Orthodoxy and Catholicism on the territory of Belarus...

Question 23. Orthodoxy and Catholicism on the territory of Belarus in the 14th-18th centuries

Orthodox religion dominated the East Slavic lands from X through the XIII centuries . Orthodoxy retained supremacy on the Belarusian lands and after their entry into the composition of the GDL until the 80's. XIV century. The metropolis (a large administrative and territorial unit of the church), which included Belarusian lands, was headed by Kiev Metropolitan. In the first half of the 14th century, Metropolitan of Kiev moved to Moscow, and she became the religious center of the East Slavic lands. From the second half of the XIV century. the great princes of Lithuania, Olgerd and Vitovt, fought for the establishment in the Orthodox Church of the Orthodox Church, independent of the Metropolitan of Moscow. Since 1458, . Orthodox Church organization ON - Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia - finally separated from the Moscow metropolis. The Moscow Metropolitanate from 1461 g. . became known as the Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia.

From the middle of the XIII century. The Livonian Order, the Vatican and the Polish Kingdom began to spread Catholicism. Until the end of the XIV century. this process was slow. After the conclusion of the Kreva Union, the Grand Dukes of Lithuania could only be Catholics. They supported the Catholic church in all directions. In 1387, . was founded Vilensky bishopric, which was subordinated to all the Catholic parishes that were on the territory of Belarus. The Vilna bishopric consisted of seven parishes. With the support of the Grand Dukes and the Catholic landowners, the Catholic church became a large landowner. At the end of the XIV century. in the GDL appeared the first Catholic monastic orders, subordinated directly to the Vatican. The higher Catholic clergy was a part of the supreme authorities of the GDL.

The Orthodox Church and after the Kreva Union continued to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of the GDL. It was supported by the Orthodox feudal lords of the East Slavic ("United States") lands of the principality. As the position of Catholicism spread and strengthened on Belarusian lands, the influence of the Orthodox Church fell. On United States lands of the GDL during the XIV-XVI centuries. there was a struggle between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In this struggle, not only religious figures, but also representatives of all classes of the GDL participated.

In the middle of the XVI century. under the influence of the Reformation (the socio-political and ideological movement directed against the Roman Catholic Church and its role in the political system of society), the GDL came shortly tolerance (tolerance) to different denominations both from the state and in society. During this period on the territory of Belarus, apart from Orthodoxy and Catholicism, various trends of Protestantism have spread: Lutheranism, Calvinism, Arianism. The situation of the Orthodox Church in Rzeczpospolita deteriorated in the second half of the 16th century. in connection with the Counter-Reformation (religious-political movement against the Reformation, for the restoration of the Catholic Church's position), which fought not only with Protestantism. but also with Orthodoxy. The persecution of the Orthodox Church intensified due to the conclusion of the Brest Church Union ( 1596 ), which united the Orthodox Church of Belarus and Ukraine with the Catholic Church. As a result, a Greek Catholic church, subordinate to the Roman Pope, using Catholic dogma, but retaining Orthodox rites. The union was not accepted by the majority of Orthodox believers. and it was enforced by violent methods. The restriction of Orthodox rights in the Commonwealth continued in the XVII-XVIII centuries. In the middle of the XVIII century. On the Belarusian lands of the Commonwealth the only Orthodox Mogilev diocese remained.

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