|Terran Patriarchal Church|
Terĭska Patriarkhalĭnaę Tsrĭky
|Major Pantheon||Iliya, Saint Parnum, Saint Volos, Saint Prĕčista|
|Minor Pantheon||Saint Juravit, Saint Svimedr, Saint Mortitsa, Saint Paparuda, Saint Dragoš|
|Major Prophets||Ariel, Iliya|
|Scripture||Hosian Bible, Book of Volos|
|Founded||66 (Bishopric of Tekhtai/Čachtice)|
1239 (Deltarian Church)
2134 (Papacy and Terran Patriarchal Church)
|Branched from||Holy Apostolic Hosian Church of Terra|
Coburan Patriarchal Church
Luthori Patriarchal Church
|Liturgical language||Old Tokundian|
|Liturgical rite||Deltarian Rite (OOC: Latinized Russian Byzantine Rite with Znamenny chant)|
The Terran Patriarchal Church (Old Tokundian: Терьска Патрїархaльнаѧ Црькы Terĭska Patriarkhalĭnaę Tsrĭky) is one of the three dominant Patriarchal Hosian churches in Terra. With 522 million member (3765 census) is is the second largest Hosian body in Terra after the Aurorian Patriarchal Church. Based in Deltaria, the Church is distinguished by its henotheistic nature, in that it accepts the old Deltarian gods as "Saints". Just like the Theognosian Church (as well as its successor, which branched from it) the Terran Patriarchal Church considers itself the direct descendant of the Augustan Church, the state church of the Augustan Empire and the largest member of the ancient Aurorian Communion.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History of the Church
- 3 Core Beliefs
- 4 The Clergy and the Laity
- 5 Famous Deltarian Popes
The Terran Patriarchal Church was founded in Deltaria in 2134 as an attempt at revitalizing the abandoned concept of an infallible patriarch long abandoned since the collapse of the Holy Apostolic Hosian Church of Terra in 1819.
Today the Church still plays a role in Deltaria, with many considering themselves a member of the Church. Despite this, a growing number of civilians do not attend Church regularly or are atheists, making the Church far less influental in the world than in its erlier years. Depite the fall off of regular followers in Terra, the Church is still revered by many, despite the increased secularization and urbanization of Deltaria and Terra.
History of the Church
The arrival of Hosianism in what is today Deltaria has been traditionally attributed to a disciple of Apostle Michael, Saint John the Martyr, who is traditionally considered responsible for spreading the Hosian faith around the Southern coasts of the Majatran Sea (modern day Deltaria, Kalopia, and Jelbania). Deltaria at the time was ruled by the Augustan Empire, the first large Hosian polity on the continent after its conversion to Hosianism in 509. The modern Terran Patriarchal Church claims apostolic succession from Saint John the Martyr, and thus the Pápež claims to be the sole legitimate successor of the first Arch-Patriarch, Saint Michael.
When the Council of Auroria created the Holy Apostolic Hosian Church of Terra in 533, the territory of today's Deltaria, then part of the Augustan Church, was included in the new church. Only a few years later, around 600, the Deltarian people arrived in Majatra, conquering the territory of modern Deltaria from the Augustan Empire and settling there. The ancient Deltarians were pagan, worshiping the gods of the old Tokunian pantheon, while the native population was mostly Hosian. Nevertheless, the neighbouring Majatran kingdoms did sponsor several Hosian missions into Deltarian lands, and by year 1000, there was a sizable Hosian population among the Deltarians, and several tribe leaders had converted.
In the year 991, Thane Štefan IV proclaimed himself Czar Štefan I, creating the Tokundian Empire. Štefan and his heirs continued their strict adherence to Tokundian paganism, while Hosianism was frequently persecuted. This changed, however, with the reign of Czar Štefan V, who ascended to the trone in 1230. Štefan V, an ardent believer in Tokundian paganism at the beginning of his reign, spent his first years on the throne conducting raids against the neighboring Hosian Majatran cities, often pillaging their rich monasteries, and attempted to expand his domains during the Great War of the South (1234-1248). This changed, however, when, in 1239, a captive Hosian monk supposedly predicted that Štefan's son would die a violent death within three days. As the monk foretold, Štefan's son Štefan was captured, tortured, raped, and killed by Jelbeks during a raid against their land. Štefan V immediately accepted baptism within the Apostolic Hosian Church under the Augustan rite, and attempted to officially convert the Empire to Hosianism using all means necessary, including the destruction of temples and the torture and killing of pagan priests. Štefan V also entered peace negotiations with the Augustan Empire, which resulted in the Tokundian Empire switching sides in the War of the South, the payment of tribute by the Augustan Empire, the promise that Emperor Anthony would marry one of Štefan's daughters, and, most importantly, Štefan's official recognition as Emperor of the Tokundians by the Patriarch of Augusta.
By 1256, all Deltarian tribes were at least nominally Hosian. The Czar was however unable to terminate the practice of paganism in Deltaria, with even Čachtice, the imperial capital, remaining an important pagan cultic centre. His heir, Štefan VI, attempted to destroy the ancient temple of Čachtice and end its human sacrifices, but was met with a violent reaction from the population. Štefan VI was deposed and sent into exile, and his pagan cousin Vlastimir was placed on the throne. After three years in exile, Štefan returned secretly to Deltaria, and, surrounding Vlastimir's hall with his Huscarles, he set it on fire, killing the Czar as he was attempting to leave the burning building. After Štefan resumed his reign, further violent clashes between Hosians and pagans were avoided by the decision of the Veche, the feudal assembly of the free men in the country, to appoint Miloš Gordanović, the chief Tokundian pagan priest, as an arbitrator between the two factions. Miloš Gordanović decided, after a week of intense meditation, that the Empire as a whole should convert to Hosianism, while private pagan worship should be allowed to continue. Not having sufficiently consolidated his power, Štefan VI accepted the compromise solution.
Although Deltaria became nominally Hosian, actual Hosian beliefs never managed to establish themselves among the people. The actual conversion of Deltarians to Hosianism took a considerable amount of time, as it was only about 200 years later that most Deltarians had been baptized. Even afterwards, and up to today, the customs and deities of the old Tokundian pantheon continued to be preserved by the population, especially in the rural areas, while Hosian concepts and ideas were assimilated to those of the old religion. For instance, the most common depiction of Eliyahu in medieval Deltaria is that of a "Victorious Spirit", being presented as a figure of strength and luck rather than one of humbleness and piety. Hosianism did, nevertheless, become a central part of Deltarian Culture, and its adoption of Old Tokundian, the language of the Empire's ruling class, rather than Kalopian or Selucian, led to the development of a rich literary tradition that spread across Majatra.
Independence from the Holy Apostolic Hosian Church
Throughout the subsequent centuries, the Church remained a dominant political actor during the unending civil wars in Deltaria. Supported by the tithe enforced on the peasants by the Deltarian tribal leaders, the Deltarian Church's wealth and power grew immensely. Thus, when the Arch-Patriarchy in Auroria was destroyed as a result of persecution at the hands of Selucian pagans in 1819, the Deltarian Church was one of the first to declare its independence, becoming one of the numerous independent Patriarchal Churches resulting from the collapse of the Holy Apostolic Hosian Church of Terra.
Birth of the Terran Patriarchal Church
The Terran Arch-Patriarchy was revived in Deltaria when a Tokundian serf from Doron Akigo, named Radoslav Volic, declared himself the Supreme Pontiff of the Terran Patriarchal Church as a form of protest against both the totalitarian Absolver regime then ruling Deltaria, as well as the strong climate of Anti-Tokundian sentiment in his native land. Claiming apostolic succession from St. Michael, he declared himself Pápež Petr I, and instantly became a local celebrity amongst the heavily Patriarchal population of the Povicskovo fief. His immense popularity brought him to the attention of his ruling Markiz within a month, and was summarily executed for treason.
The Absolvers realised that very few people genuinely revered them as the Gods they claimed to be, and Vojvoda Mojmir Bátory set about lobbying for the reinstatement the Patriarchal belief system in a nation largely comprised of lapsed Patriarchalists. Approval was given by the Aristocracy, and the New Traditions campaign was unofficially suspended. Mojmir Bátory accepted the offer of the Deltarian Pápežate, and changed his name to Pius I. The Terran Patriarchal Church was officially born, and the Terran Papacy became widely accepted Terra-wide, especially in countries ruled by Deltaria and in her former colonies, where it gained many followers before reaching its zenith when Pápež Innocent I was named the Deltarian Head of State.
The Patriarchal Schisms
For several years Pápež Innocent I had begun a series of infamous Cadaver Synods in which all the Kardinals in Terra tried a series of deceased clergy, saints and former Popes, including Pius II, seemingly in order to discredit their legacies and pave the way for the reversal of administrative and theological changes. Support for Terran Patriarchalism dwindled further as more and more Deltarian atrocities were linked directly to the Pápež, alienating many liberal supporters. Support truly plunged when the female Pápež Jana I was chosen as it alienated many of the remaining conservative factions. These changes led to a string of schisms, most notable of which those that led to the creation of the Theognosian Church (in 2153) and the Coburan Patriarchal Church (in 2155). In Febuary 2164, the Luthori Patriarchal Church was excommunicated by Jana I, continuing the 22nd century Patriarchal schisms.
As a response to these schisms, Pápež Adrian I began the attempt to create a newer and more progressive Church, but by this time of his reforms some other Patriarchal branches throughout Terra no longer believed the Terran Patriarchal Church to be credible. With its international membership falling, the Church turned inward and became nationally focused. It began advertising almost solely to the Deltarian people by integrating traditions and the still revered old Tokundian gods into its doctrine. This newly found national focus was so profound, that even after the Church regained some of its former popularity, the words "Terran Patriarchal Church" and "Deltarian Church" are used interchangeably.
Abolition of the Pápežate
During what are considered 'The Years of Enlightenment' (2325-2777), the decision was made by high-ranking Church officials to abolish the Pápežate, transferring the ultimate authority over all church rulings to an elected Sobor of Archbishops and Kardinals, from Patriarchal nations all over Terra. This was an extremely unpopular move amongst many of the devout Patriarchalists ; who preferred a deified figurehead of divine authority to an elected boardroom of bishops squabbling over the word of God, which they found to be blasphemous and disenheartening. Despite this, the bishops held fast to uphold a democratic Sobor over the Church, even in the face of dwindling church attendance and membership rates.
In 2777, the unpopular concilliar organization of the Church was ended with the restoration of the Pápežate in the person of Clement I. This restoration brought new life to the Church and greatly increased its popularity, both in Deltaria and Terra-wide. The Sobor still stood to elect the Patriarch, but had reduced power.
- The restoration of the Pápežate in 2777 was the culmination of a traditionalist revival movement within the Church with its roots in the late 27th century. Beginning with the 2680s, the Church adopted a more active international approach, ending its traditional isolationism, in an attempt to expand beyond Deltaria and regain some of its former prominence.
Starting with the 2690s, the Terran Patriarchal Church took an active part in the Grand Crusade (2686 - 2693), called by Luthori and Hulstrian Emperor Henry I against Beiteynu. Three military and monastic orders of the Church were formed in order to take part in the crusade, namely the Order of Sacrifice and Pain, the Order of St. Juravit, the Reaper of Souls, and the Martial Sisterhood of St. Morena. These orders would continue to play an important international role, well after the collapse of the Hosian Empire of Beiteynu. Although the Grand Crusade was an ecumenical endeavor, largely under Luthoran leadership, this was the first major action of the Church since the abolition of the Pápežate in the 24th century.
This active international stance would continue after the restoration of the Papacy in 2777. New military orders were created by the Church, and the Pápežate launched several new crusades, leading to the establishment of several Orderstates. Unlike the Grand Crusade, which represented a collective action of the entire Hosian world and founded a kingdom under secular leadership, the 29th century crusades were undertaken solely by the Terran Church, and the conquered lands were placed under the direct sovereignty of the Pope.
The first of the 29th century crusades was the Selucian Crusade (2828), led by the Order of Sv Parnum and establishing the Selucko Zemla Sv Parnuma (Selucian Land of St Parnum; 2828 - 2850). The 2835 Jelbic Crusade, under the leadership of the Knights of St George, established the Jelbanian Monastic State of the Knights of St. George (2835-2901). This was followed by the Kalopian Crusade of 2865, after which the United Orders of St George founded the United Kalopian Kingdoms (2867-2882). The last of the 29th century crusades was the Kafuri Crusade launched in 2875, leading to the establishment of the Kafuristani Monastic State of the Knights of St. James (2875-2887), under the leadership of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of St James of Tordary.
35th Century Revival
- The Terran Patriarchal Church believes in one supreme divinity, Bog or Boh (meaning God), who is the creator of the universe and fully transcendental. Although he created the world, Boh does not take an active part in creation. He first created a group of angelic beings, called the Blazhi ("the revered ones"), and these beings assisted in the creation of the world. Although Boh is considered to no longer intervene in creation, the Church teaches that worship is due to him alone, while the Blazhi can only receive veneration.
- Luthori: Elijah) is the central figure in the Terran Patriarchal Church. Originally the High Priest of the Yeudish Church, Eliyahu was overthrown and exiled, and came to lead a small community of followers that was to become the Hosian Church. In traditional Deltarian beliefs, Elijah was interpreted as a god of luck and victory. Although the Church officially follows the mainstream Hosian view that Elijah is the Spirit of God and the Savior of mankind, and that he is currently in Hiding, to return at the end of Terra, in practice the Terran Patriarchal perception of Elijah is that of a supreme divinity, with God relegated to a secondary role. Iliya is considered to be the highest of the Blazhi and the ruler of the creation, presiding over the Great Pantheon. The Church believes that Iliya entered creation and became human to guide humanity towards salvation. Iliya (
The Deltarian Church, having adopted the traditional Deltarian folk beliefs, adopted the old Tokundian gods as saints. In Terran Patriarchal theology, those saints are called the Blazhi, or the Revered Ones. The Blazhi are angelic beings created by Boh before the creation of the world. After the world was created, they entered it, taking human form, in order to rule and guide creation. Although Iliya is believed to not have been created, but rather proceeding from God, he is considered to be the highest of the Blazhi. The Blazhi are believed to be able to wander the world unseen or shape themselves in the fashion of humans; these "images", called voobrazhenie, can be destroyed, but their true being could not. The Blazhi are divided into two categories, the Gospodi (Lords), who form the Great Pantheon, and the Mudri (Wise Ones), forming the Lesser Pantheon.
The Gospodi are the four highest Blazhi, and the first created by Boh. Together they form the Great Pantheon (Velika Mnogobozhitsa). The Great Pantheon has sovereignty and dominion over all of creation, and its role is to guide humanity towards the worship of Boh.
- Iliya - King of the gods
- Saint Parnum - storm and war god
- Saint Volos - earth god
- Saint Prĕčista - mother goddess
The lesser Mudri, meaning the Wise Ones, are secondary divinities of the Terran Patriarchal Church. The Mudri were not directly created by Boh, but are born from the Gospodi, and each oversees a specific phenomenon or season. Together, the Mudri form the Lesser Pantheon (Malaya Mnogobozhitsa). Each Gospod is associated with a host of lesser Mudri, and the role of the latter is to assist in governing creation.
- Saint Juravit - god of spring, the Luna, trickster god
- Saint Svimedr - god of autumn
- Saint Mortitsa - goddess of death
- Saint Paparuda - goddess of fertility and sexuality
- Saint Dragoš - god of love
Evil is personified in TPC theology by Satanail. Originally one of the Blazhi, he revolted against Boh because the latter held humans in higher regard than the Blazhi. Revolting against Boh, Satanail managed to corrupt several Mudri, creating the Demons, but could not corrupt any of the Gospodi. Satanail's rebellion caused a war in Heaven, as a result of which Satanail was defeated and Heaven was sealed. Several demons were thus frozen in place, forming the aerial toll-houses (or soul customs). Satanail and his demons are in constant war against creation, trying to tempt humans to move away from Boh.
The Church believes that all humans will go to either Heaven, a place of eternal happiness, or to Hell, a place of never-ending suffering. Immediately after death, the human soul is believed to begin ascending to heaven, and on its journey it has to pass 24 aerial toll-houses, each dedicated to a category of sins and each managed by a demon. If the soul is found innocent on each charge, it can move forward, and if not it is thrown down to hell. The Church stresses that baptism within the Terran Patriarchal Church is essential for salvation, and all those that are not in full communion with the Pápež at the time of their death shall be damned.
The Terran Patriarchal Church, belonging to Aurorian Patriarchalism, accepts the Council of Auroria and the biblical cannon that it established. In addition to the traditional Hosian Bible, the Church also accepts as inspired the Book of Volos, a 13th century kings’ saga, presenting an account of Deltarian history from the creation of the world, ending with the Deltarian conquests in Majatra. Although the Book of Volos was written in Hosian times, it incorporates pagan myths and deities, identified as Hosian “saints”.
The Clergy and the Laity
The Highest Position in the Church under the Pápež is the Holy Sobor, an assembly of Patriarchal Bishops and Kardinals, which elect the Pápež. It is supposed to be the voice of the Patriarch, executing his will. It is the main manager of the Tithes and administration, as well as religious tasks. With the death or resignation of a Pope, the Holy Sobor rules in his stead until it elects a successor.
Bellow the Sobor the network of the Church is divided into the Clergy and the Laity. The Clergy is the body concerned with religious leadership, while the Laity is concerned with administrative tasks. While those in the Laity are not formal clergymen or clergywomen, they may also be very religious, and are usually chosen based partially on their religiosity. Both members of the Laity and Clergy are allowed to be married, but there are specific rules for each of the two groups. Both the Clergy and the Laity may have children and marry, and both are only able to “lie down beside each other in marriage”. Members of the Clergy, however, are subject to a few more limitations, such as that they may not marry after ordination.
The highest members of the clergy bellow the Holy Sobor are the Bishops. Bishops are members of the Church responsible for, amongst other things, teaching the doctrine of the Church, governing members in his jurisdiction, and for representing the Church. Bishops rule from Cathedrals (seats of the Bishop), and govern a large region known as a Diocese. From his Cathedral the Bishop must “govern, teach, and sanctify the members of his Diocese, sharing these duties with those who serve under him.” The phrase “teach sanctify and govern,” means that he must a) oversee the teaching of the scripture at all times .b) oversee and administer the ordination of Clergymen. c) Administer and judge “the religious law for member of his Diocese.” To become a Bishop one must be older than 35, have a doctorate given by a monastic college in religious matters, be judged to have “good repute, great faith, excellent morals, and other qualities that make him suitable for the office”, and have been in a position in the Clergy for at least five strait years. It is believed that Boh itself touched the first Bishops, and thus when a new Bishop is ordained another Bishop must touch him to impart the spirit of the gods upon them.
Bellow the Bishops are the normal Priests. Priests are part of the order of the Eparchate, and have differing positions and roles. To become a Priest one must get a degree in religious matters at a Monastic College and then study theology at a Monastery. Then they will try to become a Priest, and if any positions are vacated the person will be ordained by an Bishop to be a Priest. The main responsibilities of a Priest are to lead religious ceremonies such as mass, anointing, cremations, marriages, etc., as well as hearing confessions and counseling believers. Some Priests are known as “Parochial Priests”, and are the leaders or “Parochias”, which are subdivisions of Diocese.
Bellow the Priests are the Deacons, who are members of the Deaconate. Deacons also have varying roles, and there are two main types of Deacons. The first type is the “Transitional Deacon”. This is a Deacon who has completed or is completing his studies and wants to become a Priest. During the period of waiting for his ordination he or she may become a Deacon. The other type of Deacon is the “Permanent Deacon”. This Deacon is not transitional, and will stay in their office indefinitely. Note that there is no actual difference in seniority between the two. There are a few main duties of a Deacon, the first of which is performing the scripture during mass, as well as teaching and preaching to others. The Deacon is also supposed to recite other prayers as well during certain times of the day, just like Tetrarchs.
Another key position in the Clergy is the Brother or Sister. These are people who dedicate their lives to living in Monasteries. The Monastery is a crucial building for the Church, as it gives the supply of Sacramental Wine as well as serves for the teaching of those wishing to be ordained. These buildings are known as Monastic Colleges. There are also various special orders of the Patriarchal Church, such as the Order of Sacrifice and Pain or Order of St. Parnum the Thunderer, which are semi-autonomous and act to further the will of the Church and often participate in Crusades, or are focused on specific beliefs.
Famous Deltarian Popes
The first Deltarian Pápež was initially a Tokundian serf from Doron Akigo, named Radoslav Volic, who declared himself the Supreme Pontiff of the Terran Patriarchal Church as a form of protest against both the Deltarian New Traditions Campaign and Absolver Personality Cults, as well as the strong climate of Anti-Tokundian sentiment in his native land. Declaring all previous Popes’ tenures to have been nullified by the institution of the High Synod, he declared himself Papez Petr I, and instantly became a local celebrity amongst the heavily Patriarchal population of the Povicskovo fief. His immense popularity brought him to the attention of his ruling Markiz within a month, and was summarily executed for treason.
Pápež Pius was the first Pápež to be elected with the approval of the Deltarian Government. The Absolvers realised that very few people genuinely revered them as the Gods they claimed to be, and Vojvoda Mojmir Bátory set about lobbying for the reinstatement the Patriarchal belief system in a nation largely comprised of lapsed Patriarchalists. Approval was given by Absolver Black, and the rest of Aristocracy, and the New Traditions campaign was unofficially suspended. Mojmir Bátory accepted the offer of the Deltarian Pápežate, and changed his name to Pius I. He was the shortest reigning Pápež in the history of the Terran Patriarchal Church, being pronounced dead twenty-eight minutes after his coronation, during the drafting of his first set of Papal edicts.
Pius I's only son, L'ubomir Bátory was also the only witness to his fathers death. From his account, the late Pápež was overcome with a fit of depression, and committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart, face and throat, several times. As he took his final breaths, his dying wish was that L'ubomir would inheret the Pápežate, and continue the Bátory bloodline. L'ubomire reluctantly accepted, and after a 30-day period of national mourning, he was proclaimed Pápež Pius II, in honour of his father. Pius II brought about many administrative changes in his edicts, declaring Castle Kachetovo in Darali to be the new Vatikan and Holy See. He excommunicated the High Synod, several of whom he recommunicated after displaying what he considered to be 'heartfelt penitance'. He served for eighteen years, before voluntarily abdicating the Pápežate in favour of his archrival, Igor Nádašdy. In his retirement he married Barona Ivanka Nádašyova, his childhood sweetheart, and later died of natural causes. Eight months after his death he was made the first victim of the infamous Cadaver Synods. Upon his death, dissident Terran Patriarchals used him to found the Theognosian Church.
Jana's half-brother, Igor Nádašdy