Orthodox Survival Course, Class 48: Russia and the End of the World, Part D – The Rise and Fall of the Russian Church Abroad

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I. Background: The Russian Church Abroad

A. Brief Chronology – Ukaz 362 of 1920, Met. Anthony,

i. between wars in Serbia, Met. Anastassy

ii. WWII, Munich

iii. post WWII – New York, de-recognition by World Orthodoxy

iv. ’60’s-mid ’80’s – St. Philaret, strict confession – high noon

v. Met. Vitaly, twilight

vi. Met. Laurus, absorption by MP, night

B. Review schisms – Evlogians, North American Metropolia

C. General Features of the Russian Church Abroad – Did not fit into neat categories of “TO” vs. “WO.” Was unique.

1. a general conservatism in theology and piety

2. outstanding liturgical life

3. outstanding spiritual figures

4. institutional stability and normalcy

5. Russian patriotism, anti-communism

6. spectrum of views on contemporary church situation

a. liberal wing – ecclesiological strictness distasteful

b. broad mainstream – unaware of non-Russian issues

c. orthodox wing – must respond to current situation

i. Boston and Platina: history, influence

7. Cf. Bishop Stefan’s Life of St. Philaret; chose not to push formal breaking of communion in 1974 at 3rd All-Diaspora Sobor so that liberal wing would not go into schism.

8. 1983 Anathema – varying interpretations

II. The MP Acquires Most of the ROCOR.

A. Met. Anastassy’s prohibition and why. Cat and mouse.

B. Russia opens up. ROCOR efforts there. Opposing views.

C. The “op” of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

D. 2000 MP “Jubilee Council”; 2001 – Met. Laurus, letters to MP and to Serbian patriarchate, Met. Vitaly and ROCiE

E. Discussion of Sergianism and Ecumenism forbidden. The phony 2006 council. Lack of preconditions for unity laid down by previous ROCOR decisions.

F. Outcome of 2007 union: Former ROCOR hierarchy now silenced; previously strongest bulwark against ecumenism destroyed.

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