Orthodox Christian Unity Broken by ‘Russian World’ Heresy

Orthodox churches, clergy and congregants inside Russia as well as abroad are braking with the Russian Orthodox Church and its patriarch over the battle in Ukraine and also the belief of the “Russian world” that underpins it.

This weekend the Russian Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas of Myra in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, requested “an approved dismissal” from the Moscow Patriarchate and also asked to be gotten right into a diocese under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In a notification published on its site, the clergy claimed it was “no longer feasible for them to function within the Moscow Patriarchate and supply a mentally safe atmosphere for our faithful.” The Amsterdam Orthodox Parish of Saint Nicholas of Myra, founded in 1974, has congregants of greater than 20 nationalities.

This was the first time a Western Orthodox Church has broken with the Moscow Patriarchate over the battle in Ukraine.

At the exact same time an open letter in Russian signed by nearly 300 Orthodox clergy in Russia as well as abroad called for an immediate end to the hostilities. While not addressed to any secular or religious person, the notaries contacted “every person that has the authority to stop the fratricidal war with Ukraine to start reconciliation and instantly discontinue hostilities.”

The clergymen mourned “the tests that our siblings and also sis in Ukraine have actually been undeservedly based on” and felt obliged to remind the authorities that “each human life is priceless as well as a distinct gift of God, and for that reason we want all the fighters– both Russian and Ukrainian– to return to their homes as well as families in protected.” They also noted that they respected “an individual’s God-given flexibility as well as believe that the people of Ukraine need to make their own decision independently, not at gunpoint, without stress from West or East.”

The “false training’ of the Russian World

On Sunday scholars as well as clergy at the orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University and also the Volos Academy for Theological Studies released a scathing “Declaration on the ‘Russian World’ Teaching.” This belief is, they write, “a false teaching which is drawing in many in the Orthodox Church as well as has also been used up by the Far Right and Catholic and also Protestant fundamentalists.”

The “Russian World” ideological background has been pointed out by both Vladimir Putin and also Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill over the previous 20 years. It insists, the theologians compose, that “there is a transnational Russian round or people, called Holy Russia or Holy Rus’, that includes Russia, Ukraine and also Belarus (and also sometimes Moldova and also Kazakhstan), as well as ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking individuals throughout the globe.”

The ideology asserts that Moscow is the political center and Kyiv– the “mom of all the Rus”– is the spiritual. Russian is the common language and the Russian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate is the typical religion. In this ‘globe,’ they compose, the Patriarch “operates in ‘symphony’ with a common president/national leader (Putin) to control this Russian world, as well as upholding a common unique spirituality, morality, as well as culture.”

This spiritual center stands against what its followers take into consideration “the corrupt West, led by the United States and also Western European nations, which has actually capitulated to ‘liberalism,’ ‘globalization.’ ‘Christianophobia,’ ‘homosexual rights’ promoted in gay parades, and also ‘militant secularism’.”

The scholars implicate the Russian Orthodox Church of “ethno-phyletism” or “religious nationalism”– a method forbidden by an Orthodox church council in 1872 as ecclesial heresy. The council ruled that the Orthodox Church need to not be connected with the fate of a single country or race.

“Therefore,” they write, “we deny the “Russian world” heresy and also the scandalous activities of the Government of Russia in unleashing battle versus Ukraine which moves from this indefensible and also repellent training with the connivance of the Russian Orthodox Church, as greatly un-Orthodox, un-Christian and also against humanity, which is phoned call to be “warranted … illumined … as well as washed in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and also by the Spirit of God” (Baptismal Rite). Equally as Russia has invaded Ukraine, so as well the Moscow Patriarchate of Patriarch Kirill has actually attacked the Orthodox Church, for instance in Africa, causing division as well as strife, with unimaginable casualties not just to the body but to the spirit, threatening the salvation of the faithful.”

The letter was signed by more than fifty noticeable theologians from throughout the globe.

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