This article presents the difficulties experienced by a newly formed national state with regard to the “White Émigré” Church, on the one hand due to the historical and political baggage of the Russian Empire, and on the other to the realia of the countries where the émigrés found themselves in post-war Europe.
The article was published in 1998. The author is the holder of a PHD, a professor, and the deputy director of the Historical Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. It was translated into Russian from the original Polish by S. G. Yakovenko. Alongside facts facilitating an understanding of the position of the ROCOR in the period between the wars, a number of personal evaluations by the author appear to be without foundation.
The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad developed historically against the background of the White Russian Emigration. This development was defined by a struggle between two fundamental tendencies: blind adherence, on the one hand, to traditional formulas that defined the place of the Church in Russian political life, and an attempt, on the other, to institute major reforms in response to the times, so as to enable the Church to be a relevant factor in the further development of the nation, rather than a relic of the past. In its parishes, fraternities, and synods, competition arose between nationalist-monarchist and liberal-democratic elements; between advocates of the political independence of the church and agents of the influence – camouflaged in the guise of canonical norms – of the Moscow Patriarchate, itself ever increasingly integrated into the politics of the Soviet State. Finally, the Russian Church Abroad took part in a new chapter of the old conflict between the Second and Third Romes, Moscow and Constantinople.
During the interwar period, all of these questions were the subject of the attention of the Polish diplomatic and intelligence services, were monitored, recorded, and evaluated in the context of their usefulness and significance for Polish national interests. In the first place, this is true of embassy reports, especially of the Polish Embassy in Berlin, of their correspondence with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“Head Office”), of memoranda of the Second Department of the General Staff sent to various instances, and of bulletins from the Ministry of Home Affairs based on both diplomatic and their own sources.
Although gaps may be detected in the documentation, the surviving sources illuminate the most diverse aspects of the life of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and enable us to assess its problems and key figures. Moreover, they shed considerable light on the motives behind the interest of the Polish services in the affairs of this church in the interwar years, particularly in the 1930s.
The years after the Revolution of 1917 and the great exodus of 1919-1921 that gave birth to the White Russian emigration, and together with it to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, were a time of struggle for survival and adaptation to new historical circumstances both for the “mother” church and for the church in emigration. Of interest to us here are the interwar years, although in reality the period in question continued until 1945-1946. In 1940, Metropolitan Nikolai (Krutitskii) arrived in Paris with a mission from the Soviet authorities to unite the church there to the Moscow Patriarchate. After the Council of Moscow (1945) and the election of Patriarch Aleksii, a series of “unlawfully separated and apostate churches,” as they were called, either returned to a canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate (Metropolitan Evlogii’s Exarchate of Western Europe, for example), or resolved problematic objections to autocephaly with it, as was the case with the Polish Church.
Tendencies towards modernization of the Russian Orthodox Church that had been growing, but were constantly held back, since the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, and above all towards a separation from the state and a rejection of the function of a component part of the state apparatus, found expression in the unfinished council of 1917-1918.See D. Pospeloveckii, “Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov’: ispytaniia nachala veka” (The Russian Orthodox Church: Experiments at the Beginning of the Century). Voprosy istorii, № 2, (1993): … Continue reading It was here that the Church proclaimed her independence, that the patriarchate was restored, and a course was taken towards conciliar, rather than synodal principles of administration.
Very soon, however, under the influence of the vicious antireligious and anti-ecclesial policies of the Soviet authorities, diverging and at times even contradictory currents emerged in the church: on the one hand, these were of an accommodatory and even servile, sycophantic nature – the “living Church,” “Renovationism,” “Gregorianism,” and others – and on the other reactionary and conservative – “the Danilov Monastery Opposition,” “Josephianism,” the catacomb movement of the “Non-Commemorators,” which continued up until the post-war years.
On this basis, a conviction formed among a section of the hierarchs, mainly those connected with the “Renovationist” movement, of the necessity of preserving the church organization and its central structure at any cost, above all its dioceses and parishes, which came to be identified with the church itself. This was the essence of the 1923 declaration of Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin), who died in the Donskoi Monastery in 1925: I am not an enemy of the Soviet regime,… I am conscious of my duty to the Soviet regime.” This was the credo of the “Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne” Metropolitan Petr (Polianskii) of Krutitsk, who died in exile in 1936. Such also was the content of the policies executed by the patriarch’s replacement Metropolitan Sergii (Starogorodskii), whose formal, canonical rights to the role of head of the Orthodox Church in Russia were tenuous right up until his election as patriarch in 1943, and were regarded by many as usurpation; his policies were opportunistic, but skilfully implemented initially in Soviet Russia itself, and then in the 1930s with regard to different groupings of the church in the diaspora. In the main, this took the form of a striving for their subordination to the Moscow Patriarchate, as well as towards their neutralization by means of canonical prohibitions and interdictions, or the creation of competing church organizations and bodies under Moscow’s jurisdiction. By 1946, these policies had led to the subordination of various groups and movements, with the exception of the catacomb church of the “Non-Commemorators,” and to their inclusion within the structure of a single central church organization in the USSR. Although to a lesser degree, Metropolitan Sergii also achieved certain distinct successes abroad.
The fact of the existence of the Church Abroad was one of the gravest accusations levelled by the Soviet authorities at the Russian church hierarchs. The state exerted pressure, demanding prohibitions, anathema, the elimination of émigré church organizations. Tikhon and Petr resisted such measures and were subjected to persecution. Sergii, however, did indeed take this path, guided above all not by the decrees of the Soviet authorities, but by his own notions of a centralized Russian Apostolic Orthodox Church, in spite of the “worldwide diaspora,” as it was sometimes referred to by contemporaries.“Svedenia i otsenki perioda 1917-1939” (Facts and Assessments of the Period 1917-1939) – mainly based on: L. Regel’son, Tragedia Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi, 1917-1945 (The Tragedy of … Continue reading
The Russian Church Abroad emerged on the foundations of the mass emigration from Russia after the defeat of the White Movement, and above all after the evacuation of General P. N. Wrangel’s army from the Crimea in November 1920. The temporary church administration created in Simferopol under the government of Southern Russia ended up first of all in Constantinople and then in Yugoslavia. There, taking advantage of the hospitality of the Serbian Patriarch Varnava and the royal court, it took up residence in Sremski Karlovci.
There it was that the first Council of the Russian Church Abroad took place in 1921. Presiding over the Synod or Higher Administration of the Russian Church Abroad elected at it was Antonii (Khrapovitskii), the Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia, and also at one time of Volhynia, one of the three candidates for the patriarchal throne in 1918 and the head of the church in the Ukraine after the council of 1918 (sic).“Biograficheskuiu spravku ob Antonii” (Biographical information on Antonii), see: (12.7.1936), vol. 2876, p. 118, AAΝ, MSZ; see also: L. Regel’son, Tragedia, p. 268.
Metropolitan Antonii had a reputation as one of the most outstanding hierarchs of the Russian Church: highly educated and intelligent, but also extremely ambitious and able. Politically he was known as a nationalist (as one of the organizers of the “Union of the Russian People”), a monarchist, and during his time in Volhynia as a Russifier. There are two versions of the story of how he ended up in Serbia: one is that he was evacuated from the Crimea with General Wrangel’s army as the head of the administrative church body already attached to it; the second, more plausible version, is that together with Metropolitan Evlogii (Georgievskii) he ended up in the south-eastern regions of the then Rzeczpospolita (Second Polish Republic), where he was arrested by the services of Ataman Petliura and interned in Butschatsch. Both of them made their way to Constantinople with the help of Orthodox and Uniate hierarchs.
The declaration of the Karlovci council, proclaiming the inviolable link of the church and the monarchy and the restoration of the Romanov dynasty in Russia, met with strong resonance in the emigration and protests from its democratic currents, as well as provoking a decree from Patriarch Tikhon liquidating the Karlovci church organs, which, nonetheless, had no practical consequences (sic.).L. Regel’son, Tragedia., 285. As such, the Karlovci Synod occupied a position at the extreme, conservative, monarchist wing of the White emigration, while simultaneously presenting itself as the leading body of the Orthodox Church Abroad.
Both Tikhon and the “Renovationists” condemned the Karlovci Synod: from a canonical perspective, as an impostor administration consisting of bishops who had abandoned their dioceses and flocks and fallen away from the Mother Church; and from a political perspective, because by its activity, monarchism, and reactionism it brought persecution on the Church in Russia. The term “Mother Church” here had not only a moral, but also a legal significance, as any separation from some part of it required the implementation of a series of bilateral canonical actions, under pain of this step being invalidated. One of the few voices against the declaration of the Karlovci council and the restoration of the Romanov dynasty, and also of the separation of the church from the state was that of the remarkable Russian historian Georgii Vernadskii. He took part in the council on behalf of the Russian “lay” émigrés in Greece. Shocked by the tone of the council, he left its meetings and returned to Greece. Those who had chosen him fully endorsed his decision, which was a rarity in the Russian emigration at the time.
Another ecclesiastical administration had formed in Paris. From 1926, it represented the opposite to the Karlovci group: a politically neutral, democratic branch of Orthodoxy advocating renewal in a spiritual sense. At its head was Archbishop, later Metropolitan, Evlogii (Georgievskii), the former head of the diocese of Kholm, and a deputy of the Second and Third Dumas. The Polish agencies characterized him as a Russifier and the most important figure in the “liberal-renewal” branch of the church. Evlogii was legitimized twice in his role as Exarch of Western Europe: in 1920 by Metropolitan Antonii, and in 1921 by Patriarch Tikhon, who conferred on him the rank of metropolitan in 1922; in 1929, Evlogii was also officially recognized by Metropolitan Sergii. If the Karlovci administration found itself in a sharp conflict with the Moscow Patriarchate from the very outset, then Evlogii’s position with relation to Moscow was much more ambivalent, marked by a certain rapprochement in 1927, manifested in the declaration of loyalty to Sergii, and then in 1930 by a complete rupture of relations following Evlogii’s refusal to “repent” for his trip to England.
An important and strong aspect of the Parisian administration of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and an intellectual support for Evlogii were two academic-religious centers, unique in the Russian diaspora: the Russian Orthodox Theological Institute (Theological Academy), headed by Father Sergii Bulgakov and uniting the outstanding Russian theologians Professors G. V. Florovskii, Kartashov, and Zen’kovskii; and the Russian Religious-Philosophical Academy, led by the philosopher Nikolai Berdiaev. If the former sought new paths for Orthodox theological thought and collaborated with analogous Protestant and Anglican academic institutions, the latter brought together representatives of different humanitarian disciplines, not solely from a Russian background, and dealt with social aspects of Orthodoxy, its attitude to society, military conflicts and so on.Letter to the Foreign Ministry (23.11.1935), vol. 1565, p. 4, Berlin Embassy. The embassy assessment juxtaposing these centers – the “conservative Bulgakov Institute” and the … Continue reading
The differences between the Karlovtsian and the Parisian administrations very soon grew into an open conflict, whose main protagonists were Metropolitans Antonii and Evlogii. Information on the development of this conflict constitutes a significant portion of the reports from the Polish foreign representations on “inter-Orthodox relations,” as the connections and interactions between the different currents and groupings in the Russian Orthodox Church were referred to in documents.
The open conflict between the Karlovtsian Synod and Metropolitan Evlogii dates from the “Council of Bishops” of September 4-17, 1924, at which the Karlovtsian Synod proclaimed the “Temporary Higher Church Administration Abroad” (several similar versions of this appellation may be found in publications). At this point, the council deprived Metropolitan Evlogii of church administrative functions on the territory of Western Europe, declaring that the authority of the Karlovtsians extended to the states in this region as well. In response, Evlogii left the council, considering that his mandate, which came from Tikhon, was canonically sound and could not be cast into question by the Karlovtsians, who had no rights where he was concerned.
The Orthodox Church in the USA, led by Metropolitan Platon (Pashkovskii) and then by Archbishop Feofil, took an independent position from Moscow and the other religious centers. The head of the strongest, best organized, and richest Carpatho-Russian diocese in the USA was Bishop Adam. From 1924, the Orthodox Church in the USA was regarded as autonomous, which was confirmed at a council in Cleveland in 1934. Up until 1927, there was a gradual rapprochement with the Karlovci center, but then these relations were severed by Metropolitan Platon; when contacts were renewed in 1935, they were of a non-binding nature. As far as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, headed by Archbishop Teodorovich, was concerned, this was considered autocephalous.Report, (31.3.1936), vol. 2876, p., 46 AAN, MSZ. The Orthodox Church had existed in the United States from the beginning of the nineteenth century. In the 1930s, it comprised five dioceses (270 … Continue reading
An uncertain situation arose in the Far-Eastern territories. Relations between Archbishop Meletii, the head of the church in Manchuria, who was supported by Japan, Archbishop Mefodii from Japan, who for his part was not viewed favorably by the Japanese authorities, and Nestor of Kamchatka, were unclear. Bishop Dimitrii of Hailar, who considered himself the representative of the Russian Far-Eastern Church as a whole, declared his loyalty to the Karlovci Synod.Report from the Rzeczpospolita Consulate in Harbin (7.4.1936), p. 40, ibid.
A small number of foreign dioceses and parishes retained their canonical dependence on the Moscow Patriarchate. Among them were the Lithuanian dioceses, whose head Archbishop Elevferii (Bogoiavlenskii) laid claim to authority over the territory of Vilnius, which had at one time been in his ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Scattered parishes of the “patriarchal church,” as the Russian Orthodox Church was known at the time, were located in Germany and in France, and in the USA. The church in Sweden also maintained a close connection with Moscow. In the 1930s, Metropolitan Sergii, intensifying his ecclesiastical policy, subordinated these Western European parishes to the Lithuanian Elevferii; he sent Archbishop Veniamin (Fedchenkov), who had previously been acting on his behalf in France, to be Exarch of North America. In his place, Archimandrite Anastasii took France into his “care” with the support of Bishop Eidam from Sweden. Polish observers immediately assessed this manoeuvre as evidence of a growing expansion of the Moscow Patriarchate with respect to the Church “Abroad,” even as far away as in America.Report (31.8. 1936), vol. 1566, p. 70, AAN, Berlin Embassy. In fact, the “Karlovtsians” had made their claim to leadership of the American metropolitanate even earlier. In connection with the council that took place in Cleveland after the death of Metropolitan Platon, the Karlovci Synod proposed to their “brothers in the USA” that they “choose a ruling bishop for themselves” (a metropolitan), but that they present him to the “Karlovtsians” for confirmation. The council chose Metropolitan Feofil, but did not make an appeal to Karlovci for their agreement.Report (1.9. 1934), vol. 1564, p. 2, ibid. For “Phanar” policy on this question, see: report of the RP ambassador to Constantinople (30.9.1922), vol. 1003, p. 42, ibid., MWRiOP. Report of … Continue reading
A number of churches in states that had once belonged to the Russian Empire, while attempting to establish their independence, transferred to canonical communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, also known as the Ecumenical (Universal) Patriarchate, or, after the name of the area of Constantinople where the patriarchate is situated, the Phanar. This happened with the church in Poland, which in 1925 proclaimed itself autocephalous on the basis of a “Tomos” – a special decree received from the Phanar. In Latvia, the same thing happened. The authorities in Estonia staunchly defended the autocephaly of their Orthodox Church, employing harsh measures to force the translation of services into Estonian. However, Bishop John of Pechersk accepted the primacy of the Karlovci Synod. After the break with Sergii and the conflict with the Karlovtsians, Metropolitan Evlogii transferred to the Phanar jurisdiction. Such actions strengthened the position of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, not to mention bringing it not insignificant revenue. Poland paid 12,000 pounds sterling for the “Tomos” recognizing the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in their country, disbursed 30,000 Swiss francs for the expenses of the Phanar delegation that brought the “Tomos,” and awarded a permanent allowance to four patriarchal dignitaries who were “especially benevolent” to their cause.For the costs in question, see: Letter of the First Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (3.1.1936), vol. 2875, p. 1, AAN, MSZ.
The policy of the Phanar towards the Russian Orthodox Church was ambiguous. The Phanar skilfully combined support for the autocephalous and autonomous initiatives of its parts “abroad” with approval for the activity of the “Renovationist Church” in the USSR and other gestures aimed at obtaining Soviet Russia’s intervention on behalf of the church in Turkey, which was being harassed by the Ataturk regime. Metropolitan Dionisii (Valedinskii), who took on the leadership of the church in Poland after the murder of Georgii (Yaroshevskii) in 1923 and benefited simultaneously from the good will of Patriarch Tikhon, and interestingly, the trust of the Polish authorities, received 3000 dollars from the fund of the Polish Ministry of Religious Confessions and Popular Education as a grant from the personal fund of President Grabskii for a trip to the Orthodox capitals Athens, Sofia, Belgrade, and Karlovci, and also to Constantinople to express gratitude for their support of Polish autocephaly, and as compensation for his treatment in Merano, which was cut short by order of the Polish government, when Dionisii planned to sabotage the official proclamation of autocephaly by his absence.Letter from the MRIiNO (29.3.1927), vol. 1001, p.72, MWRiOP. Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (20.5.1927), vol. 1003, p. 72, ibid.
The 1920s have not left a significant quantity of documents from the Polish foreign services on the activity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. From what is preserved in the archives, it follows that Polish interest in this question can be explained by aspirations for the achievement of autocephaly in Poland and the general wariness with which the Polish centers abroad observed the activities of monarchist circles, which to their minds represented the greatest threat to Polish interests.
In her work Between Tradition and Reality, the Polish researcher M. Papierzyiiska-Turek examines the issue of autocephaly in detail, in particular the relations of the Polish Orthodox Church with the centers in Karlovci and Paris.M.Papierzyiiska-Turek, Мiedzy tradycja a rzeczywistocia. Panstwo wobec prawoslawia, 1918-1939 (Warsaw, 1989), 127. At first, the reactions of both were negative. Metropolitan Evlogii condemned the persecution of Orthodoxy in Poland in the press in the harshest possible tones and did not give his agreement for a professor of Orthodox theology to be sent to Poland to teach at the University of Warsaw; in 1925, he threatened a bishop from France, who was planning to go to Poland, with excommunication.
Meetings in January and March 1926 in Paris between the Polish embassy advisor J. Strzhembosz and Professor Kartashov, representing Metropolitan Evlogii, did not yield the desired result. Above all, Metropolitan Evlogii tried to use the situation to get “some sort of satisfactory resolution” with regard to Orthodox bishops deprived of the right of entry to Poland (Elevferii), or who had been expelled from it (Vladimir, Sergii, Panteleimon), which, of course, was not part of the plans of the Polish authorities.Reports of Counsellor J. Strzhembosz (22.1 and 9.4.1926), vol. 1003, p. 45-49, 55, AAN, MWRiOP. See also: Letter from MRIiNO to the Foreign Ministry (13.5.1924), p. 83, ibid. Memorandum for use by … Continue reading Evlogii subsequently relented, however, and recognized the autocephaly of the Polish Church.
Strzhembosz, who, judging from the documents that have been preserved, was the true architect of the external framework of autocephaly, that is of the gathering of the support of the necessary number of autocephalous patriarchs, also accompanied Metropolitan Dionisii on his aforementioned voyage of gratitude and took part in negotiations aimed at inducing the Karlovtsian Metropolitan Antonii to express his approval of the independence of the church in Poland in writing.Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (20.5. 1927), (note II). The need for such an action is not entirely easy to comprehend, since Metropolitan Dionisii had already met with Metropolitan Antonii in Romania in November1925 at the official enthronement of Patriarch Miron, whose church was the first to recognize the Polish Church’s right to autocephaly in 1922, had concelebrated a joint service with him and received assurances of his support for autocephaly, and also of his sympathetic intercession with the Serbian Patriarch Varnava, who maintained his former obstinacy on this subject.Report of the delegation of the Polish Orthodox Church to Romania (7.11. 1925), vol. 1003, p. 179, AAN, MWRiOP. While supporting the autonomy of Metropolitan Antonii, the Serbian Patriarch Varnava … Continue reading First and foremost, Antonii was under an obligation to Dionisii for the solicitude he had shown him in 1920 in his capacity as Bishop of Kremenets, when he and Archbishop Evlogii were interned by Ataman Petliura in Butschatsch.Vol. 2876, ААN, МSZ.
The connections of the Church Abroad, in particular of its center in Karlovci, with monarchist circles, were a well-known fact, especially after the declaration of the council of 1921. In 1923, the intelligence department of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs composed and sent to all interested parties a special report “On the Organization and Activity of Russian Monarchists in Poland and Foreign Parts, especially with Relation to the Orthodox Clergy.”Copy of report (27.1.1923), vol. 1003, p. 63 AAN, MWRiOP. Metropolitan Antonii had blessed the activity of the pro-monarchy terrorist organization “The Brotherhood of Russian Truth” and its struggle against the Soviet authorities “who are hostile to Christ and secretly led by His enemies – the Jews” a number of times in writing.Antonii, “Blagoslovennye Gramoty” (20.9.1927 and 21.4.1930), Russkaia Pravda (September-October 1927; , March-April 1930).
The secretary of the Karlovci Synod was Count Iu. Grabbe, a deeply conservative monarchist who had great influence among the émigré elite (there were also liberals among them); he was from a family of russified Germans who had lived for more than 200 years on the land of the Don Troops (General Grabbe, from the same family, was president of the “United Cossack Council” and, as far as we know, the successor of the Don ataman in the emigration General L. V. Bogaevskii). Count Grabbe advocated the necessity for a “change of allies,” a break with the Entente powers and an orientation towards an agreement with Germany, since “even a small alliance with Germany is better than a close friendship with England.”Quoted in: Two-Headed Eagle, No. 1, Berlin (1920). At a monarchist gathering in Belgrade in 1922, he spoke of the necessity of such an agreement with Germany which, above all, would “already this very moment” give them concessions and powers in Russia, agreeing with the idea that it was the “Germans who would become masters of the situation there.” According to this idea, Russia was to support a possible German invasion of France in the hope that, “when their [the Germans’] exertions in France were at their height, they would be able to free themselves from their tutelage.”Report (15.1.1922), vol.6678, AAN, MSZ, RP Embassy in Belgrade.
Such views were relatively common in conservative-monarchist circles in the 1920s. A “Supreme Monarchist Council” was founded in Germany in these years. It was generally considered that Grand Prince Kirill Vladimirovich, who had declared himself the successor of Nikolai II (simply Tsar to some, to others only “Regent”) enjoyed the support of Germany.
In the years that followed, gazes in the monarchist camps once again turned towards France and England, with the exception of movements that had evolved into “monarcho-fascist” forms (the Mladorossy “young Russians”). From the Polish point of view, the judgement of the danger to the interests of the Rzeczpospolita from the monarchist movement, whose centers had moved to France, also gradually began to wane. At the end of the 1920s, they were even contacts with the moderate monarchist Russian General Military Alliance (ROVS), who were attempting to retain certain military structures in the emigration and tended to be more neutral regarding the question of the political system in Russia. In these contacts, the Polish party was extremely cautious because of suspicions – justified, as it soon turned out – of the deep penetration of Soviet agencies into the structure of the ROVS and the organizations affiliated with it.Copy of report (21.1.1923), vol. 1003, p. 63 AAN, MWRiOP.
Documents from the subsequent years rarely mention links between the church and monarchists. They appear only in specific cases, for example in relation to the failed efforts of Archimandrite Tikhon (Liashchenko), who was in Berlin, to return to Poland, from where he had been expelled for monarchist activity.Letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the return of Archimandrite Tikhon to Poland (22.7.1922, 18.10.1924 and 21.10.1924) , vol. 1560, p. 16 etc., AAN Berlin Embassy. Another bishop who had been expelled from Poland, Vladimir (Tikhonitskii), who was to have taken on the diocese of Grodno, was accused, besides numerous other sins, of having had conspiratorial contacts with “foreign centers of harmful influence.””Decree of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Metropolitanate in Poland” concerning the deposing of Bishop Vladimir (Tikhonitskii) (2.9.1924) , vol. 1560, p. 55, AAN, Berlin Embassy. … Continue reading
In the 1930s, the interest of the Polish foreign services in what was happening in different centers of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad sharply increases. Whether due to natural causes – abundance of information, active contacts – or as a result of the instructions of the leadership of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the main center for collecting information about it became the Rzeczpospolita Embassy in Berlin. The usually miserly “Head Office” made a monthly subsidy of 150 German marks available to the embassy to pay for a permanent consultant on “inter-Orthodox questions” – this was Dr. Iuzef Freilich, as the reports show – and also a lump sum of 4000 zloty for him to prepare a more extensive work based on information collected in Prague, Belgrade, Sofia, and Constantinople (only an abstract is preserved in the ministry documents).Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (6.12.1935), vol. 1565, p. 98, Berlin Embassy. Letter from the embassy (24.4.1936), vol. 1566, p. 25.
The heightened attention of the Polish foreign policy establishment to the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad had to do with a number of causes, first of all with a consciousness of the canonical incompleteness of the autocephaly of the church in Poland, and the absence of agreement for this from the “Mother Church,” that is from the Moscow Patriarchate. Where the Polish side were concerned, they were searching for a legal basis for autocephaly, while rejecting the legitimacy of the establishment of the connection of this church with Moscow in 1686, and also making appeal to the resolutions of the 1791 council in Pinsk during the four-year Sejm period. The Polish agencies were also not convinced of the total loyalty of Metropolitan Dionisii and the whole episcopate, who in the main were Russian, and of their steadfastness in the face of pressure towards centralization coming both from the Karlovci Synod and, most of all, from the ever more pro-active Sergii. The Polish authorities were afraid of an agreement between Evlogii and Antonii, and even more so of their recognizing the prerogatives of Sergii, and in general of any agreement of these centers with Moscow as a result of pressure from the Serbian Patriarch Varnava. Especial danger was posed by the canonical legalization of Sergii on the patriarchal throne in the case of the convocation of a local council in Moscow, which could radically change the attitude of these churches to the independence of the church in Poland.
Laying out these considerations in instructions to the Rzeczpospolita Embassy in Berlin, “Head Office” directed it to collect information on various processes taking place in the Russian Church Abroad. In particular, this concerned the initiatives of Metropolitan Sergii, attitudes to him in the Church “Abroad,” developments in relations between the different parts of this church, above all between Antonii and Evlogii, its attitudes to Polish affairs, to Metropolitan Dionisii, to the “Vatican ambitions of the Phanar,” and also on contacts with the Anglican Church and reactions to “unionistic activity” in the Catholic Church.Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (20.6.1934), vol. 1565, p. 29, AAN, Berlin Embassy. The internal weakness of Metropolitan Dionisii and his Synod with regard to possible changes in Moscow (a … Continue reading
Their “attitude to Polish affairs and Metropolitan Dionisii” referred to the sharply critical evaluation, in church circles and in the Russian emigration in general, of the Polish authorities and their position towards the Orthodox Church, and of the, in their view, collaborationist stance of Dionisii.
The detonator of this campaign at the beginning of the 1930s was a letter from Metropolitan Dionisii to a series of autocephalous Orthodox churches. He accused the Polish authorities of persecution comparable to that of the “massacre of the Bethlehem infants,” and the Catholic clergy of an attempt to “confiscate half of our holy churches.” Without going into depth, let us note that the campaign for the return of property to the Roman Catholic Church in the Eastern regions affected up to a third of the entire assets of the Orthodox Church in Poland, although by no means all of the claims were upheld by the courts. Overall, officially propounded principals of religious tolerance in Poland were intertwined with a negative attitude towards a confession that was viewed as a relic of Russian hegemony and a threat to the national policy of the state on its Eastern borders.
Dionisii’s letter, which was sent among others to the Catholikos of Georgia, was immediately used by Soviet propaganda; it was also widely published in the émigré press of all persuasions, particularly in the USA. Dionisii’s clarification that his intentions had been misinterpreted could not change the situation, all the more so as he continued to insist on 700 churches having been confiscated by the Catholics as stated in the letter, although he obeyed the order of the authorities not to circulate it any further. Later on, criticism was made of the fact of the destruction or transfer to the Catholics of Roman-Catholic Eastern-rite Orthodox Churches in the Kholm district.See: Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the MRIiNO on the foreign letters of protest campaign (May 1930), vol. 1003, p. 143, AAN, MWRiOP; as well as Metropolitan Dionisii’s letter to … Continue reading Embassy reports from this time tell of numerous events organized at the Berlin Church of St. Vladimir – a meeting point for elite circles of the Russian emigration – at which Polish policy with regard to the Orthodox Church was subjected to virulent attacks. Dionisii was accused of servility to the Polish authorities, of agreeing to the introduction of the Polish language into the liturgy. There were calls for public, official condemnation of Dionisii, and also of Bishop Aleksii of Volhynia by the Karlovci Synod.Report (28.5.1935), vol. 1565, p. 20, AAN, Berlin Embassy. Report (19.5.1936), vol. 1566, p. 38, ibid. Articles on this issue began to appear more and more regularly in the German press; particular energy was manifested by a “specialist in Orthodoxy,” Doctor Hans Koch from Königsburg.Appendix to letter (5.6. 1935), vol. 1565, p. 24, ibid. Hans Koch’s article was published in Osteuropa, , no. 3 (1935). Reports were made of rumors reaching the Russian emigration in Berlin of plans of “well-intentioned members of the clergy” in Volhynia to create a separate diocese under an external jurisdiction.Report (7.9.1935), p. 59, ibid.
Possibly, it was precisely in order to counteract this campaign that Dionisii made a short visit to Berlin, where he justified his loyalty to the Polish authorities in front of the clergy and laity there and argued for this stance, in particular, out of the necessity of resisting the “actions of the Jesuits.”Report (26.10.1935), p. 77, ibid. He does not appear to have met with much success.
It is worth taking a moment to examine the issue of the activity of the Vatican and especially of the Jesuits in the USSR and among the Russian emigration in more detail. As early as the 1920s, the Polish authorities had been alarmed by contacts between Vatican emissaries in Spain with Russian aristocratic circles linked to the church hierarchy. These contacts sprang from a rapprochement of interests, and a possible future “Catholicization of Russia.” The Rzeczpospolita Ambassador in Spain cautioned that a “Catholicization of Russia would create a very dangerous situation for Poland, as joy over the repentant sinner would lead to a neglect or casting aside of the [Polish] faithful. A Catholic Russia would not cease to be nationalistically inclined.” An opinion existed, indeed, that such attempts were being made in answer to parallel contacts between the Vatican and the Soviet authorities, as reported by Metropolitan Evlogii in Paris, among others.Letter from the Rzeczpospolita Ambassador in Madrid Orlovskii (9.9.1922), vol. 6679, p. 312, ibid., MSZ. A report from the Ambassador in Madrid (4.9.1922) (vol. 5566, p. 7, AAN, MSZ. Roselstwo … Continue reading
This problem arose once again at the beginning of the 1930s in connection with the papal “Pro Russia” commission, which created so-called “East-Slavic” parishes of a mixed Orthodox-Catholic character on Rzeczpospolita territory without the knowledge or consent of the authorities. This drew an emphatic protest from the Polish government adressed to the Vatican; a propaganda campaign was unveiled exposing the background and dangerous character of the activity of “Pro Russia”.
The conflict affected not only Polish territory, but also the Far East, where there was a sizeable Polish colony in Harbin. Through the efforts of “Pro Russia,” the management of church affairs there was handed over to Russian Catholic priests, nationalists, and monarchists, who ruthlessly ousted the Polish clergy, among them nuns who ran a school for girls. “Harbin,” it was noted in reports, “is a Russian concession separate from China, thanks to which Monseigneur D’Herbigny (the head of “Pro Russia” – J.Z.) has succeeded in gaining this territory for the “Pro Russia” commission, in order to create there a center from which to penetrate into Russian territory from the east.” The Rzeczpospolita Embassy also accused the Polish episcopate of an absolute absence of interest in these important questions. A special conference at the Ministry for Home Affairs familiarized itself with a report from Counsellor J. Strzhembosz, in which he spoke of three visits by Monsigneur D’Herbigny to Russia in order to stabilize the position of the Catholic Church in the USSR. However, he was stabilizing it there ignoring Polish wishes and refusing contacts with the Polish agencies, acting “in the direction of a de-Polonization” of the Catholic Church in Russia.”See the correspondence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Rzeczpospolita Embassy to the Apostolic See, vol. 2660, p. 3-44, AAM, MSZ. In particular: letter from Ambassador W. Skrzyński … Continue reading
In the mid-1930s, the embassy in Berlin informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with concern of Vatican contacts with the Bulgakov and Berdiaev religious centers in Paris. Particularly active here was the Catholic priest, former colonel and Russian military attaché in Rome Prince A. M. Volkonskii, who came from a family that had shown sympathy for Catholicism even earlier, in the 19th century. Alexander’s brother, S. M. Volkonskii, a figure in the Russian emigration in Paris, was an Eastern-rite Catholic. A. M. Volkonskii had come to the attention of the Polish foreign services as far back as 1919. He had very close connections with the “Pro Russia” commission, on which he was one of the leading experts. His widely circulated letter of testament, dated 1934 and addressed to the Russian émigré philosopher I. A. Il’in, contained a call for a reconciliation of Orthodoxy with Rome, wherein the prince-priest saw a historical opportunity for Russia.
The greatest growth of Polish interest in the affairs of the Russian Church Abroad dates from 1934-1937. The Minister of Foreign Affairs devoted considerable attention to the situation in Latvia, where, after the tragic death of Archbishop John (Pommer) in 1934, there was not a single bishop to take charge of the church, while a minimum of three was required for the maintenance of autocephaly. Metropolitan Elevferii from Lithuania immediately laid a claim to its administration, which would have meant the return of the hitherto autonomous Latvian Church to the authority of Moscow.
Initial plans on the part of the Latvian authorities to invite Metropolitan Dionisii to consecrate new bishops proved to be unfeasible due to the canonical vulnerability of Polish autocephaly. Matters began to take an unwelcome turn when the Serbian Patriarch Varnava refused the Latvians ordination and episcopal consecration, suggesting that they submit either to Moscow, or, which amounted to the same thing, to Elevferii. There was a proposal of submission to Metropolitan Evlogii’s jurisdiction, but this was also rejected. In this situation, the Latvian authorities were obliged to postpone convening a council that would have found itself under pressure from several sides, especially from that of Metropolitan Sergii, who was prepared to compromise on many issues, but categorically insisted on his canonical rights.
Ultimately, the Latvian authorities once again sought help from Constantinople, to all appearances at the instigation of Warsaw. The result was that they obtained consent for autocephaly and the consecration of new bishops, in particular A. Peterson (Augustin by his monastic name) as head of the church in Latvia under the canonical authority of the Phanar. This mission was carried out on behalf of the Patriarch of Constantinople by Metropolitan Germanos, who received a regular “stipend” of 350 Turkish pounds from the Polish authorities.
Events in Latvia found broad resonance in all branches of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which regarded them as a defeat for the Russian Orthodox Church by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The canonical deviations in Peterson’s consecration as a bishop, above all his lack of pastoral experience and the fact that he was married, although this was forbidden for bishops, met with dismay in the émigré milieu. Where the Polish party was concerned, on the one hand it considered itself to have scored a success in not allowing Metropolitan Elevferii into Latvia, and on the other noted a growth in support for union with the Moscow Patriarchate among the Russian emigration.
As an example of the increase of pro-Moscow feeling in the Russian Church in Germany, a Berlin Embassy report of August 10, 1935 cited the activity of the Orthodox theologian Irinarkh Stratonov (Berlin), who reproached the “churches abroad” in his publications for abandoning canonical norms, resorting to intrigue, and encouraging organizational chaos. He accused the church in Poland of usurping rights and misinterpretation of the canons. In his opinion, the Patriarch of Constantinople had long since lost his leading role, owing to which “only Moscow can be the roof protecting hundreds of millions of Orthodox Russians and related Slavic peoples.” According to the Polish observers, “the question was not whether the Church Abroad would unite, but whether it would be able to withstand the onslaught from the Moscow Patriarchate.”Reports of the RP embassy in Berlin (2.7.1935), vol. 1165, p. 35, (17.7.1935), p. 38, (10.8.1935), p. 43, AAN, Berlin Embassy; reports of the RP embassy in Riga (14.8.1935) p. 470, (20.10.1935), p. … Continue reading
The information arriving in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs touched on many regions, including Carpathian Ruthenia, which formed part of the territory of Czechoslovakia, where attempts were being made to create a “second Pochaev Lavra” in Uzhgorod (the Pochaev Monastery of the Dormition had in the past been a center of struggle against Catholicism and Uniatism). The Polish authorities did not approve of such undertakings: the extension of Metropolitan Dionisii’s authority beyond the frontiers of Rzeczpospolita would immediately have opened a loophole for similar claims regarding the church in Poland, above all from Metropolitan Elevferii.Letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (23.1.1936), vol. 2876, p. 3, AAN, MSZ. Report (26.11.1938), vol. 1568, p. 100, AAN, Berlin Embassy.
This question also tangentially affected the Orthodox Church in the USA. Bishop Vitalii, who was behind the “second Pochaev” in Carpathia, where a significant portion of the publishing activity of the Lavra had been moved to, and who had connections with the Karlovtsians and had now been sent to the USA, brought four bishops over to the side of the Karlovci Synod, but continued to bear an influence on matters in Transcarpathia. In 1938, however, the Serbian metropolitan and then head of the Mukachevo- Prešov diocese in Carpathia was Bishop Vladimir (Raich), a Serb who was a graduate of the Russian theological academies and a Russophile. His presence significantly changed the situation on this ecclesiastical territory.
If, to begin with, there had been optimistic news of the resolute striving of Metropolitan Platon and his successor Feofil towards independence, then in 1938 there was a report of a transfer of Archbishop Adam (Filipovskii), the head of the Carpathian-Ruthene diocese in the USA, whose influence and significance have been discussed above, to canonical dependence from the Moscow Patriarchate. The mediators in this operation were Metropolitan Elevferii of Lithuania and his Exarch in America Metropolitan Veniamin, a staunch opponent of Polish autocephaly. In the Polish embassy in Washington, this was appraised as an event that could exert major influence on the overall situation in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Unfortunately, the report did not say anything about the reasons for this step and its possible links to the political situation in Carpathian Ruthenia. Meanwhile, after the collapse of the state of Czechoslovakia as a result of the Munich Agreement and the transfer of Transcarpathia to Hungary, a Ukrainian separatist movement gathered momentum there under the leadership of the Uniate priest Voloshin, which the local population, who considered themselves Ruthenians and closely related to the Russians, viewed with extreme hostility. Equally hostile relations between the Orthodox from Carpathian Ruthenia and the Uniates persisted in the USA.Report (3 2. 1939), vol. 1569, p. 6, ibid. Report from the embassy in Washington D.C. (8.9.1936) vol. 2871, p. 81, ibid., MSZ.
An object of the close attention of the Polish foreign services in the 1930s was the increasing German interference in the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, both on the territory of the Reich, and in relations between the Karlovci and Paris centers. For instance, the Polish embassy in Berlin informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the activity of Archbishop Tikhon, who was not particularly well-liked in ecclesiastical circles and had little authority in the emigration, notwithstanding which he enjoyed the full support of the German administration. With the help of the latter and the blessing of the Karlovci Synod, an Orthodox diocese headed by Archbishop Tikhon and with its center in Berlin was established in Germany in 1936.Report (27.5.1936), vol. 1566, p. 41, AAN, Berlin Embassy. Letter from the Consul General in Berlin (25.7. 1936), vol. 2876, p. 82-84, AAN, MSZ. Metropolitan Anastasii, Antonii’s successor, … Continue reading Parishioners favored the unification of Orthodox parishes into a single German diocese, and although the struggle for influence between the Karlovci Synod, Metropolitan Evlogii, and the Moscow jurisdiction was still going on, it was Evlogii with whom most of the faithful sympathized. Nonetheless, the German authorities and their intermediary, Metropolitan Anastasii from the Karlovtsians, categorically rejected subordination to the Paris center. Jointly, they managed to achieve the maintenance of a formal subordination of the Berlin diocese to the authority of Karlovci, but all other initiatives were thwarted, to a large degree thanks to the resistance of Abbot (later Archimandrite and Bishop) Ioann (Prince Shakhovskoi in the world), who resolutely stood up for Evlogii’s positions and opposed the submission of the Orthodox Church to the German administration.
The German authorities encouraged the Karlovtsians to create a center in Berlin capable of competing with the Paris Theological Institute, however this met with resistance not only in émigré circles but also in the Karlovci Synod, which was wary of excessive dependency from the Hitler administration. Owing to these considerations, and also out of a desire not to strain relations with the Serbian Patriarch Varnava, a German proposal to move the synod from Karlovci to Berlin was not accepted. Later, on June 12, 1938 took place the consecration of the Cathedral of the Joyful Resurrection of Christ, which had been constructed by the German Labor Front. This was a gesture of gratitude for the support shown by Anastasii and Tikhon in the infamous court case arising from the distribution by the fascists of the fabricated antisemitic text “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in Switzerland. Anastasii consecrated the church, but the ceremony was boycotted by many émigré groups both of an “Evlogian” and a “Patriarchal” orientation. Delegations from the Baltic Germans attended and representatives of the Russian fascist organizations of General Biskupskii and General Skallon, although significantly the “Denikinists” did not make an appearance. Consequently, the division in the Russian emigration in Germany was no longer merely of an ecclesiastical but also of a political nature, as the Polish observers did not fail to note.
It was they who, in 1983, informed Warsaw with satisfaction that, despite his currying favor with the German authorities, Tikhon, who had incurred displeasure by his anti-Polish remarks, had been removed to a monastery in Yugoslavia. The appointment of Bishop Seraphim (Liade) from Vienna as his successor was greeted with considerably less enthusiasm: a Volga German, a Nazi and intrigant, as he was characterized in reports (this change of personnel had been agreed between Metropolitan Anastasii and the German authorities as early as 1936!). Seraphim was to have Bishop Basil (Pavlovskii), summoned specially for this purpose from Harbin, as an assistant.
The German authorities also forbad Orthodox parishes from having any contacts whatsoever with Evlogii, and yet more so with Elevferii, who represented the Moscow Patriarchate in Europe, even using police resources to achieve this aim.Embassy report (7.1.1938, 22.15.1938), p. 34 (question of the possible organization of a “Theological Institute” in Germany as a counterweight to the one in Paris); (1.7.1938), p. 49 (on … Continue reading
Among “inter-Orthodox matters,” the particular attention of the Polish foreign services continued to be attracted by the development of the relations between the centers in Karlovci and Paris, of which the Berlin episode was only one, albeit an important, episode. After his death in 1936, Antonii was replaced by Anastasii (Gribanovskii), known as the Metropolitan of Bessarabia (Kishinev-Khotyn). The Polish informers assessed him not as a theologian, but a politician with monarchist views, ambitious, and inclined to “tortuous paths” and “autocracy.”Opinion on Metropolitan Anastasii – in a Berlin Embassy report (7.12.1936), vol. 2876, p. 177, AAN MSZ.
Since 1934, a tendency had been growing in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad towards overcoming disputes and a search for a basis for unification. A declaration of Orthodox émigré bishops in August 1934 was formulated in this spirit; it spoke of the indissoluble “unity of the Russian Church, regardless of state-political variations,” and contained a call to unification around its “elder archpastors” and submission to the “Russian council of bishops abroad,” that is to the Karlovtsians, which was immediately interpreted by the Polish party as a challenge to the autocephaly of the Polish church. The declaration was signed by 34 bishops; five, including Antonii, expressed their solidarity with it, while another five, among them Evlogii, did not sign it.
Metropolitan Dionisii turned out to be one of those who signed the declaration, which provoked an extremely negative reaction from the Polish authorities. Dionisii himself explained in a special statement of the Warsaw Metropolitanate of December 4, 1934 that his signature meant no more than a simple expression of solidarity with the idea of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, and was not the official position of the Orthodox Church in Poland, which “never has and never will count itself a part of the Russian Church in Emigration.”Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1.9. 1934) , vol. 1564, p. 11, AAN, Berlin Embassy. The text is quoted from: Prikarpatskaya Pravoslavnaya Rus’, No. 15 (1934). On the question of the … Continue reading
The lifting of the ecclesiastical ban imposed on Evlogii by the Karlovci Synod in September 1934 was a step towards the “reconciliation” of the two branches; in response, on November 18, 1934 Evlogii and the “Karlovtsian” Bishop in Western Europe Seraphim (Luk’ianov) served a solemn mass in the cathedral on the anniversary of the White Movement, which was regarded in émigré circles as a serious step towards unification.Reports (18.1.1935 and 23.2.1935), vol. 1565, p. 1, 4, AAN. Berlin Embassy.
In December 1934, Evlogii went to Berlin in the hope of finding common ground with Archbishop Tikhon and obtaining the official agreement of the Nazi authorities on the regulation of issues concerning the Orthodox Church in Germany. Tikhon, however, received him very coldly, while the Germany authorities treated him with disdain and refused his request.Report (8.3.1935), p. 11, ibid. Much more successful was Evlogii’s trip to England at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which was seen as a testimony of the open support of the Anglican Church for the Paris center.Report (18.7.1935), p. 41, ibid.
Meanwhile, in the Karlovci center the aspiration to decisively take on the leadership of the Church Abroad had grown, perhaps under the influence of the ever increasingly persistent rumors of Moscow’s plans to convene a council – rumors that may have been inspired by Moscow itself. A council in Moscow – and this was a cause of concern to the Polish party – could have created an entirely new canonical situation for all the parts of the Russian Church Abroad, and in addition for a series of autocephalous churches. A wave of probing questions poured into Polish diplomatic representations from “Head Office” with demands to provide more detailed information on this subject.
The convocation of a council of the “Church Abroad” in Karlovci was planned for 1936. A pre-conciliar commission was convened, and work commenced on compiling an agenda for the council, in which a key role was played by the secretary of the synod, Count Grabbe, a fierce opponent of agreement with Evlogii. It was proposed that the question of churches that had declared themselves autocephalous and separated from Moscow be discussed at the council, including the church in Poland, which caused consternation in the Polish party. The council was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Antonii’s ordination as a priest; he himself received from the Karlovci Synod the title of “Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.”
In Paris, the plans of their opponents were immediately condemned as “usurpation” deprived of any real a canonical basis. Reports arriving in Warsaw from Berlin spoke of heated arguments among the Russian emigration with respect to the role and mission of the Church Abroad. Liberal, democratic, socialist, and even Kadet circles questioned the right of the Karlovci center to a leading role in this church. Its conservatism and monarchism, which the council was to hang out on its banner, provoked a categorical protest in Paris.
The Polish observers noticed that, even at this phase of the path to reconciliation, there was evidence of a deepening of the conflict between the two main Orthodox centers and their hierarchs, and recommended a firm prohibition on the Orthodox Church in Poland taking part in any initiative connected with the council.
In the situation that had emerged, the Orthodox hierarchs of the émigré church decided to preface the council with a conference in Karlovci under the mediation of Patriarch Varnava. A meeting between Antonii, Evlogii, Feofil (USA), Dimitrii (Far East), and several lesser figures, for example the Karlovtsian bishop Vitalii (USA), which was also given the name a “Council of Bishops,” took place in October-November 1934 and was marked by an appearance of agreement. The hierarchs recognized the need for unification, the basis of which was to be the division of the Church Abroad into four metropolitanates: Balkan-Eastern European (to be headed by Metropolitan Anastasii, Antonii’s officially recognized successor), Western European (Evlogii), American (Feofil), and Far-Eastern (Dimitrii) with their own synods, jurisdictions, and so on. Over all of them was to stand a “quadrumvirate” consisting of representatives of these four metropolitanates, initially under the leadership of Antonii, and after that of an elected patriarch [metropolitan – A.P.].
Nonetheless, a seed of conflict was already sown in the agreement itself, as it entailed a double dependency of parishes that hitherto had not been subordinated to the newly appointed metropolitans. For instance, a parish in France recognizing the canonical authority of the Karlovtsians would have to transfer to a parallel submission to Evlogii, which gave rise to a multitude of new conflicts. Unsurprisingly, a new batch of reports from the Polish services point to the fragility and decorative character of the agreement, and to the fact that it was more likely to aggravate inter-Orthodox discord than to allay it. The constantly increasing activity of representatives of Sergii was spoken of, and of an ever more widespread opinion that, just as an emigration cannot create representations of a nation abroad, a church does not have the right to create administrative institutions abroad.Reports of the embassy in Berlin (7.11.1936) and the embassy in Paris (27.1.1936), vol. 2876, p. 147, AAN, MSZ. For contents and comments on the “agreement,” see: Reports (7.11.1935 and … Continue reading It was noted with satisfaction that Evlogii had managed to retain independence by relying on the Phanar and blocking the aspirations of Patriarch Varnava to create a new pan-Slavic patriarchate under his leadership competing both with Moscow and the Phanar.Report (30.1.1936) vol. 1566, p. 8, ibid.
Subsequent reports already speak of rear-guard actions on the “inter-Orthodox” front. The Karlovci Synod attacked Evlogii “on his flank,” anathematizing Bulgakov’s teaching on the cult of St. Sophia, and in so doing turning all the intellectual circles of the emigration against itself. Metropolitan Anastasii, with the support of Metropolitan Dosifei of Zagreb, consecrated an Orthodox shrine in Brussels, which formed part of Evlogii’s territory. In response, Evlogii consecrated a church in Amsterdam. A large conference with the participation of representatives of parishes from France, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, and Berlin that took place from July 12-18, 1936 and simultaneously played the role of a conference of the Western European Metropolitanate, firmly backed Evlogii, rejecting the Karlovci agreement and the “Provisional Regulation” adopted there with its principles of the structure and activity of the Church Abroad. A confidential mission of Archimandrite Ioann (Shakhovskoi) to Karlovci in October 1936 did not lead to an improvement in relations; nevertheless, he visited wounded Russians fighting for General Franco in Spain on Evlogii’s behalf and at his behest, and also Soviet prisoners of war captured by the Francoists.
The Polish side could feel a certain satisfaction. Things had not got as far as a comprehensive and final agreement that would have been detrimental to the autocephalous status of the church in Rzeczpospolita. Concerns of a possible council in Moscow had also not come to fruition: the only legitimate Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne Metropolitan Petr (Polianskii) of Krutitsk died in Soviet exile in 1936; Antonii and Varnava also died in the same year. The council was thus postponed. The next bishops’ conference of the Russian Church Abroad in December 1937 happened without Evlogii and Dimitrii; the latter’s place was taken by Bishop Aleksii (of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands) and Archbishop Nestor (of Kamchatka and the Indian Mission). The council of the Church Abroad prepared by this conference was held in Belgrade from August 13-25, 1938 and bore a pronouncedly nationalistic character. Evlogii was savagely condemned at it for exacerbating the “schism.”
Two Polish emissaries were present at the council who spoke of the persecution of Orthodoxy in Rzeczpospolita. They were K. N. Nikolaev with a presentation on “The Catastrophe of Orthodoxy in Poland,” and Father Grinenko (Popov) with a “Memorandum of the Orthodox Clergy in Poland.” The Serbian party, or at least the court and government of Yugoslavia, judging from the reports of the Rzeczpospolita embassy, tried to prevent excessive publicization of these speeches. In spite of this, with the energetic support of Bishop Seraphim (Liade) of Potsdam – the Berlin cathedra had by then been transferred to Potsdam by a decision of the German authorities – and also of Bishop Vitalii of the USA, documents condemning Poland were adopted at the council.Copy of report from Belgrade (12.1.1938); memo (5.11.1938), vol. 1568, p. 8, 84. See also: M. Papierzyiiska-Turek, Мiedzy tradycja, p. 374 etc. On the visit of Archimandrite Ioann (Shakhovskoi) to … Continue reading The official church in Poland distanced itself from Nikolaev and Grinenko, although the renewed campaign of accusation obtained a widespread character highly deliterious to Poland’s reputation.Ministry of Foreign Affairs memo with appendices on the situation of the church in Poland, intended for resistance to the anti-Polish campaign, vol. 1561, AAN, Berlin Embassy. Letter from the embassy … Continue reading The initiator of this campaign in the USA was Archbishop Vitalii, who accused the Synod of the Orthodox Church in Poland and Metropolitan Dionisii of losing their independence with regard to the Polish administration, and even of identifiying with it.
A genuine storm of indignation in the émigré press was unleashed by reports of the conversion of the Orthodox inhabitants of the village of Grynki to Catholicism. It was claimed that a fourth of the population of Poland was comprised of Russians who were forced to put up with nationalist and religious oppression. This figure was heavily exaggerated, as Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Orthodox Poles (around 150 thousand people) were counted as Russians. To the accusations against Dionisii were added that he was carrying out the “Polonization” and “Catholicization” of Russians and splitting Orthodoxy. According to the organizers of the campaign, the Polish authorities were continuing crimes against Orthodoxy that dated from the 17th century, “especially those of the Jesuits,” for which, they stated, “Providence would punish Poland.”On the escalation of the tone of the accusations, see: reports (12.2.1938 and 9.5.1938), vol. 1568, p. 19, AAN, Berlin Embassy.
Sometime before, “under pressure of the faithful in Yugoslavia” and through the mediation of Patriarch Varnava, the Karlovci Synod had made complaints to the Patriarch of Constantinople about Poland. Now, these accusations were renewed. The Polish side tried to resist this campaign, making a large amount of material available to the diplomatic representations showing the true, to their mind favorable situation of the church in Poland. Among the issues raised were: the legal situation (autocephaly) of the Polish Church; its multi-ethnic composition and property ownership (2126 Orthodox places of worship and 700 priests paid for by the state were mentioned, the Orthodox faculty at Warsaw University, subsidies for the preparation and training of priests); government policy on the guaranteeing of equal rights to non-Russian believers who were members of the Orthodox Church. Copies of documents emanating from the Orthodox Synod in Poland were provided demonstrating the rights enjoyed by this church. The Polish party addressed the Phanar with protests and clarifications regarding the accusations that had been levelled at it. The “Grynki affair” was interpreted as the return to Catholicism of people who had at one time been forced into Orthodoxy by tsarism; it was indicated that it was not only a case of Catholics returning to the fold of the church, but also of 30,000 protestants who, what is more, had received financial support from the Anglican Church. The result of this contra-propaganda turned out, however, to be of little effect.Notes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for use by the embassy (4.8.1938), vol. 1561, p. 1, AAN, Berlin Embassy etc., as well as appendices on the legal foundations and activities of the Orthodox … Continue reading
In the instructions and explanatory materials assigned for resistance to the anti-Polish campaign, which flared up from time to time and continued until 1939, Berlin was increasingly frequently mentioned as its instigator and abettor, especially where the activity of the Karlovci Synod was concerned. An opinion was voiced that the intensification of this campaign, particularly in 1938-1939, was aroused with German support and hopes “that this emigration connects with the interest shown in its activity by German government circles.” It was above all in Germany that the anti-Polish publications found their widest circulation, in particular a letter from Metropolitan Dionisii of July 16, 1938 confiscated by the Polish authorities. Archimandrite Ioann (Shakhovskoi) also took active part in the attacks on Poland: where censure of Poland was concerned, the “Karlovtsians,” “Evlogians,” and supporters of the “patriarchal” church were entirely unanimous.
Analyzing the “anti-Polish” – for this is how it was perceived – campaign as a whole, in 1939 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came to the conclusion that its roots were to be sought not in Paris or Karlovci, as was initially thought, but in Berlin. At the latter’s instigation, actions were undertaken in Paris, Belgrade, and Switzerland; under its influence, the Polish point of view was rejected in Serbia and Bulgaria, and it was only in Greece that it was treated favorably.Report (12.2.1938), Ministry of Foreign Affairs letter (20.7.1938), embassy report (13.8.1938), vol. 1568, p. 19, 54, 61, AAN, Berlin Embassy. See also: report (2.5.1939), vol. 1569; report from the … Continue reading
At the height of the campaign against Polish policy with regard to the Orthodox Church, two strange visits to Poland took place. In January 1938, Archimandrite Feodosii from the Karlovci Synod arrived in L’vov. Feodosii made numerous statements warning that the Serbian Church would refuse to support Polish initiatives in any way, first of all due to the low opinion of Metropolitan Dionisii that had formed there; a similar attitude was allegedly also to be expected from the Romanian Church, which hitherto had been loyal to Polish church policy. According to Archimandrite Feodosii, reliance on the support of the Patriarchate of Constantinople was also built on sand, as – something that was no news to the Polish party – they supported the highest bidder. However, the most significant aspect of Feodosii’s statements was information regarding German plans concerning the Karlovtsians, in particular Berlin’s proposal to transfer the Higher Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad from Yugoslavia to Berlin. The deceased Antonii’s negative view of this proposal no longer had its former significance, and according to Feodosii, the situation had changed fundamentally. The relations of the Karlovci Synod with the Serbian patriarchate, and also with the court and authorities in Yugoslavia had deteriorated after the death of Varnava, and, as Feodosii pointedly predicted, many things could happen. The Second Department of the General Staff was also interested in Feodosii’s visit, showing how much importance this information was accorded at the highest level.Memo of the Second Department of the General Staff (12.1.1938), vol. 1568, p. 14, AAN, Berlin Embassy (The Second Department was in charge of intelligence and counterintelligence).
Several months later, on the pretext of a meeting with his father, a major landowner in Volhynia, the secretary of the Karlovci Synod Grabbe, who in Russian Empire tradition was also known as the “Ober-Procuror of the Synod,” visited Poland. Grabbe did not limit himself to family meetings: on July 3, 1938 he visited the Warsaw Metropolitanate, where he was handed a memorandum accusing Poland of persecuting Orthodoxy. In all probability, this was the same confiscated letter from Metropolitan Dionisii that the Polish side regarded as one of the elements of the campaign that had been launched against them.Copy of a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the MRIiNO, forwarded from the Foreign Ministry to the embassy in Berlin, (14.7.1938), p. 54, ibid.
The documents that have been preserved do not contain a detailed appraisal of these two visits. The embassy in Berlin was only briefly informed of them as facts indispensable for a compilation of analytical surveys. Seemingly, they were related to the council that was to be convened in Karlovci.
Thus, it may be deduced that the Polish foreign services, and above all the Rzeczpospolita diplomatic representations, showed considerable interest in the activity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in the interwar years. This interest was in the main of a pragmatic nature and had to do with relations between the church and the monarcho-nationalistic circles in the Russian emigration that the Polish authorities saw as the greatest threat to their country. The activity of the centralized church structures both abroad and in Moscow also came under scrutiny in the light of campaigns discrediting Polish policy towards Orthodoxy in the eyes of international opinion, and also attacks on the hard-won and closely guarded autocephaly of the Polish Orthodox Church. In the second half of the 30s, the focus of attention became the question of German influence on the anti-Polish campaign in the Orthodox Church. A study of the surviving documents allows us to reach the conclusion that it was this aspect in particular that had a negative effect on the mutual relations of the Polish side and the Karlovci center, which had traditionally been cordial since the recognition of the autocephaly of the Polish Church. The rapprochement of the former with the authorities of the “Third Reich” was viewed in Warsaw in a very poor light and with apprehension.
|↵1||See D. Pospeloveckii, “Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov’: ispytaniia nachala veka” (The Russian Orthodox Church: Experiments at the Beginning of the Century). Voprosy istorii, № 2, (1993): 42.|
|↵2||“Svedenia i otsenki perioda 1917-1939” (Facts and Assessments of the Period 1917-1939) – mainly based on: L. Regel’son, Tragedia Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi, 1917-1945 (The Tragedy of the Russian Orthodox Church), (YMKA Press, 1977). See also: Memorial o sytuacij cerkwi w Rosji, 1, (8.VII.1922), vol. 1560, p. 7 , Arhiwum Akt Nowyeh (dalee – AAN), MSZ, RP embassy in Berlin.|
|↵3||“Biograficheskuiu spravku ob Antonii” (Biographical information on Antonii), see: (12.7.1936), vol. 2876, p. 118, AAΝ, MSZ; see also: L. Regel’son, Tragedia, p. 268.|
|↵4||L. Regel’son, Tragedia., 285.|
|↵5||Letter to the Foreign Ministry (23.11.1935), vol. 1565, p. 4, Berlin Embassy. The embassy assessment juxtaposing these centers – the “conservative Bulgakov Institute” and the progressive Berdiaev Academy – failed to notice or take into account the complementarity of this division and its appropriateness for the conditions of Western Europe. For a reflection on the public activities of these institutions, see: M. Veuzzas, La vie culturelle de l’emigration russe in France. Chronique, 1920-1930 (Paris: 1971).|
|↵6||Report, (31.3.1936), vol. 2876, p., 46 AAN, MSZ. The Orthodox Church had existed in the United States from the beginning of the nineteenth century. In the 1930s, it comprised five dioceses (270 parishes), as well as a separate diocese of Carpatho-Russians. Half of the approximately 500,000 believers were Russians. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it also included Orthodox of other nationalities, mostly Balkan, who later became ecclesiastically autonomous. The “Karlovci” church (Archbishop Vitalii, who had formerly been in the Pochaev Lavra and Carpathian Ruthenia) numbered about 10 thousand believers. Some minor structures – the “patriarchal” church, headed by Metropolitan Veniamin, and the “Living Church” (headed by Bishop Kedrovskii, who had been ordained to the priesthood by his own father, and consecrated as a bishop by the Greek Khristofor, who was married to a woman of the Jewish faith) – were essentially subsidized by Moscow.|
|↵7||Report from the Rzeczpospolita Consulate in Harbin (7.4.1936), p. 40, ibid.|
|↵8||Report (31.8. 1936), vol. 1566, p. 70, AAN, Berlin Embassy.|
|↵9||Report (1.9. 1934), vol. 1564, p. 2, ibid. For “Phanar” policy on this question, see: report of the RP ambassador to Constantinople (30.9.1922), vol. 1003, p. 42, ibid., MWRiOP. Report of Counsellor J. Strzhembosz on his trip to Bucharest, Sofia and Constantinople (November 1922), p. 103, ibid. Patriarch Tikhon did not approve of autocephaly in Poland and even made an appeal to the Soviet government for the protection of the Orthodox in the Kholm Region from harassment by the Polish authorities. See: L. Regelson, Tragedia, 337.|
|↵10||For the costs in question, see: Letter of the First Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (3.1.1936), vol. 2875, p. 1, AAN, MSZ.|
|↵11||Letter from the MRIiNO (29.3.1927), vol. 1001, p.72, MWRiOP. Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (20.5.1927), vol. 1003, p. 72, ibid.|
|↵12||M.Papierzyiiska-Turek, Мiedzy tradycja a rzeczywistocia. Panstwo wobec prawoslawia, 1918-1939 (Warsaw, 1989), 127.|
|↵13||Reports of Counsellor J. Strzhembosz (22.1 and 9.4.1926), vol. 1003, p. 45-49, 55, AAN, MWRiOP. See also: Letter from MRIiNO to the Foreign Ministry (13.5.1924), p. 83, ibid. Memorandum for use by the press on state policy towards the Orthodox Church (anon.) (16.9.1925), vol.1001, p. 140, ibid.|
|↵14||Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (20.5. 1927), (note II).|
|↵15||Report of the delegation of the Polish Orthodox Church to Romania (7.11. 1925), vol. 1003, p. 179, AAN, MWRiOP. While supporting the autonomy of Metropolitan Antonii, the Serbian Patriarch Varnava took a dim view of the national churches that were freeing themselves from the rule of Moscow without the consent of their patriarchate, which was a condition for the canonical legality of such a decision.|
|↵16||Vol. 2876, ААN, МSZ.|
|↵17||Copy of report (27.1.1923), vol. 1003, p. 63 AAN, MWRiOP.|
|↵18||Antonii, “Blagoslovennye Gramoty” (20.9.1927 and 21.4.1930), Russkaia Pravda (September-October 1927; , March-April 1930).|
|↵19||Quoted in: Two-Headed Eagle, No. 1, Berlin (1920).|
|↵20||Report (15.1.1922), vol.6678, AAN, MSZ, RP Embassy in Belgrade.|
|↵21||Copy of report (21.1.1923), vol. 1003, p. 63 AAN, MWRiOP.|
|↵22||Letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the return of Archimandrite Tikhon to Poland (22.7.1922, 18.10.1924 and 21.10.1924) , vol. 1560, p. 16 etc., AAN Berlin Embassy.|
|↵23||”Decree of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Metropolitanate in Poland” concerning the deposing of Bishop Vladimir (Tikhonitskii) (2.9.1924) , vol. 1560, p. 55, AAN, Berlin Embassy. Vladimir later left for Czechoslovakia. For more on this, see: M. Papierzyiiska-Turek, Мiedzy tradycja, 111-118, 142.|
|↵24||Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (6.12.1935), vol. 1565, p. 98, Berlin Embassy. Letter from the embassy (24.4.1936), vol. 1566, p. 25.|
|↵25||Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (20.6.1934), vol. 1565, p. 29, AAN, Berlin Embassy. The internal weakness of Metropolitan Dionisii and his Synod with regard to possible changes in Moscow (a council, the canonical legalization of the patriarch, external recognition, etc.) is clear from the 1927 meeting of the Warsaw Synod, vol. 1000, p. 65, AAN, MWRiOP. For a similar assessment see: MRIiNO’s letter to the MFA (12.3.1928), vol. 1003, p. 122, ibid.|
|↵26||See: Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the MRIiNO on the foreign letters of protest campaign (May 1930), vol. 1003, p. 143, AAN, MWRiOP; as well as Metropolitan Dionisii’s letter to the MRIiNO (17.5. 1930), p. 73, ibid. These questions are covered in detail in M. Papierzyiiska-Turek, Мiedzy tradycja, 342 etc.|
|↵27||Report (28.5.1935), vol. 1565, p. 20, AAN, Berlin Embassy. Report (19.5.1936), vol. 1566, p. 38, ibid.|
|↵28||Appendix to letter (5.6. 1935), vol. 1565, p. 24, ibid. Hans Koch’s article was published in Osteuropa, , no. 3 (1935).|
|↵29||Report (7.9.1935), p. 59, ibid.|
|↵30||Report (26.10.1935), p. 77, ibid.|
|↵31||Letter from the Rzeczpospolita Ambassador in Madrid Orlovskii (9.9.1922), vol. 6679, p. 312, ibid., MSZ. A report from the Ambassador in Madrid (4.9.1922) (vol. 5566, p. 7, AAN, MSZ. Roselstwo Madryt) argued that the entire “Spanish-Russian entourage” around Grand Duke Boris Romanov, with whom such initiatives were associated, centered on the Sapega palace in the resort town of Biarritz. The Sapega family belonged to the very top of the Polish aristocracy and had had close ties with Russia in the past.|
|↵32||See the correspondence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Rzeczpospolita Embassy to the Apostolic See, vol. 2660, p. 3-44, AAM, MSZ. In particular: letter from Ambassador W. Skrzyński (14.4.1930); letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (4.5. 1930), p. 15; letter from the Ambassador of the Rzeczpospolita (26.6. 1930); and “Protokol z konferencji odbytej 1(4.7. 1930) w sprawie wikariuza generalnego w Charbinie, p. 76.” Strzhembosz conclusions pointed to the need for a campaign in the press to counteract the negative consequences of “Pro Russia” activism for Polish interests. The conference participants saw the very name of the commission as a challenge to the Polish side. Judging from some of the materials that have survived, certain elements of this campaign were put into practice.|
|↵33||Reports of the RP embassy in Berlin (2.7.1935), vol. 1165, p. 35, (17.7.1935), p. 38, (10.8.1935), p. 43, AAN, Berlin Embassy; reports of the RP embassy in Riga (14.8.1935) p. 470, (20.10.1935), p. 80, (19.11.1935), p. 94; (24.12.1935), p. 104, (21.11.1936), vol. 1566, p. 12; and the embassy in Berlin (19.3.1936), p. 22, and (22.6. 1936), p. 54, as well as other materials preserved in these archival files.|
|↵34||Letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (23.1.1936), vol. 2876, p. 3, AAN, MSZ. Report (26.11.1938), vol. 1568, p. 100, AAN, Berlin Embassy.|
|↵35||Report (3 2. 1939), vol. 1569, p. 6, ibid. Report from the embassy in Washington D.C. (8.9.1936) vol. 2871, p. 81, ibid., MSZ.|
|↵36||Report (27.5.1936), vol. 1566, p. 41, AAN, Berlin Embassy. Letter from the Consul General in Berlin (25.7. 1936), vol. 2876, p. 82-84, AAN, MSZ. Metropolitan Anastasii, Antonii’s successor, visited Berlin in this connection in October 1936.|
|↵37||Embassy report (7.1.1938, 22.15.1938), p. 34 (question of the possible organization of a “Theological Institute” in Germany as a counterweight to the one in Paris); (1.7.1938), p. 49 (on the consecration of a new church in Berlin); (2.7.1938), p. 56 (on the release of Archbishop Tikhon and new appointments); (17.1.1939), vol. 1569 (on reprisals against the “Evlogian” and “patriarchal” churches in Germany); (4.11.1939), p. 4 (on yet another personnel reshuffle in the church and plans to appoint E. Koch to the chair of Orthodox theology in Wroclaw; (18.5.1939), vol. 1568, p. 25, AAN, Berlin Embassy, (on the resistance of the Karlovci center to German initiatives).|
|↵38||Opinion on Metropolitan Anastasii – in a Berlin Embassy report (7.12.1936), vol. 2876, p. 177, AAN MSZ.|
|↵39||Letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1.9. 1934) , vol. 1564, p. 11, AAN, Berlin Embassy. The text is quoted from: Prikarpatskaya Pravoslavnaya Rus’, No. 15 (1934). On the question of the signature of Metropolitan Dionisii, see. report (22.12. 1934), vol. 1564, p. 4, AAN, Berlin Embassy.|
|↵40||Reports (18.1.1935 and 23.2.1935), vol. 1565, p. 1, 4, AAN. Berlin Embassy.|
|↵41||Report (8.3.1935), p. 11, ibid.|
|↵42||Report (18.7.1935), p. 41, ibid.|
|↵43||Reports of the embassy in Berlin (7.11.1936) and the embassy in Paris (27.1.1936), vol. 2876, p. 147, AAN, MSZ. For contents and comments on the “agreement,” see: Reports (7.11.1935 and 19.12.1935), vol. 1565, p. 86, 102, 107, AAN, Berlin Embassy.|
|↵44||Report (30.1.1936) vol. 1566, p. 8, ibid.|
|↵45||Copy of report from Belgrade (12.1.1938); memo (5.11.1938), vol. 1568, p. 8, 84. See also: M. Papierzyiiska-Turek, Мiedzy tradycja, p. 374 etc. On the visit of Archimandrite Ioann (Shakhovskoi) to Spain see: report (8.1.1938), vol. 1568, p. 5, AAN, Berlin Embassy.|
|↵46||Ministry of Foreign Affairs memo with appendices on the situation of the church in Poland, intended for resistance to the anti-Polish campaign, vol. 1561, AAN, Berlin Embassy. Letter from the embassy in Berlin, (13.5.1939), vol. 1562, ibid. Reports (12.12.1938 and 2.5.1939), vol. 1568, p. 19, 17, ibid. Information on the campaign for the Orthodox Church and the Russian minority in Poland in the USA, vol. 971, p. 70, ibid.|
|↵47||On the escalation of the tone of the accusations, see: reports (12.2.1938 and 9.5.1938), vol. 1568, p. 19, AAN, Berlin Embassy.|
|↵48||Notes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for use by the embassy (4.8.1938), vol. 1561, p. 1, AAN, Berlin Embassy etc., as well as appendices on the legal foundations and activities of the Orthodox Church in Poland, indicating the sincere interest of the State in the preparation of a council of the Orthodox Church in Poland, especially one of a general nature including the participation of the laity and not only representatives of the church hierarchy. It also stressed proposals on the part of the authorities that the council, to which the Polish authorities had unsuccessfully been “pushing” the church, should make a clear statement on the question of the language of the Orthodox liturgy in Poland, that is it should either accept the sole use of Church Slavonic (the “Slavonic Latin”), or agree that “local languages” should be used in the liturgy: that is besides Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Polish.|
|↵49||Report (12.2.1938), Ministry of Foreign Affairs letter (20.7.1938), embassy report (13.8.1938), vol. 1568, p. 19, 54, 61, AAN, Berlin Embassy. See also: report (2.5.1939), vol. 1569; report from the RP embassy in Athens (23.5. 1939), p. 20.|
|↵50||Memo of the Second Department of the General Staff (12.1.1938), vol. 1568, p. 14, AAN, Berlin Embassy (The Second Department was in charge of intelligence and counterintelligence).|
|↵51||Copy of a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the MRIiNO, forwarded from the Foreign Ministry to the embassy in Berlin, (14.7.1938), p. 54, ibid.|