What was the reason for the need for church reform in Russia? What are its consequences?
In the second half of the 17th century (1650-1660) inRussia was a large-scale reform, initiated by the patriarch Nikon. Its main goal was the unification of traditions and religious rites with the Greek canons. What was the reason for the need for church reform? First of all, this powerful influence of the Byzantine foundations on the entire Orthodox society.
What was the reason for the need for church reform?
Toward the end of the 1640s, the tsar and the Moscowthe patriarch learned that an act of burning the Moscow religious books that had been hailed as heretical occurred in Athos monastery. Of course, this fact deeply disturbed the ruler, but he could not help but acknowledge the fact that the event had good reasons. Moscow church books had significant errors in rites and ranks. The Patriarch saw that this was the reason for the need for church reform.
Since in the 17th century relations with other countriesbecome more and more animated; Even the ruler himself, Alexei Mikhailovich, was his sincere supporter. He dreamed of bringing the Russian church in line with the Greek church. This desire was largely due to the need for church reform in the 17th century.
Alexey Mikhailovich also pursued and mercenary,selfish goals. He hoped that bringing the Russian church into unity with the Greek church would make him governor of God on earth, help rid the country of the Turks, and later contribute to its reign at Constantinople.
Another important factor was the desireto join Little Russia. At that time she was in charge of the Constantinople throne. Thus, answering the question: "What was the cause of the need for church reform?", We can distinguish such basic factors:
1. Establishment of power over Little Russia.
2. Strengthening the king's position in the world.
3. Bringing Russian rituals in line with the Greek canons.
Chronology of the split
In February 1651, after a major church council, a unanimity policy was launched. Earlier in different temples worship services were held in different orders.
- On 21.02.1653, a provision was made to replace the two-fingered sign of the cross with a three-fingered sign.
- September 1653 - Protopope Avvakum was imprisoned in prison. Later, he was permanently deported to the Siberian city of Tobolsk.
- 1654 - Nikon stands for the equation of Russian church books with Greek.
- 1656 - the church formally condemned the two-fingered cross and cursed those who remained faithful to it.
- 1667-1776 - riots all over the country. Old Believers attack new churches, rob them and destroy property.
- 1672 - 2700 Old Believers committed self-immolation in the Paleostrovsky Monastery.
- January 6, 1681 - an uprising, which was organized by Habakkuk Petrov.
- 1702 - Peter 1 signed a decree, according to which persecutions against the Old Believers ceased.
Main characteristics of the reform
To edit church books in Russia, there wereclergymen from Greece are invited. Their work was closely watched by Patriarch Nikon. Any disagreement with his authoritative opinion was punished by dismissal and removal from correcting errors in books. The main changes were aimed at bringing Russian rituals in line with Greek rituals. Nikon clearly imagined what caused the need for church reform and sought to unify all the traditions and ceremonies taking place in all the temples of the state.
The reaction of the people to reform
Patriarch Nikon had a harsh temper andrudeness. Many priests condemned his intolerance and opposed him. So, at the cathedral, he could afford to rip off his robes and even publicly beat the bishops. His judgments were too categorical, which caused outrage among the people.
In 1667, by the decision of the Great Moscow Cathedral, Nikon was deposed for his self-imposed abandonment of his chair.