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Bishop Basil and the Legacy of Metropolitan Anthony

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Written by Basil on 06/12/2006 9:55 PM. Filed under:

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How has it taken so long for news of this to find me? Coincidentally, a comment by a long-time reader yesterday on an unrelated post led me to a website which brings the crisis in Great Britain into relief.

This story truly brings me to tears.

Marguerite, Luz en Invierno

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2 Responses to “Bishop Basil and the Legacy of Metropolitan Anthony”

  1. Tabitha Says:

    Still trying to work my way through some of this. Any chance of a synopsis as you see it?

  2. Basil Says:

    Summary: Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), major mover in world Orthodoxy and one of the exports from the post-Revolutionary Russian emigre community in France (along with Florovsky, Schmemann, Meyendorff, etc.), led the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh (governing Great Britain) to become a pan-ethnic Orthodox diocese which reached out to the British and used English as the common spoken language. After his death, a bishop succeeded him with less clout, Basil. At the end of the communist oppression in former Soviet Union, many Russians came to Britain, and a strong, vocal minority of these considered this diocese to be their Church and pushed for stronger Russian piety, Church Slavonic in worship, and extra-liturgical activities centered around Russian language and culture. Other ethnicities (primarily British Orthodox, as well as others) naturally are hurt and confused, since they no longer understand worship and activities in their Church. The situation is brought to a head, and Bishop Basil requests the Moscow Patriarch for canonical release, after releasing his priests and parishes to seek canonical protection from other jurisdictions. MP responds by forcing Bp. Basil into retirement (IOW, canonical discipline for a loss of confidence). The Ecumenical Patriarch receives Bp. Basil without canonical release and entrusts him to the Western European Russian Orthodox Diocese, with roots in the aforesaid Paris emigre community.

    I’ve tried to summarize without loaded words, but it should be obvious where my sympathies lie as an American Orthodox Christian. Ironically, the MP used the American Church (ie, the autocephaly granted to the Church in America) as proof that they support indigenous language and culture for Orthodox dioceses in the so-called “diaspora.”