Book of archival documents on reunification of Kiev Metropolis with Russian Church published

Moscow, May 30, 2019

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A new publication on the reunification of the Kiev Metropolis with the Russian Orthodox Church, prepared by the Church-Academic Center “Orthodox Encyclopedia,” has been published, presenting a thorough look at the archival evidence from the 17th century.

The book, The Reunification of the Kiev Metropolis with the Russian Orthodox Church. 1676-1686: Research and Documents, includes a significant number of documents that have never been published before, reports Sedmitza, the site of the Orthodox Encyclopedia.

“The reunification of the Kiev Metropolis with the Russian Church in 1686 not only saved Ukrainian Orthodoxy, but it also allowed the restoration of the Church unity of Holy Rus’ and gave a powerful impetus to the development of theology and education in the united Russian Church,” note the authors of the material.

“The authority of the acts of 1686 was not doubted by a single Local Orthodox Church, and the Church of Constantinople itself unconditionally recognized the full jurisdiction of the Russian Church over the Kiev Metropolis,” the authors continue.

It is noted that the documents given in the collection do not give grounds to talk about any limited nature of the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate over the Kiev Metropolis, which the Patriarchate of Constantinople spoke of in 2018, claiming it always maintained jurisdiction over Kiev.

“On the contrary, the texts clearly state that the Patriarch Joachim of Moscow is granted the right to ordain the Kiev metropolitans without restrictions, that this right belongs to his successors, and in general, ‘let the Metropolis of Kiev be subordinated to the holy Patriarch of Moscow.’”

“Unlike the biased attempts to analyze disparate sources, the present edition is a complete, exhaustive sampling from the Russian archives for 1676-1686,” Sedmitza emphasizes.

The previously unpublished documents shed light on all stages of the negotiations that led to the restoration of the unity of the Russian Church, as well as the gramotas and acts of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow traveled to Istanbul to meet with Patriarch Bartholomew on August 31. During their primatial meeting, the Russian patriarch proposed organizing a conference of clergy and academics to discuss the historical circumstances and documents surrounding the Kiev Metropolis’ transfer to the Russian Church in the late-17th century, but Pat. Bartholomew refused, saying it would slow down the autocephaly process too much.

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