Author Topic: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice  (Read 2818 times)

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Offline biro

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France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« on: May 19, 2011, 06:34:40 PM »
The city of Nice, France is home to a Russian Orthodox cathedral, St. Nicholas. However, the facility has long been the subject of a court dispute. A ruling was handed down this week.

From the article:
Quote
...[T]he court ruling said that "the state of the Russian Federation is entitled to retake possession" of the cathedral, which contains hundreds of previous icons, since the original lease expired in 2007.



Offline Maria

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 07:11:25 PM »
What does this mean?

If the Russian Federation took control would the cathedral come under the ROCOR or the MP?
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Offline Robb

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 02:15:20 AM »
Praise be to God.  The cathedral was in the hands of the "Paris Exarchate" who wanted to liberalize things and deny the Russian heritage and identity of their parishes.  Now this beautiful church will again be in the hands of those who appreciate its true meaning and historical identity.

Hopefully this ruling will also include the other pre revolutionary Russian churches in France, such as the St Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Paris.
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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 07:25:16 AM »
Praise be to God.  The cathedral was in the hands of the "Paris Exarchate" who wanted to liberalize things and deny the Russian heritage and identity of their parishes.  Now this beautiful church will again be in the hands of those who appreciate its true meaning and historical identity.

Hopefully this ruling will also include the other pre revolutionary Russian churches in France, such as the St Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Paris.
With only elderly bishops, almost no monastics and the loss of connection to the Russian Church under the New Calendar Paris Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey, the return of this cathedral to the Russian Church is a real blessing for the Orthodox faithful of France.  The theological and liturgical modernism of the Paris Exarchate in well known, and perhaps reflects the sorry state of that jurisdiction.  Given that ROCOR is now part of the overall Russian Orthodox Church, under HH Patriarch Kyrill II, it matters not whether it is administered by the mP direct or ROCOR.
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Offline kijabeboy03

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 11:56:58 AM »
If I'm not mistaken the Exarchate has several monasteries, no? Regardless, I'm curious about what this means for the cathedral parish itself - will it find new premises, join the Moscow Patriarchate (which I assume will be given care of the cathedral by the Russian government), or what? (What has it been doing since the first court decision returning the cathedral to the Russian government's ownership?)

I find this a scary precedent. Had it been transferred to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church (either the Moscow Patriarchate or the Synod Abroad, whatever) that would be one thing, but it's been handed over to a government more connected with the last tsar's killers than with his legacy. What does this mean for other historic churches built abroad with the tsar's money? (St. Theodosius' in Cleveland, Holy Trinity in Chicago, et cetera.)
"This is the Apostolic Faith, the Orthodox Faith, and the Faith of the Fathers. Having this wonderful treasure, let us preserve it, let us keep it, and let us also use it in such a way that this treasure becomes the victory of Christ in us and in His Church." ~ St. Severus of Antioch ~

Offline Maria

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 12:24:23 PM »
Praise be to God.  The cathedral was in the hands of the "Paris Exarchate" who wanted to liberalize things and deny the Russian heritage and identity of their parishes.  Now this beautiful church will again be in the hands of those who appreciate its true meaning and historical identity.

Hopefully this ruling will also include the other pre revolutionary Russian churches in France, such as the St Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Paris.
With only elderly bishops, almost no monastics and the loss of connection to the Russian Church under the New Calendar Paris Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey, the return of this cathedral to the Russian Church is a real blessing for the Orthodox faithful of France.  The theological and liturgical modernism of the Paris Exarchate in well known, and perhaps reflects the sorry state of that jurisdiction.  Given that ROCOR is now part of the overall Russian Orthodox Church, under HH Patriarch Kyrill II, it matters not whether it is administered by the mP direct or ROCOR.

That is wonderful to hear. Thanks for this information.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 01:57:10 PM »
If I'm not mistaken the Exarchate has several monasteries, no? Regardless, I'm curious about what this means for the cathedral parish itself - will it find new premises, join the Moscow Patriarchate (which I assume will be given care of the cathedral by the Russian government), or what? (What has it been doing since the first court decision returning the cathedral to the Russian government's ownership?)

I find this a scary precedent. Had it been transferred to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church (either the Moscow Patriarchate or the Synod Abroad, whatever) that would be one thing, but it's been handed over to a government more connected with the last tsar's killers than with his legacy. What does this mean for other historic churches built abroad with the tsar's money? (St. Theodosius' in Cleveland, Holy Trinity in Chicago, et cetera.)

The status of the title to many, if not most, of such churches built in the United States prior to the revolution with Tsarist money was heavily litigated during the 20th century in the American courts, up to and including the Supreme Court of the United States, so I don't think there is a problem.

Offline kijabeboy03

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 02:56:27 PM »
Good point, but in France? You'd think the same precedents would have been set there after the Revolution...
"This is the Apostolic Faith, the Orthodox Faith, and the Faith of the Fathers. Having this wonderful treasure, let us preserve it, let us keep it, and let us also use it in such a way that this treasure becomes the victory of Christ in us and in His Church." ~ St. Severus of Antioch ~

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 03:04:57 PM »
Good point, but in France? You'd think the same precedents would have been set there after the Revolution...

Different legal system, also remember that the exiles had many friends and brought much capital (political and otherwise) with them to France so these issues may not have arisen at that time.

Offline Robb

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2011, 04:10:37 PM »
If I'm not mistaken the Exarchate has several monasteries, no? Regardless, I'm curious about what this means for the cathedral parish itself - will it find new premises, join the Moscow Patriarchate (which I assume will be given care of the cathedral by the Russian government), or what? (What has it been doing since the first court decision returning the cathedral to the Russian government's ownership?)

I find this a scary precedent. Had it been transferred to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church (either the Moscow Patriarchate or the Synod Abroad, whatever) that would be one thing, but it's been handed over to a government more connected with the last tsar's killers than with his legacy. What does this mean for other historic churches built abroad with the tsar's money? (St. Theodosius' in Cleveland, Holy Trinity in Chicago, et cetera.)

Since the MP recognizes the OCA's autocephalecy, this should not be a problem.  There is a much more bitter and unresolved legacy between the MP and the Parish Exarchate which probably won't be resolved anytime soon.
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Offline mike

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2011, 06:29:56 AM »
The current Bishop of Korsun graduated at St. Sergius and was a Priest in the Exarchate. I don't think he has many prejudices against them.
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Offline synLeszka

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2011, 02:58:43 PM »
The Russian Orthodox Church was a part of the Russian State. The Russian Orthodox Church was run by government ober-prokurator, appointed by the Tsar. The rest of the church, being not enlightened by the Holy Ghost, had not invented the post of ober-prokurator, as an overseer of bishops. The teachings of the Apostles, bless this practice of non-episcopal state synod church governance. The Roman Catholics believe that the church is independent of the temporal realm, therefore they are faithless heretics. This is the basis of the Russian Federation's imagined right as legal successor to the Russian Imperial State...
Although I remember that the Lenin implemented non-continuation of Tsarist treaties and did not view the Party and the Proletariat as a successor to the Tsarist Despotia. Since the Russian Federation took on all of the Soviet Union's international responsibilities, they view themselves as the bearer of all the Soviet Union's rights. The Soviet Union did not view itself as the continuator of the Russian Imperium. ??? The Tsarist state has no legal successor, then how did this occur? This makes no sense. There is no legal contuity between the Russian Empire and Russian Federation.
 SynLeszka,

You are being moderated indefinitely (with no time limit right now) for defaming the Body of Christ, claiming that the church is not enlightened by the Holy Ghost; and in general posting a political post in a non-political board (which you have been warned for before). 

If you would like to appeal this decision, please PM Veniamin, the Global Moderator of the General Fora. 

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« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 03:04:22 PM by synLeszka »

Offline Alcuin

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2011, 04:37:00 PM »
That applies for the Russian Empire, but why for the Russian Federation?

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2011, 05:15:46 PM »
Praise be to God.  The cathedral was in the hands of the "Paris Exarchate" who wanted to liberalize things and deny the Russian heritage and identity of their parishes.  Now this beautiful church will again be in the hands of those who appreciate its true meaning and historical identity.

Hopefully this ruling will also include the other pre revolutionary Russian churches in France, such as the St Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Paris.
With only elderly bishops, almost no monastics and the loss of connection to the Russian Church under the New Calendar Paris Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey, the return of this cathedral to the Russian Church is a real blessing for the Orthodox faithful of France.
So what does the perceived spiritual state of the cathedral have to do with what is fundamentally a decision by one national government to cede the property to another national government? How does this make the state's legal decision a good one?

The theological and liturgical modernism of the Paris Exarchate in well known, and perhaps reflects the sorry state of that jurisdiction.  Given that ROCOR is now part of the overall Russian Orthodox Church, under HH Patriarch Kyrill II, it matters not whether it is administered by the mP direct or ROCOR.
But what about the faithful of this cathedral community? Does the change of ownership of the building in which they have worshiped mean the people of the cathedral community now fall under the jurisdiction of the MP? Why wouldn't they just move or consent to being moved to another building?
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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2011, 05:41:40 PM »

 Why wouldn't they just move or consent to being moved to another building?

Probaly a love of this beautiful building and the priceless holy icons inside it.


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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2011, 07:18:23 PM »

 Why wouldn't they just move or consent to being moved to another building?

Probaly a love of this beautiful building and the priceless holy icons inside it.



Thanks, Father, for posting this lovely church.

The Church itself is an icon, isn't it?
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Offline Ansgar

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2011, 06:54:05 AM »

 Why wouldn't they just move or consent to being moved to another building?

Probaly a love of this beautiful building and the priceless holy icons inside it.


Thank you for posting this. The church I attend belongs to this exarchate.
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Offline IreneOlinyk

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2011, 10:42:45 AM »
Hopefully this ruling will also include the other pre revolutionary Russian churches in France, such as the St Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Paris.

I don't think so.  From my interpretation, it looks like the Cathedral in Nice was owned by the pre-revolutionary government of Russia because it was considered an embassy church.  There were a few of them under that category in Europe in what was called the "watering holes" where the Russian aristocracy used to go in the winter.  Nice was the major one, but I know of another in Germany and one in what is now the Czech republic.  There were also Russian consulates too because of the large number of Russian aristocrates visiting during the winter months.

Offline Margaret S.

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2011, 04:55:30 AM »
If I'm not mistaken the Exarchate has several monasteries, no?

Yes, we do. We have two monasteries in France, monasteries not sketes, and a sizeable number of solitaries in the UK and elsewhere.  Do ROCOR and the MP have many monasteries in France? I know that apart from Fr Sergei and Fr Michael (who is in Tasmania half the year) I haven't come across any in the UK. I ask because I am going to France and Switzerland later this year and would like to visit (female) monasteries if possible.

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update: a kind and very efficient (!) person sent me this if anyone else is interested http://www.orthodox-monasteries.com/france/ it wrongly lists St Silouane at Saint Mars de Locquenay as MP but apart from that it seems like a very good list.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 05:11:45 AM by Margaret S. »

Offline mildert

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2011, 07:59:44 AM »
I find some of the triumphalist responses to this news saddening, and based on mis-information.

My experience from within the Exarchate is that she is no more liberal (and possibly less) than the OCA. She recognises her Russian heritage but at the same time is trying to proclaim the Orthodox faith where she is, both in place and time.  Thus cradle and convert Orthodox are welcome.

The calendar is not necessarily a definition of Russian-ness, the OCA uses the new calendar.  Within the MP I know of parishes which are on the Julian, the revised-Julian and the Gregorian.  The Exarchate is split roughly 50:50 between the Julian and the revised Julian.  Both the Cathedral in Paris and in Nice are on the old (Julian) Calendar.

In the Cathedral in Nice the services are mostly in Slavonic and are no more the subject of innovation than any typical Russian Church.

The views of the parishoners do not seem to have mattered in the court case, because, as far as I can understand the majority (especially those who had lived there for a number of years) wanted to maintain the status quo.

Had the Exarchate not looked after the Cathedral for the last 90 years, there would be nothing to hand back.

I believe our energy should be better spent working together to proclaim the Faith rather than fighting over possession of Church buildings.  What kind of witness does this give about our faith?

In XC,

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Offline Ansgar

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2011, 08:18:30 AM »
I find some of the triumphalist responses to this news saddening, and based on mis-information.

My experience from within the Exarchate is that she is no more liberal (and possibly less) than the OCA. She recognises her Russian heritage but at the same time is trying to proclaim the Orthodox faith where she is, both in place and time.  Thus cradle and convert Orthodox are welcome.

The calendar is not necessarily a definition of Russian-ness, the OCA uses the new calendar.  Within the MP I know of parishes which are on the Julian, the revised-Julian and the Gregorian.  The Exarchate is split roughly 50:50 between the Julian and the revised Julian.  Both the Cathedral in Paris and in Nice are on the old (Julian) Calendar.

In the Cathedral in Nice the services are mostly in Slavonic and are no more the subject of innovation than any typical Russian Church.

The views of the parishoners do not seem to have mattered in the court case, because, as far as I can understand the majority (especially those who had lived there for a number of years) wanted to maintain the status quo.

Had the Exarchate not looked after the Cathedral for the last 90 years, there would be nothing to hand back.

I believe our energy should be better spent working together to proclaim the Faith rather than fighting over possession of Church buildings.  What kind of witness does this give about our faith?

In XC,

Deacon Philip


Thank you for this  :)
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Offline Margaret S.

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Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2011, 08:22:02 AM »
I find some of the triumphalist responses to this news saddening, and based on mis-information.

My experience from within the Exarchate is that she is no more liberal (and possibly less) than the OCA. She recognises her Russian heritage but at the same time is trying to proclaim the Orthodox faith where she is, both in place and time.  Thus cradle and convert Orthodox are welcome.

The calendar is not necessarily a definition of Russian-ness, the OCA uses the new calendar.  Within the MP I know of parishes which are on the Julian, the revised-Julian and the Gregorian.  The Exarchate is split roughly 50:50 between the Julian and the revised Julian.  Both the Cathedral in Paris and in Nice are on the old (Julian) Calendar.

In the Cathedral in Nice the services are mostly in Slavonic and are no more the subject of innovation than any typical Russian Church.

The views of the parishoners do not seem to have mattered in the court case, because, as far as I can understand the majority (especially those who had lived there for a number of years) wanted to maintain the status quo.

Had the Exarchate not looked after the Cathedral for the last 90 years, there would be nothing to hand back.

I believe our energy should be better spent working together to proclaim the Faith rather than fighting over possession of Church buildings.  What kind of witness does this give about our faith?

In XC,

Deacon Philip


Thank you for this  :)

Seconded. Thank you, Deacon Philip.

Sr Margaret

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MOVED: Re: France: Court says Russian state owns cathedral in Nice
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2011, 12:51:26 PM »
The tangent regarding EP/Muscovite expansionism has been moved to Religious Topics.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=36539.0
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 12:52:37 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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