Friday, November 10, 2023

Beyond Borders: The Sovereign Status of the Pontifical Imperial State

By M. Derosiers

ROME-RUTHENIA 02 November 2023 (NRom)

Caesar Augustus
In the vast fabric of history, the states associated with the Church hold immense importance that transcends time. The Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia stands as the secular representation of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, embodying both the Pontifical Roman State and the Pontifical Kingdom of Ruthenia and All Rus'. The Pontifical Imperial State also includes several other territories associated with the Holy Roman Empire. Together, these historical entities have passed on their legacy through centuries.

Roman the Great, Tsar
and Autocrat of all Rus'
To foster a sense of unity encompassing all territories historically linked to the heritage of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, it was decided to adopt the name "Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia." This unification under one banner strengthens the bond among diverse backgrounds within the church and opens a new chapter in their shared history. In addition, several other historic sovereign houses have been incorporated. Today, this state, under the leadership of His Holiness the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia, serves as an ethno-religious cultural nation without political territory, representing people across various modern countries. 

And, while they may seem like glamorous relics of a bygone era, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial State still uphold titles of nobility. While some might dismiss these titles as outdated or pretentious in today's world, they actually play an important role in preserving tradition and ensuring continuity within the church, connecting the present church with its past and future. Critics argue that such titles are unnecessary in modern times, where meritocracy is often valued over inherited privilege. However, it is important to remember that these titles do not solely represent wealth or social standing. They symbolize dedication to service, devotion to faith, and commitment to upholding the principles upon which the Church was founded.

The Continued Claim over the Pontifical Imperial State
Emperor of the
Romans and
founder of the
Holy Roman

Despite no longer having control over any physical territory, it might be perplexing why the United Roman-Ruthenian Church maintains its claim over the Pontifical Imperial State. However, several factors contribute to this decision, including historical significance, autonomy from secular authorities, diplomatic recognition, and protection of church assets.

The Church's claim is deeply rooted in its historical connection and importance to the areas once encompassed by the Pontifical Imperial State, even though those territories now belong to other modern countries. By asserting its claim, the Church reaffirms its autonomy and independence from secular powers. This symbolic declaration solidifies the Church's position as a sovereign entity and serves as a reminder of its spiritual authority. It allows the Church to engage in diplomatic relations with other entities, participate in international affairs, and function as an independent state despite lacking territorial control. Additionally, this claim acts as a safeguard against potential challenges or encroachments on historical assets.

The Way to the Future

The Pontifical Imperial State serves as a reminder that history is not just an abstract concept, but a living force that shapes our present reality. By understanding our past, we gain insight into our collective identity and heritage. Today, while the Pontifical Imperial State may not hold political territory like its component states once did, its legacy endures through its contributions to history, art, philosophy, and spirituality, not to mention the profound influence it has had on religious practices.

The Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia encapsulates centuries of cultural exchange and religious significance. Its continuation, along with upholding the office of Bishop, Papa-Catholicos, and Imperator of Rome-Ruthenia, is a way of honoring the history of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church while looking ever forward. Perhaps viewed as archaic to some, remember that the Pontifical Imperial State is more than just words on paper. It represents an enduring legacy that connects us to our past and guides us towards our future.