Articles Church People Clergy and Monastics Deacon Andrei Psarev

Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore)

An Anglican delegation visits the Most Holy Governing Synod in St. Petersburg in 1912. Archbishop Anthony of Kharkov is at the very left of the photo. Source: Metropolitan Evlogii, Put’ moei zhizni: vospominaniia Mitropolita Evlogiia izlozhennyia po ego razskazam T.Manukhinoi. [Memoirs of Metropolitan Evlogii] (Paris, 1947) Insert between pages 588 and 589.

The ROCOR at the Ecclesiological Frontlines of the Russian Church

Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore) passed away on this day in 1992.

In 1896, in his apostolic letter Apostolicae curae, Pope Leo XIII declared Anglican sacraments “absolutely null and utterly void” of grace.

In this situation, Anglicans naturally turned toward East, looking to counterbalance this statement by fostering relationships with the Orthodox Churches. The alliance between the British and Russian Empires during World War I transformed into support for the White Army during the Russian Civil War.

I wrote previously in these daily reports about the arrest of Metropolitan Antonii (Khrapovitskii) in Kiev by the Petliura government in 1918. He was released thanks to an intervention by Archbishop Randall Davidson of Canterbury. In Russia, it was through the intercession of Canon John Douglas (a liaison with the Orthodox Churches) that Patriarch Tikhon was released from prison in 1923.

Among various other “Russian” projects, Anglicans supported the foundation of the Russian theological institute in Paris in 1925 and funded publication of the official press outlet of the Russian Church Abroad, Tserkovnyia vedomosti (Church Gazette).

Metropolitan Anthonii’s ecclesiology, which did not admit the working of salvific Grace outside of the canonical boundaries of the Orthodox Church, coexisted with a conviction that the Church may receive non-Orthodox in any way She sees fit. The last point attracted Anglicans, because it ran contrary to the Roman Catholic position.

With the division of the Russian church diaspora in 1926, the Anglicans supported Metropolitan Evlogii (Georgievskii) in Paris rather than Metropolitan Anthony in Sremski (Karlovci). Nevertheless, relations with the ROCOR continued, especially in Palestine, where the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovskii), actively worked with the British administration.

Understandably, the question of how to receive the Anglican priest Edgar Moore was put before the ROCOR bishops at their 1935 Council, by Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky).

Despite Metropolitan Antonii’s proposal for the reception of Anglicans through repentance, the Council decided to receive Edgar Moore via ordination, thus setting a precedent for their reception into the Russian Church (Episcopalians were ordained in the US by Bishop Tikhon Bellavin).

There is, of course, a lot more to write about Fr. Lazarus (Moore), but little space to do so here – perhaps on some other occasion.


Relevant Links:

Father Andrew Midgley, “A Lifetime in Pilgrimage – Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore), 1902 -1992,” Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.

“The Final Word of the Russian Pre-Revolutionary Ecclesiology,” Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.

Andrei Psarev, “‘The Soul and Heart of A Faithful Englishman is not Limited by Utilitarian Goals and Plans: the Relations of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitskii with the Anglican Church,” Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.

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