Articles Author Church People Deacon Andrei Psarev Lives of Bishops

Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvenskii)

On the left, "Archbishop" John Kedrovsky, whose family controlled St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York from 1925 to 1945. Metropolitan Platon, buried at St. Tikhon's monastery, is obviously on the right

A Misunderstood Metropolitan?

Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvenskii) of North America was removed by Patriarch Tikhon on this day in 1924 from his position as administrator of the diocese.

The seismic shocks of the Russian Revolution (1917) arguably continued to shake up the Eastern Orthodox landscape in North America. Metropolitan Platon had been a ruling hierarch there before the Russian Revolution. The young bishop Alexander (Nemelovsky) could not control the situation when the money transfers from Petrograd stopped in 1917. A process of disintegration took hold. Parishes started to borrow money from banks against their mortgages. In this atmosphere of confusion, Fr. John Kedrovsky, an archpriest suspended by Bishop Alexander, went to Russia in 1923 and returned to America as a renovationist (schismatic) “married bishop.” Since the Russian Orthodox Church had no legal status in the USSR, Kedrovsky claimed before a US court that he represented the pre-revolutionary Russian Church.

At this time, Metropolitan Platon returned to America. To halt the disintegration of the diocese, he had to navigate around Patriarch Tikhon (he retired Platon pro forma to satisfy his Bolshevik handlers), the Russian refugee bishops in Serbia (who suspected that he wanted to have autocephaly), and activists among his clergy and flock (who in fact wanted autocephaly).

I hope that, in time, Metropolitan Platon (d. 1934) has come to be regarded on his own merits beyond any inter-jurisdictional polemics.



D.N.N., “Kedrovsky,” Pravoslavnaia Entsiklopedia.

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