Part I, Chapter 5
The Consolidation of the Church Abroad and its Further Development in the Years after the Schism (1926 – 1939)
The break with the Moscow Patriarchal administration led to the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which considered itself to be the free part of the Church of Russia and the spokesman for the oppressed Church in the Soviet Union. Indeed, this had been done in the past also, in that the Church Abroad had turned to Western Christians – but above all to the Orthodox – imploring them to support the persecuted Church in Russia. This became particularly clear after the arrest of Patriarch – and during the “Renovationist” schism. 1 But more importantly, the Church Abroad in the 1930s repeatedly pointed to the dangerous situation of the Church in the Soviet Union, at a time when hardly any news of the true religious situation reached the West. If one follows the ecclesiastical press of these years or the general émigré press, one can find noteworthy contributions to the church life and general religious situation in the Soviet Union, which would even today hold up as a scholarly analysis. Indeed, this applies to Church Register (Tserkovniye Vedomosti) and its successor Church Life (Tserkovnaya Zhizn’) or to semi-official Orthodox Russia (Pravoslavnaya Rus’), which, after the German conquest of the western part of the Soviet Union, reported in detail about the religious life of this area.
For the Moscow Patriarchate – but above all for the Soviet government – this voice of the free Russian Church was a burden, in that the Soviet descriptions of the “true situation” of the Church and the faithful in the Soviet Union were more often than not just blatant lies. Therefore, after 1945, the Moscow Patriarchate sought to silence this voice, as will be described in detail later.
Until the end of World War II, it was the concern of the Church in the emigration alone to enter into theological dialogue with the other Christian churches, as the Patriarchal Church was prevented by the authorities in general from nurturing inter-confessional contacts. Thus, in 1933, Metropolitan Sergius appealed to the Serbian Patriarch Barnabus of Serbia to relinquish his support for the Karlovtsy Synod, in that, Metropolitan Sergius maintained, the Synod was of a purely political nature and used the Soviet government as a pretext to work against the Church in the homeland. In addition to this, the other Orthodox Sister Churches were antagonistic towards the Patriarchal Church and rejected it; Metropolitan Sergius argued that this could only be seen as a result of the Karlovtsy Synod’s activities. 2
The Karlovtsy Synod was recognized as the legitimate Russian Orthodox Church in the emigration by all local Orthodox Churches, and even by Western Christian denominations, until the end of World War II, none of whom questioned its canonicity. After 1945, the Orthodox Churches in the Soviet-bloc nations severed their relations with the Church Abroad. In the 1960s, the Protestant and Catholic Churches followed this step after having officially recognized the Moscow Patriarchate, which made a break with the Church Abroad a prerequisite for normal relations. This should not delude us into thinking that the Russian Church Abroad has not maintained contact with many Western Christian denominations, though not officially. 3
A peculiar situation arose from the ecclesiastical schism in the emigration. As already mentioned, the Church Abroad kept to the principle of “nationality,” upon which it claimed to be entrusted with all the Russian émigrés throughout the world, including Russian Orthodox faithful of non-Russian ethnic origins. Because the schismatic bishops and clergy of the Paris Jurisdiction and the American Metropolia had been suspended from serving, the Church Abroad was forced to establish its own parishes in Western Europe and North America in order to give the faithful the possibility to participate in divine services celebrated by canonical clergy. Out of the claim to care for the faithful worldwide arose the obligation to establish parishes wherever Russian Orthodox faithful were found, no matter the size of these communities.
After the schism, the Synod of Bishops remained under the presidency of Metropolitan Antony who, after the separation of Metropolitans Eulogius and Platon, was the undisputed leader of the Church Abroad. He commanded great prestige as a theologian, not only within the emigration but also among the other Orthodox Churches. For his outstanding achievements, he was granted the honorific title “His Beatitude,” and was thus addressed by the Serbian Patriarch and the King of Yugoslavia. 4 On the theological activities of the Metropolitan cf. Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, esp. volumes 9-17. This title is normally appropriate only for the head of an autocephalous or at least an autonomous Church. The other members of the Synod at this time were Archbishop Theophanes of Poltava and Pereyaslavl’ (retired in 1931), Archbishop Sergius of Chernomorsk (d. 1935), from 1934 Archbishop Anastasius of Kishinev, the Bishops Theophanes of Kursk (d. 1944), Hermogenes of Aksaya (d. 1944), Seraphim of Lubny (until 1945), Tikhon of Berlin (since 1938); and, as secretary until 1930 Exocustadian Macharoblidze, and thereafter Count George Grabbe (from 1978 Bishop Gregory, retired in 1986, d. 1995).
The jurisdiction consisted of the following hierarchs: Metropolitans Antony (Khrapovitsky), Innocent (Figurovsky) and Methodius (Gerasimov), Archbishops Anastasius Gribanovsky), Damian (Govorov), Theophanes (Bystrov), Gabriel (Chepur), Hermogenes (Maximov), Meletius (Zaborovsky), Nestor (Anisimov), Seraphim (Lukianov), Sergius (Petrov), and Simon (Vinogradov); and Bishops Apollinarius (Koshevoi, from 1926), Demitrius (Voznesensky, from 1934), Theodosius (Samoilovich, from 1931), John (Maximovich, from 1934), John (Shlemar, from 1931), Joasaph (Skorodumov, from 1930), Juvenal (Kilin, from 1935), Nicholas (Karpov, from 1929, d. 1932), Seraphim (Lade, from 1931), Seraphim (Sobolev), Tikhon (Lyashchenko), Tikhon (Troitsky, from 1930), Victor (Svyatin, since 1932) and Vitaly (Maximenko, from 1934). Bishop Jonah of Hankow and Bishop Michael of Alexandrovsk reposed in 1925. The bishops who went into schism were the following: Metropolitan Eulogius and his vicar bishops: Archbishops Vladimir (Tikhonitsky) and Sergius (Korolev), Bishop Benjamin (Fedchenko, joined the Moscow Patriarchate in 1931) in Western Europe; and Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky) with Bishops Adam (Philippovsky), and Arsenius (Chagovtsev) in America. The latter bishops, together with the newly-consecrated hierarchs of the North American Diocese Bishops Leontius (Turkevich), Macarius (Ilinsky), and Benjamin (Basalyga), again joined the Church Abroad in 1936.
A total of eighteen bishops belonged to the Synod after the schism in 1927. Seven bishops broke with the Synod and two new jurisdictions were established. One bishop joined the Moscow Patriarchate but remained abroad. Not included in this list are Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), who lived on Athos until 1928 and then joined Metropolitan Eulogius, Metropolitan Eleutherius of Lithuania (who was subordinate to Moscow), Archbishop John of Riga and Latvia (to whom Patriarch Tikhon had granted autocephaly for his lifetime, murdered in 1934), Panteleimon of Pinsk, and Sergius of Japan. The positions of these hierarchs with regard to the Synod had not altered: they were unable to participate officially in the sessions due to their difficult circumstances but continued to recognize the Synod’s moral authority.
Thus, out of a close group of émigré bishops and bishops who had been consecrated by the Church Abroad when it was united, eighteen recognized the Synod’s authority, and eight renounced it, of whom three joined the Ecumenical Patriarchate, four established their own jurisdiction (the American Metropolia), and one joined Moscow.
In subsequent years, another seventeen more bishops joined these eighteen bishops, receiving consecration from the Synod of Bishops. New consecrations were necessary to replace hierarchs who had died and to fill those dioceses which had been left leaderless by the schism.
The Council of 1928 was the first convened in which there was not a single debate over the question of legitimacy and canonicity. Metropolitan Eulogius had separated himself; therefore, the Synod had to fill his diocesan see anew. The break with the church administration of Metropolitan Sergius in Moscow was complete, so its consent was not needed.
At the Council in Karlovtsy, which lasted from 20 August/2 September to 27 August/9 September 1928, ten bishops took part in person; Archbishop Anastasius gave his written consent to the minutes, as he had only been able to take part at the last session. In addition to this number, Bishop Benjamin came from Paris to deliver Metropolitan Sergius’ demand for a declaration of loyalty to the Soviet government; this demand was naturally rejected. 5
The most important decision to be made concerned the Western European communities. After confirmation by an ecclesiastical court presided over by Archbishop Innocent and Bishop Simon (Vinogradov), Metropolitan Eulogius was removed as head of the Western European Diocese and suspended from serving. This also applied to his vicars: Archbishop Vladimir, and Bishops Sergius, Benjamin, and Alexander (from 1928). Archbishop Seraphim (Lukianov) was chosen to head the Western European communities of the Church Abroad. The new diocese of Western Europe included parishes in France (17), Austria (2), Hungary (1), England (2), Belgium (1), Italy (2), Luxembourg (2), and Switzerland (4). 6 Communities under Metropolitan Eulogius existed in France (43, of which seven were in Lille), Germany (4), Belgium (5), Czechoslovakia (2), Italy (2), Holland (1), Sweden (1), Romania (1), Denmark (1), and Norway (1). Metropolitan Eulogius also had clergy in England, Vienna, and Morocco, but no parishes. 7
These numbers changed over the years, though the 2:1 Eulogius/Seraphim ratio remained more or less constant. Germany became an independent diocese and was not ruled by Archbishop Seraphim. In 1929, Archbishop Seraphim received a vicar bishop for the London communities, Bishop Nicholas, who was the only Russian Orthodox bishop ever to have held the title “Bishop of London.” 8
The Council confirmed the independence of the German diocese and placed Bishop Tikhon at its head. 9 He remained in that position from 1926-1938 and was succeeded by Bishop Seraphim (Lade), who had been head of the Austrian communities from 1931-1937. 10 In 1938, Austria became a vicariate of Germany; Bishop Basil became its head. The establishment of the Church Abroad’s Western European Diocese resulted in parishes of the Church Abroad existing side by side with parishes of the Paris Jurisdiction in many cities. In a few of the larger cities, a third Russian jurisdiction (the Moscow Patriarchate) joined them, even though at least until 1945, only the smallest splinter groups belonged to the latter. Paris and Berlin were typical examples of this. In Berlin, there had been a parish of the Church Abroad since 1926, first on Fehrbelliner Platz, and from 1938 in the newly-built cathedral on Hohenzollerndamm. Metropolitan Eulogius’s parish held divine services on Nachodstrasse and in the Tegel Cemetery Church. After Metropolitan Eulogius was suspended for disobedience by Metropolitan Sergius, under whose jurisdiction he was from 1927-1930, a third parish came into existence. This parish assembled on Fasanenstrasse and was financially subsidized by Metropolitan Eleutherius. 11
Similarly, in the North American Diocese, as in Western Europe, there were duplicated administrations. After Metropolitan Platon’s schism, only Bishop Apollinary (Koshevo) remained faithful to the Synod. He had been appointed Bishop of Winnipeg at the request of Platon in 1924, but in the same year was made ruling bishop of the San Francisco diocese. Despite good personal relations with Metropolitan Platon and the participants at the Councils of 1924 and 1926 in North America, he refused to break with the Synod of Bishops and remained faithful to it. The Synod ordered Bishop Alexander, who had been living in the Saint Andrew Skete on Mount Athos since 1921, to return to his diocese. He had administered the Russian Diocese of North America from 1917-21 and then relinquished his post to Metropolitan Platon. After Metropolitan Platon’s break with the Synod of Bishops, Bishop Alexander was intended to assume the leadership of the Russian Church Abroad’s North American Diocese. Bishop Alexander did not comply with this request and was therefore tried by an ecclesiastical court and deposed. 12
Thus, Bishop Apollinarius assumed the rule of the diocese on 1 February 1927. Two years later, the Synod elevated him to the rank of Archbishop of North America and Canada “for special labors and moral suffering undergone in the course of standing for canonical truth.” 13 To support him, vicariates were created in San Francisco under Bishop Tikhon (Troitsky), in Detroit under Bishop Theodosius (Samoilovich), and in Montreal and Canada under Bishop Joasaph (Skorodumov). 14
The administrative division of North America remained unchanged until the repose of Archbishop Apollinarius in 1933. At this time, sixty-two parishes in the United States and Canada belonged to the Church Abroad. 15 After the repose of Archbishop Apollinarius, the administration was entrusted briefly to Bishop Tikhon, and then in September 1934, to Bishop Vitalius (Maximenko), who became the head of the province of North America. This consisted of three individual dioceses: that of Eastern America, ruled by Archbishop Vitalius, whose see was in Jersey City; that of Western America, ruled by Bishop Tikhon, whose see was in San Francisco and included Alaska; and the newly-created Diocese of Edmonton and Canada, ruled by Bishop Joasaph. 16 This arrangement was, however, not long-lived. After the Metropolia’s reunion with the Church Abroad in 1936, there were eleven dioceses and vicariates in total. 17 This administrative arrangement, which had been made necessary by the schism of the Western European and North American communities, was only a temporary solution. The new arrangement remained in effect, with only slight changes, until the outbreak of the Second World War.
The parishes in South America were likewise reorganized in 1934. The administration of these communities had been taken over by Archpriest Constantine Izraztsov, who had been a priest at the Russian embassy church in Buenos Aires from 1891. In 1934, Bishop Theodosius (Samoilovich) was named Bishop of San Paulo and Brazil and entrusted with the direction of all the South American communities, except for the communities in Argentina, which remained under the administration of Father Izraztsov. This administrative order remained in force until 1945; soon thereafter, a new administrative arrangement became necessary due to the fresh influx of Russian émigré.
The consolidation of ecclesiastical administration was of the highest importance; it was a prerequisite for the strengthening of church life. The creation of new dioceses was necessary primarily in order to have a sensible administrative organization of those communities located in a specific territory, often within national boundaries. This was the case with the dioceses in the Far East, in North America, and also partly in Europe (Germany, England, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey). Widely dispersed communities were subordinated to one diocesan bishop, for example, in South America and in Europe, where one bishop was entrusted with various countries.
A number of parishes were directly under the Synod of Bishops (stavropegial), such as certain ones in Asia, Australia, and individual parishes in North Africa. For these communities simply having a priest was of the greatest importance. In most cases, this was possible in the 1920s, because there existed sufficient clergy. As time passed, an ever-increasing problem developed in the emigration, because a great many priests died and there were no educational institutions subject to the Synod to make it possible for all candidates to study theology and prepare for ordination. As shown in the list of the episcopate earlier in this chapter, by the mid-30s approximately half of the émigré bishops had died and been replaced by younger candidates. These were mostly hierarchs who had received their education before the Revolution. Yet the problem of educating their own candidates became increasingly more pressing the longer the emigration lasted. These problems naturally affected the lower clergy in the same proportion. The shortage of priests worsened due to the schism, in that now in numerous cities parishes of various jurisdictions each required their own priest.
Archbishop Damian of Tsaritsyn took the first step towards creating a facility for the education of priests by founding a school for pastoral studies in Bulgaria in 1923. 18 Individual candidates were able to study at the theological seminaries and graduate facilities in Warsaw, Sofia, and Belgrade; yet the diaspora and émigré communities still lacked their own educational institution, which would meet their special needs. The possibility of using the Saint Sergius Institute in Paris was effectively destroyed as a consequence of the schism. In the province of the Far East, pastoral courses were begun in 1928, which developed to such an extent that by 1934 a theological faculty at the Saint Vladimir Institute in Harbin was founded. This faculty, which enjoyed state recognition of its diploma, continued the tradition of the pre-Revolutionary Russian academies and was the first graduate theological institution under the jurisdiction of the Church Abroad, though its students were overwhelmingly from the Far East. In America, where the unity of the Church emigration had been reestablished in 1936, Saint Vladimir’s Theological Seminary was founded in 1937; today it is under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America. For Europe, there was an attempt to organize courses to prepare men for the priesthood at the Monastery of Saint Job in Ladomirova. The hope that this would develop into a seminary was to be realized only after World War II. If today one wonders why the Synod waited so long to establish its own educational institution, the answer must be that the majority of émigré viewed the emigration as temporary, and counted on a quick return to Russia. Of course, financial considerations also came into play, though these were not decisive.
Wherever it was not possible to have a priest, there was at least an attempt to help the faithful by means of distributing Orthodox literature. The dissemination of information and the propagation of the Faith through church literature were realized by a series of diocesan and parish journals, church calendars, and books and pamphlets of catechetical, theological, spiritual, historical, and literary content. Besides the religious-catechetical publications, which served to inform and instruct the people in the Church about their Faith, the Church Abroad also published books and brochures intended to help the émigrés preserve their Russian heritage. 19
However, the establishment of theological schools for the education of priests and of new printing presses and publishing houses would have been unthinkable without the Russian monasteries and convents. 20 The need for publishing houses became increasingly more urgent after the danger of schism arose within the Church Abroad in 1924. Missionary work had already begun in the monasteries: in Harbin, the Convent of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was founded in 1924 and the Monastery of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in 1925; in Ladomirova, Czechoslovakia, the Monastery of Saint Job was founded in 1924; and the Convent of the Lesna Icon of the Mother of God, to which an orphanage was attached, was established in Yugoslavia in 1920. One major achievement of this convent lay in the fact that during the time between the wars it renewed twenty-seven Serbian convents, thereby not only doing the Serbian Church a great service but also repaying a small part of the debt owed by the Russian Church Abroad to the Serbian Church for its generous help and support. This convent, like all the other monastic houses existing in the emigration, has had a lasting influence on the spiritual life and theological mind of the Church Abroad in a most profound and enduring way. As spiritual centers, the monasteries have been places of pilgrimage for thousands, as well as centers for the renewal of the Church, whence many of the most important hierarchs of the emigration have come. The spiritual and theological radiance of the monasteries has attracted men and women filled with the desire for a life of prayer and obedience entirely directed towards God. The continuation of its monastic traditions demonstrates most clearly that the Church Abroad is the heir of the pre-Revolutionary Russian Church, whose spiritual and theological life was likewise closely bound to its monasteries. If one notes the accomplishments of the Church Abroad in preserving the monastic ideals and traditions of old Russia, one must also recognize that it is the only one among the Russian émigré jurisdictions which can claim to have preserved this thousand-year tradition of the Russian Church. Neither the Paris Jurisdiction nor the American Metropolia (OCA) has been able to found an enduring monastic community comparable to those that the Church Abroad has produced and continues to produce.
This success in consolidating church life could not hide the fact that the schism of the Western European and North American dioceses was perceived both by the emigration and by the sister Orthodox Churches as deplorable and burdensome. Appeals to reestablish unity were not lacking. In 1933, the Patriarch of Romania and the Archbishop of Athens made just such an appeal to the emigration, with the Serbian Patriarch acting as mediator. 21 In August of 1934, an appeal from twenty-four hierarchs to reestablish church unity appeared in the journal Orthodox Carpatho-Russia (Pravoslavnaya Karpatskaya Rus’), signed by Dionysius, the Metropolitan of Warsaw and Bishop John (Buillen) of Pechora. 22 Numerous bishops answered this appeal with letters of agreement sent to the editor, including all the hierarchs in North America, except Bishop Leontius (who remained a lifelong defender of autocephaly in North America), Benjamin (Basalyga) and Antonin, and from the West European Exarchate, Archbishop Vladimir (Tikhonitsky) and Bishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) agreed with the appeal, though Metropolitan Eulogius and Bishop Sergius (Korolev) did not answer. 23
This appeal was preceded by a resolution of the Council of Bishops of 1933, based on Archbishop Seraphim’s report, in which he indicated that strong tendencies were noticeable among the faithful of North American and Western Europe to reestablish church unity. After this report, the Council published a resolution, in which the bishops expressed their regret over the 1926 schism and their desire for a reunion in the interest of the spiritual and national union of the emigration. The Council guaranteed that all hierarchs who had separated from the Church Abroad since 1926 would be accepted back into the community of worship when they would be ready to acknowledge the Synod and the Council as their canonical authorities. Furthermore, it stated that the Church Abroad did not consider itself autocephalous and that all its dioceses, ecclesiastical missions, parishes, and monasteries formed an inseparable branch of the Russian Church, whose first hierarch was Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa, Patriarchal locum tenens. 24 In May 1934, Metropolitan Antony directed an appeal to the faithful in North America. Metropolitan Theophilus, the successor to Metropolitan Platon, who had since died, responded positively to this appeal. He said that he was prepared to enter into discussions with Bishop Tikhon, who had at this point taken over the administration of the American diocese of the Church Abroad. 25
Following this, in August, the Synod lifted the ban on celebrating the divine services, which had been imposed in 1927. In March of 1935, Archbishop Vitalius, leading the North American Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad and Metropolitan Leontius of the American Metropolia, joined together for the first time in serving the Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Protection, in New York. 26 Thus, an important step was taken towards reunification, which was confirmed in 1935.
In the Western European Dioceses, there were noticeable factions that were in favor of overcoming the division, but also influential circles that were opposed to unification. Metropolitan Eulogius characterized this time as a conciliatory period. 27 For this reason great hopes were placed in the trip that Metropolitan Eulogius made in May 1934 to visit Metropolitan Antony. The official journal of the Synod of Bishops, Church Life, commenting on this journey in a report, that there was much talk of reconciliation in the émigré press in connection with this meeting – as if the misfortune of the schism had been caused by the personal relations of the two bishops. Metropolitan Antony insisted that he had at no time been in a state of enmity with Metropolitan Eulogius, but, on the contrary, felt deep friendship towards Metropolitan Eulogius, then as now, regardless of all the sad incidents in the last years. If Metropolitan Antony had broken liturgical communion with Eulogius, this did not happen as the consequence of personal discord, but because Metropolitan Eulogius separated himself from the Synod of Bishops.
Metropolitan Eulogius’s going to Belgrade was only in connection with Metropolitan Antony’s, poor state of health. Liturgical communion could be resumed as a broad first step towards reunification. In any case, the full reestablishment of unity could not yet be concluded by the two hierarchs, since Eulogius would still have to obtain the consent of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Metropolitan Antony that of the Council of Bishops. 28 A further article appeared with the title “On the Path to Unity.” 29
In Belgrade, there were several meetings between Metropolitans Eulogius and Antony and a session of the Synod of Bishops in which Metropolitan Eulogius, Bishop Seraphim (Lade) of Vienna, and the newly-consecrated Bishop Vitalius (Maximenko) participated, together with other permanent members of the Synod of Bishops. Metropolitan Antony gave a report on the possibilities of reestablishing liturgical communion, but also indicated that this step would require the agreement of the Council of Bishops. 30 After this session, Eulogius received a telegram from the chairman of his diocesan consistory, Count Kokovtsev, reading: “I ask you to take no final steps towards reconciliation.” 31
The possibility of the reestablishment of liturgical communion was suggested by both sides; the preconditions were to be clarified at a meeting between the first hierarchs of the Churches in the autumn, with Patriarch Barnabus presiding. Eulogius’s readiness to reconcile fully with the Synod was already in doubt. Upon his return home from Belgrade, he declared that “nothing had changed.” 32
In the summer, all the preparations had been completed to such an extent that Patriarch Barnabus was able to send invitations to the leaders of the four ecclesiastical provinces to begin negotiations under his direction in October: Metropolitan Eulogius for Western Europe, Metropolitan Anastasius for the Balkans, Metropolitan Theophilus for America, and Bishop Demetrius (Voznesensky) for the Far East. The negotiations were most difficult and lasted eighteen days, 33 but statutes led finally to a common protocol on “The Provisional Statutes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.” 34 In these “statutes,” which required the consent of the individual ecclesiastical provinces, it was established that the “Russian Orthodox Church Abroad” is an inseparable part of the Russian Orthodox Church and recognizes the Patriarchal locum tenens, Metropolitan Peter, as its primate, who should be commemorated in Divine Services of all churches. The supreme legislative, juridical, and ruling body of the Church Abroad is the Council of Bishops, which meets annually; and its executive branch is the Synod of Bishops. Chapter III defines the duties of the Council of Bishops; Chapter IV that of the Synod of Bishops. In Chapter III, concerning the Council of Bishops, paragraph 4 was of special significance, discussing the establishment and abolition of episcopal sees and changes of diocesan boundaries. Chapter VI sets forth the following: the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia consists of four provinces: Western Europe, the Near East, North America, and the Far East. Chapter VI, paragraph 3: The division of the territory and the communities of these provinces must be approved by a general episcopal Council.
This protocol on the “Provisional Statutes” had the great advantage of defining the validity and rights of the administration precisely and thereby prevented any future “interpretations.” The negotiators – Metropolitans Eulogius, Theophilus, and Anastasius – and the secretary of the negotiations, Bishop Demitrius, signed the “Provisional Statutes.” Patriarch Barnabus signed as the presiding hierarch of the negotiations.
Upon his return to America, Metropolitan Theophilus praised this document as the “canonical foundation” of the Russian Church in North America. In November, an assembly of bishops took place at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, which approved the statutes. In subsequent weeks solemn divine services were held, which liturgically blessed the reestablished unity. 35 From the beginning, Metropolitan Eulogius seems not to have genuinely desired to participate in the negotiations for reunification. It was also evident that he had hoped to find understanding and support from Metropolitan Theophilus. 36
Upon his return to Paris, Metropolitan Eulogius visited his vicar, Bishop Sergius of Prague, who gave him to understand that he could not abide by many points in the “Provisional Statutes.” 37 A session of the diocesan council in Paris above all else expressed criticism of the strong central authority of the Council and the Synod. They decided only to agree to the “Provisional Statutes” if the Ecumenical Patriarch would agree to release the Western European province from his jurisdiction and allow it to rejoin the Karlovtsy Synod of Bishops. It was a foregone conclusion that Constantinople would express reservations. In his Nativity Epistle to the Patriarch of Constantinople, Metropolitan Eulogius wrote soon thereafter: “Our bishops wanted to separate me from Your Holiness’ jurisdiction for reasons which are not entirely clear, but my flock and I cannot agree to this.” 38 In June of 1936, an assembly of Eulogius’s diocese met, in which all 109 of his clergy participated. A heated debate arose between the supporters and the opponents of the “Provisional Statutes,” leading to the formation of a “Committee for Reunification”; yet the agreement was finally vetoed. 39 Metropolitan Eulogius informed the Serbian Patriarch and Metropolitan Anastasius that he could only agree to a “moral unity,” but not an administrative one. Thereby, Metropolitan Anthony’s attempt to re-establish the unity of the Russian Church in Western Europe was shattered.
Today it is difficult to determine whether Metropolitan Eulogius had seriously desired reconciliation and reunification or had participated in the negotiations only for tactical reasons. The Patriarch of Serbia, as a mediator, enjoyed the great respect of the Russian émigré for having given the utmost support to the émigré bishops and the Church Abroad in general. Metropolitan Eulogius had also enjoyed this hospitality in the first years of his exile. Thus, he could hardly have refused an invitation from the Patriarch. He also had to account for those factions of the emigration that supported unity, which in 1933-35 were numerically strong. Indeed, Metropolitan Eulogius himself called this epoch the “conciliatory period.” So for him, there were important reasons to participate in the negotiations, as he did not want to be held responsible for the schism. This danger was all the greater for him, in that the majority of the American bishops favored reunification even before the negotiations had begun. In his memoirs, the Metropolitan mentions only the views of Bishop Sergius of Prague but remains entirely silent about the views of Archbishops Vladimir and Alexander. Both had spoken out in favor of unity in a letter to the newspaper Orthodox Carpatho-Russia. It can be assumed that Archbishop Vladimir had the desired reunification, because later, as head of the Paris Jurisdiction, he took various steps to re-establish unity. 40 The greatest opposition came from the laity on the diocesan council and the professors of the Saint Sergius Institute. Both these groups, it seems, decisively declined to accept the “Provisional Statutes,” thereby allowing the reunification to fail.
Metropolitan Antony did not take part in the negotiations due to very poor health. On 30 September/13 October 1935 the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood was celebrated in Belgrade, at which Patriarch Barnabus of Serbia, Metropolitan Elias of Lebanon, eight Russian bishops, and representatives of other national Orthodox Churches took part. Congratulatory messages came from the heads of all national Orthodox Churches, and from Metropolitans Eulogius and Theophilus, as well as from representatives of non-Orthodox denominations. At the festivities, representatives of the Russian emigration, including members of the House of Romanov, took part, as well as members of the Serbian Royal Family and Yugoslav government officials. The Jubilee committee published a 432-page anniversary volume entitled A Collection of Selected Writings of His Beatitude Antony, Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia, with a Portrait and a Biography of the Author (Sbornik izbrannykh Sochinenii Blazhenneishago Antoniya, Mitropolita Kievskago I Galickago s portretom i Zhizneopisaniem avtora. Yubileinoe izdanie ko dnyu 50-letiya svyashchennosluzheniya). 41
These festivities were the last great public event in which Metropolitan Antony participated. At Pascha of 1936, he was only able to attend divine services in a wheelchair. Since 1927, his health had been deteriorating, so that standing and walking had become difficult for him. In addition to his physical deterioration, he suffered deep pain over the situation of the Russian Church in the homeland and in the emigration. 42 His health deteriorated rapidly from the end of July 1936. On 28 July/10 August 1936, Metropolitan Antony reposed in the Lord. After a memorial service on 29 July/11 August in the Karlovtsy Cathedral, his remains were taken to Belgrade and the following day he was laid in state in the Cathedral of the Serbian Patriarchate, where the official funeral took place. The funeral was served by Patriarch Barnabus, Metropolitan Anastasius, Archbishop Hermogenes, a number of Serbian bishops, and archimandrites, archpriests, priests, and deacons. Patriarch Barnabus and Archbishop Anastasius eulogized the life and works of the late hierarch. The funeral procession began at the Patriarchal Cathedral and went first to the Holy Trinity Russian Church, and then to the Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, where the Metropolitan was finally laid to rest in the crypt below. 43
In the obituaries and telegrams of condolence, which came on the occasion of Metropolitan Antony’s death, the First Hierarch was called the “founder” of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. This was an accurate appellation. In over one hundred theological works he had not only influenced the theological thought and spiritual life of the Church Abroad for posterity but through his personal example had formed an entire generation of bishops and clergy. The idea of an indivisible, integral whole Russian Church, whose free part was represented by the Church Abroad, stemmed largely from him. His prestige, which he also enjoyed in the homeland, will never be more clearly documented than by the fact that after the news of his repose reached Russia, numerous clergy served memorial services (panikhidi). As a consequence of these services, over one hundred priests from Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev were arrested and/or deported. 44
Metropolitan Anastasius (Gribanovsky) succeeded Metropolitan Antony; the former had been the First Hierarch’s deputy since 1932 and had been elevated to the rank of Metropolitan in 1935. The reestablishment of the unity of the Russian Church, if only in America, was due in part to his skill in negotiation. Metropolitan Anastasius (b. 1873, d. 1965) carried out his duties as First Hierarch of the Church Abroad until 1964 when he stepped down from this position due to advanced age. The twenty-nine years during which he presided over the Church Abroad were distinguished by the year 1938 when the Church tended over one thousand parishes, and the years 1945-49 when the Church had to begin anew after suffering heavy losses in Eastern Europe, China and Manchuria.
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 6, pp. 95-183; here there are many documents in defense of the Patriarchal Church and the Patriarch. ↩
- Echos d’Orient (1934) 173, pp. 107-108. ↩
- A typical example is the Second Vatican Council, at which the representatives of the Patriarchal Church, the Church Abroad and the Paris Jurisdiction took part. Cf. Patock, Auslandskirche und Vatikanisches Konzil. ↩
- Andreev, Kratkij obzor, p. 108. Echos d’Orient (1932) 165, pp. 95-96. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7: pp. 185-213. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 235-236. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 233-235; Manuchina, Evlogy, pp. 409-571. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7: pp. 277-278. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 272-275. ↩
- Seide, Russische Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD. ↩
- Volkmann, pp. 20-21; Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7:272-275. ↩
- Tserk. Ved. (1928) 5-6, p. 1. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7: pp. 390-391. ↩
- Ibid., 7: pp. 398-400; 5: pp. 276-280. ↩
- Tserk. Zhizn´ (1933) 7, p. 133. ↩
- For further developments, cf. Part IV, Chaps. 1.4-1.5. ↩
- Tserk. Zhizn’ (1936) 7, p. 104-105. ↩
- Cf. Part IV, Chap. 4. ↩
- Seide, Drückerei und Verlagswesen. ↩
- Cf. Part IV, Chap. 2; Seide, Die Klöster der ROK. ↩
- Echos d’Orient (1934) 174, p. 107-108. ↩
- Prav. Karp. Rus’ (1934)1/14.8. 1934. ↩
- Severnoi Ameriki, pp. 62-68. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7:311-312; Russ. Prav. Ts., 1, pp. 76-77. ↩
- Severnoi Ameriki, pp. 64-65. ↩
- Ibid., p. 67. ↩
- Manuchina, Evlogy, p. 269. ↩
- Tserk. Zhizn’ (1934) 6, pp. 95-96. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 96-99. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7:337; Manuchina, Evlogy, p. 629. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7: 337. ↩
- Tserk. Zhizn’, (1934) 8, pp.127-131. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 7:375-379; Russ. Prav. Ts., 1:82-86. ↩
- The Four Protocols of the session and the Provisional Statutes are published in Tserk. Zhizn’ (1935) 11-12, pp. 164-178; for the translation of the Provisional Statutes, see below pp. 439-444. ↩
- Severnoi Ameriki, pp. 72-73; Prav. Rus’ (1936)1, p. 5. ↩
- Manuchina, Evlogy, p. 638. ↩
- Ibid., p. 642. ↩
- Ibid., p. 643. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 643-644. ↩
- Mitropolit Vladimir, p. 145. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 10: pp. 172-192; Tserk. Zhizn’ (1936) 4-5, pp. 52-56. ↩
- Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 10: pp. 215. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 215-237. ↩
- Ibid., p. 237. ↩