Concept

Metropolis of Moscow and all Russia

Résumé
The Metropolis of Moscow and all Russia was a metropolis that was unilaterally erected by hierarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Moscow in 1448. The first metropolitan was Jonah of Moscow; he was appointed without the approval of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. The metropolis split from the Metropolis of Kiev and all Rus' because the previous metropolitan — Isidore of Kiev — had accepted the Union of Florence. Seventeen prelates succeeded Jonah until Moscow's canonical status was regularised in 1589 with the recognition of Job by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Job was also raised to the status of patriarch and was the first Patriarch of Moscow. The Moscow Patriarchate was a Caesaropapist entity that was under the control of the Russian state. The episcopal seat was the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow. An Ecumenical council of the Church — the Council of Florence — took place from 1431 to 1449. Although he resisted at first, the Grand Prince of Moscow — Vasily II of Moscow — eventually permitted the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus' — Isidore of Kiev — to attend the council on condition that Isidore should return with "the rights of Divine law and the constitution of the holy Church" uninjured. The council healed the Great Schism by uniting the Roman Catholic and Eastern Othodox churches. The union was proclaimed on 6 July 1439 in the document Laetentur Caeli which was composed by Pope Eugene IV and signed by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund and all but one of the bishops present. Some Greek bishops, perhaps feeling political pressure from the Byzantine Emperor, reluctantly accepted the decrees of the council. Other Eastern bishops, such as Isidore, did so with sincere conviction. Sylvester Syropoulos and other Greek writers charge Isidore with perjury because he accepted the union, despite his promise to Vasili II. Following the signing of the bull, Isidore returned to the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In the Kremlin's Dormition Cathedral, Isidore read the decree of unification aloud.
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