Articles Author Church People Clergy and Monastics Deacon Andrei Psarev

Protopresbyter Alexander Shabasheff

Protopresbyter Alexander Shabasheff with White Russian volunteers, who fought alongside General Francisco Franco's troops during the Civil War in Spain (1936-1939)

A Russian Imperial Chaplain and ROCOR Priest

Protopresbyter Alexander Shabasheff passed away on this day in 1956.

The future Protopresbyter Alexander Shabasheff was born in Voronezh in 1881. He became a priest in 1909. He worked in Turkestan Region and the Diocese of Volhynia. From 1910, he served as a military chaplain. During World War I, he was wounded twice and suffered contusions (attesting to the likelihood that he led soldiers into battle). During the Russian Civil War, he was the head priest of the Semirechensky Front (modern day Kazakhstan). From 1922 to 1923, he served at the podvorie (representative office) of the Peking Mission in Harbin. In 1923, he went to Brisbane, Australia, performing physical labor at a flour mill to earn a living (cf. my post on Fr. Valentin Antoniev). He supported Metropolitan Evlogii in his ecclesiastical conflict with the ROCOR Synod but in 1927, transferred to the ROCOR himself. Unfortunately, as is so characteristic in the history of the Russian diaspora, the local community became divided. He went to another parish. In 1929, Fr. Alexander departed for the US under Archbishop Apollinarii and served at Holy Fathers’ Church in New York City and in other parishes. In 1933, he was appointed rector of Holy Resurrection Church in Brussels, where he served until 1946 as Dean of the Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

On December 6, 1941, Fr. Alexander wrote to Archbishop Seraphim Lade of Berlin and Germany: “I have no regard for any of the Jew-Mason henchman, first among them Shakhovskoi [Archimandrite John, a clergyman of Metropolitan Evlogii, who was then serving in Berlin], whose mother is descended from a Jew. However hard he might try to demonstrate his lack of involvement with the Jews, he will not succeed” (Mikhail Shkarovskii, “The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Holocaust,” Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad).

Because of his pro-Nazi sympathies after the war, Fr. Alexander was turned away when he tried to return to Australia after the war. From 1946-1948, he served in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he died in 1956.



Victor Iv  Kosik, Russkoje Tserkovnoje Zarubezhije: XX vek v biografiakh dukhovenstva ot Ameriki do Yaponii [The Russian Orthodox Diaspora: the 20th Century in the Biographies of Clergymen from America to Japan], Moscow 2008.

Sinodik RPTsZ. “Protopresbiter Aleksandr Shabashev” Livejournal

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.