Articles Historiography Seide, Gernot

History of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia from Its Beginning to the Present. Introductory

Foreword

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov Zagranitsei), also known as The Russian Church Outside Russia, or The Russian Church in Exile, is that part of the Russian Church which for more than sixty years has cared for the faithful in the free, non-communist world. After the communist takeover of eastern and southeastern Europe, China, and Manchuria and in consequence of the division of Palestine, the Church Abroad lost its property in these regions, including over three hundred churches, more than a dozen monasteries, several ecclesiastical missions, a theological academy, and a seminary, as well as numerous ecclesiastical institutions such as printing presses, libraries, orphanages, homes for the elderly, schools, boarding schools, and church supply shops. The majority of these Church-owned institutions were built after 1920 by donations from the Russian emigration. The administrative center and the seat of the Synod of Bishops were located from 1921 in Sremsky-Karlovtsy (Yugoslavia). There, until the outbreak of the Second World War, two All-Diaspora Councils and nearly a dozen Councils of Bishops met. The “jurisdiction” of the Church Abroad was often called the “Karlovtsy Jurisdiction” in order to distinguish it from other parts of the Russian Church.

Since 1945 the Church Abroad has cared for parishes in the non-communist world. In Western Europe, North and South America, North Africa, the Near East, Australia, and New Zealand are located some 300 parishes, thirty-eight monastic houses, an Ecclesiastical Mission, and numerous charitable, missionary, and educational institutions. The education of priests takes place for the most part at the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, which is certified by the State of New York as an institution of higher learning.

In the years 1926 and 1946 parts of the emigré communities in Western Europe (the Paris Jurisdiction) and North America (the Metropolia) split off from the Church Abroad. The Church Abroad ceased accepting orders from the temporary Moscow Patriarchal administration in 1927, when Metropolitan Sergius of Nizhni-Novgorod (Stragorodsky, 1943-44 Patriarch), the substitute of the legitimate administrator (locum tenens) of the Patriarchate, Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa, demanded a declaration of loyalty from the clergy in the diaspora to the atheistic Soviet authority. When the hierarchs of the Church Abroad refused to sign the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, they were excluded from the ranks of the Patriarchal administration by Metropolitan Sergius, which lead to a parting Krutitsa, the legitimate heir of Patriarch Tikhon, until receiving news of his death. Since that time, the Church Abroad has remained independent of the Church in Russia.

The schisms within the Russian Church emigration, together with the separation of the Russian Church Abroad from the Moscow Patriarchate, led in part to the coexistence of several Russian Orthodox jurisdictions outside the Soviet sphere of influence. The entrenchment of the standpoints of individual jurisdictions within the Russian emigration not only spoils relationships within the Russian Orthodox community but also renders it difficult to evaluate the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in preserving the Orthodox Faith and Russian culture within the diaspora. The preservation of active church life, the maintenance of monasticism, missionary work, the religious upbringing of children, and Church-sponsored charitable work could be carried out only in the diaspora after the communist take-over of Russia. If today, after more than seventy years of emigration, the Russian emigré communities hold fast to their beliefs and traditions despite their world-wide dispersion, this is doubtless due to the Russian Church Abroad. The Church Abroad also saw as its duty to call attention to the onerous fate of its brethren in the Soviet Union, and the persecution of the Church by the Communist State.

In this work, I have attempted to describe the historical development of the Church Abroad and church life in the emigration, and thereby to evaluate and examine the contributions of the Church Abroad within the church emigration. Hitherto a comprehensive and detailed history of the Church Abroad has not appeared. Many small books and pamphlets have appeared, as well as three larger works. In 1968 a two-volume work on the Church Abroad was published in Russian with extensive illustrative material, which detailed the life of individual communities. In it, however, only those communities which belonged to the Church Abroad in 1968 were examined. The numerically significant dioceses and parishes which were then located in communist lands were not mentioned. Moreover, the Church Abroad’s governing bodies, and subjects such as printing and publishing, schools, the education of priests, or the Church Abroad’s relations to other Churches were not discussed. Nevertheless, this work, The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia 191 8-196 9. Vol. I-II., ed. Count A.A. Sollogub. Jerusalem, 1968 (Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov Zagranitsei 1918-196 9. Tom I-II. Red. Graf A.A. Sollogub. Jerusalem, 1968.), is a valuable accomplishment, not the least because of its extensive and valuable illustrations. In 1972 the Saint Nectarios American Orthodox Church in Seattle, Washington, printed a history of the Church Abroad prepared by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline, Mass., entitled, A History of the Russian Church Abroad and the Events Leading to the American Metropolia’s Autocephaly. This is a very valuable work, particularly in evaluating the granting of autocephaly to the American Metropolia (now “The Orthodox Church in America”), but had a limited distribution and is marred by a deeply polemical tone. More recently, Father Alexey Young wrote a very readable popular history, The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia: A History and Chronology (St. Willibrord’s Press, 1993). This is an excellent introduction to the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, but is not detailed and relies exclusively on secondary sources.

Individual chapters in our work, such as the one (Part IV, Chapter 2 ) on the monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the chapters on the Church Abroad’s relations with the Western Christian denominations (Part V, Chapters 1 -4 ), have had to be greatly abbreviated. A separate treatment of the monastic houses of the Russian Church Abroad was published in German and English. Unlike the German edition, the English version, Monasteries and Convents of The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Munich, 199 0) is enriched by photographs of the life of the Russian Church Abroad.

The German manuscript of this book was completed in the summer of 1981. The German edition was published in 1983 under the title Geschichte der Russischen Orthodoxen Kirche im Ausland von der Gründung bis in die Gegenwart (Wiesbaden). After the publisher agreed to a translation into English in 198 7, certain parts of the German edition were revised once again and individual aspects were revised because of newly-found material. Furthermore, two chapters were added to the English edition:“The Restoration of Church Life and the 1946 Council of Bishops” (Part II,2) and “The Millennium Celebrations of the Russian Orthodox Church” (Part II,6 ).

In transcribing proper names we have followed popular usage. Thus, in general, we have preferred the usual English counterparts of Russian names (e.g., John rather than Ioann), but have used Russian forms rather than Latinizations (e.g., Vitaly rather than Vitalius).

The author would like to express his special gratitude to all who supported this research project: Archbishop Laurus of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery, the late Archbishop Paul of Sydney, and the late Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) of Washington, who made research in the libraries and archives of the Church Abroad possible. The author would like to offer special thanks to Xenia Jacqueline Endres of New York for having undertaken, with the help of Reader Isaac Lambertson, the enormous task of the present translation. Particular thanks go to Reader Serge Nedelsky who, while residing in the monastery in Munich, edited, revised, and updated this new, English-language edition with the able assistance of Hieromonk Avraamij.

c. 2000

Introduction

The immense influence which the Russian Orthodox Church has had upon the spiritual, cultural, economic, and political life of Russia is best documented by the fact that Russia of old, on the basis of the religious devotion of its people, and its many monasteries and churches, was known among European countries as “Holy Russia.”

The spread of literacy, the colonization and simultaneous evangelization of vast areas, the preservation of the national and cultural identity of the Russian people during the centuries of Mongol Yoke, and, finally, the unification of the nation since the middle of the 14th century by the Muscovite princes, would have been inconceivable without the active collaboration of the Russian Orthodox Church. The national-political and spiritual rebirth of the Russian people and State in the 14th century is closely linked with the names of three important churchmen: Saint Alexey, Metropolitan of Moscow (1353-1378), Saint Stephen, Bishop of Perm (1379-1396), and Saint Sergius of Radonezh, founder of the great Russian national shrine, the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra north of Moscow. This spiritual rebirth reached its first apogee when the Russian Church assumed self- government (autocephaly) in 1448. The fall of Constantinople just a few years later, in 1453, confirmed the ecclesiastical autonomy of the Russian Church. In its own eyes, Moscow became the new center of Christendom and the heir to Rome and Byzantium. “Two Romes have fallen, but the third stands and a fourth there will not be.” The ideal of Moscow as the Third Rome persisted in the minds of the rulers, the Church, and the people to cement the unity between Church and State and served as the foundation of “Holy Russia” until the reign of Peter the Great. [1]Compare the portrayal of the Church in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia 1, pp. 596-611; Russkoe Vozrozhdenie. Paris, Moscow, New York 1978 in the following pages.  The periodicals were … Continue reading When, after the death of Patriarch Adrian (1700), Tsar Peter I refused to allow a new Patriarch to be elected (since 1589 a Patriarch had stood at the head of the Russian Church) and subsequently handed the church leadership over to a Synod, which came to be fully subject to state control, a 200-year epoch of state tutelage and interference began for the Russian Orthodox Church. The forced westernization and Petrine reforms in secular life also deeply affected the Church. Secularization and the closure of hundreds of monasteries threatened the monastic life. The introduction of the Latin language and scholastic philosophy in the newly-founded theological seminaries and academies made inroads into theological thought. However, simple people preserved their faith and their deep religious piety. The Enlightenment and westernization remained superficial and rootless, appealing to only a part of the aristocracy. Thus, only a slight impulse was needed to revive the ancient, sacred Orthodox Tradition. The Church achieved such renewal by its own strength in the 1 9th century through a series of prominent churchmen whose theological and spiritual authority, profound piety, and widespread fame led to a national and religious return to the traditions of old Russia. Saint Seraphim of Sarov (175 9-1833) breathed new life into monasticism;  Metropolitan  Philaret  (Drozdov)  of  Moscow returned to the Biblical and Patristic roots of Orthodoxy in his sermons, thereby returning traditional Orthodox thought to the forefront; and two missionaries, Makary (Glucharev 179 2-1847) and Innocent (Veniaminov 1797-1879) revived the missionary work of the Russian Church, by expanding it to the peoples on the frontiers of the realm and by founding, in America, a new field of activity for Orthodoxy, respectively. [2] Schaeder, Moskau, das dritte Rom, 2nd ed., Darmstadt 1957. Only a few of the numerous histories of the Russian Church can be named here. More detailed descriptions can be found in the following … Continue reading

The religious revival in the 1 9th century found considerable expression in Russian literature enduring for posterity. A.S. Khomiakov, I. Kireevsky, F. Dostoyevsky, N. Pushkin, L. Tolstoy, and many others expressed Christian ideas in their works. They called for a moral renewal of man and society.

This new religious fervor led to a true renaissance in the monastic life, which from time immemorial has been a cornerstone of the Orthodox Church. Towards the end of the 1 9th century and at the beginning of the 2 0th century new monasteries were established everywhere in the Russian realm. Between 1900 and 1917 alone, 165 monasteries were built, which brought the total count to 1,257 in 191 7. In them lived 33,572 monks and nuns, and 73,463 novices. This high proportion of novices, who were large of the younger generation, demonstrates the enormous attraction which the monastic life held for young people. At the same time, this number is an expression of the religious renewal whose influence had made itself felt upon the Russian people by the turn of the century. [3] The missionary activities of the Russian Orthodox Church have not been sufficiently researched. Standard works on this subject are Glazik Die russisch-orthodoxe Heidenmission seit Peter dem … Continue reading

The renaissance of the Church was not to last long, however. The Bolshevik seizure of power in October of 1917 decisively suppressed its further development. The persecution of Church and believers initiated after the October Revolution has no parallel in the entire 2000-year history of Christendom, although the like was seen once before, in the persecutions of Christians in the early Roman Empire. The number of martyrs will never be accurately calculated. They were from all strata of society, lay and clerical; from the hierarchy and clergy, as well as monks and nuns. The barbaric demolition of the most ancient holy places, monasteries and churches, the destruction of thousands of icons, church treasures, libraries, and all that recalled the ecclesiastical and religious life of Old Russia was a prelude to the brutal persecution of Church and believers at the hands of the communist regime. [4] Smolitsch, Leben und Lehre der Startzen. 2nd edition; idem., Russisches Mönchtum, Würzburg 1953; Seide, Die Klöster der Russischen Orthodoxen Kirche, pp. 9-13 and Seide Monasteries; Zybovec, … Continue reading

The year 1917 marked a complete break with the centuries-old government and social order of Russia. With the overthrow of the Monarchy, the unity of Church and State came to an end. The Church was deprived of its role as a supporter of the State in consequence of the political upheavals of the October Revolution. The new regime, which repudiated all religion and propagated as its official idealogy an atheist-materialist world-view, forcibly drove religion and the Church out of public life.

In contrast to the State, the Church was better prepared to meet the new situation. Since the revolution of 1905 ecclesiastical committees had been preparing for an All-Russian Council. The reports on the work of the All-Russian Preparatory Conference from 1906-1912 were collected and printed in sixteen volumes, which include recommendations as to what topics the Council should discuss. The overthrow of the Monarchy made the summoning of the Council a pressing necessity. In June of 1917, the Synod commissioned the Prepatory Conference to call for a nationwide Council. [5]On the situation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union, see the index, especially the listings on works of Andreev, Briem, Chrysostomus, Curtiss, Fedotoff, Kischkowsky, Levitan/Krasnov … Continue reading

The democratization, which had deeply affected the State and civil authorities after the February Revolution, also had an effect on the Church. After lengthy debates, the Prepatory Conference decided to invite to the Council not only bishops but also priests, laity, and public officials. Each of the sixty-five dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church was to send its bishop and five delegates — two priests and three laymen — to the Council. In addition to these representatives, the Council was also attended by the members of the Holy Synod and the Prepatory Conference, as well as by delegates from the monasteries, parochial and secular academies, several universities, government agencies, and military chaplains. All in all, 564 delegates participated in the opening session of the Council; the laity, numbering 314 voices, were in the majority, compared with the 250 representatives of the clergy. However, to ensure that the laity, in its majority, would not have more power than the bishops and clergy, the Council was structured bicamerally. Two chambers were formed: the General Assembly, in which all participants in Council had one vote, and the Episcopal Conference, in which the decisions of the General Assembly were weighed, voted upon, and accepted with a three-fourths majority, or vetoed. If the proposals of the General Assembly were vetoed twice they could not be enforced.

The opening of the Council on 15/28 August 1917 was an impressive manifestation of the Orthodox Faith and that deep religious devotion that characterized the Russian people since its earliest history. “For a short time, the idea of Holy Russia had come to life again. The Orthodox Church was able to bring to light yet again its entire liturgical practice and beauty… From thirty-three Moscow churches (there were over 700 in the city) a procession was begun at the end of the Liturgy, culminating at the Kremlin, which, together with Red Square, was soon overflowing with a throng of believers. Religious enthusiasm seemed to have gripped the masses. One hoped that there could be new awakening of religion.” [6] “Svyashchennii Sobor Pravoslavnnoi Rossiiskoi Tserkvi.” Deyania Izdanie Sobornogo Soveta. 1-4, 6-9, 1. Moscow 1918. Jockwig, “Der Weg der Laien”; Smolitsch, Konzilsvorbereitungsausschuß; … Continue reading

With this forceful demonstration of faith and ecclesiastical authority, the Synodal epoch of the Russian Orthodox Church came to an end. For the Russian Church, the Council was the first great ecclesiastical assembly in 200 years which could be conducted in complete freedom from state control. It was also to be, however, the last free Council in the land for decades to come. At the same time, it was the only Council in which the entire Russian Orthodox Church with its 100 million believers was represented. The ecclesiastical divisions in the 1920’s in the homeland, and the separation of the church emigration from the Moscow Patriarchate, have hindered until the present day the convocation of a free All- Russian Council which could speak for all parts of the Russian Church in the homeland and the diaspora.

The All-Russian Council lasted from August 1917 until September 191 8, with interruptions. Despite the political changes which occurred in the country during these months, questions directly concerning the Church were still clearly the focal point of the assembly, and whenever the Council did take a position on political issues, it was in order to defend the Church and its faithful. Twice the Church’s leadership expressed its position in a  particularly strong manner concerning events taking place in the country: in the Epistle of 11/24 November 1917, an end to the civil unrest, which had just broken out, was called for; and the second document, the epistle of the Patriarch of 19 January/1 February 191 8, in sharp terms denounced and excommunicated the communists and their supporters.

The most important decision confronting the Council was the question of the restoration of the office of Patriarch. One of the most determined proponents of this was Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky, who later became the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad). He had been an outspoken proponent of the restoration of the office of the Patriarch for over a decade. After lengthy discussions about the highest church office, the Council presented the following proposals:

“1. The highest legislative, administrative, judicial, and auditing power in the Russian Orthodox Church belongs to the local Council which will meet at determined intervals of time and will consist of bishops, clergy, and laity;

“2. The Patriarchate will be reestablished. At the pinnacle of ecclesiastical authority of the Russian Orthodox Church will be the Patriarch:

“3. The Patriarch is the first bishop among equals:

“4. The Patriarch, together with the ecclesiastical administration, will be accountable to the Council.” [7] Chrysostomus, “Kräfte”, pp. 176-177.

The election of the Patriarch was conducted by secret ballot. Due to the civil unrest, not all Council participants were present. An initial ballot was held to select the candidates for the office of Patriarch and took place on 30 September/12 October. Of the 273 votes handed in, sixteen were invalid. Of the rest, 101 were cast for Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), twenty-three votes for Metropolitan Tikhon (Belavin), and twenty-two votes for the Exarch of Georgia, Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky). All other candidates had less than fifteen votes. On the next day, the election of the three candidates began. In the first ballot, Metropolitan Antony again received the most votes: of the 309 votes handed in, he received 159, making him the prime candidate for the high office. In the second ballot, Archbishop Arseny (Stadnitsky) of Novgorod was selected with 199 out of 305 votes. In the third ballot, Metropolitan Tikhon received 152 votes out of 291. The three candidates were thus determined. The final selection was to take place on 5/18 November by a lot. After a solemn hierarchical service, the elderly and blind Hieroschemamonk Alexey drew lots. It fell to Metropolitan Tikhon. Thus, a new epoch for the Russian Orthodox Church began. The first Patriarch in 200 years was to hold that onerous rank for only a few years. The terrible persecutions which the Church was to endure during the years of his tenure were a prelude to a campaign which was to have as its objective the total eradication of the Church. That this goal, despite terrible persecution and the mobilization of the entire state apparatus, was not achieved, shows the great strength of Orthodoxy and its deep roots in the Russian population.

Foreward

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov Zagranitsei), also known as The Russian Church Outside Russia, or The Russian Church in Exile, is that part of the Russian Church which for more than sixty years has cared for the faithful in the free, non-communist world. After the communist takeover of eastern and southeastern Europe, China, and Manchuria and in consequence of the division of Palestine, the Church Abroad lost its property in these regions, including over three hundred churches, more than a dozen monasteries, several ecclesiastical missions, a theological academy, and a seminary, as well as numerous ecclesiastical institutions such as printing presses, libraries, orphanages, homes for the elderly, schools, boarding schools, and church supply shops. The majority of these Church-owned institutions were built after 1920 by donations from the Russian emigration. The administrative center and the seat of the Synod of Bishops were located from 1921 in Sremsky-Karlovtsy (Yugoslavia). There, until the outbreak of the Second World War, two All-Diaspora Councils and nearly a dozen Councils of Bishops met. The “jurisdiction” of the Church Abroad was often called the “Karlovtsy Jurisdiction” in order to distinguish it from other parts of the Russian Church.

Since 1945 the Church Abroad has cared for parishes in the non-communist world. In Western Europe, North and South America, North Africa, the Near East, Australia, and New Zealand are located some 300 parishes, thirty-eight monastic houses, an Ecclesiastical Mission, and numerous charitable, missionary, and educational institutions. The education of priests takes place for the most part at the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, which is certified by the State of New York as an institution of higher learning.

In the years 1926 and 1946 parts of the emigré communities in Western Europe (the Paris Jurisdiction) and North America (the Metropolia) split off from the Church Abroad. The Church Abroad ceased accepting orders from the temporary Moscow Patriarchal administration in 192 7, when Metropolitan Sergius of Nizhni-Novgorod (Stragorodsky, 194 3-44 Patriarch), the substitute of the legitimate administrator (locum tenens) of the Patriarchate, Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa, demanded a declaration of loyalty from the clergy in the diaspora to the atheistic Soviet authority. When the hierarchs of the Church Abroad refused to sign the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, they were excluded from the ranks of the Patriarchal administration by Metropolitan Sergius, which lead to a parting Krutitsa, the legitimate heir of Patriarch Tikhon, until receiving news of his death. Since that time, the Church Abroad has remained independent of the Church in Russia.

The schisms within the Russian Church emigration, together with the separation of the Russian Church Abroad from the Moscow Patriarchate, led in part to the coexistence of several Russian Orthodox jurisdictions outside the Soviet sphere of influence. The entrenchment of the standpoints of individual jurisdictions within the Russian emigration not only spoils relationships within the Russian Orthodox community but also renders it difficult to evaluate the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in preserving the Orthodox Faith and Russian culture within the diaspora. The preservation of active church life, the maintenance of monasticism, missionary work, the religious upbringing of children, and Church-sponsored charitable work could be carried out only in the diaspora after the communist take-over of Russia. If today, after more than seventy years of emigration, the Russian emigré communities hold fast to their beliefs and traditions despite their world-wide dispersion, this is doubtless due to the Russian Church Abroad. The Church Abroad also saw as its duty to call attention to the onerous fate of its brethren in the Soviet Union, and the persecution of the Church by the Communist State.

In this work, I have attempted to describe the historical development of the Church Abroad and church life in the emigration, and thereby to evaluate and examine the contributions of the Church Abroad within the church emigration. Hitherto a comprehensive and detailed history of the Church Abroad has not appeared. Many small books and pamphlets have appeared, as well as three larger works. In 1968 a two-volume work on the Church Abroad was published in Russian with extensive illustrative material, which detailed the life of individual communities. In it, however, only those communities which belonged to the Church Abroad in 1968 were examined. The numerically significant dioceses and parishes which were then located in communist lands were not mentioned. Moreover, the Church Abroad’s governing bodies, and subjects such as printing and publishing, schools, the education of priests, or the Church Abroad’s relations to other Churches were not discussed. Nevertheless, this work, The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia 191 8-196 9. Vol. I-II., ed. Count A.A. Sollogub. Jerusalem, 1968 (Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov Zagranitsei 191 8-196 9. Tom I-II. Red. Graf A.A. Sollogub. Jerusalem, 196 8.), is a valuable accomplishment, not the least because of its extensive and valuable illustrations. In 1972 the Saint Nectarios American Orthodox Church in Seattle, Washington, printed a history of the Church Abroad prepared by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline, Mass., entitled, A History of the Russian Church Abroad and the Events Leading to the American Metropolia’s Autocephaly. This is a very valuable work, particularly in evaluating the granting of autocephaly to the American Metropolia (now “The Orthodox Church in America”), but had a limited distribution and is marred by a deeply polemical tone. More recently, Father Alexey Young wrote a very readable popular history, The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia: A History and Chronology (St. Willibrord’s Press, 199 3). This is an excellent introduction to the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, but is not detailed and relies exclusively on secondary sources.

Individual chapters in our work, such as the one (Part IV, Chapter 2 ) on the monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the chapters on the Church Abroad’s relations with the Western Christian denominations (Part V, Chapters 1 -4 ), have had to be greatly abbreviated. A separate treatment of the monastic houses of the Russian Church Abroad was published in German and English. Unlike the German edition, the English version, Monasteries and Convents of The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Munich, 199 0) is enriched by photographs of the life of the Russian Church Abroad.

The German manuscript of this book was completed in the summer of 198 1. The German edition was published in 1983 under the title Geschichte der Russischen Orthodoxen Kirche im Ausland von der Gründung bis in die Gegenwart (Wiesbaden). After the publisher agreed to a translation into English in 198 7, certain parts of the German edition were revised once again and individual aspects were revised because of newly-found material. Furthermore, two chapters were added to the English edition:“The Restoration of Church Life and the 1946 Council of Bishops” (Part II,2 ) and “The Millennium Celebrations of the Russian Orthodox Church” (Part II,6 ). The present edition has been completely revised and updated in view of developments within the Russian Orthodox Church Aborad and newly-available historical material. This new edition takes into consideration events up to mid-1998.

In transcribing proper names we have followed popular usage. Thus, in general, we have preferred the usual English counterparts of Russian names (e.g., John rather than Ioann), but have used Russian forms rather than Latinizations (e.g., Vitaly rather than Vitalius).

The author would like to express his special gratitude to all who supported this research project: Archbishop Laurus of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery, the late Archbishop Paul of Sydney, and the late Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) of Washington, who made research in the libraries and archives of the Church Abroad possible. The author would like to offer special thanks to Xenia Jacqueline Endres of New York for having undertaken, with the help of Reader Isaac Lambertson, the enormous task of the present translation, and to Archbishop Mark and the Brotherhood of the Saint Job of Pochaev Monastery in Munich for publishing the English edition. Particular thanks goes to Reader Serge Nedelsky who, while residing in the monastery in Munich,, edited, revised, and updated this new, English-language edition with the able assistance of Hieromonk Avraamij.

The immense influence which the Russian Orthodox Church has had upon the spiritual, cultural, economic, and political life of Russia is best documented by the fact that Russia of old, on the basis of the religious devotion of its people, and its many monasteries and churches, was known among European countries as “Holy Russia.”

The spread of literacy, the colonization and simultaneous evangelization of vast areas, the preservation of the national and cultural identity of the Russian people during the centuries of Mongol Yoke, and, finally, the unification of the nation since the middle of the 1 4th century by the Muscovite princes, would have been inconceivable without the active collaboration of the Russian Orthodox Church. The national-political and spiritual rebirth of the Russian people and State in the 1 4th century is closely linked with the names of three important churchmen: Saint Alexey, Metropolitan of Moscow (1353-1378), Saint Stephen, Bishop of Perm (1379-1396), and Saint Sergius of Radonezh, founder of the great Russian national shrine, the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra north of Moscow. This spiritual rebirth reached its first apogee when the Russian Church assumed self- government (autocephaly) in 1448. The fall of Constantinople just a few years later, in 1453, confirmed the ecclesiastical autonomy of the Russian Church. In its own eyes, Moscow became the new center of Christendom and the heir to Rome and Byzantium. “Two Romes have fallen, but the third stands and a fourth there will not be.” The ideal of Moscow as the Third Rome persisted in the minds of the rulers, the Church, and the people to cement the unity between Church and State and served as the foundation of “Holy Russia” until the reign of Peter the Great.1 When, after the death of Patriarch Adrian (1700), Tsar Peter I refused to allow a new Patriarch to be elected (since 1589 a Patriarch had stood at the head of the Russian Church) and subsequently handed the church leadership over to a Synod, which came to be fully subject to state control, a 200-year epoch of state tutelage and interference began for the Russian Orthodox Church. The forced westernization and Petrine reforms in secular life also deeply affected the Church. Secularization and the closure of hundreds of monasteries threatened the monastic life. The introduction of the Latin language and scholastic philosophy in the newly- founded theological seminaries and academies made inroads into theological thought. However, the simple people preserved their faith and their deep religious piety. The Enlightenment and westernization remained superficial and rootless, appealing to only a part of the aristocracy. Thus, only a slight impulse was needed to revive the ancient, sacred Orthodox Tradition. The Church achieved such a renewal by its own strength in the 19th century through a series of prominent churchmen whose theological and spiritual authority, profound piety, and widespread fame led to a national and religious return to the traditions of old Russia. Saint Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833) breathed new life into monasticism;  Metropolitan  Philaret  (Drozdov)  of  Moscow  (   –           ) returned to the Biblical and Patristic roots of Orthodoxy in his sermons, thereby returning traditional Orthodox thought to the forefront; and two missionaries, Makary (Glucharev 1792-1847) and Innocent (Veniaminov 1797-1879), revived the missionary work of the Russian Church, by expanding it to the peoples on the frontiers of the realm and by founding, in America, a new field of activity for Orthodoxy, respectively.2

The religious revival in the 19th century found considerable expression in Russian literature enduring for posterity. A.S. Khomiakov, I. Kireevsky, F. Dostoyevsky, N. Pushkin, L. Tolstoy, and many others expressed Christian ideas in their works. They called for a moral renewal of man and society.

This new religious fervor led to a true renaissance in the monastic life, which from time immemorial has been a corner stone of the Orthodox Church. Towards the end of the 1 9th century and at the beginning of the 2 0th century new monasteries were established everywhere in the Russian realm. Between 1900 and 1917 alone, 165 monasteries were built, which brought the total count to 1 ,257 in 191 7. In them lived 33,572 monks and nuns, and 73,463 novices. This high proportion of novices, who were largely of the younger generation, demonstrates the enormous attraction which the monastic life held for young people. At the same time, this number is an expression of the religious renewal whose influence had made itself felt upon the Russian people by the turn of the century.3

The renaissance of the Church was not to last long, however. The Bolshevik seizure of power in October of 1917 decisively suppressed its further development. The persecution of Church and believers initiated after the October Revolution has no parallel in the entire 200 0-year history of Christendom, although the like was seen once before, in the persecutions of Christians in the early Roman Empire. The number of martyrs will never be accurately calculated. They were from all strata of society, lay and clerical; from the hierarchy and clergy, as well as monks and nuns. The barbaric demolition of the most ancient holy places, monasteries and churches, the destruction of thousands of icons, church treasures, libraries, and all that recalled the ecclesiastical and religious life of Old Russia was a prelude to the brutal persecution of Church and believers at the hands of the communist regime.4

The year 1917 marked a complete break with the centuries-old government and social order of Russia. With the overthrow of the Monarchy, the unity of Church and State came to an end. The Church was deprived of its role as a supporter of the State in consequence of the political upheavals of the October Revolution. The new regime, which repudiated all religion and propagated as its official ideology an atheist-materialist world-view, forcibly drove religion and the Church out of public life.

In contrast to the State, the Church was better prepared to meet the new situation. Since the revolution of 1905 ecclesiastical committees had been preparing for an All-Russian Council. The reports on the work of the All-Russian Preparatory Conference from 190 6-1912 were collected and printed in sixteen volumes, which include recommendations as to what topics the Council should discuss. The overthrow of the Monarchy made the summoning of the Council a pressing necessity. In June of 1917, the Synod commissioned the Prepatory Conference to call for a nationwide Council.5

The democratization, which had deeply affected the State and civil authorities after the February Revolution, also had an effect on the Church. After lengthy debates, the Prepatory Conference decided to invite to the Council not only bishops but also priests, laity, and public officials. Each of the sixty-five dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church was to send its bishop and five delegates — two priests and three laymen — to the Council. In addition to these representatives, the Council was also attended by the members of the Holy Synod and the Prepatory Conference, as well as by delegates from the monasteries, parochial and secular academies, several universities, government agencies, and military chaplains. All in all, 564 delegates participated in the opening session of the Council; the laity, numbering 314 voices, were in the majority, compared with the 250 representatives of the clergy. However, to ensure that the laity, in its majority, would not have more power than the bishops and clergy, the Council was structured bicamerally. Two chambers were formed: the General Assembly, in which all participants in Council had one vote, and the Episcopal Conference, in which the decisions of the General Assembly were weighed, voted upon, and accepted with a three-fourths majority, or vetoed. If the proposals of the General Assembly were vetoed twice they could not be enforced.

The opening of the Council on 15/28 August 1917 was an impressive manifestation of the Orthodox Faith and that deep religious devotion which characterized the Russian people since its earliest history. “For a short time, the idea of Holy Russia had come to life again. The Orthodox Church was able to bring to light yet again its entire liturgical practice and beauty. . . From thirty-three Moscow churches (there were over 700 in the city) a procession was begun at the end of the Liturgy, culminating at the Kremlin, which, together with Red Square, was soon overflowing with a throng of believers. Religious enthusiasm seemed to have gripped the masses. One hoped that there could be new awakening of religion.”6

With this forceful demonstration of faith and ecclesiastical authority the Synodal epoch of the Russian Orthodox Church came to an end. For the Russian Church, the Council was the first great ecclesiastical assembly in 200 years which could be conducted in complete freedom from state control. It was also to be, however, the last free Council in the land for decades to come. At the same time, it was the only Council in which the entire Russian Orthodox Church with its 100 million believers was represented. The ecclesiastical divisions in the 192 0’s in the homeland, and the separation of the church emigration from the Moscow Patriarchate, have hindered until the present day the convocation of a free All- Russian Council which could speak for all parts of the Russian Church in the homeland and the diaspora.

The All-Russian Council lasted from August 1917 until September 191 8, with interruptions. Despite the political changes which occurred in the country during these months, questions directly concerning the Church were still clearly the focal point of the assembly, and whenever the Council did take a position on political issues, it was in order to defend the Church and its faithful.

Twice the Church’s  leadership  expressed  its  position  in  a  particularly  strong  manner concerning events taking place in the country: in the Epistle of 11/24 November 191 7, an end to the civil unrest, which had just broken out, was called for; and the second document, the epistle of the Patriarch of 19 January/1 February 191 8, in sharp terms denounced and excommunicated the communists and their supporters.

The most important decision confronting the Council was the question of the restoration of the office of Patriarch. One of the most determined proponents of this was Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky, who later became the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad). He had been an outspoken proponent of the restoration of the office of the Patriarch for over a decade. After lengthy discussions about the highest church office, the Council presented the following proposals:

“1 . The highest legislative, administrative, judicial, and auditing power in the Russian Orthodox Church belongs to the local Council which will meet at determined intervals of time and will consist of bishops, clergy, and laity;

“2 . The Patriarchate will be reestablished. At the pinnacle of ecclesiastical authority of the Russian Orthodox Church will be the Patriarch:

“3 . The Patriarch is the first bishop among equals:

“4 . The Patriarch, together with the ecclesiastical administration, will be accountable to the Council.”7

The election of the Patriarch was conducted by secret ballot. Due to the civil unrest, not all Council participants were present. An initial ballot was held to select the candidates for the office of Patriarch and took place on 30 September/12 October. Of the 273 votes handed in, sixteen were invalid. Of the rest, 101 were cast for Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), twenty-three votes for Metropolitan Tikhon (Belavin), and twenty-two votes for the Exarch of Georgia, Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky). All other candidates had less than fifteen votes. On the next day the election of the three candidates began. In the first ballot, Metropolitan Antony again received the most votes: of the 309 votes handed in, he received 159, making him the prime candidate for the high office. In the second ballot, Archbishop Arseny (Stadnitsky) of Novgorod was selected with 199 out of 305 votes. In the third ballot Metropolitan Tikhon received 152 votes out of 29 1. The three candidates were thus determined. The final selection was to take place on 5/18 November by lot. After a solemn hierarchcal service, the elderly and blind Hieroschemamonk Alexey drew lots. It fell to Metropolitan Tikhon. Thus, a new epoch for the Russian Orthodox Church began. The first Patriarch in 200 years was to hold that onerous rank for only a few years. The terrible persecutions which the Church was to endure during the years of his tenure were a prelude to a campaign which was to have as its objective the total eradication of the Church. That this goal, despite terrible persecution and the mobilization of the entire state apparatus, was not achieved, shows the great strength of Orthodoxy and its deep roots in the Russian population.

References

References
1 Compare the portrayal of the Church in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia 1, pp. 596-611; Russkoe Vozrozhdenie. Paris, Moscow, New York 1978 in the following pages.  The periodicals were published by the Church Abroad’s preparatory committee for the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia.
2  Schaeder, Moskau, das dritte Rom, 2nd ed., Darmstadt 1957. Only a few of the numerous histories of the Russian Church can be named here. More detailed descriptions can be found in the following works: Amman Abriß der ostslawischen Kirchengeschichte. Vienna 1950. Golubinsky Istoria Russkoi Tserkvi 1 & 2. Moscow 1901-1902; Tal’berg Istoria Russkoi Tserkvi. Jordanville 1959.
3  The missionary activities of the Russian Orthodox Church have not been sufficiently researched. Standard works on this subject are Glazik Die russisch-orthodoxe Heidenmission seit Peter dem Großen. Münster 1954; Bolshakoff “Les Missions étrangères dans l’Eglise orthodoxe russe” in Irénikon 28 (1955) pp. 159-175; Bolshakoff  “Orthodox Missions Today” in International Review of Missions 42 (London: 1953), pp. 275-284. “On the Mission in East Asia, Palestine and the USA” cf. Chapter 4, p. 6.
4  Smolitsch, Leben und Lehre der Startzen. 2nd edition; idem., Russisches Mönchtum, Würzburg 1953; Seide, Die Klöster der Russischen Orthodoxen Kirche, pp. 9-13 and Seide Monasteries; Zybovec, Natsionalizatsia monastyrskikh imushchestv v Sovetskoi Rossii, 1917-1921. Moscow 1975.
5 On the situation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union, see the index, especially the listings on works of Andreev, Briem, Chrysostomus, Curtiss, Fedotoff, Kischkowsky, Levitan/Krasnov and Shavrov; Polsky; Struve; Valentinov; Zaitsev. Most of these works address the general situation and also delve into individual problems.
6  “Svyashchennii Sobor Pravoslavnnoi Rossiiskoi Tserkvi.” Deyania Izdanie Sobornogo Soveta. 1-4, 6-9, 1. Moscow 1918. Jockwig, “Der Weg der Laien”; Smolitsch, Konzilsvorbereitungsausschuß; Idem., “Russische Kirche in der Revolutionszeit”; Kartachev, La Révolution.
7  Chrysostomus, “Kräfte”, pp. 176-177.

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