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Schmemann, The first Christianization of the Slavs

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Methodius was accused of flouting the Church canons, condemned by the Sejm in Regensburg (an assembly of secular and ecclesiastical notables), and forced to languish in prison for two and a half years.

All his complaints to Rome were intercepted. Under Pope John VIII he again received firm support for a while. Understanding the full significance of the Slavs, the pope appointed him archbishop of Moravia and stood by him, despite never-ending intrigues. So in ceaseless struggle, defending his own rights, betrayed by his enemies but supported by the people, Methodius lived on until 885.

During this time immense work was accomplished, which was to fertilize the whole Slavic world. But the immediate work of the brothers fell to pieces among the western Slavs after Methodius’ death. They could not hold off German pressures, and Pope Stephen, who could not understand the policy of his predecessors, simply liquidated the whole Slavic mission.

The disciples of Methodius were driven out of Moravia, and only in the nineteenth century, during a time of Slavic renewal, did the work of Cyril and Methodius again become a rallying point for national liberation and western Slavic culture.

Alexander Schmemann, A History of the Orthodox Church

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