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  • 19
    FEB

    Patriarch Cyrill and his radical reforms of Russian Orthodox Church management in 2009-2013

    Advanced seminar arranged by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Speaker: Nikolay Mitrokhin, Bremen University (Germany).

    Chair: Mark Bassin, Södertörn University.

    Discussant: Renat Bekkin, Södertörn University.

     

    Is it possible reforms in the ROC? Is it possible its modernization and adaptation to modern society? Discussion about this is ongoing in the Russian-speaking information space. They tend to ignore the fact that large-scale reforms in the Russian Orthodox Church has carried out in 2009-2013, however, remained unknown outside the Church. These reforms and their results will be the subject of this paper.

    Reforms were initiated by the newly elected (2009) Patriarch Kirill, who probably acted on the plan he established in the Church for a long period of "stagnation" of the 2000s years.

    Two reforms are considered the most important. The first of them is the formation of new formal Church government - the Supreme Church Council. The second is the establishment of a permanent expert body - the Inter-Council presence, engaged in development and improvement of the Church law, the study of the new reforms.

    Besides Patriarch Kirill of reforms of the management of the regional dioceses in Russia (their number was tripled); Church media management; the introduction of regulations on all kinds of Church activities and was dramatically expanded the number of Church "ministries" (departments) and have changed the functions of existing departments.

    In the internal politics of the Russian Orthodox Church there has been a definite trend on the internal rehabilitation of a "liberal" Church theologians (especially Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) and Archpriest Alexander Men’) and the marginalization of extremely conservative religious scholars from among the monks.

    In addition, it has been completely reformed international policies of the ROC. Within the former USSR, the Patriarch has significantly increased its activity in communicating with the secular and Church elites. Was also strengthened internal status of structural divisions of the ROC. This was especially true of Ukraine (up to 2014). Outside of the former USSR, the Russian Orthodox Church dramatically increased its activity in opening new parishes and dioceses. Fully revised relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, which has been chosen the main partner. The result was the first ever meeting between the Moscow Patriarch with the Pope (2016).

    All this does not mean that the ROC has gone the way of "liberalism" and became an adequate partner of the modern Western churches. Or that it at least set a goal to move in this direction. ROC modernized, which enabled her largely to get away from cultivated during the previous Patriarch conservative model of Church government characteristic of the Orthodox dioceses in the second half of the XIX century. However, this upgrade is aimed at consolidation of all levers of management of the Russian Orthodox Church in the hands of the Patriarch. And he, in turn, seek to use the ROC to implement your own (and Putin's) geopolitical problems.

    In this regard, the leadership of the ROC, mentally still in the 1930-ies, when major religious organizations generally supported authoritarian dictatorships in their countries. However, in any case, the reform gave Kirill a chance for movement forward of the Russian Orthodox Church, which in the long run can provide a deep and real reform of the ROC in accordance with generally accepted in Europe, ideas of a modern major Christian Churches. In any case, my confidential conversations with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, Kiev and various regions of the former Soviet Union, to leave some hope.

    Mitrokhin Nikolay (b. 1972 in Moscow), is associated academic fellow (and lecturer) of the Research Center for East-European Studies at the Bremen university (Germany) and academic researcher in project 'Does Concern for Ethnic Russians in the Near Abroad affect Russian Policy Making?' Joensuu university (Finland). He was finished Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow) in 1995, Ph.D. in History in the same University, 2002. He was worked at the Information and Research Centre “Panorama” (Moscow) in 1991-1999 and at the Memorial Human Rights Center (Moscow) in 1999-2005, and columnist of Grani.ru, since 2004. He was a fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2005-2006) and Gerda Henkel Foundation (2006-2008). He was in 2008-2014 an academic fellow of the Research Center for East-European Studies at the Bremen university (Germany), in 2015-2017 - invited researcher in different Ukrainian projects of Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Germany) and some another’s German Institutions, academic researcher in project of Bonn’s center for conversion. In 2016-2017 – visited professor at Slavic-Eurasian Research Center Hokkaido University (Japan). He is the author and co-author a few books in Russian - Bishops and Eparchies (Dioceses) of the Russian Orthodox Church (1997), Turkmenistan: State Policy and Human Rights (1999), Economic Activity of The Russian Orthodox Church (2000), Russian Party: The Russian Nationalist Movement in the USSR. 1953-1985 (2003, German edition in 2015), The Russian Orthodox Church: Contemporary Condition and Actual Problems (2004, 2006) and more than 100 academic publications in Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Finish and Ukrainian about ethnic and religious problems in the USSR and the CIS from 1953 through the present

    Tid och plats

    När: måndag 19 februari kl. 13:00-14:30

    Vad: högre seminarium

    Var: Room MA 796, CBEES, Södertörn University

    Arrangeras av: The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska