17 December 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 11/30/2017, 09.48


    Moscow, nearly 500 Russian Orthodox bishops at extraordinary Synod

    Vladimir Rozanskij

    200 Russian bishops; 100 from Ukraine; 20 from Belarus; bishops in service in 22 countries; dozens of retired bishops gather in Holy Savoir Cathedral. The 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate was celebrated at the very beginning of the revolutionary storm (1917). New martyrs, religious life, divorced remarrying. The greeting of Vladimir Putin.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - The extraordinary Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church (Arkhiereiskij Sobor, "Episcopal Council") opened yesterday in Holy Savoir Cathedral on the 100th anniversary of the dramatic Moscow Council of 1917, in the days preceding the revolutionary storm, where the Patriarchate of Moscow was restored after 200 years of synodal rule. The Synod will close on Saturday, December.  Then, in the presence of guests and journalists, Patriarch Kirill (Gundjaev) will solemnly celebrate a liturgy on December 4, commemorating the enthronement of Patriarch Tikhon in 1917.

    The Patriarchate of Moscow was established in 1589, introducing in the Orthodox ecclesiology the novelty of the "national patriarchy": in the ancient church there were only five "apostolic" patriarchs, Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch (the first two, , of imperial importance). Just over a century after its establishment, Tsar Peter the Great abolished the patriarchate in 1701, to replace it with a state administration to which the bishops themselves were subjected, the Holy Synod led by the imperial oberprokuror or procurator. The paradox is that at the time of its restoration, the highest Russian ecclesiastical office had to again suffer the persecution and conditioning of the Soviet State, which was officially atheist, controlling the Church with the "Religious Affairs Council". Only in 1990, with the election to the patriarchal throne of Aleksij II (Ridiger), did the Russian Church recover its autonomy.

    The topics on the agenda of the ongoing Synod are not only celebratory, exalting the memory of the new martyrs of atheist persecution, starting with Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Indeed, the verification of the remains of holy imperial martyrs, kept in St. Petersburg, will be the first question posed to the bishops' judgment. Their recognition has never been officially established, and there are still many doubts: the Tsar’s family was shot in the basement of Ekaterinburg's "Ipatiev House", and the bodies were buried in a mass grave. The same patriarch Kirill warned against hasty conclusions urging a careful examination of all available evidence.

    The Synod must also deliberate on the proclamation of a further group of new martyrs, to be added to over 2000 already canonized, and together with the inclusion in the calendar of Russian saints of some names whose devotion is practiced only in Ukraine. This will also help entrust the harmony and union of the two parties of the ancient Rus' of Kiev in conflict to the intercession of the saints. The new rules of monastic life, which have been a source of debate for several years, will also be examined, including the delicate issue of using the Internet in monasteries and in the cells of monks. Another issue concerns the celebration of marriage, which for the orthodox tradition can be carried out a second and also a third time, but often these are civil unions, even more than three, that are then regularized with undefined procedures.

    The Russian bishops want to focus greater attention on culture, beginning with the teaching of the religion in schools and theology in universities. In addition to education, they also want to reflect on the variety of artistic and cultural expressions in Russian society, a particularly hot topic after this year's controversy around the movie "Matilda", even though the Synod does not intend to pronounce itself for or against individuals authors and works. The intention is to foster a more constructive dialogue between the Church and the world of culture in the current conditions of Russian society.

    In addition to the almost 200 bishops in office in Russia, the 100 of Ukraine and 20 of Belarus, the Russian bishops gathered in the Synod are serving in 22 countries, and there are dozens of retired bishops also participating reaching a total of 500 bishops. Thanks to the decision for greater openness and transparency in ecclesiastical support of media and information the number of accredited journalists is also on the rise.

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin greeted the participants in the Synod without visiting the cathedral as initially planned. Previously, the Tsar and the Soviet authorities sent their representatives to direct the work; today the president merely honours and hear the voices of the Church's hierarchs at a respectful distance.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    31/08/2017 10:37:00 RUSSIA-VATICAN
    Kirill’s encyclical on the 100th anniversary of the Patriarchate. Join Christians in Russia and the world

    Two centuries after its suppression by Peter the Great, the Patriarchate was restored in 1917. The resumption of Church reform. Social media for reading the Bible. Overcome divisions, even with Catholics. Former Ambassador to the Holy See: Ensuring a Living Space for Christians.

    13/11/2017 16:18:00 RUSSIA
    October Revolution: the memory of the martyrs and the fate of Lenin's mausoleum

    The Russian Orthodox Church canonised more than two thousand martyrs of communism, noted Metropolitan Hilarion. "They were ordinary believers, monks and nuns, priests and bishops, almost all shot by Soviet police," he said. The beatification of Catholic martyrs is underway, starting with Konstanty Budkiewicz, who was shot Easter night in 1923. Lenin's burial still proves divisive.

    24/03/2017 16:18:00 RUSSIA
    Optimists, pessimists, and apocalyptics look at Russia on the 100th anniversary of the Revolution

    The commemoration of the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917 has begun. A major historical revision is underway. Our post-globalisation times resemble 1917. The Moscow Patriarchate and Vladimir Putin are silent on the matter.

    30/10/2017 10:09:00 RUSSIA
    Moscow, the art of the movie 'Matilda' and public morality

    The film depicts the love affair between Tsar Nicola II and a ballerina. Screenings take place under armed guard. The Interreligious Council: No to coercion, but true culture contains a moral ideal. Patriarch Kirill’s disillusionment: A miracle if religions grow despite television and internet culture. Minister of Culture accused of plagiarism.

    21/02/2017 14:18:00 RUSSIA
    Thousands in procession for the return of St. Isaac's Church to the Moscow Patriarchate

    The building had been seized in 1917 and used as a museum. Spokesman for Patriarch Kirill: The church "should first of all be a place of prayer." Opponents: Giving the management to the Church risks opening the path to "wild provincialism". Putin among the opponents. Kirill: A sign of reconciliation.


    Editor's choices

    For parish priest in Amadiya, Advent among Mosul refugees sees solidarity stronger than hardships (photos)

    Fr Samir describes an atmosphere of joy and hope, despite the lack of resources and less aid. The struggle for survival has boosted the bond between Christians, Muslims, and Yazidis. About 150 refugee families are still living at the centre, 70 per cent depending on resources provided by the Church. Hundreds of young people attend the prayer meeting in preparation for Christmas.

    Xenophobia and populism. The case of Asia

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Theme studied during symposium jointly organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and by the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development. Tracing the commitment of Churches amid rising hostility towards others, considered as enemies and foreigners. "Migrants" are an important political theme in Germany and in UK Brexit. Testimonies from Latin America and Africa. Asian experiences entrusted to the director of AsiaNews.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®