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New Leader

As expected, the BBC reports that Russian Church enthrones leader

Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad became the 16th leader of the Church, succeeding Patriarch Alexiy II, who died in December.

Kirill is supposed to be a “liberal” because he talks on television, as opposed to Alexiy who was waiting to see if it was a passing fad before getting involved with it. This may mean a major leap forward for the Russian Orthodox Church, possibly even to the 18th century. “Liberal” is a relative term.


1 Badtux { 02.02.09 at 8:55 pm }

Not being familiar with the Russian Orthodox Church, how does it compare to the Catholic Church as far as that whole “liberal” vs. “conservative” thing goes? Just curious, because everyt ime someone asks me, “why does the Catholic church have insane 100 year old policy X!”, I just tell’em, “wait another hundred years and they’ll fix it, 1,700 year old bureaucracies just don’t move quickly.” Why, they’ve even apologized to Galileo! A few hundred years after he’s dead, granted, but hey, what can you expect from a 1,700 year old bureaucracy? :-).

Badtux´s last blog post..More Rethuglican idiocy

2 Bryan { 02.02.09 at 11:10 pm }

The organization of the Orthodox Church is more conservative because there are no changes to the ceremonial side, but the priests marry, so, there is better interaction with the community. Monks, bishops, and the Patriarch must be celibate, so you have two tracks within the church.

It tends to support whatever government that happens to be in power, and to keep it’s distance from politics, but it is unchanging, unlike the Catholic Church.

Having said that, the Orthodox priesthood are quite often involved in community action, and, as long as they follow the rules on services, the Church doesn’t intervene in their activities. There were priests involved in the 1905 demonstrations, and they are often involved in social issues. They have a good deal more latitude to act than Catholic priests.

As a musician, after your leg heals, you might to want to take in a Sunday service at one of the Orthodox Churches in San Francisco. You have to stand, but the liturgy is song, and doesn’t vary. Tsar Ioann Vasilievich, the Awesome, [AKA Ivan the Terrible] wrote a couple of liturgies that are still performed. It is similar to Gregorian chant. The service hasn’t changed in all that time.