Brest Union of 1596

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Brest Union of 1596

 

the merger of the Catholic and Orthodox churches on the territory of Rzecz Pospolita (the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania). It was adopted at a church council in Brest. The union was prompted by the desire of the Orthodox clergy to strengthen their privileged position and by the ruling classes’ fear of the intensified antifeudal struggle of the Ukrainian and Byelorussian peoples and their growing religious and cultural ties with the Russian people.

According to the Brest Union, the Orthodox Church of the Ukraine and Byelorussia recognized the Roman Pope as its head but continued to conduct services in the Slavic language and to observe the rites of the Orthodox Church. The conclusion of the Brest Union was met by protest on the part of the peasantry, the cossacks, the petite bourgeoisie, part of the Orthodox Polish gentry, the lower clergy, and, at first, some major Ukrainian feudal lords (Prince K. K. Ostrozhskii and others). The Brest Union was officially dissolved at the 1946 Church council in L’vov.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.