Old Believers and Old Calendarists

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Barbara
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Re: Old Believers and Old Calendarists

Post by Barbara »

Going back to St. Juliana Lazarevskaya -- or Olshanskaya a different version -- I looked up NC Yet's reference, incredulous that she would have been pictured in icons with a lestovka. But it's true !

NCYet, since you are the authority on Old Believers around here, do you know if she is therefore venerated by the Old Believers particularly ? Does the Erie parish have icons of her ?

Justice
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Re: Old Believers and Old Calendarists

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Barbara wrote:Going back to St. Juliana Lazarevskaya -- or Olshanskaya a different version -- I looked up NC Yet's reference, incredulous that she would have been pictured in icons with a lestovka. But it's true !

NCYet, since you are the authority on Old Believers around here, do you know if she is therefore venerated by the Old Believers particularly ? Does the Erie parish have icons of her ?

St Juliana lived before the Nikonian reforms. It only makes sense to portray her with a lestokva.
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Re: Old Believers and Old Calendarists

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Continuing on Patriarch Nikon, he was also upset that some icons had un-Orthodox roots. He claimed that they had originated from places such as Poland. Patriarch Nikon was eventually convinced by EP members that this was wrong and therefore ordered all houses to be striped of these icons and that the eyes of the icons should be gouged out. While it is great that Patriarch Nikon had a love for traditional Russian Orthodox icons, I question his response to take action.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Nikon_of_Moscow
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Barbara
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Re: Old Believers and Old Calendarists

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I did not check the link, but I know from intensive reading from 20 years ago the entire story of his eventful life [ AND unfair treatment by his former friend, Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich ].
About the Polish Icons, it's possible that they were quite terribly done and that poor quality enraged the Patriarch.
However, that's the ONE THING I believe he made a mistake doing. I don't like that over-zealousness, even if the Icons were of pathetic quality. They were still Icons, after all. Every other word or deed of his was superlative. Patriarch Nikon was so far ahead of his time that he was not understood by anyone, since there was no one of his spiritual stature active at that time slot. Many hermits may have been on a high level, but they were not at the center of national religious and political life the way Patriarch Nikon was.

I have been intending to write much more about him, and will.

I will say this : that an Abbot told me in person that he had researched Patriarch Nikon through the archives of his Lavra. There, he found old texts which called Nikon "Prepodobny" as monastic Saints are called. I think the word means "Perfect like God" or "Perfect like the image of God". So it was known in previous centuries that Nikon merited glorification. Only the ridiculously servile "Holy Synod" established Peter the Horrible made sure to cast out any such notions. That group, headed by laymen who often were not even religious themselves [ ! ], hated the idea of any memory being resurrected in the Russian Empire of Nikon's great vision of the Church over the State. That synod wanted only to squash any independence of the Church firmly under the heel of the secular state : a drastic mistake which could have set the groundwork for the devastating Revolution of 1917. [ Of course, along with foreign intervention to bring about a socialistic state to overturn the monarchy. ]

This is a deep topic, but back to those offending Icons, they were thrown into a big bonfire. However, we must wonder WHY so much attention is given to THIS episode rather than all of Patriarch Nikon's truly magnificent deeds and ideas ! There has been a gigantic campaign to blacken his name for many centuries. That is NOT to the credit of the people who instigated that, no matter who they were, even from the Tsars on down. This policy of suppressing any positive view of the 17th century Patriarch then backfired against the monarchy. All sorts of slanders were trotted out at the Council of 1666 and Tsar Alexey was the ringleader of the campaign against his former mentor. This weak Tsar not only not stopped the lies, but fanned the flames to make sure that Nikon was deposed and defrocked. All this was staged in advance to secure this goal. This model led to the end of a unique, individual, colorful Russia. Instead, Westernization, secularization and lack of reverence for the REAL Moscow Patriarchate [ not the version of 90 or so years ago founded by Sergius [stragorodsky] all rushed in like the Furies of ancient Greek mythology.

As for the Abbot, he had written a book about Nikon's life. But did his superior at the Lavra bless him to publish it ? NO, the OPPOSITE> just like all the years after Tsar Alexey's reign, Nikon was given official status of outcast, never to be studied or investigated independently. Only a few hacks who parroted the same official line "Nikon was arrogant, Nikon exceeded his power, oh that poor Tsar, any Tsar would get rid of him, it wasn't the Tsar's fault, it was Nikon's overstepping his authority, let's blame Nikon for everything, he was the one who persecuted the Old Believers and ordered their killings [ which of course covers up for Tsar Alexey and later Tsars on this point ], Nikon had the confiscated Icons thrown into the bonfire --- yak yak yak" were allowed to publish and their boring works widely distributed. This pro-Nikon Abbot was told in effect to 'shut up' .

This is WHY, by the way, I didn't check that Wikipedia link. It's surely the same tone as I described above without all the detail.
Even a travel guide from Lonely Planet Publications managed to cut Nikon to pieces when covering his incredible monastery New Jerusalem. The writer was hardly a judge of such complex subjects. He merely repeated what all the Russian 'historians' had said for now over 350 years. Very FEW have managed to break away from the stereotypical mold and see Nikon as the towering figure of the 17th century that he was. Could it have been the Devil at work ? I am certain of it.

The only objective author on Patriarch Nikon was ironically a 19th century Englishman, William Palmer. That is another story for another set of posts. For the moment, though, Palmer was free of the brainwashing that Russians had been routinely administered over centuries. Palmer traveled to Russia [ amazingly, in 1840-41 - quite an adventurous trip to take at that time ] to speak directly with many prelates, aristocrats and common people about the Orthodox Church. He discovered voluminous material hidden in archives and translated them into a 6 volume book [ not little paperbacks but what were then called folios, large paged volumes ]

To Palmer's everlasting credit, he had the keenest insight along with sharp intelligence which all led him to the truth about this enigmatic, much maligned figure. Like Nikon himself, Palmer was completely unappreciated in his lifetime. But God watches ALL and rewards in other ways than fame and popularity those who have the discernment and perseverance required to uncover centuries of lies and bring the truth to light for people of ages to come. We owe him a big debt.
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Re: Old Believers and Old Calendarists

Post by Justice »

I've never thought of the Holy Synod of Russia being unbelievers. Even though Peter the Great did subject the church to the state, there were still many who wished to preserve some kind of hierarchy within Russian Orthodoxy. We wouldn't see a vast amount unholy clergy within the ranks of the church until the heresies of ecumenism and sergianism took hold.

It truly is a shame Patriarch Nikon has gotten such a bad reputation from not only from the religious, but also from the secular world. World Orthodoxy must be trying to please the Old Believers by saying slanderous things against Patriarch Nikon. Though there apparently isn't any point as NCY has said there isn't any sign that the Old Believers want to unite with the MP.
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Re: Old Believers

Post by Justice »

Semi-polyphonic singing/chant (monophonic with an ison) started being used by those under Turkish control in the early 16th century. (Which is why Byzantine chant today has a distinct "wail" which the ancient Russian chant, (monophonic) Znamenny, did not.) During the same period the Orthodox in Eastern Europe started using full-blown polyphonic chant due to influence from the west (as during the same time their theological schools started switching to Latin-language-based studies).
Influence from the West? I thought Patriarch Nikon's burning of the heretical icons showed he was fully against anything of latin or western origin?
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Barbara
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Re: Old Believers and Old Calendarists

Post by Barbara »

Justice, you mean PETER I.
NOT Peter 'the great'. That is an appellation bestowed by Western historians who were wildly favorable to Peter Alexeyevich [ means son of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich. Michael was the 1st Romanov Tsar, reposed in July 1645 ].
It's better to call this unruly and - to me diabolical - ruler as Peter 1, Peter the 1st. One could safely say that he ruined Russia for centuries afterwards. The country STILL needs to recover from his decisions, and find its own footing and own true identity.
Peter I copied Western Europeans in many ways, and in the age of worship of the mind, he effectively tossed out the Orthodox Church as a pest. Even if he won some military victories, surely he was sent by the Devil rather than sent by God, Who would never tolerate His Church to be trodden underfoot the way Peter mockingly did.

As far as members of the so called Holy Synod being unbelievers, you would be surprised. I could dig up some names.
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