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Holy Synod

The Russian emperor Peter the Great (1682- 1725) created the Holy Synod as part of his efforts to reorganize the Russian Church, thus replacing the old patriarchate of Moscow in 1721. The synod, a committee of the higher clergy, became the supreme authority in the Russian Orthodox Church second only to the emperor. As a result the clergy became a kind of auxiliary police force in the subordination of the church to the state, and helped to create an Erastian relationship between church and state which endured until the Communist revolution of 1918. The synod was charged with the responsibility of maintaining schools for the training of young men for the priesthood.