Yuriy Danilec

Background and carrying out of the First Council of the Carpatho-Ruthenian Orthodox Church in 1921

pages: 285-300


The author reveals that the problems of statechurch relations in Czechoslovakia are well understood by domestic and foreign researchers, but the issue of carrying out the First Council of the Carpatho- Ruthenian Orthodox Church remains neglected. The article analyzes the main stages of the activity of the Orthodox communities in Transcarpathia, the part of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The evolution of the policy of the Czechoslovak government regarding Serbian jurisprudence and the beginning of the spiritual mission of Bishop Dositey (Vasić) is analyzed. According to the author, the postponement of the arrival of the bishop in Subcarpathian Rus connected with the interference from the higher circles of the Vatican and the local Greek Catholic Church. In addition, an obstacle to the development of the Orthodox Church in the region was the use of the old Austro- Hungarian legislation on cults. The article describes the course of the first and second visit of Bishop Dositey to Subcarpathian Russia, shows the main directions of his activity. The bishop paid much attention to visitation of Orthodox parishes, meetings with the faithful, the consecration of new priests. During the second visit to Subcarpathian Russia, the bishop visited 16 Orthodox parishes, ordained three monks in the holy monk. Special attention is paid to the study of the preparation and conduct of the First Council of the Carpatho- Ruthenian Orthodox Church in 1921. The author follows the course of the meeting, analyzes the content of the approved council documents. The main solutions concerned the Statute, the decision to establish an interim committee for the management of the church, the proposal of the Serbian bishop to head the newly formed church structure, and publish a periodical newspaper. Separately, the author analyzes the content of the Statute, calls it the main components of the chapter. According to the statute, an autonomous Orthodox Church of Carpatho- Ruthenia was established, under the auspices of the Serbian Patriarchate. At the head of the diocese, a Serbian delegate was temporarily standing, the right to elect a bishop from the local clergy was declared. The course of negotiations on the basis of the archival documents between Bishop Dositey and the leadership of Czechoslovakia on the implementation of the decisions of the First Council was clarified. The article deals with the correspondence of the bishop with the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. According to the author of the article, Dositey tried to complete the spiritual mission among subcarpathian Orthodox people in all ways, took energetic steps to recognize the Church by the Czechoslovak government, and contributed to the development of the diocese at the local level. One of the factors that prevented the activities of the bishop was the anti-Orthodox policy of the governor Hryhoriy Zhatkovich. The author concludes that the Czechoslovak authorities tried to use religious confrontation to resolve political goals relying on the secret correspondence of the Czech ambassador to the Vatican.






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