DOI: 10.18413/2408-9338-2021-7-2-0-3

Russian Orthodox Church facing the challenges of digitalization

The article analyzes Internet sources on the problem of the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Internet. The current situation of the active transition of society to the digital space requires certain decisions from the Church. In the course of the research, it was found that, unlike the Catholic Church document “The Church and Internet” (2002), where it quite accurately defined its attitude to the Internet and the possibility of using it for its needs, the Russian Orthodox Church does not have such a document, which would form a clear attitude to this issue. The policy initiated by Patriarch Alexy II was not developed in the documents and projects of the Russian Orthodox Church during the reign of Patriarch Kirill. Decentralized governance in the use of the Internet has led to the fact that responsibility fell personally on the priests who actively promote Orthodox websites. To create a methodological basis for the study, the author used a comparison of the document of the Catholic Church "The Church and Internet" and the documents of the Russian Orthodox Church, which mention the possibility of using the Internet. There are no fundamental differences in the positions of both Churches. However, the absence of a single conceptual document in the ROC significantly complicates the implementation of interaction with the Internet by Orthodox priests in practice. This is especially evident in the need for spiritual nourishment, assistance to the creators of Orthodox websites. An analysis of the information posted on the Internet on the problem of interaction between the ROC and the Internet showed that despite the negative statements from Patriarch Kirill and other higher clergymen, the Russian Orthodox Church is actively developing its Internet resources. Through trial and error, priests practice the Internet space to communicate with parishioners.

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