The Holy Synod Destroys Patriarchy

holy synod
Pr. Maxime

In 1721, Czar Peter the Great ended the Russian-Orthodox Patriarchate and established the Holy Synod.

Since 1589, one man ruled the Russian Orthodox Church. Google defines patriarchate as “the office, see, or residence of an ecclesiastical patriarch.” This means that one man appointed to this office had full control of all things religious. Which Czar Peter the Great opposed. He felt that this office had too much control, even over the throne.

When the current patriarch died in 1700, Peter postponed the appointment of another. Then in 1721, he created an ecclesiastical governing body called the Holy Synod. This group of people would attend government meetings and provide spiritual direction. They would also handle the church affairs.

Amazingly, this change to the church did not have much resistance. While a few people protested the change preferring the patriarch, most accepted it. The Holy Synod lasted for almost 200 years.

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