Russian Orthodox Church– Founded via Vladimir I – 988 A.D.
Prince Vladimir I was the ruler of Kievian Rus which, in the 10th century A.D was described as “ax-wielding Barbarians” by Eastern Church in Constantinople. Vladimir was looking to establish an official religion for Rus, as some assert, to bring stability to his realm among the tribal factions. He examined Judaism, Islam, Western Roman Church, and the Eastern Constantinople Church (this was still approximately 60-70 years prior to the Great Schism and the emergence of Roman Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox Churches - although the division was clearly there apart from the names.
Vladimir rejected Judaism and Islam over circumcision and demands to avoid pork and wine (he believed that drinking was a joy for “Russes” – a pleasure which they “could not live without”).
Key Liturgy and Doctrine of Russian Orthodox
Bible – Composition of
Clergy – Qualification for
Eucharist – Significance of
Eucharist – Presence of Christ in
Eucharist – Distribution of
Marriage and Divorce
Mary – Assumption and Immaculate conception of
Mary – Position of
Pope – Authority of
Pope – Infallibility of
Sacraments – Effect of
Scripture tells us that Salvation is immediate by way of Justification but the process of Sanctification – being made more like Christ is the lifelong process.
Scripture – Importance of
Worship and Liturgy
Eastern Orthodox – Eastern Byzantine empire – began forming alongside the “Roman Church” with the division of the Roman empire into east and west. The Eastern church – primarily Greek and North African, spoke a different language, enjoyed a different culture, and eventually held to a different governance ecclesiology over time. The emphasis of the primacy of see of Rome and its Bishop as possessing chief papal authority (Pope) the Eastern Orthodox church had already begun to operate independently of Rome. The final spark occurred with the addition of the filioque (from the Son) to the Nicene creed which led to sharp criticism of the Roman Church with Patriarch Michael Cerularius accusing Pope Leo IX of overstepping his authority. The Pope was incensed and sent Cardinal Humbert to deliver a Papal Bull excommunicating Cerularius. Cerularius in turn, excommunicated Cardinal Humbert, AND Pope Leo IX who sent him. Both East and West churches emerged separate and distinct and have not rejoined since. This has come to be known as the “Great Schism” of 1054 AD. However it should be called the Great Schism of the 3rd – 11th centuries!