chapter  5
16 Pages

The Ambivalent Ecumenical Relations among Russian Orthodox Faithful in Germany

The Orthodox Church represents a very pluralistic institution, functioning within very different environments, and generalisations should only be made with great care. In the Orthodox Church everyone who is baptised and chrismated is considered part of the 'royal priesthood'. The Orthodox Church distinguishes between local, cultural traditions and the sacred Tradition that, it claims, represents a direct continuation of the revelation of Christ. In 1931 the Orthodox Church was established in Norway by some Russian refugees, and for decades this congregation was the only one. In 1924, the Orthodox Churches in Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, as well as in Constantinople, began to use the Gregorian calendar to determine the unmovable holy days, for example Christmas. According to Valerie Karras, there is a clericalisation process going on in the Orthodox Church in Europe and the Americas. Inspired by the clericalism that is influential in Western Christianity, Orthodox priests are presumably gaining prominence at the expense of lay people.