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BORusia & Maximal Autonomy

Author: Mark Stokoe
February 7, 2011
Regarding notions of “Maximal Autonomy”, this from Moscow, Russia.


It has been reported that the last Episcopal Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted sweeping changes in their Statute. (  Feb. 2, 2011.

An entirely new chapter (VIII.I. ) concerning “Autonomous Churches” was added. Among the new provisions:

  • - The Autonomous Churches are regulated by their own Statute and by the Statute of the Church in Russia.
  • - The decisions taken by the Episcopal Synods and Local Councils of the Church in Russia are mandatory for the Autonomous Churches.
  • - The Patriarch of Moscow has to be commemorated in every parish of the Autonomous Church.
  • - The bishops of the Autonomous Churches are members of the Episcopal Synods and Local Councils of the Church in Russia and they are expected to participate in their meetings.
  • - Any changes in the Statute of the Autonomous Church have to be agreed upon in written form by the Patriarch of Moscow.
  • - The Church of Russia has the right to put an end to the existence of an Autonomous Church it has created.

The Statute clearly distinguishes between Autonomous Churches (Japan, China) and Self-Ruled Churches (Latvia, Moldova, Estonia). ROCOR, however, is called “a Self-Ruled part of the Russian Orthodox Church”, so it is not fully clear how, if at all, these new provisions apply to that body in America.

Clearly, many of the above provisions do go against the Tomos of Autonomy delivered in 1970 to the Orthodox Church in Japan by the Church of Russia. The Metropolitan of Tokyo and All Japan did not attend to the last Episcopal Synod due to bad health. The decision was taken in his absence.

4 Comments to “BORusia & Maximal Autonomy”

  1. Administrator Says:

    Totul ce s-a spus pe acest site, despre Autonomie Maximala, este acum confirmat de catre Patriarhia Ruseasca. O Biserica Autonoma, nu are decat sa faca ascultare Bisericii careia i-a dat acea Autonomie, altfel ea poate pierde acea Autonomie. Tomosul de Autonomie poate sa “EXISTA ASTAZI si sa DISPARA MAINE – e fara valoare. Garantii? Moscova a anulat toate posibilitatiile! Si inca mai sunt in ROEA Vatra noastra care vor ca sa predam situatia noastra privilegiata, unde independenta noastra e respectata de a lungul anilor de catre OCA-ul local, ca sa devenim “Autonomi Maximal” sub BORomania? DE CE OARE?

  2. Administrator Says:

    Everything said on this website about Maximal Autonomy is now confirmed by the Russian Patriarchate. An Autonomous Church must be obedient to the Church granting that Autonomy otherwise it may lose said Autonomy. The Tomos of Autonomy can therefore be “HERE TODAY and GONE TOMORROW – it is useless. Guarantees? Moscow voided all possibilities! And some in our ROEA Vatra are still considering giving up our privileged and time-honoured independent status in the local OCA, to become “Maximally Autonomous” under BORomania? WHY?

  3. Albion Fourth Rome Says:

    While the Local Orthodox Churches represented at Chambesy argue over the order of the diptychs they are united in their view of autonomy - it is granted and revoked by the Mother Orthodox Church. Beware indeed.

  4. Administrator Says:

    Thank you for your comment. It is now clear that not only BORusia, but all Orthodox Churches represented at Chambesy view Autonomy (Maximal Autonomy included) as potentially “here today – and gone tomorrow” depending only on the whim of the Mother Church that granted it. Why then, is Maximal Autonomy still being presented to ROEA members as some sort of guarantee of independence, when clearly it is not?

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