Russian Embassy in Constantinople and Greek-Bulgarian Ecclesiastical Dispute (1856–1861) Cover Image

Руско посланство у Константинопољу и грчко-бугарски црквени спор (1856–1861)
Russian Embassy in Constantinople and Greek-Bulgarian Ecclesiastical Dispute (1856–1861)

Author(s): Maja Laković
Subject(s): History of Church(es), Diplomatic history, Eastern Orthodoxy
Published by: Српска академија наука и уметности

Summary/Abstract: Based on Russian archival records and published sources, we analysed the attitude of the Russian diplomatic representative office in Constantinople towards the Greek- -Bulgarian ecclesiastical dispute, in the initial years after the Crimean War (1853–1856). Our aim was to highlight that Russia, in all phases of the ecclesiastical dispute, did not back the idea of an independent Bulgarian church, although its role in this ecclesiastical issue is most often interpreted in such way. At the start of the ecclesiastical dispute, the Russian diplomatic representative office in Constantinople protected the interests of the Constantinople Patriarchate. The official attitude of the Russian church policy was a single Orthodox church in Turkey. Frequent activities aimed at an independent church and the Bulgarians’ determination gained in time increasingly greater Russian support. Once it was convinced that the support to the independent Bulgarian church was consistent with its political interests, Russia began to provide its full support to the idea.