Articles Deacon Andrei Psarev Non-Orthodox

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Ecumenical Movement: an Historical Evaluation 1920–1948

Metropolitan Antonii (seated third from left in the front row), along with members of a special ROCOR commission for the implement of rapprochement between Orthodox and Anglicans. This photo was taken in Belgrade on March 31, 1927. Source: Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov' Zagranitsei: 1918-1968, Prince A. Sologub, ed. 1 (Jerusalem, 1968), 69. If anyone can identify the Anglicans in this group photo, please contact the author by email: rocorstudies@gmail.com

The author argues that during the first period of its existence the Russian Church Abroad continued ecclesiastical diplomacy inherited from the Russian imperial Church.

Historical Background and Relations
with the Precursors of the World Council of Churches

First and foremost, it is essential to sort out the terminology. The concept of ‘ecumenism’ is often understood as a search for the truth. As Orthodoxy already possesses that truth in its fullness, participating in a search for it is absurd. However, according to its salvific mission, the Church ought to assist those who are seeking the truth and open up to any inquirers the teaching of Orthodoxy that it is the one Church in which it is possible to find salvation.

Since in the Orthodox Church, it is the exclusive prerogative of the episcopate to decide on questions of dogma, including those related to the teaching on the nature of the Church (ecclesiology), it is necessary to mention the schools of ecclesiological thought of the future hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) at the time when their convictions about the Church took shape, before they emigrated from Russia. This brief overview will also provide the necessary historical context for understanding the subject under consideration.

Russian theological thought of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reveals two very different evaluations of the heterodox. One tendency was, for the most part, found in academic theology. Representative of this tendency is the work of Professor V. A. Sokolov, who recognized the sacramental validity of Anglican baptism and other sacraments. [1]V. Sokolov, Ierarkhiia Anglikanskoi Episkopalnoi Tserkvi [The Hierarchy of the Anglican Episcopal Church] (Sergiev Posad: 1897). Cited in: Protopresbyter George Grabbe, Tserkov I eia uchenie v zhizni … Continue reading Similar was the thought of Professor Archpriest P. Svetlov, which was entirely consistent with the ‘branch theory’ of ecclesiology. [2]Archpriest P. Svetlov, Gde Vselenskaia Tserkov? К voprosu о soedinenii Tserkvei I ко ucheniiu о Tserkvi [Where is the Ecumenical Church? On the Question of the Unification of the Churches and … Continue reading

Metropolitan Saint Philaret Drozdov of Moscow, who viewed the Church in terms that were anything but relative, and who without doubt believed that only the Orthodox Church was the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, nevertheless wrote in his book, Razgovor mezhdu ispytuyushchim i uverennym о Pravoslavnoi Vostochnoi Kafolicheskoi Tserkvi [A Conversation Between a Searcher and One Convinced About the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church], that “No church, believing Jesus to be Christ, would I dare to call false. The Church of Christ can be only purely true, confessing the true and salvific divine teaching without any admixture of false and dangerous human opinion, or not purely true, mixing false and dangerous human doctrine into the true and salvific faith of Christ.” [3] Quoted from 2nd edition by Tsypin, ‘K voprosu’, 209.

Another tendency of Russian theological thought of the nineteenth century was associated with the names of lay zealots of Orthodoxy from among the Slavophiles: Khomiakov, Kireevsky, Leontiev. Khomiakov, based on his understanding of the Church as one, considered sacraments performed outside her to have no validity and the acceptance of heterodox baptism as an act of sacramental oikonomia. [4] Collected Works’. Third Letter to Palmer. Cited in Grabbe, Tserkov, 33.

In his 1841 work Tserkov’ Odna [The Church is One], Alexei Khomiakov argued against legalistic definitions of the Church, thereby signalling a struggle against so-called scholastic theology. In 1894, around the time when Archimandrite Anthony Khrapovitsky and other future bishops of the Russian Church Abroad were beginning their academic careers, Evgenii Akvilonov defended his Master’s thesis Tserkov’, nauchnyye opredeleniia Tserkvi i apostol’skoe uchenie о net как о tele Khristovom [The Church, Academic Definitions of the Church and its Apostolic Definition as the Body of Christ], [5]I am very grateful to Archpriest Alexander Golubov for his talk, ‘Defining the Church: The Ecclesiology of Evgeny Akvilonov’ at a symposium at Saint Vladimir’s Theological Seminary (Russian … Continue reading a milestone in this new school of thought in Russian ecclesiological theology. [6] Subsequently twice revised and expanded, in 1896 and 1904. The seeds for this new line of thinking had already been planted by Metropolitan Saint Philaret (Drozdov) of Moscow and Alexei Khomiakov. Akvilonov, a graduate of Saint Petersburg Theological Academy and a representative of the academic school of theology, went further than this by openly arguing against the predominance of juridical terms and the scholastic approach in Russian theology. What is more, he supplied his work with ample references to definitions of the Church from the work of the Church Fathers. It was out of this new way of thinking marked out by Saint Philaret (Drozdov), Khomiakov, and Akvilonov, rather than out pf scholastic theology, that the Master’s thesis ‘A Survey of the History of the Dogma of the Church’ by Vladimir (later Hieromartyr Hilarion) Troitskii was born. [7] This paragraph was written for this article by Archpriest Alexander Golubov. A reflection of this work can be found in the survey article “Christianity or the Church’, which was reprinted on multiple occasions by the Russian Church Abroad. [8]Christianstvo ili Tserkov’ [Christianity or the Church], 2nd edn (Sergiev Posad: 1912). Reprinted, e.g., in 1959 in Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, with the blessing of the ROCOR Synod of … Continue reading Its author asserts that: “there is an urgent need at the present time… for an open confession of the immutable truth that what Christ founded is the Church and that it is completely inappropriate to draw a distinction between Christianity and the Church and to speak of some kind of Christianity apart from the Holy Church.” [9] Christianstvo ili Tserkov’, 63-4.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitskii, the first primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, was also representative of this tendency, viewing the sacraments of societies separated from the Church as being without grace. He conceived of sacramental oikonomia in terms similar to Khomiakov. Metropolitan Anthony was among the leading strugglers for the independence of the Church from the state as well as from the influence of scholastic theology. Metropolitan Anthony was not alone in these views, nor were his views considered extreme. Archbishop Hilarion Troitskii, in reply to Robert Gardiner’s accusation of intolerance and ultraconservatism, replied: “In no wise can Г acknowledge Archbishop Anthony [Khrapovitskii] to be a representative of ‘ultraconservative’ elements in our Church. I am of the opinion that in matters of faith there can be but one strict Orthodoxy; here we can have either truth or error, but there can be no truth which is strict, and another which is less so.” [10] Cited from Fr Michael Azkoul, Once Delivered to the Saints (Seattle, WA: Saint Nectarios Press, 2000), 298-9.

It is likely that Metropolitan Anthony viewed his ecclesiological position — that outside the Orthodox Church there is no sacramental grace — as a return to the norms of the ancient Church. [11]For discussion of this stance, see Andrei V. Psarev, ‘The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia’, St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 51 … Continue reading Metropolitan Anthony’s views on heterodoxy are clearly stated in a letter responding to an invitation from the active Episcopalian layman and philanthropist Robert H. Gardiner [12]Cited in an unpublished manuscript of Fr Georg Seide, History of the Russian Church Abroad, ch. 4, pt. 5, ‘The Russian Church Abroad and the Non-Orthodox Churches’ … Continue reading to participate in the conference on ‘Faith and Order,’ as summarized by Fr Georges Florovsky (this correspondence took place in 1915-16): “Metropolitan Anthony, then Archbishop of Kharkov, frankly stated his point of view: there was no spiritual reality, ‘no grace’, outside of the Orthodox Church. All talk about ‘validity’ is just talmudic sophistry. What is outside the Orthodox Church is just ‘the world, foreign to Christ’s redemption and possessed by the devil’.

It makes no difference, Metropolitan Anthony argued, whether the non-­Orthodox do or do not have ‘right beliefs’. Purity of doctrine would not incorporate them into the Church [a reference, for instance, to Palmer’s case — А.Р.]. What is of importance is actual membership in the Orthodox Church, which is not compromised by doctrinal ignorance or moral frailty.” [13]Georges Florovsky, Christianity and Culture, vol. 2 of Collected Works (Belmont, Massachusetts: Nordland Publishing Company, 1974), 230. Reference: ‘Correspondence of Archbishop Anthony with the … Continue reading

However, in considering all heterodox as heretics, Metropolitan Anthony maintained broad pastoral and practical aims. In the same reply to the invitation to participate in the ecumenical conference, he approved of the participation of representatives of the Orthodox Church: ‘Indeed, we are not going to concelebrate there, but shall have to search together for a true teaching on the controversial points of faith.’ [14]Fr Daniel Degyansky, Orthodox Christianity and the Spirit of Contemporary Ecumenism (Etna, CA: CTOS, 1992), 32. According to Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche im Ausland, 194, Archbishop Evlogii was the … Continue reading

Of course, Metropolitan Anthony was only one of the most prominent figures among the founding fathers of the Russian Church Abroad. Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, former rector of the St Petersburg Theological Academy and confessor to the Royal Family, shared these views. The majority of the more than thirty bishops (the number is from 1921) who found themselves outside the borders of Soviet Russia did not have any experience with the Ecumenical Movement. The exceptions were those bishops who had dioceses in North America (Platon, Alexander, Euthymius) and were involved in discussions with representatives of the Episcopalian Church. Some Russian hierarchs had experience of ecumenical activity. In 1912, a society of friends of the Anglican Church, whose heads were Archbishops Evlogii of Kholm and Sergius of Finland, was founded in Petersburg. Archbishop Evlogii, however, was also famous in Russia for his controversial activity in Volynia directed against Roman Catholics. In the emigration, Metropolitan Evlogii and his jurisdiction became the most visible representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement in the pre-war period. But most of this activity took place after 1926, that is, after he had left the jurisdiction of the Russian Church Abroad.

Ecumenical Involvement in Russia and the Diaspora from 1917–1935

In order to understand the position of the Russian Orthodox hierarchy in the 1920s with respect to the question of ecumenism, one must refer to the proceedings of the All-Russian Council of 1917-18. At the Council, a special committee for the unity of Christian Churches in the face of approaching atheism was created. On 4/17 September 1918 it prepared a proposal which states:

“The Holy Synod regards with joy the sincere striving of Old Catholics and Anglicans towards unity with the Orthodox Church on the foundation of the doctrine and tradition of the ancient Universal Church. She blesses the labours and eagerness of those who labour searching for the path toward unification with the aforementioned friendly churches. [15]Gunter Shultz, ‘Vopros о soedinenii Tserkvei napomestnom Sobore Rossiisk Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi 1917—1918 godov’ [‘The Question of Unification of the Churches at the 1917-18 Local Council of … Continue reading

This proposal was reviewed and approved by the Council at the las of its 170 meetings, on 7/20 September 1918. However, during the final meeting of bishops, which was to confirm all decisions of theological or dogmatic importance, this proposal was not reviewed. In the extract cited above, the principle of pre-revolutionary ecumenism is clearly seen: dialogue is to be maintained with those churches which are interested in uniting with the Orthodox Church. The Supreme Church Authority of Southern Russia, out of which the Supreme Church Authority Abroad was born, did not remain indifferent to the Council’ statements concerning ecumenism. A representative of the Russia Church was sent to an inter-Christian conference in Geneva. In Constantinople in 1921, soon after his evacuation from the Crime; Bishop Benjamin of Sebastopol, who was a member of the Church Authority of Southern Russia, published the epistle of the Ecumenic; Patriarch of 1920, ‘To the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They Might Be’, in the anthology Zagranichnoe Russkoe Tserkovnoe Sobranie. Materialy podgotovitelnoi komissii. It is noteworthy that as late as 1938 in a speech ‘On Ecumenism’ read at the Second All-Diaspora Council Bishop Seraphim of Potsdam refers to this epistle, without any criticism, as being ‘of the utmost importance’.

In August 1920, Archbishop Evlogii, with the blessing of the Supreme Church Authority of Southern Russia [16] N. D. Zhevakhoff, ‘K tserkovnoi smute’ [‘On the Turmoil in the Church’; ed. fn 1], in: Tserkovnyia Vedomosti [Church Bulletin] 15-16 (Sremski Karlovtsi: 1927), 5. (the predecessor of the Supreme Church Authority Abroad), acted as the representative of the Russian Church to the preparatory conference on Life and Work to be held in Geneva. At this conference, Archbishop Evlogii attempted to bring about a resolution expressing sympathy for the persecuted Russian Church and reprimanding the Soviet regime. Archbishop Evlogii recalls his impression of the concluding speech:

“In his concluding speech, the president of the conference expressed his joy at the coming together of Christians, regardless of differences of confession. He spoke of how we all have the same Christ, the same Word of God, and how on this foundation unity in Christian love is possible… I was moved to the depths of my soul by his marvelous speech.” [17] Put’ moei zhizni: vospominaniia mitropolita Evlogiia [My Life’s Journey. Memoirs of Metropolitan Evlogii] (Paris: YMCA Press), 369.

This conference marked the beginning of Metropolitan Evlogii’s ecumenical relations with representatives of Protestant confessions, which continued until the Second World War. As early as that conference, Metropolitan Evlogii’s proposal to pass a resolution against the Bolsheviks was not accepted by the Protestant hosts. The appearance of the Russian Bishops and their flocks in foreign places raised questions concerning relations with people of different religious convictions. At the First All-Diaspora Council on 16/29 November, 1921, a report was heard from the Council’s Missionary Department headed by Bishop Seraphim (later of Boguchar), according to which one of the tasks of Orthodox mission abroad was: ‘To manifest before people of other faiths in the diaspora the unfading light of Orthodoxy and the purity and the magnificent beauty of her truth.’ In order to fulfill this mission, the department made a list of proposals for the special preparation of Church ministers. [18]Deiania russkago zagranichnago tserkovnago sobora sostoiavshagosia 8/21- XI — 20/3 XII/1921 goda [Acts of the Church Council of the Russian Church Abroad of 8/21 November-20 November/3 December, … Continue reading

Due to the fact that Soviet propaganda made use of public statements by the Russian Church Abroad — for example, that of the 1921 Council addressed to ‘All Those Who Believe in God’ — to accuse the ecclesiastical refugees of betraying Orthodoxy, the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad issued an order to ‘prohibit representatives of the Russian churches abroad from adopting measures of rapprochement with heterodox churches without the knowledge of the ecclesiastical governance of the Russian Church Abroad.’ [19] The Decree was adopted by a joint session with the Church Council on 25 January/7 February 1922 (Archive of the Synod of Bishops).

The reasons for abstaining from participation in the First Life and Work conference (‘Church, State and Society’), held in Stockholm in August 1925, [20]Initially, the Council of Bishops decided to send representatives. See ‘Opredeleniia Arkhiereiskago Sobora Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi zagranitsei ot 9/22 oktiabria 1924 g.’ [‘Decisions of the … Continue reading were characteristic of the subsequent stance of the Russian Church Abroad towards the Ecumenical Movement, which can be summarized as follows:

First, its goals and tasks are too indistinct;

Secondly, its initiators have no hope towards Orthodoxy;

Thirdly, it is not possible to participate in conferences attended by Bishops Blake, Newson, Dr. F. M. Norst and those of like mind, as they had compromised themselves with non-Christian actions;

Fourthly, there is a danger that the conference itself will lend indirect support to Bolshevik Russia, because a delegation of the Living Church and diplomatic representatives of the Soviet government were expected. [21]Case summary from Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii [Russian State Archive; herein: GARF], Moscow, Coll. 6343, Survey 1, Doc. 279,31 (Case of Assignments of White Emigre Church to … Continue reading (The Russian Church Abroad was made up of exiles from the Soviet power and official representatives of the Russian Church Abroad as a matter of principle refused to participate in social organizations alongside representatives of Soviet Russia.)

The Synod of Bishops refused to send a representative to the First World Conference on Faith and Order which took place in August 1927 in Lausanne, and likewise to the international church congress in July in Winchester. The participation of Metropolitan Evlogii, Fr Sergius Bulgakov, and Professor N. N. Glubokovskii was not sanctioned by the Synod of Bishops. It is possible that the refusal to participate was motivated by ambiguous reasons: Metropolitan Evlogii had already been suspended from service by the Council of Bishops; his participation would have been a witness to the divisions within the Russian Church. In the journal Tserkovniya Vedomosti [Church Bulletin} (11 and 12,1927,13) under the heading ‘Church conference’, we read the following:

“There was a correspondence between Metropolitan Anthony and several heads of autocephalous Orthodox Churches concerning the upcoming conference in Lausanne. The following point can be deduced from these exchanges: among Christian communities, near enough only sects will be represented and the Roman Catholic Church has refused to participate.”

From what is said here it is clear that the hierarchy of the Russian Church Abroad distinguished between Anglicans and all other Protestant groups, whose representatives constituted the assembly on ‘Faith and Order’. Unlike Anglicans, who showed an inclination towards the Orthodox Church, the representatives of the Protestant groups at the above-mentioned conference had no particular interest in the Orthodox Church.

An article by P. S. Lopukhin entitled ‘Osnovaniya ekumenicheskikh otnoshenii’ [‘The Foundations of Ecumenical Relations’] appeared in TserkovnaiaZhizn’ [Church Life} 3 (1935, 43-8), the official organ of the Synod of Bishops. It was written in a tone that was to become characteristic of later anti-ecumenical polemics. The article was in large part a response to an article by V. V. Zenkovskii, based on the latter’s experience of Russian-Anglican cooperation, in which the author writes about the Ecumenical Movement as a necessary revelation about the Church. Unfortunately — Lopukhin wrote — the thrust of Zenkovskii’s article is disparaging: positive aspects were not mentioned, for instance, the suggestion that results of ecumenical activity are not valid until received by the fullness of the Church. As a result, the possibility of future constructive dialogue between the two approaches towards ecumenism among Russian emigres was practically excluded.

The demarcating line between jurisdictions ran through ecumenical relations, as well. The acute polemical climate in the relations between the ‘Synodal’ and ‘Evlogian’ parties afforded no opportunities for constructive dialogue between representatives of the two camps of Russian Orthodoxy in Europe. Under such conditions, the religious philosophers and thinkers from the Saint Serge Theological Institute in Paris were able to offer far more to Western Ecumenists than representatives of the conservative theological school of thought adopted by the ROCOR Synod of Bishops.

If the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius was mostly connected with the Paris jurisdiction, the Brotherhood of St Benedict of Nursia, whose head was Archbishop Tikhon of Berlin and Germany (ROCOR), gravitated toward Karlovtsy. The brotherhood considered that the patristic period, the time when communities following the example of St Benedict arose, should serve as the source of any future rapprochement. At the same time, it condemned all proselytism as a perversion of apostolic preaching, while accepting the apostolic commission. In 1934, the brotherhood began to lead Christian unity weeks, initiated by the Anglican clergyman Spencer Jones, and in 1916 these weeks of Christian unity were endorsed by the Catholic Church. Archbishop Damian of Tsaritsyn (ROCA), superior of the Monastery of St Kirik and the attached seminary in Bulgaria, served a moleben and gave a sermon in support of this cause. In 1935 the Synod of Bishops approved the idea of weeks for Christian unity and permitted their recognition by diocesan bishops at their discretion. [22] All information concerning the activity of the Brotherhood taken from a leaflet printed by the Brotherhood in Tartu, Estonia in 1936. Later, however, this blessing was revoked. [23] For more information see Nicolas Mabin, ‘Serge N. Bolshakoff, “Russian Ecumenist’”, ROCOR Studies, 12.2012, https://www.rocorstudies.org/2013/02/09/1302/ (accessed 28.04.2020).

The Second Pan-Diaspora Council in 1938

The Synod of Bishops directed Bishop Seraphim of Potsdam to participate in the 1937 Faith and Order and Life and Work meetings. In the record of this decision from 18/31 December 1931, it is written: “Maintaining faith in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, the Synod of Bishops confesses that this Church has never been divided. The question is only who belongs to her and who does not. Along these lines, the Synod of Bishops warmly welcomes all attempts of heterodox confessions to learn Christ’s doctrine on the Church [another traditional principle to support those who seek the truth – A.P.] in the hope that, through such a study, especially through the participation of a representative of the Holy Orthodox Church, they will in the end come to be certain that the Orthodox Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (Tim. 3:15), and has preserved in full and without any defilement the doctrine passed down by Christ the Saviour to His disciples. And with this faith and with such hope, the Synod of Bishops gratefully accepts the invitation of the Committee of the World Conference on Faith and Order.” [24] Deianiia Vtorogo Vsezarubezhnago Sobora RPTsZ [Acts of the Second All­Diaspora Council of the ROCOR] (Belgrade: 1939), 304.

The Synod of Bishops sent Bishop Seraphim of Potsdam to the second conference on the theme of ‘Faith and Order’, which took place in Edinburgh in 1937. In his report, Bishop Seraphim notes [25] ‘Vtoraia vsemimaia konferentsiia о vere i tserkovnom poriadke v Edinburge’ [‘The Second World Conference on Faith and Order in Edinburgh’], Tserkovnaia Zhizn’ [Church Life] 1 (1938), 12. that the goal of the conference was to determine in what way the existence of differences in the realm of faith and order could in the future be considered as impediments to full unity and communion. Metropolitan Germanos (Patriarchate of Constantinople) made a declaration in the name of all Orthodox delegates, from which the following is excerpted:

“We are firmly convinced that in religious work clarity and precision in formulations of differences contribute to the discovery of truth. Only under such conditions can an agreement with actual value be achieved.

We believe that in the act of salvation the greatest significance lies in the Church and not in the ‘Word of God’… For the Holy Scriptures themselves were given to us by the Church; they are a gift of God, entrusted to the Church…

From the Orthodox point of view, the meaningfulness of all the other sacraments is linked with [chrismation], with the only possible exception of the sacrament of Baptism.

We call attention to the necessity of exactness and concreteness in the formulation of true doctrine, for we are certain that ambiguity of formulation and sweeping generalizations in questions of faith have no authentic value.” [26]Otchet о vtoroi vsemirnoi konferentsii po voprosam verouchetntia I tserkovnago ustroistva [Report on the Second World Conference on Questions of Doctrine and Church Life] (Paris: Les editeurs … Continue reading

This confession of Orthodox ecumenism was signed by three representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as by Archbishop Anthony (Bashir) of the Patriarchate of Antioch, Professor G. S. Alivizatos, and others. Among those listed as representatives of the Russian Church Abroad are Bishop Seraphim, Archimandrite Cassian, Fr Georges Florovsky, and others who actually belonged to the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Evlogii. In his report, Bishop Seraphim wrote that the participation of the Orthodox delegates had a great and positive significance for the heterodox world, for they brought the spirit of the Church into the discussion, opening up the richness and beauty of Orthodoxy Jo the participants of the conference. For that reason, he recommended the Council and Synod of Bishops should send representatives to fixture conferences.

In the same year, Bishop Seraphim, in his capacity as representative of the Synod of Bishops, participated in the second Life and Work conference on ‘Church, State and Society’. This conference on Christian activity disappointed him with its refusal to condemn communism while at the same time attacking rightist movements such as Italian fascism. In the opinion of Bishop Seraphim, the spirit of Orthodoxy did not find its needed expression in the speeches of the conference, which he felt was under masonic influence. He wrote that in the fixture, the Orthodox should either entirely abstain from participation in such conferences or strengthen their representation, so that they will not be a ‘bouquet of flowers’ on the table of Protestants. [27] ‘Vtoraia Vsemimaia Konferentsiia dlia prakticheskago Khristianstva’ [‘The Second World Conference on Practical Christianity’], Tserkovnaia Zhizn’ [Church Life] 10-11 (1937), 161-3. It is noteworthy that this conference strengthened the desire to create the World Council of Churches out of the two conferences on ‘Church, State and Society’ and ‘Life and Work’. The anthology already cited several times in this paper, Zagranichnoe Russkoe Tserkovnoe Sobranie: Materialy podgotovitelnoi komissii [The Council of the Russian Church Abroad: Materials of the Preparatory Committee], includes Bishop Seraphim’s speech ‘The Oxford Conference for Practical Christianity and Bolshevism’ (312-24). Bishop Seraphim had been exiled from the Soviet Union in 1930, so his speech was daring, coming as it did from a witness of the reality of communism and the relation of the democratic world to it.

After Bishop Seraphim’s speech about the Oxford conference for Christian order, the Second All-Diaspora Council adopted a resolution on the worldwide evil of communism, inasmuch as many participants of the Oxford conference had a fascination and enthusiasm for the dynamic building of a new, non-capitalistic society in Russia. At the same time, the resolution of the Council justified political, social, and national movements ‘which have carried the banner of the uncompromising fight against Bolshevism and thus far have saved western European nations from Bolshevism, and the last remains of Christian culture left over after the Russian Golgotha from the destruction.’ The word ‘thus far’ (рока) redeems this text to some extent. Nonetheless, this defense of nationalistic movements shows the pitfall of pitting one evil against another. This is a clear illustration of the care the Church must take in making political pronouncements.

For an insight into the perception of the Ecumenical Movement from inside the Russian Church Abroad, we might consider a lecture by N. F. Stepanov, ‘The Jewish-Catholic rapprochement and related perspectives of the further evolution of the Ecumenical Movement’, delivered at the Second All-Diaspora Council in 1938. The assumptions of this speech are as follows: the Vatican categorically refuses to participate in the Ecumenical Movement; however, it attempts to exercise influence on it: “Catholicism influences Judaism; Judaism influences Masonry; and Masonry influences the Ecumenical Movement… Summing up the stages of the Ecumenical Movement for the last ten to twelve years, that is, from the period preceding from Stockholm and Lausanne to the Oxford and Edinburgh conferences, it is impossible not to notice a strong evolution, expressed in the backing away from the thought of uniting all churches and the transference to practical efforts to decide purely political questions. The idea of unity of the Church outside Rome collapsed and ecumenism must change its name…”

The author contrasted German racism — well outside the realm of Christianity — with ‘enlightened racism’. It cannot be said that Stepanov’s point of view reflected the entire stance of the fathers of the Council vis-a-vis the Ecumenical Movement. The speech of Prof. N. S. Arseniev read at the Second All-Diaspora Council, ‘The Orthodox Church and Western Christianity in our day’, dedicated to arousing interest among ‘heterodox brethren’ in Orthodoxy in general and in the persecuted Russian Church in particular, concludes with the following words:

“The distribution of many hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church throughout many countries, among many peoples, especially among heterodox Christians, should not be considered to be without deep purpose. Not only in the martyred Church there, in Russia, but we here, too, are called to witness by deed and word to the fullness of the Christian good tidings, living in our Church. The eyes of many heterodox brothers are looking at you: May what is good in you not be blasphemed!”

This speech is in accordance with the above-mentioned passage from the report of the First All-Diaspora Missionary department. The thought here expressed — ‘we are not exiles; we are sent’ — became quite popular among writers in the Russian Church Abroad in the post­war period, though outside the context of the Ecumenical Movement. The Second All-Diaspora Council, following Professor Arseniev’s speech, passed the following resolution, ratified by the Council of Bishops, in 1938: “Becoming acquainted with the speech of Professor N. S. Arseniev, ‘Orthodox Church and Western Christianity’, we note that a direct result of the persecution of the Orthodox Church by the godless regime in the USSR has been the deepening and widening of attention to our Church on the part of the more attentive practitioners of Catholic and Protestant theological thought. The Council invokes the blessing of God upon the labours of those who by deed and word open to the Western Christian world the truth of our Holy Church and the height of its martyric endeavor in the present time.” [28] ‘Vtoraia Vsemirnaia Konferentsiia’, 159.

De facto the Second All-Diaspora Council summed up the involvement of the Russian Church Abroad in the Ecumenical Movement in the interwar period. In the above-mentioned speech of Bishop Seraphim of Potsdam to the Council, it is noted that the Orthodox always put forward and defended sacred dogmas at ecumenical conferences: “Therefore Orthodox delegates, in Lausanne as well as in Edinburgh, considered it their responsibility to put forward particular pronouncements; by these, the Orthodox Church clearly set itself apart from other confessions that call themselves ‘Churches’.”

In general, achieving of unity in faith is the most difficult and, so it seems, an almost insoluble problem of the Ecumenical Movement. The Ecumenical Movement ‘Faith and Order’ is working towards the unification of all churches, but even the very understanding of the Church has not yet reached common agreement… Our knowledge of the truth requires that we witness to it, to unmask untruth and perversion… It is perfectly unacceptable [to assert] that there is, as it were, a true Church that exists unseen in all Christian confessions… If at the present time in fact the true Church is not on the earth and we must find it, then the promise of Christ about the Church, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, has not been fulfilled.

Bishop Seraphim, in his report on the ‘Faith and Order’ conference, judges it a good ground for missionary activity. The concluding part of his speech is remarkable in its similarity to the spirit of the holy fathers of the early Church. Unfortunately, the spirit of his sentiments was not to be put into practice: “It is incumbent upon us to clear up all misunderstandings and, in part, simple caricatures about Orthodoxy held throughout heterodox circles to this day… Reconciliation with the existing situation, when the largest part of the Christian world is isolated from the Orthodox Church, and ignorance of the ecumenical search for church unity would be an unforgivable sin, for we must bear responsibility for the fate of those who are still outside the boundaries of the Church and for the future fate of the entire Christian world. Therefore we cannot refuse to participate in the Ecumenical Movement. Through our participation we actively express our will for all to be united in the Orthodox Church. But while participating in the Ecumenical Movement, we must guard ourselves against compliancy and leniency, for this is extremely harmful and dangerous, since this confirms the heterodox in their conviction that they are already members of the true Church. In the realm of dogmatics and other essential and foundational questions we must not lessen our demands. We are only at the beginning of the Ecumenical Movement. Perhaps it will stall over the course of time and perhaps it will develop widely and deeply. And it would be a great error to remain spectators to this movement by limiting ourselves to the role of a detached observer and not participating actively in it, but [rather we should be] striving to channel it in the right direction. Christ commanded, ‘Go, make disciples of all nations’. Representatives of various nations participate in ecumenical conferences — nations that are Christian but still abide outside the bounds of the Church. It follows that we must put this command of Christ into practice at these conferences. But I repeat that we must not make any concessions, not agree to any compromises, but openly and zealously expose all perversions and preach only true and pure Orthodoxy.”

This speech was in fact the last accord of the Russian Church Abroad to participate in the Ecumenical Movement. This participation faded away in the pre-war world. Debates concerning involvement in the Ecumenical Movement [29] Deianiia Vtorago Vsezarubezhnago Sobora RPTsZ, 368 ff. continued following the two above-mentioned speeches of Bishop Seraphim, as well as the speech of N. F. Stepanov dedicated to the influence of Freemasonry on the Oxford Conference. Inasmuch as these debates clearly demonstrate the approach of the Russian Church Abroad to the Ecumenical Movement at the time, it is worthwhile to consider them in some detail. The majority of those who voiced their opinions were against participation in the Ecumenical Movement. The center of the ‘anti-ecumenical’ group became Archbishop Seraphim of Boguchar (who ten years later would participate in the conference dedicated to the 400th anniversary of autocephaly of the Russian Church, sponsored by Stalin in Moscow, at which his views would be feted): ‘An extra-ecclesial unification brings nothing but danger. The Orthodox truth expressed in the grace of the Holy Spirit is exactly what the Ecumenical Movement does not want to know.’ Archbishop Seraphim pointed out the example of one Catholic who had become Orthodox, who for many years had been searching for a St Seraphim of Sarov in his church. ‘He decided that truth was where St Seraphim is found. What this emphasizes is that unification can take place only on the basis of a pious life. The goal of the Ecumenical Movement is not attainable. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the ungodly”.’ (Ps. 1:1) In these words, which echo Metropolitan Anthony’s statement that all heterodox confessions are void of grace, we can see a typical problem of reciprocal understanding with regard to the Ecumenical Movement: for it is a matter not of ‘reunification with other outside churches’, but rather of witnessing to ‘our hope’. [30] cf. 1 Peter 3:15.

Those participants in the Council opposing involvement in the Ecumenical Movement expressed the following points:

  • not to pray with heterodox;
  • the goal of the Ecumenical Movement is unattainable;
  • the doctrine of ecumenism is heretical, Latin/Masonic/Jewish;
  • dogmatic minimalism is unacceptable;
  • the example of the Roman Catholic Church, which does not participate;
  • if one needs to enlighten ecumenists, one needs to enlighten masons;
  • participation scandalizes the flock.

An entirely different level of responsibility for the Church is seen in the arguments of those participants of the Council who feel it is the responsibility of the Orthodox to participate in inter-Christian conferences:

  1. Fr Michael Polskii: ‘We stand before the practical need to participate in conferences. If we will not participate, there will nonetheless be done dangers to Orthodoxy.’ Count G. P. Grabbe was inclined to this opinion. [31]Count Grabbe, in his review for the recently published anthology Deianiia Vtorogo Vsezarubezhnago Sobora RPTsZ [The Acts of the Second All-Diaspora Council of the ROCOR], dedicated much space to the … Continue reading
  2. Professor V. A. Rozov: ‘One cannot refuse to participate in conferences if representatives of other Orthodox Churches participate, for that would demonstrate our refusal to cooperate with them.’
  3. Archbishop Seraphim of Finland: ‘Those refusing to participate are far from the centre. Our Church has already participated in conferences.’
  4. Professor S. V. Troitskii said that one must not confuse participation in conferences with preaching. One need not participate, but one must preach. Bishops, as descendants of the apostles, must preach everywhere and especially at conferences where there are people searching for the truth.
  5. Fr S. Orlov reported on his conversations with four Anglican women who had been enormously moved by Orthodox services held at an ecumenical conference. Two of these had become Orthodox. One can preach the truth everywhere.

Among these responsible voices, the voice of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anastassy, is even stronger: “It happens that we are wavering between two dangers: defilement or a refusal to participate in the missionary work of confessing Orthodoxy. Which danger will prevail? We should start from positive propositions. The Church living in grace must continue missionary activity, through which it is possible to save some of those who are wavering. While there are leaders who are willing to depersonalize Orthodoxy, others, for example, youth, go to conferences in a genuine search [for the truth]. By comparing what they see and hear from their pastors with what they see and hear from the Orthodox shepherds, they will understand the truth. Otherwise, they will remain lonely. We hear positive responses from the heterodox about the participation of Bishop Seraphim at the conferences. We need also consider that the Anglo-Saxon world is in crisis and searching for the truth. Protestantism is also searching for a foundation. Also, we have a tradition of participation in such conferences that was established by the late Metropolitan Anthony. To avoid confusion we should clarify the essence of this effort.”

The Council of Bishops that took place in 1933 adopted the statutes of the Council of Bishops in which it was written that matters concerning relations of the Orthodox Church with heterodox confessions fall within its jurisdiction. On the basis of this resolution on the question of ecumenism, the following resolution was adopted by the Council of Bishops after the All-Diaspora Council:

  • Orthodox Christians must recognize the Holy Ecumenical Orthodox Church as the one and only true Church of Christ. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad forbids its children from participating in any Ecumenical Movement which is based on the principle of the equality of all Christian religions and confessions;
  • Moreover, although individuals stand at the head of the Ecumenical Movement who are not only foreign to Orthodoxy, but are indeed close to anti-Christian masonic organizations and even express sympathy for Bolshevism, at the same time there, there are people participating in this movement who are frill of desire, searching the truth, who love Orthodoxy and are striving towards it. There are are also individuals from other jurisdictions representing the Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement yho often do not clarify but rather darken the understanding of Orthodoxy. We consider it desirable that representatives of the Russian Church Abroad participate in conferences and gatherings of the Ecumenical Movement, as representatives of the church authorities and for missionary purposes.
  • At such conferences, representatives of our Church must be guided by the ruling of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad of 18 December 1931, by uncompromisingly explaining the doctrine of the Orthodox Church and its views on all matters arising in connection with the Ecumenical Movement, and not participating in common prayers with the participants, nor in vocal and submitted resolutions restricting missionary and informational activities.
  • To make the current resolution known to the heads of the autocephalous churches and ask them to share it with their representatives at ecumenical conferences, so that they, along with representatives of the Russian Church Abroad, can defend uncompromisingly the Orthodox perspective and not back away from it under any circumstances.

On the other hand, we have the following statement from Archpriest Grigorii Razumovskii’s talk at the unambiguously ‘anti- Ecumenical’ 1948 Moscow Consultation of the heads of the Autocephalous Churches: “The Russian Orthodox Church thanks God for the understanding granted by Him to our Russian brethren abroad, who have realized how distant the acts and intentions of the 1937 Oxford conference are from the true life of the Church and who at the 1938 Karlovtsy Council refrained from joining the Ecumenical Movement.” [32] Archpriest Grigorii Razumovskii, The Ecumenical Movement and the Russian Orthodox Church, Acts of the Moscow Consultation 2, 188.

Thus, reference to the authority of this Council as being both ‘for’ and ‘against’ participation in the Ecumenical Movement bears witness, in my understanding, to the correctness of these resolutions, which corresponded to the purpose of the Church to serve as a witness to Orthodoxy without compromise wherever this is possible.

Sixty years later, the Orthodox participants at the Thessalonika conference expressed essentially the same position expressed by the Council in 1938. It is noteworthy that the stance of the All-Diaspora Council of 1938 was taken as the foundation of the principle of Fr Georges Florovsky’s work: “During a congress in Yugoslavia in 1938 of Russian Orthodox migrants [sic!], it was stated that participation in the Oecumenische movement [sic!] was only taking place to explain the Creed of the Church and to give information. They refused to make any compromise with respect to the Creed, and will therefore not vote about points of Creed and church order. According to this Principle Mr. Florovsky said in Evanston during the discussions in Section I, that the division of the Church has to be considered as a partition of the Church. It is not for the Orthodoxy to recognize other churches as living parts of the Universal Church, because they lack completeness. Hierarchy, dogma, completeness; and to be truly church, one cannot miss [i.e. lack — ed.} one of those [i.e. any of the points — ed.] just mentioned. Therefore, also by accepting the Seven Sacraments, the Invocation of the Saints, and the Adoration of God’s Mother, of the fullness of the living proof which is present in the Church, the Orthodox Church is the only Church of Christ, therefore responsible to be the witness for truth in the world.” [33]A short outline of an article which appeared in the April issue — it is not clear of which year — of the Oikumene, Gemeenschap der Kerken in the Netherlands, cited in a letter of 17 June 1955 by … Continue reading

Conclusion

It seems sensible to sum up what has been said above as follows. From the materials I have examined it seems that the ecclesiology of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the period from 1920 to 1948 almost entirely (the question of the views of Metropolitans Anastassy and Seraphim Lade is not entirely clear) corresponds to the approach of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, who did not recognize the baptism not only of heretics, but also of schismatics.

However, in practical terms, the ROCOR continued to receive heterodox into the Church via chrismation, which corresponded to the approach of Saint Basil the Great and the church canons, even though Metropolitan Anthony explained this by saying that an empty form is endued with Grace when it is joined to the Church. Such an explanation provided rationale for the continued practice of the reception of heterodox through chrismation during the Synodal period of the history of the Russian Church. In the course of the struggle against Western influence on Orthodox theology, this practice was estimated as what later become known as sacramental oikonomicr. since Latins and Protestants were considered heretics, their baptism was judged not valid and therefore, in reception through chrismation, they received the grace of the mystery of Baptism. Obviously this approach was viewed by its advocates as a return to traditional Orthodox practice. This trend, labelled sacramental oikonomia, appeared comparatively late in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Anthony was responsible for bringing this tendency into the ROCOR. Although Metropolitan Anthony considered all heterodox confessions as lacking sacramental grace, but he nevertheless regarded them as Christians. [34]See excerpts from his speeches in England at the celebrations of the 1600th anniversary of the Council of Chalcedon. Andrei V. Psarev. “‘The Soul and Heart of a Faithful Englishman is not Limited … Continue reading The sacramental theory of oikonomia, understood literally, prevailed after the Second World War when the disciple of Metropolitan Anthony, Fr George Grabbe (d. 1996. Since 1979 a bishop), became the major canonist of the ROCOR.

From the very beginning of its existence in the diaspora (with the 1921 Council), the episcopate of the Russian Church Abroad was conscious of its responsibility to witness to Orthodoxy in the heterodox world. Representatives of the ROCOR could take part in ecumenical contacts only with special permission of the Supreme Church Authority, which, in turn, pointed to the limits of its own powers, expecting questions of the relation to the heterodox to be resolved by all the Local Churches, and, in the first instance by the fullness of the Russian Church. The Russian Church Abroad was primarily a Church for Russian political refugees and all acts that she undertook would ultimately have to be reviewed in the future by a free Church in Russia. This is in accordance with the principle that all agreements achieved by envoys of the Church need to be ratified by those who sent them, by the pleroma of the Church.

Unfortunately, divisions within the Russian Church herself did not facilitate dialogue between the representatives of the Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Evlogii who were involved in ecumenical meetings, even though it was thanks to genuine inter-Orthodox ecumenism that peace was re-established in the Russian ecclesiastical diaspora in 1935. The general principle in the Russian Church Abroad of avoiding joint participation in affairs with representatives of Soviet Russia had an effect on its involvement in the ecumenical movement. The Russian Church Abroad often criticized deviations from this canonical tradition on the part of members of the Paris jurisdiction. Unfortunately, this critique was often of a disparaging and ill-disposed character. Such a tone was common among the right wing of the Russian emigration. The basis for such views was a vision of the Ecumenical Movement as a tool for the destruction of Christianity. Metropolitan Anthony, for his part, was a Russian patriot and monarchist, but at the same time, owing to his generous personality, he was far from any isolationist sentiment and viewed the missionary participation of the Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement enthusiastically.

By the end of the period under consideration, following the death of Metropolitan Anthony in 1936, there were on the one hand, strong sentiments expressed by N. F. Stepanov’s report and Archbishop Seraphim’s remarks at the Second All-Diaspora Council, saying that it was not permissible to take part in the ecumenical movement.

On the other hand, the opposite view, grounded in the need for the Church to conduct educational work in the spirit of the witness of the Apostle Paul in the Athenian Areopagus, was expressed by Metropolitan Anastassy and Bishop Seraphim Lade.

Both approaches to the Ecumenical Movement have their dangers. The former carries the risk of contracting the illness of xenophobia, and the latter that of turning representatives of the Orthodox Church into a “bouquet of flowers on the table of Protestants’. It was this dilemma with which the leadership of the Russian Church Abroad was confronted in the early days of the Cold War. [35]This is a paper I wrote in December 2001 — January 2002 for Prof. John Erickson’s class Church History 472: Orthodoxy and Ecumenism offered at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. … Continue reading

 

References

References
1 V. Sokolov, Ierarkhiia Anglikanskoi Episkopalnoi Tserkvi [The Hierarchy of the Anglican Episcopal Church] (Sergiev Posad: 1897). Cited in: Protopresbyter George Grabbe, Tserkov I eia uchenie v zhizni [The Church and Her Teaching in Life] (New York: 1964), 26. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first article of the person who for decades was responsible for the external policy of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR. Initially published in the periodical of the Church of Poland, Voskresnoe Chtenie 21-3 (1929).
2 Archpriest P. Svetlov, Gde Vselenskaia Tserkov? К voprosu о soedinenii Tserkvei I ко ucheniiu о Tserkvi [Where is the Ecumenical Church? On the Question of the Unification of the Churches and the Teaching on the Church] (Sergiev Posad: 1905); cited in: Archpriest V. Tsypin. ‘K voprosu о granitsakh Tserkvi’ [‘On the Question of the Boundaries of the Church’]. Bogoslovskie trudy: Jubilee volume on the Occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the Moscow Theological Academy (Moscow: 1986).
3 Quoted from 2nd edition by Tsypin, ‘K voprosu’, 209.
4 Collected Works’. Third Letter to Palmer. Cited in Grabbe, Tserkov, 33.
5 I am very grateful to Archpriest Alexander Golubov for his talk, ‘Defining the Church: The Ecclesiology of Evgeny Akvilonov’ at a symposium at Saint Vladimir’s Theological Seminary (Russian Theological Traditions: Yesterday and Today, 3 October 2002) on this thesis, which brought it to my attention, as well as for his valuable comments on the terminology and definitions in the present talk.
6 Subsequently twice revised and expanded, in 1896 and 1904.
7 This paragraph was written for this article by Archpriest Alexander Golubov.
8 Christianstvo ili Tserkov’ [Christianity or the Church], 2nd edn (Sergiev Posad: 1912). Reprinted, e.g., in 1959 in Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, with the blessing of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops.
9 Christianstvo ili Tserkov’, 63-4.
10 Cited from Fr Michael Azkoul, Once Delivered to the Saints (Seattle, WA: Saint Nectarios Press, 2000), 298-9.
11 For discussion of this stance, see Andrei V. Psarev, ‘The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia’, St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 51 (2007), 297-320.
12 Cited in an unpublished manuscript of Fr Georg Seide, History of the Russian Church Abroad, ch. 4, pt. 5, ‘The Russian Church Abroad and the Non-Orthodox Churches’ https://www.rocorstudies.org/2020/02/17/history-of-the-russian-orthodox-church-outside-russia-from-its-beginning-to-the-present-part-v-chapter-4/.
13 Georges Florovsky, Christianity and Culture, vol. 2 of Collected Works (Belmont, Massachusetts: Nordland Publishing Company, 1974), 230. Reference: ‘Correspondence of Archbishop Anthony with the representatives of the Episcopal Church in America’, Vera i Razoum. Russian translation from French. The English translation of Archbishop Anthony’s letters can be found in Andrei Psarev, ‘The Final Word of the Russian Pre-Revolutionary Ecclesiology’, ROCOR Studies, 09.04.2020, https://www.rocorstudies.org/2020/04/13/the- last-word-of-the-russian-pre-revolutionary-ecclesiology/ (accessed 28.04.2020).
14 Fr Daniel Degyansky, Orthodox Christianity and the Spirit of Contemporary Ecumenism (Etna, CA: CTOS, 1992), 32. According to Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche im Ausland, 194, Archbishop Evlogii was the first chairman of the society. Cited in unpublished manuscript of Fr Georg Seide, ‘The Church Abroad and the Non-Orthodox Churches’.
15 Gunter Shultz, ‘Vopros о soedinenii Tserkvei napomestnom Sobore Rossiisk Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi 1917—1918 godov’ [‘The Question of Unification of the Churches at the 1917-18 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church’], i Pravoslavie i Ekumenizm [Orthodoxy and Ecumenism] (Moscow: Department External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1999), 66-7.
16 N. D. Zhevakhoff, ‘K tserkovnoi smute’ [‘On the Turmoil in the Church’; ed. fn 1], in: Tserkovnyia Vedomosti [Church Bulletin] 15-16 (Sremski Karlovtsi: 1927), 5.
17 Put’ moei zhizni: vospominaniia mitropolita Evlogiia [My Life’s Journey. Memoirs of Metropolitan Evlogii] (Paris: YMCA Press), 369.
18 Deiania russkago zagranichnago tserkovnago sobora sostoiavshagosia 8/21- XI — 20/3 XII/1921 goda [Acts of the Church Council of the Russian Church Abroad of 8/21 November-20 November/3 December, 1921] (Sremski Karlovtsy: 1922), 76, 80.
19 The Decree was adopted by a joint session with the Church Council on 25 January/7 February 1922 (Archive of the Synod of Bishops).
20 Initially, the Council of Bishops decided to send representatives. See ‘Opredeleniia Arkhiereiskago Sobora Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi zagranitsei ot 9/22 oktiabria 1924 g.’ [‘Decisions of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia of 9/22 October 1924’], Tserkovnyia Vedomosti [Church Bulletin] 21-2 (1924), 1.
21 Case summary from Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii [Russian State Archive; herein: GARF], Moscow, Coll. 6343, Survey 1, Doc. 279,31 (Case of Assignments of White Emigre Church to Stockholm).
22 All information concerning the activity of the Brotherhood taken from a leaflet printed by the Brotherhood in Tartu, Estonia in 1936.
23 For more information see Nicolas Mabin, ‘Serge N. Bolshakoff, “Russian Ecumenist’”, ROCOR Studies, 12.2012, https://www.rocorstudies.org/2013/02/09/1302/ (accessed 28.04.2020).
24 Deianiia Vtorogo Vsezarubezhnago Sobora RPTsZ [Acts of the Second All­Diaspora Council of the ROCOR] (Belgrade: 1939), 304.
25 ‘Vtoraia vsemimaia konferentsiia о vere i tserkovnom poriadke v Edinburge’ [‘The Second World Conference on Faith and Order in Edinburgh’], Tserkovnaia Zhizn’ [Church Life] 1 (1938), 12.
26 Otchet о vtoroi vsemirnoi konferentsii po voprosam verouchetntia I tserkovnago ustroistva [Report on the Second World Conference on Questions of Doctrine and Church Life] (Paris: Les editeurs reunis), 61-6.
27 ‘Vtoraia Vsemimaia Konferentsiia dlia prakticheskago Khristianstva’ [‘The Second World Conference on Practical Christianity’], Tserkovnaia Zhizn’ [Church Life] 10-11 (1937), 161-3.
28 ‘Vtoraia Vsemirnaia Konferentsiia’, 159.
29 Deianiia Vtorago Vsezarubezhnago Sobora RPTsZ, 368 ff.
30 cf. 1 Peter 3:15.
31 Count Grabbe, in his review for the recently published anthology Deianiia Vtorogo Vsezarubezhnago Sobora RPTsZ [The Acts of the Second All-Diaspora Council of the ROCOR], dedicated much space to the representation of the statements from the report of Bishop Seraphim of Potsdam, thereby confirming his own positive attitude toward them. Cf. Tserkovnaia Thizn’ [Church Life] 9-10 (1939), 151-5.
32 Archpriest Grigorii Razumovskii, The Ecumenical Movement and the Russian Orthodox Church, Acts of the Moscow Consultation 2, 188.
33 A short outline of an article which appeared in the April issue — it is not clear of which year — of the Oikumene, Gemeenschap der Kerken in the Netherlands, cited in a letter of 17 June 1955 by Jan S.F. Van Hoogstraten of the Immigration Services National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, Central Department of Church World Service, to Archpriest George Grabbe: Archive of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR (New York), File 5/48.
34 See excerpts from his speeches in England at the celebrations of the 1600th anniversary of the Council of Chalcedon. Andrei V. Psarev. “‘The Soul and Heart of a Faithful Englishman is not Limited by Utilitarian Goals and Plans”: The Relations of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitskii with the Anglican Church’, Sobornost 33: 2 (2011), 43, 45.
35 This is a paper I wrote in December 2001 — January 2002 for Prof. John Erickson’s class Church History 472: Orthodoxy and Ecumenism offered at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. I am grateful to Walker Thompson for editing this paper and matching it against the Russian translation in April 2020.

I would like to express my gratitude to His Eminence, Metropolitan Laurus (+2007), and His Grace, Bishop Gabriel, for permission to work in the archives of the Synod of Bishops, and to the archivist, Matushka Irene Dutikow, for her assistance. To Br Serge Nedelsky, of the Monastery of St Job of Pochaev in Munich I owe a debt of gratitude for his valuable comments and help in rendering this paper into English. A large part of the synodal archives was taken to Moscow after the Soviet occupation of Belgrade during the Second World War and is now to be found in the State Archive of the Russian Federation. Thanks to the kind help of the independent researcher A. V. Znatnov, I was able to obtain extracts from files needed for this paper.

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