Articles Author Deacon Andrei Psarev

The 1946 Council in Munich

As a Phoenix Rising Out of Ashes

The Russian Church Abroad received a number of bishops on this day in 1946.

When I was in Munich last December I should have found the building occupied by the ROCOR Synod after World War Two. By the end of World War Two the Russian Church Abroad had only two bishops in Europe, Metropolitans Anastassy, ROCOR’s first hierarch, and Seraphim of Germany. Metropolitan Anastassy could not establish communication with the rest of the Russian Church Abroad from the occupied Germany. As a result, there was an understanding among Russian emigrees in China that the ROCOR ceased to exist. At the beginning of 1946 Metropolitan Anastassy was admitted to Switzerland and began communicating with the Russian Church Abroad in America and China. As a result, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco came back to the ROCOR from the Moscow Patriarchate. Two young Russian refugees, Archimandrites Seraphim and Nathanael were concentrated as bishops in Geneva. Munich was chosen as a permanent place for ROCOR’s Synod.

The first Bishop Council after the war took place in April. 12 bishops were received in the Russian Church Abroad. From the Belarusian Autonomous Church:

Metropolitan Panteleimon (Rozhnovsky) (†1950) (after being accepted, he immediately left the ROCOR and remained out of communication with anyone until the end),

Archbishop Benedict (Bobkovsky) († 1951) of Grodno and Bialystok (assigned to Germany),

Archbishop Philotheus (Narco) formerly of Mogilev and Mstislavl (†1986) (assigned to Germany),

Bishop Athanasius (Martos) formerly of Vitebsk and Podolsk (†1985) (assigned to Australia),

Bishop Stefan (Sevbo) formerly of Smolensk (†1965) (appointed to the See of Vienna),

Bishop Pavel (Melentyev) b. Bryansky (in 1948 fell into Roman Catholicism),

Bishop Gregory (Boriskevich) b. Gomel (†1957) (assigned to Canada, then transferred to Chicago),

Bishop Theodore (Rafalskii) formerly of Brest (†1955) (assigned to Australia).

From the Ukrainian Autonomous Church:

Archbishop Panteleimon (Rudyk) formerly of Kiev and Galitsia (†1968) (appointed to Argentina, in 1957 expelled from the ROCOR and in 1959 went to the Moscow Patriarchate),

Bishop Leonty (Filippovich) foremrely of Berdichev (†1971) (assigned to Paraguay, then to Chile),

Bishop Eulogii (Markovskii) formerly of Vinnitsa (†1951) (assigned to North America),

Archbishop Demetrius (Magan) formerly of Ekaterinoslav (†1968) (in 1948 he transferred to the American Metropolia).

All of these bishops belonged to the Moscow Patriarchate. And they did not have to repent in it. Moreover, during the war years ROCOR’s Synod in Belgrade made a statement that only bishops of the Ukrainian autonomous Church of Moscow Patriarchate were canonical.

Most of the remaining bishops of the Ukrainian Church did not leave the homeland with retreating Germans. In Belorussia the situation was different and most of the bishops had to leave and then joined the ROCOR.


Monk Benjamin (Gomarteli), “Letopis’ tserkovnykh sobytii nachinaia s 1917 goda,”[Timeline of Church Events Beginning with 1917]. Part III: 1939-1949, Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.

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