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View Full Version : Orthodox England, and a romance made in Heaven


Supernatural Rabbit Scrib
November 8th, 2007, 12:25 AM
Someone posted this literally years ago- I can't remember who, or I'd surely give credit where very substantive credit is due. It comes back to me from time to time and makes me smile, but I don't have the tools to develop it.

"When Henry VIII breaks with Rome, he turns to Holy Orthodoxy. When Elizabeth comes of age, she is given in marriage to Ivan the Terrible. Mayhem ensues."

Discuss.

(edit) A wag on the original thread noted that in TTL, the King is remembered as "Ivan the Terrified."

Keenir
November 8th, 2007, 12:56 AM
Someone posted this literally years ago- I can't remember who, or I'd surely give credit where very substantive credit is due. It comes back to me from time to time and makes me smile, but I don't have the tools to develop it.

"When Henry VIII breaks with Rome, he turns to Holy Orthodoxy. When Elizabeth comes of age, she is given in marriage to Ivan the Terrible.

in OTL, if memory serves, Elizabethan and post-Elizabethan England had good relations with Russia.

I like this plot bunny idea.

please, try running with it...I believe you'd do great!

Philip
November 8th, 2007, 01:38 AM
An interesting idea, but I don't know if Orthodoxy would serve Henry's needs any better.

numberone
November 8th, 2007, 02:22 AM
So would James IV of Scotland rule in Elizabeth's absence?

Dathi THorfinnsson
November 8th, 2007, 12:52 PM
An interesting idea, but I don't know if Orthodoxy would serve Henry's needs any better.
Actually,it would. The orthodox communion is a collection of independent national churches. If he went Orthodox, the Archbishop of Canterbury would be a patriarch. Since Henry could probably get his patriarch to do what he wanted, it would suit him just about as well.

Philip
November 8th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Actually,it would.

Not really. See below for details. In you need more examples of how this wouldn't work, let me know.

The orthodox communion is a collection of independent national churches.

For the most part, this is true. The principle Churches are the 15 autocephalous Churches. However, this is not all of Orthodoxy. There are also 5-11 (depending on who is counting) autonomous Churches and and another 6-12 (or so) fully dependent Churches.

If he went Orthodox, the Archbishop of Canterbury would be a patriarch. Not initially. The Church of England would be under another Church until such time as it could stand oner he own. It is possible that she would be granted autonomy (like the current OTL Orthodox Church of Finland or Japanese Orthodox Church). However, since the Orthodox considered the Church of England to be heretical and without legitimate bishops, it is more likely that she would be received completely subject to one of the other Churches (like the OTL current Italian Orthodox Church). She would not be allowed to consecrate her own bishops. It would be quite some time before the Church of England would be autocephalous.

Remember, the Church of Russia was not granted autocephaly until 1589, forty years after Henry's death. I find it hard to believe that England would be fully independent initially when Holy Russia was not despite being Orthodox for centuries.

Or, look at Bulgaria. The Bulgarians were converting to Orthodoxy for a couple hundred years and officially Orthodox for 60 years before becoming autocephalous. And Serbia? Again, the Serbs were Christian (and mostly Orthodox) for a couple centuries before St Sava was named Patriarch of the Serbs. What of America? The first Russian missionaries arrived in the 1780's. Yet even today, some of the Orthodox Churches do not recognize the OCA as being autocephalous. In short, a Church does not start out fully autocephalous.

Since Henry could probably get his patriarch to do what he wanted, it would suit him just about as well.'[H]is patriarch' would neither be his nor a patriarch. Most likely, he would be an archbishop under the authority of the EP.

Promethean
November 8th, 2007, 02:34 PM
if you continue in a positive way for Brittian/Russia wow what an empire:eek:

Burton K Wheeler
November 8th, 2007, 03:50 PM
Phillip:
What's to stop Henry from simply declaring his church to be autocephalous? I imagine that the rite will continue to be pretty similar to Catholic (or Anglican) practice anyway, so it's not like there will be a period required to draw England out of pagan darkness like there was in Bulgaria. The churches and priests will already be established.

Anyway, this is a pretty silly hair to be splitting. Henry's church will be exactly as autonomous as Henry wants it to be. I think the Orthodox Church will be happy to have an Orthodox England, regardless of how exactly the rites or relations with established Orthodox churches are.

Philip
November 8th, 2007, 04:15 PM
Phillip:
What's to stop Henry from simply declaring his church to be autocephalous?

He could do so, but in all likelihood, the Orthodox Churches would not recognize it. If Henry persists, the the Church of England would be expelled from the communion. The end result is probably much like OTL -- a CoE that is neither Catholic nor Orthodox.

I imagine that the rite will continue to be pretty similar to Catholic (or Anglican) practice anyway, so it's not like there will be a period required to draw England out of pagan darkness like there was in Bulgaria.

And what of Russia?

Further, keep in mind that the English were considered heretics by the Orthodox. Until they were brought out of the heresies of the filioque, Scholasticism, Anselm's PSA, Augustine's Analogy of Being, among others, many Orthodox will see them as no better than pagans.

The churches and priests will already be established.

As far as the Orthodox were concerned, I am not so sure. The bishops in England would, at least, have to be reconsecrated. Further, I am not convinced that many of the English bishops would go along with this -- they would be forced to reject many beliefs that were central to the Catholic faith of the time.

Anyway, this is a pretty silly hair to be splitting. Henry's church will be exactly as autonomous as Henry wants it to be.

That much is true...and returns to my original statement: Orthodoxy will not serve Henry's needs. It will not allow him the autonomy he seeks. It certainly won't reduce the upcoming tensions with the Puritans.

I think the Orthodox Church will be happy to have an Orthodox England, regardless of how exactly the rites or relations with established Orthodox churches are.

History disagrees with you. In particular, consider how the Orthodox responded to the approaches of Melanchton. Consider how the Orthodox rejected the overtures of Rome despite the advances of the Turks. Remember also the dispute between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox -- few people understand the distinction (if there be one) between the doctrines of the two Churches, but they have remained separated for 1500 years.

Dathi THorfinnsson
November 8th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Remember, the Church of Russia was not granted autocephaly until 1589, forty years after Henry's death. I find it hard to believe that England would be fully independent initially when Holy Russia was not despite being Orthodox for centuries.

1589!?!? Wow! No, I had no clue - I always had the impression that the Russians had had Patriarchs for centuries before that! Thanks for that info! Ya, it does seem unlikely that England would be an independent church before 3rd Rome!


Or, look at Bulgaria. The Bulgarians were converting to Orthodoxy for a couple hundred years and officially Orthodox for 60 years before becoming autocephalous. And Serbia? Again, the Serbs were Christian (and mostly Orthodox) for a couple centuries before St Sava was named Patriarch of the Serbs. What of America? The first Russian missionaries arrived in the 1780's. Yet even today, some of the Orthodox Churches do not recognize the OCA as being autocephalous. In short, a Church does not start out fully autocephalous.

Not parallel, as these were the churches that established the principle of autocephaly, no?

Philip
November 8th, 2007, 10:53 PM
1589!?!? Wow! No, I had no clue - I always had the impression that the Russians had had Patriarchs for centuries before that! Thanks for that info! Ya, it does seem unlikely that England would be an independent church before 3rd Rome!

If memory serves, they were autonomous from around 1450. Job became the first Patriarch of Russia in 1589. Part of the delay was the (lack of) consolidation of Russia.

Not parallel, as these were the churches that established the principle of autocephaly, no?

Bulgaria, and perhaps Serbia, yes. But not OCA.