Posted by: Fr. C. | November 29, 2016

Two-In-One

russian-orthodox-army-8

It’s a church.  It’s an embassy.  No, it is both!

On November 25, the Russian media outlet Interfax reported that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will pay visits to France and Switzerland from December 3rd to the 7th.

He initially will pay a pastoral visit to the diocese of Cherson, and on the fourth of December he will perform a consecration of the St. Trinity Cathedral at the Orthodox spiritual-cultural center in Paris. Then, on the seventh of December, Patriarch Kirill  plans to lead a ceremony in Zurich on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus in that city.

The Russian Orthodox Spiritual-Cultural Center in Paris originally opened on October 19 of this year. It boasts a 4,200 square meter complex with four buildings in the in the 7th arrondissement of the French capital.  In addition to St. Trinity Church, the buildings include a cultural center on Quai Branly, an education center in Rue de l’Universite, and an administrative building in Avenue Rapp.

Now for the interesting bit.  The new center is part of the Russian Embassy in France and has diplomatic immunity.  Now that’s multitasking, “flat” administration or…something.  I forget whether this sort of thing is caesaropapism, papocaesarianism, or just a really blurred line between state and church.  I sure can think of any number of U.S. denominations who would have stolen the coins for this sort of relationship with the government, that is at least until the Donald was elected.

 


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