Talk:Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

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Former good article Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was one of the Philosophy and religion good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Not the same thing[edit]

The Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox church Outside Russia are NOT the same thing. This should not be a redirect. Alex756 05:39, 2 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wrong Photo[edit]

The photo on this page is of a monastery of the OCA (St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery), not of ROCOR. --Buddhagazelle 02:30, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Article name change[edit]

Why was the name of this article changed to include the "of"? The official website of the ROCOR reads "Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia." Yes, the "of" usage also appears on parts of the website, but the primary presentation of the group's name is without the the "of," and the main history of the group (written by ROCOR historian Fr. Alexey Young) is entitled The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Even if the change was necessary, it wasn't done correctly with a "move" but rather with direct editing of the former redirect article and the original (so that, for instance, the Talk page was not preserved correctly). ——Preost talk contribs 13:23, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

The Certificate of Incorporation of 1952 reads "The Primate and Bishops' Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia." The 1957 Change of Name Certificate reads "The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia."


Russian Church ends 80-year split

So what happens now? Does the ROCOR cease to exist and just become a series of diocese within the Russian Orthodox Church? Or does it maintain some kind of seperate existence within the Russian church, or within the larger Eastern Orthodox communion? And how does this affect the Orthodox Church in America (weren't a lot of OCA churches ROCOR churches?)? --Jfruh (talk) 13:54, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

It is now a semi-autonomous part of the Moscow Patriarchate. It will retain its own synod of bishops who generally have administrative control of the ROCOR. The Act of Canonical Communion spells out the details. 19:42, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Box and "footer"[edit]

As this organization remains "semi-independent", I returned the box and the footer, that was removed earlier today. --Bondkaka 11:30, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Sources of Information[edit]

Some information on the body can be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbooks if someone has an accessible sequence (as the relevant library for me has closed for refurbishment).

The acronym is a palindrome in English. Jackiespeel 14:39, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Cyrillic script[edit]

Added the Cyrillic spelling and English transcription of the name to the article, as requested on the talk page. If anyone disagrees, please respond here. --Gimlei (talk to me) 13:28, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Article name change[edit]

Why was the name of this article changed to include the "of"? The official website of the ROCOR reads "Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia." Yes, the "of" usage also appears on parts of the website, but the primary presentation of the group's name is without the the "of," and the main history of the group (written by ROCOR historian Fr. Alexey Young) is entitled The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Even if the change was necessary, it wasn't done correctly with a "move" but rather with direct editing of the former redirect article and the original (so that, for instance, the Talk page was not preserved correctly). ——Preost talk contribs 13:23, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Apparently, there is no agreement on whether it should be "Outside Russia" or "Outside of Russia", as both usages appear on the same website without consistency. The name "Russian Orthodox Church Abroad" is used as well. I think a consensus needs to be achieved, as the difference in naming is formal and quite minor. The move, however (if one is required, that is), must be reverted and done correctly, I couldn't agree more. --Gimlei (talk to me) 20:03, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Move reverted. For the time being... --Camptown 20:13, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Move this article?[edit]

It has been suggested to move this article to "Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia". Comments? --Camptown 20:12, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

The main page [1] has "of Russia" as the name of the organisation, as do most documents that are there. However, "Outside Russia" is used on the website as well. I believe the easiest way to solve this would be to e-mail an enquiry to ROCOR, and ask for their comments. Only problem I see with it is that the response would come to a private e-mail and thus would not be verifiable. Any ideas? --Gimlei (talk to me) 21:02, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

An intresting note on 2007 condition of ROC and affiliates[edit]

This is an intresting note from a news story at Perhaps some of the information here could be expanded into new pages and articles or included in existing ones.

"the split in the Orthodox Church is deeper now than it ever was in the thousand years of its history. Millions of Orthodox Ukrainians have accepted the guidance of the Kiev Patriarchy, although the church in Ukraine is also split, with part of its parishes recognizing only the authority of the Moscow Patriarchy. The ROCOR is only part (although a very important one) of the Orthodox churches that keep aloof of the ROC and reject rapprochement, such as the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America and the Constantinople Patriarchy. Moreover, some parishes and priests of the ROCOR have always rejected the idea of a reunification with the ROC and said they would leave the ROCOR if this happened. The communion in Moscow may accelerate their departure. The ROC itself was split by Nikon's reform 400 years ago into the followers of the seventh patriarch, Nikon, (the majority) and Old Believers. The latter have been growing stronger of late, along with numerous Christian sects. For example, thousands have flocked to Siberian preacher Vissarion, head of the Church of the Last Testament, which spotlights not the church rite, but the spiritual quest for coexistence."

--Wowaconia 22:05, 21 May 2007 (UTC)


Well... Has the Russian Church done anything substantial regarding the issue of KGB infiltration of the church hierarchy during the Soviet period? --Camptown 22:25, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

There is no KGB in the church... Nothing to see here... Move along...
Hey, no hard feelings, would you like some tea? -HiFiGuy 22:25, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • The "KGB infiltration" statement is unsourced, as the former source is dead. The link shows "404 error" page. The statement itself seems very contraversional, possibly POV against Russian Orthodox church, and not really notable for introduction. Garret Beaumain 16:59, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

There should be a reference in this section to the Mitrokhin KGB archives, edited and published by Cambridge University Professor Christopher Andrew and former KGB officer Vasili Mitrokhin in 1999 as The Sword and the Shield (Basic Books/Perseus Group/1999.) Chapter 28 of this book, entitled "The Penetration and Persecution of the Soviet Churches," reviews the Mitrokhin KGB archival documents concerning KGB activities within the Russian Orthodox Church's Moscow Patriarchate in the twentieth century. Another important reference (in English) on the subject of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet government is Russia's Catacomb Saints, by Professor I.M.Andreyev, published by the St. Hermann's Press in 1982. --Pravoslavnik 05:10, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

This is not an article about the Russian Orthodox Church but about the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, which has recently canonically joined with the ROC. The fact that the LA Times article is no longer available online does not mean that it has ceased to exist in all its forms. Multiple editors read the article when it was online and did not contest that it reported this, you may go to your local library and get a print version of the article if you think there is some error 100s of others missed. If you read the entirity of the article you would see that Stalin and Communist pressure, some would say manipulation, of the ROC is one of the reasons the ROCOR remained canonically different for such a long period. If the questions about KGB infiltration are not addressed it is likely to affect the future of ROCOR relations and those of the ROC, so a sentence about that in the intro makes sense.--Wowaconia 17:39, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

1917 or 1927[edit]

Eh, on the blurb on the front page news it states that the ROCOR and ROC split in 1917, and in the main article it states the split occurred in 1927. Please clarify which is the correct date. Frozenbrains 16:55, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The front page blurb only says that the Church outside Russia was established in 1917. The divorce was "completed" 10 years later. Camptown 22:45, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Split to Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate[edit]

I've created an article to deal with the reunification. Probably a lot of material here could be split over there? Just to prevent too much of a WP:RECENT issue here. -- Kendrick7talk 22:17, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


As the article currently stands, it goes from current events, to claims that it collaborated with the Nazi's in WW II. This makes no sense. I propose that it be re-entitled in a more neutral manner... perhaps "Charges of collaboration" rather than the current title which seems to me to have definite POV issues. Then I would suggest moving this section such that it follows the section on the revolution, and early days of ROCOR. Frjohnwhiteford 21:16, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Pass as good article[edit]

  1. Well written. -- Reads well, nice flow, language usage.
  2. Factually accurate. (35) citations from reputable sources.
  3. Broad in coverage. Broad chronological coverage, just see comment below about this.
  4. Neutral. -- Neutral language use combined with heavy use of citations.
  5. Stable. -- Aside from some anon-vandalism this looks okay, but please watch this as the article moves towards FA status.
  6. Good use of images. -- First image is free-use, second image is most likely free use, but since it is not at the moment a detailed fair use rationale must be given at Image:Romanovicon.png as the article moves towards FA status. Third image is free use.

The only other suggestion I would make as this moves towards FA status would be to reorganize the chronology and flow a little bit, and then get more feedback from a Peer Review. Good job with sourcing so far! Smee 23:47, 2 June 2007 (UTC).

Ukaz vs. Letter[edit]

An Ukaz is a canonical decree of a synod, or a decree of a bishop to his diocese. The letter to Hitler by Metropolitan Anastassy was neither of these. The book, "The Russian Church Under the Soviet Regime", by Dimitry Pospielovsky (a text that is notably antagonistic toward ROCOR, and hypes up the charge of Nazi collaboration as much as possible), refers to it as a "message of thanks to Hitler for the building of the Orthodox Cathedral for the Russians in Berlin" (Volume I, p. 223, footnote #8).

An Ukaz would have an official number, by the way, such as Ukaz 362, for example. Frjohnwhiteford 23:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Your points are convincing and your edits on this matter have improved the article.--Wowaconia 05:25, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

No ROCOR Monastaries in Austria[edit]

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev is a bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate. You may be confusing him with Archbishop Hilarion (Kapral) of Sydney, who is a ROCOR bishop, but has nothing to do with Europe. Also, if you see this page, you will see that there are no ROCOR monasteries in Austria. Frjohnwhiteford 02:07, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Name of this church[edit]

Was it not called the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile?? It certainly was in London. David Lauder 14:14, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it's been known by a number of names. ROCOR: Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia; ROCA: Russian Orthodox Church Abroad; ROCIE: Russian Orthodox Church In Exile - these are 3 of the most popular ones. 'Outside Russia', 'Abroad' and 'In Exile' are all used in various places to translate 'Zarubezhnaya'. My favourite translation of 'Zarubezhnaya' was on a sign outside a ROCOR church in germany, which translated 'Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Zarubezhnaya Tserkov' as 'Russian Orthodox Outlandish Church'. InfernoXV 15:42, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
"Russian Orthodox Church in Exile" may have been used, but it was never a commonly used name. However, there is a schismatic group that left ROCOR that now calls themselves this: ROCIE.Frjohnwhiteford 10:34, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
In London, during the Soviet period, there were two principal Russian Orthodox Churches. One, in Kensington, was what all the exiled White Russians I knew referred to as the "Soviet Orthodox Church" because it was part of the Orthodox Church of Russia, whose priests etc., had to have Soviet approval before being appointed. The other, in South Kensington (now in Chiswick), was part of the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile. I knew the priest there very well and I recall meeting a senior cleric from California from that organisation, as well as monks from the Jordanville, New York State, monastery at his home. I had never heard of the "Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia" before in my life until I saw this page. To suggest that the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile "was never a commonly used name" is absolutely untrue. David Lauder 11:06, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
The Moscow Patriarchate never called itself the Soviet Church -- that's an informal, and not particularly complementary, title. Likewise, the Church in "exile" is an informal way of speaking of ROCOR, but it was never part of the official name. People also spoke of ROCOR as the White Russian Church too... informally. However, "exile" is not a translation of 'Zarubezhnaya' or is it a translation of 'Zagranitsej' -- which are the terms in the two official titles for ROCOR that you will find in any official document, as can be seen on the official website in Russian.Frjohnwhiteford 23:51, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
David, I think you and the good father are talking past each other. 'ROCIE' was not the most commonly used name, afaik, though occuring from time to time. Can anyone tell me what the names of ROCOR in French, and German were/are? This might shed some light on the matter. InfernoXV 15:26, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Unreliable ref[edit]

From the Nazi Collaboration section:

"A 1939 letter written by Metropolitan Anastassy to Adolf Hitler, thanks him for his aid to the Russian Diaspora in allowing the building of a Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Berlin and praises his patriotism. This has, however, been defended as an act that occurred when "little was known…of the inner workings of the Third Reich.""

I have a problem with that last sentence but Frjohnwhiteford insists that it stays. It is referenced as the view of one Orthodox bishop (therefore pretty POV and not especially representative of a large number of people) published in a book review (not an authoritative source, especially when it contradicts the book it is reviewing which is a substantial piece of research) in an Orthodox publication. Is it therefore reliable as Wikipedia demands? Furthermore, logically, can anyone say that in 1939 the outside world didn't know of the problems developing in Germany? Eugenics (the Nuremburg Laws (1935!)), the Kristalnacht (November, 1938 - 8,000 Jewish shops ransacked, 267 synagogues set on fire...) and so on... Criticism of a church pandering to Hitler in 1939 is surely justified. Hence, the ref is pretty unreliable. Malick78 (talk) 18:22, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

The way you have edited the statement most recently is fine with me, however, your comments made me question the date... and the date was off by one year. It was written in 1938, before Kristalnacht. If you were a Russian Bishop living in Yugoslavia, and mostly focused on the persecution of the Church that was then going on in Russia, you might be forgiven for not following the headlines in Germany. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 22:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
But that just shows your original book review ref was wrong!! It quotes 1939!! Please, is it reliable or not????????? If the date is wrong, I can't possibly believe the opinion that goes with it. Once again, you, an Orthodox priest, were happy to believe an Orthodox opinion without questioning it. You are not a reliable NPOV editor. Malick78 (talk) 22:33, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be some confusion about the date, because I have seen both listed as I have been researching the issue. It my be a simple matter of it having been written in 1938 and delivered for the occassion of the consecration of the Berlin Cathedral in 1939. The letter itself appears to be undated, at least judging from the transcripts I have seen. As for your other remarks, please refrain from personal attacks. See WP:NPA. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 22:41, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

If we can't trust the date the book review gives, how can we trust the Bishop's opinion about an event connected to that date? That seems a fair complaint doesn't it?
Secondly, even if the letter was 'delivered' in 1939, that still gave the writers time to rethink their actions after the Kristalnacht, didn't it? Their intentions are therefore highly suspect, and if 'many' people defend the ROCOR, then it shouldn't be hard to find a more reliable source for such a position. Malick78 (talk) 14:31, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
This is certainly not the only time the argument has been made, but one would have to comb through old periodicals that are mostly not well indexed, or available electronically to turn them up. There is nothing wrong with this source... there is a discrepancy with the date, which as I pointed out, is not unique to this one source. I suspect that the book Archbishop Chrystomos reviewed used the 1939 date, and he simply repeated that date, taking its accuracy for granted. The point he makes is nonetheless valid, and there is no justification for removing it. By the way, I found a reference to the original Russian newspaper in Berlin which published the text in question, the 'Novoye Slovo," and it was dated 19 June 1938. The 1939 is likely a typo that crept into one text or another, and has been perpetuated by those who trusted the previous erroneous source. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 00:42, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I am not a member of Orthodoxy or even Christianity but my understanding of the Wikipedia guidelines lead me to say that because the charge of collaborating with Hitler is of such grave seriousness a statement of defense from such a charge seems neccessary for inclusion to avoid POV against the subject of the article. Until a superior quote can be provided this one should stay. --Wowaconia (talk) 16:57, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

  • But how can it reflect NPOV if it may not be reliable? Maybe there is no defence to be presented? Only a reliable source can show that defence is in fact warranted. It should be removed and a better one found, which should be easy if many people have defended ROCOR's actions. Malick78 (talk) 00:06, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
There is nothing about this source that violates Wikipedia Policy. It is a reliable source, and it is not being cited to verify the date. If you can show me otherwise, please quote the text, chapter, and verse. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 00:42, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
"he simply repeated that date, taking its accuracy for granted" and "a typo that crept into one text or another, and has been perpetuated by those who trusted the previous erroneous source" = unreliable.
"It is a reliable source, and it is not being cited to verify the date" - yet it tells us that at this date 'things weren't known'. The Bishop's opinion is worthless if he doesn't know the date he is referring to, and we can't trust his view because he doesn't know the date he is referring to. Basically, you are quoting him as an expert, but as an expert he doesn't know the facts. Is there a better definition of unreliable???? Malick78 (talk) 09:00, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
If you can show me where a single digit discrepency in a date (particularly one that is found in many sources) is sufficient to impeach the reliability of a source according to Wikipedia Policy, then please do so. I suspect a great many sources, however, will have to be tossed out. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 14:55, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Property disputes given far too much weight in comparison with the rest of the article[edit]

You might think that the property disputes in the Holy Land were the biggest thing that ever happened to ROCOR in it's history. This needs to be drastically reduced... and perhaps an article on Sr. Maria Stephanopoulos created. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 19:28, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Agree. This now takes up about half of the article. WP:UNDUE, anyone? It does not look like encyclopaedic material either. Too much assertion, too much indirect speech. When I find the time, I will "synthesize" this. --Paul Pieniezny (talk) 17:26, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Disagree. Such controversies received significant coverage in the press. Hence the weight is due.Biophys (talk) 18:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
The press coverage warrants inclusion. It does not warrant half of the article. The glorification of the New Martyrs and the Tsar got a lot of press coverage back in 1981. The reconciliation of the ROCOR with the ROC in Russia received far more press coverage than the property disputes in question. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 03:20, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Ukrainian Orthodox Church[edit]

In my view it should be disambiguated to Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), but was not sure. Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) is other option. Someone with deep knowledge of the subject, please? --Ruziklan (talk) 18:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

Starting GA reassessment as part of the GA Sweeps process. Jezhotwells (talk) 12:10, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Checking against GA criteria[edit]

Symbol unsupport vote.svg In order to uphold the quality of Wikipedia:Good articles, all articles listed as Good articles are being reviewed against the GA criteria as part of the GA project quality task force. While all the hard work that has gone into this article is appreciated, unfortunately, as of August 14, 2009, this article fails to satisfy the criteria, as detailed below. For that reason, the article has been delisted from WP:GA. However, if improvements are made bringing the article up to standards, the article may be nominated at WP:GAN. If you feel this decision has been made in error, you may seek remediation at WP:GAR.

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    In several instance a given name, e.g. Sergiy is used when the family name, in this case Stragorodsky, should be used.Contractions such as it's should not be used. With the rise of the communists most of the church properties in Palestine remained in the hands of those at odds with the Bolsheviks, and the majority of these joined with the ROCOR. - sloppy one or the other Bolsheviks and communists are not synonomous. I would suggest a thorough copy edit as it seems no-one has looked at this article overall for some time.
    The Lead should fully summarize the artcile - it does not do so at present. Every section should be represented in this summary. Jezhotwells (talk) 15:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    I repaired a number of links using WP:CHECKLINKS. One dead link has been tagged (#22).
    The Church has over 400 parishes worldwide, and an estimated membership of over 400,000 people is a very close paraphrase of the source, please rephrase.
    I would like to see all sources correctly attributed in the references in a consistent manner. Currently many are just bare urls without titles or attribution , e.g. to Novoisti, ROCOR, ROC or whatever. Jezhotwells (talk) 15:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    I think there is a little too much detail about Sr. Maria Stephanopoulos

, could do with trimming. Jezhotwells (talk) 15:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

  1. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  2. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  3. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  4. Overall:
    On hold for seven days for these issues to be addressed. Major contributors and projects being informed. Jezhotwells (talk) 15:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I've restructured the article a bit. It has long been imbalanced. The above prompted me to finally work on it. I moved much of the detail regarding Sr. Maria Stephanopolis to a new article in which it is less out of place: Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 02:59, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Howver there are still a number of issues outstanding - the prose still needs copy-editing, tehre are now two dead links in the refernces.I shall delist it. It can always be brought back to {{WP:GAN]] when rewritten. Jezhotwells (talk) 11:27, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Number of adherents[edit]

The statements about estimated membership are incoherent: "The Church has [...] an estimated membership of over 15,000 people. Of those, [...] 27,700 adherents and 9,000 regular church attendees [...] are in the United States." – Which would mean that an impressive 185% of the church's adherents live in the USA. Does anyone know whether there are better (ie updated) estimates for the global membership? Otherwise, perhaps, the sentence quoted should be re-worded. Hanno (talk) 10:43, 16 September 2012 (UTC)