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1996 Moscow–Constantinople schism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Moscow–Constantinople schism of 1996 was a schism which began on 23 February 1996, when the Russian Orthodox Church severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople,[1] and ended on 16 May 1996 when the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate reached an agreement.[2][3] This excommunication by the Russian Orthodox Church was done in response to a decision of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to reestablish an Orthodox church in Estonia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate's canonical jurisdiction as an autonomous church on 20 February 1996.[4][1][5][6] This schism has similarities with the Moscow–Constantinople schism of October 2018.[7]

On 8 November 2000, in an official statement, the Russian Orthodox Church described this schism as "the tragic situation of February-May 1996, when, because of the schismatic actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Estonia, Orthodox Christians of the Churches of Constantinople and Russia, who live all over the world in close spiritual contact, were deprived of common Eucharistic communion at the one Chalice of Christ."[8]

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  • ✪ History of Russia (PARTS 1-5) - Rurik to Revolution
  • ✪ History of Russia Part 2


For thousands of years, the lands known today as Russia and Ukraine were inhabited by nomadic tribes and mysterious Bronze Age cultures. The only record they left were their graves. In the great open grasslands of the south, the steppe, they buried their chieftains beneath huge mounds called kurgans. The Ancient Greek historian Herodotus called these people 'Scythians'. Their lands were overrun by the same nomadic warriors who brought down the Roman Empire. The land was then settled by Slavs. They shared some language and culture, but were divided into many different tribes. Vikings from Scandinavia, known in the east as Varangians, rowed up Russia's long rivers on daring raids and trading expeditions. According to legend, the East Slavs asked a Varangian chief named Rurik to be their prince and unite the tribes. He accepted and made his capital at Novgorod. His dynasty, the Rurikids, would rule Russia for 700 years. His people called themselves the Rus, and gave their name to the land. Rurik's successor, Oleg, captured Kiev, making it the capital of a new state, Kievan Rus. A century later, seeking closer ties with the Byzantine Empire to the south, Vladimir the Great adopted their religion, and converted to Orthodox Christianity. He is still venerated today as the man who brought Christianity to Ukraine and Russia. Yaroslav the Wise codified laws and conquered new lands. His reign marked the golden age of Kievan Rus. It was amongst the most sophisticated and powerful states in Europe. But after Yaroslav's death his sons fought amongst themselves. Kievan Rus disintegrated into a patchwork of feuding princedoms... just as a deadly new threat emerged from the east. The Mongols under Genghis Khan had overrun much of Asia. Now they launched a great raid across the Caucasus Mountains, and defeated the Kievan princes at the Battle of the Kalka River, but then withdrew. 14 years later, the Mongols returned. A gigantic army led by Batu Khan overran the land. Cities that resisted were burnt, their people slaughtered. The city of Novgorod was spared because it submitted to the Mongols. Its prince, Alexander Nevsky, then saved the city again, defeating the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of the Ice, fought above a frozen lake. He remains one of Russia's most revered heroes. The Mongols ruled the land as conquerors. Their new empire was called the Golden Horde, ruled by a Khan from his new capital at Sarai. The Rus princes were his vassals. They were forced to pay tribute or suffer devastating reprisal raids. They called their oppressors 'Tatars' - they lived under 'the Tatar yoke'. Alexander Nevsky's son, Daniel, founded the Grand Principality of Moscow, which quickly grew in power. 18 years later, Dmitri Donskoi, Grand Prince of Moscow, also defeated the Tartars... at the great Battle of Kulikovo Field. After years of infighting, the Golden Horde now began to disintegrate into rival khanates. Constantinople, capital and last outpost of the once-great Byzantine Empire, fell to the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Some hailed Moscow as the 'Third Rome', the seat of Orthodox Christian faith, now Rome and Constantinople had fallen. Meanwhile, the Grand Princes of Moscow continued to expand their power, annexing Novgorod, and forging the first Russian state. At the Ugra River, Ivan III of Moscow faced down the Tatar army and forced it to retreat. Russia had finally cast off the 'Tatar yoke'. Under Grand Prince Vasili III, Moscow continued to grow in size and power. His son, Ivan IV, was crowned the first Tsar of Russia. He would be remembered as Ivan the Terrible. Ivan conquered Tatar lands in Kazan and Astrakahan, but was defeated in the Livonian War by Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Ivan's modernising reforms gave way to a reign of terror and mass executions, fuelled by his violent paranoia. Russia was still vulnerable. Raiders from the Crimean Khanate were able to burn Moscow itself. But the next year Russian forces routed the Tatars at Molodi, just south of the city. Cossacks now lived on the open steppe, a lawless region between three warring states. They were skilled horsemen who lived freely, and were often recruited by Russia and Poland to fight as mercenaries. Ivan the Terrible's own son, the Tsarevich, fell victim to one of his father's violent rages - bludgeoned to death with the royal sceptre. The Cossack adventurer Yermak Timofeyevich led the Russian conquest of Siberia, defeating Tatars and subjugating indigenous tribes. In the north, Archangelsk was founded, for the time being Russia's only sea-port linking it to western Europe, though it was icebound in winter. Ivan the Terrible was succeeded by his son Feodor I, who died childless. It was the end of the Rurikid dynasty. Ivan's advisor Boris Godunov became Tsar. But after his sudden death, his widow and teenage son were brutally murdered, and the throne seized by an impostor claiming to be Ivan the Terrible's son. He too was soon murdered. Russia slid into anarchy, the so-called 'Time of Troubles'. Rebels and foreign armies laid waste to the land, and the population was decimated by famine and plague. Polish troops occupied Moscow; Swedish troops seized Novgorod. The Russian state seemed on the verge of extinction. In 1612, Russia was in a state of anarchy. They called it 'The Time of Troubles'. The people were terrorised by war, famine and plague – up to a third of them perished. Foreign troops occupied Moscow, Smolensk and Novgorod. But then, Russia fought back. Prince Pozharsky and a merchant, Kuzma Minin, led the Russian militia to Moscow, and threw out the Polish garrison. Since 2005, this event has been commemorated every 4th November, as Russian National Unity Day. The Russian assembly, the Zemsky Sobor, realised the country had to unite behind a new ruler, and elected a 16 year old noble, Mikhail Romanov, as the next Tsar. His dynasty would rule Russia for the next 300 years. Tsar Mikhail exchanged territory for peace, winning Russia much-needed breathing-space. His son, Tsar Alexei, implemented a new legal code, the Sobornoye Ulozheniye. It turned all Russian peasants, 80% of the population, into serfs – effectively slaves - their status inherited by their children, and with no freedom to travel or choose their master. It was a system that dominated Russian rural life for the next 200 years. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Nikon, imposed religious reforms that split the church between Reformers and 'Old Believers'. It's a schism that continues to this day. Ukrainian Cossacks, rebelling against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, recognised Tsar Alexei as overlord in exchange for his military support. It led to the Thirteen Years War between Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Russia emerged victorious, reclaiming Smolensk and taking control of eastern Ukraine. A revolt against Tsarist government, led by a renegade Cossack, Stenka Razin, brought anarchy to southern Russia. It was finally suppressed: Razin was brought to Moscow and executed by quartering. The sickly but highly-educated Feodor III passed many reforms. He abolished mestnichestvo, the system that had awarded government posts according to nobility rather than merit, and symbolically burned the ancient books of rank. But Feodor died aged just 19. His sister Sofia became Princess Regent, ruling on behalf of her younger brothers, the joint Tsars Ivan V and Peter I. After centuries of conflict, Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth signed a Treaty of Eternal Peace. Russia then joined 'the Holy League' in its war against the Ottoman Empire. Sofia's reign also saw the first treaty between Russia and China, establishing the frontier between the two states. At age 17, Peter I seized power from his half-sister, Sofia. Peter became the first Russian ruler to travel abroad. He toured Europe with his 'Grand Embassy', seeking allies for Russia's war against Turkey, and learning the latest developments in science and shipbuilding. The war against Turkey was successfully concluded by the Treaty of Constantinople: Russia gained Azov from Turkey's ally, the Crimean Khanate, and with it, a foothold on the Black Sea. Peter made many reforms, seeking to turn Russia into a modern, European state. He demanded Russian nobles dress and behave like Europeans. He made those who refused to shave pay a beard tax. Peter built the first Russian navy; reformed the army and government; and promoted industry, trade and education. In the Great Northern War, Russia, Poland-Lithuania and Denmark took on the dominant power in the Baltic, Sweden. The war began badly for Russia, with a disastrous defeat to Charles XII of Sweden at Narva. But Russia won a second battle of Narva... Before crushing Charles XII's army at the Battle of Poltava. On the Baltic coast, Peter completed construction of a new capital, St.Petersburg. The building of what would become Russia's second largest city among coastal marshes was a remarkable achievement, though it cost the lives of many thousands of serfs. The Great Northern War ended with the Treaty of Nystad: Russia's gains at Sweden's expense made it the new, dominant Baltic power. Four years before his death, Peter was declared 'Peter the Great, Father of His Country, Emperor of All the Russias'. Peter was succeeded by his wife Catherine; then his grandson Peter II, who died of smallpox aged just 14. Empress Anna Ioannovna, daughter of Peter the Great's half-brother Ivan V, was famed for her decadence and the influence of her German lover, Ernst Biron. During Anna's reign, Vitus Bering, a Danish explorer in Russian service, led the first expedition to chart the coast of Alaska. He also discovered the Aleutian Islands, and later gave his name to the sea that separates Russia and America. After Anna's death, her infant grand-nephew, Ivan VI, was deposed by Peter the Great's daughter, Elizabeth. Ivan VI spent his entire life in captivity, until aged 23, he was murdered by his guards during a failed rescue attempt. Elizabeth, meanwhile, was famed for her vanity, extravagance, and many young lovers. But she was also capable of decisive leadership: in alliance with France and Austria, Elizabeth led Russia into the Seven Years War against Frederick the Great of Prussia. The Russian army inflicted a crushing defeat on Frederick at the Battle of Kunersdorf, but failed to exploit its victory. Meanwhile in St.Petersburg, the Winter Palace was completed at vast expense. It would remain the monarch's official residence, right up until the Russian Revolution of 1917. Peter III was Peter the Great's grandson by his elder daughter Anna Petrovna, who'd died as a consequence of childbirth. Raised in Denmark, Peter spoke hardly any Russian, and greatly admired Russia's enemy, Frederick the Great - so he had Russia swap sides in the Seven Years War, saving Frederick from almost certain defeat. Peter's actions angered many army officers. And he'd always been despised by his German wife, Catherine. Together they deposed Peter III, who died a week later in suspicious circumstances. His wife Catherine became Empress of Russia. Her reign would be remembered as one of Russia's most glorious... In the early 1700s, Peter the Great's reforms put Russia on the path to becoming a great European power. But it was his grandson's German wife, Catherine, who deposed her husband to become Empress of Russia, who oversaw the completion of that transformation. Like Peter, she too would be remembered as 'the Great'. Catherine was a student and admirer of the French Enlightenment, and even corresponded with the French philosopher Voltaire. She reigned as an 'enlightened autocrat' – her power was unchecked, but she pursued ideals of reason, tolerance and progress: Catherine became a great patron of the arts, and learning. Schools and colleges were built, the Bolshoi theatre was founded, as well as the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, while her own magnificent collection of artwork now forms the basis of the world-famous Hermitage museum. Catherine encouraged Europeans to move to Russia to share their expertise, and helped German migrants to settle in the Volga region, where they became known as 'Volga Germans'. Their communities survived nearly 200 years, until on Stalin's orders, they were deported east at the start of World War 2. Catherine's reign also saw enormous territorial expansion. In the south, Russia defeated the Ottoman Empire, winning new lands, and the fortresses of Azov and Kerch. But then Catherine faced a major peasant revolt led by the renegade cossack Yemelyan Pugachev. The rebels took many fortresses and towns, and stormed the city of Kazan, before they were finally defeated by the Russian army. Catherine then forcibly incorporated the Zaporozhian Cossacks into the Russian Empire, and annexed the Crimean Khanate – a thorn in Russia's side for 300 years. Russia's new lands in the south were named Novorossiya - 'New Russia'. Sparsely populated, they were settled by Russian colonists under the supervision of Prince Potemkin, Catherine's advisor and lover. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, exhausted by war and at the mercy of its neighbours, was carved up in a series of partitions, with Russia taking the lion's share. Poland did not re-emerge as an independent nation until 1918. Russia inherited a large Jewish population from Poland, who, Catherine decreed, could live only in the so-called 'Pale of Settlement', and were excluded from most cities. In France, the French Revolution led to the execution of King Louis XVI. Catherine was horrified, and in the last years of her reign, completely turned her back on the liberal idealism of her youth. Three years later, Catherine died, ending one of the most glorious reigns in Russian history. She was succeeded by her son, Paul, a man obsessed by military discipline and detail, and opposed to all his mother's works. Russia joined the coalition of European powers fighting Revolutionary France. Marshal Suvorov, one of Russia's greatest military commanders, won a series of victories against the French in Northern Italy, but the wider war was a failure. Meanwhile, Paul's reforms had alienated Russia's army and nobility, and he was murdered in a palace coup. He was succeeded by his 23 year old son Alexander, who shared his grandmother Catherine's vision for a more modern Russian state. His advisor, the brilliant Count Mikhail Speranksy, reformed administration and finance, yet the Emperor refused to back his plans for a liberal constitution. Ultimately, it was war with France that would dominate Alexander's reign... France had a new emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, who inflicted a series of defeats on Russia and her allies at Austerlitz, Eylau and Friedland. But at Tilsit in 1807, the two young emperors met, and made an alliance. Russia attacked Sweden, annexing Finland, which became an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. But then, in 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia. At Borodino, French and Russian armies clashed in a gigantic battle, one of the bloodiest of the age. Napoleon emerged victorious, but the Russian army escaped intact. Napoleon occupied Moscow, which was destroyed by fire. And when Alexander refused to negotiate, the French army was forced to make a long retreat through the Russian winter, and was annihilated. Napoleon had been dealt a mortal blow. And Russia, alongside Prussia, Austria and Britain, then led the fight back, which ended in the capture of Paris and Napoleon's abdication. At the Congress of Vienna, as part of the spoils of war, Alexander became 'King of Poland'. Then, with Austria, and Prussia, he formed 'The Holy Alliance', with the aim of preventing further revolutions in Europe. Meanwhile, in the Balkans and Caucasus, Russia had been waging intermittent wars against the Ottoman Empire, Persia and local tribes. The frontier had been pushed south to incorporate Bessarabia, Circassia, Chechnya, and much of modern Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. But the peoples of the Caucasus bitterly resisted Russian rule. Russia's attempt to impose its authority on the region led to the Caucasian War, a brutal conflict, fought amongst the mountains and forests, that would drag on for nearly 50 years. Alexander was succeeded by his brother Nicholas, a conservative and reactionary. But parts of Russian society had now developed an appetite for European-style liberalism – including certain army officers, who'd seen other ways of doing things during the Napoleonic Wars. They saw Nicholas as an obstacle, and the new Emperor's first challenge... would be military revolt. 1825. Victory over Napoleon had confirmed Russia's status as a world power. But there was discontent within Russia amongst intellectuals and army officers, some of whom had formed secret societies, to plot the overthrow of Russia's autocratic system. When Emperor Alexander was succeeded not, as expected, by his brother Constantine, but by a younger brother, Nicholas, one of these secret societies used the confusion to launch a military coup. But the Decembrist Revolt, as it became known, was defeated by loyalist troops, and the ringleaders were hanged. Others were sent into 'internal exile' in Siberia. This was to become a common sentence for criminals and political prisoners in Tsarist Russia. Nicholas went on to adopt an official doctrine of 'Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality' – the state was to rest on the pillars of church, Tsar, and the Russian national spirit - a clear rejection of the values of European liberalism. In the Caucasus, border clashes with Persia led to a war which ended in complete Russian victory. The Treaty of Turkmenchay forced Persia to cede all its territories in the region to Russia, and pay a large indemnity. Russian support for Greece in its War of Independence against the Ottomans, led to war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Russian victory brought further gains in the Black Sea region. A Polish revolt, led by young army officers, was crushed by Russian troops. Alexander Pushkin, Russia's greatest poet, was shot in a duel, and two days later died from his wounds. Nicholas sent troops to help put down a Hungarian revolt against Austrian rule. The Emperor's willingness to help suppress liberal revolts won him the nickname, 'the Gendarme', or policeman, of Europe. Russia's first major railway was opened, connecting St.Petersburg and Moscow. Alexander Herzen, a leading intellectual critic of Russia's autocracy, emigrated to London, where he continued to call for reform in his homeland. He'd later be described as 'the father of Russian socialism'. The Ottoman Empire, now known as 'the sick man of Europe', reacted to further Russian provocations by declaring war. The Russian Black Sea Fleet inflicted a crushing defeat on the Turks at the Battle of Sinope. But Britain and France - alarmed at Russia's southern expansion, and potential control of Constantinople – declared war on Russia. The Allies landed troops in Crimea and besieged the naval base of Sevastopol, which fell after a gruelling, year-long siege. In the Baltic, British and French warships blockaded the Russian capital, St.Petersburg. Russia was forced to sign a humiliating peace, withdraw its forces from the Black Sea, and put on hold plans for further southern expansion. Nicholas I was succeeded by his son, Alexander II. The Crimean War had exposed Russia's weakness – the country lagged far behind its European rivals in industry, infrastructure and military power. So Alexander, unlike his father, decided to embrace reform. The most obvious sign of Russia's backwardness was serfdom. According to the 1857 census, more than a third of Russians were serfs, forced to work their masters' land, with few rights, restrictions on movement, and their status passed down to their children. They were slaves in all but name. In 1861, Alexander II abolished serfdom in Russia. He was hailed as 'The Liberator'. But in reality, most former-serfs remained trapped in servitude and poverty. Alexander's reforms would continue, with the creation of the zemstva - provincial assemblies with authority over local affairs, including education and social welfare. In the Far East, Russia forced territorial concessions from a weakened China, leading to the founding of Vladivostok, Russia's major Pacific port. Another uprising by Poles and Lithuanians against Russian rule was once more crushed by the Russian army. In the Caucasus, Russia's long and brutal war against local tribes came to an end, with their leaders swearing oaths of loyalty to the Tsar. In Central Asia, the Russian Empire was gradually expanding southwards. Russian armies defeated the Emirate of Bukhara, and the Khanate of Khiva, and by the 1880s, Russia had conquered most of what was then called Turkestan – today, the countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Imperial rivalry in Central Asia between Russia and Britain led to 'the Great Game' – a 19th century version of the Cold War. Centred on Afghanistan, diplomats and spies on both sides tried to win local support, extend their own influence, and limit the expansion of their rival - while avoiding direct military confrontation. Russia decided to sell Alaska to America for 7.2 million dollars. Many Americans thought it was a waste of money – gold and oil were only discovered there much later. Leo Tolstoy's 'War & Peace' was published, still regarded as one of the world's greatest works of literature. The late 19th century was a cultural golden age for Russia: a period of literary greats, and outstanding composers. Russia, in support of nationalist revolts in the Balkans against Ottoman rule, went to war with the Ottoman Empire once more. Russian troops crossed the Danube... then, with Bulgarian help, fought to secure the vital Shipka Pass. Then they launched a bloody, five-month siege of Plevna, in Bulgaria. Russia and her allies finally won victory, with their troops threatening Constantinople itself. But at the Congress of Berlin, Russia bowed to international pressure, and accepted limited gains, in a settlement that also led to independence for Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and later, Bulgaria. Meanwhile, within Russia, radical political groups were increasingly frustrated by Alexander II's limited reforms. There were several failed attempts to assassinate the Emperor. But as he prepared to approve new constitutional reforms, he was killed in St.Petersburg by a bomb thrown by members of the People's Will – one of the world's first modern terrorist groups. This act of violence would lead only to a new era of repression. In 1881, Russian Emperor Alexander II was assassinated by left-wing terrorists in St.Petersburg. Today, the place where he was fatally wounded is marked by the magnificent Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. Alexander II had been a reformer, hailed as 'the Liberator' for freeing Russia's serfs. But his son and successor, Alexander III, believed his father's reforms had unleashed dangerous forces within Russia, that ultimately led to his death. As Emperor, he publicly vowed to reassert autocratic rule, declaring that, 'in the midst of our great grief, the voice of God orders us to undertake courageously the task of ruling, with faith in the strength and rightness of autocratic power.' The Tsar's secret police, the so-called 'Okhranka', was ordered to infiltrate Russia's many revolutionary groups. Those found guilty of plotting against the government were hanged or sent into 'internal exile' in Siberia. Alexander III was a pious man, who supported the Orthodox church, and the assertion of a strong Russian national identity. Russia's Jews became victims of this policy. They'd already been targeted in murderous race riots known as 'pogroms', after false rumours were spread that they were responsible for the assassination of the emperor. Now the government expelled 20,000 Jews from Moscow, and many who could began to leave the country. Over the next 40 years, around two million Jews would leave Russia, most bound for the USA. Concerned by the growing power of Germany, Russia signed an alliance with France, both sides promising military aid if the other was attacked. Sergei Witte was appointed Russia's new Minister of Finance. His reforms helped to modernise the Russian economy, and encourage foreign investment – particularly from its new ally, France. French loans helped Russia to develop its industry and infrastructure: Work began on the Trans-Siberian railway. Completed in 1916, it remains the world's longest railway line, running 5,772 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok. Alexander III was succeeded by his son Nicholas II. His coronation was marred by tragedy, when 1,400 people were crushed to death at an open-air celebration in Moscow. China granted Russia the right to build a naval base at Port Arthur. When China faced a major revolt known as the Boxer Rebellion, Russia moved troops into Manchuria, under the pretext of defending Port Arthur from the rebels. This brought Russia into conflict with Japan, who also had designs over Manchuria, and Korea. The Japanese made a surprise attack on Port Arthur, then defeated the Russian army at the giant Battle of Mukden. Russia's Baltic Fleet, meanwhile, had sailed half way around the world to reach the Pacific... where it was immediately annihilated at the Battle of Tsushima. Russia was left with no option but to sign a humiliating peace, brokered by US President Theodore Roosevelt. Meanwhile the Tsar faced another crisis much closer to home. In St.Petersburg, a strike by steel-workers had escalated, and plans were made for a mass demonstration. Tens of thousands of protesters marched to the Winter Palace to present a petition to the Tsar, asking for better workers' rights and more political freedom. But instead, troops opened fire on the crowds, killing more than 100. 'Bloody Sunday', as it became known, led to more strikes and unrest across the country. The crew of the battleship Potemkin mutinied, killing their officers and taking control of the ship. To defuse the crisis, Nicholas II reluctantly issued the October Manifesto, drafted under the supervision of Sergei Witte. It promised an elected assembly and new political rights, including freedom of speech, and was welcomed by most moderates. Russia's first constitution was drafted the next year. For the first time, the Tsar would share power with an elected assembly, the state duma – though the Tsar had the right to veto its legislation, and dissolve it at any time. Sergei Witte finally lost the Tsar's confidence, and was dismissed. The Tsar's new Prime Minister, Stolypin, introduced land reforms to help the peasants, while dealing severely with Russia's would-be revolutionaries. So much so, that the hangman's noose got a new nickname - 'Stolypin's necktie'. But having survived several attempts on his life, Stolypin was shot and killed by an assassin at the Kiev Opera House. Meanwhile, Grigori Rasputin, a Siberian faith healer, had joined the Imperial family's inner circle, thanks to his unique ability to ease the suffering of the Tsar's haemophiliac son, Alexei. Despite sporadic acts of terrorism, Russia now had the fastest growing economy in Europe. Agricultural and industrial output were on the rise. Most ordinary Russians remained loyal to the Tsar and his family. Russia's future seemed bright. In 1914, in Sarajevo, a Slav nationalist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, sparking a European crisis. When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Emperor Nicholas ordered the Russian army to mobilise, to show his support for a fellow Slav nation. Austria-Hungary's ally, Germany, saw Russian mobilisation as a threat, and declared war. Europe's network of alliances came into effect, and soon all the major powers were marching to war. World War One had begun. Russia experienced a wave of patriotic fervour. The capital, St.Petersburg, was even renamed Petrograd, to sound less German. An early Russian advance into East Prussia ended with heavy defeats at Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes. There was greater success against Austria-Hungary, but that too came at a high price. Russian losses forced the army to make a general retreat in 1915. In 1916, Russia's Brusilov Offensive against Austro-Hungarian forces was one of the most successful Allied attacks of the war. But losses were so heavy, that the Russian army was unable to launch any more major operations. In Petrograd, Rasputin, whose alleged influence over the Tsar's family was despised by certain Russian aristocrats, was murdered, possibly with the help of British agents. The war put intolerable strains on Russia. At the front, losses were enormous. While in the cities, economic mismanagement led to rising prices and food shortages. In Petrograd, the workers' frustration led to strikes and demonstrations. Troops ordered to disperse the crowds refused, and joined the protesters instead. The government had lost control of the capital. On board the imperial train at Pskov, senior politicians and generals told the Emperor he must abdicate, or Russia would descend into anarchy, and lose the war. Nicholas accepted their advice, and renounced the throne in favour of his brother, Grand Duke Michael, who, effectively, declined the offer. 300 years of Romanov rule were at an end. Russia was now a republic. A Provisional Government took power, but could not halt Russia's slide into economic and military chaos. Meanwhile, workers, soldiers and peasants elected their own councils, known as 'soviets'. The Petrograd Soviet was so powerful, it was effectively a rival government, especially as discontent with the Provisional Government continued to grow. The Bolsheviks, under Vladimir Lenin, attracted growing support, with their radical proposals for an immediate end to the war, the redistribution of land, and transfer of power to the soviets. In October, they launched a coup, masterminded by Leon Trotsky. Bolshevik Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace, where the Provisional Government met, and arrested its members. Lenin and the Bolsheviks were now in charge. Russia had been thrown upon a bold and dangerous course - under a Marxist-inspired revolutionary party, it would now seek to create the world's first communist state. But first, it would have to survive the chaos and slaughter of one of history's bloodiest civil wars. Thank you to all our Patreon supporters who made this video possible. Please click the link to find out how you can support the channel, and help us choose future topics.


Brief background

Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow
Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow

Autonomy of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church

Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, St. Tikhon, recognised in 1920 the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (EAOC) as being autonomous (Resolution No. 1780) under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, postponing the discussion concerning the EAOC's autocephaly. "After Patriarch Tikhon’s arrest by the Soviet government, contacts between him and the autonomous Estonian Orthodox Church were severed. Consequently, the autonomous Estonian Orthodox Church, which wanted to assert its ecclesiastical independence, decided to seek a fuller and final canonical recognition from the patriarch of Constantinople."[9]

Patriarch Meletius IV of Constantinople (1923)
Patriarch Meletius IV of Constantinople (1923)

Ecumenical Patriarchate's tomos of 1923

With the Estonian independence and the persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Alexander of Tallinn and all Estonia (et) asked the Ecumenical Patriarchate to receive his church (the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (EAOC)) into the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On July 7, 1923, Patriarch Meletios IV of Constantinople issued a tomos accepting the Estonian Church in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's jurisdiction with an autonomous status[10] (Tomos 3348[9]). This tomos "established under the Ecumenical Patriarchate the Autonomous Orthodox Apostolic Church of Estonia known as "Orthodox Metropolitanate of Estonia""[11] Some Orthodox Russians in Estonia decided to remain under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.[9] The Russian Orthodox Church considers that "Patriarch Meletius IV of Constantinople took advantage of the difficult situation of the Orthodox Church in Russia and illegally proclaimed jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the territory of the independent Estonia and transformed the Estonian Autonomous Orthodox Church into the Estonian Metropolia of the Patriarchate of Constantinople."[8]

Exile of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Estonia and 1978 deactivation of the tomos

In 1940 the Soviet Union annexed Estonia. After 1944, Metropolitan Alexander (et) of the EAOC went into exile in Stockholm, Sweden, with 23 members of his clergy[10] and 7000[12] (or 8000[9]) faithfuls.[9][12] The church based in Stockholm remained attached to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and served around 10,000 Estonian Orthodox exiled in various countries. After the death of Metropolitan Alexander in 1953, the Ecumenical Patriarchate consecrated a new Estonian Orthodox bishop, Metropolitan Jüri Välbe (et), to oversee the Estonian Church based in Stockholm. After Välbe's death in 1961, his Estonian parishes were placed under local bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[10][13]

The Orthodox Church which remained in Estonia was incorporated into the Russian Orthodox Church after the Soviet annexed Estonia.[10] On December 10, 1944, the synod of the Moscow Patriarchate promulgated the Ukase which ended the functioning of the Orthodox Church of Estonia and established in its place the Diocese of Tallinn and Estonia. This dissolution effectively took place on March 9, 1945.[14] The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church later declared it considered that "[t]he autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Estonia, accorded in 1923 by the Oecumenical [sic] Patriarch Meletios, was abolished in March, 9, 1945 by force, unilaterally without respecting the canonical order and without informing the Oecumenical [sic] Patriarch about it nor waiting for his consentment".[15]

In a letter sent to the then-Patriarch of Moscow Alexy II on 24 February 1996, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew wrote that "the Patriarchate of Russia during those years trespassed in countries under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, namely, Estonia, Hungary and elsewhere, always by the power of the Soviet army. The Church of Russia did not at the time seek the opinion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, nor was any respect shown it. The annexation of the Orthodox Church of Estonia into the Most Holy Church of Russia happened arbitrarily and uncanonically. And it is certain that events which are uncanonical at one particular time are never blessed, never seen as efficacious, and never would they set a precedence."[12]

On 13 April 1978,[14] at the request of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate deactivated the 1923 tomos[16] which had established the autonomous Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[10] The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew explained in 1996 it was "[d]ue to the then existing political conditions and following the persistent request of the Patriarch of Moscow"[11] and "due to the circumstances of the times"[17] as well as "for the sake of smooth relations with the Patriarchate of Moscow, at which time Estonia still constituted a section of the then Soviet Union"[12] The Ecumenical Patriarch declared the tomos had been made "inoperative, but not invalid".[12] "Due to demographic shifts, Russians made up the majority of the Orthodox population of Estonia by the end of Soviet rule."[10]

Post-Soviet period

After the fall of the Soviet Union and the renewed independence of Estonia in 1991, a dispute developed among the Orthodox community between those who wished to remain linked to the Moscow Patriarchate and those who wanted the autonomous Orthodox church under the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be reestablished. Lengthy negotiations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate failed to produce an agreement.[10][18][19]

"In 1991, after Estonia had broken away from the Soviet Union, the sovereignty of the Estonian Republic was restored. At the time, the ruling Bishop in Estonia was Kornily (Jakobs). He held negotiations with the Government concerning a number of urgent internal ecclesiastical matters, which could not be resolved without state support. On 11 August 1993, instead of registering the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Synod, the Estonian State Department of Religions registered the representatives of the «Synod of the Estonian Orthodox Church in Exile» as the sole legal successor of the Autonomous Estonian Apostolic Church. That registration was of political and social importance because it made the «Synod of the Estonian Orthodox Church in Exile» the sole owner of all church-related immovable property in Estonia. The Russian Orthodox Church started legal proceedings to defend its legal and canonical position in the country, [arguing (?)] that the «Synod in Exile» had neither an episcopal structure nor an administrative office in Estonia, as required by Estonian law. In 1994, another unexpected event came to be added to the above. A petition signed by the representatives of 54 out of the 83 Orthodox parishes in Estonia formally requested to join the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The 54 parishes represented the majority of the Orthodox believers in the country, and included both Estonian-speaking and Russian-speaking communities. A year later, a series of negotiations between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate failed to reach a solution."[20] "On 25 May 1995 Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, while in Finland, made a broadcast appeal to the Orthodox believers in Estonia, in which he called them to ‘revive as soon as possible the Estonian Autonomous Orthodox Church in direct communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate’."[8]

"On 3 January 1996, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul for bilateral negotiations about the division among the Orthodox in Estonia. No agreement was reached, but the two sides agreed upon the continuation of the negotiations in Moscow on 2 February of the same year."[20][19]

"On 4 January 1996, the Ecumenical Patriarch sent a pastoral letter «to the Orthodox communities in Estonia», in which he expressed his desire to «reactivate» the Autonomous Estonian Apostolic Church on the basis of the Tome (or decision) of the Ecumenical Patriarch in 1923. The letter expressed the hope to unite all in one church with a distinct diocese for the Russian-speaking parishes. On 16 January 1996, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including one Finnish Orthodox bishop and one priest, visited Estonia in an attempt to reach a viable solution. They met with representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Estonian State authorities, including Prime Minister Tiit Vähi and the President Lennart Meri. After the meeting, statements were issued that the Ecumenical Patriarchate would accept Estonian Orthodox believers under its jurisdiction, but that it would also accept the division of the Orthodox community in Estonia into two parts and their belonging to two jurisdictions."[20]

History of the schism

20 February 1996 decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

On 20 February 1996, "following the persistent request of the Estonian Government and the overwhelming majority of the Estonian Orthodox parishes, which requested they be placed again under the aegis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate," the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to reestablish an Orthodox church in Estonia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate's canonical jurisdiction as an autonomous church[4] by reactivating the tomos of 1923 which had been issued by Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios IV.[11]

On 22 February 1996, the Ecumenical Patriarchate officially announced its decision to reactivate the tomos of 1923 and to re-establish the Autonomous Estonian Apostolic Church.[20][14] This was done on the basis of the EAOC's continued existence in exile in Sweden.[9]

On 24 February 1996, a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, led by Metropolitan Joachim of Chalcedon, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Estonian clergy and in the presence of Archbishop John of Finland[20] at the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Tallinn.[14] That act marked the reactivation of the Autonomous Estonian Apostolic Church. On the same day, the Chief Secretariat of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued an official communiqué. In that communiqué, it was announced that Archbishop John of Karelia, primate of the Finnish Orthodox Church, had been assigned as locum tenet of the Autonomous Estonian Apostolic Church.[21][20]

Patriarch of Moscow Alexy II (1929-2008)
Patriarch of Moscow Alexy II (1929-2008)

Excommunication of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Russian Orthodox Church

On 23 February 1996, the Russian Orthodox Church decided to declare the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church "as schismatic", "to suspend canonical and Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople... and to omit the name of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the diptych of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches".[8]

The next day, on February 24, to justify the Ecumenical Patriarchate's decision taken on 20 February 1996, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a communiqué,[11] and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a letter to the then-Patriarch of Moscow Alexy II.[12]

Negotiations between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church

On April 3 and 22 in 1996, the Joint Commission of the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow met in Zurich to discuss the situation.[8]

Agreement and resolutions

On May 16, 1996, an agreement was reached and the communion between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate was restored.[2][3]

Both parties agreed:[8][3]

1. "to let the Orthodox Christians in Estonia freely decide to which church jurisdiction they wish to belong"

2. "[That] the Patriarchate of Constantinople [would] agre[e] to suspend for 4 months its decision of 20 February 1996 to establish the Autonomous Church in the jurisdiction of Constantinople on the territory of Estonia and committed itself, together with the Moscow Patriarchate ‘to cooperate in the matter of presenting their positions to the Estonian government with the objective that all Orthodox Christians have equal rights, including the right to property’."

This agreement de facto led to the existence of two Orthodox churches on the Estonian territory: the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate and the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church.[22][23] By this agreement, both the EAOC and the ROC agreed to tolerate each others "at least temporarily". After this decision, in Estonia 54 parishes were part of the EAOC, 29 were part of the ROC.[9]

In September 1996, it was decided to prolong for another three months the moratorium concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate's 20 February 1996 decision to reactivate its tomos. Other subsequent meetings between the Church of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church were held in order to find a final agreement, but without much results.[8] On 1 September 2000, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew declared he considered the 16 May 1996 decision as a "decision, which allows the existence of the two parallel jurisdictions in Estonia", while the Russian Orthodox Church officially stated it totally disagreed with this interpretation of the decision by the Ecumenical Patriarch and considered that Estonia was under the canonical jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate and that "the Orthodox communities on the territory of Estonia have been a part of the Russian Orthodox Church for seven centuries".[8]

Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia
Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia

Appointment of the Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia by the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On March 9 1999, the Congress of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church met in Tallinn to consider the fact that the church still did not have a primate. Representatives from the Patriarchate of Constantinople were also present at the congress. The Congress decided to ask the Patriarchate to appoint Bishop Stephanos (auxiliary bishop of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of France (fr)) as primate. On March 13, 1999, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople accepted the request and elected Stephanos as Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia (et).[24] While announcing this decision, Patriarch Bartholomew asked the Russian Orthodox Church to recognize Metropolitan Stephan as the "canonical and legal first hierarch of the Estonian Orthodox Church". The Russian Orthodox Church, "surely considering the region of Estonia an autonomous part of the historical canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate", refused to recognize the status of Metropolitan Stephanos granted to him by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[8]

On 21 March 1999, bishop Stephanos was enthroned Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia at the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Tallinn.[25][26][27] Thereafter, Stephanos began preparing the General Assembly of the Church. The General Assembly took place on the 21st of June 1999 and the organs of the Church, the Synod and the Auditing Committee, were elected there. Moreover, Metropolitan Stephanos announced the names of the vicars general and of his secretariat.[20] In January 2009, the Orthodox Church of Estonia established a synodal structure with the ordinations of two bishops: the bishop of Tartu Elias and the bishop of Pärnu-Saaremaa Alexander.[14]


After the Zurich agreement, tensions continued to exist between the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church and the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate.[9]

Metropolitan Stephanos declared in 1999 and in 2002 that there could only be one local Orthodox church in Estonia,[28][29] but he does not oppose the Moscow Patriarchate turning the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate into a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia.[28] According to the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the agreements decided at Zurich could have been the base which "could have launched a constructive common future" between both local churches of Estonia (the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church and the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate), but according to the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church the Russian Orthodox Church did not apply those agreements decided at Zurich whereas the Ecumenical Patriarchate did.[30][31][32]

On 8 November 2000, in response to the 1 September 2000 visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Estonia, the Russian Orthodox Church, in an official statement, explained in details their version of the history of the 1996 schism.[8] This statement also says that the Church of Constantinople had refused to hold the negotiations on 1 September 2000 for the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Estonia; the goal of those negotiations would have been "to put an end to the four-years-long confrontation between the jurisdictions of the two Churches in Estonia". The official statement concluded: "The establishment by the Patriarchate of Constantinople of its jurisdiction in Estonia in February 1996, the appointment of ‘Metropolitan of All Estonia’ in March 1999 and the announcement made during Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Estonia in October 2000 of the renunciation of the compromise agreements which envisage parallel presence of the two jurisdiction in Estonia speak for the consistent intention of Constantinople to usurp canonical authority in Estonia and to deprive the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate not only of the legal, but also of the canonical right of succession in the country"[8]

In 2007, delegates from the Russian Orthodox Church walked out of theological discussions with the Catholic Church because the Russian Orthodox Church did not recognize the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church and that, according to the statement by the Russian Orthodox Church issued thereafter, "the joint participation by delegates of the Moscow Patriarchate and the so-called Estonian Apostolic Church in an official session would mean the implicit recognition by the Moscow Patriarchate of the canonical (nature) of this church structure."[33]

"In 2008 the Russian Orthodox Church suspended its membership of the Conference of European Churches over the dispute about the non-admittance of that part of the Estonian Orthodox Church which had decided to remain linked to the patriarchate of Moscow."[9] In 2008, the Russian Orthodox Church issued an ultimatum: the ROC would walk out of the Anglican-Orthodox dialogue if the EAOC was taking part in the dialogue.[34] "In the same year the Russian Orthodox Church terminated its ecumenical dialogue with the Anglicans because the EAOC was participating as a recognized member church in this dialogue."[9]

"The Moscow patriarchate continues to make two major claims that are unacceptable to the EAOC. The first is that the EAOC was established in 1996 (thus negating the Tomos of 1923); and the second is that Estonia remains as a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church – widely taken to be a negation of Estonia as a sovereign state, deserving autocephaly in due season."[9]

In September 2018, Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, in a message to mass medias which was published on the official website of the External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, declared: "the problem of Estonia, from our point of view, has not been solved, and the existence of two parallel jurisdictions, again from the point of view of church canons, is an anomaly."[35]

2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow who was the Patriarch of Moscow when the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism began
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow who was the Patriarch of Moscow when the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism began

The 1996 schism has similarities with the schism of October 2018. Both schisms were caused by a dispute between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate over the canonical jurisdiction over a territory in Eastern Europe upon which the Russian Orthodox Church claimed to have the exclusive canonical jurisdiction, territory which after the collapse of the Soviet Union had become an independent state (Ukraine, Estonia). The break of communion in 1996 was made by Moscow unilaterally, as in 2018.[7]

The fact that the 1996 schism over Estonia lasted only three months "has raised hope in some quarters that the new [2018 Moscow–Constantinople] schism might also be short"; a source from the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church even declared the Russian Orthodox Church "will likely back down [over Ukraine], just as it did over Estonia".[7] However, on 15 October 2018, Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, stressed in an interview that the Russian Orthodox Church "did not recognize this decision back then [in 1996] and do not recognize it not [sic, should very probably be "does not recognize it now"]." and that "the canonical crime committed by Constantinople now [in 2018 after the 11 October 2018 declaration of the Ecumenical Patriarchate] are [sic, should be "is"] much more serious"[36]

In an interview given to the BBC on 2 November 2018, Archbishop Job, hierarch of the Church of Constantinople, rejected the idea that there could be two jurisdictions over Ukraine the way there is two jurisdictions in Estonia, stating that canonically there could be only one church on the territory of Ukraine and that therefore an exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine was "simply uncanonical"[37] and that in Ukraine "there can be no repetition of Estonia’s scenario".[38][39]

See also

Other similar schism in Christianity:

Other related topics:


  1. ^ a b "Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church 8 November 2000 : Russian Orthodox Church". 12 November 2000. Retrieved 2018-11-01. Patriarch Bartholomew issued an ‘Act’ on 20 February 1996 on the renewal of the 1923 Tomos of Patriarch Meletius IV and on the establishment of the ‘Autonomous Orthodox Estonian Metropolia’ on the territory of Estonia. Temporal administration was entrusted to Archbishop John of Karelia and All Finland. A schismatic group headed by the suspended clergymen was accepted into canonical communion. Thus the schism in Estonia became a reality.
    On 23 February 1996, in response to the one-sided and illegal actions of Patriarch Bartholomew the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved to recognize them ‘as schismatic and compelling our Church to suspend canonical and Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople… and to omit the name of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the diptych of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches’.
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  2. ^ a b "Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church 8 November 2000 : Russian Orthodox Church". 12 November 2000. Retrieved 2018-10-28. The text of the memorandum was agreed upon and included into the decisions taken by the Synods of the Orthodox Churches of Constantinople and Moscow on 16 May 1996. The document restored the interrupted communion between the two Patriarchates.
  3. ^ a b c Roberson, Ronald G. (30 March 2012). "CNEWA -  The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church". p. 2. Retrieved 2018-11-01. On May 16 both Holy Synods formally adopted the recommendations made at the Zurich meeting. The agreement provided for parallel jurisdictions in Estonia, and allowed individual parishes and clergy to join either the Estonian autonomous church under Constantinople or the diocese that would remain dependent on Moscow. For its part, Constantinople agreed to a four-month suspension of its February 20th decision to re-establish the Estonian autonomous church. Moscow agreed to lift the penalties that had been imposed on clergy who had joined the autonomous church. Both Patriarchates agreed to work together with the Estonian government, so that all Estonian Orthodox might enjoy the same rights, including rights to property. As a result of this agreement, full communion was restored between Moscow and Constantinople, and the name of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was again included in the diptychs in Moscow.
  4. ^ a b "PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL ACT CONCERNING THE REACTIVATION OF THE PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL TOMOS OF 1923 REGARDING THE ORTHODOX METROPOLITANATE OF ESTONIA". 20 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-11-02. «It is customary to change the boundaries of the Churches as political entities and administrations change», declared Photios the Great, wise among the Patriarchs.
    Accordingly, the Most Holy Mother Church of Constantinople --empowered by the strength of the Divine and Sacred Canons, numbers 9 and 17 of the holy 4th Ecumenical Synod in Chalcedon which state : «If any bishop or clergyman has a dispute with the Metropolitan of the same province, let him apply either to the Exarch of the diocese, or to the throne of the imperial capital Constantinople, and let it be tried before him» (Canon 9) and «If anyone has been unjustly treated by his own Metropolitan, let him complain to the Exarch of the diocese, or let him have his case tried before the throne of Constantinople, according as he may choose» (Canon 17) ; in addition, the 34th Canon of the Holy Apostles which exhorts the Churches of different nations, and especially those in free and independent States, should be formed into autonomous or autocephalous Churches under their particular Archbishop and bishops -- has accepted the rightful request of the Orthodox Christians in Estonia and of the honorable government of Estonia, which sought the full restoration in Estonia of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church as it was before 1940, as an autonomous Church under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    Therefore, our Modesty, together with the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Metropolitans, our dearly beloved brothers in the Holy Spirit and concelebrants in Christ -- having deliberated synodically, trustworthily taking care of the governance and the administration of all ecclesiastical matters and having foresight of what is proper, as has been the canonical custom from time immemorial that the Most Holy Ecumenical Throne has the right to adapt and to provide for the constitution and foundation of the Churches, appropriately addressing the needs of the times and the good estate of the entire assembly always striving for the harmonious and advantageous portrayal and governance of the local and the universal -- declare anew that the Patriarchal and Synodical Tomos of 1923 regarding the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Estonia is reactivated in all its articles. We also recognize as the lawful successors of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church those who accepted the Tomos and unceasingly preserved her canonical continuation
    [W]e issue our present Patriarchal and Synodical Act as declaration and assurance and as permanent representation of the matters considered and decided upon ecclesiastically regarding the reactivation of the Patriarchal and Synodical Tomos 1923
    line feed character in |quote= at position 171 (help)
  5. ^ "communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the autonomy of the Church of Estonia". 24 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-11-02. On February 20, 1996, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was convened and presided over by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartolomew. Deliberating in the Holy Spirit, the Synod unanimously decided, by Patriarchal and Synodical Act, to declare the reactivation of the Tome of 1923 which had been issued during the tenure of Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios IV This Tome had established under the Ecumenical Patriarchate the Autonomous Orthodox Apostolic Church of Estonia known as "Orthodox Metropolitanate of Estonia".
  6. ^ Steinfels, Peter (28 February 1996). "Russian Church Breaks Off From Orthodoxy's Historic Center". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b c ERR, Jason Van Boom, PhD candidate, University of Tartu | (2018-10-21). "Moscow-Constantinople split highlighting Estonia's role in Orthodox church". ERR. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church 8 November 2000 : Russian Orthodox Church". 12 November 2000. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Toom, Tarmo. "Estonia, Orthodox Church in", The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, p.226-8, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Roberson, Ronald G. (30 March 2012). "CNEWA -  The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church". p. 1. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  11. ^ a b c d "communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the autonomy of the Church of Estonia". 24 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Letter of Patriarch Bartholomew to Patriarch Alexis of Moscow on Orthodoxy in Estonia". 24 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  13. ^ "Eesti õigeusu kiriku juhtide loend", Vikipeedia, vaba entsüklopeedia (in Estonian), 2018-06-04, retrieved 2018-11-01
  14. ^ a b c d e Métropolite Stephanos de Tallinn et de toute l'Estonie (18 February 2015). "Une si petite Église dans la grande Europe : brève histoire de l'Église orthodoxe estonienne". (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  15. ^ ""In time and in spite of time" by Metropolitan Stephanos". Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  16. ^ "PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL ACT CONCERNING THE REACTIVATION OF THE PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL TOMOS OF 1923 REGARDING THE ORTHODOX METROPOLITANATE OF ESTONIA". 20 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-11-02. In this spirit, the Mother Church of Constantinople in 1978, prompted by ecclesiastical economy, responding with brotherly love to the request of the Church of Russia, due to the circumstances of the times, proclaimed the Tomos of 1923 inoperative through a Patriarchal and Synodical Act. This means that the Tomos could not be enforced within Estonia which at that time comprised part of the Soviet Union ; the Tomos, however, was not regarded as being void, invalid or revoked.
  18. ^ "PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL ACT CONCERNING THE REACTIVATION OF THE PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL TOMOS OF 1923 REGARDING THE ORTHODOX METROPOLITANATE OF ESTONIA". 20 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-11-02. But already, by 1991, Estonia, having become a free and independent state, demands, in accordance to the practice for all Orthodox nations, that the former autonomous status of the Orthodox Church in Estonia be restored through the reactivation of the Patriarchal and Synodical Tomos of 1923, which calls for returning to the fatherland, where she had been abolished, the exiled Autonomous Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, as it was officially called from 1935 onwards.
  19. ^ a b "communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the autonomy of the Church of Estonia". 24 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-11-01. Having regained political independence as a country, the reinstitution of the Autonomous Church of Estonia, forcibly abolished as indicated above, costituted a j ust [sic] request of the Estonian Orthodox. To this j ust [sic] request the Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, out of a sense of responsibility and by canonical and historical right, was duty-bound to respond in with compassion to their request and in their defense. This request of the Estonian Government and the Estonian Orthodox clergy and laity met with opposition by His Beatitude the Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia, even though, as has firmly been the case in Orthodoxy, all autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox Churches were so declared, always according to the demand of the governments of the countries of these Churches, as well as of their clergy and laity. In its effort to avoid all antagonism within the bosom of the Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate entered into bilateral discussions with the Most Holy Church of Russia that they might reach a solution of compromise acceptable by all. Unfortunately, due to the intransigent position of the Patriarchate of Moscow, these discussions pursued over a two-year period did not bring about any positive results.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g "Presentation of the Orthodox Church of Estonia". Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  21. ^ "communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the autonomy of the Church of Estonia". 24 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-11-06. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has assigned the neighboring Archbishop John of Karelia and all Finland as Locum Tenens of the reinstated Autonomous Orthodox Metropolitanate of Estonia. Archbishop John will oversee the restructuring of the Metropolitanate ad referendum to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which will then proceed with the election and installation of the canonical hierarchs of the Metropolitanate.
  22. ^ Davis, Nathaniel (2018). A Long Walk To Church: A Contemporary History Of Russian Orthodoxy. Routledge. ISBN 9780429975127. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  23. ^ Metroplitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia (27 May 2002). "After the registration of Moscow Patriarchate juridiction". (Interview given in Tallinn for the newspaper "Metropoolia"). Retrieved 2018-11-07. The 1996 Zurich agreements between the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow led to the current ecclesiastical situation. By these agreements Moscow recognizes the Orthodox Church of Estonia (EAOK) and Constantinople admits the existence of a jurisdiction of Moscow Patriarchate in our canonical territory. It is not an ideal one, but at least it has the merit of offering temporarily a viable and peaceful space to both one and the other. Still, it is necessary to respect them strictly. That is not the case everywhere.
  24. ^ Roberson, Ronald G. (30 March 2012). "CNEWA -  The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church". p. 2. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  25. ^ OKIA (2015-03-02). "Son Eminence le Métropolite de Tallinn et de toute l'Estonie Stéphanos – Église Orthodoxe d'Estonie". Église Orthodoxe d'Estonie (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  26. ^ OKIA. "Metropoliit – Eesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kirik". Eesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kirik (in Estonian). Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  27. ^ "The enthronement of Metropolitan Stephanos". Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  28. ^ a b Metroplitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia (13 August 1999). "There are yet problems in Church relations between Estonia and Russia". (Inteview given to "AAMUN KOITTO" in Finland). Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  29. ^ Metroplitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia (27 May 2002). "After the registration of Moscow Patriarchate juridiction". (Interview given in Tallinn for the newspaper "Metropoolia"). Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  30. ^ Cazabonne, Emma (2018-10-10). "Reflection by Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia on the Ukraine". Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  31. ^ OKIA (2018-10-08). "À PROPOS DE L'UKRAINE – Église Orthodoxe d'Estonie". Église Orthodoxe d'Estonie (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-04. La décision du Patriarche Cyrille de Moscou et de son Saint Synode de rompre la communion avec le Patriarche Bartholomée m’a beaucoup étonné mais pas du tout surpris. Si je la compare avec ce qui s’est passé en Estonie en 1996, elle est plus qu’affligeante. Finalement, pour résoudre la crise estonienne, l’on se mit d’accord à Zurich au cours de même année en proposant une solution qui aurait pu préparer un avenir commun constructif entre les deux juridictions locales (Constantinople et Moscou) s’il avait été respecté de part et d’autre. Plus de vingt ans sont déjà passés. Il s’avère que cet accord est devenu caduc et par conséquent non applicable à cause de sa non-application par le seul Patriarcat de Moscou. Qui peut encore imaginer après cela que l’on peut faire confiance à des gens qui signent d’abord et ne respectent pas leur engagement ?
  32. ^ OKIA (2018-10-08). "Mõtisklusi Ukrainast – Eesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kirik". Eesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kirik (in Estonian). Retrieved 2018-11-04. Moskva patrarhi Kirilli ja tema Püha Sinodi otsus lõpetada suhted patriarh Bartolmeusega oli minu jaoks üllatav, kuid mitte ehmatav. Kui ma võrdlen seda otsust 1996. aastal Eestis toimunuga, siis on see enam kui laiduväärne. Selleks, et leida Eesti kriisile lahendus, leppisime me samal aastal Zürichis kokku abinõudes, mis oleksid loonud ühise konstruktiivse tuleviku kahele erinevale jurisdiktsioonile (Konstantinoopoli ja Moskva), kui seda oleks mõlema poolt täidetud. Tänaseks on möödunud juba enam kui kakskümmend aastat. Need otsused on muutunud tühiseks ning sellest tulenevalt ka mittekohaldatavaks, sest Moskva Patriarhaat pole neid järginud. Kas leidub keegi, kes usub, et saame usaldada neid, kes küll kirjutavad oma kohustustele alla, kuid ei täida neid?
  33. ^ "Russian delegates walk out of talks with Vatican over dispute with another Orthodox church | WWRN - World-wide Religious News". 11 October 2007. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  34. ^ "Russian Orthodox issues ultimatum on ecumenical dialogue talks: CEN 5.30.08 p 6". Conger. 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  35. ^ "Metropolitan Hilarion: We very much hope that the unity of unversal Orthodoxy will be preserved | The Russian Orthodox Church". 1 September 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  36. ^ "Constantinople's annulment of 1686 decision counter to historic truth —Moscow Patriarchate". TASS. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  37. ^ Cazabonne, Emma (6 November 2018). "BBC interview with Archbishop Job of Telmessos on the Ukrainian question". Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  38. ^ "Archbishop Job (Getcha): There will be no Exarchate of ROC in Ukraine". 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  39. ^ "Константинополь: "Надеемся, Москва обратится к разуму". Подробности беседы". BBC News Русская служба. 2018-11-02. Retrieved 2018-11-03.


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