Articles Deacon Andrei Psarev

ROCOR’s Recieving Corporation Status

As a result of the status of the ROCOR as only legal Orthodox Church of the Third Reich Protection Cathedral was built in Berlin with state subsidies. In 1938 Metropolitan Anastassii came from Belgrade to perform the full sanctification of this church. It is now owned by Moscow Patriarchate

One State – One Church Solution in Hitler’s Germany

On this day in 1938, the government of the Third Reich allocated all Russian imperial property in Germany to the Russian Church Abroad.

In October 1935, the ROCOR Council of Bishops approved the Regulations on the Orthodox Diocese of Berlin and Germany drafted by the Ministry of Church Affairs of the Third Reich. These “Regulations” made the following stipulations: consent of the Reich Government when appointing the head of the Diocese; consent of local government agencies when appointing a “foreign or stateless” priest to a parish, which applied to almost all ROCOR clergy in Germany, as well as when a bishop appointed members of the diocesan council and when new parishes were formed or received into the diocese. State control was established over the disbursement of government subsidies. Nevertheless, obtaining such a legal status at all was a big achievement for a Russian refugee church, and this law remained intact as justice was restored in the postwar West Germany.

In 1938, as a consequence of giving the Russian Church Abroad corporative rights in 1935Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler signed a Law on the Landholdings of the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany, according to which “the state, represented by the Minister of Church Affairs, received the right to dispose of Russian church property in the country and in the territories annexed to it.” On the basis of this law, the German state transferred all the pre-Revolutionary property of the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, except for the church in Dresden, and on May 5, 1939, the Law on Landholdings of the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany was extended to Dresden and the Sudetenland, newly annexed to the Third Reich.

On the practical level, the 1938 law meant that the German property of the Russian Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, under Metropolitan Evlogy in Paris, was confiscated. Because of this, Priest Manuel Essensky joined the Russian Church Abroad along with his parish in Leipzig; later, he became Bishop Constantine, and served in the ROCOR in Australia, Great Britain and the US. In 2014, his remains were transferred from Blanco, Texas, to the grounds of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.


Monk Benjamin, Letopis’ tserkovnykh sobytii nachinaia s 1917 goda. [Timeline of Church Events Beginning with 1917] Part II: 1928-1938.

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