rhe eight.h century tension already existed in rhe Church between East and WIeSe over the [rue significance of (he Roman primacy_ This tension, 1'1.0\\,-' ever, was not always readily apparem, because of rhe flowery r he to ric and st u died vagueness used by Eastern prelates when wriring to the popes, The latter, fol' rheir pan, avoided pressing their claim 1;0 universal jurisdierion over the whole Church, ]nan its implications, for the claim was conWIl'y to the rraditions and customs of the Church. The be-em tension onlv came ro the surface in the nimh ceneury, when i~ developed. int~ open bo~~d~i';~

The polirica] event which occasioned [his conflict was the fo und i ng of the Carolingian Em pi re hi the West..


I..:.;IiscOFY textbooks are fond of portraying Ch ... ariemagne as the great restorer, for his own benefic, of the Roman Empire in the \"Yles, which had in the I1fili centu ry. I[ is asserted ehat when Ch:ademagne was crowned in 800 by the pope in Rome, he.was occupying a rhrone that had long been vac'H1t.But, as a matter offJct, many contempofru'les reg;uded him as a usurpel; fOI _ the Iegirimate Roman Empire with its capital at Constantinople had nor ceased to exi~[, and irs claim to rule the enrire Christian Roman world had never be-ell given up . One of me primary .0 bjectivcs oE the reign of (h.e Fmnk.ish king was to get Byzantium's approval for rhe step [halt had been taken in the West. \When aproject forthe marriage of Charles and me reigning Byzantine empress fell through, the Frankish Icing decided to min Comt;;JJntinopie's·dairn.1)o universal jurisdiction, One of the means used to achieve this end was to bring the charge of heres}' against the East, The Easeem emperor Gould not claim to be the successor of earlier Christian basileis because be worshipped images and because he confessed that the Holy Spiritprooeeds, "from [he father by the Son" instead of '''E~om the Father and. the Son." These allegations by Charlem,~gne in his famous Libr« Gt7"olin.i, sent eo the pope in 792. formed pan of the Frankish refut<idoll of the decrees of the second scumenicel CQU neil of Nk;"1.J;;<l (787) find prepared rhe '!Nay Dor th,!! .~ neerminable quarrel bet1Nt':en East and West over the question of rhejifioque.1 Sev:eml 'Western bishops and rheol!ogians-PallliRuS of Aquileia, Theodulphus of Orleans. and Smaragdus, abbot of SL Mihiel-e- rook up the cudg,eJ.S:,i.gains:t the Greeks ar the invirarion of rhe Frankish COLJJ"( at Aix,-b-Clilapclle. Akuin ¥l<J.S rhus able to wrireto Charlemagne in 799.2

DIiI~ing Ihe sixth cemury certain ami-Ari3n c~~ndls illSp:lil1 had i~rted i~ ,[he Ni(.';le:311 r- C::Oi~SUl1Ii nopli] i tan Creed {he word. jJIi'oqllJ! which was _!\Ot Ill. [he or_!gl nal (CITdd,_ .. ,ift Spi.rimm Sa1.1.{"mKti ••• qtti ex Pi1.tT~ Filioq1fe pn;a:dl!t}. l hi", new version Dr rlte CI'eed s'Pr~d ro GatJ.I and rhe Fr:.tllJki,sD lands in th~ .~~g.Iuh (;'C!IMUry, lc \'I:i1S I'IOr oecepred by rile ,ChLLrih of Rome, \":~Iich opposed rhe i:llterp.d;a/[;k'.llJ _l.U1Iil [he ~~'"\~!m.h ~Cml!.II)', The m05( cOillpllere account nf d"le quesrlon of rhe (lnglll~~f r..h;~fit~dqU.f remains rhar of I-! _ B. Swere, On the .HiI,rorl ()j"thc Df)('rrr;tl! off/If! p!tx'<!'$Sfim of tIlt Ho~)' Spirit (From the Ap!)~{.ol.ic i\gC to the De;:uh ofCh:I.!Icmag,nc) (Cunbriclge,18706).

1. UikJ"!j ofAkuilt. No, 114. MmtLJn:lema C ~m1.:lIIi:te hUS(OTiGl Episrolite, lV, Epistolac



Three Rersolls have been ~t the' head of the hierarchy of the world; firsdy, rhe representarjve of rhe aposeolic ~llbiimi~, the v icar Qfble.sst~d Pe te r, , "s(:lconclly, [he occu pam 0 F the ,j mpe ri ~tl J ignit)' which cxerc ises secular s:'!'fay !J~ ~he seccnd Rome ... thirdly. the royal dugfli'Y'i.vhich our Lord jems Cnel,se has reserved to you in order rc rule. me Glrisrhm peoples .. now 011 j'DU alone that [he Churches ofChr~st must rely,

fro.m you "lone that they expecr salvaeion., , -

. These words are very reve~]_!ing; with regard. to the true nature of [he neu .. · empire in the \X/esr; ic was dom.inated by the idealsof caesaropapism-c-ir seems that the Frankish court was influenced by rhe example of the iconoclastic emperors of Byzamium, whose d]eo,logy W[lS taken over by Charlemagne, [I. least in part-e-and it was, mtended co supplant both the traditional empire On the and rile pa pa cr,

Forrunarely £0'[ the muse of dlurch i.!Inity; while the Roman Church :appr?ved Charlemagne'S political aims, it was decidedly oppo..<;ed_ to h15 theological arrack 0.11 BYl<'I.ntium. Popes Hadrian I (772~79)) and Leo HI (795-816) defended ofCoundl ofNicilea and furmally rejected the inrerpolacion in the Creed. We must acknowledg.e f('ml~ly [h;~. i.~e Christian world is indebred tothem for having, rreserved~,u:s unu:y, If only for a relatively short dme.W.llen political .1 mel',e-:l'S ~E~ OOl!lly ca:Lsed the Byzan tines W extend recognition to [be CarolIngIan Empl.te-dlOllgh with reservarlons-.heWestern arL:~lcb,on the G reeks ceased, but they left: behind it certain amou !lIE of iUfeeling; :and because of this and becOluse of the existence of polemical tracts, U: wasnor J ong before anirnosi cy flared iLlp 1lglin.

TI .. ,

,le mos t sene ~!sconse-quence of the cn::a don of Charlernagnes

empire 'WaS the appearance of a new o/pe of Christianity in me West, rhe work of men fmm [he "barbarian" pans of Northern Europe, who were only very vagudy acquainted with the intellectual. annes~heu~ of [he Roma.n~'ByzalHine world in which the fathers of the ~hurch had lived and in which (be ancienr councils had been held. More serious still W3iS the fact char [he teamed men 8i.~ ll.ix-Ia.-

~!;~'i Cnolini. H (B(~rI il'l. 1895). p. 2.88 ..

Scbismttmi Attempts at ReurlirJn


Chapdle felt free 1:0 de.fine thl;.'(l]ogical Issueswithout [(;fe:cenoe and even in op position 1]0 the East. The Libri Ctz:roi.ini and rhe whole literature connected with them IUVI;: no other meaning. On rille other hand it must be admitted that wh i Ie the Bvzanri nes were

., - - -

wise enough nor to pay .my attention rn the doctrinal attacks of Ch3irlemagne,they were unableto adopt toward me new Carclingian learning and cultuee a sympathetic and charitable arrirude which might have helped to smooth off its rough edges., The Eraperor Michael ][T was indiscreet enough in 8 64ro refer to the Latin .Ianguage as a "barbarous" and "SC)'iI'hian" tongue. incapable of expressi ng the finer shad i.ngs of rheological dl0Ught. Th is self-sa tisfacdon of the Byzaurines with their own culture, which could b,oas( a. Photius or J Psell us while the medieval West was scarcely able W cope with rhe rudiments of learning, presented them from taking the theological posi tion of the Franks seriously

The Church. Q.f Rome alone was capable ofru'i;~il'lmining the bridges.

It was the only religious authority which the Franks respecred; it had preserved enough of rile Greek ll<l!dicions to be able l'O understand boch EaSt and.Wesr,.'IX!e have seen how;whe:rlrhey were opposed by Charlemagne, the Roman popes had. been. ableto perf:o[]'l] their role :;I,!S supreme i ud!:,rtS \vol'thlly, and Photius publicly iHtnowledged the Church's i ndebredness to Pope Leo ill Oil century later.

The open breaks bet'i.¥ttnEas[ and West in IDe ninth and eleventh 'centuries occurred when [he political aims of the Fr,ltlkish Empire became confused with me canon leal. pretensions of the. pope.'} and both fOLlnd themselves united in a common opposition to [he East.

From the 'e~ghth cenm.ry rhe hisrory of the pap"CJ' is dominated by I'CSreiaJlOns with the new Carolingian Empire. AI[ first, in the eighrh cemury and. then again pa!'1;kulady in the lel1dland eleventh cenruries, the bisho ps of Rome were hardly more than mere cools in the hands of the ,'(test'em emperors. whose outlook was dlOl'Ollgh1r

:l 1.111 his .Mpt4gagi<1., written ag<1Jins.c rh(!fili[JqlJ~" Phonus meneion widl approvi3.1 [tile uP'flosi[ion of rhis pr)pe W its iI1S'i;:rriml ]'1'1 dle Creed,



caesaropapist, However, a fev;' gll,'e~u: popes managed 1)0 assert themselves and react ag;1!inst this tendency, Nicholas I in the nin rh century and especiallyjhe gnea~[ theoretician of the' medieval papa,y; Gregory VII (1 073~, 1 (81), who was preceded by the vigorous blLU shQ.rf~liv-;ed Leo ]X (1049- 1054) and Nicholas II (1059-1061).. This papal reaction. which ultimarely led [Q the triumph of the papacy over the Empire, Wd.S inspired by a new consciousness of~le meaning of the Roman prim~cy. The sec of Rome. must become something more eba n a mere patriarchare of die Wesr, something more man one apostolic see among others • .if a Henry N were to be fo,[ccd to go to Canossa, Irs rraditional prim;;'lcy of honor and authority muse be transtormed into a real pow;er of jur.isdicckm. universal in scope and absolute in nature,

. Anripapalisr writers have often seen in [his development a sign that the popes had succumbed to a wicked desire for dorninarion, Bur this is to read the signs incorrectly and miss the essential point. The gn~:a trdo[(TJ.i ng popes were sincerely anempring to restore the Church and free it from .eXCCSSDV~ lay control. They fougl.l[ [he evil of simony and raised the standard of clerical morality The result of their effwcs was the birth of a Christian Europe and a tK'W civilization. However, rhese great pontiffs, almost all of whom were of Nonhero European o r igin and closely identified with the Cluniac reform movement. were the hell'S ~f that Caroling,ian civilization which, as we have seen", had dared to reach definitions by it:;:etf in opposition to [he E[lst and had developed without being influenced to any extent by the Greek Fathers. Basically Latin and '\l;tesIern in oudook, this civilization was shared by boeh Roman popes and West,ern emperors, This is why, ultimately; the controversy between the Sacerdotium and the:

Imperium appeared to be more :0 f a pol i tical than a. religious quarrel. The popes turned the emperor's own arms against him, they adopted his methods and idenrified themselves with his ambition (0 destroy the prestige of rhe old bur legitimate Roman Empire and Conseanrinople, Tile Orthcdox historian therefore

Schism ,and Attemp.ts at RrNtnio'Yl


will not question the sincerely ofthe [douning popes or their zeal for the ,,~elfare of the Church. He ... "ill simply fee~ obliged to question the theologi,cal and ecdesiological basis of a theory of power wh ich appears to him as alien to the s pirir of the GospeL He will refuse [01 regard the developmenr or ehe medieval. papacy as something absoluteand will artribure [0 this development, at least in part, those secularizing, . .reformisI, and and~deric1ll1 tendencieswh ich will begin to appear i 11 the Wes~ laxer 011.,

When reforming the WeSIern Church the popes tried to extend their reforms [0 rhe East but fu.iI,ed. This failure would serve mote than anything else to strengthen the unity of Western Christendom and make it monolithic and self-contained,

Nicholas I (858-867) was: without question the gre;(lres[ of the reforming popes of the early Middle Ages, In the ~/est he was confronted by rhe rhree kingdoms inro which the Carolingian Empire had become divided. and .. in the East by ehe Byzan ti ne Empire which was expe[iencing a viclenr quarrel between tWO factions in the Chu rch, Appeal fro rn both si des was made to his eribunal, in accordancewirh tradition, But whereas his predecesSOl'S .in the time or Charlemagne were called upon to arbirrare v-etwten rhe PNO Christendoms, he was obligated [Q deal with q uarrels wi thin each side. Th is gave him the 0 ppo IT u nit)" to press those rdorms which he deemed' necessary, on the one side as well as the other,

We cannot Unger here ClV'eI rhe crisis brought on by [he divorce of Lo .. hal' II" Skillfully utillzing [he rivalry between [he latter and his uncles Charles [he Bald and Louis the German, Nichclas succeeded in annulling rhe sentences of several councils of [he Frankish episcopate, in jiudging [he archbishops of Cologne arid Trier a ~ Rome, and finally in CO rn pel ling, the royal pow,e r IO y~dd. He attempted also; in the course of a violent quarrel with Hie rna 1<,. [he archbishop of Reirns, 1)0 [imir the authority of [he merropolitans in the West" which had been decreed, as we have seen. by the



First Council of'Nicaea, and 'W establish", system which would have subjected the enti1"eWestem episcopate directly 1:0 the Roman see. In suppan of its new policy [he latter now began to appeal-s-in g;ood. faith, otcourse-e-ro rhe celebra ted False DCcrCtalli, which. were compiled. about this time and which <li_med .U sLlbsl.'iwting fO.f rhe oi.d conciliar legislcrion an new sy:s [em exal ri ng [he prerogaaives of the Roman see that is in effect, a papal monarchy; 4

All this might have had linlc effeer on relarions wirh [he E:;"lS~.

Precedents could have been cited, particularly [he example of Alexandria, showing [hat] r was lawful for powerful parriarchs to gather the reins of power into their own hands, Bur Nicholas was dearIy of the opinion that his reforms had to do with rightswhich the Roman S~~ ought to claim as properly belo !'igi ng W i:t and therefore o.f universal validiry:. If 'was Gil [his point rhar he dashed with the Eastern Ch u reb ..

Patriarch Ignatius: of Constantinople had been compelled to resign his ehrone in 857ro Photius, the gretu scholar and student 'Of antiquity. aswell as theologian and politician. The imperial governmem was of Qour.~erespomible for ehe change, bur' at Byzantium. as elsewhere in the Wesf at: rhis rime no one quesrionedrhe right of the emperor to decide who was to sit on the patriarchal throne. This righr naturally entailed 91. certain influence by the patriarchs over political afEa.irs. Tltis dyarchy of emPC;;[U[ and patriarch was, as it were, the wry fO~il1dadon stone of rhe Byzantine rheocracy. However, ir would be highly inaccurate [0 think ofthis system as merely a form of caesaropapisrn, particulady after the dde,u 'Of the iconoclastic pan)': In the case of

q The' COltlll,iJer' of rhe Decrerals (wh~th~T or Rorll;< ·or f ral'lki~.h tlrLgi.n) ..... as intereseed :iii combal:iilg d~e :.:lulhoril}' of SU'Oi'lg merropolaans like Hincmar! appe-al (0 ,l great Inarw ;~I!e~d ~nc,iem ]Kupil decrerals ..... hi!.:h h~ fo,.rged" r;irher ehan i II eX:iI](~llg (he authoris r of Rome, !:1m [hi~ WM rhe ne [ efl'e(1[ of his W'oJ.k The o:Iocrelai.s were accepted ;H, genuine and incorporared ifl hUH canonical collections, See P, Fournier and G, Le Bras, Hiuoire de: foll~~~kHls ct.'tloi'd.lj'tef i'1i' Occidel1l. '1'<)1. '1. pp. ~ 26-33 ;c[ E. Amann, L'Epf}q~t" cClrolitlgiamf, in Flid'le-Marrin, Hift'(}ir~.u l'tglisc, vol, 6 (Paris, .1947). PI'. 35,2·66, 387,

Sc.hl$m a:ndAttemptttlt Reunion

Ignadus, moreover, things took their accustomed course and due fauns were. observed: Phorius was elected only afrer his predecessor had formany resigned.)

However, ;1. group of Ig;n.adan partisans, decided [Q keep up the srruggle and persuaded the ex-patriarch to revoke his abdication. III keeping with the canons of the ancient Council of Sardica, borh parties then. appealed 'to Rome. This move on [heir part was tantamount 1:'0 an. unprecedenred act of deference by the BYZ<l!n~ tine Church toward the see of Rome, for until then the pope$ bad never intervened directly in the purdy disciplinary a.ffaifs of the powerful ecumenical patriarchare. So the legates of Nicholas I presided over a council of bishops all Constantinople \vhich confirmed [he election of Phoeius (861). On the very eve of the confJicr, rherefore, BYI.<l!mium was displaying a more deferential attitude toward Rome (ham. it had ever done in the pas[.

Since Photius continued to be opposed by an Igrl<u:ian minority at Conseantinople, Pope: Nicholls det,r;.rmi.ned to profit by rhe occasion find extend to rhe East the rcfo.rms which. he waspressing in the \Vesc I.f he could limit ehe authority of metropolitans in one half of Christendom, why could henot humble the much more important obstacle to Roman centralization in [he other, namely the Byzancine parris . rchare? He decided therefore to <I nnu I. ehe Council of Conseanrinople and compel both Ignar.ius and Phorius [0' appear before his tribunal, as he had atrernpred and. partiallyachieved in the case of the archbishops of Cologne and Trier. It hardjy needs ro be observed that rhere was no precedent in the conciliar legisladon then in force ro jUHiiy such aprocedure, The parriarchaee of Ei;rla.rlcimu remained silenr and failed to reply to the papal letters,

The si rua tion was runher corn pi i cared by the acr ivi ues of Byzamiue and Western missionaries in Bulgaria. Most of the

5 Tl1~ fU!ld~l!I1.cntai wotk on rile Ph()~i~lIi crisis is b~' F. Dvmnik, Tbe PfJl)ttan Si:hhm'. ffi:;t01yand (CambrJ&gc, ] 94!l}.



.s lavic tribes 'We re on [he verge of adopting Christian! ty abou t this: time and. were he:dt'<'!ti ng between Eas [ and. West in view of the pol irical and reli giom pressu re being exercised by [he two rival empires, rhe Byzantine and the fJ[.3Jnkish. The brotbers St, Cyril. and]rhe Apostles of the Slavs, encountered vlher~ ever Ehey went, in Khazaria and later in Bohemia, thee opposition of Gerrnan missionaries eager to impose on [heir new converts the lad n language and ritual and [he singi ng of ~h¢:fili()q1if1~ u the mass. Now [.he B~~I.g""d,fIJ1.s were actually baptized in 863 bymissionaries from BY7~ln ti um, bur when d1e Bulgarian khan, Boris, failed to get Byz~wtine approval for the autonomous status of his chureh in. 865, he decided ro emus.her his spirirual allegiance to the West and allow the fl'ankish to ,organize his church,

Up until this rime rhe popes had. been fairly su ccessiul !D acting as: arbiters between the Franks and. Byzan tines, It was possi Me for them to appear ro be neu [[[IJ as long as the Roman see did nor have direct control over t.he Ge r man missionaries in S~avic ceuntries. But this is precisely what Nicholas sought to bring about by hiscnrtailment of the autonomy of local churches and e:uensuo:n of Roman J urisdictiou .. He WO'lS bo und rherefore co rake u smnd. on [he ITILI.nor quawds which unril then had nor been ~·~gdrd.ed as within [he sphere of the papa(.:y. En the case of B!J.Igari8i, he decided ro suppon the .Franks3i:gainst the By:r"!luines" He even succeeded it! obt<1!in~ng rliat the new head of the Bulgarian Church should be appointed byhimsdf and nor by [he Ceemanic e.mpero.r Louis Il, though only af~et some d.i.fficuhy. The pope was rhus cre<l!~ing at the veEr gaTes of Constantinople a situaticn unril then undreamed 0 f; namely, a chu rch of Frankish rite su b jeer '1:0 Roman jurisdiction. This church would of course eecire the fil£o~ que in [he Creed, alrhou gh rhis was not a r Rome irself Nicholas wasthus not only supporting the pclitical and culrural enemies of Byz3J.ntium~ but: irnplicidy guving his blessing ro this controversial interpolation in (he universal creed.

Iu 867 Patriarch Phorius accused Pope Nicholas of heresy in bis farn,ous: Encyclical and broke off communion with him ..

It is impossible "0 go into the detail of the long ccnflicr which ensued, Before long Phoriuswas depriv~d of his patriarchal throne by a dynasrk [evolution in Byzantium, In order ro 8tI'Crtgtherl their position.the restored [gn3ldus and his foHo'!tVe[S needed the support.of Rome, In a new ceuncil ar Consrarrriaople (869-870), under ehe pres.~d.ency of papal legates, Phorius was condem ned. and the Roman. primacy fou:dbHy asserted, However, [his wasrantamounr W a mere diplemaric maneuver on ehe part of the [gl13it1<tn party; f6'I dley could nOT be expected togo on JPpeaHng [0 principles rhatwere SO mach at variance wici1 cl'le age~olcl ccnceptions of the Eastern Church, Whi~e ehe council was being held Ignatiusreceived word that the Bu]garians h.;tdrerUfIled eo their allegiance to Byzamium.Khan Boris drove Out [he Pranks and requested rhe By-t:antine Clnirch to consecrare an archbhhop for his: church, ignoring rhe protests ·of rhe pa paJ Legates Ignatius welcomed me B~llg;u-]a[lmove" Only his death {8n} prevenred him &om being excommunicnted by Pope Hadrian JI. It is nor accurate, r.he:~fcm,;, to describe the Ignatian parry at Byzamium as a

~L _..; 'In

p<lp<tl party.

Meanwhile Phorius had been reconciled with IgPOl!dus and now fD LI nd. himself 0 OC~ ag<l in on the patriarchal throne (877). Since Providence willed rhar [he successor ofpopes Nichola~ I and Hadrian II should break with the pol icy of thesetwo po pes, pe~ce and harmony were once more restored to the Church.

AJl historical sources are ~rl s_grt;'cmem that Pope John \TIU (872-882) realized [he dange.r [0 Chf.~sr~.~n unity inherent .in r.he policy of h11:1 immediate predecessors, Like the popes of the rime of Charlemagne, he acknowledged the [ostice of the Greek point ofvlC'W with rega r.el torhe U$~ of the native l;\ogU<l.ges .i n [he liturgy and. [he exclusion of rhefiNoque from. [he Creeci.,.[""Ie g;ave suppon to St. Method ius in the la trer's [roll ble wirh Frankish missionaries in MoC'av~a> and, most Importanz of all, his legates ar the Council



of Constaneinople in 879-880. wh .. ich restores Phorius, condemned the famous "addition" EO [he Creed, together with the rest of the E.astem ChuJ:ch5' Fm the rest of his life Phouus remained groue-ful [0 Pope John for his restoration of the. unity of the Church and cited him as an example [00 those who wished co deny the authority of the Roman popes at .Byzantium. II: cannot be den ied, as: a matter of act, that the decisions 0 f the council of 879-880, which are Included in every Orthodox collection of canon law, must be regarded as the vel)' model of rheway in which the Orthodox Church conceives ofChrisrian uniry, that is. as a unity in faidi ro which the Roman primacy may indeed bear witness]. but of which it cannet i[seIf be the SOMrCe.

The tenth century <lind the fiesr half of theeleventh were not marked by any oursranding dash between East and West.. During this time [he papa'cy was passing rhrougb one of the most profound periods ofdegradation in irs ]ong: history]. while for Byzandum. on the contrary. this W~lS an age of glory under rhe Macedon ian em pem rs, whose conq nests grea rl y extended the boundaries of the Empire, an age of cultural progress, that of Michael Psellus, and Syme-ou '[he New Theologian; 'the age alsoof important missions [0 the Slavs and the Caucasus. The Byzanrines could :a.fford to ignore the pope', rhe primacy, and its &r-re<l;cbing claims, because the pope was not in a position 1)0 enforce them.

Hence rhey paid v,ery little attention to one evem of major importance-s-as things turned out. a pon,em ofthings to come. In 1.014 [he German emperor Henry H came to Rome to have himself crowned by Pope Benedict VIn; and. heeasily persuaded that pope, who was complerely under his influence. to allow the usc of a Germanic ritual in the ccrenaricn ceremony; this meant

6 L1mil recendy it was hdd that f\J!Je J ohn VIII late r repudlared h i.s ~~gare~ '~Ild excommunicated Photius anew .. Modem Catholic histcrtans (F. Dvornik, op, Cil', , cr.. also V. Grurnel, .'y ~ut-'il 1m second sehisme de Pho-!iu.s?~ in Rrosu~ des U'i~rit:fS phiiusophiqjj(!J '~f th'!1/;'giqlil!S, no. .H [1933]. pp. 'i32-57) hnve proved rhar [he second rhori.all Scll ~m is merely :~ "legend."

S~hism and Att.entpts l;;t Reunion


that rhe filioqu:e would be sung in [he Credo of the mass ill Rome.7 Thus ir came about that, because of [he laxness ~F1d indifference of the times; the frankly caesaropapisr outlook of [he Germ_,;m ~~ml~rd:~s became ~-esponsiblc fOft~e~ a~option '7 Rome of a doctrine which was rejected by (he Chum an East, In any case, from approxirnarely the beginning of the eleventh Gem;ury was no longer any eommumo in sacris between Byzanriurn and Rome.

The coIHrO,VeI"SY over the jitlof{J« as well as other points 11] dispute between Rome and Constanrinople could cerrainly have been settled, as had so many misunderstandings before [his time. Bu~ the rmgic r.hLog about developments in theeleventh century was that, 'because: they had mutually ignored each other for so long" East and WeH had lost thecomm'on ground which had formerly enabled them [Q come [Q an undersranding, Whenever dley attempted to restore communion-and this was done again arid agmi n in the medieval period-rhey were always P revented from agreeing upon a common language because of [heir diff'erenr. undersranding of the narure of the Church. For one side, the see of Rome wasthe sole criterion of'Tiueh; for rhe other, rhe Spirit of Trurh resided in the whole Church and normally expressed himMM by means of [he ecumenica I. OOU nclls,

Once of these attempts: occurred in 1053-1054, an occasion rhar has wrongl.y been considered as marking the beginning .of the

7 \Ve kno .... ' thls rmm Demo (De offid,o mi!ftJ,e, in PL 1 <12. (101. 1 06t}..6] ), who d= nor ex!}Ji:.c·i&1' rIlC1160Uil the fiiiiltpre. t4()'i~r, i~ is known [h~( the pOpE'S of die ntm:h t:entury ~l~(1 f(lrbrd.!en ~hc singing of (he Creed in dw. mass {il; Prankish custom) in order toavoid ~hc .1IJljlcar;1.I1Cl: (If :lpprl>Yilig f,hc Fr::mkish interpolation. Bcncdic; \1111 was no longer iii 3. posirion to keep Ilji this (]jllj(~rion. :I r i.~ worth nori ng. fh~r BYl~'ni ne GrildidOJlr regar--ds POjJie Sergill~ lv' (lOO9--1 012), th,~ pr~'(.k.:::ess()r oFIkncdkr Vlll, as [he nrS! pope ro profess cl'Le heresy of fi1wlfU,1' and ,IS h;~"'Lng been odq;ldcd From ~he dipIYC!lS ~~ Constartrinople 0111 thsr account. This C~:iiguelle~ of this iii fimlmr.i~J<r1. shO\, ... ~ wj,~,t ~Ul1I:le imporranee was anaehed eo tile evenr b}' Cimtf'TI1po'llric-£ ..

S A!; G. he'}' apdr 5.'lys iII his book. die singing of [heJHibqi~ iII the Creed ;.u Rome W;lS UI1 rerpr ·tcd as a sign of allegiance (0 dl<? Holy Roman Empire on dle Pill"[ of diu: pope ('Jh't! Byzmuine hf7'illfcblm [London, 1947)). p, 170).



srn]sm.9 It !rlUSE be admitted that the protagonists on both sides were reformers of their respective churches and the spirit oftheir reforms 'was hardly likely to be conducive 'to reccnciliarion,

The patriarch of Constantinople, Michael,. bad determined on a reform of the Latin churches III his 'OW[I diocese and even in 'chose throughout the entirepatriarchare. These churches fa...~ted on Saturdays, rhe Alleluia during Easrertide, and otherwise followed Latin customs which were- at variance wirh Byzantine practice and which appearedto be conrroversial. So the patriarch decided tha.t they must conf6.rm ro Byzantine custom in [he matters u rider dispute, and 'when [hey refused to do $0> he ordered me churches dosed. I[ hard.!y need be said that the latins of Constantinople did not s in:g the filioque in [he Creed rind. [hat is why there is lirde mendon of this subject in the controversial lirerarure of the. eleventh century.

In the Wesl: the Ch .. miac reform movement and its sympathizers were pushing .ahe~!d with their projects at [his time. The most important of [heir measures had already been. widely accepted by the Germanic world, bUI [hey were em.Joumering a still resistance on the pan of the Italians. Pope Leo IX, former bishop of'Tou], and. his en courage, particularl y Card.inaft Hu m ben 'Of Moyeurnouticr; were S[I~ong advocates of [he new reform. measures and were :,lJCtempting to win Italian <lcc;{;:p£<i.noe of one of them in particular, the celibacy of the d.ergy. The opponents of the celibacy measure did nor £.111 ropoint to the example of the Greeh" whose secular priests were regularly married, Endless controversy raged over questions I:hatwerereladvel Y unimporranr in themselves, @I nd was carried 'On by persons who were no doubt well-intentioned, bur who were 110~ always so well acquaineed with the true traditions of the Ch~lIch.

In spite of this mutual atmosphere 'Of distrust, the parriarch Michael Caerularius disparched [0 Pope Leo. IX, at the request of

? On file eveues 'or 1'0')4. ~"(! c$p.ei:ufl.lly A, Mi~h.d .• Humlt!!rr Imd KgndkJ';l1~ (p:iJerborn, l ?2'i- ! 93(1); ~nd G. Ever)" op. cit .. 'PP" .~ 53-69.

Schism .and Attemptl!' at Remr.iorl


the emperor" a letter offering to re-establish communion with Rome. In reply to this invitation and also in order [0' regul<tt<: the outstanding disciplinary and liturgical differences between the tW'o churches, the pope sent legates W Constantinople in 1054, headed by Cardinal Humbert, They were received with honor by [he empemr, but the pa tri arch refused all contact wi rh them. He charged that they had come aI the insistance 0 f Argyrus, the Byzantine gmrernor of Italy, a person of lombard odgiil and a follower of the Latin rite, whose pre-Gerrnaoic policies rhe parriarch d isliked, Caerula r ius also questioned the authenticiry of the papalletters which the legates had brought with them, His suspicions were perhaps justified since Leo IX was ar this rime a prisoner ofch:e" Normans in .lii:aly and would dues not have been in a position. it would seem, to sign offici a 1 documenrs.

Thwarted by the non-cooperative and even hosrile artirude of the patriarch, the I ega res stalked into Hagia Sophia during the celehrarion of the Jimrgy, deposited their famous sentence of excommunication On the: high altar, and then stalked out again, shaki61g rhe dust symbolically from their feet. The patriarch and his clergy were excommunicated for the !nOSE unlikely crimes: FC)l" h<i.ving (jmi'tted (!) '!i()qu~> from the Creed and for allowing the rna rriage of the dergy:, among others. Caeru la rius repl ied by s um ~ mooing a. synod and having thelegares excommunicated, in spite of a nernp[s of' [he emperor [0 smooth things over.

The events of W54 which seemed to pm a seal on the break bet''ire<:n Rome. <lind C..onsranti.nopIe did not in fact put an end to all contacts between East and ~les;t. The other &sce:rt'i parria rchs remained ~n o:mmllnion with the Latins for some rime, and at Consrantinople !tself the Latin churches and. rnouasreries remained open, 1(1 The rrue and B na] ru pw re on~y took place as a result of the Crusades.

Even today, it is rue f()[ Westem. historians I[Q pay adequate aetention to the reaJly disastrous p"r~ played by these great expedi-

HJ See p~nicl!:~~r!y G .. E'o\I!ry, tJP. eit., pp. i 53·,69.



dons in worsening the relations he tween East and Wes£. From the viewpoint of charch unirj; \Vhcnchey first~ea,d~!ed rheEasr, lands rraditjcnally Chrisdan but nowoccupied by the Moslems, the C rusaders began by .Lcknowledging the canonical righ ts of the local. bishops and entering into sacramental communion with them. Then: is much evidence, ~o fact, which pro-yes rharthe ecclesiastical rup~ure was nor yet regarded as finally consurnmared in [he eleventh or throughout the twelfth century. But the Latin princes and clergy of Outrerner gradually put an end eo this state of affajrs by replacing the Oriental clergy wirh "Larin clergy. MoS[ imponanr of all. itwas the infamous fourth Crusade which gave the final blow to the last ves riges of ch urch un i~y s'riU remain ing, The Venedan fleee conveying the Crusaders ro the Holy Land purposely veered oOff its course toward Consreorhiople-wirh the approval of the: Crusaders themselves, and. [he great city "guarded by God" was captured. and sacked in one: of the most Iamous but ",,]::.:0 disgraceful events in his[ot}~ The whole Wes!: was enriched. by rhe precious relics and Byzantine treasures carried off. and <JJ. Venetian patriarch, Thomas Morcsini, was installed in rhe throne of Phorius wirh [he approval of Pope Innocenr III. To the doctrinal d]fferenc,es separariug the Creeks and Laeins there was now added ~L new noee, natioual hatred, which helped to make .aH future auemprs at reunion more unrealistic than ever,

Yet these luremprs were made, and rather frequently Almost everyone of the Palaeologi, particularly Michael VIH,'iNho won Constantinople back from the Latins and re-established ehe Byzanrine Empire (] 259-1282), carried on discussions with [he popes regarding reunion, Political motives were unquestionably uppermost in their minds: f]['st the desire to protect their empire againse Laein aw~mpts eo retake if; then rhe hope of being able, with Larin help, to w;,jrd of ehe Tu r kish peri], which finally reduced rheir empire co lirrle more (han a beleaguered city. Only a new Crusade (!f could save Byzantium .. Bm before the popes WOu.1d do anything effective in the way of military help, they insisted that

S~;hism (;ltd Atumpts .Ilt Reunion


there mustfirst be reunion in ecclesiastical marters, Occasionally the Byzanti nco em pew rs would resort 1)00 force an order to break down the resistance of rhe Byz[lJl'r]ne Church and. impose a policy of reunion against the latter's wHl Thl1S atter taking pan in the COli neil of Lyons (1274) through repres(;;o ta dyes and accept i ng the II nion personall y" M ichael VI II i nscalled on [he patriarchal throne a pctS(}n sharing his own views, John Bellas, bur the reunion did not survive the emperor even by OD!;; day, Regarded as an apostaee, he '\VaS even refused Christian burial. The Emperor John V (I 341-1391) also embraced. Catholicism on a personal basis (1%9), but this [00 was without any ,effect in the ecclesiastical sphere. Wh ile rernai ni ng s ru b bornly op posed [00 any poli tically oriented. reunion, rhe Byzam:ine Churchwas not opposed caregoric..'llly [0 the idea of ill ncgo,da.ccd. peace in keeping with [he ancient canons and ecclesiastical custom. In order to bring this: about rhe Church insisted that it ¥Y'aS necessary to hold an ecumenical council which, .it was certain, would result in the triumph of Orthodoxy .. For a long time the popes refLJsed to entertain the idea of holding a council in which both sides. would be-represented as equals, bur [he idea. finally triumphed nevertheless, during [he first part of the fifteenth century, when rhe Great Schism of rhe We.';'t had. shaken the papacy to its very fmm.dations. The' pope.~ were afraid that the Gr,eeks might reach. an agreemem with the schismatic council of Basel and decided to authorize at lase a real ['I:;; un io 11. coo neil.

The council met first at Fcn-ax;}, then :1[ Florence (1438~ 1439'), and rhc mere fact that it was held at all constituted a kind of moral victory rQI' the East. An imporram Gl'eek delegarion headed by the ernpel'Ol' an d rhe pa triarch of Consrantiuople ~rdved. i I'). Italy and began theological d iscussi om wi fh cheWe.sIern theologians and prelares. Th is course of these discussions showed. how difficul t ir would be to reach an ag.reelnem of basic issues, for minds were not yet prepared co revise their chinking on certain points. The problem of the fiHoque, for example was cornphcared by the fan [hat the



ROm:;l:~l Cluux::b. held rharic had. ,d[ deEmed .. ~hL) matter dogmatieally and was U nwHling 1)0 So back. em its pervious decision" RegmJing the problem of the Reman, we can only $;:I;Y that it 'W:aS ha~dly more r.hflfl touched. upon a tflorence. After weeks a nd even months of wran,giiIl:g"l:_~e Greeks f~.BaHy had. to &tee [he unpalatable aI rernarive of e.irhe r yielding ro the Romm point of view or breaking .off the talks and attempting to ,",ope with the TLl.rkush threat alone" .Moral and fwat),cia.~.pressure finally conspired m force them to accl!p~ th.e5.fH aln~rnadlR:" The majoriry ill Iengrh yidded<l![ld signed the acr of reunion. On Iy ehe mersopoliran of Ephesus, .Mark Eugenicos, held out and refused to fo]low :sukAnothe;r ou~:; tlreologian, Schclarios, ehe future pat:d~J:d" ~l~',~~ Florence before - [he end of the d iscussicns,

As. SOOl1! as [hey rem rned home the Greek delegates for the most pau repudiated d.ei r signamre,when oonf~;o:n~d by the gene.nd dt$~pproW.~ of the people. When Meu;opol i can Isidore of Kiev reached Moscow ro proclaim the reunion there. he was ~mprisor:le.d and on~y succ:e~ded in escaping to Romewith grear difflculty, Thee 'BYlan sine empelfor I ohnVIII and his SUCoeSSOl:, Constantine XI, remained fa~rhfLl.1 tothe union, but they did nor dare proclaim it offidaHy in Hagia Sophia until 1452. The follcwing year, in l453,the OtWIUan Turkish ruler .Mohammed II cnrered New Rome as it conquer·or and the By:l,~mine Empire ceased [Q exist, The fl.rst task of rhe newpatriarcli, Gennadio:s Scholarios, waS to repudiate ehe Union of B~f\en.Ge offic~aHy.

There C~ n be ~'O doubt, as we have said, that the real] y pw~ £ou~.d. reasons for rhe schism between Eas [ a.n.dWegr sre 0 f a doctrinal and rheological naeure, the mose impon<lnr issues being those concerning the Ho~y Spiri~ and the narure of the Chu[·ch. Differmt views :;ibo1,1~ doctrine have abo prevented agreemen~ fro m bei ng reached 0 n J. n umher of m inor points 0 f <11 poli tical, canonical, orlirurgical nature, for, in spite of all, boch sides ha'w:: made sincere efforts to come to ~~OmC kind of imdersranding. If

Schhm andAttempts at Retmitm


these efforts have faUed, ir can .Qn~y be because the !eaUy bask Issues of 11 doctrinal na I ure were never discussed. seriously. From the thirreenth century on, all discussicns between the popes and emperors regarding reunion wok place i [I an atmosphere dorninated more by politicalthan by religious consideration, rhe Byz;~ antine ChUl~Ghun;elf remaining Jargely outside rhe jricnire, Moreover, those discussions showed. that the West harbored QO.m~ p]eteJy false ideasabour the existence ofB}7amine caesaropapism and !:hough~ [ha[i[ was S u.fficien L EO win over [he emperor to gai 0 the allegiance of the whole Church. it was wlth this: in mind. that the popes encou raged rhe personal conversion of Emperor John V in 1369. Even roday the view .LS quire common that [he "schism" had its mots: in caesaropapisrm nevertheless it 13 a fact rhat from the eleveurl; century rheemperors were almosr consisrenrly in Llvor of reuuion W1[1:1 RomebecJuse of the undonbred pol! tical <lava nrnges to be derived fwmi r, and they tried to bring reunion about at all cosrs, even by [he IJ..Ise of brute force. Equally ccnsistently, since the time (,If M ichael Caerularl tIS, the pa triarchs, or mos r .of rhem at any nl!.re, 01' posed their eHoflcs in rhename of rhe true faith. By so m~c1. Oft the emperors to bring: about reunion, the popes were rdying, Oictually" on a caesaropapism which did nor infact exist,

We must fooely confess, how,¢ver,.chat even ifs,e!:ious ~heologi~ cal discassions were ro rake place, there run be no assurance [hat they would result in a speedy agreemen ron ·fiJ adamentals, The discuss ionsa~Fk)[e~'Ge proved fhis., for [hey were se rious from the decrrinal point of new regardless of [he outceme, Agueement was possible only on the basis of a. conunontradi rion ~ bur rhe overwhel rning impact of scholascictheology the doctrinal fo.rm. ulas and deHnidons connecred with it {such as; the approval of the jih't'q'ue by rhe Council .of Lyons in 12.74)~il.nd flMHy the farreachi ng reformsaffecting the ve ry naru ~e of the Church in the Wes[ bl"mlgh[ about by the gr~<l.t popes of che Mjjd!le Ages made conversatic usextremely di ffic1,1k

Chapter 4,


w:c e have seen how [he ehr istologi cal dis putes i 0 die f fdl <. centu ry resulted in the loss to the Orthodox: Ch urch ofwhole nations ofnon-Greek origin (Copts" Armenians, Syrians, Ethiopians), some 'Of whom refused to a,cceP[ che decisions of the Council o.f Ephesus (4:31) and adopted a Nesrorian profession of faith, while others accepted Ephesus but refused [0 acknowledge Chadcedon {451} and professeda f3iirh rlmr was the very opposite of Nestorianism, namely. Monophysitism, Both the former and the larrer looked upon [he Church of the Empire with undisguised suspicion, regarding it as a mol ofthe emperors .. That church was: now virtually 'conterminous with the Greek and Latin pardons of the Empire.

Nevertheless, despite rhe losses sustained in the East, the 31'1.amine Chun:::h remained active in rhe missionary .fidd like its sister church in. [he West. Most of rhe Slavic peoples were convertcd from Constantinople and received their Bible,'gy; canon law, and spirirualiry from there. The Byzand~e method of spreading the Gospel involved transl.aring both the Scriptures and the liturgy into rhe language spoken by the people of the counrry and then establishing new eh urches madded in all res peets 011 the "Grell Church" <lit Consraurinople. This method diffel'eci. fundamentaljy from char p ursued in the \,\leH, where rn issionaries .... rere at pains to impose Latin as [he common liturgical tongue; it sufficed] however, to preserve a uniry of cub among the newly converted nations. This li~urgic-al unity soon became uniform




th~,o:ughoU[ the. East in ~ny case, for the peoples of non-Greek ~:r~gln.wh~ had kept the ancient liturgies of J\ndoch and J!JCX<ln,dtla abandoned the Orthodox Church for the most parr, as we have s~en. _ However. iI is irnporram torealizerhat this liturgical centralization was not a matter of principle with the Byzantines. for. ehe <?nhodox ;=hlU'ch has always admitted the legi ti rnacy of van ems nres, bu[ the cultural and. political prestige of Consranti~ople was so great in rhe medieval period thae liturgical uniformuy often. '~m~ about of irs own accord: the provinces naturally tended t~lmll:;lr.,e the rnagnificenr and imposing ritual. '0,[ me Queen C;:Ity on [he Bosporus. Thus II hapP'en1ed that the nOHGreek Churches of Syria, Egypr, and Palestine, which remained Onhod.ox, sooner or later adopted the Mdkite orimperial .. rite of d?e capical, The By:z;.1.mine liturgy 'WaS also adopred by the GeorgIan Ch~iLd'l,,, a distant ompos[ of Chakedonian Orrhodoxy, founded in the founh ceorury and long subjecr W rhe jnfluence of Antioch.

Th:~s', many if not all of the S]avs too caine to adopt the ~yzannne .. form of Christianity. The Bulgarians (863) and Russrans (938), earn in. turn, were baptized en masse, foUowing the example set by their ruling princes, Boris and Vladimir. The conversion of [he Serbs, from the ninth century onwards', was more gradual, as was that of the Walachians, Larin colonists who had settled in the region of [he lower Danube andwould later be kn?wn .as .Romai'l~am;. Byzantine missionaries also penerrated into Bohemis m th~ ninth century-where the an::hbishopr]c founded ~Y S[, Methodius was later taken Over by the German and 00011- formed [0 the Larin rire-e-and in the rendi century cenverred rhe ~j~n5, a people resi~j!1g northof rhe CauCMus .. Thus, rhespiriraa] Influence of Byzantium carne to extend. fmm rhe Caspian Se-a ro [he Alps. kWil5 nor seriously affected by r.he decline and f3lJI ofthe Byz.1.nt.ine~mpire, and rhis general area constituted what may be called [be Orthodox world, until rhe modern Diaspora of Or thodoxy to other paWl of the globe,


In accordance w.i.[h the rwenty-eighth canonof the Council (If Chalcedon, the patriarch (lof Constantinople had the right to consecraee new bishops for [he missionary churches, H:e also anemptedrc keep them <IS long as possible under his direct control, an aim [hat was sometimes dlfficJLI,I[ to realize. \'\'he'n. the Slavs became Christians they were content to enrer the ranks of "civilized peoples'land adopt Byzantine customs bur they were not happy about the continuance of Greek control, From B}'"Lan~ dum they took over the Byzantine theory of [he state according eo which there was only one Christian empewf 01"1 earth, that of Constantinople, rhe proreeror of the universal Chmch and the chosen of God. The Bulgarians and Serbs, each in tum" arrern peed to conquer the imperial crown for their own rulers, but both failed beforethe stout walls of Consranrinople. They consoled themselves for their inabili lY to achieve this po I ideo:'! goal by creating nation a ! churches for themselves .. Constantinople was forced to reco gnize [he situation and grant them the .rigln co elect their own bishops, bur as soon as conditions became favor~ able the Byzanrines would withdraw rhis right and re-establish [heir direct control, This right of the national churches to chose [heir own bishops will loner he known as "aurccephaly"

Thus, in addirionro [he four traditional patriarchates ofthe East, Constaruiao ple, Alexandria, .An tioch, jerusalem-cofwhich .only the firsr had ~ny real authority-e-from [he ninth to me Hf:i:eenth aeIlU,U:Y, during the Middle Ages, mere was created a whole series (if Slavic autoeephalous churches (Greek auto-, "self," kr:phak. "head"), whose heads vvere metropolitans or archbishops but sometimes also received the tide of "patriaech .. ;' Bymntine canon law has always been sufficienrly flexible 1!O' allow fm considerable fluctLJ.atioJrls inthe course of it; history: unity of fuidl rather than unity of organization has been regarded, as we ultimate bond unieing the cburches.

Th is syscem, the basic featu res of which are St~U in effecr, was rantarnount (0. an organic. development of the principles of



ch urch government as laid down by ehe f rsr ecumenical coun cils, We .may remember that ill the time of jusriuian (527-565) the Clurreh was thought of as constituting a Pent:uchy. The five patriarchs were invested wi~h ak i nd of eel lecti ve primacy in 'rhe Church and consecrated :rhe metropclirans in thei r respective areas. Wi[hin the Pentarch y rhere WaS an honorary order of pEec~~ deuce which accorded the fifst place to the bishop of Rome, who was then followed by bishops of Constan rinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and. Jerusalem. S ince the schism be tween Eas ~and \X7est has resulted un [he breaking off of communion with the first see, In the Orthodox Church wd",y the patriarch of New Ro.roe is regarded as hillving in heri red the Roman primacy .I~ ho:!.td ~y~c>ecIs to be stressed that its precedence of sees and transfer of primacy were not regarded as a matter .of "divine right," since all bishops are equal with respec[ [0 the sacramental functions of their office. However, the myth of an ideal theocracy and a single: Christendom, as formulated in [he time of JU5!]rVall, remained rooted in the Byzanrine consciousness. This is why [he Byz,flncine,s continued to venerate the memory 'Of the early popes and were always ready to restore the Romanprimacy; provided Orthodoxy were restored ~n the West. This is the way Symeon, a fif[eel'uh-· cenmry archbishop cf Thessalonica, a theologian, a commenrntor on (he lit urgical ri res , speaks of rhepossib U Ii ty of reunion: "There is no po in fin qtl arreling wi rh the LI, ~i ns Over the Roman primacy, Only let them show that he [thebishop of Rome] adheres: to ehe faidl of Peter and that of [he SHcor.<;SOrS of Peter, andhe will rhen receive the privileges of Peter, he win be the fiest, the coryphaeus and head ofall; he will be rhe supreme pontiff." L Canonical unity [h us depends upon uni I)' 0 f!-o.,. a nd the Iarrer must be evident by itselfand netdetermined by some exrernal criterion,

The survival ofthe penrarchic conception did not preveur [he E~IStienl potriarchs, with the exception of [hat of ConstJndnop~:e,

I Dittl~gUi am!m ha~rITf't, l~G :I ') 5 . col. ~ 20 B.

.frmTl~il'l!g shorn" in the coinse of the M.idd]e Ages~ of most or d!l.eir [Oriner splendorandpewee The Moslem conq uests reduced the size of their flocl{,S8ifid isolated rhem fronJrheres~ .of Chfisrendom .. Henceforth ~he Ch urch of Constantinople became the real centerof the Onhodox WOI'.id.. The ancien r canons conferring On her [he dglu of appeal frcm theentire Church, the decline of the other parriarchates, me missionary conq Ue.SI;S of d~ By-zan ririe Church, andthe prestige .of the "'Grear Church" of Hagia Sophia: allconrributed "0 endow her-with an aurheritywlrhoar parallel, The po]]tical decline of the Byzantine Empire also helped to enhance the presdge of ~he ecumenical parriarchare, for me latter retained powe[' in the spiritual sphere comparable to that which W:;IJS slipping the hands otrhe eJ!uperof.2, In the fourteenrh century we find the patriarchs aai:vdy im¢j'fed~'l!g in. ehe religious as well as the politic: .. al affiim of Eas--tern Europe, settling domestic quam:;]..., for the RUS$i~~n feud<l.r princes, n~godad ng with the king of Poland overthe srarus of his Orthodox. SL,lbjeor.s, and fi'usmn:ing ;.n. a[(empts at reunion with Rome. Bu,t in exercising this au tcrtodty they never claimed ro beun&!liMe. History IX;Y'C'1O!tS mQraQ¥er that there were fur too many heretical patriardrs for any such claimto be taken sCfious,~y. As lare as 1347. for example, joh r.t Calecas ~s deposed .. fur having supported the reaching of a ccnderoned monk, Akindynos,

This centralized control over the BYZ'<I.mine world achieved by the ecumenical patriaechs from the nimh cen w. ry onwards has been effective in making th.e Orthodox Ch.urch. "'Byzamine,"· somewhat i:rn Ike same vroy that the Catholic Church in tneWeS't. was dom i na red by Rome and is today termed "Roman .'" Tbis pl'Ocess of BYZiln6nizatiQ]1 may be observed. ~n borh the liturgical and. the devotional as we-I! as in rhe canonical spheres.

The Christian Hnngy has been give" various forms and these in turn have gone through various transformaricns in the course

:2. S~C on rhi~ ~nbjcc(, G. OSLFOgcmky, H1Mry IJj'dle Byvmtine SMt.r~ (New Br:u.mwldk, NJ~ R'ltg~~ liuive.[ii;iry Press, 19)7)., PPI. 577-78.



of history, in borh East and We$[, in response: to' new conditions and j n accordance with. the pecul i at gen ius of different peoples. The Church of Constantinople, for example, did nor have any liturgical tradition of Its own prior ro the feu rth (en tlilry';, bu r II gradually created a. new rite which was greatly influenced by Antioch. This new Byzan tine .rire a.1 ready possessed all the essen ~ rial feanlil'(!s which it now has,) by 'the ninth oemury, at the time when ie wall carried to the far corners ofrhe Byt:aruine world and became theli,turg}' of numerous peoples. I[ is celebrated today in many different languages and is regarded as a powerful. b~,od, uniting diverse nstionaliries who fc;-:el that it is an expression of rheir one Qrthodox faieh, The custom of translating it into a language understood by the people has hd,red to root the liturgy in '[he .minds of the faithful, who look upon rheir participation in the common prayer of the Clrurchas an Important sign of belonging to idle Body of Christ. This is nor a question of mere rieualism, but an appreciation of tbe wrpo.ra:te significance of the Gospe.1 message combined with rhe realization that the new life in Christ is indeed rnanifested by and communicated in the sacramental nature of Christian worship, Thus is why the Orthodox ~ayman pays particular attention to the form and mariner in which the HnU'gy is celebrated. He never regarded ] t, as does his brother in the Wes[ who is accustomed to a. lirurgy celebrared in a language which he does nor understand, as an act involving on]y '[he priest, but feels responsible himself fo.r <1.11 that is done in [he house .of God .. This awareness as [0 Wh~H is taking place, it can readily be appreciated, makes it difficu1c to carry our reforms, whether good Or bad in nature. Actual schisms have resulted from anemp rs ro change the li m.rgy in mi no r res peets, This dose con ~ trol which rhe Ch urch exercises over i ts own I iturgycauses it to view as; suspect rites with which. .i [ has n or been do s ely in to uch since [he Middle Ages, 'espech:dlyWe$~eril va ria dons=wrongly so"

~ La~cr ch~ltges. pSTtiiGlII;lr1y by Pmiarch .I'hi:lo[ ilb th~ fuu rteenrh "'~!lnll)', were concerned OIlI}, "~·irli m.i !lOT point'S and rhe .FLilb ICs,

Tb« Government of the Orthodox Clmrch


however, It is also Hue that this genuiIi:e~y living lic'urgy; which is Hnnly rooted J n the language of each coun cry and has. of [en been i I1Sr.I1.I.memru, in f6,rming; rhar ~ anguage itself, can often serve [0 keep the faith. alive Under [he Turkish <lind Mongo] yokes the Ch.ristians -o,f '[he Ease were s rrengthened ,i n theirfaith by the celebration of the liturgy) and so it is in Russia mday, where the liturgy remains [he only means a~ the disposal of the Church for eommunicaring [0 the faithful. [he truths of religion in the midst ofa Marxist stare. The revival of Christianity in Russia shows once more rhat the school of rhe li HI.rg)" CaJJl be a very pment infl uence,

It is not possible here to linger over [he details of the Byzantlne litmgy.4 Various ]iw,rgica1 cycles, daily weddy, annual, and pascha.l, correspond in .Iarg,e part to similar cycles in crher eradirional liturgies, but in coorrasc ro rhe rarher austere: Latin Iitul'gythese cycles ate much. richer and more elaborate. The Psalter fur d'lt dailyoffice (vespers, compline, nocrurn or midnighe prayer> matins, prime, terce, sext, none) are supplemented by a great many different kinds ofhymns which vary according to rhe seasons or feast day. These hymns <life collected in three books. whichare used a r different rimes of the yea.r:

L The 'J}£a:diott; and rhe PenteNostari"o'f]. contain the variable pcrrions of [he lirurgy and office for Lent and Easterride. Many of the hymns are from the pen of St. Theodore rhe Smdi[e (beginning of the nimh oentury).

2. The OctoecHUS ('Greek Oktoe'Cho:s, "book ot eighr tones") includes the cycles of eight weeks which begins with [he fi.m Sunday after Pentecost <lind is rhen repeated throughout the rear

4 The mNt C(lmpreh(!'J:'i,sive se:! of rranslarioes is (0 be round i!Ti rh~ RQQk tl tbl! D~'t)it~e Pm)'.:"/'!; arid Sh"yi:U5 0/ .~:he Ct.uhqlir Orthod",~ Cimn;b i)f C'briM. p'LI;b!is.l:ied. by (he Syri~~i. Am'loclhielj,e Archdiocese of Allflerica. Fm a gelil~ir,'I! !ir1J~r"()c1ilctio.r1 eo '[h.'~ B"yz-ilntine ri[~. see S, S<lila",me, Elm~m l.ittilgie; (1oI1lJQn,19.?.'l.}; Ma also Nr,dlolJa.~ CilbiiSj~ru,.A C~mm,emli'ry on the Diuin.r Utur!J, rr, by J M_ t-IuS£ot')" (Lolldon: I'%O~. This fuil.rr'~> I'Y rommemary on the Bymmi ne E.l!.ld'l:trj~!.ic servjcc h ·yery .1 mpouruu for gaining an il1lsight i nto dlc m~~niJlg and spirit of rhe Eastern I,iwtgy.



U:k!!I:i] the foUow'ingLent .. Each 'Week hils a. dHferen t tone (~cIJOt). The Oc1a«hus establishes a link between. each day in me year and Easterjooe F"eaSt or Feasts" since I!:he mllin theme ofche book is [he. Resurrecrionr if is trnditio:n.a]ly ascr.i~ed to St. John ofDrunascu5 (eighili century).

3. The .M(m'dion. 0:[' .Mena£a. (Greek. men, "mmu:b"), .fina]iy} cnrresponds to the sanctoral of the Latin liru fgy and contains the variable portions for the feasts of saints and other feasts throughom the year wh~ch3iIe not coo necred with the paschal cycle.

Every day;che.l'efoI'e, has its own oftlce composed ,of Olin in:v:m:iable portion consisting generolly of excerpts from. rhe Bible, a variable series: ofhynms from I:he Oc:mechus or Triodion ($omedmes during Lenrthe two are used together) or Pentekastar'icm,and flllally pardons of the Menaiorl, Only monasteries, of course, are ina posicion ID celebrate (he offices in their entirety, according ro the rubrics inrhe Typ]kon, wh ida. goesback to the f01;l~~eend.l cennrries ill".l!dl descrlbes me .~ inwnich me various cycles are ~Q be: combined. The offi~ is essenrlally a monastic oltlce and parishes have to adapr .UI[ ro [heir needs :3_S besr they can. '$ This is one sign of the stlDng:inlflu~nGe which rnonasricism 11.<15 traditionally bnd on the On:hodo..t: Church.

The CIL.lSmm of celebratingthe .eUchJ1:]SIk liturgy ona daily basis was of rdativdy ~<l:te origin, both i time Easr and in meWesc. HQWiI!vi(:';r,i~: has never become widespread in theEast, hence the Orthodoe; Chm:ch is ~N fW:'I1H.iar wiih any ob]igation of priest to celebrate daily-che I iwrgy~s not regarded as t'.heir private affair bur at> an acr i nvol ving the who]e Chu tch-· -and. [he I.inugy has retained some OfiES meaning as a~com_rnon work, " a solemnity involving me whole community which normally takes place only on Sundmys and feast days. But while OIT.h.odoxy does nor ,U:~jdl any particular importaaceto the fl'equengr'With which mass .IS ce:lebrated,6 is has

') The tC~lme~i~'ifLl.I"~rrl~l'Chmc p~I;J i.shd au ilhrid!.ged T'JP.ikorl~botlI fifty fcar~ :lg.o ro-r the IJ~ of p~r.ish ehuechss, This i~ IJS(.,J by Orrhodo« churches l,d~(ll~ bllgjj~g·e.i~ Greek, [The Lad n o:ff~ is ~I.!>Q essenriailya monasdc offio.:,-TnJllSktror] 6 There ls no m~c either {lHbili;(l, (J'r the d~ily cdcbrn~iorl of d}(~ ~jmrgy, Only in m()[l[l;S[';::ri<cs and brge parish elturches is ir GU$(QmlL[)' eo have daily n(U[gics.

The Government of the OrtiJ.od(.f.x Church


inherieed fr·o·m.Byzandum a spirirualiry suong].y miem:edrowa.rd [he sacramental life. Bodl as a. memorialend a-s al1anddpo:ltion of the wo rld woome, [he Eucharist is the place where till; Church iden t.u.fle.s itself with~.he Kingdom of G(.Hl This is the essential meaning of the celebration held on "d"e eighth day" of [he week, the Lord's Day.

The Byt;arJ!dn~ rire has preserved ;l number of ~he counrless vari<1.~.~ons which zmce chsracrerized the Hwrgy of rhe a ncienr Cbli,lrch;OO. exam. pfe,.iI has two eucharistic liturgies wbich are used. on differe1'll[ occasions, [hal ofS[. John Chrys~swm and that of Sr. Basil A third type of Umrgy. celebrated at Jerusa]em and occasionally elsewhere, is traditionally attributed to St. James the brother of the Lord? Du.dng Lent .it is customary not tocelebraee the liturgy ex.oept on Saturdays and Sn nd@iYs:. in accordance with the canons of ancient cou ncils: the fo'l1)t is intended eo impress on ' Christians the meaning of the fuUeril. stare i:l'!l which mey ~ow are I!.Imi I rhe Pam usia, d.espire the [ISS urance of'salvation which iseven now wirhin their gl'as p. Lent ]5 therefore a period. of expectation interrupted only by (be domiuieal limrgies and terminating in the triumphal paschal nturgy~ the amid pation of the Second Com i og of Christ. On certain days du ring Lent, however, it is customary eccelebrare .• 81 form of vesperswhen communion is disui.bmed which. has been reserved f,wm the p receding Sunday. Thisis GI.Ued rhe Liturgy of rhe Presancrified, a .. OO.r.m of service tradnlonally ascribed roSr, Gtegoty rhe Grear, [he pope ofRome .. S:

7 We C"trlilIO[ g(li:ilJ~() [he qllwi..c)i~ OoF [ne au ~l'~mki,~ (If these] irmgi¢·s .heitt, ~n ,lin}' =: whether Ihq alie 1[00 be amJbmoo ro ~hb {If It![II[ person 1$ ~ 'lLl(_~ioli of re~~r.Lc~dy HtLn.or lmpon:nnce because the Ikmgy has ailW"ays b-:.,'f,;n t~gltr&M as d~e [iulrty ()f',[(h.~ Chmeh a.!ld !lO( ~h~_~ of ~_[jy jr.lrti~I)~~f p~r501ii ~ Sl;Icit, li!liJr~stS soom co :l:gITC tOday rb~f d~e hru!ld of SI. H~~i.1 C~_l1 be =11 ill th,~ c~llmlwhiccll bears bib Il=~.i!ol!t S~. Johrn Cfl,lYS0500m ~crt~~mi!y ntw;:r c()mpib:l the ~jl[ljrgy whidt !1LOW b~9.r,s his Jt1lm~ nnd "dlidh i~ ·of ~ i:Ht, d~~e, Both li~u~gie.s have,rgon~ [J'i~i ~alli[)liii~,~V~1l 8&<:£ the f(!lurV;~[jr.h g;:nntry_ The Liturgy .[)t S~ james aJSO[liPpc:!lf~ to bdoJ:lll: to . d:t~B.F:an~il1ic !:yp~ ~nd [Iii~fore cannot h8~~ kLcl ~n.y oonneerien ,""d,rh the i)rmJltr .[}fthe lord ..

8 The Sh:d~ ECllimenjc~J Council {Qu inhe~~, Canon 5:2.) forbi.dls ehe ~J.<1lb.~adoll of d1e Ijnug~es during Lent, and prescribes .{he c~l~bi1uiolll ofdl.e ~Plres~cdnoo""



Like all rrsdlrional eucharistic prayers [he Byzantine COli non has the form of a solemn thanksgivjng which the bishop or priest offers [0 God the Fathe t. Because rhe Church is the Bodv of Chrise, the Son of Go d, iii: ]S privileged to address i ['S:df direo~ry co [he Father in commemorating [he redemptive work of the Son and in invoking the descent ofthe Holy Spirit "on us and on these Gifts here pre.sent" (Liturgy of St. John Chrysoscom) so thar they may be ,changed into the Body and B 1.0 od of [be Lord. d1!.is crini ta ri an cha racter of the GIJlOJi!l., which reaches its cui minating poinr in the solemn invocation of the Spirit (epiciesis), ]8 regarded as essential by [he Orthodox Church. and. the lack ofthis fea.mre in. the preselH' Roman mass since the ea rly Middle Ages 1S held to be a grave defecr, I t is the Spidtt aCitQ.laJly, who reveals the graoe of redempti.on in die Church a.fJ[er the ascension of Chrise "Wh.en the Ln,1[h~giving Spirit, who proceeds fwm the Father" has come co befriend YOu; he whom I will send to you fe,om the Father side, he will bear wi mess ofw.hat .1 was" (John 15: 26).

Orthodox t..;;ailil1lJg aJways 11.1$ emphasized 'the [{!ality of the sacramental. change (metao().fe) in rue Eucharist by which the bread and wine are transformed intothe Body and Blood of Chrise, However, neither the lil],lI,'f,7 or [he Fathers nor any authentic Orthodox texr prior IO the sisteenrh oenrury uses me 'term "rransubstantiaeion" (Greek merouiiosis) ro describe [his rnyMel"y. This term is empkryed in later Orthodox. confessions of&id1 intended to dd~ne thereaching of the Churchwirh respecr to Protestant .op.iniom on [his matter, but here ]8 always the reservation that fh<:: term .is only one of several thar oou~d be er:n.ployed and does nor imply thar the Church intends ro adopr r.h~ Aristmelian philosophical theory ofform and maDt,er.9

Besides the Eucharist, the ChU,[cfl also acknowledges the existence of six other sacraments, wirhour, however, holdi I'l,g that m~ number seven has the same absolute character assigned ro ] r by

9 S~e :spec.i:llly rhe Dmj~h)tl of DiI~i!Jm'fJ {] 6n:~. art, 17. in P. SchaUf. Thr Cruds 0/ Omst.ffuliJnI., vel .. il (New York, H!89)., p. 431.

The G01Il'!rnment of the' ,orthodox Church


Western post~ Tddentine theo[ogy. No Orrhodo« council, as a matter of fact. has ever defined theex:act: number of the S;lCI.'amears. 'I he number seven was fitst mentioned in the East only in [be thirteenth oentury)a~ 'c.he rime of thc<!JiLti.l1li.zing" (tadnop!mJ'}'l()s) empelim: Michael _lP:aI.aeologu~ V1It Several Byzantine theologians such as Symeon of Thessalomca (fifteenth.c(;:mu~) fornI1illyaccept th,e number seven fot th,e sacraments, but others ill ~e fifteenth and sixteenth e,emuries hold that certain other sacred nres ougb t 150 be regfl:rded as sacraments, part]cularly the as:'umption o~ me monas~ic habi r. and (he blessing of the waters at Eptphany. St. Gregory Palamas ['efers to baptism' and (he Eucharisr as '\~ca.pitll]atjfig;'

1 "-~I IL I_~ f I. G· d M·· "Hl d

(:summing up) by rhemse ves ;.-IJl. tile worsso tne· .. 0 ~." .. an, _ .. an

thus withou L denying theeffic;;i!cy of other sacraments, esm.bHs:ftes a certain hierarchy!!ig memo This appa(en [ lack of a precise terminology is a[i. indication that ByLancine theologians regarded the Glrisr;:ian Mystery as a unique mystery expressed in d1fferentw~y:s by the various sacmmenm] acts .. /md th,ere was no doubt dt~tt among all these acts ehe Eucharist Wd;S [he Mystery of Mysrerie5, ro use an expression ofPseudo-Dim.1ysius. The doctrine of'Seven Sac:ramen~ ~s franldy mislead.i.l1g if the impression is given thar Unction of the S].ck is equally important as the Eucharist or baptism, or that redem[,[[ve grace is nor i mparted by sa,o-amenr:J acrs such. ~ t_~e Blessing of the Watc-fs. It is a convenient eool, however, for catechencal purposes and this is why it has been adopted Ln. t~x.tbooks and manuals. (We must now sav a word hriefly .about each ofchese sacraments.)


Baptism is conferred 011 infants In [he form of a rriple im::n~rsion in the W;)Jet" asthe names of the three Persons of rhe T:nn.u:y

are invoked.

Confirmation is generally conferred along with. baptism in one rirc. The Orthodox Church feels that ehe pmcess; of Christian inieinaion, involving baptism, wnHllm:uion alll.d communion in

10 Seeour /m:rrmuftilJft it tt#!JuJ~ G1ig(lire f>tdl1t1lm {1l\i1r.i,..,,, ~dhiotl!S dLU Seuul, 1.959l. p.




the No.1)' Mystc;;rie$~ conseituees an inseparable whole, which ought eo b e conferred ou each new Christian as such, whether childor ndulr. This belief that baptismand confirmation belong together is 3!( the basis of the Orthodox custom of conferring them at one and the same time" ~] It LSC:L,ISEorn<lry for Orrh!Odo~ priests to confe.r both sacramentswhereas in the West confirrna-

',. 11 d bi L rz Old . c; •

tion is norma y reserve . ro LSl!lOpS. .." rtno ox, connrmanon

consists of an. anointing with rhc Holy Chrism, which. has been specially blessed by the bishop; U::f hence theterm Chrismrrrioll cusecrnarily applied ro it in (he Eas r,

The sacrament of Holy .orders includes rhe three traditional orders: the episcopate, priesrhood, and diaconare; andtwo minor erders: subdiaconare and. lecrorare. Ever since the sixrh ce.nm.ry (§usdrrLul's law"bter confirmed by [he COLJ.l.'l!Cil in HuHo) it hils been. (he rule [0 choose the episcopateexclusively from~he celibate monastic dergy, .rn~.rded men> on [hie cmnrary •. may be

dai d d 14

0.. ame· asc eaoons 01' pnesm.

The ,Marriage rite is an impressive ce.remon.y called "Crowning." The Lerd's precepr regarding the iJJt~gdty and uniqueness or marriage is held re be of <loahsol ute nature, and very strict regulations are in effecI so En as rhe cle rgy are concerned; for example, it is impossible fOf <I nyc ne who has contracted a marriagewirh a widov .. • [0 be ordained priesr, Divorce, however, is allowed in certalu cases where the grace of the sacrament has manifestly been depriv(;d of un; (;:fHcacy, whether by the faulK of one of rhe spouses [adultery), or because of some marerialimpedimenr EO the fulfillment of {he conjugal bond,

~ 1 ({'I11 f] rl1(!~(iQn b only mofcued ~P~[i fwm b~ptism iii C~U~ili cases when h,~r~r{lo[l()x p(!:r,wn~ me reconciled wi~:h ~h~, Chll;fl::h,

~ 2 The l:>id10IJiS\.VC re rhe normal In in lsrers of borh b~p~hm am! O':lnfiJm~~Uml in tile ffifJy Churdi ..

i~, A~e(Jrd ing to th(!: pr(!'!>tnttljtti.pli(i.~ o.nly irfiil>ormm eplscopal sees have dl~ ri,gluro prtp3l:t ,and bl~:oi$ ~b~ H()!y ell {i I'L vo!'~[ng an elaborate rima!) , whlclrri is rh~11 disnibmed to the dioceses and parishes,

14 M'lrrhg,;: ~JiCL' ordinm-ion ~ . nd second m~ rri~gcs ot'widzym!(! p.nie.~I:S ~r,~ st [jedy f<"~nb,jddt!~L

The Govemmm t of the Ortf)odox Churcb


Penance has genem.Uy become all aer of a private nature tod<r.y~ [IS in [he Wes~, Icessentially involves rhe reconciliation ofa sinner wi.dlJ. the Church ~hr()~gh a remission of his sins, andir is also .11. "healing of [he soul" m confession, The various fOfmulia~ for absolu.don in use are of the deprecativekind: that is, ~&l.e priest prjYs for the pardon of the sf !'In;er,~h:e acruai forgi veuess corning from God, not from [he pries II. However, a. seventeen th-cen tm')' merropolirau of .Ki.ev, Peter Moghil.a, did not hesitate to adopt a forrnLiJa ofLatin inspiration in the Slavic ritual which he published, In which is .U[ [he priesrwho absolves in [he first person {ego abs,oitJo te}. This is [he formulaa.ctually used by the Russian Chu rch t'Oday.

Thus rhelirurgical life forms the very basis of Orthodox piety; I~ is the realization and expression of the mystery gf rhe divine p resence in the Church and P reclaims [he rru rbs of [he fairh, .it also governs [0 alarge extent IhemOJf3J~ behavior of the faithfi;~I, sometimes invi d ng them ro do pe nance and fasI., ar other times summoning rhem ro glori fY [he Cn::aIOI' and sha re in me messianic banquet. It g1)vc;;m~ their lives by associating each evening and morning, each d<'lY of rhe week] each season of (he year, and also every impo Ham event ill. the i iff; of rna n such as b inn] marriage, sickness, <lind. dc,lth with rhegtear events of Revelation, and by commu nica ring [,0. him on such occasions the un ique grace of Redemption.

I nasrnuch as this Ii turgic~~ ~ Ii fe i $ essentially ~. co.rpOl'me form of worship, the: bi!.rilding where [he gJd1edngs of (he f;;dth.fil.~ are regulady held. acquires a special. imporeance and s.ignificance, Here roo, Byzanri.urn has been remarkably successful in thecoarse of irs long history in crearing a form of an ad.mimbly suired to eXp[ess the dogmas of the ~irh pictorially and to give expression ro religious feding" This artistic expression assumed such an imporrant place in [he life of [he Church th,ll' ir brought On the iconoclastic mruroversy in. the eighth <u'Id ninth centuries. Only



an .1:;H .i.nt~.m~.Hel.y cnnnecred with dogma and. religious fee]ing could either hsveareused such fierce oppositien or inspired :50 ffi3in'! valia nt defenders .. As a result of this oonnX;lversy the Church carne to define the dogmatic signifiC"J.nce ofrhe veneration wh.i.dl it paid to images. This is: what the decisions of the seven ~h ecumenical c-OUIl!cH {the Second Cooncil of Nicaea in 78 n were abolll.t"UWe define," proclaimed the .. of'rhe cotmd],

th;l!~ ehe hQ]Y hnages" whe( c"kILo" mosaic, Qr some other material, :should be exposed in th.e holy churches of God., on the sacredvessels and ~iu.Hgicai. vestments, on the wal ~5 a [Lei fu rnhlti.ngs, and LIl hou:s:es and along tile roads, n.:.l.mdJy, ~h,!:: i mag!: of our Lord God. and SlIY]or J esus[,. that orom Lady> the immaculate and holy Motht~r ,of God, [hose ofthe venerable ang€ls and those .of :!I.~l holy m€n.Wh~ney'er thE:SC represenrations are contemplated, r.oe}' wi II cause those who look ;;3.[ ~hemro COlllUllemOI',Ue and ~ove rh~ir p~ocoo/pes. \YJe define also d'la[ ~hey sho'l,lkl he k ~so.5edan;d th;llir ~h>ey are an oojem of veneraeion and honor {t:imet~·kept!)$.fs), but noe of rea] wership (f4iTdaJ, whkh is rese rved for HIm who IS theSu b}ec~ of our f~hh and ~s proper for the Divine N~wte :iL~ont. ., The .ho nor renderedto thei Inng~ .L5 ine:ffect ttansmi W~d~Cl the prototype; hc' whoveneraees ehe image, venerares in

U( rhe t(.':ill~.ry fo[ whuch ir stnnds. ~

The distinerion established by [he council between [he "worship" or "adoraticn" (lamia) which is due 1[0 God alene, and [he "veneration" (p1'oskynesis) due [0 images of Christ and [he saint, wasi ntended (0 refme [he charges of idolerry leveled agJ~ nsr [be Onhodox by rhe iconoclasrs, Ir is abo ,eq UJUy v[lHd today in [be diaiogu.e with Proresranrs concern ing the e:){tl!CC meaning or icons unt~)e Orthodox Church .. The worcis'\wo(ship" and ~~:;J:don~.don'" are freqw:,ndy used. for the veneration which the Orthodox Church pays to sacred. images. whereas they ought only to be employed. in circumstances which make it quite dear thar they do [lor s ~an,d for [he Greek l.atreia, in acco rdance wirh rhem~ing.s of the council, It needs to be stressed, however, rhat the Orrhodox eh urch regan:ls the veneration of icons as something d.ogmatic3J].ly wholesome and sound, Tbis is ulrimately because ofL&.e l'eaHry of


the Incarnatien of the Word. The de£e,nde.m of images from St. John of Damascus to Patriarch Nice phOfUS never tire of repeaeing rhar [he. Son of God re<'!Uy became man: the Inv]sib.~e., Unknowab]e, and indescribable became visible, knowable, and. describable in flesh which was i"ea]~y His own. How-ever, flesh is: deified. that is, it has itself become the source of grace. The images which represent it therefore shouldreflect this divine characrer. That is why Byzafidne art, wuth its :strong em phasis u.pon the convendonal and traditional, is peculiarly cS~.iood. [0 be a Christian an. Like all the dogmatic conrroversles during the earlycentu rues ,the quarrel over ieo noclasm was abo connected wi til christolegy The: iconoclasts refused, in {;;ffect. W (Idm][ [he. fuUreal iry .of the Incarnarlon 3ind~phdd rile notion of a wholly transcendeur God., Their O~d');Qdox opponents} while stressing the human nature of Chrise, did not .forge[ the face that [his naturewas deified, that it belongs properly zo the one hypcstasis of '~heWord> and. that the ioo<l!.ge's of Christ, therefore, as well as those of the Virgin Ma["y and the saints, who have shared in Christ's de,mcadon, shouldbe rcgarcled~s holy and as worthy of veneration.

Ho.~y icons therefore fotlTl an essenria] parr of Orthodox worship and piety. Some .of [hem. have been rega{dr1;d~s miraculous and this excepdonalsmms has been rr~cog~.j~~d as such by the Cfiurcb,. which hQS instituted special fe<1S~sm.mmemora[ing: rhern, JUS[ as the portraits of famous perSOBS QI' those dear to us serve ~'O remind us of these persons asundiv'~duals:} sometimes in a very realistic and compelling way, so cermjn~oo ns can cause a direct contact between [he pmtotyp" and the .faithfu.l., stimulating the latrer to make acts of ftli rh and. ~.! Itim<!lt(;;ly hdpUng: [Q manifest ~h.e whole d.uv]ne PC:}''iil.i't[,

These various aspe,c rs of 0 rrhedox pie ry and spirit uality, wh ich sr.iU cha racrerize it, had thei r stow ~e!S[ defenders in rhe medieval pericdarneng [be monks .. We have seen that Ch riseian monasticism 'i,V:;3:S a creation IQf the [hi rd and fouNh cenruriesas an anridete to the new situarion ofrelative ease in which the Church



found itself under the Empire. A select group prcf<;;nred to nee to the desert and show in this way that the Kingdom of God is a furure Kingdom that is to come: and that the Church cannot find any perma]]cent refuge here below, The continual attraction of the monastic WdY of life throughcur Byz:andnc history proves that this escharological awareness never slackened." Byzantine monasticism even became (he suppon of the Church when rhe latter was hard pressed by willful ,emperors and helped eo prevent it firDm. boeing transformed into an imperial (state) Chuecb. Byzantine society was grateful to the monks fot rhe irnportanr role which [hey performed, and that is why> in essence. candidates for the episcopate were chosen from the monasteries, why the Byzantine lex orandi was modeled. On dun of rhe monks and was given its: final shape by [hem, and why it was the monks 'Were able rn wjn such. a brilLiant moral victory over (he iconoclasts and thus restore Orrhodoxy i.11 Byzanrium,

Orrhodo» monastlcism has assumed various fOrms in irs long history; fi'om rhe simple anchorites who fin:[ appeared in ehe deserts of Egypt and P~1esIine ro [he great monastic communicies which lived. under the R.des of a St .. Pachomius 01' a. 501:. Basil.

The ~ if'(;; of a hermit (also. sri ll called hesydJttJ:t .i n the £,.15[, from h.esychi'l, "qoier," "spiritual repose") is a Life of continua], "monologic" prayer: "Ler (he remembrance of Jesus be pl'esenr wirh each L h " S J IL ('I" . h '1 "'11

nrean , wrote t .. onn '0 U1!UKtlS In tne scvenr 1. centlLry; you WI

I k f I r- 1" d " ! S .~ ~ • • f IL. h 1

r .ien nnw tne va uc 0 5:0 1 HI e. .t'J.1> a Ch nzen 0 tne neaven y

Kingdom the monk is in constant communion with his Lord, by repeating ccnrinually and without any interruption, whether during his work or sleep, a short prayer in ..... hich the Name of Jesus is invoked, Sometimes it is the Kyrie eidson, :H other rimes "Lord JesU$ Chrisr, 500. of God) have mercy on. me.' sometimes he will ;"I~$O inrerpree [he words of SI. John Climacus literally and n::;pof;a~

IS Lftdli.t'r Df Paradise, Twt1fliy-!'nrJ, Skp •. rr, II), 1~7..,n!s Mome (London. 11J)9). p. 46.

The GO;llernm(rnt 0/ the Orthodox Church


the prayer: rhychmimHy as he breathes. He will seek ehe Kingdom of God "within himself," for baptism and rhe Eucharist confer on every Christian the privilege of being ab le eo live. in Chr lst and pO'Ssess in their hearts the gifts of the Holy Spirit, The hesychasts will give rise to great 0 rrhodox mysrics, SU ch as Sr. Maxim us rhe Confessor (seventh century), St. Symeon the New Theologian (eleventh century), and St. Gtegory the Sinaite (fourteenth century}. In the fOQ..ln:eenth cent:ulYi led by the grem theologian, St. Gregm-y Palarnas, archbishop of Thessalonicajhe hesychasts will be the fDn"ID{II$C defenders of Orthodoxy agai I1S( the ravages of <It philosophical school which denies rhe possibility of ,my real cornmunion with God. here below. This controversy offered Palamas the opp or tun iry to obtain co nciliar approval (13-4, L 13 47, B 51) for rheological formulas c:xpres-sing [he completereality of communion with God, which is available to all Christians who are members of the Church, a communion which the Greek Fathers

II _J "d Of' . ;,16

,ca.~elU ' .. el ICat:lon ..

Besides hesychasm [he. Christian EaH was also familiae with another type of monastic life which came EO be regarded as classical in he West, namely; that of rhe grear disciplined, liturgically-oriented commuuiry Sc Pachomius and especially St. Basil of Csesarea fu.rnished the monks of all succeeding ag~ with a set of norms in rheir famous Rules, which has displayed such a remarkable vitality. St. Theodore, abbot of the great monas'[ery in Consrarninople called the SWl!.ldio.s •• and stout defender of Orrhodoxy ,against the iconoclasts (nimh century), W.fIIS rhc mOST imporrant codifler of [he monastic rule in rhe Byzantine tradirion. The Srudire monks were subject to an abhorand apportioned their rime between [he church, the refectory; and work, If was in communal monasteries of this rype rhar rhe forms of rhe Byzan-

Hi 0. J. Me}-e-ndio,df, Snint G'rtgl.Jin: PtllrtMilS f& fa m'fStiqIl~ Q,tlN!d~x~. Co~i,",t'

Spj''ritm~h " {Paris: Ecli~iom du S~Llil 1959}; and Immd1~(·ti{m a f'itude df G~Olr .. P,1l.1mm, Colt. "Patristica Sorbonensi« "(Paris: E.didQn_~ d II &lIil. 1951J). I3mh of rhesc books will In E:ng1 idlJ miU' sk~~:ions,



tine iirurgy and the style of Byzanrine hymnography were perfecced and ach ievedtheir flnai stage ofdevelo pment, The work of earlier hymnographers, such as me greaL poel[ -ofd~e sixrh century; Sr. Romanus the Melode, was incorporated in [he divine oHlce. Byzaneine hyrnnography has retained this inspiration and form to the presenr cia y, even now t11,,1. tit is no longer an exclusively monastic affair but bas been adopted by [he whole Church.

The Byzantine Church therefore was familiar wirh both the hesychastic and cenobitic (koino- "common,'; bios. "life") forms of monasticism, and. both continue toexisr in rhe Orthodox Church today, Whjle conflicts have sometimes marred their relarions, both have been able to work 11 a 1'n100 iously together, The grear monasreJrie~ occasionally produced mystics capable of prac~icing rhe pur,est form 'Of he sydl.3!sm while ccnriuuing to conform ro d.e ordinary rules of [he community; St. John Climacus, ro<r example, was the abbot of the great rnooastery of Mounr Sinai; hesychasm flourished even in ehe Stoudios, ill (he tenrh and eleventh centuries, in the persons of St .. Symeon the Pious and St. Symeon the New Theologian, Monastic federations or republics, such as chose of Mount Arhos, Mount Olympus; or Maum Sr. Auxentius, allowed for the existence of imposing communities arid [he hermirs' cells of hesychasrs side by side. Odginally the monks 'Of Mount Athos were all anchorires: then St. founded the firsr greac lavra {tenth century), and laeer the whole rerrirorvwas divided between federatc;..J monasteries under the authority of a central monastic govert'lment" the Proraton. However, [he various charters in ,efte(;t {which have been changed from time ro rime) have always allowed for the existence of rhe tfdti and keffif1 in which hesychasrs m.ay devote themselves co "pure prayer." the .R~.des of (he mon (IS ric communities also provide fOor -rhe practice of the Prayer of jesus by [he monks,

" ~hlDS) while d~splayinga remarkable uniry of purpose and inspiration, Byzan[ine monasricisrn has been wise enough .• .0 011-

Th'C Government of the Orth(J,dox Church


lowfor different ways i 11! which individual temperaments could. express themselves. Wh.ether he lives ap(lrt 0,[' in a ccmrnuniry, the monk is a witness and prophet of the Kingdom ro come. His III in iscry is 'Of rhe charisma tic kind destined to serve [he Church find rhe world.Ec is interesting W note in this respec[ thar [he Ch urch has always refused to approve eendencies which would isolate the monks from the Church and imply that they had a. mission th,u W"aS t:S/i(~nti(dly d,ifferent from and superior to rhar of other Chrisri aJ.I1S. Canonically speaJdng, the monasteries of the 00 rthodox Church are always su bj eCfr ro the local bishop and are therefore integrated in the me of rhe diocese. The E3!sten~. Church has never recognized religious orders rharwere canonically "exempt" from diocesan control. .It is therefore in [he Church and .for the OlU~ch th:aJ[ Byzarsrine rnonasric ~$ called upon to perform its special roission.

The Byzantine liturgy, the inexhaustible richness of Byzanrine an, [he spiritual influence of monasricismcrhe U,$~ of a language understood by [he people in the UWl"gy,a married secular clergy and therefore one in close much with the faithful:. a conception of the Ch urch wh.i ch allows f;'or a la l'ge arnou IH of responsi biliry for all Christians in tbe life of rhe Church, all these factors, which were given their def n g rive for,m i n the Byzan cine period, have enabled the Orthodox Church to build up and [Q rnaineain a remarkably coherent corporat,e attitude towards the Church and the faith rhrough the centuries. From Byzantium also it h~1I5 inherited certain historical characteristics of.J less important tHIcure, particularly the concept of a sacral state which explains many of rhe excesses of modem nationalism, It is our rask now ro anemp[ [0 distinguish in [his heritage berween rhe Tradition ·of rhe Church, theexpression of revealed Trurh, O~ the one band, J nd mere human [fad] dons which ha ve naeurallv tendedto accu-


rnulare, on the other. This disrinction will sometimes be painful

to make, sometimes it can only be made gradually: but in any case



the necessary adj ustrneurs can only be ach icved with the help of

I. 'S'"'' h h" 19 . h ,j'F "" H 1 - h

rne . pUll W 0 reac es a 1 trutn. . er n is . .e W10, wit out

IllU.I.H£Ying man's tr,ee will, guiderS the Church toward irs final desrina don.

Chapter 5



Islam launched its atrack ~lgai nsr [he Eastern half of Christendom during the firs[ pan: of me seventh centtuy, toward the begin.ning of i 6S historical drive to oonqu(,;r the world, The B}"l<'lIndne emper{)f Heraclius (6 W~64l) had j U$[ succeeded ]11 winning back from the Persians l.arg~ tracts of rhe old m4J,:~ R[rm4}, including the Holy land, but this task had barely been completed before the Arabs, in a newwave, soon engulfed all of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and NorthAfrica,

The religious picture in these areas undoubtedly contributed to [he rapid expansion of Islam, The Syrian. and. Coptic-speaking churches were definicely anri-Greek in sentiment, and their hatred for Chalcedouiau Orthodoxy which the e:rnp,e[OrS hod for so long endeavored to impose (H~ ehem by fmoe, made them welcomethe new invaders with open arms. Occasionally even rhe Orthodox clergy, bowing, before the inevitable and hopeful of being able to preserve the vital interests of rhe Church, adopted the same course, Thus Sr. Sophronius, the patriarch cl Jc:ruS;'llem and one of the leading opponems of Monorhditbm, negoriared the surrender of the besieged 1-10]1' Ciry to rhe Khalif Ornar in 638. By 678, however, the. imperial armies and fleet had. been able to stern the Moslem advsnce, and in 7 I 8 the Aeab Heet was thwarted in irs attempt co c-apture Constantinople, [he "city protected by God." These Byzanrine successes against the served much rhe same ~)ll rpose in the East as the great v ictory 0 f Cha rl es Martel at Poiriers, in 732, J[ the orher end of Christendom.



From [he ecclesiastical poi n t .of view, the fuah conqll~est of the former OrIental prcvinces afrhe Empire meant that rhe ecurneuicsl patriarchwas not destined to play the role in rhe Eastern Orthodox Church, A0 we han seen, Phorius, for example, was able to work out wi th Pope John VIU a kind of mutual ag;reeme.m between Rome and Byza.ndum, dividi.l1g between them the government of the ChrisIlan we rld, Henceforth, [be Eastern pjril~6arch$ of AJ.~xandd<l) Amioch and J erusalem were almosr';hoUy depe mien f upon rheir c.olleagut' in the imperial capital, in fact ] f no t in theory, and 'WDuJd nor dare IO rake up a,

position direcdy cQn~rnry to his in irnportantmarters, .

Fi.nal1y~ in me ~li1';;venth century, the Empire was cenfeonred by a new wave of inV'<1!der$ Central Asia,. the T:iJ,rk:s, who soon gained con trol of the khalifare and renewed [he rbrear of a mil i~ rant L~l<lrFtRie,er!~ converts to Islam, and vigol"OUS and. warlike in habit, the newcomers proved EO be fg.rmidable opponcfl.ts and exerted a COnstant preSSUI~ on the eastern fromiers, while [he Crusaders from [he Wes r delivered the ~ r famo us stab ~ n the back in 120t.l, .. Nevertheless, in spire of reverses and Ihrears, BYZ81.ndum managedro IloW ou r against rhe Turks for another (\\'0 and a haif centu nes,

This mil i.ta.I.Y s~rugglc between the Cross; and. the Crescent, wlrich lasted. fo.r so ]ong. and which L sri U reflec red in many B'rt:an tine .~ i turgical texts, was not the only contact between Islam and the Byza.n.ri.newQ rld during the Middle Ages, 0 rrhodox theologians like Sr. John of Damascus (eighth cenruryland Ernperm John Caracurene (founeennh century) were responsible for spreading at ]east a. CI!JTSOry knowledge of IheKora.n and i 1:5 [e;achings by means of their refutations of Islam. The ernpeml'.~ of [he eighth oemury, (he very Ones who won such decisive victories over [he Moslems .• were rhemselvesmuch atrracted by certain aspecm of Islamic civil ization. The result was rhe iconoclastic crisis, but also the esrablishmenr of cultural relarious, direct Or

77,bel:\v,eetl Baghdada nd Cons mn dnop~e.llimpmtan['By7.>'" an tine prelares and scholars> such as Photius, Constantine d1e Philosopher,~nd. Nicholas the Mysdkos,. were intouch withfuab schclarsc Even In the realms of spiriruali ry and myseicism 1~ is likeiy that there was a certa i D amount of borrowing, for rhe Moslem Qonce.p[ of dhikr, the practice or technique or technlq ue of rep(.;a d ng the ,ci].vine Name rhyrlnnically asone breathes i n and ou [,appears 1:0 have influenced. {he corresponding teaching of Orthodox hesvchasts in the ~h.uneenr.h and fourreenrh oentudes.l It In us cb·e n'ored., however, tha r Arabic philo\)ophy exercised yin u~J~y no influence 0]1 .Byzamine tho ught, for the ]3yzal.H.i nes were alwa ys ablero have di rect access to ancient Greek phi].O\';f)ph y and Oe;"V'(:.! needed, like the Latins, to "discover" Alist,'Odcby\wy of Arabic translation and commemaries,

All ~.h~s exchange of know~edge undcu bredly helped !.jQ p.repare the way for the s;~~IT1val of Chdsdanicy onder [he TlI['k]sh yoke. Many impo (tam Byzantl]le leaders foresaw the day when. [he Empire m]ght fuH. Theykaew that Chrisd,M1ity would be on the wh~le tolerated by the 0 rroman rulers.? .1'\£ later Byza[l tine empe[O]:s,. inrhei r desperate an:emp[S to su rnrncn a Wes!!em. Crusade [0 come thei r assistance, wereforced more and more IO deny the Orthodox faith and to accepr Romm, "innovations," ;U'l~mpQrra 0 r digni E:0.ry of the ceu rr, the G rand I? i.lke Lucas Noraras, was led EO assert pub]idy~ On the very eve of' rhe fil]l of ByzanciuD1.:

"Better to see. rherurban of the Turks reigni ng in Our ciryrhan [he Latin mi~et:~~' His words ceetainly exp ressed the opi 010]1 of nl:a.ny.

I 01'1 the links h~n'"(,!~n Id~nfij Rnd rhe iecaodasdc movement, ~~ rhe srllJcly of 1\,

G ~h~r. L 'll:'lIl~(}.(lmnl.f byut!t.l'ttl,-£tudt .a't'Chll)wgfqu~ (P~ri:~i 1 957). ..

z On (hit ~{)pk, see 1 .. Gudcr, "Uo p;(}i>l,bm~ de my~[iq!!1fe oomp1l_r~ I!UmenLi,Clifl du MQn divin (J:hllb'l' d~.ns l~, m~5t~(iue m(lsuIITI8n,e/in the ReI;J1il! tJ~mis~, ·roL .3 095,2;), pp. fA2.79;. v{li 1 (] 953), pp, 19i7~2~ 6. cr; our hund~,(ti()n J "'tilde d1.i GriJ!Pire PdlmfJ~; W' zor-s.

3 $t" Gl1.!gmy l\~I~l;ija~ spe~u some time as 8 prisoaer .in Arl~mlli~ ill1354,hegi,;es .~ r.'1~Ql<lhJc d,tscrip~~Oil (f.fChrlsri~n life under the Tunk~ there, (S~ ~mr bltIWiuct1.U'ft () l't/tmie de GI~it!! Pal&'lttf1., pp.1 ~ 7.(52.)

4 DtI=,. Hhm'ria, 33, Bonn ~·Al, p. 2M"



The (:aptu re and sacking of Co ustantinople by the arm ies of Mohammed IE in 1453,yoIS nevertheless one of the greatest catastrophes i ~1. tliehisrory of Chdstianity: Ita 1456 Ath~m abo feU and [he Parrhencncwbich for a thousand years had been a church dedicated tothe Vurgjn. Mary; was transfonned into a mosque. like Hagia Sophia in Co nstanrinople, In 1460 the Turks conq ueredthe B}'7.<lfi rine Morea and in 14M Trebizcnd ~ the las t remaining oluposrs of [he Byzantine Empire. The tWO $erbirJi.n o rthcdox states s uecum bed irr ruru, in 1459 and 1463. Tbis meant d1.[~f [he Ottoman Empire nOw embraced the whole of the CJhll.9,Sr!.J.11 Ease, wirh ehe sole exception of Muscovite Russia, whjcb, just at this timevwas liberating itself from [he Mongol yoke (Ind would become the principalbulwark {.,f Orthodoxy in the East for several ceu turies tocome,

Under T urkish rule] however, [he Chu rch preserved .i rs CanOn i~ cal organization intactand \VaS even. able ro strengthen itself as a result of certain privileges gronted to theecumenical patriarch by the QonqUeIm; Mo.hamm.ed 11 allowed the canonical election of a new p~.l rriarch, Gen (lad i os S eholarios, who was both the leade r of [he auei-unionist parry and a devoted admirer of Thon')::1J8 Aquinas" The sultan personally handed the new patriarch rhe emblems of his office, sayung:~Be patriarch, preserve our fri(.;ud.ship, and enjoy all (he privileges which [he pnniarchs your predecessors possessed" " These privileges inc! uded the in vi.oI.3!b iliry 0 f [he parriarch's person, fInd r.hNugh nln:),. of <\]1 the bishops, exemption from <I.i I taxes, and eiuil jurisdiction ouev all Christirms ir~ the Ottoman bnpire. According to MosIe]']] law all Christians were regarded as fonn ing a singlto;: nation (millet) and no accounr was Eaken of conre$sim!i:;'ll, linguistk, Of narional differeno:::s. The Christians had been conq uered by Jsbtn, the people of God, but they were allowed IO retain [he I'iglu lOO rule ~hem$elves so fil.r as rhdr domestic affairs were concerned, in accordance with rhe precepn of (neil' religion and subject EO the personal jurisdiction of rhe patriarch alone, who thus became it kind of Christian

The Orth.od{fx Churd~ and Islam


khalif, resp onsihle to the sultan. fOr all Christians. Thus the Greek hiefilfchyrOllHd irselfinvesred with considerable powerj both civil and religious, in some respects greB,cer (~"lan [he authority it had enjoyed befOre [he Turkish oOflqueS[. The jurisdiction of [he ecurne nical pa~rU[],rch. was virtual lyl imi rless, for it embraced not only [he f-ajdlruJ who belonged to his OWl1J patriarchate but also those in the other Eastern parriarchares+who were theoretically his equals acccrding to canon ]aw-and even heterodox Chrisdans who happened ro be livingin [he Orroman Empire. The Orrhodox bishops greeted the ecumenicnl patriarch as "their $0'1-

, !., d·L • '1 "s I"" 1

eJrt'lgn, rneir empem.r, ana tneir pnrnarc 1. r'rom now an tne

la rre f .1 ppropriared the specia I .i nsignia of the Byza nt ~ ne empewn: he wore a miter in tn:r;: form of [he imperial ,C;WWt!l, stood upo.n a mg which. bore the (;;mb~.em of a Romaneagle, ,md. let his hair grow i n the manne r of rheemperors and By:t .... nrine officials, 6 In his role as milh-bachi1 "head of the Christian nation," or "ethnarch" in G.eek, rhe patriarch W"'dS nnw virtually the legem o.f an enslaved ernpi re.

The etllJICI<'J.tLbic SYSl:en1., as created by the Tmru and illS it has survived eo thus day on. rhe island of Cypms and in certain countries of (he Levan 1;, guarameed the independence of the Clrrisria r!I Churd1 under ;,11 ien rule, I[wJS based on an ideas (hat Ham. shared with J uda ism, namely, the complete idenrificarion of (he "pen ple of God" wirh ,] concrete soclolegical .eruicy. In (he onecase Islamvwhich lncl tIded. all the mirhflJl gf Al~<i.h and his Prophet, a I;'!d i I!'l rh.e ether all Chrisrians. The Ottoman at~.cbOfiries refused to recognize me existc,;llO:; 0 r any eli ffel\enC~S of n:,'l;dol1a.Hry in the Ch.L"Usdill.t1 mittel and coruen red rhemselves w~th approving [he ek'Cl'kms of [he parris .. rch and me bishops. Inevitably t.his regime had it profound effect on the ~uves of Chrisri::l:f!:S liviug under Turkish rule in [he Near EJSL

'5 NistlJ,ia /"tttrititchim, Bonn .~J_, p. 177.

(, B~f[)n! lO~lg these v(Ui()~:l~ si£.lts d' amhorii~ were adopted b~ the bd~()p-~ (~H)', HI] tin R~l~s;ift [he}" were mlly iluroduood in [i~c! ~v,e~ueendl ccnt:u.~,l;Illdcr r':uti,ux:1i N iko n, when otccurse they had ccnserl to h~vec ::Ln}' j:lo(ll idG;1J signific@~K'l!!_



1. It shur them up f n a ki nd of ghetto from which they did. not dare to escape]. even. though their siruaeionwas at times relari vel y pmspem us and even when [h.ey were able to exercise a kind of effe>ct1ve. QDmW~ overthe policies ofthe Pone. It was quite impossi b le fo r them to pursue any ki nd of missionary work, Even. if [hey had been n'MlJ.[e.r~aU:r ableto do so, suchactivity would have been regarded as a political crime ag;ains[ [he srate. Only rhe Russian Ch urchwas fr~>e to con tin ue the work of Byzanti.l.un in [his field,

2 .. & erhnarch of the Chris[uans and an Qff:;.da.1 .of dlJ;e Tuddsh Em.pirejilie patriarch and his collaborators necessarily had J shaTe in [be dre:adfu~. Er,/.) rem of corruption by whkh the Empire was governed~bek their Implication was ofan involuntary na ture. EflCh ne-w elecrion en railed rhe paymem of a large sum of money m the TurlUsh gpvern.rnem], which was specified on each occasien by the su:ltoi.n's b'eir:at of investiture. The sum. was levied either on the patriarchal treasury-in case [he newly deer reimborsed the amou ox in the course of his patriarchate by means of corr,es~)ol~:lding assessments on [he dioceses-c-cr on. (he personal p roper!:)' of the new patriarch, To a lesser d.egree [he same procedure W':18 follO'W'~d. in. [he case of .ep iscopal dec ricns.whichalso required the /J(t'n1t of the sultan, Moreover, as the patriarchal tbrone W<lS occupiedrather f're:queody, according ro the vagaries of Ottoman po]kies,me corruprion developed into a kind of g' evil. In the eighreeath century, one of [he darkesr periodsin rhe annals of the Church .of Constantinople, forty-eight patriarchs succeeded each other in rhe spa.ce of sixty-three yearsl Only S~ ints could remai n fa~thflli. [0 rhe ideals oftlieir office under such con ditions asrhese, and the survival of the Greek Ch urch, u uder four centuries ofTh.kish rule, is no less than .<1 mirade,

3. The parriarchs role <'IS erhnarch of all ChdbtL<m in me. Turkish Empire enabled him [0 claim aurhority over othee churches as well, The Bulgarian patriarchate ofTrnovo was giyen~o o:i Greek prclare in 1394, and rherr later was reduced ro me srarus of a simple diocese of

the ecumenical p8JHiarchare. The autocephalous status of Ohrid was suppressed in 1776 by Patriarch Sarnue! I, who also abolished the Serbian patriarchate .of Pech, This tendency toward cen traliza[ion was u n fmuJHiltely abo acccmpanied by IDeaS liJte's rega"cieJd as parucularly obnoxious by the Si~vi.G nations, in that Greek bishops would be appointed to S];;l:vic sees and then proc~ed CO suppress the use (l.fS~avonica.8 a l.ituIgicallmnguage, AJ~ cppcslrions tc s uch measures on the part of the local clergywas virtual! y irnpossible, for the parriarch exercised ;:!"bsohn:e civil as well as l!:'digious conrrol oyer chem iu [he name of the sulreu, NaI.ionaiism, t:ha[ bane of modern. On:hodoX)', began to flourish everywhere under [he Tu rki5h regi me. There was Gtoek naeionalism which idenri ned Orthcdoxy wirh Hellenism aPld. the Greek longing fot independence, and Slavic narlonalism which fOliced the resrorarion of autocephalous churches ]]1 the nineteenth century bymeans of threats of revolt and ]J'.I 3!Il atmosphere of mutual d istrus rthar can hardly be descri bed as very Chris rian In spirit. Domestic qt-WHTds of this: kind were rhe d.isgrace of Orthodoxy d u:ring ~r~;e dark ~rs of the Tli,lrkL~h yoke, However, ~h.ey did nor PK(;;Vr:n( it number of new Christian manyrs from. '.shedding their blood ror Ou:is[ during ourbresks of acti-Chriseian fimmicism.,. Themost ±arl1ous of these W;lS the ecumenical p<'l:triarch Gregory V~ who was hanged by the Turks in 1 821 on Easter Sunday fwm the gl!ea.t porre-cochere ofhus patriarchate in [he Phanar, j usr after he had cele bra ted me solemn paschal liru ['gr.7

Owing wits j i tu rgy and the. works ofthe .Fa[hers preserved in [he mcnasric ~ibr.<ldes> the Church managed nevertheless ro ger <l cross [he ess-ential bu rden of irsmessage, The com mu rial P mye.r in the churches and [he astonishing richness-and symbolism of the BY-Landrlc lirurgical formulas enabled the Greeks and other narions in the B31k:an.s and Neat Ease [0 remain fuiIhflJ1 to t~r;i[ o rrhodox faith and. assisred [hem to rally more closely (han. ever



around a church rhar had. been deprived ofall schools, books, and <J. p [opedy trained clergy;

Elements ofBp~.m:ine rheological scholarship, however, conrinued to be maintained bya handful of .0 urstandi ng churchmen, Some of rhese were self- tau gIn; others studied in the We.s ~ a nd rteq~.H;nrly came un der rhci nflueno:' of thei [ Carhclic or Pro restaur teachers, The ideas of the .RdOrmadon and. COlmter-R.efounadon thus made their ¥lay to the E3Jsr. Deprived of a. genuine Orrhodox school ing,~h.e~he0i ogians of the seventeen rh and eighteenth cen rudes not infrequenrly used Roman ~lr<3umef!J~s against the Prctestants and Prcrestant arg;umenm against [he Roman Catholics. Politics also played irs p£ln .i u rhe ccntin ual seesawing and forth of those yean;'" Theecumenical patriarchs were not above mak:ing use .of the Cathol ic arnbassad ors ro the Porte (AusIria,France) Of [heir Protestant colleagues (England, Holland) if!! order to exert pn::~'sm:e on the Tur.kii],_ authorities, and (he foreign ambassadors were nor above bringi ng p ress ure to bear W cause (he dethronement OJ! election of parriarchs,

As wehave seen, the pa tri archateestablished a ki nd of modus vivendi with [he Turkish aurhoriries in the fifteenth and sixreeuch centuries, during the period immediatelyafter rhefall of Constantinople a nd before d i recr P ressu re began (0 be exercised in such a disgraceful manner, Councils COLI~.d be held more Or less regularly a nd the;' affuiKs of the Church se rded. Some ofthese h;:a.d ro do wi tb relations wid"! rhe Latin Church, That of 1454, for example, under Patriarch Gennadios Scbolarios, offkia:]ly repudiated the Union of F]orence; and thar of 1484, n[~.ended by the rhrec other Ea$~em patriarchs, published a special ritual for the reconcilisrion of ROIna.[1. Catholics with Onhodoxy;8 Toward rheend of [he

R This ritual :indllded [he Sil~[lUn~TI.L of C'.tlIlFirlJl~riull.HcJ~~"lf(,:;. in the Cocck U~ncl5 u.I1ckr Vel1~(i.11'I rule i twas JlltJt IHKlmtl'l'mn, until til(!' cipjr~'t;mirh g!nwry. tor C1,tho!k ~ml. Orthodox det'£!' W C!b~.rv<!' oomrnunion jJJ sacris. 'n~i~ :o;mrc of ai'l';,!irs-wh:i.;;h P(!<l>:J,S ctrL"jn canonical problems for b(J<fh sid~s----'\\~.\!i due rmrtly f{~ dH.: existung polhi(;aJ simill:iomi ~r!cl paJ.1lly W lite Jesir~ Ht)[ W rewg[lir.t! [~lC .~'c.h isrn a~ a .filit a.ITompti_

The QrthodlJx C!mrcb .a.nd ISola",}


sixteenth cemury the first in1!PQJ['[an(COnraCI;S wok place between Protestant rheologians and the o..d~odox Churcb. In 1573~ 1574 a. group ofb!ther:an. theologians at Tubingen sent w the ecumenical patriarch Jeremiah 11 a. copy of the Augsb tU~g Con fession, which [hey had translated into Greek., and asked him mexpress an opinion on it, The long reply of [he Greek prelate ccasritutes a v'ery important document and does cred II ro .~ ts a urhor, showing th,u an Orrhodox theologian wasc~pable of passing a proper [udgment on Pretestanrism on the basis of [he All.e,ry;burg Confession alone. This judgment was fr]end~y bur crirical, It was followed by correspondence berween the rwo parties, bUI norhing came of

~ dU~0(: moves.

Relations between Constantinople and. [he Western power:,> assumed a less p~acef~J! character in the seventeenth century, and w'e::re dominated in mer by the tragic case of Cyril LoukJrls. The laue r '\..\I1lS one of t!~;e best-educated Greeks of [he rime, having: spendrnany yean;; in h,dy where he ifc;afli!ed ro write Lariu with g;r(;;a~ .A L1ency and became famil iar with rhe wo rks of Thomas Aq ui nas, and also kept up relations with the German humanists NoeiH::bel and Sylburg, Hrsr elected patJ.-i,~rch of Alexandria (in 1602 at the age of[h.~II:y), he then became ecumenical patriarch in 1620. As rhe pupil, rela rive, and pronfg'& of [he outstanding Meleri us Pigas, who had P l'e(cd~d him on (he throne of.Alexandria, it seemed that be was destined to have il. future since he had. already won rhe gl'admdc;: cl rhe Greel~ for his auemptsto raise the standard of ed u C(uio.rI of his coreligionis rs and revi ve the Greek pride in their national heritage, Bur at Const,mdnopi!e he unfortunately came under rheinfluence of [he Reformed tlreology, in rhe per'Slon of rhe Dutch ambassador Cornelius Haga, who obtained rhe necessary boob for him from rhe We,~[. In 1629 loukarls published ar Geneva, in Lnrin, lus famous Corifession,

9 Onth~ correspondence, see [he ...... "O.rk ·[)f E. B-eIIZ, 11fiNcnh~~ wltl' Byllmz (tvhrbll rg,



which completely ldlects the strict Calvinis; point of view; This basic purpose was to combat the influenc.e ofmissi:onary zeal of Roman Catholics, but his Wesrern training and numerous conracrs with Calvinisr circles bad led hi m astray an~f caused him ro em brace Protestantism. The Cortfosimt aocepts, pure and simple, the Protestanr doctrine of soia sc,.':ptu1"tl.excluded [he deu~e;n)c<iJ'lOr.J.k'al books, rejects the real presence in the Eucharist, empties rhe Orthodox doctrine of the priesthood a nd holy orders of ali meaning, and deplores the veneration of icons and [he invocation of saints as forms of i!dolatl!y~ Proresrams were under the impression dl~r [hey were abou t w witness the complete conversion of the Eastern Ch~rch to the doctrines of the Reformation In the person of the ecumenical patriarch, It is not surprising therefore, that the Confissi&n was publ.ished in four French translations, an English translation, and two Germaot~.t'islatiom~, beginning in 1629. III 1633 ir also appeared in

Gil. 1£ '.- 'G" .. DO

rees, a 0 ar : . eneva,

The Catholic powers, France and AllSrl'la, were nor slow to intervene, when the true stare of a.ff'aits became known, and gave flnancial and political SUppOl"[ to a gl'OUp of Orrhodox bishops who dethroned the patriarch. The latter, accused ofploniog wirh the Russians, was arrested by [he Turks and. srr,!l,nglcd. His body was rhrown into the Bospor~s, but was later recovered J.I1.d. buried on the island of Halki,

Ir is not difficult to imagine what a gr.ear srir was caused in the East by rhe puhlicarion of this Gmfissioll, Six councils condemned it .1 Fl. succession: Constan tinople in I 638 (three months alter the death of Loukaris), Kiev in 1640; Jassy in 1642, COIlSl'andnople in 1672, jerusalem in 16,]2, and Consrantinople in 169 L

Under the influence .of this anti-Prorestanr reaction, Peter Moghib, the metropolirsn of Kiev, was abo Induced ro compile

DO The odginall m~lluocripr of LOI1k.'u'.i~ is preserved b)'~lle Ubr~ry of G{"lle\"il and RdTi=, (0 prove rhar the Cl)rt/milm i~ indeed au [hen tic, Ai~cicM and recent ciillimBlIO WDcs(iQn its alldncmici[y are no III i.fig more [1i,1I] pious ,artemp~s ro ffiVe ~he good name ()hh~ patri~rch.

The Orthod'ax Ch~,r:t:h at1d islam


his famous Orth()aox Conje..ssitm (} 6,40) > which he: .i 11 [ended fur use in his own province. Orph .. anedar the age of eleven, the son of a hosp{}dar of Moldavia, Moghila (Romanian Movila) studied in Poland and. then b ecarne a monk. fin-aJ Iyarch i rna ndrite of {he great Lavra of the CI'YP'ES in Kiev; Here he set up a priming pn:ss and fo unded a scho 0.1 char became rumo us and had a lasting ]11£ uence on the 0 rrliodox world as J. whole. Moghila ai rned primarily at raising (he eduearionallevel of the Ot[hodox dergy as a means of preserving Orthodox), from the ericroaclunenrs of Uniarism, which had. th.e SUPP[)t~ of the Polish ki.ngs. The case of Cyra Loukaris was paeticularly embarrassing 1:0 him because ir seemed to prove ehe courenrion of ROIDaII Catholic theologians dla[ the Orrhodox Church was riddled with Protestanrjsm and was even about IO embrace. Prorestancism as a wholel In order to remove rhis blot, Moghila was determined to give OrdlOdoxy as precise <lind clear a defi.~lition as Roman C'<1~holidsm and present it along dle systema'ric lines of the various Larin catechisms. His CnnfiJ'sitm therefore amounts to lirrle more than a copious borrowing fi'om RomaJl catechisms then in use, especially chat of Canisius. Certain disputed peinrs with. which the theologians of KIev did nor feel. themselves sufficjently competenttccope, such [IS purgatory and the exacr moment of [he consecration of the eucharistic gifts, were referred to rhe patriarch of Consrantincple for decision, Moghila himself resolved these questions in f<i,vor of rhe Latin view. There can be JIlI.O doubt whatever rhar Moghiia and his Kievan associates were .insufBciendy grounded in genuine Orthodox tradition and disp]ayed whar can only be described as a marked complex toward the fo .• mularies of the Counter-Reformation, thereby f:.l.lHng inro [he rnosc elementary kind of Latinism, However. the Confiuion was approved ar Kiev (l64-0}~ and then amended in certain imponnm l'espeCI;o$ by the Council ar jassy (1642), at which time it was translared into Greek. by the G[ieek theologian Meletios Syrigos. The original Byz.mltim: position regarding purgatory and the words of instntu-



don in the Eucharist were rhus restored. It was in this new form that the Confossion was approved by the Council of Constantinople In 1643 .. J I Even in its corrected form, however> [he work is the most u.du,-sounding document, both in spirie <H1d form, that the 0 rrhodox h ierarchy has ever formally approver], Nevcnhdes:s. f1'0111 [ben on. it exercised great influence over rhe teaching of Orthodox theology, and only toward the middle of the nineteenth century when the Church began ro experience a "return to the sources" did this influence begin. (Q decline,

Besides Peter Moghila, there was also another zenlous defender of Orthodoxy who was engaged in the struggle ag£lins[ Protestant influence, namely, Dosirheus of Jen.lsalem, Largely self-taught, Dositheus was e[lge[' (0 promote a knowledge of [11e Fathers in rhr.:

East and published animpcnant collection of Byzantine eheelogical texts in Romania, since [he Eastern patriarchs had no prinring presses of their OWl]" His renown <is a scholarcarne [Q [he atrenrion of it French diplomat, Noinrelvwhorn LOllis .XlV had appoinred ;;'1..-; his ambassador to Consran tincple and W}1lO was himselfa student of theology, ofjansenisr rcndencies. This ambassador gOt in touch with himas well as with several ocher Orrhodox prehnes and requested him to g.ive his opinion on the Gmfissirm of Loukaris. The result was a derailed <lind svstemaric reflJl;:;itDOn of rhe latter work, which Dosirhcus had appr~ved by a council ar jerusalem in 1,672. This document, known henceforth both as the C(n~feJs£on of Dosisheus and the Act;f of the Council of }erust.t iem, is the rnosrimperta ~'H Orthodox dogmatic rex r or rh is pe;;riod. Its authority is undisputed, In th(.; nineteenth cenmry rhe celebrated Philarer of Moscow had the greatest l'espeC[ forir. To be sure, Dositheus, under the influence of Moghila, occasionally makes use of a Larinized terminology bur his basic inspiration is much more fundamentally Orthodox rhan thar of the merrcpoli~<1 rt of Kiev. The Calvinism of Loukaris is firmly rejected in favoi-

II S h;llf, Crmlr o/Oiri$tmdi}m, vol, 2 (Nev .. York, 1389). pp, 275·.400.

Tilt' QI,thodox Church and Islam


of~he traditional sacramental realism of Orthodoxy, a dourine of rhe priesthood and holy orders founded on the sacramental nature of the Church, and an Orthodox explanation or [he veneration of rhe saints and holy imag;e_s.12

The reaction of the Orthodox Chu.rch to the Reformation was therefore sufrldendv clear, so that [here could be no misunderstandings on that score~ The Confessions of Moghila and Dosirheus undoubtedly played <II most important part in helping to strengthen •. he Orthodox position, regardless of their Lacinizing tendencies, This Latinism is evidence, at least in the case of Dositheus, not of any particular sympathy for the Roman Church or fo r Larin scholasticism, but 0 f the absence of an. adequa te theological training. But how could things possibly have been otherwise after [WoO centuries of the Turkish yoke and in rhe alrnosr complete absence of proper schools and books?

A kind of instinct of self-preservation and unlirnired faithfulness to [he truth raught by the Church, as preserved by the liuH'gy-s:till a living fOfC(.-'-,mdl by the works of the Fathers, explains ehe reactions of [he Orthodox to ehe temptations from the Wes(, whether from Catholics or Protestanrs, borh of whom were eager EO enlisr the Orthodox on rhei . r side in the gr~ar controversv dividing them, There can be no doubt that ~+lUS was the prima;y moriv,~ inspiring the \Xlesrern ambassadors in Constantinople to interfere in the internal affairs of the ecumenical patrjarchnte. The Proresrants looke-d upon the Eastern Church as out of date ;mel roored iu enol'. burthey recognized thar it had <I long, tradition of ami~Rorna,nisIn which .. venr back f:;~r beyond Luther and Calvin. Its consent [0 [he principles of the Reformation \V<lS rherefore worth obtaining, if possible. In spire of rhc g~nem~iy bad reputation which Greeks enjoyed in the Wesc,

L 2 The Confo;irm {ifD{)~#jJ.f:m m~y be found in Schaff" up, r.h, pp. 401-·44, The mosr

recent (.Qnlplcte collecdo n o r Orthodox dogm at ic texts 15 rhnr .of I. N. K'ld"ltln I'i s (iff Greek). Ta dtlg;nutsilul k,li $)'boiikll mnem~itl !'B IJr,thoaoJ."I}rJ./mthQliit:t! ekkletilllV 2 vol s, (A~hcm, 1953),



Carholics :ac:kn(lw~edged that the 0 rr110dox b ishops were the successors of Sr. John Chrysestorn and S[. B,t'lH, Latin missionaries: in the East therefore wereconstaurly vacillating between an extreme condescension toward and toleration of [he Orthodox, even going: so far as ro maintain a communio in sacris with them, and an aggressive proselytism which aimed nor onIy at bring!.flg: [he Greeks b<lJck to union with Rome], bur at Lac i n izi,rJ.g themi n the process,

The reaction of rhe Orthodox Church to efforrs .of [his kind was no ]ess c-;uegnric~L A synod, at Ccnstantlnople in. 1755, attended. by ehe perriarchs ofllJe.x:and:ria and jerusalem asweU as by [he ecumenicalpatriarch Cyril V) took up the question .0 f the admission of Latins .u nto the Orthodox Ch!J rch.Mod ~ fy~ ng tbe decisions of the Co unci] of 1484, the synod. decreedrhar Larin and Ar.rnen.hul haprLsms were invalid and that con verts IT! i!.l,S r be rebaptized according to the Byzantine rite of u:i.p.~e immersion before they could be admitted to' the Church, Thus rhe st.dclJcst regalations regarding the admission of heretics eo the Church werepJ.Ow applied to Reman Catholics and Monophysire Armeni~ ans, U This decis io n met wi rh 0 ppcsi don on rhe pt'l rt of some bishops, but it \V;:J,S adopted under pl''eSSlJ_re by the Greek popula-

i 3 AbDL![ rh 1$ dmn~ the RlISSi~n Ch ureh, which until rh~n h~d ~M~lJlr followed (he practice nf rtb!3pti7.i:ng Iarl ns now decided! rosdcpt a more Il't~ml poJ i.;;y and ordered rh,lt o.nly a jJt{lfcS~~~l\11 of the Orthcdo« fuLr.h ai1.dpe~]~.rl!ce were tt0u~!>lI;r.y before a Rom<u-~ Cad'aolic 'conM b~ ~{~muw;xl ro ~bc 0 rrhcdox Church, This c()nf~!sion among rhe Onhooo:>: r,~tdilmg d~~ ~drnjss~o!ll of converts fl'{)~ll Rlmlan C:lthol~~'I~m 1il:1S IH {lCllml<:l'parr in ~i[r1.ila~ ~itLE~t~(Jil1$ on (he P8[1[ of the Catholics tllc:m~dvc:;= wlrca Orrhodex became Ctdiol.ics ~n! 1"J 1111&11;)" and rO~~U1d ~J1: [he [nul rreenrh '0C!) tu ry, [ney were cnsromarily rd"ll.'1~}tizc:(l (..~ our ~nid~ "Le proje( die ccncile Gl'CI.!m,~!lI~,L!'C en 1367, W 11111 Dllm.banwi Oa.k£ Pa/m •• v~L I" 11961}j) ~I_ diloli:Q.h ['(!mnnmi~ i,l ,m;rlJ was widely practiced in dle Gr~~k ]:o;;I;trld LUl1Id.(!'r VCIHHian '[IlJJ~ un til [h~ eigh~OCllth o::::rrcury {see espocLillHy W., d~ V ries, "Dns Problem der 'eQmm~mic~ti() in ~~,ri5 cum dissidenI~IYLls' im, N~he·.I'~ O~~m zur Z~jt (Lcr Union,.~ ill OMkirchlitiJe'fl Studlen, !]O. (5 r ] 957J • pp. Si .. i 06), \'ii,o'h ~h~ 0.1'1 t:h~ i?,Drnt~!l ~id~ these dHrei:oC'nct~wen;: if"()m~! (HII~ II~ {he nillmeemh oNuury. rhtre arc still v~riafiQns (111 d'!<::

Or~had(),>: sudt b~t'\~!l tlll,e rnoec liberal R.ussian practice (pelt,mcc) ~Ild ~ha( of dl(:

Greeks "Mho have nm" I'Cwmod (0 [h~ canons of ] 4 84 (Ch riSHl,,!E'~O 11).

The Ortbodox Cburch lInd Islam


don i.11I Ccnstantinople, which was violen tly an d- Latin. It remained in £Q·rc~ in [he: G~eek churches until the beginning of the rwenrietlr century

These va do us episodes in the life of thee churchunder Turkish rule add of g[ea~ im por.~"u:l!(;:e 1)0 our understa riding of the history of Orrhcdcs rheology, but d~ey .may serve as a son of proof of the vitality of Greek Oerhodoxy .<lud. the determination of the Orthodox ro rerainrheir ideodr-yt!fid~r very ~rying circumstances. The fanarical animde :aJso displayed by some Greeks .i n their Q PPOS] don to the West can be explained, at least in part, as ';;I !'law «:IJ reaction against rhe ouu:ageQ I(Isly agg[css.i;v~ acts of Lati [I rn issiooaries, W.h.en [he ]an:e:r found whara difficuk eask it was to convert the MosJemsl they turned their ~nemiofii.w the Orthodox Christians living in [hose pans, Gi.'eeksand. Arabsvand dlolIghr nothing of depriving them of the sole remaining treasure which hnd been preserved W rhem, [heir Or~.hodO:J{ fakh,

Hcwever, this famadd5'muended ro die down and was less evidenr i I) WOJ'ks produced in the n ineteen rh ce n tur}'~ givi~g: wa r flna.Uy [0 a more moderere approach n •. rude possible by the reiOpen~ l n.g of scho ols and the appe3!.mn(:(;; of pu blicacions of al ~ kinds. It was in this atmosphere that rhe patriarcbs replied [Q several appeal s from the popes during the nineteenth cen mry, appeals rhat were]y c~kub,ced ro win rheir symp'lfby. In J'~nu~J'y 1848, Jusr (Ifrer he had. ascended EO rhe papal dlrone, Pius IX addressed an o:.ppeJ.l "[0 the Od.eni:a&>" recalling them to reu nio n wi th Rorne, The £om Orien tal pa triarchs of Co ns ranti no ple, Alexandria, An rioch 01. nd § erusa le~~l replied wirh an encyclical [Q all the Orthodos, signed .[JJsoby rwenry-nine metropolitans. .. lin it they defined "pap ism» as aheresy and then expressed the hope' that Pius IX would himself be "co nverred" ro rhe true 0 rthodox Fa irh all d return to the true Catholic a pcsrollc an d. Orthodox C~u[ch" fo!') <IS they declared, "no patriarch or council has .ever bee n a ble eo i ntroduce a t'Iy novelty ~m()ng us, since the Bo dy .of



the Church" rhat is, the people themselves, is the guardiau of religion." This encyclical of 1848; the text of which seems [0 have been approved in advance by Metropolitan Philaree or Moscow, was given wide publicity and. is still regarded today as an impor-

.r, . . f 0 ·.IL dox vi rh C'~IL . __ t, 14

tanto autnonrauve statement Q' rtno ox Vle\VS on r .e'· HU.n;IIJ_

The Church]. which is the guard ian of truth, forms a si n gle body and no member" whether clerical or jay. is excludedfrom raking an active role in rhe common life of [he whole.

To a new appeal addressed In the East hy Leo XIII in his encydic,.l "Praeclam gratularionis" of 1894, the ecumenical patriarch Anthirnos replied with another encyclical wliich stigmatized the dogmas of the Irnma . c ulaee Concepcion and papal infallibility 011$ "Roman n ovelties:' an:d clecbl.[~d. that~ut'iio,: .could be oonit~r:nFia[ed only 0.11. the bam of the undivided faieh of the firsr centimes.

Doctrinal fidelity and attachment to tradirion: these are the tWO fundamental keynotes of Orthodox writers duringthis dark period; conditioning their thought even when an inadequare grounding in rheological principles caused them to resort to the expedient of using Protestant arguments againS'E • he Carholics and Catholic <I£gumeMs ,ag<lins[ Preresrants, A few strove IO make it possible for contemporaries to become better acqu~imed w.i.h [he real sources of Orthodoxy, d1C Scdptures and the Fa rhers, One name in particular deserves special. mention here, [hat of Nicodci11L1S rhe ~Hagiol'i[e (l748~ 1808), a monk of Mount Arhos, who published at Venice in 1792 in collaboration with Macarius, Bishop of Corinrh, an importanr collecrion of rexrs from the Fathers relaring [0 prayer. The Pbilocalia, as this collection Is caned, has ever since been regarded as a spiritual classic by rhe Onhodnx. The PhittXatl'awas n:sp~)n'isible fOr acquainting modern generations, with the mystical tradition of rhe Greek fad~ers. This

loj Odginal Gr~~!-: red in K3Tmi~1~,. ~p. tit, pp,905·'9); .RQJ5S.i~.ll rranslation, ,'V[;::I:9G(lIhI,

1849~ F rench [r~.l1sl~fi~j n, Parr'is, 1 11$0, ere,

~<; T~:O:I[ in Karmiris, op. ei«, pp. 9.:tl..-16 (there ;U'(! ~h() m~n:y u:msimiN!s in French.

Russi~jl. Engli h ;Ui.G Cerman,

The Orthodox Church find Islam


work 'was translated into various languages, Slavonic, Russian. Romanian, and others, and helped [0 scan a real. spiritual revival

_ , • 1(, N" d I _ d b 1

In certain countrtes, I leo 'eruus,.,ecenruy canonize yoe

Orrhodox Church (1955), was also the author of several other works of splritualiry inspired by West'em examples (Scupoli, Ignarius of Loyola), which amount virtually to adaprions of the lane!' for the: benefit or Orthodox mysticism. He was also auadvocare of frequent communion in the Greek Church .. Nicodemus and his followers brought about a revival .of interest in the spirieualiry of the Deserr Fathers, rile Monks of Mount Sinai, and [he hesychasts of Mount Athos, [he effects of which are still being felr today.

Thus" in spite of various historical disaseers [he Orthodox Ch urch has managed co survive .i 11 die Neal' East. Irs lirurgical richness and irs spiritual rraditions have revealed theirtrue worth under [he' most trying circumstances. Ar. rimes rhe larrer have seriously impeded the normal growth of the Christian cultural rradirioh thar was heir to Byzantium and prevented ir from. hearing <ill the fruic char one mighr have expecred under more favorable conditions, But a new period began to dawn for the Orthodox world ill rhe nineteenth andtwernierh centuries, as a result of rhe overrhrowof the Ottoman Empire; the finallibcnldon of the Slavic, Greek and Rernaninn nations in [he Balkans, the achieveroenr of independence by various Arab stares, the esrablishmenr of a by republic in Tirrkey, and the mass rnigracinn of Gtee:b fiorn Asia Minor. Further on we shall discuss the present status of rhe Orrhodox Church in rhese countries.

16 1\ p~ln:ial lIncriric.~1 tmnsl (frouil rlie RJLI~i ;nl) is [0 be I~llnd i rI KadloulltJIII!.::s}' and p~ I mer, Ft1Yly htlj~rj from rhe PMlm:a{itl, and Wr-irirw from the PMhmlill bit rite P'l<lW1' ()f/~ He-art (l(J]i,JjOI), no darer.

Chapter 6


B~a ntjne . m issionaries H rst .. m<'~h:ei r way ItO Russia .~n. [he : .. ninth cenmry> [he cemmy which witnessed [he conversion of

[he Slaw. They prepared the ground for the later conversions of Princess otga (955) and Se. Vlad.i.m.i.r Qf Kiev (988), which were foUowed by the "baptism of the Russians,' that is to say the establ ishmcnt of Ch ristiaui ty as the state religioni n the pd nci p~1 ity ofKiev, The u.JusJ"don of [he Bible and the liturgical books into (he Old Slavonic language had already been laIg;el.y ccrnpletcd for rhe benefir o frhe Bu Ig;u:sand [he Slavs of Morav.ia in [he rime of St. Cyril and Merhodius (ninth century} . The Russians therefore had bur (0 avail themsel ves of precio us hed~age. Thus i r came abo III that [he S lavic dia]ecr which happened [0 be spoken In. the neighbo rhco d cf'Thessalonica-e-which Cyril a nd M erhodius used in ~hei.r rranslarions-c-became Church Slavonic or .a ld Slavonic, the common .~i.tmgk;:a~ tongue of all the Slav\!> to tilL day.

Baptismenabled the principaliry of Kievto enter full-fledged 1 uto the concert of ci vilized European states and [he playa very L mpmtant role at that ri me .. }<I rosla v:, the son of Vladi mir (] 036- 1 054)., bu i ~.~ acarhed ral~ n his f;;ap ita I dedic<l.~~d 1;0 Hagia Sophia, [he Divine Wisdom, and hadir d.ecoraEed. by the best artists from Constantinople. HIe married his daughters to the raling princes of Eerope Ann of Ru ssia, fo·r eKampl;, became Queen of P ra nee, However, the European destiny of Russiawas ruddy interrupted by the Mongol invasion (I 240), which isolated the Russians from Europe for!1 centuries. It bas been rhe curious fate of the Byza nti ne world [0 have had. to bear the brunt of repeated attacks




which have seriously disrupted the COurse or irs organic development from the cime of the ecurne nical councils - down to [he present day. Such were die Arabic, Mongol and Tbrkish invasions, which pur an end, successively, (Q rhe spiritual inHuence of great centers like Alexandria, Antioch, Kiev and Consranrinople,

UmH [he fifteenth ,cemtuy, (he metropolitanate of Kiev, erected under Vladimir, was canonically dependent on the patriarchate of Constanrinople. W.Udl only a fe'l>" exceptions, the merropolirans of Kiev wereall Greeks who came from Byzam:iUl1'1; while the rest of the episcopare and clergy were chosen locally; The ecumenical patriarchate neared Russia. as one vast, firmly centralized missionary diocese. This system. was (U rlie hasis of the canonical and adrninisrrarive rradirion whieh made the metropolitan of Kiev-s-larer the patriarch of Moscow- he unique head of the Russian Church, and all other bishops directly subject to his ;;nuho.riry: The other Oriental and BaJkan patriarchares, by contrast, were always: divided inro merropolitanates in accordance with ancient canonical GLlS[Om and have" therefore never known any such patriarchal <lilrtocfa,cy: The Russian sys[em nevertheless had certain advantages in rhar it enabled rhe merropcliran of Kiev, appoinred by Ccnsrantinople and therefore (datively neutral with respect ro local politic, to <let as [he siLlpreme judge of rhe counny;

The Mongols were generally rolerant in matters of religion ~!I"Id allowed the Church [0 enjoy the privileges which if had enjoyed under [he old Kievari regime. The arbitrary nature of several khans, however, who demanded rhar [he subject Russian princes pcrfo'r.m certain pagan rites when they were invested wirh authorify by rhe Golden Horde (near Astrakhan] resulted ina number of martyrdoms: thes St. Michael of Chcrnigov, his fdend Theodore, and S[. Rornanus of Ryazan were ptll' to death for [heir refusal to perform these rite-s. However, these were isolared instances. The prevailing attitude ot '[he Mongols toward Russian customswas one of roleranr forb.eamnce, a fact chat was not slow eo be appre-


ciaced. Thus we Bnd rhat .1, gr~nd prince of Ncr'lgcu'od-chti: amy principojiry not conquered by '[he Tartars-c-Sr, Alexander Nevsk .. y, had no cern punctions abou r seekingan' alliance wi rh the khan, without detriment to his rdigjous convictions, in order to be able to oppose the invaders from the West, whose avowed a im \VaS to effect the suhmission ofrhe "schismaeics," The Russian prince was obliged successively [0 flglu Swedish Crusaders (1240)= and Teutonic Knights (242).. In ,effect; the \Vestern crusading spirit caused rhe Russians, as Je btt:r would be Byzanrines, to ptef~r the yoke of [he Asiatic to the Imperialism cfRornan Christianity.

Meanwhae, the Orthodox Church was free to expand and org.g.t!! izc, F r cou ~ d boas t, for ex .. mp lc, of", num ber of re markab le 111]SS]Onary successes: [here are numerous instances of [he conversion of the Mongols to Christianity, and in 1261 it was possible to establish an episc-opal see ar Sarai, the capital of the Go.ld.en Hcrde! Missi.ona.ry monasteries=-Valamo and Kouev on Lake Lado ga, ~U~ d Sn~O\lJd on the Whi te Se<'!.-b egan rhe work of cooverriug [he Finnish tribes of [he North. Finally, in the fourreenrh century, ,I remarkable missionary. St. Srephen of Perm, translated [he Bible and [he lirmgy from Greek, with which he was wen acquainted, into the Zy~ian lJ,nguage., J\nxjous at an costs not to seem to be ~lfdng Russian w-ays on his new converts, he created for [hem a new alphabet and. steadfastly refused the political slipport offered him by the grand prince of Moscow, He was also [he I1l'SL bishop of Perm, rhecapital of [he Zyrian nation.

Dominated by the ideals of Byzantine spirituality, the Russian Church could hardly do otherwise than ro allow monasticism [Co play the important role which it did quire generally rhroughour the Christian Easr. A[ the very rime when the Chrisrian founda~ rions of Russia were being laid. St. Theodosius eseablished the f~ln'oucS MOnaS(eEY or Lavra of the Cryprs ar Kiev, The numerous branches of rhis mother house served as spiritual foyers for rhe disserninarion of the Gospd in rhe southern and western pa.rts of



Russia, which would Later be knownas the Ukra.ine".ln the norrh, St. Sergius of Radonej founded the Lavra of the Trlnio/ (today Zagorsk), in the middle of the fouu-eenth century, while his disciples ranged far and wide through [he uortbern foresrs, ,AI; missionaries, builders, colonizers and scholars, the monks played an importanr role in dl€: religious life of the rimes,

Kiev, rhe ancient and farnous capital of Russia, was sacked several times by [he Tanars. Eventually reduced to the slaws of an abandoned village, it ce:ased. to be the residence of the rnetropojitan. Aft'e[ a bdcf sojourn in Vladimir, the primarial sear was tra nsferred to Moscow under Metro poli t<!I n Fe rer (l3.Q 8) ~ 1326). I his was an event of grea.1: historical importance. Moscow; hirherro a rather obscure principality, became the religious capital of aU the Russias .. Separatist 'tendencies at once made rhemselves felt in the sourh and wesr, The princes of [hose areas, subject to the aurhoriry of the king of [?o]o:l.FD.d and the gfand. duke of Lh:hu[I.I1];l, demanded [he right feorn Constantinople ro have their own metropoli tan and Hn.alny won their case in the fj freelHh centu ry when Moscow became autocep.i1.a.lous with f,eSpeC[ to Byzandum.

The independence or "aurocephaly'" of the Russian Chun:.h W'JS proclaimed as a consequence .of [he acceptance by the thcnrnetropolitan, Isidore, a Greek, of rhe decisions of thee Council .of Florence 0439-1440). We have already briefly couched upon the condirions under which [his unionist council was held and described how its decisions were quickly repudiated by the Greek Church at large. The Metropolitan Isidore, - however; was ;;;1, staunch advocate of thepolicy of reunion .. In 1:'C\V~rd for his conciliatory artirude and fur the part played by him at Florence, the pope had appoi..n~;ed him ac;n-din~ priest Imrnediatelv after the conclusion of the council .. Upon arriving in MOSC(fW in' 144 1. he celebrated a solemn liturgy i rl the Ca[heciral of

] Ace,ordil1g ro Onhmlox canon law the rerm "anooccphsly" sl,ands for rh~ rig,iH, enjoyed by ~ gr(lll,lp tlf diocese, of dL'l:tin!!: rhei~ OW~ prjm~t,~ .. The_ bOlllnd~.n~~ ~~f the v;lrlolll; i.unoccpiJ; ofien will(;.id~ wi.rh (he .i·rollri'ers of:J srate, alrhough rflls I~ nor i'illwa/}'s true.

rhe Rwsut1'.f. Church from Its Be.ginnin&TS to 1917


the Dormirion, mentioned [he pope: s name .in the course of the servicevand proclaimed rhe reunion with Rome. After pondering [he matter fOr three days, the Grand Duke Basil had .kidore arrested and. imprisoned fOr some months in a monastery, <lI.l1d then allowed him to ,escape to Lithuania,

After much hesicanon and a prolonged correspondence w]th Co.nstJilIlt.iJl!opk,_,w:be~e me Union of Flo.renoe had. not y;e r been officially prociaimed-c-rhe Russians decided [0 enthrone a new metropolitan themselves. It was thus rhar Jonas was appointed to the see of Moscow in December 1448. Consrantinoplewas simply informed of the fait lu'Compli The S1:ep was taken parrly as a precaurioaary measure EO fm'es~tan rrou ble with [be ecumenical paHi~ch~t.e in [he future, [Of its was widely assumedthat the Union of Florence would not lase long [here" In fact, as soon as Comm.ndnople feU~ in 14 5c3, the Gl~eek repudiated the Council of .Florence. However, Moscow now had irs OW]jJ. rnerropolitan and was nor disposed to give up what circumstances had enable ic ro usurp.

These events also had their psychologic",l ;m'rermatb. for, beginning in the fifteenth "en ru ry. we find the first serious traces of a profound pOptm tar distrust of the Orthodoxy of rhe G.ree:ks en [he part of the Russians .. Had the GIt't:ks ['O:~ betrayed the true f"lj[h at Florence, had they nor beel) deservedly punished by God. who had handed over their empire to the Turb? Moscow was henceforth the "Third Rome"» Ancient Romewas no-w heretical, the New Rome was gl:'Oa.ning under the yoke of rhe Tirrks, the Third Rome alone rcmained intact, The eheocratic ideal of a. universal C1:uisti~i.U. empire thus foui1di~s Iasr refi:lgc in Moscow. Before long rhe grand dukes adopted rhe ride of"c-ar" (a Stav]cversio-n of Caes<1Ir) ~~ld considered themselves henceforth as the legirimsre SUCl.'"e.sSOl'S of the rulers of Bvzanrium. [11 the purely ecclesiastical sphere rh is rheory was never pushed to its logical conclusions however, for rhe see ofMoscow, ill spite of irs Sf,ear power and wealth, never claimed to supplant eh .. e ecumenical primacy of Consrantiuople. Therew,ere



always men in Russia who saw things in. a more humble and. realistic ;l nd less romanric lighc dl(lll [he partisans of the TlriedRome.

Tlras itcame about that, in [he OOUF5:e of the sixteenth CientLlry~ the Russian. del'gy and indeed. all of Russian. society were divided by a violent quarrel over '[he viray in which [he religious furure of Russia was eo be envisaged, One pan, headed. by [he learned .[Iibbor Joseph of Voloa] was completely dedicated to dlle ide (I. of a new Chl'Lsdan M~$(_'O'Vi re em pi re; rhey were the p~ rtisans or a close alliance between Church ~!1d s~<li~e inrhe Byzandnem,nlJl!e(~ and demanded .. un return that the State allow the; Church and the monasteries 1'0 keep the enormous domains whic_h they possessed and whkh W~te used. for charirable, educational and social purposes" They .f1.rmly believed in theurgency of building here-and now a City of God,. of which Moscow was rc be ~he center, The orher p~!ny~ on the contr<iJ.y--Wh00c.;:~pokC5m :UlWOi,S rhe :;lus:tetc rno~lk: ~f~he northern £orcst~ Nil Sotski.j-pt<..":,lChed ehe virtues of ruonaseic povetty,i.ndepeudence with respect lEO [he stare, and canon.iGlll.{)~.~Iy 100 Constantinople. Tbey f~.")re$av;.r Eh;u a wealthy ('lJ~d "naturalized" Ch..loch would more easily become 9J !)rey EO S[1l te centro]. In theend [he Church r; nallyrecognized that there was an elemenrof UUd1 in theclaims of both sides: bodl Joseph and NH were canon ized, However, rlpparen [ victory lay wieh rheparry of Joseph] .. i n dle sixteen eh cenzu ty. The Church rO;:~'li.t1ied irs propertiesand '1.~lk"L1 it~df wi~h the Muscovite state. But history has shown that Nil was, to a large extent .• right- The Byzantine M]ddle Ages. were well Over by (he sixteenth century and rhe furrher development of [he: Russian Empire along the .Hnes of it secularized modern stare, which in rheeiglneen th cermJ[Y was desdried. completely IO subject [he Church to lIS wiU and ccnflscase iIS pmper[j'] jusrified [he 111hgivings of Nil and his p~my aposreruori,2

2 On [he sixreemh-cem II ry WflUQ'!l!l:[;5j_~: and [heir consequences, set also out smdy Une ,r'(J"m701l!.'~ fur Ie r6& 51JCi41 de ItgliJ~, La tjlleffe!ledes bkm el,TtiilmdqneJ au Xv'! r fice/un RliHie rc heverogue, 195 G I anides nppcaring i III hinikotJ, ~ 955 and 1956J J.. Cf, W. K, Md I in, M(])COU1 and E.!iJt Rome. Apq1itimi StrJdy ofdN lM.(ltlo'l:1S ofChun;-h ImJ Staff in fI,"u$Cmiit~ R1Wi{1 (Gc!1ev".,. 19521


Having achieved. an autocephalous status, rhe Russian Cbureb proceeded to develop its OWn {d i.gro us literature (lives of [he saints, llu~l"gkM texts) in [he course of the 5fn~enth and sixteemh centeries. Russianart (iconogl''<lphy), ever faithful to its By-:.randne masters, attained a .h.igh degree of perfectio n with. c-he work of Andre! RublevA gre3Jt council, held ~H Moscowin ]551 (Swgla:v. "Council of the Hundred. Chaprers"),~mroduced.a: number of refo rms .i n the Russian en urch ~imed at cu rb i ng the in fluence of sects and the spread of Western. forms of p ie~ ~u;.d. rel ig;~ous thought. ACODsklembie number of Russian saints were canonb;;ed., The Third Rome Elms ga veevi deuce that it i ntl! ndedto I ive up to the new tide which was being a[[l.'.ubmed. [0 her, The Russiens Were parricularlypleased when (he ecumenical patriarch J eremias n visited their country an d consecrared the firsr pea rriarch ofMosccw and all the .RUS$i~lS, Job (589). The newparriarchate, however, was only accorded fifth place in the hicf<'l~chy of Oriental sees and even today occupies ~he s~U'ne place, afrer Constantinoplc, Alexandria, Antioch and jerusalem,

The thee rv of the Thi rd Rome suffered still fu rther blows under the ~m~dHca[e of the s=« patriarch N~kon. {I 652-1 6S8) , .r\s S1QOn <15 he had b(..'f;;f). elected this very auehoritnriaa-minded prdace decided on a twofold policy for his pontificate: he in[en ded ro ,es ra blish the s l~p n::macy oftht;: spirirual over [he [em po~ ral power arid to rd:Orm rhe Russian Church in accordance with the U tlutic8!~ norms [hen P revailing in the four other Ori en ro.~ pa[r iarcha res, The close friendsh ~p betwc'cn Niko.n and Czar Al ~ exis-s-the second of the Romatlc1v$ h]IU IO attain hit; first 0 bj ective . For some yea rs rhe Russian czar was the obed i em son of the p~lHiai'ch.~:":[owever> Nikon was lacking inthe ~fIC[ and. patience neoesscuy to profit by this hl;vo:r:-d.ble situation, and his, power di.d nor last. His second objective resulted in. a schism wh ich separated mill] ons 0 F rhe f8! ieh ful, who had [J.ken. ~h!e dlemy of [he Third Rome seriouslv, from rile ruorher chun.:h.Why, these cri ri C~ as ked, sho uld m ino[: c us WI.TIS 0 i ke making .he sign of [he



cross with rwo fingers, singing the A11du.ra rwice, etc.) be reformed, w11eFil our fadlers had. been saved. by observing: them? \W].1I.y accept as ill crirericn In tlrese matters the OOJllupt Greeks whom God had punished. £0·1' their infidelity? This·wa:s childish reasoning, of coutse, but ]t nevertbelessconeained aeereain logic, aU the more so in I;har ~he r,efo.nmv;.rere Inrrodaced by violence and. inmlerance, and certain measllreSi--for example me requirement that the clergy we8JI" thei ( hair Iong-weI(; not J ustific;xi by the <1IJiJ,cient practice of the Byzantine Chw.·ch. but were merelymodern Gree:k eusroms &uing fiorn the time of the Turkish occupation. Nikon W3!SNnaUy deposed and condemned by a 1iynoo "I 666~ 1G6?), The very Orienral pa!:{i:ardw whose spokesman he had 'been reek pan. in the ~r]];oJ and ~n£i.[[ned the deposicion, The parrlarchs l:ef"onnsj however, were nor lI~bol~$hecl and [he SdlislTI. ("~rlskor} of the OM Believers laseed for cemm·~es.,J

The. clai m .of P:;11uia~ch Nikon ro darn inate ILhe czer hau n r.ed. the mind of [he ym.m.g: Peter the G][eat, who ended by i.mI ira d ng the impetuosity ofrhe proud prd<1xe bu t~~ongemi td.y clUfeten [ lines, After [he dearh of Patriarch Hadrian (1700), the czar ferbade the ho~din:g of elections fot a new patriarch for twcnry-cne years, and. dlen .i n 172 l promulgared his fumo us Spiritual &gulation, compiled by Theophanes Prckopovich, bishop of Pskov, wh abel idled [he p~ ~ riarchare and placed ;I. col ~eg1a re body ar [he head of [he Churc.h]. rheHcly Synod, consisring of bishops andtwo or three priests, In accordance with the new regulacions, a lay pmc~;mltot, appoin~ed by the {_':Z~u,. wasrequired 1'0 rake parr in all discussions (without formally beinga member ofthe Synod) and g['adu3i.Hy became the head oftheadrainisrrative organization of thee; Church.

This system, irJ fluen.ced byche ecclesiasrical regimes found in the Protes tan ~ scares ·of Cenm~ Europe, didnor formal ~y regard the czar as the head of rhe Church (documents referred ro him

3 011 Nilwn m~d [lll~ R:l:5.lo:!d. ~. the moau n1!;mal r.ncs1s of P. P::lSC~J. illlf',~kum rt !~~ d,f,burx dr; RfiJIwl (Pari s, 1?38).

merely by the ambiguo~d:de of "supreme judge of the pres-ent oo]]eg;e")) bu~ Peter subje<c[edEhe Church to the stare ina. way that neither Byt:a_odlUl'l ncr RU£S;la had ever dreamed of befor.e [hi5 time. Galled upon. I03lpp.wve the new arrangemenr, the other Orthcdcseasrem patriarchs fi nal II' g<'l!v.e their consent, after Dosi theus of J cllus:tl:lem-whO:5'e efforts on behalf of Onhodo.xy we have men rioned above-e-protested in vain ag<il i ns[r;:he whole of rhe czar's reforms.

Poli[icil]]Y se par\JI.te from. MOSClfW1 rhe provinces that later fmmed the Ukrai ne (in Russian, Ukraine. signifies "fronners ") ex:p¢:deno:.1d an altogether dlfferenr, and <l:t rimes qu].[e tragic, fate. Af[er theelection ofjonas 110 the see of Moscow, -Isidore retained at least nominalauthoriry over the diocese of Kj~V' in P·olish and Lirhuanian territory, He resigned i!1 1458.. His successor was a ppointed by Ronreandconsecruted by [he Uniat parriarch of Consranrinople (resident in Rome). The new ineumbenc was Gregory ]3o]gll.rj n, who fottvll"'el ve years main mined the COm:IT.! un ~ ion of the Ukmioian Church with Rome. Then, in 1470, he returned ro Oerbodoxy and. recogn ized once more the authority of the ecumenical p<l.friarch at Constantmople (under Turkisb rul e)" Tl1Je latter, a£ter Bolgarins dea th in 1472, appointed an Onhodox prelate to. succeed. hi m.

From this dare [he Russian dioceses of Poland. <lind. Lithuania, although canenlcally dependem on Consto:l.otin.ople,.led a practlcrl.ily independent life and. were conseanrly subject ro pre58U(f~ on [he pan of the Catholic kings of Poland. This pre58u:rc wasexercised particularly by means of the «right of parronage" which enabled ~he kings and certaiu nobles to appcinr candidaees for the priesthood a nd the episcepare a nd ro ad min ISLer some of the prop erry of d-le Chu rch, Op posi do ra ro Latinism was hqen~d especially by various c.oI'lfmlEemides of Orthodo:;.;: laymen, who sometimes succeeded in buying up [he right of pa(mna~ ever (heir churches, published wmb: defending Orthodoxy, and. sup~



ported Orthedcx schools, Undoubtedly it W;iS these laymen who were m "in ~y.esponsi ble f.o r S(l!ving d~e Orrhodox -fuidl: in [he Ukraine, and. nor [he apathetic d.ergy, whowere subservient to the

king and co.rn.lpr. -

In ]596 the metropoliran of Kiev, Michael Ragoza, and the majority of Ukrainian bishops signcclatl aCt ofrcun.ion whh Rome at Bresc-Litovsk. This was the odgin of d~e "Uniar" Ukrainian Church. However, the Inajo.d(y of [he fairhful led bywo bishops and an exarch of the ecumenical patriarch, }\.n.:hdf;'<IICOfl Nicephorus, remained &icltfu! to [heir Or~h.od(:(X'"y:W'h::n [he rwo Orthodox bishops died. (1607-] 61 0» [he fJid]fu~ were withour il.ny pasrors for (en years and were governed by the Un]at bishops whom the: ki~.g of Poland it;u'!I.I?()$.Qd 0.!1 them." In 1620, however, Theephanes, parriarch of jerusalem, paid a visit no KIev and re-esrablished an Orthodox succession, At [jISt more Or less secretly, then openly, cil is hierarchy was fi.n~lly recognized by the (Polish) state.

Theseevems, db.e conditions under which the union with Ro me had bee n imposed, excesses of all kinds, keptal ive fOE centuries a fierce harred among [he Orthodox fahhfll1 towardthe authority ofRome, which, hI rhese p<l!ns, became idenrified wid. tha t of rile Polisbkings,

Forced ro live under these difficult couditlons, [he Orthodox Church nevertheless had the good foetune to be governed by a number of distinguished prelates, noc,~bly the MetropolirauPerer MoghHa (1 G 32~]64 7) . Famed fD[ his CrmfiscSio1'fS, which we have mentioned above]. MoghHa fDlInded a school at Kiev in winch [he teaching was largely according to Latin methods of instructicn. He [reformed the ~iturgy and church governmenc, endeavoring ~:h~$ to overcome rhe inferior position in which [he Orthodox found themselves by comparison wirh [hell" Larin neighbors.

Fina By i n 1686, as a resu ~ r of Russian victories over .Pobnd, rhe UktOli:ne was an nexed EO rhe M uscovire empi re of [he Rornanovs and tile metropolitauate of Kiev was attached ro the patriarchate of


Moscowwith [he formal 3iPPf()V~~ of ~h,e parriarclr of Cons~,m.d~ uople, Many Kievan vheologians now moved 1:'0 .MoocowJnd served as ]fJ.vai.uable assismnts eo Peter {he Great~ who was inten t on introducing pm-Wes[ern reforms into They also broughEillong -with them Latin methods and insrrucrien and. Ladn'WTII.YS of though t! wh ich b,f\d a .h~[ing. .effect on Russian cllloo1ogy:

As fm the Uniars, a large p<1~[ of [hem retu .. med to Orthodoxy follcwi ng ~heptlinidon of Poland (three bishops a nd many rairhfrd ~n r 839, at Polotzk), However, the major p'<l:rr of [heir church In. Galicia) at HIM under AIi.lM~rian> then LI11I.der Po~jsh 0ov(;r~igol;y, remained fai~hfuJ to Rome urnil 1946. There 10 evidence dla[ [he recern rerum of this unfortunate church [0 Orthcdoxywas ·f;'f~ fecred under conditions rather similar ro if norworse than rhose underwhich it WJS formerly u ni ted wieh Ro me.

The synodal I?,eriod of Russian church history (1721-1917) is not viewed wid! 11 kindly eye today and is frc:>quendy cired as a classical example of the worse that can happen when ach urch is enslaved by the stare. In aceual E1CI, however, religion remained vel'Y much il.i ive in Ru ssian du ri ng chis period and In marty respects was even productive ofexceprionally good results, $,0 rhar it would be inaccurate and mlsleading to dismiss [00 summarily [he rather artificial system under which .L[ labored, Conremporaries themselves recognized the uncanonical nature o~ the new c;;cde$i<lsdca~ regime, bU.I [hey were powerless to do anything e:xcepr tolerate if. The system 0 F $ [:,1 re co n rrol 11'n posed on the Chuech, .~ ike a dike, left the Churchs aware ness of irsel f inrace. Ir restricted some of the churchs activities and resulted in [he creadon of deplorable condirions-c-the clergy, fDr cxarnple, became a social casee-s-but ir did not corruptchurch life ["·uaUy.

'We shilll dwell here briefly on tbree positive a8pec~s of the Russian Church during rhis period: Russian ~pifiw;:lUrry, educalion, and missionary effares.



The Ch.r.isdan Ease has always had a particular respect ancll even affecrion for the monastic Hne, as we have seen, The monasteries of By-t:andulu were the recognized cenrers of spirituol Iif~ ] n the dry and. Empire, In this respect, the Russiil!nswe~'e the fairhful disciples of d\e Greeks .. During the synodal peeiod, moreover, their .~oyah:y to rhe monastic ideal W<lS highlyimpouaot because it was .i,3ifg:e~y this which made possible [he survival of RJ],IS$ i~ n t:pi[i~lla~ilY by .acting as a countelweig]lt to rhe Pl'occess ofstatism, [he aItempr of f.he statetc make over the Church in ] ts own image and reduce It to the role ofa mere servant. It was in rhe monasseries rhar rhe gn:<iJ Russian saints of the period made rheir appea.rance and carried on their aposrol ate,

In. the eighteenzh cenrllry. for example> a bishop of Vcronejc;\ St. Tikhon (17U- [783),1>pen~ the remaining sixteen years of his life in [he rnonasIery of ZrJidonskOli.od there devoted himself to the ccnremplarive Efe and the writing ofspirieual works. Do,$wervsky was inspired by his example ro create a character with. the same name in his The P0s5;eJ;sed4 Tikhon soon acquired a grear reputarion as a spir~L1i!;,l;l ;;:!,dviscr .. Under the influence ofGenmm pietism, he advocated a complete renunciarion ·of thing:::. The excessive nature of his teaching on this peint illustrates bereer than anything else L.he ~ypic<li~ reaction of 1tt<lI1Y Russian Christians to the an:og~m secularism of [fie reforrns of Peter tbe Great. The conflict between the new polirical realism and [fie spiritual rrad i.'dons of rhe pas~came ro a head only during the Russian ineellec[!J[I.~ and spiritual renaissance in rhe ninereenrh ctC:nwry.

A revival of interest in patristic spirituality was heralded by the publicaticn of a Slav.k rranslation-c-rhe wo[k of Paisi] Ve]id~~ ovskij, a monk from Athoswho founded rhemcnasrery ofNeamt in Mold3ivia~of the Ph£tocaiia of Nicodemus ($L Pecersburg, 1793), From now on the Russians possessed in rhei I.' own lan ~ gV<"lge a collection of the imporra [I r texts of the Pa then on pl'llyer,

4 N, G orodeL'zk:y. Sf. TikOOi.i Zatl£'mky. ln1pil:t'ruf DlJttDcV~kJ {Lql].rl(m. 19 S u-


asceticism and mysticism. Before long:,rhe greal)es~ rnodem Russian saint, Seraphim", had fmnout: in [he monasrery of Sarov, and. d~je sta1:ts.i of Op6no were being chosen as rhe favcrire spiritual advisers of [he Russian ime]]ec:tu~leJi.te.~· G()gpl~ D01i:wevsky, Alexis Khorniekov and Vladimir Soloviev all ooutfi.d the ultimate so u rce of their insp i radon in r.h.e Rus;._~i<'JJ'!1 Church and the spiritual tmdido.i% .of Ord10doxy. On [he v,eryeve of the Revolutiou, rhecorrsezsion of noted Marxlst intellectuals (StruvejFtank" Bulgakov, Berdiaev) seemed to place a seal on the reccnciliarion of Sp~d~ and. M(I~~e[ under rhe sovereignty of Clrrisr, Unfortunately chis reccnciliation, achieved on the purely hne].lectua] leve], was Ins uffic~emi n .i tscJf to arrest or alrer the gre(l~ ei de of even m which had been rrep~ring {\o..( such a. long time as 11 resu It of so many social and economic factors.

[f these spiritual rnovemen ts as awhole appeared (:0 take place on the. as ,~t were, of the official stare Church-e-rhe reforms of Peterrhe Grea.r resulted in [he division of Russian society into a dos-ed caste system (nobility, dergy, pe.l$a:~~ty)-. -~he off1cia~. Church nevertheless did. com:dbUl'e to che .imd.I.e.cIlual IHe of the caullIr)!, particularly by creating a ~r:s-tem of church-run schools which attained a remarkably high standard o.F excellence in tlre n inereen I!h ceo m.ry.

Toward the end of the seventeenth oentury a theol()gk;!~ acad~my W3!~~ founded ar Moscow. Th isrerrn henceforth becnme traditiona] in Russia as [h.e des ignarion for a gradu ate school of Iheotogy or what iu rheWesTwcmM be called a major seminary: In spire of dou bts abou t thei [ crthodoxy, it W,\S i~he Lati nizingr.heologians of Kiev, the former pupils of Perer Mcglrila, who were GJJ led upon eo work ou [ rhe curricu 1.1IIrn and def ne rhe methods of .~ nsrrucrion !EO be used in the new school. TIna llghou ~ Irh.e

5 Oil ( movemene as a whole, S<M especially E.. 13d1 r,Sigd, Prih:t< ~·t Ml.inl(t'rif m RlfSJi~. {P~n~, ~(Il~ions du Q·[f, 1 950k J_ K_ol ogf~voF. E,Mi 'W" la ~til!l1,:t en Russi!:, cod Bryna!!r: (Bruges, t'95<3}; V, Z~.I1.kO'd;y.}1 !-f;m~1J,afffll!i~i'mll¥tlt,lJwphy,:2 'lQ1$ .. eNew York, ~ 953).



eight teenrh cen tury [he future hlgher dergy of the Russian Church s[~diedin Larin from manuals compiled ~n accordance with [he approved methods of La tin scholas ricism. The s},"S!)em was only mo difiedl in :a 80 8, but some ofirs features remained .. i n eff'ec[ until 186]" while irs influence of COUl'S-e lasted much longer, Though alien in spirit, fr,om. ~he viewpoint of Orthodox tmditiQn,~hese latin methods nevertheless produced tangible results in 'rhe purely educsrional fidd, espedflUy alter the founding of three other academies (St. Petersburg, 1809;. Kiev, 1819; Kahan .• 1842) in addi do n ro the one at Moscow. The studerus who ;I.[vend.ed these higher institures were chosen from arnon,g rheeblest pupils in the seminaries (secondary schools for the clergy) , founded in many Russian dioceses in [he 00 urse of rbe n G ueteenthcenrury, By 1914, the Russian Church had a total ·of fifl:y-dgbr seminaries whh 20,500 pupils, of whom on]y a certain portion went on to be ordained, The majority of the others became lay teachers, for the Church also controlled a r~n or the eounrry'selemenrary school system and furnished professors of religion who taught in rhe secular sen ools. I n all, [here were 40,15 (I schools 0 f all .ki nds dependent on rhe Church. in [914.6

GmdlLlally overcoming the defi!Gs which [hey had when fOunded in. '[he eighteenth century, ~he churclr-directed schools turned our an appreciable number of able eheclogiens, historians rmd. liturgists in the nineteenrh and rwentierh centuries, whose works-s-un form nate! y li trle known i n only a few Slavic: scholars were able to read RUM.uan-Wel"e and still are aur.l.'lJoJ:i~~.rive in a number of t1dds" I f'i. rhe Add of petrology, for exaruple, special attention was paid to the rranslation of rhe original [e;i{fs.'More works of [he Fathers and relared ~eXTS have been [ramlaced into RI;lSSi;l.H than.lnro any other European bmgii.i~ge.7

Q La D~c,r=i!.l.lMiol~ ! no, J 93 i (Ocr- 9. ~9)4). Lc Probljm~ rdigie.1JX ,f'J U. /t, 5,5.., vel, 2. p. 5,.

,. ~ C. Kern, re~ Ji:(lductilm1 mutc! d~t tt'>tte$ P,lfriJ!.iquer, (_i1fid~ bibt;o(!gmpi~iqu~ (rJlA!"'~wgl1~. 195'7}-


Th us by 1914 the RUSS]':!J'), Church represented (lin imposing body of neadya hundred million fill rhful, divided. into sixty-seven diocr;;ses,8 The sixty-seven bisho ps in office were assisted in their work by eighry-two auxiliary bishops, 50, l 0 5 priests, 15 ~21 0 deacons. 21 .330 monks and 73.,299 nuns, The number of monasteries for men carne to 1~025[haJr-~f'GOn:vefi[s for women [0 473,<)

Dl,I ri ng c'he synodal. pedod,~no reover, the Russian Church continued l.IS missio n;uy advance toward the Easr, We have seen [hat in the Mongol period Russian missionaries began the evangc,~ izarion of several ethnic gWU1]JS Hving in Eumpeau Russia, Progress ccntin ued in [he fi£teen th and sixteenth centaries, f8Jcm·~ tilted by .~~~ capcute (552) and Asu<l!k:ha.n 05%), and by the gradLHI.! t of Siberia, The missionary mcdviJty of several archbishops of Kazan (St.. GudEJc$, Sc" Barsa nuph ius, Sr. Getm'~.fl.uS) resulted in. the escablislnnent of a solid GOre of Chrisriau Tartars around this city In the sixteenth century. Philotheus, metro pol i tan oFTo be lsk (] 702~ 1727), dispatched missionaries [0 dre Kamehatka (1705) and to Iakutsk, in eastern Siberia (1724). He was the first to excend his m issio nacyefrorrs beyond the confines of the Russian Empire by sending a mission to China (1714), where there had been a Christia rJ Orthodox colony In rhe su bu rbs of Pe ki ng eve ry since [he yea r 1689, consisting of Siuicized Russian Cossacks. Toward the end of the eighteeuth centmy; mocks fr·om the monastery of V01:~amo on Lake Ladoga proceeded to Alaska-rhea ::I. Russian pos, .. essicn-c-and established an Aleutian-speaking mission.

In. [he nineteenth ceruu,y (he archimandme Ma(:;ad(]8~ a Hebrew specialist and one of the most successful translators oF~he S her sino:: tlw I~.In~ (J.F ~h~ M idJ'l~ Ages, wl:~~n Russia C(J'I'~sined ar on])' Odl~ .m issuon.,~ry !E1(:~rur(11it'-l:n~rc d(!'pcnd(!'f!i[rm till!' pat.ri:lrdi~l.r~· of Consranrinople, [he IHli.nber of R.~;I~~j~ n (Ii()q:~(;~ !1~,[1 [mdlt'iGtmlly been 'iitry ~FTI.aU.

9·N. Zernov, The I?m/jtln~ and nJeir Church ll.oadoa, J %'5j., p, 143; H~mi.:imlli.tKrridt/ul (Go"ern~nem&lmjal} (1 <) 1 (it pp, 166.-72. Cr. J. S, Curtlss, Tk R1mi(11J' 01rm;h tl'ftdtlu S1l'vtel' SMIdBos[OIl, 1 )!">3},. PI', 9-10 (ch~llg tile offich~ f]gtlwcsfor 1(14).


Bibleirno Russian, founded a mission at Altal in western SIberia in 1830, and. translated dle Bible and [he Umrgy into the various dialects of the r~g~ofl. By 1903" 25~OOO of rhe local inhabicmts had become Chrisrlan and had a corn plete Ii tUIgy in their own ~angu,[lge. Eastern Siberia also had its apostle in the pen;--on oOann Veniarnil1ov, who, firsr as a priest (1824-1840) and then [IS a bishop (1840-1868),labOfed inde&~ig:ab~y with a group ofhelpen, for the conversion of the Eskimos and (he lr'J.cii.a.[ls of Maska~ the Aleu tian Islands and the Ku rile Islands, and rhe Yaku rs of Siberia. Appointed rneercpelican of MOGlf;OW in 1868, he founded. in [he eapitalan "Orthcdcx .Miss]onary Seciery" Fo.r the purpose ofcenuilJi:zing all the missionary activities of [he Russian Clmreh. Afrer rhirry yeal'S oflnbor, [be society couldcongrarulare itself on [be conversion. of seme I 24].10 0 pag,ansm [he Gospe.l.

The whole missionary efIo.ns of rhe Russian Ch arch was given a new direerion toward the middle of the nineteenth century, when a. center for missionary srudies was fa unded at [he Academy ofKazan. Theheart and soul of the new center was a iilly professor; L L I1m.insJ{y" aremarkablelinguist, who W~S perfectly acquainred bo ~h wi rh [he hibUcaJ~a~gufl-getl (Hebrew] Greek) > . Arabic, and withthevasious ~<l!nguage$ of C:.eHU[l~ A~i~L. In order [G GOUB~ema the rapid pmgrc50 ·of Islam among me Tartars .• Flminsky and his groupconceived rheidea of [TIDShuing: 'the biblical and liturgical texts, nor into the literary ].angll;age which was: very little understood by the people, but inro the various spoken dialects, Thus J veri mbl e Orthodox .I.ihm.~y was created for [he bend] [ ofdle Tartars Y~kl!!t0, Buryars, Tunlgus~ Vm-Y<l!ks", MOfdvini<l!fl.s, Cheremiss" Ostyak-Samarcvs, and Kirghh:. By the year 1903, the liturgy of Sr. Joh n Ch.rysostom. was being cde brated in more than rnr,e.nry ~angu~lge.~ in ~he region of K;U;l.n.Fn 1899 rhe diocese of Sa.mam had] 28 dergy (74 priests, 17 cleaoo.flsj and 37 lectors) who were able to speak Clruvask, and of this number 47 priests, [2 deacons ;;Ii nd 20 lectors were or Chuv;"lsh OldgiIL

Beyond theRessian fl:om~ers ihe Japanese mission was by: fur rhe

• . T" . "II . d· I. _ III . I . 10

most llU, .. tlE 1$ SU acnve to ay; as we snau see . ater on.

Onhodox missicnary <lcdvio/ in. Asia from the fifteenth re rhe ninereenth centuries, on [he whole'"--though with notable ~"'X'cepdo.ns, especially in japan-s-followed the colooiale:xpa.o~ion of the Russian Empire. But this W'<lS equaUy true .of WeSIer.~. missionary effo];f.s., Cacholic and Proteszanr, in Mrka and A£i.i1, which In generflj coincided w.ith thecolonial occupation (If those areas hy European co anrries. The success of (he On:hodox missions, p:aI'dcu~<ld.y .i n Islamic regions, ]:5 at least partly a ttnbutsble to the rime-honored Byzantine custom of tnl.nsL3Iting the liturgy inro ~he vario us local spoken languages, and partly [0 a certain cleverness on [he pan of [he Russians in being able roadjust themselves to and ]dl:;ntHy themselves withthe Efe of the subject peoples.

In any c a S(;;~ the story of these missions is $uffi.cienI to refute an erroneous impression regarding the duUness and inef£ect ~ve ness of Russian church history du ri rig the synodal pe-do d .. WhUe remain~ ng curwardly a. parr of [he govermnenral machinery, the Chu rch was nevertheless sd]] capable of producing s:aiot's OlV'ld. apostles who te,$[~fied tothe remarkable vimHty of Russian Christianity during rhese years.

W R~g,~rlili.rlg (he Onhoom: mlsslons, see ~jJ«j:llly [he !11,O!nUIIllCI1t~] wl.lrks of j. GJ&zjjk, Die rt#~ifdx·or'h.wi= HddmmiJsion idt Pf't~r dew Grt#!ien. .(Mum~r~'r-W'l'stf:d~,n. ~ 954); Dk .ls/nmnsilJiQn .d~r r$! .. k:h-i)'f1:b~xt'Il' Ki~bt (Mii n~I!I!r·':IX/~sd:lIl~n. I 959), who clees ma..n:y RIj55i~~n. S<Hlrcc~_ CF. ,~b[) .E. SlItUtllUEf, .l?I,lUlilil Orthodr»e .Mi1tivm:s (L:>ndon,1903), ~!1_(1 s:, .Bd5bakQff. "tI'lc F.~7?ig'J' of I'm Rli$~l(]n Or'~(j;tf Church (London" 1943}_

Chapter 7


The early decades of rhe twentieth centurvwere faIeful.fmm _ . evelY p~ i n r of view and the Chfistiam of Russia were destined to find themselves in. (he very midst of rhe great transformaricns rhen raking place. The pat[ played by them in these events and above <Ii~1 the remarkable survival of Idig.lon in Russian pwve that rile Russian Church was by no means, aSSO readilyassumed, a mere cog in the wheel of rhe czarist goverrnl1c!'it. Tbroughour the nincteenrh cel'lJ[ury farsighted Dndividual.s consranrly looked forward (0 [he day when the Church Gould be modernized by means ,of adequate reforms, and especially, to the imperative necessity of ;achieving greater independence with respect to the s,,"u:e. AI [he rime of the I 905 revolution, when Nicholas II granted a constitudon guaranteeing ahnost complete freedom of movement and speech in Russia, a wave of inrellecrual and social unrest broke over flu: Chu rch. Russian religious p ublicarions in this perio d (I 9'05- 1917) are filled with passionate discussions of (he reforms rh:n were deemed necessary in the Church, The Holy Syn.od. agreed to the holding of a narional synod of the Russian Church-s-nor since rhe

. ,

~~me of Peter the Great had it even been possible ro contemplate such a step-and established ;l. Pre-Conciliar Commission charged with the responsibility of preparing the <1.genda., The Russian bishops were invieed IX) suggest" progra.m of reforms: their replies to this inquiry constitute one of rhe most interesting docLimems of the period. On the whole they were in favor of widespread refo.rms in [he Churchwhich would.enab]e it ro.carryon irs mission in a more effective way and with less control by rhe stare. A decided ma jo ri cy was in .fiwor 0 f rhe re-establ i sh me nr of the p8i t riarcha te.




Thus the Ch urch was berner prepared than is gt:nerally'supposed. fo'[ the everns 'l;vhidl were now about to take "bee. The Provisional Gov,e:rnrnenc of Kerensky allowed 'the Church to S ummon the co ~D n~ ci I, which had been in prcp,u:arion for twelve yean. The body which mer at Moscow in Augu$l' 19]7 included 265 members of the de:rgy and 2991<iwmen. Elected by indirect voting in the diocese, the council was representative of the ecdesiolcgical tendencies prevalent i n the Russian Church in the nineteenth ce:mury; and in accordance with these principles laymen were permitted to share wi'cit the episcopate responsibil iry for me affui rs of the Chun::h at a]l levels of church government. The council. S:U lJJ1ti.1 August 1918 <lind drew up anew constirurion fOr [he Chur--ch,whi.,ch provided for the re-esrablishmenr of me patriarchate, the election of bishops by the dioccst;;s" <l nd the representation of' hymen on parish. councils, on diocesan councils and in rhe higher administration of thepatriarchare, On October 31., 19] 7--six cl~ys after rhe overthrow of the Provisional Governme.nt by the Bolsheviks=-Tikhon, metropolitan of Moscow, was elected patriarch. Episccpal elections could not be held in all the dioceses; however, In Perrograd the popular Bishop Benjamin WJS, elected rnerropoliran by the dergy and faithful. in the very midst of the revoluricnary U.! rmo it. Thus, fu.l' from seeming to u phold the ancien regime, ehe Church on the one hand bo~dly asserted its righr ro independence from the stare, and on the other showed rhar ir was disposed to allow me people too elect their own ecclesiastical heads.

However, most member of the council of 19' 17 p 1918 and the majority of Russians at La.rge lacked any clear ideas on what the p.rope~ relsrions between the Church and [he new Russian state should be. During the brier reign of Kerensky, there W~S an intense longing on the parr of church leaders for some form of independence, bur chis longing was not identified with any par· ticular theory regarding the exact nature of furure Church-state relations. The Church leaders first of ,111. spoke out on behalf or whOlJ dl.ey regarded as the national interest, by demanding material su ppo rt fro m the Provisional G over nrne n t for the Orrh odox

The Rwsian. Clmrch and the Commtmi,st State


fakh ;,1$ the dominant religion ofi;he new republic, but ~ppe<!.ling to die army to continue the war against Germany, and later, by solemnly 'condemning rhe Treary of Bresr-Litevsk, which had. been concluded by Lenin. These aces dead y showed that the Church did not ar firsr envisage the necessity of having to $~parare itself completely from the stare and rhar this separation, once it hadbeen brought abour through force of circumstances, did not mean rhar [he Church intended to remain silent with regard ro rhe acts of the governmenr and refrain from passing judgment on [hem. The Church had reformed itself internally but its attitude toward the various phases of the Russian Revolution was determined. pragmatically by rile mental outlook an conscience of its rulers, especially by that of its head, Pacri~,.[ch Tikhon,

The Communist P'arcy, an intensely active <lind well-disciplined minority, eriumphed with relative case and unexpected suddenness on rhe midst of thee frightful political confusion in the country at the time. The Church rhus found itselfconfroeriuga gov,ernrncnr resolved 1:0 combat all religion as such, for Marx had defined religion as the "opium of the people."

The attitude of the Soviee stare toward religioes beliefS in general; and towardthe Onhodox Church i.n p~.rrkulm; has been remarkable rhe same over the years,. <' as theory or doctrine is concerned, Equally remarkable m:e [he various tactics if has adopted over the same ;rc~rs in dealing with religious opposir.ion.1 I[ seems thar this ~C[ los ro be explained nor by any deliberate Machiavellianism on rhe pm-t of me party leaders in the field of religious policy .. bur by certain rnisconceprio ~'B which have vitiated their analysis of the religious

I ~.M3.n:.i,smi ma(eria!ism. l\s !j1I,lch, it i~ wi !lwm mercy for r,digioll. ~ wrote Lersin (Works', 3rd ed, [Lcnillgl<1.c:l.1935<l937), vol, 1, p, 70), "AU rdigifms docrrinc," wrD~ r. Kasirin, "serves ro !;;:;iJgno~:fb:{1,-e the :i.ll~eres[s of the C~ plol ti ng classes," The: RMt1tIm· my .Wfn(e ofRdi'gli)-!~ MC(!~Kf {1~1 R.uw.i<lJl~ {Mosrow.~ 95, 1 }, p, 2'9, The 5ovi;er. pr(l..S$

rill fi-cqucndy regr~t~ that "all Sevier cislzcns nrc nut ye! emanci P:ltt'tl frOID the W riges of form<:.r rimes, ]MrtLcLIlarly rhe "[races of religion. ~ 500. for ex;lmpLc, .M, PelfSdrz, "The Lq;~~I~t".i(~n ~.:r (he October R~'olmion on ~he hoodom orO:rn$C['I!'tl[)~~ (in Russian), ln QIi6tiim1~fHiJl'Ol'J I)lRdigitJt1 'rml!m, vol, ).. (958),. p. 63·,



situation in Rm,sla. Marxist dogma, in. effoct"was laid down in the \X'esr and under different conditions from those prevailing in [11e Russia of 1918, "Chrisrianiry," wrote Engels> "has become more a od more the apanage of the m]]ng classes and is used by them as a bridge by which to control the lower classes,:1

Acwrdjn g to [his doctrine it was enough m,et,dy to create a classless society to bring about the disappearance of religion, But in Russia the Orthodox Church was a popular church-s-rhe ruling classes, on the contrary; had been hugely secularized s ', ince the eighr:eemh cenmry-e-and ir just provided itself with an even more <" constitution in the council of 1 '917 -1'9 Itl] by accepting fundameu cal. reforms in. its: structure and irs <ld mi nisrradon. The anti-religious measures of the gove.rnmem therefore struck not at [he "rLiliri!g classes" of [he former regime, but ar il! popular clergy and the great mass of believers, who by and large did not idenrify their Cause 'with the political and rnilitaey counrerrevoI urion, and did nor represent, therefore, ex.cepr for their religious convictions, any deep rhrear IO [he new governmem" In order to impose irs will in this matter the govermneru did not hesirare to have uecourse to force and cnnsiderable bloodletting, and thus, succeeded in ~':> the Orthodox Church into amarryred church. Frightened by ~he cunscquenc,es of its own actions: the gocvernmcnt made several racrical teti:,eats-it tried for example, to wi n over (0 irss ide a pan of the dergy, with a limited am Dum of success, and rhus divide the Church,,. arrer many years, ir arrived a kind of modus vivendi wirh the reunified Church :;i ra her 1l ns ta ble :lXr.tllgmlel1 r by rhe terms of which borh sides, eh urch ,md sra te, appea rio be staking allan the fu LL.I re,

We shall firsr b.i(;;Ay touch on [he restrictive measures of [he goverrunem in [he field of religion, and rhen analyze the reaction of the church and [he ensuing conflict.

2 S~~ i h~ colk'r.rion ~ n ri rlcd rbol~ghf! of K /l!Jarx {1n~' f~~ fngds on i?t.'iigi.(J1I (iu RU!;SLan) H.ellingmd; 1(19). p_ 63_


On January 20.] 19 ~ 8. rhe Council of Com.mi$s~des: of the People approrl.>',ed the famous decree .egar.ding the "separaeion of Church and S(Jre and th.e separation of the schools from the Church," which was promulgated on January 23:'1

This deere .. 'C forbade all participarion by the Church in the life of the state and a.~~;uucIion in p'ub.~ic or priv~re schools. Ir proda_imed complete freedom of conscience; fo[' all citizens. The freedom envisaged, however, was nor [he same kind as rhar which, existed in "bourgeois" countries, for religious groups were no longer regarded as juridical persons capabloe of enjoying juridical rights, Such groups were deprived of rhe .right to own property (paragraph ]2); their propeny was declared nationnli.ze:d;, only places of worship (a.cco.dil~g to the autograph co r rection of Lenin in the original. text) might be made available to them by rile state; asthe result of <1. special decision by the authorities (pan" 13). Wo['ship was not allowed except where ir did not interfere wi~h public order (para. 5)~ [he authorities alone beil1g (he sole judge In the matter since [he Church as a religious group h~~d no j1.1[id.ka.~ rights, The nev .. government was not only separated from [he Church, it placedthe larercornplerely "mw;ide the law," The publication of th.~ de~ree was accompanied by numerous antireligious disturbances" inspired and carried our by iocaJ Communist officials or by undisciplined revolutiona1'Y groups. The most nO[Qll'i:)tlS of rhese O:!tblH'S[S",:<lS the one [hal rt;Sl,Ill'ed in the murder of the InetwpO~l[,[m. of KJ,ev], Vladimir Oanuary 25, 1918). These goVel'11.m(;;Dt;'i~ aCIS, radical and brural bv their very nature, were clearly designed ro break down the resists nee and 0 rg,anizadon or [he Russi <'i n Church - The .Iauer, however, remained hopeful of being able ro come to some kind of an understauding with the Soviet gO\fel'llimenll- On two occasions (November 4-8, 1917, March 1. 5, 1918), <l delegation fwm rhe Church council=-whlch continued [Q sir in Mosccw=-went to [he

:I An a(:COlUH Oflhchis{my ofrhisdccr~,~> us well as n pholOgmph_ic,copyofd:~e'o~gi.r1a1~ wirh th~ ~utogr~ph corrections of Leni I'L, has recen tly been published .I n rl;e pC!UDdiC~ QuestiOtiS oflliirory ojRdigi,(Jn i!nd Atbei~m, vo], 'j (M.o=w, 1'9')8)" pp. 50~~.



Kremlin to try ro reach an agn~ell]e.n t on the relations between Chinch and stare, But each time, wh.iile rhe tone of the conversa[jam: was correct IlQ resulrs were forth,oCOming. The govcril__men [ had. decided on unilateral action ..

When. ehe great (1ffi ine of I 921-192 2 was ragjng thro ughOUI: the ]engthJnd breadth of ehe land, especially in the Volgaregion, Pa triarch Tikhon addressed an appeal. to [he Russian Church (Augus~ J 921), as well as to foreign. churches, to collect fund,~ for [he starvi ng. An ecclesiaseieal committee was set up to centralize and distribute help. BUi: the goverument was afraid of the moral prestige [hat might accrue to the Church if it succeeded. in help on a massive scale, and confiscated what had a.lready been collected. A new decree dated February 26, 1912 went even fUfriler: ir ordered the confiscation of all valuable objects in the churches (metals 01' precious stones), declaring th .. 1.l they were needed (0 al.leviate the suffering ofrhe starving, Such valuables, in fact were .:ilih·e:ady rhe propeny of the state by [he. decree of [9li 8.

By irs laws and. its arbitrary acts [he government indicated dearly enough irs intention [0 build in Russil a society in which there woul.d 1:10 longer be <lny place .for [he Chu.rm. For the Christians ofRussia, rherefore, it was no longer merely a. question of recognizing (he social. reforms introduced by rhe Soviets-s-the collectivizarion of the land, the narionaliearion of indusrry=es just or unjust, but of defending die very existence of religion in Russia and of Finding [he best was to do this. A pan of [he clergy chose the simplest parh: [hey sided with .heWhire armies fighting the Reds .i n vario us pans of rhe GO unt!:l" The pa triarch, however, and rhe majority of the c~e.rgy who were in territory conrrolled by [he Soviets could ['IO[ avoid defining their attitude toward the new stare of affa l rs ina more realis ric man n er, And &I.ey did so as Christians. Their witness to the truth and the moral and physical sacrifices which they were obliged ro endure constitute the best guarantee for rhe future of religion in Russia. The t1gures ar our

The Rrus.i.lJn o.mrc:h and the Comm unisr StaU'


disposal ShOWi more eloquently rhan anything else" the enormousrisk which rhey incurred by remaining faithful to their vocation. Between 1923 and 1926, some fifty bishops were either shot [0 deaehor died following deportation, In rheyearsli921-1922 the business of confiscating chorch valuables cost the lives of some 691 priests alone. A much greater number of prieses were forced to submit 0 rigorous governmental measures of all kinds and were subject to various harassments, including that of being deprived of aU civil dghl:'s.4

Three months a£ter the Octoher Revel u don, in responseto 'me unbelievably erucic and violent initial attacks on the Church, Patriarch Tikhon launched a sentence of excommunication against the "open or disg:uL~ed enemies of Christ" from his resideuce in Moscow:5

By the authority whlch God has vested in me, we forhid you to approach the Mysteries of ChliS:[j we anarhernacize yOlL, provided you sti ~~ bear the name of Christian a F) d belo L1g. by b L [til. to (hoe Orrhe dox Church ... As for you, nlichful sons of the Church, .1 appeal to you to defend om holy Mother, outraged and oppl'es.sed . _. And if.idJcwmes necesss ry [0 sU!Her for [he cause of Chrisr, we. ap peal [0 yo II to fa How the pach of sl.Inel'ing ... And you, my brother bishops and priests ... organize rei igi~l]'S gmups as c) as possible, a.ppeal [0 [hem to form an alliance of spirirual combatants determined eo oppose to physical force rhe po'wer of rhe Spirir, \Y/e firmly believe rhar (he enern ies of the: Church of Ch ds'l will be d efea red a [lei dis persed by rhe power of (he Cross, fo,[ rhe promise of 1-1 imwho bore the Cress is unshakable: "F will build my Church and rhe gates of hell shall [lot prevail against i Eo ~

1 Tbe Comti.tlltinn rlf:l918, para. 69. Sec M, Pd'skij, New M.1.rtyrS o/RutJM (in Rl~irui) (I~m::bJmv1n~, NY; 1 % ~n" pp, 168-3-0; ,~F. N. -ri,rm~schdf. liIcligron iit &ml<!f 1?t1!Jilt (Lon· don, 19~e). I)' 89; A .. A Bogolepov, TIY(: Cbmrj} undrr Com;mmm' PO'IJ.Jef (in Russian) (M unich, 19,)8}, pp. l6-l7, It tS ob v iou.~ dml the fig.l.res cired by these emigre audlors G'U'LM[ be eomrolled tlU~alJy, rh~ ~.ll~ crirerion !king dieir probabiliq'_ However, ~hc latter i£ beJuiid queaicn for l.:hcJX'riocl we 3!11! sttidyUlIg. The ecde.sja~l:ical m!JJ!s ;llild depeuarions were 1i:~lJcmly .mel rill">' l'epom:J iii the Soviel press,

S CoI1fl.'p~c(cE:ng~ i.:;h tT'LI .. ~b[i()jl i 11 P. Anderson, Ch~~rch tmw Ssese i.~ MlJd~i'.i!J Rus.~;(J {Ne w York. 1944), pp. 65·68_



In spiee of the passionate nature of tbis appeal, [he parrlarch refrained fiomexpressly mentioning [he governmen[ ~.mong the "enemies of CluLt"~h.oping no doubt that the latter would nor co:tny W exrremes the violence unleashed by the revolurionary spirie-e-and did rim Gill upon the f~.irhfuJ W resist rhe gQvtftlmeneal measures by force, but only by "spiritual" means, Thuswhile (he head of the Church made nopu;tense of remaining "outside poHtic!;~'-.un. March 1918 he condemned the Tre~HT of Bresr-Limvsk-.he nevertheless refrained from prono uncing any j udgment on the' social retorms of the new regime. Feom this moment, ~.nder his guud~.nce,the Church refused to idet!idfy itself with the old regime and Blade it dear that Irinrended to exercise its own righ t to pnJ claim the G os pel to the Rtl ssian people. In October ] 918, Tikhon addressed [I new .message direcrly to Lenin:6

It does not pereain W us W Judgedle early power; (IJI power permitted by God ~hnll have our blessing bestowed on lr, if ir Intly shows i.tsdf the "servant of God, ~orrh~ goml of the governed" (Rom L~ :4) ... rv' ror' you ... we ~dclre$S to YUll this admonitiom celebrare the 8Jnni.Y:crS8JIY of your m~tlmp tioJ] of power by releas ing prisone rs, by oeas ing [Q shed blood, by abandon i ng violence and pi acing res trictions 0 n [be ta.i th: cease to destroy, in order ro organi1.t3 order and justice, give [he people the res pite [hey are longi ng For ". . O[heR'IUse, .a~l [he j Us[ bl(lOd that you have shed wi~1 cry (lll.~ .~ga~ns~ you and yO~1 cwHI perish by "he swoed, you who have taken '~he sword, (M c 22:52)

This letter to Lenin did nor mean thaz the patriarch was now contemplating supporting the counrerrevolutionaey fCHOCes. Ina new app eal issued in Septem be 11' I 9 ] 9 he; called II po n the faith~ul [0 refrain fromany acr which rn1gh[ arouse the suspicions ofthe Soviet authorities and to obey all rhe regularions provided [hey were 110I opposed [0 the &ld]. and {rue p]ety .. Several other hishops issued sim i 181 r appeals to the; L r flocks, Th us, when Me rropol i tan B~nja.rrdn [earned in Petrograd thar a plan was afoot to profane [he relics of SL Alexander Nevsky, he sent ,1 deleg;,~tjon ro Z~-

6 TIllS appeml of ehe prurri aR~h may be fa Li ~d Ill. all books devoted [0 ihe RLissiall

Chuech 8fKr 1 9]7.

noviev, the president of the local soviet, asking him to revoke thr.;: order, and solemn~y promised W suspend any cleric under his j urisdiction at once if any gave assistance (0 rhe Whi [es _7

This attitude, revealing that me Church wasprepared to be critical <uld obdurate on moral ]~sues but pol ~rucaUy loyal, 'Won it a certain amount ofreBpecL. In the m ids[ of me unbelievable turmoil inro wh ~c_h, Russia had been p!lJjnged-l'evD]mh:Hl a ry excesses of all ki nds, civil war was on several fmn~s, foreign lnterveution-e-tbe Orthodox Church. appe~~ed as a so]id bastion and haven ofhope, materially shaken, btu spidwaUy pur~f1ed by the marrytdom of many ofir,s sons. The most serious blow which it had tofuc.e during these years was the ccnfiscuion of valuable objects,

As we 11,J¥e;; see n, the govern men c had forbidden the Church [0 org<J.F!J.ize relief .tOr [he starving .i u irs own name ~ nd [he n decreed in February 1922 the confiscation of all valuable objccss in the churches, The parriallch thereupon issued a circular letter permitdug the church authorities to hand over nonconsecrared objects (the ornaments onicons, ex-yaws, candelabra, and. rhe like), but forbidding rhe surrender of irerns used in the liturgical services [sacred vessels, sacerdotal vesnnenrs). As an alternative, he proposed that the fai.d1Jfu~. org,miz('; a df.Lve and pay rhe aurheriries the equivalent ofrhe objects t!1::l,r could nor be h~~nded over. H~wOLJJd ccrrainly have g.ofleeven funner, if he Gould. have been sure of exercising the least control over the actual lise of rile confiscated objects. The patriarch's circular resulted in awave of peI'S(;:cumry acts Ofi.lrlUSu<l1 violence, and provided the gove:rml1enr with a V~~~!i.i.<l!ble propaganda. weapon to use againsI rhe derg:-y. The patri<loch and. bishops, it 'was maintained, were reiuslolg to come W Ike relief of the. ,SIarving:! In m~.ny [Owns there were violent clashes between the goveramental authorities <ltld. the faithtul. For rht:' first time, rhe -gavenlmenc dared to try some of the church leaders

7' M~[iIOill.ed by im:f,titl. Sept. 20 .. ~ 919, cired ~Il J S .. Curtlss, 71M fhlJ$~'lm C'! tlT~ S~'vlei Stilt~ (Boston. 19 '53), p. 339.



publicly; In Moscow,.~ony~fo[lI persons-e-priests and laymen-s-were dF'agge,d before the ccurts and eleven werc-condemnedro death. In Petregrad Metropoliran Benjamin himself, in spite of his repeated declararions of loyat.ity and disposition CO 'come to some kind of understanding oyer the q uesrion of va luable objeers.was condemned ro death and executed along with severa] of his as,slstautsll This c:omwvcr,sy over valuable ohjecrs had another ourceme: it led. to schism in rhe Church group, One g.roup of priests publicly declared rh,uit was opposed W cJr.rying om rhe instructions of the hieJ!'J.l'chy. Such statements were: of course g]ve_n wide pub]icity and readily received the suppon of the gpvernment. This was the origin efthe living Church,

Patriarch T]1lilion who had come ro Moscow during: the trial of rile '"'.f'or()t-four" to anempt W pI'O[ec[ theaccused by hit> aurhorlty, was norarresred himself until May 9, 1922 .. The offiQ[Oi) of the pta rriarchate were: rben invaded by re presen [a rive 0 f rhe Li ving ChuTch,.who cleimed ro be the "Provisional Gove.Hlmem of rhe Russian Chu]Och.," Supported by the gov"rnm.entj• the schismarics were SoOOn able to claim the :aHeg;uance of pan of the clergy and even ofsorne of the bishops. To ;n <Ih'ea.dy deplcrable and tragic situation [here was now added a new element, thar of sch ism .. The ecclesiastical revel utio n? was heel bya gm up .of secular priests, members of [he so-called 'white" dt;"Igy, as opposed IO [he "black' or regularclergy Because rhe '~wh~t{!" clergywere married rhc;y were excluded fraln rhe epu$copne according to the rraditional norms of Orthodox canon law]. and there was therefore a certain long-fdr animosity rurwng them reward the monks who governed the: Church. The Living Cl"lurchj which would soon also allow n S~v~:~J of [he pIT.5enr leaders of d~e Moscow Jl<l~[ri~:rc], ~r~ then formed p~n of the

'~mi:t(H,1 r:lg~ of 11.1 cHopa:1 im~IJenjnmin, The p,reseu! p::Hn3 rch, Ak-xi,s. was his lllXmMY i~[ld mcc'(_'\l"(I:I;<:~ him ill rnc goVeI.'J:lln,em of [he d iocese. Mettopol:it~n G [.;:gory of lC'ni I]gr;~d {It 9) 7}, rhcn :l priest; W':lS rem.~ll;cecl, i.~ the same [ri~~, :tri ~. 1.0mig rerrn of r(lra"i~ bbm.

9 1'1:10 rnQveme~!:t i;ut!t hecam~ :~plir il1t<!, .s1,,~~J grolJp-s. the most ifl1.p(JtL"L[I~: of which v v ere [he Liyiltg ChLirch ;t~~d th~ 1{~[jOVMt;d Ch urdr.


bishops ro In:ll'ry, permitted priests to .milrrya. second time, and rherelore it was natural rhar it should derive its main serength from the circles of themarried de.r.g:y~ It also gained some adherenrs runong intelleetual circles, anxious at all OOStSCO work Out a modus vivendi with the govemment. Some of the (,efumlS introduced by this body are not devoid. of interest, notably in the ~ iru rgical field, but the whole movelnenr was viriared from [be sun by the ded.dedly fw!~dliJk:[l[ way in seisedpower, by [he fivor which It carried olgai OS[ I~he p<'ltri<l![c&i, and firna!~ l.y by the f1~lgrandy uncanonical acts ofwhich i,t was guilty. Beforelong, the moderate P[ll'ty of sehismatics, caned the Renovated. Church, was giv,en permission by the government ttl U15~ the. m<lJo~io/ . of ch u rdles,bmi[ never 'WOn the widespread s uppon of the f<l ithftl L I r was rile same wirh [be other schisms, paeticularly that In the Ukraine, whe r e a group of priests hadunsuccessfullypetiticaed for the resroraeion or an aurocephalous Ukm.i.n.ian Church and then in 192] determined to g"O ahead wirh their plans an )f'WilIy in sp i re of rhe 0p'po.$i~~nn or rhe patriarch and the bishops. Consecrari n:g certa i n"bLshops" rhemsel ves, [hey to rmed another schism aric group which in some cases received the supporr of the guvernmen t~ anxious ;;1$ ~.~.~~.ys to promote rhe disi ntegrarion of the Orthcdox ChlJ.rch.

The first setbackm [he increasiug trend reward s-chism OC~ 'Lined when the parriarchwas suddenly released in June 1923, afrer having signed an official. s~afemerllr~ckHowledg.ung hi's past "faulrs," specifically his condemnation of the Treaty of Bresr-Lirovsk, his excomraunicatica of [he cornmu nisrs, and his circular lerrer on rhe question of church vallJables.lO Afiter a year's imprison rnenr, Tilmon rbus agreed, in ,effe·cc, to pass rio further pubjic judgrnenr on theacts of the Sovler goV'(;;(ml1:~:nt. En appeals l,O the fil,ithful he defined his new attitude as "apolirical": "Let mormr-

W The texr (If this sc:w!mel1(WllS pl!b'lhhcd by h;,wsti'a. li1Io., ~ 4'1. (lUU1C 27" l'9Z3}i

quoredin Curtiss, !JP, d(" pr, ~ 59-6Q, 34i'-



chists abroad and in the country know that I am not rhe enemy of

L •.... . " I lai .. l II

tne soviet g:OV(;W men t, . re pmc aimea

\X!hil.e adop~ing a conciliatory srticude llo\Val.d me govermnent, ~be p':IT.riaD::hnever"eless remained obdu rare oow,m::l me the schismaeics As soon :3:$ hewas re.!e<iJl.,oo. he .rormaHy condemned them" andcertain well-known #!guros a.mong eheRencvated Church. did. solemn penano;; before him.l2 T.~ldlon died in MoosoO". ... on i~pj'a 7, 1925. Afrerhis d~cil fie Ilewspapet.~ pub.iLshed histestament in ;;hich he once a~~tl d.led upon mefuh:hJtlI to recogn ire [he new regime with a sincere OOnScle'!1.(X;, to oppose irsenemies, (].tH:I. I:D regain the COrlJidence of the gpvemmen r, which, inturn, would rhenpermitthe religioas i.mtnlcrio.~J. ofchildren, the .hJ.ncri.oning of a number of, and me publicariou of hooks. andnewspapers, 1) The I?UHiardlru Ch:Il.w:.;h remained liit.hhlli. rojhis testament, without, however; having obtai ned even ro this day at the advanmges which me p8it.d~!;Ch hoped. for., nornMy inthe fields of religious education ,LU1d pu blicarious.

Thenexr s~age in. rhe life of the Russian Church covers the period. fWln 1927 to 1943.Pauuarch 1. ikho [l fo (esarv;.r rha t i [ would probably be impossible to hold a i!eg~lar election for a new patriarch and therefore designo:ltedr.l'l!fee possible locum t~n.ent'es ro succeed him: the metropolitans Cyr.~~, A.b'<l,dlange~os], and Pe [er. Since the first two were imprisoned at rhe time of Tikhcns death, the; rhird, Menopo.! itan Peter of Kunka, W3!1.' n.:c.:iogni7_ed as locum ttnem of [he patrbw:;;hare. Eighr months a£tr.:r hjs installation. on December 13,. ]925, he too was srresced aridexiled to, aher appounring as his successor iu rhe office of "deputy lecum tenens" Men-OpOUf'dI1 Serg:ius of Nizhni Novgorod. It waswith this s rmng'e dtlc--,wh ich rnany refused to rCCiogn ize-dlrl t Sergius [Oak over the direcrion of what remained of dlep3triarchal Cb urch, a n d governed it from ]927 un ril [94.}, 0 nl y ,~ few b]shop,,~ were sIij] JI ~ibeny,whi ~e rne .ma~mhy of the churches were in L] lwmht, i~os.~"7. 149 {July 4,. 6;1923);qlilO[~d in C~Jn"i~~. {"c. cit .

12 l\mongth~nll vmS Serglus" rhea ard1bis.hor of J;l.ocl8i ;~~I. (he (iii [~I rc p~rfi8n:;ll. U lzrmtla (/~prn I 5., 192 5 h quoeed in Currlss, IJP, cis, pp. 176·77, 349.

rhe hands of the Renovated Church. $ hi.rnsdf Was arrested un December 1926. Fioilnwing his l'dea;e: (March 30, 1927)~ he published it series of declaratioos affirming ~oyahy to the govetnmen~ in stronger terms than e-yeT~ "'We wish tobe Orthodox," he proclai med, "whHe at rhe same rime reoognizing the Soviet Union as OM!" country. We wish its Joys and successes to be out joys and successes and. irs defears to be Out def-eats. ,,14 .More~ (wet, he of~daliy appealed terhc NKVD CPeoph;'s Ccmmissariar fO.b Internal Affairs) requesting It to. '~.Iegalrl't;;" the existence in Moscow of~. patriarchal Synod (ut!ld~ then the gUVCfJ; had om even admi C ted.that Me erepolitan Sergi~$resided in Moscow). The larrer dem,<1I.!ld appealed I!!O many co be going reo J'f,lI .i 0 the way ofaccornmodarien, for govenl1Tlem""legalizrldon" necessarily implied an u nspeci ned. amount of gover.nmen [ con rro I" Ma n y of the bishops in exile or .J[ Iiberty.prceesred ag;llnS( [he new ani rude ofMerropclitan Sergius, One g.roup of bishops, exiled ro Solovki on the Whi[e Sea, including Hilarion 1looickU, a well-known theologian and former right arm of Parriarch Tikhon, sent an appealto Sc:rgiuswhkh also pmf~sscd complete loyalty toward rhe state, but demanded instead an unprejudiced appjication of [he law on the separation of Chu rch a nd sn"l re g~<l ranreei I1g_ [he

•. . - . 1- ~

inrern ::l!.~ freedom of rhe Chu rch. .:'>

Em these pmresIs were in vain, Merropclitan Sel'gius acted in accordance with hh conscience> in [he hope IQf being ab]e to reestablish some form of adrniuistrarive machinery for [he Church, then virtually nonexistent, and rhus safeguard [he ernbryo 0 f a church, as it were, fnr the Etl rure. .lin spire of [he humiliating declarations it was obHged to makeparricularly on rhe SLJ bject of l'digi.ous persecutions, which even at rhe beginni ng: of rhe Revoluticn wete allegedly piUtdy political ~!'i nature, in spire ofthe I 4 TI~~ t,~~[ or lfiis Sm{~[ilcrttn:la}' be [omlu .ill ie PfitJ'irtrch~ Sage t.t slJlt htd~t~g,t ~pfrimd

(inl RLissiim) (1'(1 bl.uca~:ioI1S of ·the iVfosco·"." P;u\Ch~.~\~. 1 ':)'4 7),

I 'j. The existence d an d ~!.nhO;:f1J~chy of this lines.sagc from Sobvkil i~ .~,[In1.i:treJ by alL Thezext was dr.;;ul~_wl d~nAlC5~il1dy in Russlaand also o~tsid~ rhe COUlHt}'.



obviously incorrect informarien i[ w;;1!S obliged to give Out regarding the existence of~r:eligious Uberty" in Russia, me parriarchal synod, established by Sergins, ron tinned in &',Ct to be anacked by the press and its members were often arrested and exiled .. Ami rcligioll.5legisladon became more and more oppressive as successive modificarionswese made in me constirution of the Sov~er Union. The' constitution or 1918 had guaranteed to citizens urdigioiJJS f.reedOJI1.;;aind. "b.'ttdom of rcligioiUS and arrrire1igious propaganda" (pam. 13). Thus paragraph was modifi.ed in 1929. From then on i[ was a question m(;'rdy (if !'f~om of I':f:ligious confession and ill1.rire.~gjous pIOp"g<:I.!id~."· The Constimtion of Sralin of 1936., still in fOrce~ merely mnfers on citizens the "fl'l.>edom of religious worship and anrirdigious propaganda" (P1l_liI .. 124).

During World Wo:lJ Il, however, the Soviet goV'ernmem made a sudden about-face in its tactics toward rdigion.

Af~·e r issuing a. patriotic message to [he Russian people On the very day of ~he German invasion (june 22, 1941)., Metropoliran Sergius and his church were granted a certain amount of freedom of movement and. action. A .few bishops were released from exiie. On September 4, 194.3, Sergius and two other metropolirans (Alexis of Len i ugrad and Nicholas o.f Kiev) were received by Sralin, and obtained. off1dal approval for [he holding of a patriarchal election. Th(;: synod, conslsring of only e,igbreen bishops-many 'Of the orhers were sri U irnprisoned=-duly mer and elected Sergius parriJICh. This resurrection of [he Church coincided wirh [he pmmfH liquidation of the schisms of the Renovated Church, which, lacking <lny popular support, 'was in full decline. The patriarch obtained die righ~· eo lise the religious edifices hitherto reserved l a[gel}' (0 [he schismatics. It waS perrnirred, also, tn proceed with rhe reorganizat ion of the Church, establish theological semi naries, . and P LIb I.ish an et-desiasdcal periodical,

Whatever judgm.em one may fed inclined 'co pass on [he policy of Patriarch Sergi us, it is undeniable rhae rhe reappearance


in Russia in 1943 of Oil traditio nal Or tho dox church ,faithfu Ii n all respects to Orthodox canonical norms and rites, amou nred to a veritable miracle, and. constituted a kind of rebuff to the anti-religious campaign and the materialist ideas with. which the g'Ov'em~ ment had 'tried for 80 [eng to indoctrinate the Russian people, WhoUy excluded from rhe schools and from the press, religion had nevertheless resisted the unprecedented assaulr made on it by the (lrgcinlS of propaganda. 0 n the eve of the war, in its M;ay 194 J issue, rheperiodical Amireligioznik stated that the antireligious puhHca.dofDs issued mat year by the gov·etnn~u::m press included sixty-seven titles of books and pamphlets totaling 3,.50.5.000 copies.and two periodfcals and a newspaper with atotal of 5,880,00.0 c:opies.16 ]n· addition ro jrhis, of course, all textbooks and all reaching in the schools had [0 be slanted in an antireligious

di . i7


It was after surviving [rials of this kind thar [he Russian Church was able [0. celeb-rate in 1958 the forrierh anaiversary of the election of Tikhon as patriarch, in the presence elf numerous foreign Orrbodox prelates, To be sure, 'the conditionsat the time of his election and the difT'erent. aspects of his parriarchate were soft-pedaled or glossed over; nevertheless the Church felI that it was celebrating the memory of one who had worthily borne witness for Christ and rhus prepa.r.ed the way for rhe survival of the Orthodox: m.i rh in Russia ...

Bur rhe srate of course had and has no ineention of <lbandoning in; ami religious prog~;:![s attitude was given concrete expression in the decisions of the Central commireee of the Fany. dated November 10, 1954·, <loci signed by rhe :s:ec['etiJrYj N. Khrushchev, printed in Pravria on November 11, l 954. "The Cornmu nus[ Pa,r!)"," the documenr asserts "relying on the 0 nly tnlJy

16 G~eJ by Curtlss, ~f!- cir., PI>. 280-363.

11 011 dtc ~FlQ;ri\'t!n[!ss ~li!I. [Iamre of this pmp[l,~~T1J(I~, see .i!speciaJi.y P. B. Andersen, P~ork; Chmd~ and Smt't' i71 MMern RMsif4 (N~w Yeu!.!, ~ 944J.: cf. th~ same nnhor'.s .I?'dighJU$ Future (lc)l1(loil ,1935); ~ also C~lUiss. D/,. fit.



scientificconceptien of the world, the .M3JIXist ~ Leninist, and on the theoretical foundation of rhe ]aw!][~ dialectical materialism, cannot adopt all indifferent orn .. eutml ~xdw.detO'!.<vard. religion, si nee rhe latter is an ideology whoUy al ien [00 science." The Parry. c:omeq uently; "will assist every believer finally ro get rid of his religious errors .. " The text of the document then goes On to stare the cl assical d.octrinethaI rdLguon isesgerui~llly noth i ng bu t a meansemployed "by [he exploiters in their strLlggJe against the workers,' Conseq uendYt"after the vicrory of socialism and rhc Uq uidarion ill [he USS R of rheexplei dng classes, the social roots of reHgion wm find. themselves em off and [he which served for the MJpP0It of the Church will no longer exist," The existence of believers i nR ussia is therefore merely a survival from the pas E, allowed by the coasriruriou to the extent th<lt rhe-exercise of relig;ion is limited eo "worship," (para .. 12A) ~.nd"d1Je servants of [he Churclr, in the vase .ffi3ljmhy of cases, roday adopt a loyal attitude; coward rhe Soviet authorities .. " Therefore, fh:e Committee condemns "administrative measures and harassments directed a:gam8t believers and the dergy", these !T!N~~~SU.ues "cannot but be harmful, by strengrhening religious prejudice." The struggle agil.i.nst religion should therefore be viewed f.wm the purely ideolog;Lcrll level. Ir shou I.J consis r above all in [he educarion of me workers according ro rnaterialise principles, An editorial in the periodical Que:>ti()u:J af Philosophy (1959,. no, 8)r<,;cc;ndy declared that religion will gradually lose irs influence over [he masses "when socialism shall become sIwnger, and the level of material and GU ltural l]fe rises, as reclmclogical progress is made, and as the gove rnmer; ~ Ls able !;O exercise more pressure rh rough i 1;$ attack on

lici "

re Igl0n"

We must realize theretore that the siruation of th(,;: Orthodox:

ChUl.·ch in Russia today is fur fwm being~!l e,l$Y one. ObUged, in theory; to be polirically neutral, and in eHen ro support the govemtnem, it does not receive anyd~ing in re [!J rn for rh is a rritude. Resteicred in in; acuvny ro n::'~ig,ious "worship," it must


nevertheless seek to oppose as bes ei r can. an active an d rel i.gious: campaign di rected ag[li usr all religion, In the follcwing chap rer we shall anempr ro analyze [he preseIl1t situation in Ruasia and speC:lIJ~ lace briefly on the pmbpe>Cts for rhc funrre,

The establishment, after the Second WorldWrI.l',. of~pop1JL~r democracies" in various countries of Easrem Europe with largd.y Orthodox populaticns wok place under conditions WtilUy d.ifferem from those whkh witnessed the triumph of ccmmunism in Russia .. The new rulers were able co profit by [he experience of [be Russians, Thus it happened [bat when (hey seized power. they were careful to avoid the violent persecutions, public trials, and other h<'J:n~ssments whichmight have served as an excuse IO make man:yl'S of [he fa]l.!1fut Wld:lOut attempting to impose il. un.ufo.rm pJTtern for the separation .of Church and .. SIE[[Ie everywhere, d."lJ.ey rnai n rained a dgh[ corneal over all [he activities of the dergy, neutralizing certain prominent individuals <lind. currailing, whe~ever pos$ib~e>Ehe aposrolie effOI'IS of [he Church. Fai(hful tothe doctrine of the eventual disappearance of religion in a classless sodr;; ty" d-'l.ey preferred to rel y pI: i nci pally on rime and commu nist re-education of'rhe masses (0 achieve their objective. Adrninisrrat ive measures were ai med-,:l.nd srill a.r.e---ag;ai.ns[ all those who show tOO openly [heir opposition 10 [be l'egjme Of official prop~r gandJ . On the whole, the Onhodoxh.l erarchy in rhese GO unrries models J.(S attitude On that of the patriarch of Moscow. Db:3!s:SGd~ <Iring itself from all COHneC[lOn wieh [he foemt'I' regimes, ie is careful m exp.ress iIS l.oyml.ry to the new by t:aking pan in serniofflcial organizations such as the "Partisans for Peace."

At first glance,. the k,gidadye;mi~ude of the popular dernocrades ,~ppe~lfSW be more favorable IO religi on than rhar 0 f [he Sovier Union.,. The latter, as we have seen, forbids "religious propaga 1.1 da" and 0 nty a.Uows'· antireligicus propag:a ncl.~t >( C ousri turion of 1936,. para. 124)., The Bulgariai:i (para. 78), Romanian (pm'a. 84), and Hungarian {p~M~L 54} consrirurjons simplyrnendon



f· , ,. d c« 1"' .. hie ;; Th·· ,C- 1

freedom 0 "conscience ano or re .lgmus WOfS. lp. _' ~e~zec aos-

lovak constinrtion (pam. 15) is even more e.xplic::i'c and guamntee.s the freedom of «acts connected with reHgious profession," while the Polish consri UJ cion; by far the most U beral, admi ts rhar d1;C Church and religious g;mups "may perform their religious fur:u> dons" (para. 17).18 These constituticnal guarantees, however, are limited by special laws regarding religious bodies, and by the n~w constitutions which the bu::rer were obBged to adopt, 'On rhe whole; such laws a~.d. ecnsrirurionsare designed topermit rhe state to establish a tight control over all the activities of the Church. Actlvities such as preaching and the publication of religious works are allowedfae more freely rhanin rlie USSR. However, in all the po pular democracies, w]rb the single exception of Poland, the Ch urch is rnrefuUy excluded from the field of ed ucarion of youth. It is here. ultimately; that the r,~;J] bat~de be~n Christianity a.nd the new Marxist orthodoxy will be fough~. WIll religious, r~duced to mere "worship," gradually d.~ap:pear from the new society, aJQng wid\ the other traces of ca pitalisrn] a n,ly the Ch risrians fa ted to live in those COil nrries can S upply the answer to this question, and rhe funue alone wiu reveal the advantages or disadvantages of the present attitude of the hierarmy. lin our brief discussion of [he presenr situati~n in each ,~f these countries. in the chapter that follows, we shall see rha r this attitude has varied considerably and that it is more flexible than is commonly su pposed,

18 See A. Bogolep<>v (in Russian), Tb« ChUff" Ci)>>J:ri.lull'i5i p(Ju~r (Munich, 19'53). pp, 80·,81.


I[ is .no._,r y~ry_._ .. , easy ro .. _ d~.aJ. wi~ the sU.bjecr., of reJ]giofi_ in terms of pu~ statistics, because sransncs involve numbers, "TId cannot ,qdcqu<l.lldy describe such phenomena as rdigiotjs experience or religious practice. Now it is impossible EO estimate the real strength of a religious gmup withoutadeq nate information about these fQI'i,d'H:nenral mc[Ors. For more than fony y~tS-'Ehr,'lt~s> ever since rhe Russian Revo.hltlOn-. -it h3S been impossible ro give any adequate statistics fOr~hr;;! whole of me Orthodox Church, !;;"VC'n with IeSP'~t to numbers alone, According to a very approximate estimate based on religious practice, the number _of Orrhodox Christians today who paniciparc more Or less regularly in [he sacraments of ehe Church comestn .roughly 100,000,,000. .About 500,000,000 of these are in the Soviet Union- HOW'-'Vr;;!'f, it seems quire certain that the number of baptized Orthodox must be much. higher, for reception of the sacrament was obligatory in Russia befOre rhe Revolution and even t,od~y there are many .rJmilies who still. have their children baptized but who otherwise remain aloof fiumthe life of the Church" 1 herefore, it is reasonable to conclude char the above figure of lOOjiJOO 000 is not really represent,;l!dve ofrhe actual screngrh ofOrtho~ doxy among [he V[l!iOLIS Christian confessions, The totals tt}[ Rom,ul Catholics (450,000,000) and Psorestanrs {250,OOO,OOO), 8;S they usually given; are based On bapslsrnsl records. bur ir is recognized th .. at these do not reflect acroal religious practice,.;

L See the Pnst,ocript {p,. 2] !) ~o'r rhe comemporary sieuarion.

2 Ofdle 450,nOO,ooo Roman Catholics if!r'hcwo:rkl (or nearer 500.01:10.000 accordill£, '[0 recent sradsdcs), some 2.00,000 ,ooa are in SOIl th A..IlIlC'r.ica, bu t i.~~s ~.d.ini rr:d even by C'uhoik aurhorirics (h~J thee number {IF prnctJclng Catholics ~ II 1 .~u!l Ame'ri(;l. doe . no! exceed 101 percent ()U (he nom i 1l~lly C::ItIi(J,J ic Wf:ll popu ladon, nil:

SMile siruarion ohmills-by PC~i;;C!l~!;-in certain Prore [am OO~I!nu'les of Europe, panlcu I ady ill SC~ neli nnvin,



The On:hod.ox Church is ;I[ presenr a decentralized organizadon, based partly cnceruuries-old traditions and partly on more modem conditions, It consists of a number of local or national churches, all enjoying an~~auwceph.alous" srowS,th.8If is 1)0 say; possess l ngche right to choosethei I.' own heads, [he bishops (Greek auso-, '«self," kephd!;e, "head"). Some of theseckurches are conmined within ~the boundaries of one: state and are, in effect, national churches, Orhers, especially in [he Near East, possess more traditional boundaries and include faithful belonging [:0 several nationalities. Canonically Gpeaking, the boundaries .of <lJI the; local ch urches are not na do flal b u ~ territo rial in na ture ,. and correspond IO fOFlner metropolitan provinces; that is, they form gn:.Hlps of dioceses whose bishops mee [ regula,dy in synod ~~ nd deer thei r own pfU.lnaI:e, who hears [he ride of patriaech, arch ~ bishop, or metropoljran, Bound wgethe:cby observance of a com mon canonical rradi rion, these churches give expression 11!0 [heir communion of faith by holding general councils: fiom rime to time, asthe need arises, As we have seen, councils includingal] or some of rhese aucocephalous churches were freque:ndy held, even after the dos('; 0 f the medieva ~ period.

The relat10ns ofthese aurccephalcus churches with each other are determ i ned by ~.kind ot'hiemrchy of honor, headedby dlC "ecumenical." patriarch of Consrautinople as pdmus inter p.t1n~s, The order of

~ .

precedence among the three other Orientalpaniarchares (Akx;andfia~

An dod'), jerusalem) w,:lsf1xed i n the fi f~h cemury.. In spi te of its gre~u size and importance, the patriarchate of Moscow; established in [589, is accorded only .fifth place in this h.ier<lId.1iY. Other aurocephaleus churches are a.:SSigned. a place 111. accordance with rhe darewt1.en~key became ecclesiasrica liy independenr,

Th is sys[em, whim is theoretically nothing more than an adap~ ration ofancient canon ~aw to modem coudirions, undOll.lbt.edly has the greaI advantage of being very elastic .. It permits antocephalous churches to he fmlnded, abolished, men. re-established 8:g<l!in in rhe


course of history without affecting the en tire organizJtion of the church, Mo:reovet, the absence of aFlY b1nding centralized .3Jl!.nhor~· icy permits the V<:ItiOI).lS hierarchies ofthe churches roday ro adopt different political attitudes without rupzuring fhe doctrinal and sacramental bonds of iLtni'Y.When conditions become more pmpitious, there leaderscan once more reestablish cordial relations witheut too much difficulty .. The disadvantages Qf [he system, however, Me eq U*lUy obvio us ,. Independen t by righ r and in faH:t, [he 3i1L! wee phalous churches <Ire W 0- incl i ned. to live in is-oiation from each other, dl.ey are unable to take any common action ,effelCtlveiy, and they lack J. common sysrcm for [he I1~ain]ng .of the dergy. The d:fecn; of nationalism, t~a[ disease which ravaged eastern Eu mpe in the nine teen rh ~~ ndtwentierh cen tu ries, can be overcome in [he ecclesiastical sphere only with. gre<l;t diffi.cuh:y:

The 01 u rch ofiencomes ro be i'egml'cie1d 35 nothi ogmore [han a meread] unct of the nation, a mereinsrrumenr useful in helping (0 pn~se(vc th~b.rJ.gurlge and. customs of the people. Eecaw;l(;; the missionaries fmm.BvzandIJ1!JJ eve:rvwheterend.ered. (he. sacred lir~l rgy i ~ rh~ lang:uag:s of the people and. rransplanted to Slavic so HI nor only the religion of BYf.;mdum bm the Byzandnt;; theory of [he Christian state, a fertile grout'!Jd was prepared fo [ ~he developmerit of the modern .• essen daUy secularized, form . .of natio ualism .. Evel')"'Wnen:: in Eastern Europe the 0 rthodox eh urch has remained an essentially popular church, This is one of the irnporrant fJctms(;" PJ.abling i rro s urvive rhe Turkish and Mot1.go.~. yokes ~ and [11]:~ is wh.<1i ~~'iold8 in cheek today the Mil, rxis r rheo [')' o·f religion as an "insrrumeut in [he hands of rhe exploiting classes," Bur these V.(~J[y r<"lcro.lrs are also (he source of.a certain weakness, because they make it d i fficulr for the Church ro b ear witness, in action, to the u ni versal and rrensceudent nat u re of the Tiuth, However, the h isterical age in which. we livehns forced us to disringuish between. [he' absolute and. the relative, between Church and state, between Christ and [he nation" And rhus ir is GompelHng the Orthodox world. rod[lY to make a choice berween


111.[, oarnooox CHURCH

mere human traditions and. Revelatien, and te retain only what constitutes the essential of the Christian messag.e. From numerous signs, which will be noted in OIiJJ; brief survey of the .prCSGYII situation of the several churches, i ewould seemthat an entirely new ag"e appears to be dawning in. On:hodox. his-wry.

1. The Ecumen.ical Patriarchate of Constantinople

The second and. fourth ecumenic .. al councils .gilveilie Church of Cons1:anciJl!Ople~'equai privileges" tothose of the Roman. Church, w.hiie reserving to the latter irs r.mdidonal primacy of honor. Since [he schisms bervveenW est and Eil~t the patriarch of Const3!m.inople enjoys .:l" prim~d:"l starus .un the OrrhQdox Church. His tide is "a .• chbishop of Constaneinople-New Rome and ecumenical patl'iilr4."3 Ai; diocesan bishop .of Constantino pk (wh~ch is know roday<'ls fu~nb~l) heexescises direce patriarchal aUl:hodry over fouf mecropolitan. sees ]]1 T urkey, the miserable remains of the once flourishing Greek ChrL~dan communities in A~ua Mi~,.o.r, whkh became mere titles when (he Greek populations lefi as a result ofthe Gr~k- Tudcish Wail' (1922). To give him added prestige, however, the Greek O]mch and gQvemm.em agreed to leave under [he patriarch's author .. .ity the dioceses of the Greek isbnd.s., and in a purely nominal W<lY} thOlle of northern Greece also, Moreover ~ idle .P<"I, rriarchare exercises j urisdiction over a certain number of diocese of Greeks, Russians and. Ukrainians belonging to the Orthodox diasporn. (inWesrem Europe, N orth and South America, AU$[t<l.lja8:nd New Ze,i~aod) and. over the Orthodox,,4 Since rile lastwar his jurisdicriou over the Baltic countries has been taken over. by the patriarch ofMo.scow.

Thus ~he patriarchate which once exercised <lUIhorilY over Vase stretches .of rhe 0 rrh odox world, ,~s we h<1ve seen, underrhe

~. The !ide of ecumenical p~[ria.oc-h goes IMe!,;: ;u ~e~~r ro 5418 and ~hefefor~ hitg . anredares the seh usm.

~ We shalllJ~1."'c more to say i~ detail further on whh regar.;! eo ~hc situm:iOJ1 ofth~ Orrhodo« Chill r::Jl ill rhc WC5~,

TfK Orthodox Church Toddy


Byzan ~ i ne Empire and under the TLi rkish yoke which fo.Howed., has now been. r-educed to .31. very small ~mag:e of its former se.lf~ The varia us Orthodox Churches i n the BJ&bns obtained thcit<1i.uro~ cephalous starus in the n ineteenrbeenrury and the Greeh~ in Asia M.inOI Left the L.en'.~mQry of the patriarchate in t.he twentieth. It is only rhreugh inrerrretional pressurethar ~he parriarehaee hal> b(;"CI1 .aMe f!osu~ive thevarieus trial,s w.hkhiI has been through and has continued to m;;[S headquarters 1n the Gt,eek qu.ane:r of Consraneirsople known as the Phanar, Theecumenical patriarchate owes irs prestige wd;ry, therefore, not to the f3Jc[ rha r II exercises eccles iastical j urisdicrion over less than. t'W'O Jl'lJ.HUon of the fai~hfui (nearly half of whom are in America), but to the primacy Of~]OnOI which it [.radidcmaUy hils among rhe various autocephalous c:b.urches.

Basically" his au.rhQd.ry consists of the right of initiative, which rhe 0 rn.eJt' parriarchates acknowledge as belonging to the ecu menical patriarch in rna H,e.'S of common concern. The ecumenical w1;lncit~ ofCbakedon (451) abo gr<u1ted. him. [he impertanr right rc hear appeals [i'om other churches (canon 17) and p]acc·d under his j II risdicrion [he nsissionary areas (in "barbaro us" countries) which lay beyond. the Roman dioceses of Thrace, Asia and Pontus (canon 28): ill the fifth cenmry this meant essentially rheregions of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Some modern eanonisrs rend eo interpret this canon more liberally and would. gram rorhe ecumenical patriarch jurisdiction over cheentire Orthodox diaspma (which he a1.ready possesses in pan:).

The parriarch .of Consrantinople is [he metropolitans of rhe IXl!ul:arrnoJre, S A synod of rwelve bishops assists him ill. ru nni ng ecclesiastical affairs and appoines the bishops for vacant sees, There is a patriarchal seminary Qi; [he island of Halki, in t.~e Princes Islands, which rece ~ves students from nearly all ,the Near Eastern countries .

~ Ullt~II~922. [he parrlarcb, wh[) vm~ rhen also p()liti~~ head ohhe Crock!;.in Tmliiiey, v .. aselected by;'t oome\lilh~,t l~rge~ botly, ~ijdiJJdi(~g J~J'men.



The pr,esem OCCUp~HH of the ecumenical S(;;'I! is His Holiness Arhenagoras J, who was elected i 11 1948.

Also under the j urisdierion or tile ecumenica ~ pateiarchate is the; world-famous monastic republic o.f Mount Arhos, an importanr spi ri rual cen rer and remarkable su rvival of medieval Byzantine monasticisrn, Daring from the ten th century, the monasteries of Athas have survived in spite ofall kinds of trials and. still had 2,700 monks in 1952. In the sevenreeorh and eighteenth centuries Arhos went through a critical period and (he number of monks greatly declined. It increased again in the nineteenth ,eenuuy, owning particularly toa 1,I]:g<:: influx of Russian novices, so thar by 1913 Mount Athas had a po~u]atioll of6,345. Since cl}en, however]. as a result of the ,gencnilly unfavoesblecondiclons prevailing in rhe Orthodox world, rhis number has sreadily declined, and the siruarion is likely ro rernai IT precarious until better days return.

ls()lacecll1:om the result of the world on their Chalcidie peninsula, living under condirions which have noe varied essentially since the Middle Arores, the monks of Arhos are grouped into I:Wemy monasteries) distr]bUIed over me area of '[he pen insula, a ned by means of their [cpr:e.sen tative govern the region, TIlJ.e land belong.~· by dgh~' ro the Kingdom of Greece" but enjoys an international. sratus, Ofthe rwenrv monasteries, seventeen are' Greek {t:hough sometimes with monks from oilier countries), one Russian, one Serbian and one lBulgal'i~ul. There 'was also, fo'rmct"iy. a Georgian monasl!ery, and in [he Middle Ages there were even L1I[in monasteries, Scattered over the peninsula of At1lOS there also a great many hetmirages, {he .skiti and ,kelt:.a. in which monks of various origins live in accordance wirh differenr rules, Cerwin skid are acruall yla [ge monasteries, while ochers are mere anchoriric eel Is.

As, a unique example of;:i monastic republic which; in fmmer days, 'Once gave a number of gl-eal c.heologians and doctors of the Church, Athos can still claim to be a spiritual center for all the Orthodox. C iowever, ir suffers under certain disabilities ~H the

1 'he Orthodox Church 1(Jddy

pte, s enr time. The monks are recruited almost exclusively from the rural Greek countryside, they-are inrellectually isolated (chis being sometimes wwng~y regarded as an ascetic virtue), and they receive almosr no new vocs a tions today from a.ny co untries other than Ga:eece-cl.1Jese are the irnportane reasons contributing to their decline, To remedy rhe situa [ion, in pan at least ,che ecumenical patriarch csrablished a theological school on Athos in 1953, Recently, [he international situation has improved sufficiently IX) enable a number of new monks to arrive from Yugoslavia] but Athos should really be opened to novices frol'l'l aU countries, it if wishe-s re recover to its former glory.

2. The Patriarchate ofAlexa:~'l,dria

At the time of the greaJt christologial COn rroversies in the .fifth and sixth centuries, the greater number of Egyptian Christians I,'.efusedl co recognize rheaurhcriey of the Council of Chalcedon (450 and formed [he Monophysite or Coptic "Orrhodox" Church, which is still the largest Christian body in Egypt. By contrast, che Orthodox constitueed only a small minority and were known as MeJlcites (the "King's people"), They were Greek-speaking (whereas the COpES adopted rhe na dye Egyp[_ian bnguage fur their HnH'gy) and were long regarded as foreigners in the land. Thei r numbers declined to such 3ip point that from me sixreeruh to the eighteen th centu ry [he Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria almost never resi ded in Egypt but remained in Constantinople. It W;"IS only toward the beginning of rhe twenrierh century that the Greek Orthodox population beg:'ll1 to increase, owing to the immigration of Creeks and Syrians, However, the number of ehe Orthodox in Egypt has never amounted to more rhan 2000,000. The Greek cornrrtunity In. Egypt bas a number of hospitals and schools, Owing (0 rhe p.resen( political and economic situation j n Egyp r j j~ us ra pi d ~y decreasing.

Although his flock is rather small in Egypt] the patriarch of Alexand.riH has jurisdiction OYer all (he Orthodox of Africa,



Candidates for the patriarchate are elected by a council of synod of thirty-six clergy and. seventy laymen, which draws up a List of three names, one of whom is then chosen by the Holy Synod. Until the beginning of 1959', there were eight merropolitans (Tkipcli, Isrnailia Port Said, Tanra, Addis Ababe, Joh~1111esburg" Kha:rmm and Tun is}. Th tee. new sees have j ust been estabiished (Accra, Cenrral Afl'ka and East" Africa} as a result of the missionary activity of the patriarchate, The merropoliran of oriental Aidca, Bishop Nicolas, was elevated to the patriarchal SCa£ in 1968.

3. The Patriarchate

Ami.odl 011 dl:e Oronceswas once [he third .. largesr ciry in rhe Roman Empire, afrer Rome and Alexand.rkt .. It is today no more chan a small village on T urkish soil, The parriarch, whose jurisdicdon goes back 1.'0, a once glodous past, resides in Damascus. Thee Church over which he presides, and which includes about 400,000 fai'[hful in Syria and Lebanon]. consists of the hu:ges~ graup of Arabic-speaking Christians rhere is .. Important groups are also £l)und in Iraq and in America (moi .. e [han 100,0(0).

From ] 724 unril 1399 the parriarch and all the bishops were Greek prelates, appointed because of the preponderance of Greek influence which the Phanar was able co exercise under Turkish rule. Since then, in pan: owning to Russian influence, Arabs have been elected [0 [he see efAntioch. The procedure for pnrriarchal elections, which rakes place in several states, has receurly been modified to allow the laity [0 play a gl'earer role. The.: patriarch is nor assisted bya pennanem synod, bur [he metropolirans meet once a year, after Easter, in accordance wirh ancient canonical cus rom. The re II r,e [en. m erro pol i tans sees in all (Aleppo, She i kh Talbha, Beirur, Horus, Harna, Latakia, Zahle, Tripoli, Tyre and Sidon; and Baghdad) .. Three orher bishops, responsible ro the patriarch, govern the faithful iu Norrh and South America"

TJle Orthodox Chtm:h Today


Al [hough possess] ng only a few educated clergy, [he Arab Orrhodox in Syria and Lebanon have nevertheless experienced something of a revival since '\ii7odd. W~j' H. th~ob ro [he Orrhodox Youth Movement, rounded hy enterprising young unjversiry graJduares. The rnovernent inreresrs itself in a variety of activities: preaching, thee establ ishrnenr of schools} the publicati on of <I! remarkable periodical in Arnbk (An-Nu?), sending members abroad Ill) study ,theology and rhus provide new ranks for the clergy;. and [he founding of monastic communities (Deir-el-Harf on Mount Lebanon. for example). There are rhus grear hopes for the fu ture.

The patriarchal see is occupied at present by His Beatitude Theodosius VI,

4. The Patriarchate of Jerusa.krn:

Established as an independent patriarchate by the Council of Cha.lcedon (451), the see of [enisalem, especially after the Arab c-onquest. devoted itself primarily to proreering [he Holy Places. I rs pre,~erl'r consri curion is also huge! y oriented toward this need, A kind ofmonastic order, the Confraternity of the Holy Sepulcher, sees to this responsibility, The bishops and church officiaJs are chose 11 fn')m a.mong in members, The parria rch him sel f is the bead of the body, which {:OIl.J>DStS of a hundred. members, an of whom are Greeks. The f,d rh.lil I], by contrast. are all Arabs, The Orthodox. of jerusalem have suffered considerably as a result of recent events in Palestine and today amount to no more than about 50,000, many of whom are emigrating [0 Syria or Lebanon.

In addition to the patriarch, there is a Holy Synod composed of six rirular archbishops (Sebasre, Mount Tabor, DiocacS;3.rea, rhil:,i~cldphia> Eleurheropolis and Tiberias), The tower clergy is enri rely Arab in 0 rigin, A mixed coun cii-i n d udi ng AI'[1 b laymen-s-was created in 1911" but f[~ct~on bct\Veen Greeks and Arabs is frequent, particularly when rhere is a patriarchal. election.



The ,di,frerenr statures of the pau-ia['ch'l~e have gradually made allowance for greater parricipaticu by the Arab dergy and the faithful in the affairs of the plu'iarchai:e.

The Lavra of Mar-Saba, an ancient high place of Oriental monasticism, is today inhabited by only twenty monks, II lies within the jurisdiction of the patriarchate, The Russians formerly carne in droves on pilgrimage EO Jerusalem and stilt have rwo convents of nuns there"

Since 1957 [he see of jerusalem has been oc-cupied by His Bead rude Benedict l.

5. The Patriarchate ofMos,cow

Unril [he faj] of 1959, it was possible 10 maintain that the Russian Orthodox Church had reached a relatively Hable PO]n! in its relations with the stare, as ,I resulc of events during the last war. However, the events of the last two years have shown [hat this srabiliry is quite precarious, Duriog [he period of stability (l946~ 195'9)., it wars still extremely difficult to obtain reli~~bl,e informarion concerning [he number of the fail"hfuL T11e re[l:5011 £01" this was: given by Patriarch Alexis himself in an interview gnt,ed EO rhe Reuters A.gency in I 948: "Because of rhe separation of Church and stare, and abo because of religious fi"eedom, we do nor now have at OU][ disposal a lisr of all the faithfuL. as \VaS Formerly the case in Russia:"(' I his very revealingstaeemenr means that rhe Church on the one hand 110 longer i . s in a position to compile accurate statistics, rhe latter being the monopoly of the state, and, on the other, rhae the drawing up of lists ofthe fait+lful, which could be used fo. various purposes of control, would be regarded .\5 an infringem.ent of the liberty of rhe individual faith~

G QUOted ill. l~' Probfeme ~digku.~ il~ U. J?_S,.i-! 1: D~nnff.5 ei diJcllri'imrs mr IO'f$lni$iliW!1

'/a))ei/~ tit' tiilprmm' ig/1m et ilSSfKM1'tiDJII rd;g,irU1~t, in La .DtJcuml'tUOfi(m ji!111Wi-:r, no. 1931 (Ocr. 9,1954), p. 4, This sn.u:ly (nos. 1624 and 1931 of rhe Docurnenrariun) contains \'(:1)' complete in forO'l~riQn em tlie stsurs of religion in Russia,

The Or.tbod()x Church Todny


ful, which he now enjoys, since religious conviction and practice are not a matter of offi,cia! record, Because of this dearth of searisrics, we are therefore ()bJiged IlO resort 1.10 gene ral izarions and estimates, based on spa rse offi,dal. informadon and accounts which freq uenrly appe~.r in the press, The estimate of roughly 25,000 parishes for the whole country, subs tan tiated by various trustworthy sources.' seems to be reliable. Since witnesses unanimously ,report thar me churches are always exrraordinarily fu.l1 and several. of [hem could hold. several rhousand of the faidliu.l, ir does not seem unreasonable to conclude rhatthe number ofthe faithful per church is abour 2,000. Using this h&'UI"eS as a basis, we thus arrive <lit a rotal of about 50,000,000 pracricing Orthodox in the SaYler Union, Or about 25 petcenr ofrhe population of (he Soviet U nion ar the pre.':en [ time, This nurn bel' could possibly be even higher,"

In spire of the violent persecution to which ir has been subjected and in spite of forty ye~m of Marxist propaganda, me Orthodox Church has therefore retained the allegiance of about half its membership.i As. moreover, the practice of religion in

7 See especially A. Sergueenko, in Itfe$ du jMtrillrclmt russe rn ouidemtlk, no, 2: (~ 957). p. 1,:L G, K,trp[)~. an oHidai ofdl~ Soviet g{)"'e:mmei'l(, in ,charge ,of rhc council fur the Affair& o£ (he Orrhodcx Charch, mendcned i~ i 949 the AgIH'C (It Z2,OOO parishes (U.s.s.R. Infimmuion {juit;dn (Wa~hunl;!:,oi1, J:~nl.l~ry~949), J}P" )4·56), The dHi7erencr of 3,0'00 between rhe '(WO fi:gI.l.H!S can be explained by die ttXils(I;:!:Ia: of "p'mycr hN!S<;.S. ~ m wl1 ich A . .serl~;uetlnlw also rd~r,s,

3 The city of Mosc;ow wday has a popularion ~IF 6,000,000, wuth Ulil./55· churches OpCIl {co",p~rc<1 witl1 657 hr=fm1! 1917). The method we have employed (0 CruCUhIC rhc !lumbl;r of rheh1ithfill (2.000 per church} \,"'ould only illliow aeour I J 0,000 pmcri:cing OrrJilxlm; for MO&.'Ow, bur (his number seems (0 b mech ((10 srnnl], since :lCc()rd.llig, eo a Sl[~Uemem of Fr. Koldtinki', ;In imrnr!lIJ1J~ offici~~ or the pal'ri;ucharc, 50 p~rcem of all illf~m5 bow [n du;: o;;~pu~:I1 are h~ prl;,..t."tl. (I.c p,.(j.b/~J:fIf' ,e/if.ieux or U.R.S.S,. p, 4), 111 rhc counrry, (he propordon "','oLlIe! of course be ~\<eFl haghe;r.

~ ] n 1914, (h~~ were ofIki<1l1y ~8,"OO,OOO Orthodox i t1 dlC RI,I ... ,,~i~n Em pire, If ;d~ the i.nhnls born of Onhcdcx parems were i n~['r1!.]C~'(."1. in rhe f., i rh of tht parents ehc norrnul rise itt rbe po'pl!ll~iol1s would. have brough r rhe ou m bcr ()f Oul~oo{)"~ [ocl.1.y U) t.=m Or i 40. mlllion (Ie Probt>mc !'eNglellX ('fl' U. R.S.S .• lSJC. ["it.). AJI'iong nonChrOSfU;JI1 rel lgions, Islam has the ncx{ greotesr nu mher (If 'Hn]~relm ill the USSR, wirh nearly 30 million (nominal).



Russia today stili exposes the individaal (and families) to diserimination of one kind or aacrhee-e-he may End it difficult eo be. promoted in his job or .may acquire a bad political Or professional repu rarion, factors which in large pan explain why the churches ;3,.J["(!. filled with 5...0 many women and old men-it is vi r rually certain rhae [he hidden. influence of religion is much grea.ter still, The most serious problem confronting the Church in Russia remains chat of edu.cadon. While it is still capable of attracting .Iarge numbers of [he fa.ith:ful. ir does not possess the means of inst wed ng them in any way excep t [h.wugh [he H tu rgy a nd by set.mons inside places of worshi P: Yet, rich as [be li tu rgical tradido n of [he O:rmodox: Church is in s uggesri ve imagery, ehis alone canner, except to a very limited extent! m . ., up for the complete absence of religious p u hi icarions and schools other ehan those

. dedf .. end 10

mtenne .' ror [l' 01: tne . ergy.

AI rnos t totally nonexistent in [9411, the machinery of ch IJ rch government was reestablished in 1943, when Metropolitan Sergius was elected patriarch, and especially by the council of 1945 which •. in rhe prese.nce .of two Oriental patriarchs (Chdsmpher of Alexandria and .Alexander of Antioch), a delegate fwm ehe ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople find several delegates from other churches .• proceeded to elect the prese.l1it patriarch, Alexis, I ~

11) The follow~n~, tilib~e ilhJ.smJ.rcs rhes~ various aspecrs of th~ pr=m SLWarLO!1 rather gmph,jcllU)", II8Jne~y, me m i raculous n~"Vh';-d of (h~· church between 1941 ;!DId :L 947, but um;s ;lIl'TIOS[ complete impotence in (he fidd of educarioo.The cable is raken-s-with some ~4ight mooificadons-frmn Le Pl()bifm.f rdigiimx l:"li U:R S.S.

.J..2H ..22il 19'11

Churches 54,457 '1,25,5 22 m5.000

Chapels 25,593 3.5011

Priests at their p'cms 57,105 '),665 33,ooU

Mon~~reri~s Slid convents 'j ,4·~g 3& !W

~-hc~:I~~~tlll academics 4 none .2

S!!1]tUll<Lne~ ')7 ml~}lte 8

Variosrs religlml5 s~ho()h 40,1 SO liOJ~e none

I I Born inl S7i in Mo..scO'w· (Jf 8. family of ~Tj~r~K:m.tic origins, l)~~ri~rch Ale-xus (whose S!.'"c1I1~~ nn me i.s S~rg{!i. V!.:It!imi rovich Sl!\.i) received a brilli~.[lr g~DlerAi education ~~(id then embr.atal the ecdesiasrical state. 111 191 3 he W<"lS consocr;!too ,I bishop.H e

The Orthodox Church TocVty


and approved new statutes fo.l:' the Orthodox Church. In COntrast W [he. statutes: of 1917-19'18, the govemrru::m of the Church is 110'W centralized in the hands of the patriarch who, wirh a synod of six bishops, exercises almost autocratic authority; perricularly in the: matter of the appeiurrnenr and frequent transfer of bishops from one diocese to another. Laymen) theoretically, are members of the national council which electsthe patriarch, but the statutes donor}r the way in which they are to be chosen" This unusually brief document was adopted without debate. Its incornplete nature shows that the Church continues [0 live under condidons wh ichi ~ is un able to conrrol in all respects .12

The RJ.M}$i,~n Chu.rch now has sevenry-rbree dioceses inside the Soviet Union ~::; and severn! exarchares or missions abroad, The clergy is given preliminary training Gil, seminaries and the most promising students are then sent 011 1::0 one of rhe two theological academies or graduate schools (Zagorsk near Moscow, and T....cning(,ld). The exact number of srudems attending [here instirurions is only known. The numbers increased. rapidly during the yea_r$ after the war. The seminary and academy o.f Z<lgorsk joi.n[~ had 108 smde,us. in 1947,320 in 1951~1952; and .396 in 1953,,] In January 1961" for the first time, the jo,urmd ,of the MO$(f)'W Ptttriard:ictte, pu blished in Moscow, gtlye [he number of graduating student in June 1960; forry-three students graduated from both academies find ] 85 from

g,~ilt~-,dI some promjnence because of h is political :tGrivity; orien red rO\.lImdlhc: As ;lJ1!.1}:jJ.iary [0 Bellj;)'llIlin, meeropoltcan of P"Clrogr\ld,\'l·f,cll rhe I~tter was ttje:di and condemned. eo death ill 1922abo,vc ld:: above p. 124), he 'wok ch.llrge of rhe see, During the di-ffi;;;uh y~ ..... r5 (I 922-1941) he atlbered w.i thou t (Iii ro the conciliatory policy of SCl:g_i[ls ~ metropolitan of I..elli.l:Igr.acl.

12, Complere Preneh uam;iuioUl of me smul(cs ill L~ ProbiJwl!' I'clfgi~r~.>; UR.S.s., pp. n·l.). 1.11 connecrlon with rccen r amirdigLom pol i~i,cs ohl]c state, the statutes were r~mly ( 196]) modified, Th~'Y 1l00W gi¥eml an increased powcr of control to Ila)'lrten on the pnrish If,)"\lid.

~ 3 The ltiltillber of ]}lI;§:i~m dioceses has been nadJ([':;JbaJly $m11'u since dt~ Midd!~ Ages.

T~L'trt ~t'e (i!l!}' si:;([y.sev:ery .i.l·uI9! 4 fur 100 million 'Orthodox. There :ll'e:~pproXi.maq.ely the Si36Ile' r'liilmNr iii Greece ior 6 m~lion i nJliabita.rlr5, LiJ PmMi'm~ .religi!]fDi: t:11 U.R.S.S, gi';'e8 a l.iM of tile' presem' Russlan bishops and! some biogrnphie d~tailst1hout each.

14 u Pmbli:mneiiglcux en U.R:S.S., p. 9'.



the eighr seminaries .. Of the latter, 119 were ordained. ~.nd received parish ass]gnments, while sixty-sixwere sent to do graduate work in the academies, In hardly needs; to be pointed Out that the nu mbers are ridiculously small when compated with the needs of some fifry million faith ful This graduation wok place before the recent measures <timed ar restricring theological education, which will be mentioned below Considerable difficulty has been en-

- ' . .E

countered in [he recruitment of competem professors, since [he ranks ofpersonnel trained. in the pre-Revolurionary insrirurions have greatly dwindled. To judge by cenai n articles appearing in the ]emma! a/the Mc)S.{:t)'1:lJ Patritlcrchate arid from several personal con rae rs which nOW become possible> however; it seems that the academic level is nOW beginning to rise appreciably Russian theologians still 5uffer a gEeat deal from their enforced isolation from [he rest of the world, They have so far been fOrbidden to publicsh ,]uy books or .manuals.15 an.d current theological literature can be obtained from the Wesr only with the gl'e:!['[est difficulty The publication of a Russian theological periodical. long announced, wok place in 19'60. Only one issue has appeared SfJ fJ..r-

The statutes adopted in 1945 dcady .efe!' to rhe conrrol which rhe govern nte nt inrends to exercise over the rei igious aceivi des of the clergy The govemrnellt's "aurhorizariou" is required before a

J) '11,t:' re·,v publkafiml~ d·rhc parriarcharc arc concerned wiIh rhc 'iiw,rgr (calendars, special lim rgic;)1 ofliices) ur are in (he n nrure of pro,pilpnda-l n rhe lanercategory I'OU [ be rcckQ:J1crl [he above·mendon4;lC1 /oumtd of ~ MO';<f)IL' P!ttritll't.:htUI:! (~ monthly po:;,ri(]{lical iii Russian, 'whidl :11.wtl}'s iacludes arrlcles em jJol.i!:ical rhcrncs, ~';Sped~lI}' on tile moveraerrr of rllc I'artisilns for Peac.e) amI seve ral collecrions of rlie sermons of Pafriardl Ak~l:~ ~nd .Met~ropol.i(an Nicholas of Kmrica, in which articles or ~(!rl11(Jn,S of a 51[ri(;:[ly $pi ritu al Or rheologlcal naru r<= nre :\~W,lyS ~((omp\l)li(!J Ill' orhers with a clefi fll(·C po! i t iC;'11 slain. The Bibl , ;I,nd rhe New T esrarncnr $cpamtdy. were recent] l' pll bllshed in RU~~Ul fo.r rhe fJ rST ti me in forty Je~ [5., bur rhc In 1L1!11~r of copies- prinred did IlO~ ~xo_'c,d "50,OOO~Md [ of thc~' ;,i;H>C sold ~b:m<i1d, The apestelic value of till is ()lutpti r is. (hc[ct:o~,c very sliglhr. The parris n;;h are has no Sla¥OIl ic p~ss, The htmgjc~] books used b}' rhe Chureh d ate el rhcr from before L"he Rcvd,u Lion or arc i mporj~[J f rom el£l:hosloWlki:~.. SDflle plio [og._rap h ic reproducti(m~ of old ed ld.O!1S, h3VC ~!)peilred r~ en dr in Russia, No work of.1 rheological natu re or indeed on Ch ri sri,:.ilii;[ ;u aU have I~n pLlblished since 19 ~ 3.

The Ol"tl;.rd()x Omrch Tod~ty


synod of bishops cart be summcned-c-such an assembly has bee,n held as a rnaeter of fact 0 nly twice since 1918-and a national 00 lind] [comprising clergy an d bJry) rna:y be summoned, cudously, ., if this is externally possi ble II (para. 7). Pa.rag~,':J!ph 1] stipulates, moreover, that "for the USSR, [he patriarch will communicate wirh the COUIJCU of Affairs of the Orthodox Church of the Council of Ministers of the USSR," The personal signature and seal of [he patriarch (para ]6), rhe bishops (para- 26), and. parish curates (pant. 48) must be registered wid; the civil authorities, which [bus gives the lanerthe formal right to control the nominations [Q all ecclesiastical appoinrments. The Council of A~;rs o.f the 0 rthodox Church attached to the Council of Min isrers is agover nrnen r oEfk:e with ramifications rhroughour the soviet Union. AU requests fur the use of places of worship> which by law belong to the state, have to be made to it and may be granted undercertain conditions (paras. 3,9. 41, erc.). Moreover, the patriarch of 1'v1osc:ow never fails to publish solemn declarations, signed by [he patriarch and bishops. approving the position of the Soviet g,overnment on all major quesrions of internal polities, such as [he Korean Wol:r, rhe preble .. m of nuclear disarmament, .french~English intervention in "Suez, [he Hungarian revol E, and so fonh_

I[ would he stmp'Hl~ting the problem, h{)wev~r, to consider rhc patriarchate of Moscow a mere- polirical [001 in ehe hands of the Soviet government. Its humiliating status of subservience IrO the latter on all questions i"d:uing to international affairs is, in effect, the price which the Church musr pay for irs continued existence inside th~ USSR. Ye£, curiously enough, far from being considered rhc friend of the government there. it finds itself constantly the bun of repeated attacks.

Sl nee the f~U of 1959, the government has apparently decided. upon a new W~\'C of measures hostile to rhe Church, in a manner which reminds one more ~H1d more of rhe ptew;,ir days, In Decem-



ber 1959> the newspapers and. ole radio gave wide publicity to rhe statement of a Couner Orthodox priest, Ossipov, a professor of rheology at the Leningrad Academy, who left the Church and then violen dy attacked all religious he'! ief and the sys rem 0 f theo~ogical education reestablished byrhe patriarchate in panicu]:.'ltf.16 Simultaneously, new impetuswas given to ehe antireligious campaign invarious publications

This new and direce challenge gave the parriarchare an opportuniry to show thaJ[ it was net a meretoolof the govetnmem" A decision of the Holy Synod was published ,~11 Moscow in the official. ]'ournalol the j\1osanv' Patriarchate,17 excommanicaeing Ossipov and two of his foU.owers for having "publicly blasphemed rhe Name of God." The patriarch himself, invited to speak in February 1960 at a conference on disarmament in Moscow; courageously proclaimed: "The Savior himself predicted thar there would be attacks against Chrisdaniry and promised char [he Church will remain unshaken and thar the ga.tes of hell will not

"I . • ,,13 '

pIl"eWL agamst ir.

The governmem in tensified ies attacks on the Ch 11 rch, ]0 b, the archbishop of Kazan, was publicly tried and sentenced [0 three yeafs in prison for "iUegal rraffic in candles." Although w~dc publicized in rhe Sevier, the trial was nor mentioned in the official journal of rhe patriarchaoe. In December 196], Andrew, archbishop of Chernigov, was sentenced to eighr years in prison under a similar pretest. FiHl]ly, the g:ovemmenr carried out a number of adrninistrarive measures calculated [0 have far-reaching effects, by dosing lWO of (he eight seminaries allowed to be open. and more than five hundredchurches and several monaseeries.

Nothing could be more paradoxical therefore, dum [he present siruariou of [he Russian Church. As the loyal ally of the 66 Pravda, lJ~c. 6, 1959', no. ,)40 (l5099).

171960, no. 2, Feb., p, 27,

HI M:eIMfP'de l"exo:n::hiIldu Ptltr;~ll'Che r.=~ ~n' EIi,rof~ O,~·id~mui:e • .!lOS, 33-34 (J:uuury.

JI!.iI.y, I%O},pp- Il-l o.

The Orthodqx ClmT{:h TOlUty


Soviet go,vcrnro.em in international aff~its abroad; ir is rreered inside RI.I$.<;ia as a "vestige of capitalism," and the governmentcon rrol led p.r,ess is conrinuall y p reclaim iug that materialism is incomparible with "religious prejudices," But chis pa.r<1!.doxical situation also applies eo rhe Soviet government itself, for it is obliged to reconcile with Marxist principles [he fact th .. at church dignitaries are presen.t at offki~lr,ecep[i.ons> and IS powerless to deny that there are some fifty million practicing Chri.(i!tans in. Russia today ~if[er .fon:y yeal'S of • socialism!' The facr that this paradoxical situation still exises is a sign of hope: for the :fu.cure. Externally the Chu(cli seems strong enough to be able ro resist material liquidation, However.rhere are temptations of a subtler nature which it must face. The clergy controls rather large sums of money-the voluntary contributions of rhe fairhful who crowd the churche-s-but has no means of spending, rhem, The rcmptadon may be s:imp~y 'EO raise the standard of cledcallife, without rnakin g any flllJemp( [Q improve the efI-ecr.i veness of the Church's mission. Is this not precisely the vel'y aim of rhe Communist P:aJrty? -to. ~ raJ nsfo rrn the Church into an op u lent vestige 0 f the departed past, and then to compromise it in the eyes of' the people, It seems that [his was actually the purpose of [he recent ~dal or the archbishops. o.f Kazan and Chernigov

Fortunarely, [here is continual evidence in the Soviet press of rhe purely spiritual influence which the Russian Church can SI"i.U wid d over large seer i ons 0 f the P opula tio n and which gives hope that Russian Orthodoxy will be able [0 surmount its present d i ftlcu I ries,

6. The Serbian Orth'OdoiX Church

SL Sabbas, the brother of St. St,e;:phel'l the "Firsr-crowned.fwas consecrated as [he first Serbian archbishop at Nicaea in 1220. From rhar Lime until the Turkish the Serbian Church experienced a. rather prospcrOLi,~ period within d~e cLllturtl.l. orbit Oof



Byzantium, while at the same dine being virtually independent of ehe ecumenical patriarchare ecclesiastically, Its aurocephalous status: was only s~Dppres~~ed by Coustantinople in 1766.

Several Serbian autocephalous churches were formed in ehe nineteenth cemmy in parts or rhe Balkan peninsula not subject to Turkish nile, These were:

1. The Church ofl'vlontenegr:r. with a metropolitan resident ar Cerinje.

2. The Patriarchate of Karloioizz (Sremski!ovt·t)" founded in 1848, which included all the Orthodox Serbs in the Kingdom of Hungary.

.3. The Met.1'ojJofitanate of Czermnp.itz (Chenu:wtsy or Ci:maut2), which included both Romanians and Serbs, and towhich two dioceses it! Dalmatia (Zara and Kotor or Carrarolwere added in 187,3.,. In effect, this church .. had under its jurisdicrico aU rhe Orthodox ~n rhe Ausrro-Hunganan Empire.

4,. The Serbian. Churd' of the Kingdon:.~ of Serbia, autonomous since 1832. rhen aurocephalous (1379'}.

5. The Clmrch (}fBosnja~Hr:rz'eg()tJl:tUl, \vhich was formed in 1878 i.n provinces annexed by the Ausrro-l-lungarian Empire bur never became completely autoce phalous with res peer ro Consran tiuople,

These five churches were united in 1920, under a primate residing ]11 Belgrade, [0 form the Serbian Church, and included all rhe Orthodox in rhe new state of Yugo,,>lavla. The ecumenical patriarch approved the new <lrr:.1,~'geme'll[ on March 9, 1922, and recognized the bead or: the Church as patriarch, Bdo're the last war the Serbian patriarch also had jurisdiction over t.h.e Romanian Banat ofTernewar and [he dioceses ofMub.oevo (in C:zechoslova~ kia), ~\S well as over certain Orthodox parishes in Hungary; Today there are a rotal of thirty-one dioceses on Yugoslav soil.

Unril 1940 the Church possessed five seminaries and a theological fa'ell!!:),. Now, <lJ~er rhe seporarion of Church and stare, ir

Tbe Orthodox ChuTiC'b Tuday


has only two seminaries, one at Belgrade <lind the oilier at Prizren, and thclaculrv which has been detached from rhe Universirv and is called [he ~Pfmial'chilJ Faculty. There were abouc 7,500,000

fairhfu.1 in. 19500, with 3~ 101 priests and. 2,864 parishes, .

D uring the last 1:\vO' decades rile Serbian Ch urch has gone through a series of trials, which began in 1941 and which have nor been v,ety fully reported in the West. Patriarch Ga'b.riel. and Nicholas, [he bishop of Ohrid, wer.e arrested by the Germans as soon as the latter occupied Yugoslavia, and deportedto Dachau. The Serbian &ir.hfuI, whose clergy often gave SLlPPOl'[ mEhe resistance movemenr.were treated wirli unheard-of severity, not so much by the Germans as by rhe fascisr authorities of the stare of Croatia, which was supported by the occupiers of the columy. These Croatians were in large measure Roman Catholics, but it is difHcuh: to say exacrly what motives-religious, political or natioual-s-were primarily responsible for rhe frighrful massacres thar took place during the occupation. In the majority of' cases, however the real excuse for rhe executions appeal'S LO have been the fact of belonging to the Orrhodox Church. Thus the Orthodox bishop of Planski, Sabbas, was executed along with 137 of his priests {only five priests remained alive in [he diocese}. Bishops Plato 0 f Banja Lu ka a nd Pe ter of S arajevo were also C'.K,eCU red along with many of [heir clergy. Serbian sources, corroborated by the pi'esen[ Yugoslav government, cstimare the rota. number of vic-

0_ . '. I?

rims at about 7000,000.

The moral prestige of the Serbian. Orthodox Church was rherefore very high <lit the end of [he war, Patriarch Gabriel returned from D<l{:h<l.l..l to i:ace ar home J"poplll<lf democratic" form of gov(;rnmem", one of whose first aC~$ was to decree rhe separarioo of Church and state. The majoriry of bishops were outspokenly anricomrnunisr, III this respect the Serbian hierarchy

1.9 S{.~! he official do umcrus perFlllin i fig to ! he rrlal of Card i nnl Seepinac, Sec also the hook PaJwuirms oj the S;'rhi,;m Chuttb iYl Yug"J.~rllia. Illlb]isl~i:;d by £h~ Serbi:'HlI Orthodox Church in rile Unoted Sl;L[t! (Ch[cago, '19504),


differed d.edd.edly from the Orthodox bishops in other Balkan countries, While anxious not IO create any new m<inyrs-Dne bishop Ooannie,e of Mcnrenegro] and several priests, however, were ex.e'c.utcd-the govemmem of Tiro nevertheless treated. cerrain prelates very harshly; A series of notorious trials took place:

BaL nabas of Sanjevo (censecra ted, bishop in 1947) was 00 n ~ demned in 1949 to eleven years oHorced labor: ]OSleph of'SkopHe wasarrested in A 950. at the rime of the patriarchal election (he was the most likely candidate for the ()ffice)~ Arsenius of Monrenegro was arrested and sentenced in July 1954. The siruarion seems to he somewhat improvedar [he pr-esent rime, owing to a more conciliatory arrirude on [he part of the patriarchs Vincent (1954-1958) and GemJianUS; (elected in [95'9), The Holy Synod; however, has refused unril now ro recognjze the activities of [he gOV'ernment~sponso(ed Association of Priests, and opposes :fIll effans aimed. at restricting its authority These i;;ffo.f[s-open]y supporred by the go:vernmem-have to do principally .the creation of churches iridependent of the patriarch ill [he various consrituenr pans of th.c republic . .A compromise solution recently pur an end to a dispure of this kind relating to MaGed.onia~ [he Church rhere will enjoy a certainamount of ecclesiastical autonomy]. but the Holy Synod in Belgrade retains canonical ~uthority over the ,Macedonian Church as such.

The hemic St:fLlggle of the Se;;rbkm clergy has thus won for rhem an unquestioned moral prestige both in Yugoslavia and abroad. It L~ uncertain, however]. whether rhey will be able to meet the challenge ofthe new sociery now being molded. In. Yugoslavia, as elsewhere.the Church fi nds i rsel f hrgdy deprived 10 f [:h.e means of assuring rhe religious education of the youth and the training of future c.!ergy. Since Tieo's break with the Comin.tem, however, Yugoslav Orthodox are now less isolated fwmthe rest of the W'Or~.d than their brethren in {he other communist-dominated councries. Cancans with Greece, Constanrinople and rhe Near Easr have now become quite frequenr, as we can see, for example, by [he

The Ortn.adox Cinmh Today


recent trips to those countries of Serbian prelates, particularly patriarchs Vincent and Gel'lmmus,.

7~ The Romanian Orthod()x CJntT'ch

Two autocephalcus Rom~ni.a.n~speaking churches were established in the nineteenth century: one in Transylvania, in [he Aus[ro- Hu ngarian Monarchy; 'the orhe r, by act of the ecumenical parriarchare In 1885) i [l the newly i ndependent sta re of Roman i a .. Many Romanian-speaking Orthodox were also subject to the Serbo-Romanian merropolitan of Czernowita or Cernauti (see above). Like the Serbian patriarchate, the present Romanian Church rhus was formed from a coslescence of various groups which took place in 1925~ when [he tide of "Patriarch ofthe Romanian Church" Wd_-S adopted by the archbishop of Bucharest,

\Xliol nearly 12,000,000 fitidlful, the Orthodox Church of Rom ania is toda y the ~aJ.rge\~t of theau rocephalous Orthodox churches alter thar of Russia. After being closely tied to the old rnonarchy+-Parriarch Myron once presided over the Council of M.~n isrers-c-ir too has had ro face the bru tal shock of a change in regime. The atri rude adopted by the pfc;;~~m gO'vetnmem authorities toward the Romanian Church difFers considerably from that prev<lmng elsewhere, Paradoxically [he new communist state has never published a decree separating church and state. b u [ in August 194,8 a ]aw re-cogn ized the "general regime of religion" in [he popular dernocraric Republic of Romania, This law abolished. the role that the Church once played in rhe s tate and in education, but pil"eserves [he control which me state always exercised Over the Church, The paradoxical siruaeion which exists in all the communise-dominated states is thus written into [he very text of (he consri ru cion in Romania. AI though regarded as a lay rep~bl.ic; Romania po\S'&:sses a constitution which mentions the Orthodox ehueeh and detines it as ,l "unified church with irs own head." Though inspired by Ma (Kist principles, [he state pa 1'5 the salaries of [he clergy and supporcs church-run schools. Bishops must swear an



oath of a1!e:gian(-r.; W [he stare before the Munis(eJf of Religion when they are insralled ('M a servant of God, as a man and a citizen, I swear EO be fa.ithfuJ to the People and to deI:end. ule rbpiJ~,a.r Romanian Reptlblicag<lj~'l$[ irs enemiesbcrh in eernal and external. .. So help me G od.~)!

By acquiescing in this stare of affairs the Romanian hierarchy runs the ri sk of a pp eating in the yes IOf its own [J.' dIful, a nd. in those .of the world at .~arg;et as a mere body of offidals ar the beck and C[lU ofthe government, whOcse ultimate and avowed aim is the destruction of all "religious prejudices:' In mer] however, what we know aboue r.he religious siruaslon in Romania before R 959 seems to suggest that the Church h.asgat ned GC rta in advau rages ;. n excha ngc for t.his fm:.I.nal. gayer nrnen f ann rrol-I:he Church had 8.326 parishes, 10,153 priests, 182 monasteries and 11,506,217 fairhful, an d w~~Ol!ble ro retain <L pOi rt l?mpercy, TWD rheological institures were functioning, wirh pro£e.sSQl.'S, one at Bucharest (290 srudenm) and the other ,~f 5.ibi.u (338 students), the Chu.fch publishedahcur ;I. dozen religious periodicals, one of which, the review Studi Ut%gice, is by 6]t the best Orthodox t~t;'(Jlogka! publicarion appearing behind the Iron Certain. Religious Instruction may not be given, officially, to ymnhs who are under dghl)eel'l-aS in all communist counrries-c-but this serious g~tp was made llP partially by the exisrencefof six "schools of cantors" where srudenrs remained fm three years and received a general religious educarion {IheJ[e Wf;;r~ 759 in 1959). MOreCWf;;[, rhe revival ofmouasricism consciruted until recently One of the hrighIe$[ spo rs for Orthodoxy in Roman ia, 0 [thod~x mO!~h in Romania in .~ 959' roraled more [han 7,.000" 20 In order EO raise the

2.0 Sec Oil ihi~ ~~;lbjiBC[ D_ L Doens, "'[..1 Reformc I~!;.j~hti~'~ dll r~rri:lI:c.hc Jm:d nien d.~ ROll:Jl:t~11i ie, Sa Refu·rm~ et S~,~ m()naSfi(p.Le,~ i u the BeJgi~fI periodJ..;;~llrl!lik()J1. 1'01.- 2'7, no, l , p'p .. ) ].')2; Sllpp~cm,ctl~~ry nore ill M .. '5 pp, 33 ~ "51: and un f<]rm~tlU\11. i [11 vol, 34. ] 96 L p.i 99; for dH~ ~pLritu~] Mid i~Hd~ec[ti ffil [ire i n the ruon:~~[i!ru~s, see [lYJ Mfilm: .d~ tEglite !)f~"ilJdOx:e de' Po:rtJ11Iinii:r. "l'A"e~~ei'lil~nr phil'Gc~liqll(~ ,rl3IL~ ~'Orthod,o~i~ mUi'il:l:i ne," in fstin(1', 110S, J ~m~ 4 (I 9''i8) ,

The Orthodox Church Today


.i.ntelJ~c:tLlall:vd of these insd[udons:, to make them veritable spiritual centers for the whole Church and ILhusrefme zhe charge of the govewment that theywere "unproducrive insrin.niom,"Parda1"ch justinian (dec[ed .in. 1948) published a. COmmon. Rule for Rornaniau monks, based on the undirional princi pies of Or]emai monasticism but also incorporating certain feannes or the Bened.icdne Rule, Liturgical and private pl3lyers, particularly the Prayer of Jesus, were accorded. [heir accustomed place, but! On the other hand, greateremphasis was g,uven ro ImJnti;;1~ workand to intensive inrellectual labor-which cou ld serve to j ustify the existence of [he monasreries '\"('01:rlcl enable them to respond, In an original ~nd aeadve'WaY. to the cballenge 'of [he social istregime by i megt<)[~ mg themonasre del.' j [l the new economic life of [he coum:ry. The Rule provided for the esmblishmenr of monastic semjnarles, of which three wen: aClIlaUy in existence a seminary f'Or monies in the monasI[,ery of Neamt, l\"p.ljl"ded byw~ stare t;, Paisi] Vr;] ~dwvskij, the translator of the PhNocafia in rhe eighreenth cenru ry {38 seudenrs), and two orhersfor nuns at Agapia and Hucezu (124 !Wyke.s ]n am. The mOflJ3r.1C revival has been aided by [he publicati on .of'1 number of spirirual works, partkulady a Romanian translation of the Fa~ rhers ofthe Church {Phi/oMalia}"

Unfortillnately;. rhisentire development was bm!JJ.g:hI [0 mn end by [he severe .me;l,$~re$wke~ by the gQve.rnm.cnI beginning in July 1958. Many church leaders, including- --~:ernpQ["d['y-' -Patriarch JWldnian himself, were arrested and several hundreds of monks and priests were reduced to the lay state, (hos-e condemned [0 a~ong imprisonment were several noted. pw£essQ[ of theology, in particular Father Smni1Oi~e" [he learned ed ~ tor or [he Romanian PhNtxalia. Dm·jug the latter half of 1960 more rhan 4,.000 Orthodox monks and n urn were reponed to have been arre:s:red_21

The Rcmnnian Church ar presenr has atoral of rwclve dioceses, which form three metro poli ran provi nces. The poi rriarch :;IJ nd a Holy

2! Mnibm, vol, 34 (J 961 ). p, 1 99.



Synod have supreme control Over aLI ecclesiastical affairs. Approx:irnarely 10,000 priests are nOW (or 'Were) serving, the Et.ithful.

The fi.It1.1re of [he Chun:h in Rornanja as well as the other COLI nrries .of Eastern .Eu rope depends !,argeJy on the effecrivcness of the anrireligious propaganda being :I.imedl at the youth, The measures available to the Ch urch for colin teracring this poison are very limited indeed andare practically reduced to the personal witness mat individual practicing Christians can make in rhe ne .. ,' materialist world which the governmC:i'it leaders are trying to build.

8. The Bulgarian Orthodox ChU-T'Ch

The Bulgarians were baptized in rhe ninth cenrury by Byzantine missionaries in me time of the grellJ:c parriarch Photius and ae his instigation. Ecclesiastical independence was 500n artained, but again. abolished when the Byz<l.mi.l1,es conquered the country in rhe tenth century, then re-eseablished once more i [1 the rhi I' ree n th century with the restoration of the patriarchate of Trnovo. Under r he Turkish regime it w~~~ abolished. once again in favor of [be su prem;:i~cy of the Phanar. The q uestio n of inde pendence was long a sore PO] ~H in the nineteenth and [Wen tieth ce nruries, for the Bulgarians were governed by Greek bishops who, especially in the towns. sougb[ EO suppress the Slavonic liwrgy and generally Hellenize (he Church, There W~.) greaI longing for ecclesias I:i 011 autonomy and feelings ran high on both sides. Several of [he ecumenical parriarchs rried EO satisfy the legidmal[e claims of the BuJg~riaJ1s in the course of the ninereenrh cernury, but they always fillJed because of rhe hopeless way in which. the two. populations were mixed up wid1 each other in the Balkan area, In Constantinople il;.)df rhey lived side by side, bur [he Bulgarians, i nsp ~ red, by na ti onal Us[ fee lings, demanded the es rabl ishrnenr of a genuin.e national church without any precise rerrirorial limits and with jurisdiction over all their comparriors, in default of which they wished to have eq ua I it)' between Greeks and Bulgarians in

The Orthodox Church Toda)'

[he administration of the ecumenical parriarchare, In 1860 a few Bulgarian bis.h~I)S caused 81 schism at Constantiople, FinaU}', in spite of conciliatory moves by the patriarch Gl:egOlY VI, [he Bulgarians obtained a. "flrmaa" {decree) from the sultan authorizing the establishrnenr of an independent BuIgadan exarchare,

Patriarch Anshimus V1 then held a synod iii Constantinople in the pl'ese.nce of the parriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch {l872) and launched. <1. sentence of interdict against the Bulgarian exarch, condemning: at the same rime the sin of "phylerisrn," thar is to say;. nationalistic rivalries and quarrels between different narionalities within the Church of Christ.

htuall y; the B ulgarians we re nUt the only ones guil ty of pbyledsm .. Thewrongs were also shared by the other side, <1$ the his tory 0 f [he schism shows. But formally speaking, canonical ,ti_ghcwas on the side of [he Phanar, The Bulgarian Church remained. under parriarchal interdict until 1945, when rhe ecumenical see :finaily recognized [he autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Church w£th'in precise territorial limit'S, and. afte.rthe Bulgarians had officially requested che lifting of the interdict,

The Bulgarian Church has abour 6,000,000 faithful today; In [940 rhere were 2,742 parishes, 2,381 priests and eleven dioceses. Until May 10, 1953 ~he metropolitan of Sofia bore the title of exarch, but he has now assumed [he ririe of pauiarch.

As a state church closely ried to [he former regime, the Bulgarian. Church could not expect any leniency when [he ch.ange of regime occurred in. 19'44. The new government took the same measures with respect [Q ir rhar were taken by the popular dernocracies in other countries: all religious instrucdon in the schools: was abolished (january I 946), some of rh.e clergy were arrested, inc~uding Bishop Cyril cfPlovdiv (the presenr parriarch), supporr >;NJS g.ivenm an Association of Priestswhich forms pmT of {he presem "Patriotic Front," and finally the separation of Church and state was decreed (Con~~[iwrion of 19'47).



The exarch Stephen and the bishops followed. ~heexiJJmp.h;, of the Russian bishops and swore ehat they were 10}r.sJ to the new state. Bur PO avoid all possi ble rnisunde rs randings, the Holy Synod forhade priest'S 1'0 rake pan in the Paerioric Fronr.Tn June 1948i[ received a cuericulae letter fl~O·In the Miniseer of Cults, HHev, declaring rha t "since eve ry Bulg,adan ough[ m belong: to the Patriotic Front, all pastors and priesrs Ql1Ighr EO do [ikewise" and ordering [he heads of [he Church ~-o join in the Gghr agalrwt anti-Communist propaganda.l2 The Holy Synod replied rharie wo uld. ignore the .. In. September of the same year Exarch St:cphen was abUged to resign and rhe I-Ioly Synod gave the n.ece1.iSatyftlerITIISslOn.

The period. fmm 1948 W 1953v;(,:w p;Ji(dcuiarly difficult for the Bulgarian Chlll rch .. In [949 the gove;rnmen t u 01 laee r aUy P lib-

1'·1 d al ." ~. . ...." 23 I 1· 1 . .-

us le . a .~aw en n:::ugl!OUS iII~OCI~.~.~.ons,. estan .is :lmg stncr 00.11-

rrol ove:r the!,catlon;s oft-he Church. This co ntrolis exercised pank:ulady with respece ro the laws ·of rhe Church {anide 6,} religious services held out ofd.oors (an. 7)., the Chul.·ch budget (an.. 13) .rhe encyclicals and other decrees ofrhe b isltops (an. ] 5), the training of the Clergy {a[~_ 14), and [heir appoImmet'll ro various PQI.m (art. 13), and so on, In 1951 a new constitution for [he Church. wenr into effect .. The hierarchy had obtained a number of beneflrs from ~tS conciliarory <ltdtli.!l&; the number of copies ofreligioue jOl!rnab allowed has increased, [axes 011 Church propeny have been eased, and above all, the Holy Synod received permission in l 955 to dissolve the Association of Priests, which the governmem had used. unril (hen to bring sure IO bear 0 ~'l rhe hierarch v;


For the r.rain]flg of rheclergythe Bulg<'lrian Clm rch at p resent has at i rs disposal the Ac~demy of St. Clernenr of Oheid (the former rheological f~Ctilt-y of [he Universiry.of Sofia, now separared fmna the 22 Texr ill R- ·r()bj'lso, Cotmmmisl-(11r:istil:lJl Ei'j>::Olmt~r in r.-l.1slr::nl EUl:(!fU (Gr~nfldd,.

IN,.l956)~ p_ 558. ., ...

23 Eilgii:lilt H~flil;uioll of dl~ I~w .ifl Toblas, op. ci«; pp- 371 ,76.

The Orfflodr« Church Today

university), IE is able copublish at least foul:' reJigious periodicals, including: an Interesting rheological review (rhe Anl1~al of the Acadr:'my)} a number of textboolbfOr studerns and even some illustrated books .for children. The hierarchy f(l:lrhrully fQllo\!VS: me policy of the patriarchate of Moscow in approving [he movemen« ll::tlO'iVn 01.8 the Partisans for Peace and in issu]n:g rubber-stamped

seatements on international affai![$ at the prop~J[' times. .

9. Tbe Church of Greece

Shon:l.y [he achievement of Greek independence in I83.3 a synod cf Gr~k bishops prcclairnedthe autccephalous status of rhe Greek Ch 1.1 rch within the bo undaries of [he new stare. This unilateral act was motivared particularly by [he fJCE that the ec~ro/;;nical p8ittiarch wasregarded by the Greeks as being reo su bjecr ro Turkish C"O nrrol IO 'be aH~ [0 fuuetion effecdvdy as [he su preme head of the Greek Church in the rlr:'wly i nde pr;; nden t srare, Afierproresring in. vain, thePhanar 6naUy acq uieseed in rhe mevitable and recognized the.Jait tu:compfi in 1350. Since then the Greek Church has been governed by a Holy Synod., under the presidency of [he archbishop of Athens .. The constitution of (he Church, and ·espC'ch~~ly the relations between Church and state, hi <lve Ll ndergone severel changes between 1850 an d 195 9 .. W.~lne (he SYS":ffi aciopred. in the beginning was direc:tlyinspire1d by the Regulation ofP·CteI the GF.;at and. envisageda strict subordination of rhe Chu.rch to [he state, [he tendency since then has been ro give the hierarchy much grearel' freedom .. In [959:, however, an mtemal d.ispute among the G[~d~ bishops caused the g(lv~rnm¢nc to tiglucil its grip aga~n. Gree'ce ~her.efote ls~oday rhe only counny where the 0 n~wdox Ch.u rch remains a . s rate ch urch and plays a dominam 1"O~e in [he life of thecounrry.

With a tQ_tal of more than :3 ,000,000 filJthflll, rhe Greek Church has dghty~on.:;; diooes,es,.fofty~rdne ofwbich <lire in. the so-called "new" prQvince~~ on norrhern Greece {added (0 [he klO.g~



dom in 1913) and nominally subject to [he judsdicrl.ol1 of the ecumenical p,udarc:h,ut:. However; [hey are represented in the Synod ,n Athens .. Amoug all [he Balkancountries G[r;;ece has the gre:a,a:es[ number of dioceses, but also the smallest ]0 size" There were formerly 120, btl t this num bel' was reduced in the nineteenth cen tuty~ A 6,:1.nher reduction has recently been decided upon" This multiplicity of dioceses goes back to the period ofrhe primitive Church, when. each Impcrtaur com muni 0/ had iIS own bishop. But in those days hishops wereeleceed by the faj[hfl1~ and we~e irremovable, and there was i10 tendency fO'f" them to fotf[). a bureaucracy Of to think of rheepiscopare asacareer, Mea$mes have recen dy been proposed aimed ar eliminating these evi Is in rhe modern Greek CI] urch,

Since the main facts about the ChUKh in Greece are rarher well known, \'I"i! shall GO.nfi ue ourselves here ID :J few genera1 remarks abou t the siruarion of religious education ill the Q()umry and to theacrivities of me various g{o~p'set:!l,g<lged in an internal aposrolare.

Two theological, facul ties, which form parts of the U [I iversi des at Athens <l.I1J.d. Thessalonica, oiTer higher instruction in theology, Most gradua,~es prepare for careers as reachers of.religion in secondarv schools and remain laymen" However, ;l. certain number

~ ~ -" "- - - . - --

enter the ranks of the regular clergy and in [his '\!lay become candidares for the higher posts in the Church. 0 nl y a small n umber join (he ranks of the married parish cletgy. p~. ris h priests J.[{~ trained in mi no t seminaries. In gener:'dl1 by theologians en] or a more importamsesrus in Greece than in other Orthodox councries. The rnajcrity of professors of rheology and many preachers are laymen. One IQf the most interesting featu.res of religicn in modern Greece is the exrraordinary development of various ruissionary movements di recred toward an .u nrernal [I.pO$ m.I.JIe .u n (he Greek Church j~~elE The most important of these is the Associado n known as Zoe (" Li fe")., fD unded .u n 1911 by Fathe r Eusebios Marthopoulos, which is a lund of monastic order of a new type,

The Orthod(fx; Om:r .. » 'Today

The Association has: on~y about 130 members] ofwhosn only thirtyfour are priests, but all=-with very few ex:cepdQfls-,,!hav'e a h.igher degree i~1 ~h.c."Ology; They practice d1e three dona] monastic virtues bur spend on~y one month each ye:Olr in communal. ~ in their morhe.r house. The rest of the rime,rhe brothers aft dispersed Ehrougho u r the country) prea.roing, teaching, or presiding over the vario us missionary Or carechetical efforts in whid~. the Association is engaged. S~nce fhey have vowed to oppose:u~.y tendency toward careerism, [hey have sreadfasdy refused [0 aocep[ episoopal- appoinrrnenrs and. consider themselves wholly and. so.~el.y dedicated to evangdirnl. work They are advocates of <L more meaningful perro.rmancx of the ]hurgy (and. hence; rnv{).r the eucharlstic canon ourleud), of a more genuine participation inthe s~ct<lmr:;firni life ofthe Church (and hence i1tvor frequentoommunion)] and. or ~~. dec;:~[ knovdedge of the b.ib.~e onthe part of the falrhfi:li .. Became .of these srrirudes they have contribured m;l!1;(:ri:dly tOO a spiritual in [he Greek Church .. The mganiZJI~On8Vi.rbki" ~hey con trol are numerous andvaried, As e-X::;l!m'~ ples, we IHJry cite [he Cb:ds~ian Union of Men of Science (an associadon of Christian Iutellectuals), rhe Christian Union of Studenrs (wirh 2,400 members), the Women's Asscciaticn Emeb£a, (he Chris tian Uni ~rl of Tea.chers, and. [he Ch.r~.s ~i(ln Un ion of You ng Wmkem (wid,. 2]000 regular members and 6,000 associares). Zoe even rL.I us a school of engineeri ng. Some idea about its exre nsive influence may be grlin.ed. from rhe e:;?:traNciinary number ofpublications which i[ ed.i.t<; (in vi~'!" of the present size of [he Greek popuiarion). The p,e.[' Z~~weehly periodieal of eight pagescontain i ng only articles 0 f a religious narure-e-has J. cieculadon of 170,000 copiesand rhus has th~ largest circulation of :any Greek-language periodical coday, The rnoorhly reviewAkt .. ines (d:li~ organ of the Union of Men of Science) is publsshed in 15,000 copies. A dozen or so other periodicals-c-seme ofthem ml1sml~ed for childreu-s-have a comparable wide circulation. Particular ';i:t~ eenrion is paid to distributing copies of [he Bible OliUong the Greek people. The pocket edition of [he New Tesramenr publish-



eel by Zoe is in its thirry-second edition and 650,000 copies have been prin red,

In addition to Zoe, there are other organizarions, such as the Orthodox Unions, which pursue;; rhe same objective, They owe [heir existence to private initiative but they carryon within the traditional framework of [he Chmch (dioceses and parishes) and havethe blessing of [he hierarchy. The latter, however, tends to view wirh some SUSP]C]OO movements thai: it does nor din~:c:tly control. It would obviously prefer that they were more closely tied in with the official machinery of church govemmenr. It realizes, however, thar it would he ~!.nwj;se to ,ar~emp[ [0 bring this about tluough adrninisrrarive measures. Instead, it has established, under irs own auspicesyan organization known at Aposw!iki Ditd~~ onia (Apostolic Service), which performs rm .. rch the same son of work as Zoe (preaching, publications; youth work). .. These various Greek missionary endeavors therefore are more concerned wjth emulating each orher than with rivalry; They are all d.irecred reward onecommon objecrive, the preservation of the Orthodox faith ;;lLITl.OOg rhe Greek people, Their success in the field isapparem, parricularly as regards the rdigioll$ education of youeh .. Nearly 500.000 G(eeJk cbildren attend the 7,800 carechetieal schools of [he Church (of which 2,000 are ccncrolled by Zoe). For some years now these movement have raken a keen interest in [he ecumenical responsibilities of [he Church. Students from Ug<lJ'ld<l, Ethiopia and Korea. attend Greek instiretes and serninaries, and various Greek youth movements are affiliated with ~yndesmos (the World Associaeion of Orthodox Youth Movements), A Commirree ft1r [he Promotion of FOJ[eign Missions has recendy been formed with the approval of the hierarchy,

J O. The Church of Georgia

One. of rhcmosr ~uKiem branches of (he Christian Church. the Georgian Church was founded at (he beginning of the: fifrh

Th.1? Orthot4Jx Churth Today


cencury by a woman apostle, S', Nino! who convened Millan the king of Georgia to Chdstianiry. Since Georgia lay within the ecclesiasrica I sphere of the patriarchate of An tioch, ill tho ugh rerna re fmm. tharcapi ral, rhe Georgians long receive their bishops from there. Later [hey GHTle under the jurisdiction of Consrantinople. Their church achieved autocephalous status even in medieval times and. W1iS governed by its own Catholjoos.2'i In 180] o rthodox Georgia SQI..ig}u the' help of the Russians agains [ the Persians and founditselfn.lHlexed to the empire of Alexnnder I. The old aurccephalous status was abolished, and from I 817 [he church was governed by a Russian exarch, who WaS a member of [he Synod of St. Petersburg. A[ the time of rhe Russian Revolution, the GeOI'gi~U1$ recovered their autocephalous Status, but this was not formaJly recognized by rhe patriarch of Moscow until 1'943.

.. The Ch urch was destined to go through iI. r ragic perio d during [he Revolution, Kirien, [he first catholicos IO be restored to the throne, was as,~a:;sit'l..u:ecl. His successor, .Ambrose, was tried and sentenced to ten years' imprisonmenr (l923J. The relative freedom. gained by rei igion as a result of [he lasr war also bend] red the Ch u ;'ch, b U r il;S pH~sent situacion seemsto be rather weak. OffidaUy there are fifieen dioceses (810 againsrrweu ry-eigbr in rhe eighreenrh century), but nine ofthese are vacant. A new carholicos, Ephrern, has ~ recenrly been elected by the narional synod. followin,g [he de" til of his predecessor~Mekh izedelc, A ch LI rch eale ndar is published at Tiflis (Tbjlisi). Information with regard to the exisrenceof a seminary is u ncertain. 2';, Georgia at present has 2,500,000 ~nhabi.ta~ts, who were all Ormodox befme 1917. Starisrics regardmg religIOUS practice ale unobtainable today.

1~ I'his [ide ' .... 15 often home by [he he;l.ds.(J auronornous churches ,siI Lial.ed Olu.side rhe borders ofIlle R)'7A1I"1dllc Empire'.

2:' S~ & Pt{jb!til1~ rdir.i;:ux w V .. R. S.s

160 11. The Church of Cyprus

The Council IQf Ephesus (430 p:rocbimed the independent status of the ~J:ch.b.~:s;hopflc of Cyp.rus,. which until d'Ien had been dependentupon Andoch .. SinGe [bar time this ancient church has had. a rather turbulent MSWly .. The Island was conquered by the fua:h s in the seventh century, reconquered by {he ByzaELdnes, an.d then seized by Richard thee lion-Beaned in ] 191 on his way to the Third Crusade, Cyprus remained under Latin rule for several centuries .• firsr undee the house of Lusignan (1 191~1489)~ then under Venice U489-157l). liE was conquered by d1.e Turks un 1571 and occupi;ed by [he British in 187111n spu[e of all these diffelfelf!l~ rulers, however, the Cypriots remained faithful to their Orthodox faitb.j though during the centuries of Latin rule {hey were obHged to submit W3i. Louin archbishop. S e;eral_ massacres of [he Orthodox dergy by the T urks took place afterthe de plHmre of the l~[ins. The ·Tu~kish minerityon the island, in facr, is a vestige of (he former Ottoman 0 ceapa don.

Wh.en. [he British occupied Cyprus [hey preserved, to a l:;'lrge exrent, the political situation which hadex isted under the Tt~ rks, As: we have-seen, ] r was the Tu rkisil custom ro hand. over to the Oethcdox deIg)' boc.h civ.u1 and religious centro! over rheir faith£1.11, and the archbishop of Cypru s · ccnrinued eo be viewed as the. erhnarch ("mtJltlonal head") .or [he Greek Orthedcx Church under [he British,


The Orthodox popularinn of Cyprus today amounts to about 450~OOO and there are some: seven. hundred priests, The faithful are governed by a Holy Synod consisdng of [he archbishopand rh ree metropel i fans (Paphos, Ki don and. Kyren]a}, 3i.~ ~ elected by (he £1.u(.h£ul inacccrdance with a .. ather elaborate system. in several stages. The plf!SerH ar.d1·bu.'li1Jop, Ma.lluios, elected in 1950, has achieved worldwide fame as a result of his pflr[ inthe Cypriot srruggle ['Or union with Greece. He has been chosen as president of the new Republic of Cyprus, The rolewhich he has played in

Th~ Orthodox Church Today

recent CVf;:T.ltS· 15 entirely in. accordance with the traditions of the Cyprior ChHrcJ~~ which fOll: many centuries was the rallying pcint for me Greek pop alation under so ma n y rulers ..

12. The An:hbishopric of Sinai

Bya spedal p:riv.~kge, the head of the monaf>tery of Sr. Catherine built by Emperor justinian I it, the sixth cenwry nea r the spar where M061e:s: is said to have received. [he Tables of [he Law, enjoys [he rank of tm::Jitchbis~op <lind the monastery has: the status of an. autonomous church .. The arclrbishop-sbbot is elected by the ch'lprer of mooks but receives episcopal consecration and the hands of [be p:au larch of J erusalem, He only has jurisdiction over the mon.wtery and the Bedouins who. live in. [he ndghborhood. The presen[ arcnbishop of Sirr3li, Porphyries III, gen.endly resides in [he mrrtochion (priory) of his [lloftas[ery in C::J;]m,

Themouas re ry of Si nai pos£~ss a very rich library of ancient Greek, Gemgian. and. Slavic manuscripts and. an interesting coUec~ don .0 f icon s,

13. Tte Alb.anlan Ortho.dox Church

In 1944 the A~bani.a.n popularion consisted of 638!OOO Mos~em, 210,000 Orthodox and 10.4,]84 Roman Catholics, Only afoer polirical presst1re had beenbrought to bea r did the ecumenical patriarch finally consent ro recognize rhe autecephalous status of the J\ Orthodox Church in 1937, a .mino.ricy in the coun~l:)', practically without schools or traditions of in own. Despis-ed by ~he Italians, the Albanian Orthodox had stili more to ~uffer as a 'resuh of the antireligious acts or dle new communist-dominated goverrHnenI in 194 5 ~ ] 946. Two bishops were arrested I)OWll rd [he end of ] 94·8, and in Aliglist 1949 the archbishop of Tirana, Chrisrcphcros, W3JS deposed and imprisoned fm"activities COIlr sidered harrnful to the AJb3lniatJ. peopleand the:' Churcb." Hi"



successor, Paissios, elected under dubious conditions-was I'C;COgnized by the patriarch of Moscow but not by Consta n tic p,le.

14~ The Polish Orthodox Church

Within the Polish frontiers; as these WCre defined. at (fie end of World. \XfUl' 1, there was alarge population of 4000,0.0.0 Byelorussian and Ukrainian OrdlOdox forming several dioceses which until rhen had been subject to the Russian Church. In 1924 these dioceses were combined by the ecumenical patriarch to form an autocephalous church .. lin 1939 rhe Polish Orthodox Church. had. five dioceses, 1 ,.624 parishes and. two seminaries (Vana and Krzernieniec with a total of 500 seminarians), as well as a eheological .faculty at Warsaw (150. students),

In 19.39 the Soviee Union occupied the pan of Poland inhabired by the majority of the Orthodox, and gained still fi..uther territory as a result o.f \Xl6.dd \"Xla.r II. Canonically, these regions were again attached to the patriarchate of Moscow, while only some 350,000 Orthodox remained on Polish soil. The situation of '[he latter was aggravated. by the E1.,e.r rhar [he patriarch of MOS1COW had not recognizedthe act of 1924 which confirmed the <in rocephalous status of [he Pol ish Church, I 11 '~948, therefore, three Polish bishops, including the Merropoliran Dionysius, had to do penanc-"C before Patriarch Alexis and received a I1k'W autoccphalous: act' from him, Metropolitan Dionysius was forced to retire. In 1951 a new head was provided for rhe church in the person of a Russian bishop, Makarios Oksiusk, [he former bishop uf Lvov and former professor (before 1 '917) of the Kiev Theological Academy The independence of the Pojish Church wid, respeC[ '[0 Moscow is 'th,erefo rc 0 f ~ very relative nature:

Merropoliran Makarios died on March U> 196,1, A successor, Timothy, archbishop of Bialystok, was canonically elected.

There are ar presenr five Orthodox dioceses in Poland; \Klar-

1 he Ortho.do_')[, Church Today


saw, Bialyseok, Lodz, \Xfl'odOlw (Breslau), and Gdansk (Danzig).26 The number of parishes is about ]60"

15. The Orthodox' Church of Czechoslovaleia;

Between the two world. wars the Orthodox Church presented a. [ather heterogeneous picture ]11. Czechoslovakia, It was composed of' IWO origina.lly sepanue groups of f:a.ithful,.tllnoundng EO about 2500.000 persons in all, First of al], a group of Czech Orthodox were prcvidcdwieh a head in 1923 by the ecumenical patriarch in [he person of Bishop Sabbarios, In 1925 a more important groups of priests and fai thfu I constituting the Czechoslovak. Church, which had. separ ... ired frorn Ro,one, joined [he Orthodox Church, They were provided whh a head by the Serbian patriarch, who consecrated fOI: them Bishop The latter there .... fore presided. over a certain number of Orthodox fu.ithfill of [he Latin rite. In 19300, 200.1000 Carpatho-Russian Uniars abo rl!-" turned [0 Orthodoxy and the parriareh of Belgrade formed rhe diocese of Mukacevo fur them. Finally, a small number ofRussian parishes rerna ined rhroughour rhis period su b jeer to a Russian bishop who recognized the authority ofMerropoliran Eulogies of Paris,

These fD 1I r g;wu ps were 1I n ited by the patri arch of Moscow in 1947 to fOrm One church, rhe Serbian Church giving it) consent [0 -rhe aJrrangemeni:. In 1950., finally; ['INa dioceses of Byzantine rite in communion with Rome [Presov and Mikailov) returned ro Orthodoxy_:27 The Orthodox churchill Caechoslovakia therefore

2(; h .~h(llUl.d be .rNI1~Lrkt."'l1 fhal( rwo 01 rhese dioceses are on to~mer German ~~niwry.

rhos i.iD'l.plyi.IDg. 0'.1'1 [he pan of [he Orthodox aurhoriries, fuJi riccognn tlon of th~ western [roDi.r.i,ers or Pol ,h!hd, IV, is ..... eU known, [he V ~(iC811, has ["01 rhb d~y r-t:.Fu:red eo appoi~u Cuholuc bishops ro ~.hb rcglon 0111 (~C grot! nds dl~r ~ pr.~~~ rr,~~~y h~1S :it,or ~e( been signed between Poland ~11(l G~Tmany.

27 TilciTIJ nionwi tit Rome ·J~I,~d from 164 ~ ~11d. WiLS brought atom l1;S :1 result of pr~smrot~ ~x'l!rcus~d. by dlC' Austrian go~'emmeJU, h: mU!-H, linform:n;1:rdj', be aeknowl.~rlg"C,d that thei r return 1.0 Orthodoey 1~1,~s been bfOligh r about Llnd~r condlrlens 1.i3Tdly :lliy beue~,iLit all,



today has about 250,000 faithful There are .four dioceses (pf3igue,. Olomouc, I'rdav and MikaJloy) and in ] 951 its a utocephalous status wascoufirmed by the parriarch of Moscow. Itsfirsr head, Eleurherios (who .re1>.igMd in 1958). and irs presenr head, MetJ'O~ po]icOlnJohn, are bod). Russian bishops. The independent statusof the new chliJ.fCh has recently beenrecognized by the patriarch of Constantinople, after the death of Sabbatios, whom. the ecumenical see continued ro recognize as archbishop or Prague.

An Orthcdox seminary was opened at Kad.ovy Vary in 1948 and ;jnm.herus functioning, it seems, at Presov; The Church pubUsbes 3). rheological review and has a Slavonic press which prints Ii tu rgica~ books, ~"j;gdy forexpmt to Russia, where [he has no means ofpuhl.ishing anything of the kind,

16. The Orthodox Church of Finw:na

When Fin.~and. won irs Independence from Russia in 1918 one of ehe first <I.CtS ofche Finni8h Orthodox-for [he most pan KareHans converted from paiga.nism in the rvHddle Ages by the monks of Valamo or! Lake Lagoda-e-was to remove the sigma of being caned. "Russians" by the V"3,sC majority of L utheran Finns, who tended to view Orrhodoxv as a "Russian rOli th." So under the leadership oFA:rd1!.bishop Germano$ Aab, In. ] 923 the CI:mrch. of F ~ nland placed it3df~.ndeI' [he j urisd icrion of .he ecume uical patriarch of Constanrinople. MOSQo·w protested Jgainst this situarion, but fmany in 1958 [ecog~il'..ed tlreautonomous status of the fin n ish Church,

About 70,000 Orthodox fdithful live in [he m idst of ,,10 overwhelming majority of some 4,000,000 Lutherans". Nevertheless, the Orthodox Church is considered to be the second. stare-church of Finland. The 0 rrhodox had m uch to $u.ffer when [he Soviets annexed pa rt of rhe c.mmtry In 1 '9.3 9 (Fi nnish Kareli 31, annexa don confirmedin 1945). Most of them in fact lived in the p.:g.rt of [he COI!,J1.n~ry colHiguous to Russia .. They were obliged to retire [0 rhe

The O~,thodox Churcb Today

i nterior of the country and. are wday found. scarrered all o .... er Pinland. Their church as [1;.'10 dioceses (theaechbishopric of Kuopio and the bishopric of Helsinki), 11 sem]nary which has been transferred fwm SO[tilima} in Karelia, to Helsi nki, o:ind. there are plans fo ( the crearion .of a theological fac::ull)", SinGe r.~,e Orrrhodox youth are eager eo pmrf!lote inrernational andecumenical conracrs and anxious to show that [hey belong tome Western European world, wh ~ le <'l.~ the same ~i_me cl i ogingw ~hei r 0 rdlOdox. rradi riQHs.,i[ is possible that rbeFim'lJ]sh O.lUl'dl is desrinedto pray an im pmtilm p<lH in rnanifestiagthe spirit of Orthodoxy .i n the ·West.

17. The Orthv.dox Missi()ns~ tne Orthodox in Western Europe an:d America

F ~ (he n; netee ncb, and early p~n ofrherwentie dl cen mry Russian missionary activity extended far beyond the eastern limits of the Empire. The Onhedox colonies in China, Korea, Japan and Alaska are evidence of this fw;::{ to this day,

The Chi~t;:sc; Orthodox mission goe.s backto the end .of rhe seven reeuth cemury. when a gpoup of Cossacks from the Russian outpoH of f\Jbazin were hired as a personalbodyguard by the Chinese t:Enpemr in Peking. Alrhough completely Sinieized, (heir descendants retained their Orthodox faith and formed the nucleus of <lin Orthodox colony in rile capital, This nucleus in turrr bee,nne d'1,e bas is fOir an important mission established at Pekin g in (he nineteenth ceueury, whim had numerous branches: and some t'Wemy schools, However, the n urn be r 0 f co n verts does not seem ever '1:0 ha ve exceeded ten thousand, The 11 LI mber of 0 rthodcx f.aiIhfu~ in China inw~:Jsed after the Russian Revel u tion, 'When many refugees, Including dergy) fled from Siberia, After [he rriumph of communism foll.owing the V),CVOdC5 of Mao Tse-rung, the Orthodox Ch U rch, I ~ ke all orhe.r \XZesrern Churches, ha d to rid h'sdf of its \.X/eS[enl persoonel. The Russian clergy in ,h~rg-:e,. <IS re presentarives of rlre patriarch of Moscow, were no C pdv~teied i n



this respect and had to leave the oountry. In 1950 a Ch.inese priest, Simeon Dou, was consecrated as bishop in Tientsin in MOSCD'!N, and later rransferred tn Shartghai, In. 1957 another Chinese priesr, Basil Yo Fuan; was consecrated as bishop of Peking (Pciping). Three other dioceses remain without bishops. T';'!JTO mcnasteries and a carecherical school are functioning in Peking.

Toward the end. of [he nineteenth century a Russian mission was also scm ro Korea .. The Orthodox fit.i[h [here has managed to survive through all the recent turmoil and the mission was recenrly taken over by [he Greek Archdiocese in, the United States" It operates under [he supervision ofrwo Korean priests :iLod has a school. and a hospital.

Onhodox missionaries were even more active in Japan" thanks particularly to Father Nicholas Kasatkin, one of the mO>5C remarkable missionaries of all rime. 1 e arrived in 1.86 I as chaplain to the Russian consul in. Hakodare but soon gav;e up his diplomatic tasks EO devote himself exclusively to missionary work in Japan. His first effoI'rs were directed reward translaring [he New Testament and essenrial linugical texts into Japanese" In] 872 the firse japanese priests were ordained by a Russian bishop aT Hakodate, In 1880 rhere were 6,09'9 Orthodox ill japan; by 189] rhis number had climbed to 20.048 and there were twenty-two priests with 219 churches and chapels. The Same ye:u saw the completion of' rhe imposing Orthodox carhedral of Tokyo, which remains today the most conspicuous religious edifice in the capital, The Japanese have

I n ~_J. uN·-- -1 - D "("H . eN°ch II ") C· d

a 'ways '" leu U . lCO ai- 0 . touse or . I' 0. as .. onsecrare _

<is bishop of Tokyo in 1880, Nicholas was extraordinarily successful in winning the confidence of me country where he W<lS laboring on behalf of rhe Cospel. During the RU$$o~Ja panese\Xfar of 19{14~ 1905, for C:X::;i!rnp~e, he was able to move abour freely; and celebrated Te Deums for victory of the Japanese armies. Even today; the 1:fL.I~y native characrer of japanese Orthodoxy is a well-recognized phe-

nomenon and is a sign of hope for the future, -

The Onhod{)x Church Taid),


The Japanese Orthodox Church has about 36,000 faithfl..!l~ one bishop, and thirry-eighs priests. all Japanese" A seminary has recently been opened with some tw,enty seminarians, who somerimes g.o abroad to complete rbeir studies. After a period of decline between the two wo rld wars the prospects for J a pa.l1CM;; Orthcdoxy are now beginning to brighten once again.

Russian explorers discovered. and occupied Al~lsk_a in 1741.

Monks fwm Valarno (on Lake Ladoga) undertook missionary work there in ] 794 and opened the first school for the Eskimos .. An u nusually Gapa b]em.issio nary-J ohn Veniaminov-c-labored for tnilny long ye-ar$ in this arduous vineyard. (1 812~ 18 52), as missionary, the au thor of a grammar of rhe A . Ieurian IMg:ua.g~, the rra nslaror of the Gospels and the Byzantine liturgy into the same language, and then as bishop of an immense: territory embracing the Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands, Aleutian Islands and Alaska .. From 1841 umil1858 [here was a seminary in operation on One of the Aleutian Islands" Veniarninov was provided with an auxiliary bishop in 1858. Finally in 1868 Russia sold Alaska to the United States. The Russian mission was made an independene missionary bishopric 'COm~ pris] I'l.g rhe AJcutian Ishmds and j\l3iska. In 1872 [he sear of [he bishop VilUS rransferredro SM Francisco, and in 1905 to New York. An auxiliary bishop remained ill Alaska.

Such were rhe humble origins of American Orthodoxy. Bur rhe Sim3![IOIi is far differem today. During the latter yearsof [he nineteenth century quite a Dew Uniar Catholic gmups made tip of em ['itS from Carpatho-Russia returned to Orthodoxy and placed rhemselves under the jurisdicrion of the Russian in Arneri ca. G I'OU ps of Gree ks, Serbs, Al b;f1 nians an d B ul gari.ans abo. organized parishes under irsjurisdictions. In [904 an auxiliary bishop was provided Em the Syrian and Lebanese in Brooklyn;



New York. With the blessing of the Holy Synod in Russia]. Archbishop THdlon (the futur,e patriarch) authorized the publication of an English u::i nslarion 0 f the U turgy. Thus an American Ortho,d,QX Ch urch began 1)0 take place,

1 he Russian Revolu cion and in rernal dissension in the Russian Church helped to retard rhe of unification, Between ] 9] 7 and 1923 rhe American diocese was without any dfecrive: leadership (until Metropolitan Plaron was appointed as me new bishop by Patriarch Tlkhon) and ir broke up into a number of small separate units, e .. ach national group forming its own dioceses. The steady influx 'Of new immigran ts moreover, madeit extremely d.i:ffi·_ CU,~f 00 organize and inregeate the new arrivals in a single churcb.

Hence today, besides the original Russian diocese, the United Stares has a. large Greek Orthodox archdiocese, an ,11 rchdiocese dependent lIpOn. the Arab~sl?eaking patriarchate of Antioch, Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Albanian diocese, Tht: synod of emigre Russian bishops under Metropolitan Vitaly Likewise formed its headquarters '[0 d1e United States. Some 'Of the aucocephalous Ukrainian dergy28 also established parishes there" Whil.e all these gnnops have begun [0 work more closely wirh each ocher, their union alone will truly assure the: furure progress of Orthodoxy in America,

The rorsl number of Orthodox in the United Stares is abour 3,(100,000. More or Jess numerous groups <lire also found in Canada and South America. All national groups in the United States, with the exception of the Greeks, are gradually adopting English more and more as the liturgical language, a &cror which. will help [he pwcess toward unification .. \Xfheneve.r an Orthodox community is able to rise above irs OWIlI. ethnic and nationalise

28 An :tLlmceplu~I[')lIs LJkr~i li.i.;Ul Ch Lirch was esrabllshcd, as we h~,vc licen; tle~:r:i rig the R1.I.s~i:bl1 Revohition, bu[ i'!£ Sla[US was U ncanonical. At fir.;t it WJ!:'i wi thDu! apns~l()l&c SllCQ:!~ShO[l wllcn no bishops would join il; then, larer, ~po:5'W!ic succession W;ti~ o,l[Wli ned, bu t 1.1 nde r dubious ci rcumsranccs, Col15cql.lcnr1r rh i~ b[)Jy t!oc~ nor ,elljoj' communion ,,,j[h rhe rest of rile Orthodox Chmch ..

The Onho.dox Ch:urch Today


~]mitadonsi~ SOOn reveals that II is capable of exertinga missionary mHuence, 1. hU8 about a third of the clergy servtng in the Syrj"n dioo;,'oc'-Il.mder the j urisdicrion of the patriarch of Antioch-QiJns~sl~ of converts who have come ['0· Orthodoxy from other Christian confessions, Sc. Vladimir's Seminary']. in NeV" York,. receives srudenrs {Tom all the Orthodox: communities in the Un i red State's and is one ofthe principal centers workiog for the unificarion of A_merican Orthodox, A Greek Orthodox rheological school is active 1.1l Brook .. line> Massachuserr .. ·>, and there are foul' other schools belonging 1:0 the vm:.ious jurisdictions where Insnucrion in theology is given, There are nurnero us reUg.ieus publications in Eng!ifjh.

Until very recently only three "01SlJor'" religious confessions were officially recognized in the United Srares: Prorestantism, Cathclicism and Judaism,. Bue by decision of most of [he scares the Orthodox Church has now been added eothis number,

Between the two world wars the number of Orthodox inc r eased very considerably inWes~ern Europe. A. Greek exarchare, headed by [he cirular archbishop of Thyarire, was established ar La ndon l n I 92.2. The bul k of Russian refugees from th is time 0 [I tended [0 serrle especially in France .. [0 1922 Patriarch Tikhon named Merropclican Eaiogios to look after the new parishes, When rhe ecclesiastical authorities in Moscow finally asked him to submir ,1 written statement of loyaley to the Sevier state, Eulogies appealed, in .1'931, to' the ecumenical. pauiarchare find hecarnc the latter's exarch t()t rhc Russian parishes in Europe. His long fnid'!ncss to Moscow (1922-193 I) and his appeal [0 Consranrinople geE him into rroublewjrh rhe im/grl Russian bishops who had fled to Yugo.d~.via and. establisheden independent Holv Synod there, bur whose canonical status was nor recognized by [he orher Orthodox Churches, As mentioned above, this synod has nnw transferred its headq ua rters CO the U ni ted States a nd has: [urisdicrion fWC'I' a certain number of emif/i parishes.



Paris quickly became the chief inrellecrual center forthe Russian. emigration .. Ni~901as Bl;rdi;a.·ev, Sergius Bulgakov and many orher lead] ng thinkers helped to acq uain t the Wesc wi th the thought, spirirualiry and traditions of the Cbrisrian East. The Theological Insti ru te of St. Sergi us ] n Paris, under the guidance of Merropoliran Eulogies and a g.roup of capable and talented professors, has rra ined mo I:'C rhan I 5 I) 0 rthodos priests and has taken very actjve pan in promoting eCIJ men meal discussions over rhe ye; Owing [0 the presence of bnigre5, but without any efforts at proselytism on [heir part a number of\~este.rn Orrhodox communities began to be fo·rmed in France and Germany. Both in Europe and in America, communities of Wesrern lire have also joined the Orthodox Church and were received. J.S such by the hierarchy. We are therefore confronted today by the gradualernergence of a Wescern Orthodoxy, a welcome phenomenon, which will assist [he Orthodox youth who had adopted the [ang;uage, cu ~ ture andcas terns of rhe GO untries where: they were born, and are ro all intents and purposes as \XZes(eJrn ,]8 their Larin brothers, to preserve their Orthodox fajrh. On the spiritual rind. intellectual side, ir is also important for rhe Orthodox to manifest their pres(mce in the great movements which aregripping 'Wrestern Christianity ar d1.iS rime: the return to Holy Scripture and to [he true Christian Tradition of rhc Church, the movement toward reunion, the revival of patristic srudies, a greater awareness of social responsibillries, and the liturgical movement, In all these areas the Orthodox not only feels ve~y close to his Protestant brethren but is often aware d~ar be has much to learn from rbern .. ·1 he principal rask or \~'es[ern Orthodoxy should he to show by de.(?t/s that these various remarkable currents and trends in \);7estern Ch ristianity can be given new srrengeh and presented as a more coherenr whole in the light of Orthodoxtruth.

We shall conclude rhis long section 011 the Orthodox Diaspora and. missions by mentioning a recent development which may ha ve importaur consequences for the fucure, namely, the appea:r-


ance of a new Orthodox Church in Africa,. which had. thus. far escaped rhe atrenrion of Onhodox missionaries. In 19'32 a group of Chrisrians in Uganda left the communion of the AngHca.n Church and were admitted to ehe Orthodox. Church by the patriarch ofAl.exand.l'i~ .. Under the supervision of an African-born priest, Father Spartas, [his group now numbers abour 20,000 faithfuL Recent intormarionindicare, thar rhis church has experienced [I phenomenal growth and Is receiving more and more active help the Greek Orthodox Church. Several native seminarians from Uganda are purslJing their studies at the parriarchal college in Cairo and at the rheologif.;al faculty in Athem .. A new bishop has JUSt been appointed for East It seems certain that the rapid rise of this chi .. irch is due not only to the attraction of the Orthodox rOliith itself, but also to the facr [hac its missionaries are not ccnsidered ro be identified wirh colonialism .. It is grearly ro be hoped rhac the Orthodox aurhoriries will be "Me to gu ide [he movement wisely ~ nd can pro.fh fmm the great advanmge of not being identified with European colonial policies of the ni nereenthccnrurv


Chapter 9


~l]lem~m •. ed eadie~ ~he ~(eat spiritu.~ legac~which the Ortho-

• e- dox Ch ur ch lias inheri [tid from 11;.$ medieval forebea [, the

Byzantine Church .. Thislegacy embraces (he prayers, .. hyrnr.s> and other formalas ofou r services, the: canonical orgauization and discipline of the churches, om spirhu.fJ.l tradition, and the dogrn,':!xk sySt~ro ofthe Orthodox fa.idl. Yet, while it isperfecrl Y [TUe that (he Orthodox Church claimsto be ~.he true Chu;n·h ()!. rhe one and only Catholic Ch urelr, [he Orthodox theologian, nevertheless, is under as trice ob]~ga 1;,UOtl ro dis ringuish C<!irefuiJy in this her]tillgebetween. thai! whieh f'OEIllS p[ln of [he ell urch' s Holy Tradieion, uualrerable and. u~rvenaHy bind~ng, received from the pa~:[, and tharwhich is ill mere relic of former times, venerable 00 doubt in m~~y[e$pects bur sometimes abo sadly our of dare .ilnd even hannful to the mission of [he Chulrch .. All modern ism of rhe wrong kind is of COU rse to be condemned, as exemplifled recently by [he Renovated ell u rch in Russia, but also all narrow conservatism Uke that of the Russian Old Believers, which [ends [0 canonize the pas c <'IS such, These rv ... !:)t'eodendes"u nfQm~ nately, are always presenr ~n most local Orthodox Churches and soon make themselves felt, \'i/e need to be continually on. guard. rhem. Bur this can be done on~y by perSOJ1.iS who have receiveda sound training in theological principles, who are prepared ro show a genuine p~;spe't fOf tradition, and. who are disposed. at all rimes and in all things IDO be gt~ ided by revealed Truth.

It is not possible wit hi n the limits of this book to offer the; reader 'Inyd1.~ ng like .~~ ~uu systematic aCOJUm of Orthedox docrd nes, I He

i, The bese s}'S[~Jnadc acoeant of rhis k~lttli .is ~til~ th~,t by S, [l.uli.gaIcQv, The Qr:'lbot/I)x Clmrch (London, 193'5; reprim~d: Cresrwood, N.Y .• $VS: Press 1?38)




will l.l ndenbredly- r3Jve been ab.le mg<lther from the preceding pages what the m':;i,~n Orthodox positions are on a number of PQ~ n rs, and. fu rrher dog~T1a tic questions wiil be mken up in the chap ter which fOUow5.It is our pu l'[JQse here merely to give [I gene ral S UJ'Vey of the m ysteries of [he Christian hl irli as the Oerhcdcx Church sees [hem, ro describe {he Onhodox attitude toward them, and finallyto dwell somewhat on [he 0 rthodox conception of man's oOn)munloll with God. The O{thodox ffluth is ex pressed, jo hldy" by in; s piritual rrad itio n and [he declared dogmas of the Church, by the lives of [he saints, and by dle dcctrines of Its teachers (~he lFmhers of [he Church and other theologians), It is both the Jcxomndi and rhe lex crr:dend£ of the:

Chu reb, According to V. lossky;

E.1.Mel:l'1 tradieion has never de.11'~Y d [,~ringuished 1)C:(Wo~n myselclsm and rheology. between a persona] experience of '[he divine mysteries and rhe dogfn ;,l~ declared by the Church ., • The dogma which expresses a revealed truth and <lppeil!l'l!: [0 us like an I]nf~;t.homfl:bie Inys[ery. mustbel ived in stich !l.mry '~h,l![, instead o.fa:5.S1umibtdng, rile iny~ceJy [0 our manner of understancli fig le, we muse, on~he ronnx~rJ' strive [0 pring aboura profoUll<l chang.e, an inner rransformaeion of ehe soul, so that we w~~1 be more receptive lXlWJt'd rhe my:~l[icar experience F ar fro m be·i ng opposed ro each other, theoJ,ogy and InYSliclsm support ;!nd ~upplemem e;:lGhmh~l", am: is unlpossible wirhour the other. ~.f nly$~ici$m is rhe ,\ppliGL[ion by the individual of ~he conrent .of rheco rnmon FJJ eh to h L.~ OWn expe rience, ~hcdogy is the e.x.p:ression of rhar which can be expericnced by each one for [he bt~rl!eftt of jH. 2.

The new L:e<JJiq made available [Q [he world by the Incarnneion of the Word and made effective in the Church through (he operation of [he Holy Sph]( is not a mere sum. of knowledge, but ,I New Ufe, It ~s [J[ilrJ5forrnadQn. a rransfigurarion of our being" \Y,/e do not achieve it simply by reading (he "'«ord or God. or through a knowledge of dogmas, but by dying and ~.'islng again w~ eh C hri s t j n baptism, by receiving: the sea ~ of [he S piri [ in

2. {he- {idrs/iI·al rhta1~fY ofdjlJ E(1g~YN Ch·uych {Cre~LWOl)dI. NY,. S'[ Vbclimir's.Scn:lin~r}' Press, 1 976,)

O~,tbod()x Faith and}ity


Ccnfiunatioo, by becoming members of the actual Body ofClildM ;0 t_he Eucharist, and f1n~lly by roiling progress in ever grealter k~lOwledge, until we Oli.ttain the "SIAl.wre of theman made in Jesus Christ" (Eph 4: [3). This sacramental nanrre of [he [rue life~n th.e Spirit presllpposes the existenceof a visible Church with J. hierarchy possessing speci3ilfUncti cas <Loci a charismato teach. b tit it also means [ha~ rhe saints are authentic wirnesses of d'le actual pr.ese~.ce of God in (he mids [ of his people, By means of itsljUeran::h.ic and sacramental MTUCWU;;,. the Church expresses the. permtt:mmce and rc:aliry of the union broughE about, in OMi~[, between [he humanand zhe divirre, The i\sceJlS;on.of Jesus does not mean (he end of his presence burthe g~orificadon ofh umannature, wh kh is nowdcifiedand searedon the dghr hand. of me Fatlrer, [I presupposesPentecost and the sending of th.e; Holy Spirit by the Farher eo the Church. The Spirit bll ilds the Body of Cbri$[ .UB. hisl)oE)', confers cl"e sacramenas, e,~tab·~]sh:es the Ch.uH:h in (ulili, and guaranl!ees: its permanence and irs infuli.ibility. [t operates rhrough v:~ruouscharL~m.fl$,tt'lchjd~ng rhQ.'>e ofre--"lch ing and pas:wrlng whim are proper IO dlle bishops, bur iT does nor Impose itself, m'!gicaHy. O~l me .u~.ner frceedom. of the individual which COO$ri~ rures [he very basis of [he human person. Esch one of us receives, through the sacraments, 01 seed of SiH1Cdtyj but it is Illp WW; to ma_ke 1[ bear fruir. The Church {IS an "institution" is therefore not opposed ro rhe Churchas an "event," bur (he one presupposes (he other, as gr<H:;!t;; presuppo$esout personalelforts EO make i~ effecflvc" Since the nge of me Fathers the Orthodex Chu['ch~us alwaiJTS lIpheM rhe doctrine of syne:rgda·, that is, the collaboration between divine graoe and (he free will of man on his way toward God. \Y/e are all saints by gpc.t.::, b urwe must become ~ ... aims by our aCES and in our whole being,

God, .i n his very Being, his Providence, his: Incasnation ,n is p.resence in the Churci1,and his m;:inifu,scad.on or himselfat the end ;of ti we, is the ~i n iq ue Object whorn rhe sal nrs know nnd whom rheologians seek ~o express by their formulas, 'Iwo aspecffi of [he co nception of God nppear EO be particularly importanr if we wish to Ii .. uiderstand o rthodox rheology as 3J whole, These two aspectS-going back of



COUl':i(;; to the Greek. Fathers-c-are the absolute transcendence a nd the trinitarian, diar is, the personal, nature of the Divine Being.

God's transcendence is a logical consequence of the Biblical ilCCOUJlC of creation ex nihNo. This is one of title essential traits of Biblicol religion .. The Bible clearly affirms that the world is nor an emanation of the divine nor a reflection of ,I pre-exisrent reality, much less an extension of the Divine Being, as the result of any namm.1 necessity. God, says St. Paul, "sends his call to char which has no being, as i~ if already was" ( 4: 17). The world did not exist before the divine hat, but it began roexist, thus giving binh to the quantity we call "rime." To be sure the Fathers spoke of "ideas" existing in the divine Mind beFfm~ the creation of the: world, bur these ideas had only dynamic and inrentienal characree .. The appcanmce of created beings from nothing means that these creatures belo ng tOfJJ n erde r 0 f existence essentially d i ftc re ['!J ( from God; an otde.r called by {he Bathers, begil'ming wirh St. Athao;;l,siu$, rhe "natural" order, created bv [he' will of God and exisring by his wiu alone. Between God an ~he created world there can be no "interdependence," there can only be a. total "dependence" of [he creature on the Creaser.

The ilibyss between [he Absolute a ndrhe rel arive, [he Uncreared and. creatures, is a theme (".'0 ristandy recurring throughout the New Tesrament, and is whar Christian theologians and mystics mean by [he "rranscendeace" and "ml~mQw.tbili~" of [he divine Essence, Cre-atu res canknow each other, among themselves, btl t when i r comes ItO knowing God rhey are crushed, as it were, by their rotal dependence O!1 hi an and by (heir virtual nonexistence. Thejr only resource is [0 assert that God is notwh;1!r [hey conceive him to be" ~ha[ he is r~O[ like any creature rhar no image or word can express his Beung.5 Unknown in his essence, God has however revealed himself

,3 This, Is wh:1J! is meant hr I.helelln "negarive rheology" or "apopharic rheology." rh [1'0'0 gr~~esr {'Xp()m!'nts of whieh in file E~s'~ were St·. Gr~"got)' of Ny5S~ and the ,~nfl:ny:rnm~s amhoTohhe j'irli"t ·cenwL"l' who h:i{~ his r·e;ul :idemiry under the ps~~'!&)nym .oF DI~mysiu~ [he Areopaglec, rhe rli:><;:i pl~ uF S r, Pan I ar A[h~m.

Orthodox Faith and Spil'it.wtHty


as Father, Son and Holy Spidt; the Son became man and the Spirit descended onthe O'1umh. The Christian God therefQr·e is northe "unknown God" venerated by philosophers, bur a living God who reveals himself and acts. This is the meaning of the 0 rrhodox doetrine concerning the divineem:rgies OJ; actions, which are distinct fi·om the 11 uknowable essence, as formulated by St. GF~gOl"y P;al::tmas in the fouf1ceeru:hcentll1,),."' The Old Testamen~ has much EO say about the divine intervention in the history of the Chosen People, but w.ith Christianity we have a fiillness of divine action in history: the Son of God "d.ispossessed himself and wok the nature ofa slave, fashioned in the likeness of men. and presenting himself ro us in human Iorm, and then he lowered his own digni 0/., acceprc . .J an obedience wbich brought him death, death onthe cross" (Phi12:7-,8) .. Henceforth rhc divine acts <iJ[ec[ not only the external man, but their very Source has assumed human nature; which is now deified in J esus Christ, '\Xlc;; are no longe~ limited ro acknowledging [he transcendence and omnipotenet of God, bu r we may also accept the salvation which he grants us and assimilate the divi ne grace which he gives us. Th is is \~ hal: the Fathers mean!. by "deiflcarion": God became man rhar we might become God. J This ddfic(uion is realized when we become members of the Body of Christ, but also, and especially, by ehe unction of the 5pi~.·i.r when rhe later touches each one of us: the "economy of 'rile Holy Spirit" means precisely this, [hat we are able [0 enjoy COn1.IUUHion with [he one and truly deified hurnaniry of Jesus Christ througbom history from theti me .of ehe Ascension to the final Potl"OllSi~1!·6 «God. has senr OU~ the Spil'l[ of his Son into Our hea.i'ffi, crying out in us, Abb~l"Fa[hd' (Ga14:6).

This "persona]" emphasis ofOrthodox theology and mysticism is intimately connected wid} [he way in which the fathers interpret the 1, SI.-c our Stud), 0[ GregM] Put6rmgs (GJ ndon.: F~irh l'ress, 1(3), emu Snim Grigu.itf:' Paiaml1s ez lEi "flJ~t;ql'(e o'l't/mtoxe,. Coil.. ~M:ik~~ Spirieuels" (Paris; ~didon~ du See:iJ, 1959).

), St. /\rh:m;L.Sills of Alexand ria, The [ncarruuion "/ the ttiil1TJ. 54. P 25, 192.1:l.

G, Cr. 0 .. Clc..mcll r, Tri2,r;figuycr l~ temp!. Now .fur Ie ~rmpr. fl ia tum.ih~ de It! tJ"(Id,itio,t'j on:hodoxe (PmLs: N~m:h.Md., .~ 9'59.)



rranscendenc of God; that j s, God remai ns unknowable in his uniq uc essence, bUI he has revealed himself as a. Trinity of Three Perso tis. The God of [he Bjble therefore is known to the extent rhar He is a living and acting Deity; the One; W whon1 the prnyem of the Church are addressed the' One who has sent His Son for the sal v<lid on of the world, This particular emphasis of the thought of the Eastern Fathers distinguished them-without opposing them, however-from the way in·,vhkh rheir Larin brothers preferred ro think of God firs~ :;,1$ a unique essence. and then only as a Trini[~/ These rwo differeut attitudes would later give rise co two schools of Trinitarian theology: III Latin theology, the divine Persons were considered 8,$ d\e ,~imp]e inner relations ofthe unique essence of the Godhead: hence", if the velY existence of the Sp hit is dererm i ned by its relations co the father and rhe Son. the. docnine of the filiorptt'-o.r procession of rhe Spirit from the Parher and the Sen-e-becomes a logical, dogma ic necessity, fOil the Spirir cannot be said to be disrince from the Son if he does not proceed from him,1I Eastern theologians, on the other hand, r-emained faiIhful [0 the old ~pcrSOI1;l.lism.;; ofthe Greek Fathers .. The doctrine 'of the jifioque appeared to them, conseq uen tl y, as semi ~ S~lbdlia n ism {w Lise and expression of Phodus).'J Consubseaneiel with [he Father

and rhe Son, because proceeding from tnt:' Farher, rhe uniq ue source of the Deity, rhe Sp]rit has his own existence rind personal fllnaion in the inner life of God and in. [he economy of salvation:' his task is ro bring about the uniry of the human race in the Body of Chrisr, but he also imparts to this: unify ,I personal, and hence diversified, character. It is with a pra.yer 1;0 [he Holy Spirit thar all

7. See Oil th.~s !,ui IU T. de fu!gnoH, Eiu,tieJ J~ IN'olO'gie !i)~it ifl~' SIlT la S'l.irltr 'n·initi. \'{~L ~ • p, q 33; G. L Prestige, G'iJd.it1 Plm.fsti~ l1mugl!t (l.ondClr!i, I [)S2), pp. 2421(.

s, The doctrine 'Dr thc'jl'tj'o .. tJiJe has been debared :1J[ (!NO I'W.:'m rneeri Itgs of C:~dHllit and Orthodox theologians, rhe minutes of (he debates w ere publ.f:slu.-d hll ~'he Easscr» CJJIm'lm Qlmr,~aly, 'I'd .. 7 (j9@)., suppl, issue, and in Ruaie et ChfitiC1Jte:, nos .. JA (1950).

LJ. /\itjltagDgin. ? l'G ! 02.23.9 ,>;. H. S~lbeiii.rmi~m is ~ heresy dating from [hi! second cenru ry art ributerl to ~. ce rtai nI Sabdli LIS, ""IH,) tau ghr [11 ill[ rhe divi ne Persons are Simply "modes" Or ~~~Pi!!(.ilS~ of a unique God,

Orthodox Faith tUJd .spirituality


the liturgical services of the On.hodox Church begin, and with an invocation of his name [hal: the eucharistic: mysce ry is effected,.

Whj!e I'eln..QJn.lng am:o]uoely rranscendene and Jncornprehensible, God has revealed himself in Jesus Ch rise, "in 'W11JQm the whole plenitude of the D~ity is embodied" (Col 2:9) . In this ''iV<l!Y the true LiVe which comes from God was communicated to men.who, unci! men and ever since [he sin of Adam" had been subject to death, a kind of hereditary. cosmic corruption) the consequence of his revelt against God.

The drama of sin, descri bed in rhe[ chapters of G enesis and explained by Sr, Paul and the ancient Fathers ofthe Church, provides a key [0 the rnystelY of su ffering and death as fa ILJ.D.'lJd. ]1'] man, both in [he past and today. Adam and Eve sinned. and this sin i 11""01 ved [heir dearh, as well as [he death of ala their descendams, This docrrine of original sin, which has played such an important pan in Wesrem theology ever since the rime of St. Augustine, is inrerpreted ro mean dun countless generations of men have been affecred by rhe consequences of Acl<'im's sin, who were not responsible, it would seem, for [he original muir. In their eage,rnc-$$ W reconcile this facrwirh <I certain conception of the divine "justice," \Xfestel'Il theologians have always insisted on the-joint g'.dltof all men to" die sin . of Adam: punishmenr fm sin could nor <lffi."'Ct aU humaniry unless all men had sinned. "in. Adam" 8ind. had therefore merited the divine wrath, This inrerpreradon seemed 1[0 be confirmed by tnt: Latin translarion ora particular passage in the Bible-s-ir may even have had its origin rhere-e-which speaks of the "rrsnsmission" of Adams sin (Rom 5: 12: in 9U;£) omnes ptCilWerunt}. BUI, as: a matter of fac~, this is an inaccurare rendering g.f [he original Greek 1,0 he; Eastern Fathers who read St, Paul in die

lO, The Lnci n tCH, hy rransl,u illg the Greek er.n·O' as 112 '1'1(1; imp~ i~'S that "",II have sin n~(l in" Bm [Ilis is impossibk !!pmlnmdQ;1Jiy, T~b~ I:\\~J possible wlnsladoli!s WQ!l,J!k!l :rc~d:: ~ OE."I.~i passed W all men, from rhe F~c~ th~r ill. ha\'~ s;infled", or, ~Dc:\r.h. O~m acconnr of W:ftiiCh al I. have sinned, ,,~ pa~sl!{l w;d l men.' Tille larrer ~cr~iOri fll;ld5, ~nJ1 firm3t'L[)fi i It several or (he Greo;:k Fat'h{!~,i n ahe j'i:rsr ease, Sf, Paul v .. ould b~ ro:; rfl rI'li!! pc ~(ll'I.iJ sins of men cornmirted by them on thei r own respoll,subili{}' ~mllllt!rii.hmlg punisbreenr like 'lil':tt which Adiliill &111'f~red; in rhe second case, pl01it~1~ iry, rransmitted 10 the whole race of, would be (he origin of their personal si~lS.



original G~ek never attempted. to p:wve the joint guilt of Jill the descendants of Adam for the sin of their ancestor: [hey mere~y observed thm all men have inherited ao,rrupdon(l:t1Jd dearh hy .~. proceM of inheritance and thar rI~l hmve comrniteed sins, They pre[ EO inrerpret '[he stare$ inherited from Adam <:IS a. sb;vety wdl.e Devil, ';:'h,oexercises a usurped, unjust and deadly tyrafiny OVi~l" msnkind since the sin ofmans Progeniwr. On. rhe other hand God~ throughonr me history ofls:rnelj sought W steer men toward salvation by preparing them. gradually to [ec:e,~ye the Promised Messiah, the trneWord ·of God) became incarnate of the Vkgi:[a Mary andthe Holy Ghost-therefore outside the. corrupt inheritance of Adam-' -eriumphed over the Devil on the: Cross, rose again on the third d:¥y, and bas given back to m3inkind3icQess to Ute.

It goes without saying that these fundamental mysteries of (he Christian fa:ith. are the very essenee of mle doctrine and hil!¥e their conseq uences fOf Christian sph:itua1ity; Doctrinal differen.ces will nooessaxily enrai] certain variations in spiritual emphasis, Til us, the Christian East has remained a st'rnnger W the j u ridical conceptions of .\Oi:lvadon which have been dominant in the West since medieval rimes (the dccui nes of the "merits" of § es us Clrrisrand inc!u~gences)3Jnd which haw so profou nd~y affectedWestem spirit'Luai]ry; The doctrine ·of odgincal sin, moreover, as the Greek fatheB understood ]r,. excludes the dogma ofthe Immaculate Conception of Mary in the form in wh ich this was proclaimedby Pope Pius D{ ]11 1354. I I Thisdogma assumes tharoriginal sinconsisrs ofa "sin" commuted "in Adam" and meriting punishmenr, and that the Vi l'gln. Mary GOuld nor have any share in this, for, fIBm the momeut of her conception, she VO'aS chosen and. purified in view of [he divine fiilaremiq;y. The choice ~h;:lx was made ofherror rhis end is, ~n [".ct, irreconcilable wirh the divine angRf

1 I. ~We declase , .. thar rlte doettinc which. holds [hal ehe moo[ bl~ Virgi (I M~ry at

the Hm i nsrant .of her WI}OOp~:~OIl, by a Si:j1glj~ar gp.ce and p j'iNilege of Alini~[V God, in vi nue of dle merits .of eh risr jesus, Savi.or d the hemaarace, WillS preserved im:n~~~n l~lt(l from all mun of oiri~nil1l 8~n. h~s ken revealed by GoJ ... ~ h.~,;..:( ~fI [)tnz~geF, Hml#dJirm Symbolorum. no .: ~ 641. ),


associated Wi[~l sin. Btu chis reasoning no longer holds good if we adopt 1l110Ihe'1~ interpsetarion of or]ginal 81n. AOCOtdu[~g 1:0 OrdhoJo:x rrarnuon, slavery to the Devil, monality)<1J.nd corruption, transmitted by Wd.y of narural hetediw~ were the conseqnenees of Adams sin. The V]rgln Mll}' was of course holy and pme from her conception, but she was born efjoachim and Anna in the same way cl!.a~ aU other men have been born, and like them she w'aS)monah Ad;;lms was nor passed over acep~ in the case .or her divine Sm.'l> who was born of me Holy The Byzandne Hmrgy is cerrainly fur from sparing its pr<1!ise of dle "M.other of God": It recognizes- ex~ptional role in salvation=-by her fiat ro th .. e AKhangel, Mary the New' Eve, is me origin of the new human race which shares jn the life gf God-:dnda~ro exeelsrhe corporal glorifkacion of the Thtflf()k(J$ ;.lie. her dea[h; ir sees in her the goa] and perfserion of aU crearion, ready at last to receive me Sav~m-but it ]s Jesus Christ, and not Ma~ whom [he Church Jd.ore8 as rhe Prince of life, Savior and Redeemer, and it ]s he alone w.ho benefited fiom an Immaculate Conception in her womb .. Mary is (he Mother of God, the one WI1m, in the nJ!me of all mankind. received GOod [he Redeemer .

Thus, in spire of [he opposition of Orthodox theologians to the Roman dogma of the lrnroacula~e Conce priori and their reservario 11.~~ ~'eg<lrding rhe nevi dogma of the Assu m ption of Ma.ry-~o rheextent that this could imply char Ma ry did nor die became of her Immaculate Conceprion-s-in spite of these dJffi:r~ enccs, I s~y,. which ba.sicaUy do not concern Mary her~r.df but rhe docrrines ofoeigiual sin and the Redemption, 12 E~Sf and West vie wi [h each othe r in. awning the viuuesa nd graoe of her "whom a II gr;:]lt;'ra.tion.s sh~H callblessed,"

The Rede~npdon which God grsnted in Jes:lj,~ Chris[ is available EO us rhrough the Cimrm and by means of the Churoh: bO[[li.l:hi;;\vhole

] 2. The Orthodox poi m of vic .... r in rd~(io~ to dl~~ pDI)bbm 118:1; been wd I. ~8ttd. hy G, Flmo~sky and V, Lo~~ky in tll~ ~rr~cb whidt ~hey cOfmib;l.Ir~"A:~ tu Tlk MutrUi"Of uo.d, 00,. by E. L M~sc:~n (LIndon: 03Cl"t Press, 1949), I;or ~~Ie dMttl ne of rhe .B)'7~'lnd!l'C rh~dk~i.;LIls, S!j~ [)uf Stud14GregOty- Paltmu:r;.



corporate and personal life of each Christian is thus derermined by the historical ,fact of rhe death. find resurrection of Christ. \Ve share in [his resu[~'Cci'Dn in baptism and we "commemorate" it ]0 the Euchau'lsr. FinaUy, i[ derermines ow' rule of prayer.

We mentioned above [he vety important part played by the liturgy in clle life of the Orthodox Church] Oil. living •. drama-filled litu:rgy, ~hich has served as it unique source of inspi ratio n fOr rheoI~g~c<d t-hou.gln and a lastrefuge fur the fruthfu] during: particularly difficulr periods, .,uld has even revealed irself capable ofkeep]ngalive the. essentl~ truths ~f [he Christian faith. Regardless of rile ;;'l~ in which he lives or ills status in Hfe, when the Orthodox Chrisri,ltl ~mers a chueeh he. feels instincri vely [halt he is .i n the presenve of heavc_n. that the Kingdom of God is already here; be knows chat Christ is there in the spiritual communion of his Body and Blood, in the Gospd read by the priest, and in the prayers of i:h~ Church.

Th is sacramental conceptic n 0 f che Ch risrian .~,i fe has. been. ~vid,ent in 0 rthodox spi ritualiry from the begin n i n.g a n cl pervades u, Ex:cremr.: tendencies toward an individualistic, personal fO.iim of piety all find themselves integrated in a coherent whole as a result of this conception, which does not regard personal. forms of' piety as something opposed to the corporare liturgy. This is especially true of hesychasm, a rnyseical movement which goes back to the _Desf':rr. Fathers a~~ whlch~fl~~ played such an important part informing die spiritual tradition of die Christian East. J[ was actually in ~onnectioI1l\lIirirh rhctheojogical conrroversies QVCI,· the question of hesychasm .111 [he fotJtn;cmh century thar the Ortho~ox Church C'Hn.: [0 define its doctrine On' gract;; and its concepnon of [he relations between God and man. These doctrinal de~i.nitians t~l~refore g.we a pcrmanenr and lasring value to a spiritual tradlUo.n, whose- methods and practical fean.Ire$~ by COn~ trasr, are only of relative significance.

II: was in the ~esens of Syria, Pa~esrine and Egypr in the fourth cemury rhatwe fmd the fil'sr hesychasrs (from rhe Gl'eek hesychia,


"solitude,' "conternplaeion"), the first exponents of continual prayer .. Alone wirh God in their solitary hahirarions, the Christian hermits saw in St. Paul'scornmandrncnt: (~Pra.y without ceasing" (1 Thess 5: 17}[h~ mOM ·etfCca:ive w:ay for remaining in direcr contact with the grace of Redemption. Some ofthem were accustomedtc recite the Psalter ][1 an endless, round, rhus inspiring the lecsio continua of the Psalter in our liturgical offices., Others were devoted to a rnonologic Or fo.rm of prayer consisting of the constant reperirion of a shorr prayer stressing the Divine Name. Had. nor the Old Testament revealedthat .. 1. more rhan ordinary significance was to be arrached eo ehe Divine Name? Did ehe Bible nor teach rhat we must constantly "glarify the Name of [he LO~'d" and did Christ not send his disciples [0 baptize people "in the Name of the Farher and the Son and the Holy Spurir"? The perpetual invocation of Gad's Name was [he mosr appropriate means far monks to cornmunicare wirh the Divine. The form of rncnologic prayeu' <chen varied-e-sornetimes if consisted of a simple Kyrie eieif(Jn (Lord, have I1fle"fcy}-hm the essence of practice was the continual repetition of a set formula,

Occasionally; rhe earliest doctors af hesychasm, and especially E-vagr.ius of Pont us (1" Co 400), a gR..u asceric who had studied Origen and neo-Platonism, were inclined 1:0 envisage pl"aYCT as a means of dcrna(eri<}lizing the self in order to attain to the world ofrhe mind, as [he "highesr intelletion of the intellect," as an ascension of "the immaterial toward the Immare rial." In pan it was a q ucstio ['i of mere term j n ology. The Gn~ek Immel'S were fond. of expressing Clnisrian r ru ehs in [he language of me day and th us Ian gua:ge was permeated with [he conceptions or Hellenism, But sometimes the Greek spirit also got the upper hand over Biblical doctrine particularly in the marrcr of anrhropology The B~ble never taughr rhar men is: a spiri[ imprisoned in rnatrer, like Plato, The' \Vo~d became Hesh in order [0 save a.II mankind, the whole of man kind, and ir should be the aim of Chrisriarr spirituality therefore to realize this salvation in irs toraliry Chrisrian prayer; which E:v~grius [ended to conceive of as: a kind of



de-marerializaeioe ;ind. described without any reterence to Christ, God. incarnate, ~lgh[ [0 bring [he entire man face to fac'e;c wieh God. Gradually these Origenisc and Evagrian distorrions were corrected by ecclesiastical tradition. A work by an anonymous author of th,eHfrh century, who hid his true identity under the name of St. Macari us of Egypt, and rna ny other works bys piritual writers of the time; '!, ... ere instrumental in bringing this about,

\'>Vith Sr .. Diadochus of Phorice (fifth century) and St. John Clirnacus (t650)che "intellectual" prayer of Evagrius has been transformed into the "prayer of Jesus." jesus henc.efonh will be rhe Divine Name incessantly invoked by ascetics, and Christ. [he God become [rum. waJ be regarded asthe sole mediator between the created world and [he Divine, Their pmyer will no longer be a High[ from matter bur a cornmunionwirh God in soul and body; The divine grace they will seek will rransflgure borh rhe soul and the,reg;At'ded as bound together in the New Life and illuminated by the uncreared divine lighL

"The hesychasc," wrote St. John Clirnacus in. his Ladder of Paradise, '<is he who strives 'CO confine [he Incorporeal into his bodily house, .. ~t the remembrance of]e~us b~,rjesem w.ith e<l1~~l hl;,eath; then you will know the value of solitude. llncl Sr, Maxirnus the Confessor (t662) thus describes rhe deification which is sought by ,every Christian, and especially by every hesychase

Man DCGOmes Cod by deiflcarion, rhereby he experiences a com plere abandonment of'all rhar belongs (0 him by nature, , . because tilt grace or [he Spirit triumphs ill him anel because God. alone, manifesdy, aces ill hl m, Thus God, and rh ose wh o arewo [thy of GOo d, henceforth have

d 1 .. - I~ L' r4

on Iy 0 rre an . me sa rue <len \i I,I}' In a. ~ [ELmg.s ..

The divine vision granted to mystics in deification was idenrified by S c. Gregory of yssa (founh century) and Sr. Maxirnus with 13- L!itid~r of P<1rz!dise, TW~l1ty .... )erJeJlti} Step, (T. bY' i ~1:l'~1nJS Moor,e (Londo 11., '19 'lEI}, pop.


14_ Ambi"IIJ1, PC I) L , I 076BC. On S{, Maxi anu!>, see P. ShC'r\'.'U(lr!, Thl: E~rly AmbigIla (II 8/: dl)fimu~ tbe COlljnfor (Rome, ~ ?S "i) , and, by the same author, H:m£l.:~timl nnd comm~omry on works of M~~ i IT! LIS, n n A nciml Chtiui~m Writt'TY, nn . .:n.

Orthodox Faith mld Spirinudity


the vision of Moses on Mount Sinai ~]nd with the divine light that W:lS wi messed by [he Apostles on Mount Tabor when Chrisr was:! red.

Later spiritual writers will place even more emphasis upon the bond between [he Prayer of Jesus the mysticism of deificarion, and rhe sacramental life of the Chri: s dan community, St. Symeon the New Theologian; the greait Byzanrine mystic of die eleventh century; found [he essential, inspiration for his experience of the div ine in. the Eucharisn his hymns and prayers, both before and after Comrsiunion, ar-e some or J;:h,e most realistic and spirirually moving in the Byzantine Euchologion. In [he thirteenth and fourreenth cennnies the hesychase revival coincided with a new interesr at Bvzanri urn in the sacramental I.iie of the eh u reh. The best-known example of [his tendency is Nicholas Cabasilas, whose Lift in Chr~£$~ comprehensive view" of ehe spiritual life-is in the form of a commentary on '[he sacraments of haptisrn, chrismarion (confirmation), and the Holy Eucharist. Thus; r be 0 rthodox hesychasrs of this: perio d rho ugh r of the Prayer of Jesus not. <IS <I subjective and emotionalway of communicating with God, bur as a rnerhod by which they could make more effecrive, in themselves] rhe gifrs received through. rhe sacramenrs,

During rhis period also [he practice of saying the Prayer of Jesus according EO a particular method beg<lr1 to be widely .£"01- lowed. This consisted of repeating the words of rhe short prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, Son, of God, have mercy on me" ]11 rhythm with one's breathing while at the same rime concentrating the mind of the regi()n ,~f the heart, regarded as being the foc8iJ point for the whole psycho-physiological nature of [nan.

Though attacked by the Calabrian (t 1350), a philosopher of both skeptical and Plaronieing tendencies, [he hesychast method Qr prayer was defended in the fourteem:h century by the grea[ theologian and monk ofArhos, who ] • .u-Cf became archbishop of Thessalonica, Sc- Gregory Palarnas (t [359). It was the



merit of Palarnas to htJ,ve seen clearly the connection between the Orrhodcx doctrine of God, [he deification whidl [he mystics soughr [0 a~]eve in rheir mystical experiences, [The hesychasr method of priliyer, and the sacramental Bfe of the 01l:ll'dL 'Without arterupring [0 construcr a doctrinal sum7'tm~he jssigned to each one of these elements irs proper place, God, essentially unsharableand transcendent, is alsoa liv.lng God whocomenunicares Himself voh_ulm.d]y through His acrs: He. thu,s becomes available [lot merely to knowledge, bur sharahle orcommunicable, because cfthe hypostatic union of divinity and humanity in Jesus Christ" Even then, however, Heremains transcendent, since f.hi:,; is His natl;, participation in His Being, or deification is only pass! b]e to. [~je extent char He WI tit' irand in accordance wi rh Hies eaergies or acts, This participation is rctal in jesus Christ. since the Person or [he Word. incarn .. are is [he source of il.nthe divine operations. The disrincrion escabl ished here between tr ... nscenden [

d " ." f' . II 1"1, h" I .

essencea n . ,energies 0 cou ~$e I nvojves a p nuosc p.- ~C;;l. annn-

om y. bur is God su bj ecr to the limitations of OU [ i ~'JdleC'[? This "de.uftc;).don" in Jesu(i! Ch~i$.~ is available IO us rh rough bmpdmn. and the Eucharist: the Incarnate Word commuuicates tous rhe divine ~i£e and transforms our whole being from inside. Henceforth, "the Kit!igdom of God is within U~~L" This "within us" does nor s]gnif)r

'1 ". 1 'J" ". 1 I ".r: h "

nccessan y m t ae nunc orIn. rne SOU j 101"" -_ur;r'!l~.n nature ~.S

indivisible and shares as a whole in God, Our body rherefore, as wdl as our mind and. soul, shares in this process through f(l:sdng, p.raycr" and various acts which make up the duties of~heChdsdan in his search for the 'Kingdom of God, audir can ahiowceiv¢,0Js of [IOW~ the fLrs~ fruirs ofglory: does rhe Church not venerate rhe corporeal remain S .of the saints after rhei r death, mnd. during rhei r ~~fe do [he saints not PG'tform miracles which attest [he rrausfigu-

, -I d I - d"~s

rauon a rea 'Y ac 11.eVe ~

1$, \Y/e have ~~amincd til(! d{)crrillc' of Pala rIila> i!~ ~Qorn~ d~t~i~ ill OLlir swtfy of G~01y PIlLUnflJ, and ~, m ore rapid s;lretch of dile hC5:r(:h~st t r:ru:lu~u(j!" both before ~Illd ~f~,~r d~c fo'ur(~;;;'mh ccntlll:)" mfLy be found l n Saint (;1ig~i"I'()llltt,i(Jg et W myMiqui'

Orthodox Fait/' tUid Spirituality


Fina]ly, [he special task ofEasrern Orthodox spirirualityrc make known to us the p.ll'es,ence of God in history, and ro make this known not only in words but also by providingliving examples of God's power. God. is henceforth pre~ent in the Church not only In His wri rre nWord, bu c .L nthe reality ofrhe sacrarnen wand in the gjfts of the Spirit, evident in His saints, which are uyaUabte U kewise to <lil! Christians who are determined. to live in accordance with [heir baptismal promises, The saints of the Church-s-from St. Paul who was "raised. to dle-rbirdbeave,o'" 1'0 St. Seraphim of Sam'll whose. E;'IC.e was illumined by a divine lighr-' =are .J]! witnesses of rhis New Life grar!! redto manwhich Hansfiguws matter irsdE Apostles, bishops, marcyrs, missionaries, monks or simple laymen; wherever God ~ s pleased to find them, the saints are the true agents of the Kingdom of G od in. [he worki.

In the Mstmy of [he Orthodox Church h.esych.ast mysticism has proved ro be the most traditionalway in which rltiscorrunuuion wirh G od, which consri [U res r:he very essence of the Christian ~ife., has expressed it~d[ of its simplicity and uncomplicued narure of [he Prayer ·of Je$US becamea very popular form of spiritual devotion arid \VaS widespread ncr only among the monks butclso am0!1g rhe laity, Its precise ·defjnition by great theologians (laved it from degenerating into a purdy ind.iv.~du'l~i"tic for:m. of pi,e~y. OIl,])' in the Church, in [he cnmmunion of saints, is the sacramental Hfe .of [he Christian commuriity, can the mystical experience of (he individual have, iHreaii~> a truly Christian mea~jng, Herealso is Found the ultimate criterion f:OI' J.U spiritualiey .. The Church does not canonize any particular (mm Or method of devotion , bur merely sancrions cheholi ness of those who have been able IO express the real i[}' of [he Ki ngdom of God in their lives <lind in their words,

/mfmdfl'Xt!. C.olL "illtla.itm Sph:ituds," no. 20 « Paris, t 9 5 9)" The chief work of Pl't!;aI'MS, 11 is 7iia;d; jiJr the Defim~ 'I die Hl1iy He~ydJast., h~~ b~~n !!!{~ir·eJ by US ..... -jIh a cemplere Ir1l!d~~L(jl1. in .F rench, i n t~'1! ~ri~~ Sp£c.:l~i1~m Sacrum LO·litl'nienu. 1100. 30·31 {loll ",~lrl. 1')59), 2: vols,

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