Talk:Russian Orthodox Church/archive1

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I've wondered about this since I learned of it: "Sometimes the bottoms of crosses found in Russian Orthodox churches will be adorned with a crescent. The common misconception attributes these to the fact that in 1552, Tsar Ivan the Terrible conquered the city of Kazan which had been under the rule of Muslim Tatars, and in remembrance of this, he decreed that from henceforth the Islamic crescent be placed at the bottom of the crosses to signify the victory of the cross (Christianity) over the crescent (Islam)." 1 - I'd like some explanation for why that bar, referenced above, on base of cross? 2 - any ideas when and why the mirror image of 'making the sign of the cross?' 3 - how will I ever know if you answer any of these questions? I cannot find anywhere how to do this properly, sorry... Patric Sullivan,, 646.226.6133

Northern Russia is reputed to have very cold winters. The Russian Orthodox Church has a ritual in which a hole, sometimes (or maybe always?) cross-shaped, is cut in the ice in a frozen river and people descend into the water until they are entirely below the surface and come back up again, while a priest standing on the ice somehow officiates. Can someone explain the nature of this practice in more detail, either here or in the article? Michael Hardy 23:07, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I belive that would be the baptism ceremony. Young childeren dont part take in it but older people who have not been baptised yet and wish to be before Pasha would.

It is not a baptism service, but rather a folk custom celebrated on Theophany (Epiphany). The priest will throw a cross into the water, and (usually) young men will compete to see who can retrieve it. It's also celebrated by the Greeks, though for obvious reasons when celebrated by them it is not as grueling a test of endurance. YBeayf 19:05, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying this. Michael Hardy 02:17, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree with YBeayf. If I'm not mistaken, this would take place somewhere at or near the end of the service for the "great blessing of the waters" at Theophany when they hold a prayer service outdoors to, er, bless the water, usually a nearby river or other primary source of drinking water. Wesley 01:22, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
We have it in Serbia too (and it is a test of endurance). A nice article could be written about it, if someone would know how to call it. Nikola 07:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
There is some rather extensive information about the Great Blessing of Waters in the article holy water. MishaPan (talk) 09:00, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Contemporary Russian Orthodoxy

What percent of Russian Orthodox parishes use actual Russian language that people can understand? I heard that there are a few. What is the rational for still using Old Church Slavonic? I am American Orthodox and have a few questions. Also, someone told me that in Russia, a man converted to Orthodoxy from Protestantism and said that a priest told him that Orthodox do not proselytize. That cannot possibly be true, and traditionally Russian Orthodox Christians have been very zealous for missions. Also, when the secular government makes Monday a holiday and then makes Sunday a work day, why doesn't the RO Church complain and require the faithful to attend Divine Liturgy on Sunday? Lastly, it is said that when laity ask priests questions about the Bible and Tradition, that the priests do not answer the questions or enroll the enquirer in catechism classes, thus driving many, sadly, to Protestant missionaries. These issues were not covered in the Article, I thought someone here might know the answers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rclose (talkcontribs) 23:24, 5 March 2008 (UTC)


Some of my last edit may be irrelevant, but the 90% number was definitely wrong and needed to be changed. At least 30% of ethnic Russians identify themselves as atheist or non-religious. Another 5-10% are protestants, muslims, etc. You end up with no more than 60% Orthodox, even if you count those who never set foot in a church. --Itinerant1 19:40, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Living in Russia, I strongly doubt that 5-10% of ethnic Russians "are protestants, muslims, etc". --Ghirlandajo 06:00, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
You have a point, but what it says is: "over 90% of those who consider themselves religious" not "of all Russians", so it seems the right ballpark, though I haven't seen the statistics. I agree, that we need to find the complete statistics and add it to the article. --Irpen 20:31, August 10, 2005 (UTC)
Also, is it necessary to remark that "many others find it fit to combine Orthodox faith with beliefs in reincarnation, magic, neopaganism, astrology etc". The question is - how many? IMHO the same sentence may be equally applied to the Roman Catholic Church or Protestantism. I don't find this phrase either relevant or particularly informative. --Ghirlandajo 06:00, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Any statistics about religious affiliation need to be nuanced, at a basic level by distinguishing between formal allegiance/national identity and some form of participation (attendance, lifestyle, personal devotion). While 80+% of Russians are baptised Orthodox, I understand that the Russian Orthodox church considers only 2% as integrated into the church and participating in the life of the church (i.e. regular communicants, attending confession etc.) In Novosibirsk (4th city in Russia) the official population is 1.5 million and the baptist church membership about 1500 (i.e. 0.1%), Baptists being the largest Protestant group. Including other Protestant churches, this would suggest a figure like 0.3%, although these are committed adult members; attendance and the larger church family would bring the figure to nearer 0.5%.


"Avvakum Petrovich, Boyarynya Morozova and many other dissidents were burned at the stake, either forcibly or voluntarily." How is it to be burned at the stake voluntarily? Talk about extreme ascetiscism, I guess

Follow the link to Raskol to learn about "baptism by fire". In his obituary on Morozova, Avvakum wrote: "Shall they burn our flesh, we will be rejoicing, for the fire will bake us into the sweet loaves of the Holy Trinity". In my town, half the population burnt themselves to death at that time. --Ghirlandajo 21:50, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Modern Condition

I don't think it's the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church that the Roman Catholic Church is just one of many equal Christian organizations. I'm pretty sure it's their stance that the Catholic Church has been essentially inferior (to the Eastern Orthodox Church) since it fell away from orthodoxy into schism and heresy. The Catholic Church, according to the Eastern Orthodox stance, does not have a right to any people's jurisdiction, much less that of the people of the true Orthodox faith. Should I change this? Tix 22:08, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it's intent is wrong, but it could probably be clarified. The Orthodox Church continues to recognize the Roman Catholic Pope as the bishop of Rome; I don't believe they have ever appointed their own bishop of Rome, unless I'm mistaken. They just think he should be the bishop of Rome and nearby regions, not the bishop of the entire world as he (and the rest of the Roman Catholic Church) sees himself. Actual stance can vary from bishop to bishop, but in general the Eastern Orthodox see themselves as much closer to Roman Catholics than to most Protestants. Roman Catholics entering the Orthodox Church are in some ways treated more like "transfers" than "converts" in many cases, and there are other signs of friendship. But the ROC doesn't like the establishment of Roman churches in Russia, largely because they are too far from Rome. The same objection would have been raised before the schism, and in fact early councils laid down rules about bishops not entering another's diocese unless invited, and so on. Wesley 05:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
This is correct. Orthodox Church does not try to make any public claims about Catholics being "inferior" to Orthodox. Catholic and Orthodox Churches even call each other "sister churches." What happens is that Orthodox Church invents the concept of "canonical territory" - Russia being the canonical territory of ROC just as, say, Italy is the canonical territory of Roman Catholic Church. Any person who lives in Russia is supposed to automatically fall under the jurisdiction of Russian Orthodox Church, unless he is Catholic by ethnicity ( i.e. he is Pole or Lithuanian ). Therefore, Orthodox Church maintains minimal representation outside its "canonical territory" to allow Russians abroad to attend churches, etc. but does not actively try to convert people there. Similarly, it finds it inappropriate if other churches ( in this case, Catholics ) proselytize in its territory.
The whole concept is not accepted by Catholics, who, first and foremost, believe that Bible instructs them to carry God's word wherever necessary, including trying to convert non-religious people in other countries. --Itinerant1 08:37, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I added a sentence mentioning John Paul II to the Modern Condition section, inasmuch as visiting Russia and patching things up with the Russian Orthodox Church was said to be his greatest unfulfilled goal, but the ROC made it clear he was not invited. I thought this was an important detail, inasmuch as it showed there was some serious intent on the part of the Vatican to improve relations, but it was immediately removed by a well-respected editor as "POV." Perhaps there would be a better way of stating this? (Please note I am neither Russian nor Polish and am not religious, so I did not intend this as a partisan comment). ProhibitOnions 15:50, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
The notion of canonical territory is by no means invented by Orthodox Church. It's as old as Pentarchy at least. Actually, the Great Schism started with a dispute over whose canonical territory the exarchate of Illyria is, and became irreversible after Catholics installed their bishops in territories conquered by crusaders (effectively claiming these territories to be the canonical ones of Roman Church). --nikita 09:23, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Google search for "canonical territory" yields 857 hits, but only 37 of those don't mention Russia, Ukraine, or Orthodox Church. Clearly, this notion is used by Catholics only in their debate with ROC. The concept may be very old, but on Catholic side it seems that it pretty much fell out of use over the course of the last two millennia. --Itinerant1 23:22, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course it did because the Catholics came to regard the whole world as their canonical territory. The Orthodox Church is the only other church that can claim direct apostolic succession, so it's little wonder that the term should be used in relations between these two churches only. --Ghirla | talk 09:50, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, canonical jurisdiction was established via Canon Law well before the Great Schism of 1054. Further more the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox or any Eastern Orthodox Church are not "sister churches" and have never been referred to as that by any Ecumenical Council of the Patriarchs. The Roman Catholic Church is in schism from the Orthodox Church; therefore the Pope is not recognized as a canonical bishop in anyway. The Pope is held as a heretic and is not prayed for as a Hierarch or recognized in any way, but prayed for as all heretics that they return to the One Holy Catholic (Universal) and Apostolic Church, being the Holy Orthodox Church. As for the dispute between the ROC and Rome, the Roman Catholic Church has been encroaching on Russian lands for decades, coming in with the Uniate or Eastern Right Church to convert true Orthodox Christians into following the Pope. His Holiness Aleksey will not accept improved relations until Rome removes the Uniates, they are viewed as spreading heresy, and His Holiness is defending the ROC from it. As to the Great Schism it was the result of theological differences not the least was the addition of the Filioque clause to the Nicene Creed which to the Eastern Orthodox is a gross violation of Canon Law and is a heresy. Sub-deacon 04:51, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

NPOV dispute

As of today, there is clearly a NPOV dispute between myself and User:Ghirlandajo. Ghirlandajo, you have reverted my edits en masse. I demand some sort of explanation; what exactly do you object to? Please bear in mind WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. You may think that the ROC went through something like the Holocaust, but this is by no means a universally accepted truth and I can't allow you to assert it as fact without some sort of sources. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 22:05, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

I have to take side of User:Ghirlandajo in this dispute. "The Soviet Union's official policy was one of religious toleration, though in practice the government often made attempts to discourage organized religion" is hardly an appropriate description of Soviet Union's stance on religion, especially regarding Stalinist period. I find it very hard to believe that the number of parishes went down from 54,000 in 1914 to less than 100 in 1939 simply due to conversions whenever "attendance was deemed too low". You are mistaken if you believe that, for a Soviet citizen, the only consequence of lack of CPSU membership was inability to hold political office.

The original text is not perfect either, I've always been meaning to clean up such emotional non-NPOV as "bloody and cruel killing" and "expansive spiritual growth", but at least it's informative. --Itinerant1 01:20, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

I find it hard to believe that the number of parishes went down from 54,000 in 1914 to less than 100 in 1939 in the first place, especially given the fact that religion always remained strong among the general population of the Soviet Union (even under Communist rule, religious feeling was much stronger than in Western countries like the Netherlands, for example). There were a great deal of uncited statistics in the article that - for all we know - may have been entirely made up. I won't insist on sources for every tiny little thing, but statistics, at least, must always be backed by a credible source if they are to be included in an article. And of course my text isn't perfect, which is why I invite Ghirlandajo to edit - not revert. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 02:49, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Mihnea, if you have an itch to edit, please take a look at Anti-Romanianism. This is one article that could benefit from your editing. What do you know? In the city I live in, there were 80 churches in 1913, only one was left functioning in 1939. Most of the 300-year-old churches were blown up, demolished, or reconstructed into factories, kommunalkas, warehouses, trolleybus parks, etc. Every parish has its own martyr - a priest killed by the Bolsheviks. Your edits suppress all this information. While I agree that the anon's additions were POV and needed to be toned down, please reconsider your version of three passages dealing with the Soviet period. Suppression of information on persecutions is unacceptable.--Ghirla | talk 09:42, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
You are correct that I am not an expert in the matter; I edited what I saw as a biased, unsourced and badly written entry to the best of my knowledge. Wikipedia is supposed to be a collaborative effort, and, again, you are more than welcome to edit (rather than revert) my changes. I'm sure we can work together to achieve an article that is both informative and NPOV. By the way, I'd like to point out that the ROC was intimately allied with the despotic Romanov dynasty for 300 years before the October Revolution. The Bolsheviks may have blood on their hands, but so does the ROC (and the Catholic Church, and many other political and religious groups - the only religions/ideologies that haven't killed anyone are those who never had power). I'll look over the Anti-Romanianism article - it seems to be yet another piece of opinionated drivel from Romanian nationalists with an axe to grind. *sigh* I hate nationalism... -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 22:26, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
There does not seem to be a universal agreement among Internet sources as to the exact number of parishes. This link talks about 500 open Russian Orthodox parishes. This link mentions "less than 100" Orthodox parish churches in Russia by 1939. Several Russian-language sources mention 3021 open Orthodox churches in Soviet Union as of early 1941 ( according to "NKVD statistics" ), explain that almost 3000 of those were located in the territories annexed by Soviet Union in 1939-1941, and list Dimitry Pospielovsky's work "The Russian Church Under the Soviet Regime 1917-1982" as their source. Not having access to the book, I'm nevertheless inclined to believe that this last number is closest to the truth. In any event, there's a big difference between 54-55 thousand churches in 1914 and a few hundred, possibly a couple of thousand, just 25 years later. --Itinerant1 09:36, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm, I suspected that there would be no agreement. The NPOV thing to do would be to make a statement such as "Thousands of parish churches were shut down between 1918 and 1939." -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 22:26, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
One of the reasons why there is no agreement is that churches can be counted in a number of different ways. You get much lower results if you only count parishes or Cathedrals, higher results if you include house churches.
Also, "nearly all" is a better description than "thousands". There's really no question whether massive shutting down of churches actually took place. In 1914 my home town had two monasteries, 3 cathedrals, 15 Orthodox parish churches, and a few non-Orthodox churches ( a mosque, a Lutheran church, a sinagogue, etc. ). By Perestroika, only one church remained active, and two church buildings were used for secular purposes. All others were demolished. --Itinerant1 20:45, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I would suggest adding to that, "Estimates of the number of remaining open parishes in 1941 range from less than 100 to a little more than 3,000, with the higher estimates generally including recently annexed territories." This also seems consistent with above discussion of available statistics. Wesley 05:20, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
How about this: "The majority of parish churches were shut down between 1918 and 1939. Estimates of the number of remaining open parishes in 1941 range from less than 100 to a little more than 3,000, with the higher estimates generally including recently annexed territories." We might also consider changing "less than 100" to "a few hundred", given that the territory of Russia is so vast that less than 100 parishes would imply that the majority of cities (not only villages, but large cities) had no churches left at all. That's a bit far-fetched. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 18:59, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

What is the result of your discussion? The article doesn't contain the above numbers. Xx236 17:08, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Racism in the church?

has a source citing that the racist, revisionist materials are regularly used in the churche, should this mentioned somewhere is that a POV?

I have to agree that there is an egregious whitewash of the persecution of the Orthodox church by the Bolshevics in this article. I do not understand this at all...


In the section on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church there are a number of unencyclopedic subjective value judgements presented as fact.

For example:

"Monastic life flourished in Russia it focused on prayer and spiritual growth. Monasteries produced innumerable number of bright examples of holiness, which may be attained by people, who fully devote their lives to the search of God and salvation. Monasteries largely contributed to spiritual growth and purification of souls of all people in Russia. Some bright examples of monastic holiness are Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra, Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery , Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery and the Solovki."

It requires a cleanup, I think!

Hmm, my original edit was indeed not a very good one. How about this:
Monastic life flourished in Russia; it focused on prayer and spiritual growth. Many monks came to be revered as saints for their deeds. Monasteries significantly contributed to spiritual growth of people in Russia. Some bright examples among monasteries are Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra, Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery, Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery and the Solovki.
The parts about "purifying the souls of all the people" and holiness certainly has to go though. --Illythr 12:43, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Pre-Vladimir history

I have no idea why you keep removing this info.

Russian Christianity did not begin with Vladimir, it is well-established. Talking about history of Russian Orthodox Church without mentioning Cyril, Methodius and Olga is like talking about history of America without mentioning Columbus.

If you want to list Apostle Andrew among the founders of the Church, you have to say something about him in the main article as well. --Itinerant1 00:30, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Because that paragraph is ridiculously POV (most egregiously, it refers to the Slavs as "primitive"). And nobody claims Andrew went to Russia; he's listed as a founder because he is traditionally held to be the founder of the Church in Byzantium, which was the mother church of Russia. YBeayf 00:38, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying that Slavs weren't primitive in the 1st century AD?
Primitive Culture - one that lacks major signs of economic development or modernity. For instance, it might lack a written language or advanced technology and have a limited and isolated population. Did Slavs have written language or advanced technology?
Maybe you aren't paying attention - I'm not talking about 10th century, Slavs certainly weren't primitive then. --Itinerant1 19:54, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Itinerant's edits, based on the ideas of 18th-century Western historians, are of course naive in the 21st century. But St. Andrew s indeed claimed to have visited the spot where Kiev - "the mother of all Russian cities" - evolved later. Check St Andrew's Church of Kiev for context. --Ghirla -трёп- 06:56, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Please explain which parts are "naive" and why. If you think that the edits are factually incorrect, feel free to amend them. Just because Edward Gibbon lived in 18th century, it does not make him wrong.
BTW, here are some quotes by 19th-century Russian historians.
"Photius could have sent missionnaires to Kiev in 866... Nestorian chronicle states that there were many Christians in Kiev at the time of Igor (912-945)"
"We know from Byzantine sources that, around that time (903-906 AD), Russia was considered 60th archdiocese in the list of eparchies under the head of Constantinople clergy"
- Karamzin, "History of the Russian State"
"Even prior to Askold's journey, normally dated by 866 AD, we see mentions of Russian attacks on Greek provinces and conversions of some Russian leaders into Christianity."
"While still in Kiev, Olga had favorable predisposition towards Christianity, seeing virtuous lives of its followers, she even wanted to baptize in Kiev, but did not do so out of fear of pagans"
- Sergey Solovyov, "History of Russia from the Earliest Times"
--Itinerant1 19:54, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Check out History of Christianity in Ukraine, "early history" subsection ( no, I did not write it ). --Itinerant1 20:48, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


Why do you say doxa does not mean belief? see: Doxa External [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Johanneum (talkcontribs).

Because I actually know Greek. Note that your reference to Strong's Lexicon has no mention of 'belief'. The article on Doxa is wrong on the matter. Most of the sources you quoted are not authoritative on matters of Greek vocabulary either. Check Liddell and Scott. InfernoXV 18:05, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Well you are not alone then, but there are many scholars that say it does. I for one will go with them rather than you. No offense. Here is a BBC article the states the same. To each his own. [6] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Johanneum (talkcontribs).

I don’t see quite so many scholars in your sources and [7] seems to cover the meanings of the word adequately. —xyzzyn 13:22, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

xyzzy, sorry, I'm a little confused - are you writing in support of my assertion or Johanneum's? I don't see 'belief' listed anywhere in the Liddell & Scott entry...
Johanneum, 'doxa' in Koine Greek typically means 'glory', and it is that meaning which the Orthodox Church takes as normative. Almost none of your sources appear to be directly relevant to the Greek language, and it is quite possible that they perpetuate a common misconception. Not one of them appear to be scholarly in the slightest. 'Orthodoxos' certainly means 'right-belief', but the scholarly consensus is still out on whether the word is derived from 'orthos'+'doxa' or 'orthos'+'dokein', and when broken down to its constitutent parts, neither 'doxa' (itself derived from 'dokein') nor 'dokein' means 'belief' as such. Compound words in Greek often take on a meaning that is slightly different from its parts. It is also possible the Greeks intended and enjoyed the word-play and possible double-origin of the word.
The Slavic word for Orthodox is 'Pravoslav-', and 'slava' in the Slavic languages certainly means 'glory' and not 'belief'. 'Right-belief' would give 'pravovier-'. I think the early Slavs knew exactly what the Greek meant when they translated 'orthodoxos' as 'pravoslav-' and not 'pravovier-'
I should also add - if you are unaware that the primary meaning of 'doxa' in the Koine vocabulary is 'glory' and not 'opinion' or 'belief' or anything like that, then it appears you do not know Greek. If, as I surmise, you are not familiar with Greek, I should be so bold as to ask why you are disputing the meaning of words in a language with which you are not conversant? InfernoXV 17:28, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I’m more inclined to accept your assertion—Liddell and Scott have not failed me thus far. Regarding the argument by Russian, [8] is a nice source (for those who can read it, anyway). By the way, would you consider fixing doxa? You sound like you could do that. —xyzzyn 18:09, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
As a professional historian of Russia (and of Russian religion) I agree that "Orthodoxy" in the Russian tradition, as the Russian "Pravoslavie" makes clear, means right worship or glorification of God not right belief. The emphasis, as many scholars have noted, is on worship not doctrine. Even apart from the original Greek meaning, the Russian term and its historical usage denotes that Orthodox be translated as right worship or glorification not "right belief."--Peshkov 20:48, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The semantics of this word shows that it can vary greatly. I have not stated that “belief” is the only definition or implied such. However, InfernoXV you said it does not mean belief. I will disagree once again. That it also means something different (glory) was never the point. The point was that it can mean “belief”, or “opinion.” I have not made a full study of the etymology of this word. However I do know that many sources list “belief” or opinion as a/the definition. And it appears that, “opinion”, “judgment”, “belief” is the primary definition and with time came to be associated with glory, which was esteemed to the one with the correct opinion/belief. It is thus the effect of the “opinion” that was primarily used in the common Greek of the NT thus praise/glory would be the common definition in the NT. However, this is not so with other writings as Grimm brings out. Thayer states even in classic Greek doxa had a wide range of meaning. In addition, the primary definition of a word might not matter as much as choosing the correct definition per syntax, context, or usage. Besides if you stated, as it appears you did, that “'Orthodoxos' certainly means 'right-belief',” then I rest my case. We now both agree that doxa can and does mean belief but is not limited to that definition. That's it for me.Johanneum 01:54, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
But isn't the point that this is an essay not about the Greek-derived word "Orthodoxy" but about RUSSIAN Orthodoxy, which is not called "Orthodoxy" at all by Russians, but Pravoslavie, which means the right way to worshop or glorify God?--Peshkov 03:30, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

You are absolutely correct and that is way my comments were to one person who said doxa does not mean belief. However the issue has evolved into a little more than that. Johanneum 03:57, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to revert back to last 2006 version

User:Ghirlandajo commented in an edit summary "I'd support revert of this page to the last 2006 page: its quality has been degrading". Ghirla, can you explain why you feel that the quality has been degrading to the point where the negatives outweigh the positives?

--Richard 05:53, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Aleksandr Men

Aleksandr Men belonged to Russian Orthodox Church and his name is relevant to be mentioned in the Church modern history passage. Please see the article Alexander Men and Cosma and Damian Church for detailed information. The name of A.Men is commemorated even by Patriarch Alexiy II, who participates regularly in the above mentioned Church services.Ans-mo 13:48, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Millions of people belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. Thousands of people are mentioned in Church services. Are you saying we need to add all of them to external links? The basic problem is that the Aleksandr Men Foundation is irrelevant to the Russian Orthodox Church article in its current form. If there was a paragraph about dissident priests and KGB harrasment, then of course we would cite the Aleksandr Men Foundation. If there was a section on Orthodox theologians, then Aleksandr Men Foundation's list of books would be referenced. But the way the Russian Orthodox Church article is at the moment, having the Aleksandr Men Foundation in the external references makes no sense. So please, either expand the page or remove the link. Tetromino 14:24, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
The existing of such external link (why there are so few of them, I wonder) could be the first step to further article expanding and mentioning about dissident priest and KGB harrasment. Anyway, A.Men is connected with Orthodox tradition. If the links were numerous, that could be just one of the many examples.Ans-mo 14:38, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
OK, fixed up and expanded the external links section to make Aleksandr Men Foundation look less out of place. Tetromino 15:40, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Orthodox and Orphodox

I have some elderly Russian neighbors that recently moved in, and they claim to be Russian "Orphodox" They claim that this is not an alternate spelling of Orthodox, and that it is a separate belief system; however, I can find not a trace of this word on Wikipedia, and the few search results bring up Russian pages. Is this a variant of an Old Orthodox, or am I completely missing something? 0nimaru 05:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Well Orthodox comes from Greek not Russian. Orthodox in Russian is pravoslav...

I think your elderly neighbors are simply doing their best to pronounce the English word "Orthodox" (a loan word from Greek). The Russian language has no "th" sound; any Russian words taken from the Greek would substitute the "f" sound (Ф) for the Greek theta (Θ). For instance, "Theodore" becomes "Fyodor". As for their assertion that "this is not an alternate spelling of Orthodox, and that it is a separate belief system", I can only suspect there must be some confusion somewhere. MishaPan (talk) 08:55, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


The references to caesaropapism seem forced and unsubstantiated. The two figures mentioned when refering to it are regional bishops who weren't even referenced as which regions they were Bishops of. I note that no Orthodox official sources make much mention of these two at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kharaku (talkcontribs) 20:27, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Text from Finnish Orthodox Church

The following text is pasted here from the article Finnish Orthodox Church. As the text overlapped with the contents of this article, please see if the text has reusable elements here. --Drieakko 07:46, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

With the ascension of Emperor Peter the Great to the throne of Russia (1682-1725), with his radical modernization of Russian government, army, dress and manners, Russia became a formidable political power. The "Autocrat of All Russias" decided to rule also over the Church. He abolished the office of patriarch (the formal name of the Russian archbishop) and limited the power of bishops as well as dioceses. He curtailed also the independence of ordinary parishes who had earlier had the right to choose their priests and manage their finances in the spirit of sobornost. Now, instead, all power in spiritual matters was centralized in the Holy Synod, a creation of the emperor in co-operation with the bishop of Novgorod, Feofan. Bishop Feofan had studied western Protestantism, and was influenced by it.(He was not alone, Protestantism had a strong impact on the Russian Orthodox Church in the 18th century.) The Holy Synod became the highest governing instance of the Orthodox Church. The emperor's representative in the meetings of the Holy Synod was the chief-procurator, a layman chosen by the emperor, who had direct access to the him. All decisions of the Holy Synod had to be ratified by the emperor.[1] This pertained also to the Orthodox Church of Finland until its independence in 1923.[2]


I appreciate what you are saying about the Apostle Andrew. Nonetheless, the Roman Catholic article just changed the founder to "Jesus." In researching this, Orthodoxy likewise has a claim to the same founder. I agree that the Apostle introduced this religion to the East, but the roots are clear IMO.Student7 (talk) 03:16, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Orthodoxy has the same founder, and this is reflected on the Eastern Orthodoxy article, but you also need to understand the relationship between the various Orthodox churches. Russia did not formally adopt Christianity nationwide until the 10th century, though it is believed that the Apostle Andrew introduced Christianity to the region himself much earlier. I don't think there is any tradition of Jesus visiting Russia during his "earthly ministry." In one sense the Russian Orthodox Church is an extension of the Orthodox Church founded by Jesus, in another sense it refers to the Christian Church in that region of the world. In this second sense, Andrew would be the earliest founder. Wesley (talk) 06:02, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Peter The Great

Is there any chance that outlandish unsubstantiated comments regarding Peters role in the church could actually at least be sourced so that the sources of such nonsense could be vetted? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kharaku (talkcontribs) 06:45, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Hämynen, Tapio: "Suomalaistajat, venäläistäjät ja rajakarjalaiset" (1995) p.13
  2. ^ "Orthodoxy in Finland" edited by Veikko Purmonen (1984) p. 20