The Inter-Council Presence (ICP) is a permanent consulting body whose members have been appointed by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow to draft and discuss position papers on diverse aspects of theology and praxis. Conventional wisdom suggests that Orthodox Christians in the "First World" have little to learn about the organization of Church life from the Orthodox in Russia. Explaining the history, structure, and significance of ICP, Fr. Andrei challenges the triumphalist myth of the superiority of the Orthodox in the Wwest over their Russian counterparts.
Deacon Andrei Psarev presented this paper initially in September of 2017 at the 23rd Congress of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches in Debrecen, Hungary.
Deacon Andrei Psarev has been studying the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) since 1988. He has been teaching the History of the Russian Church at Holy Trinity Seminary since his graduation from our seminary in 1995. In 2003 he began also to teach Canon Law here. In 2004 he defended his Master in Theology thesis at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary on the interaction between ROCOR and non-Orthodox Christians from 1920 to 1964. In 2008 then Subdeacon Psarev founded the website Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad to serve as a "meeting place for those who are concerned about the past and present of the ROCOR." In 2009 Deacon Andrei began to work on his Ph.D. dissertation at Queen's University, Belfast (Northern Ireland). His research has focused on the adoption of Canon 15 at the Council of Constantinople (AD 861) and the application of that canon in the course of Byzantine ecclesiastical conflicts. In 2015 the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow appointed Deacon Andrei to the Inter-Council Presence (ICP) of the Russian Church. Deacon Andrei's findings have been published in scholarly journals, including St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Sobornost, Kanon, and Vestnik, a journal of St. Tikhon's University for the Humanities in Moscow.
Photo credit: Maria Temnova