→1935-1946: Reintegration: Updated two links to oca.org.
'''The ROCOR and the OCA''' have a complicated history of cooperation, rivalry, and sometimes outright hostility. These two [[jurisdiction]]s, the '''[[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]]''' (ROCOR) and the '''[[Orthodox Church in America]]''' (OCA), both have their origins in the [[Church of Russia]] (a.k.a. the ''Moscow Patriarchate'' or ''MP''), and their histories as clearly distinct and identifiable entities both stem from the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in the early 20th century.
In examining this history, other names are used for the pre-1970 OCA, the ''Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America'' (its official name) and the ''Metropolia'' (its common name). The ROCOR is also referred to as the ''Karlovtsy Synod'' (from its seminal formations in Serbia) or simply ''the Synod'', the ''Russian Orthodox Church Abroad'', or ''ROCA''.
==Prologue: Contrasts and Stereotypes==
Numerous stereotypes exist regarding the ROCOR and the OCA. The ROCOR is monarchist ("white"), while the OCA is associated with Russian Communism ("red"). The OCA is modernist, but the ROCOR is traditionalist. The ROCOR is "Great Russian," while the OCA is "Little Russian." These stereotypes have their origins in the history of Russian Orthodoxy in the West, a history which is complex and often sad.
The beginnings of the OCA and the ROCOR as distinct from the Church of Russia are in the early 20th century Soviet takeover of the Russian state. When the monarchy in Russia fell and the Church of Russia began being persecuted, a group of Russian [[bishop]]s fled from northern Russia, joining with some in the southern portion of the country and organizing themselves via meetings in Constantinople and Serbia. These came to be known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
Patriarch St. [[Tikhon of Moscow]], who had previously been a bishop in America, issued an ''[[Ukaz No. 362|ukaz]]'' on [[November 20]], 1920, declaring that the bishops of the Church of Russia were to see to their own organization until such time as communication with the central church administration could be coherently organized again. The Metropolia took this as a cue to declare in 1924 a state of "temporary self-government." From that point until 1970, the Church of Russia considered the Metropolia to be in [[schism]], and many of the other Orthodox churches regarded the Metropolia as uncanonical and avoided contact with it.
The bishops which came to form the ROCOR took St. Tikhon's ''ukaz'' as the basis for their own self-administration, organizing themselves in 1920.
Although denunciations of the Soviet -influenced actions of the Church of Russia are multiple, it is not clear whether there was a formal break in communion from ROCOR with the Church of Russia, though such a break has been at several times directed from Moscow to the ROCOR.
==1917-1946: A Tale of Two Histories==
[[Image:John Maximovitch.jpg|right|thumb|150px|St. [[John Maximovitch]]]]
ROCOR historian Fr. Alexey Young, in his history of the ROCOR, writes: "In the early 1920s, the American Church came under the jurisdiction of the Administration Abroad, which took an active administrative role in overseeing its American 'branch'—particularly on disciplinary questions such as divorce and the establishment of a new See in Alaska" (Young, p. 33). Young then writes that Platon was appointed by the Church Abroad as the leader in North America, but unbeknownst to his fellows in the Synod, "was at the same time seeking official appointment directly from Patriarch Tikhon himself. When the Patriarch refused to interfere in the decision of the Church Abroad, saying he 'did not wish to go over their heads,' Platon suddenly produced an ''ukaz'', allegedly from Tikhon, appointing him as sole and independent head of the Church in America" (ibid.). Young continues, writing, that at first the ROCOR synod accepted the decree in good faith, but its authenticity was called severely into question when in 1924 "an actual decree from the Patriarch in Moscow deposed Platon 'for having engaged in public acts of counter-revolution directed against the Soviet government'" (ibid.). An American court also ruled subsequently that the ''ukaz'' produced by Platon was a forgery. "To deal with this embarrassment, Platon convoked the Detroit ''Sobor'' in April of the same year, with the purpose of declaring the Russian Church in America 'temporarily autonomous'—that is, free of ''both'' Moscow and Karlovci" (ibid.). This sobor is listed in the archives of the OCA as the "4th All-American Sobor."
In 1926 in Karlovtsy, the ROCOR bishops met together. Platon was present and asked to renounce the "temporary autonomy" that had been proclaimed by his council in 1924. Upon his refusal, the assembled bishops condemned the Detroit sobor as "extremely dangerous and harmful for the
interestes of the Russian Church in America" (quoted in Young, p. 34). Platon responded with another sobor in America in January of 1927 which labelled the ROCOR as "uncanonical." One of Platon's bishops, Apollinary ( Koshevoi), dissented, proclaiming his loyalty to the ROCOR, and was expelled from the Metropolia.
That the Metropolia was part of the ROCOR during this period is attested to by St. [[John Maximovitch]] in his reference to the 1926 split: "Notwithstanding the departure from the Church Abroad — and, one may say, from the Russian Church altogether — of Metropolitans Evlogy and Platon with their followers, the Russian Orthdox Church Outside of Russia remains the free part of the Russian Church."[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/roca_history.aspx]
===1926-1934: The Way Apart===
In 1929, Platon declared that he would be willing to make peace with the ROCOR synod so long as it recognized his authority and not Apollinary's for the governance of the North American flock. When the synod denied his terms, Platon went on a legal campaign to seize parishes and properties throughout North America from Apollinary's authority. Most of the court cases he brought forward failed. His position worsened when in 1933, Metr. [[Sergius I (Stragorodsky) of Moscow|Sergius]], ''[[locum tenens]]'' of the patriarchal throne in Moscow, declared the "temporary self-government" of the Metropolia to be utterly void and schismatic, suspending Platon and establishing the [[Russian Exarchate of North America]].
In 1934, Platon died, being succeeded by Metr. [[Theophilus (Pashkovsky) of San Francisco|Theophilus (Pashkovsky)]], who was almost immediately suspended in his turn by Moscow, continuing the period of Moscow's regard of the Metropolia as schismatic. After Platon's death, the ROCOR synod hoped that there could be meaningful reconciliation with the Metropolia, and thus Archimandrite [[Vitaly (Maximenko) of
Detroit|Vitaly (Maximenko)]] was consecrated in Belgrade as bishop of Detroit and sent to America to make peace. "After much travel and careful study of the Church situation in America, Bishop Vitalii reported that the reason for the American division in the Church was 'Russian stupidity,' and he called for the restoration of 'unity, organization, and discipline'" (Young, p. 36). Because of his efforts, in 1934 the ROCOR synod as a gesture of goodwill lifted its ban against the Metropolia. The patriarch of Serbia then invited all Russian bishops to meet again in Serbia to iron out their differences.
[[Image:Theophilus Pashkovsky.jpg|right|thumb|150px|Metr. [[Theophilus (Pashkovsky) of San Francisco|Theophilus (Pashkovsky)]]]]
However, on the OCA website in the section regarding the 6th All-American Sobor of 1937 in New York, the claim is made that the ROCOR actually was made part of the Metropolia, confirming a 1935 agreement made in Serbia between the Metropolia's primate and the ROCOR synod:
:Moreover, Metropolitan THEOPHILUS had traveled to Serbia where, under the leadership of the Serbian Patriarch, an agreement was signed by the leading hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) along with other exiled Russian hierarchs throughout the world forging a peaceful coexistence. Under this agreement, the American Church was to retain her administrative autonomy while maintaining close relations with the ROCOR Synod and being accountable to it only in matters of faith. The parallel jurisdictions of the Metropolia and ROCOR were thus eliminated and the four ROCOR hierarchs in North America along with their clergy and parishes were integrated into the Metropolia. The vote of the Sixth Sobor on this loose affiliation with the ROCOR was as follows: 105 for, 9 against, 122 abstentions. The large number of abstentions reveals that there was much apprehension on this issue at the council. However, in approving the matter, the council delegates showed respect and obedience to Metropolitan THEOPHILUS' primatial leadership.[http://
www.oca.org/ doc- aas- 06- synopsis.asp?SID=8]
The website then goes on to describe this "integration" as merely a "loose
association," which seems to contradict the notion that the two bodies were truly integrated, eliminating "parallel jurisdictions" and making the Metropolia accountable to the ROCOR in matters of faith. On another portion of the website, regarding the 7th All-American Sobor in 1946, the relationship then being severed with the ROCOR is described as having been a "temporary arrangement"[http:// www.oca.org/ doc- aas- 07- synopsis.asp?SID=8].
The nature of the association between the Metropolia and the ROCOR is characterized quite differently by ROCOR writers:
Permission to consecrate a hierarch for the Metropolia was eventually requested from the Synod Abroad, however:
:...in a letter to Metr. Anastassy dated the 22nd of December 1945, permission was asked to consecrate Archimandrite John (Zlobin) as the new Bishop of Alaska. Permission for the consecration was
receuved and it took place on the 10th of March (Orthodoxy Sunday) and the new Bishop promised obedience both to the Metropolia and to the Synod of Bishops Abroad (ibid., pp. 54-44) .
==1946-1970: Open Hostility==
If, however, the Metropolia was indeed part of the ROCOR, then its claims to being the direct heir of Russia's primacy in America are thrown into question, and the legitimacy of Moscow's grant of [[autocephaly]] to the OCA in 1970 has significant problems, in that it would be favoring a rogue jurisdiction which had switched allegiances multiple times and could be said to have been in schism from its legitimate canonical authority. Far from being a "notable exception" to the canonical authority-switching of various jurisdictions, the Metropolia had gone into schism from Moscow, joined the ROCOR, gone into schism from the ROCOR, rejoined it, then gone into schism from it again, eventually to receive canonical approval in 1970 from the church in Communist Russia.
==1970: Autocephaly for the OCA==
At the same time that the [[Church of Russia]] was about to declare the autocephaly of the Metropolia, it announced that it was going to begin communing [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholics]]. Vladimir Moss, a former ROCOR layman, writes in his ''[http://uk.geocities.com/guildfordian2002/History/OrthodoxChurch20thCenturyP1.htm The Orthodox Church in the Twentieth Century]'':
:...in October, 1969, Metropolitan Nicodemus gave communion to Catholic students in the Russicum in Rome. This was followed, on December 16, by a decision of the Russian Holy Synod to give permission to Orthodox clergy to administer the sacraments to Old Believers and Catholics... The decision of the Moscow Patriarchate to give communion to Catholics put the other Russian jurisdiction in North America, the Metropolia, into a difficult position; for in the early 1960s the Metropolia (a body in schism from the ROCA since 1946) had been, through Fathers John Meyendorff and Alexander Schmemann, among the most conservative participants in the ecumenical movement.[http://uk.geocities.com/guildfordian2002/History/OrthodoxChurch20thCenturyP3.htm]
He further writes that the autocephaly about to be received from Moscow was part of a secret deal between the Metropolia and Moscow, and that the price of the Metropolia's autocephaly was to be the newly revitalized [[Church of Japan]]:
:However, this Church had been secretly negotiating with the Moscow Patriarchate for a grant of autocephaly. According to the deal eventually agreed upon, the patriarchate was to declare the Metropolia to be the autocephalous Orthodox Church of America (OCA) in exchange for the Japanese parishes of the Metropolia coming within the jurisdiction of the patriarchate. This deal, which was recognized by none of the other Autocephalous Churches and was to the advantage, in the long run, only of the patriarchate and the KGB, was made public in December, 1969 – just at the moment that the patriarchate announced that it had entered into partial communion with the Catholics. Thus the former Metropolia found that it had been granted autocephaly by a Church that was now in communion with the Catholics.[http://uk.geocities.com/guildfordian2002/History/OrthodoxChurch20thCenturyP3.htm]
[[Image:OCA autocephaly.jpg|right|thumb|250px|Tomos of Autocephaly being received by Bishop [[Theodosius (Lazor) of Washington|Theodosius of Alaska]] (later Metropolitan of the OCA) on behalf of the Metropolia from Metropolitan Pimen, [[locum tenens]] of the Patriarchate of Moscow, [[May 18]], 1970.]]
:Viewing this illicit act with sorrow, and acknowledging it to be null and void, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which has hitherto not abandoned hope for the restoration of ecclesiastical unity in America, sees in the declaration of American autocephaly a step which will lead the American Metropolia yet farther away from the ecclesiastical unity of the Church of Russia. Perceiving therein a great sin against the enslaved and suffering Church of Russia, the Council of Bishops ''DECIDES'': henceforth, neither the clergy nor the laity [of the Russian Church Abroad] are to have communion in prayer or the divine services with the hierarchy or clergy of the American Metropolia.[http://uk.geocities.com/guildfordian2002/History/OrthodoxChurch20thCenturyP3.htm]
In the same year (1971) that the ROCOR issued its rejection of the OCA's autocephaly (following similar rejections by all the ancient patriarchates; see ''[[Byzantine response to OCA autocephaly]]''), the OCA took under its jurisdiction a former ROCOR parish in Australia, thus creating another parallel jurisdiction in a nation
in which the primacy of the Greek Orthodox was the historical precedent:
:As a result of a court case between a group of parishioners and the Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), four of the Clergy and one parish, as well as groups of parishioners, broke away from ROCA. They applied to the Orthodox Church in America -- then known as the Metropolia -- to be taken under its protection. This was granted immediately.[http://holytrinity-la.org/engl/pages/general/hist4.html#anchor557188]
Thus, the rivalry between the ROCOR and the OCA became ever more strident, and the reception of autocephaly from Moscow by the OCA at the same time came to be seen by many Russians in the [[diaspora]] as a capitulation to the Soviet domination of the Russian Church, expressed, for instance, in these words by the famous writer [[Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn]] (newly exiled in the West) in reaction to this act: "How can this be? Out of compassion for those in bondage, instead of knocking the chains off of them, to put them also upon oneself? Out of compassion for slaves, to bend one's own neck in submission beneath the yoke?"[http://gnisios.narod.ru/rocorsobors.html]
==Early 1980s: The OCA Calendar Schism==
In 1982, Bishop [[Herman (Swaiko) of Washington and New York|Herman (Swaiko) of Philadelphia]], the OCA's bishop for Eastern Pennsylvania, decreed that all of his parishes would begin using the [[Revised Julian Calendar]]. Some were already using it, but others had been using the [[Julian Calendar]] steadily up to that point.
As a result of this decree, internal schisms occurred in parishes throughout the diocese, particularly in the OCA heartland of the Wyoming Valley (Scranton and Wilkes-Barre area). St. John's Cathedral in Mayfield broke completely from the OCA (having come to it in 1951 from the ROCOR), and two parishes split into two congregations, creating two new parishes in Old Forge (St. Stephen's, splitting from St. Michael's and building a new church) and Simpson (St. Basil's, keeping its building, while those remaining with the OCA found new worship space). In numerous other parishes, migrations occurred of faithful, segregating themselves according to calendar preference—those preferring the Julian Calendar went with ROCOR, while those choosing the revised calendar stayed with the OCA.
This division further intensified hostile feelings between the OCA and the ROCOR, which was then entering into a phase of providing a haven for disaffected parishes and clergy seeking refuge from "modernist" jurisdictions. Much of that sort of behavior
has been ascribed by ROCOR historian Fr. Alexey Young as due to the influence of [[Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Brookline, Massachusetts)|Holy Transfiguration Monastery]] being incorporated into the Russian Church Abroad.
==2001-present: Warming of Relations==
& Nikolai.jpg|right|thumb|250px|Bishops [[Peter (Loukianoff) of Cleveland|Peter]] ([[ROCOR]]) and [[Nikolai (Soraich) of Sitka and Anchorage|Nikolai]] ([[OCA]]) greet one another at an OCA episcopal consecration service in May 2005.]]Since the election of Metropolian [[Laurus (Skurla) of New York]] as First Hierarch of the ROCOR and that body's subsequent ongoing rapprochement with Moscow, signs have appeared of better relations between the OCA and ROCOR. Seminarians studying at OCA seminaries have attended retreats at the ROCOR's [[Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (Jordanville, New York)]], and ROCOR seminarians have also participated in [[OISM]] events at OCA seminaries. The first member of the OCA to study at Holy Trinity Seminary, Vitaly Efimenkov, graduated in 2002. It is also worth noting that several graduates of Holy Trinity Seminary, upon recieving their Bachelor of Theology, went on to recieve Masters Degrees from [[St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York)|St. Vladimir's Seminary]]. The most recent graduate of both Holy Trinity and St. Vladimir's is Andrei Psarev, instructor of Russian Church History at Holy Trinity .
==Timeline of Parish and Monastery Transfers==
| St. Stephen (Old Forge, PA)
*Budzilovich, P.N. [http://gnisios.narod.ru/rocorsobors.html A Summary-View of the Three Previous ROCA Sobors], 2000
*Lebedeff, Fr. Alexander. [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/amer_jur.aspx Orthodox Jurisdictions in America]
*Liberovsky, Alexis. [http://
www.oca.org/ doc- aas- 04- synopsis.asp?SID=8 Synopsis of the 4th All-American Sobor] (1924)*Liberovsky, Alexis. [http:// www.oca.org/ doc- aas- 05- synopsis.asp?SID=8 Synopsis of the 5th All-American Sobor] (1934)*Liberovsky, Alexis. [http:// www.oca.org/ doc- aas- 06- synopsis.asp?SID=8 Synopsis of the 6th All-American Sobor] (1937)*Liberovsky, Alexis. [http:// www.oca.org/ doc- aas- 07- synopsis.asp?SID=8 Synopsis of the 7th All-American Sobor] (1946)*Liberovsky, Alexis. [http:// www.oca.org/ DOC- AAC- 05- synopsis.asp?SID=12 Synopsis of the 5th All-American Council] (1977)*Matusiak, Fr. John. [http:// www.oca.org/ QA.asp?ID=49&SID=3 Q&A: OCA and ROCOR] *Matusiak, Fr. John. [http:// www.oca.org/ QA.asp?ID=50&SID=3 Q&A: Russian Orthodox Church in America]
*Maximovitch, St. John. [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/roca_history.aspx History of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad] (from ''The Orthodox Word'', 1971)
*Moss, Vladimir. [http://uk.geocities.com/guildfordian2002/History/OrthodoxChurch20thCenturyP1.htm ''The Orthodox Church in the Twentieth Century'']
*Phillips, Fr. Andrew. [http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/ruedaru.htm The Last Days of Rue Daru?], 2005
*Rodzianko, M. [http://www.monasterypress.com/anonftp/pub/Rocatruth.pdf ''The Truth About the Russian Church Abroad''], 1954 (tr. 1975)
*Stokoe, Mark and Kishkovsky, Fr. Leonid. [http://
www.oca.org/ MVorthchristiansnamericaTOC.asp?SID=1 ''Orthodox Christians in North America 1794 - 1994'']
*Surrency, Archim. Serafim. ''The Quest for Orthodox Church Unity in America'', 1973
*Woerl, Michael. [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/bookrev_woerl.aspx Book Review: A History of the Orthodox Church in America (1917-1934)]
www.oca.org/ QA.asp?ID=49&SID=3 Q&A: OCA and ROCOR]*[http:// www.oca.org/ QA. asp?ID=50&SID=3 Q&A: Russian Orthodox Church in America]
*[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/bookrev_woerl.aspx Book Review: A History of the Orthodox Church in America (1917-1934)], a ROCOR layman critiques a history by an OCA bishop
*[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/amer_jur.aspx Orthodox Jurisdictions in America], by Fr. Alexander Lebedeff