№ 33 - 2006
The Editorial Board is glad to inform our Readers that this issue of “FIDELITY” has articles in English, Russian and Spanish Languages.
С удовлетворением сообщаем, что в этом номере журнала “ВЕРНОСТЬ” помещены статьи на английском, русском и испанском языках.
Contents - Оглавление
1. "ПРОЦЕСС ОЧИЩЕНИЯ РПЦЗ". Г. Ракитин.
2. "EL PROCESO DE DEPURACION DE LA IGLESIA DEL EXILIO". Jorge Rakitin
3. "THE CANONICAL AND LEGAL POSITION OF THE MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE". Protopresbyter George Grabbe
4. “НАС ЗАГОНЯЮТ В ОГРАДУ МОСКОВСКОЙ ПАТРИАРХИИ”. Протодиакон В. Якимов
5. "ДОБИТЬСЯ ОТСРОЧКИ МАЙСКОГО СОБОРА". Г. Ракитин
6. "CONSEGUIR QUE SE POSPONGA EL CONCILIO DE MAYO". Jorge Rakitin.
7. “MARTYR-KING HAROLD AND THE NORMAN CONQUEST (1066-1070)”. Dr.Vladimir Moss
8. "ТАЙНА ЛИЧНОСТИ ЦАРЯ. КАТАСТРОФА." Свящ, К. Зайцев (Архим. Константин)
9. "THE ABDICATION OF THE TSAR". Dr. Vladimir Moss
10. "PRELEST' " (spiritual deception). Fr. Dr. Photios+ (W)
11. "WE RESPOND". V. Scheglovsky
* * *
ПРОЦЕСС ОЧИЩЕНИЯ РПЦЗ
Г. Ракитин. Представитель на Аргентину Общества Митрополита Антония
Уже многое сказано о драме Зарубежной Церкви.
Причем большинство авторов статей уделяет немало строк подробному доказательству того, почему нельзя соединяться с МП и умоляет не вводить чад Зарубежной Церкви в этот грех и не заставлять несогласных уходить в раскол или искать прибежища в других Поместных Церквах.
Однако Церковь - это живой организм, и как таковой подвержен заражению. Но то, что сейчас происходит не должно приводить нас в отчаяние. Ибо по воле Божьей идёт процесс очищения РПЦЗ.
Нет смысла терять время на поиски виновников. Виноваты, в сущности, все мы, как миряне, так и духовенство, потому что закрывали глаза на прогрессивное внедрение факторов, ведущих к моральному и духовному упадку.
Мы принадлежим к той части Российской Поместной Церкви, которая не пошла на компромисс с дьяволом, то есть не преклонилась перед богоборческой властью, в отличие от МП, которая является человеческим учреждением, созданным Сталиным в годы Второй Мировой войны с целью пробуждения патриотизма.
Нам не грозит никакая опасность, если мы, осознав свою вину в случившемся, принесем покаяние, и с Божьей помощью будем врачевать Тело нашей Церкви.
Сторонники соединения пусть уходят. Таким образом отсеются плевелы. Не может быть сомнения в том, что они уже не могут отказаться от попытки достижения намеченной цели, будь это по собственной воли или под давлением.
Не будем их судить, но на наш долг обратиться к ним (особенно к тем, кто находится под давлением шантажа) с призывом опомниться и принести покаяние, как единственный способ избежать пожизненной зависимости от опытных вымогателей.
Брожение в лоне Церкви имеет место не впервые, и не всегда на стороне правды оставалось большинство. Но в конечном итоге всегда, без исключения, побеждала правда. Ибо “не в силе Бог, а в правде“.
Поэтому, все кто готов твердо стоять за истину, должны сплотиться и ждать дня, когда зарубежная часть Российской Церкви сможет без риска влиться в уже освященную покаянием Церковь на родине.
И не надо беспокоиться об епископах под чей омофор идти, если отойдет наш епископ - это нам укажет Сам Создатель Церкви.
Всё вышесказанное не обозначает, что мы должны бездейственно ждать происшествий.
Наоборот, необходимо проявить активность. От нас многое зависит. Желательно, чтобы по всему Зарубежью раздались голоса мирян требующие:
а) Ответа от Синода митрополита Лавра и ото всех епископов на посланные письма.
б) Отсрочки Всезарубежного Собора.
* * *
EL PROCESO DE DEPURACION DE LA IGLESIA DEL EXILIO
Jorge Rakitin Representante de la Sociedad del Metropolitano Antonio en la Argentina
Es mucho lo que se ha dicho sobre el drama de la Iglesia del Exilio.
Y la mayoria de los autores de articulos le dedican no pocas lineas a la demonstracion detallada de porque no hay que unificarse con el Patriarcado de Moscu e imploran que no se lleve a los fieles de la Iglesia del Exilio a ese pecado y que no se los obligue a a buscar refugio en otras Iglesias Regionales.
Sin embargo, la Iglesia es un organismo vivo y como tal es susceptible de infeccion. Lo que esta aconteciendo ahora no debe llevarnos a la desesperacion. Ya que por voluntad de Dios esta en marcha un proceso de depuracion.
No tiene sentido perder el tiempo buscando culpables. En esencia, culpables somos todos nosotros, tanto los feligreses, como el clero, porque hemos cerrado los ojos a la progresiva infiltracion de factores que llevan a la decadencia moral y espiritual.
Nosotros pertenecemos a aquella parte de la Iglesia Rusa, que no acepto un compromiso con el diablo, es decir que no se inclino ante el poder de los que combaten contra Dios, a diferencia del Patriarcado de Moscu, que es una institucion humana, creada por Stalin en los anos de la Segunda Guerra Mundial con el fin de despertar el patriotismo.
No nos amenaza ningun peligro si nosotros, tomando conciencia de nuestra culpa por lo acontecido, nos arrepentimos y con la ayuda de Dios comenzamos a curar el Cuerpo de nuestra Iglesia.
Que se vayan los partidarios de la unificacion con el Patriarcado de Moscu. De esta manera se va a separar la paja del trigo. No hay dudas de que ellos ya no pueden renunciar al intento de lograr la meta propuesta, ya sea por su propia voluntad o porque estan bajo presion.
No vamos a juzgarlos, pero nuestro deber es dirigirnos a ellos (sobre todo a aquellos, que estan bajo la presion del chantaje) llamandolos a recapacitar y arrepentirse, como unica forma de evitar depender toda la vida de experimentados extorsionadores.
No es la primera vez que hay agitacion en el seno de la Iglesia y no siempre la mayoria se ha quedado del lado de la verdad. Pero a la larga siempre, sin excepciones, triunfaba la verdad. Porque "Dios no esta en la fuerza, sino en la verdad".
Por eso, todos los que estan decididos a sostener firmemente la verdad, deben estrechar filas y esperar el dia en que la parte de la diaspora de la Iglesia Rusa pueda incorporarse sin riesgo a la por entonces ya iluminada por el arrepentimiento Iglesia en la patria.
Y no hay que preocuparse por los obispos, bajo que manto ir, si se aparta nuestro Obispo, eso nos lo indicara el Propio Creador de la Iglesia.
Todo lo antedicho no significa que debemos esperar los acontecimientos con los brazos cruzados.
Por el contrario, es indispensable ponernos activos. Mucho es lo que depende de nosotros. Es
deseable que por toda la diaspora se alcen voces de los feligreses exigiendo:
a) Respuestas por parte del Sinodo del Metropolitano Lauro y de todos los obispos a las cartas que les han sido enviadas.
b) La postergacion del Concilio de Toda la Diaspora.
* * *
THE CANONICAL AND LEGAL POSITION OF THE MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE
Protopresbyter George Grabbe
The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem 1971 I Introductory Remarks:
The election of a new Head of the Moscow Patriarchate again confronts the Christian world with the question whether the person bearing the title “Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia” is indeed the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, or whether he is a mere pretender to that title and position, having in reality no canonical and no legal rights such as would normally be his due. One may argue that this question is raised by us unnecessarily, since patriarchal elections have already taken place twice in Moscow in the presence of many representatives of other local Orthodox Churches and, by virtue of the fact of their representatives having witnessed them, these elections have already acquired general recognition. The civil authorities have both permitted and recognized these elections, thus providing them with a “legalization” of sorts. We shall deal with the legal status of the Moscow Patriarchate at the end of this treatise. At this point we shall begin by clarifying the question as to whether the mere fact of the presence of representatives of other autocephalous Churches is in itself sufficient proof of the legitimacy of these elections, and whether or not this presence is such an authoritative proof of legality that it eliminates the need to enquire into other aspects of the matter. After the death of Patriarch Tikhon, from the time when it was headed by Metropolitan Sergei (Starogorodsky) until the year 1943, the Moscow Patriarchate remained isolated from the rest of the Orthodox world. The Soviet authorities kept the Metropolitan under conditions that permitted him only a bare minimum of contact with the outside world. Correspondence with the heads of other Churches was practically non-existent, and none of the Moscow bishops was permitted to travel abroad to maintain personal contact with the Churches of the Free World. It was not until towards the end of World War II that the Soviet rulers realized that the Church could be of use in their foreign policy. From that time on the situation changed. With the election of Metropolitan Sergei to the position of Patriarch in 1943, and even more noticeably after his successor Metropolitan Alexei (Simansky) had been elected Patriarch, the relations of Moscow with the Eastern Orthodox world entered a new phase. These new relations began with the presence of the representatives of many local Orthodox Churches at the Moscow Church Council held in 1945, and were intended to denote general recognition of the new election of a head of the Russian Church. The presence of these representatives was supposed to give the election canonical legitimacy, a legitimacy that was definitely established and not open to question. It was intended to advertise, to a certain extent, the so-called freedom and prosperity of the Church in the atheistic communist state. The more these outwardly satisfactory (or 2 seemingly satisfactory) conditions could be emphasized at the election of a patriarch, the more profit could be derived from such an election to serve the interests of Soviet foreign policy in the future. That is the political importance of the presence of many Church representatives at such a Council, however no canonical significance whatsoever may be attached to it. The presence of these Church representatives can in no way be considered as a factor giving these elections canonical force. During the unopposed election of Patriarch Tikhon there were no representatives of other Churches present. Given the fact that this election was carried out legally, it would have been valid regardless of the number and rank of the invited guests of honour who witnessed it. If an election is held illegally, however, no such presence can make it legal. For instance, no matter who is present at the performance of an ordination or consecration that violates the canons on simony1 (Apost. 29; IV Ecum. 2; VI Ecum. 22 and others), or that takes place through the interference of the civil authorities (Apost. 30; VII Ecum. 3), - no matter who he may be, his presence at, or even participation in such an act does not convey to it any canonical validity. The representatives of other Churches did not have and could not have any right of vote at the election of a Moscow Patriarch, nor could they have had any control over such an election. Their only function was to be present as guests of honour at the solemn festivities during the election of a person who was presented to them as the new head of an autocephalous Church. The most distinctive feature of autocephaly is the complete independence of the autocephalous Church in the election of its head, carried out exclusively and independently by the hierarchy of that Church, and not requiring the approval of any other hierarchy. For this reason it has never been customary in the East to invite bishops of other Churches to be present at Church Councils electing patriarchs. This custom was introduced only recently by Moscow in order to create the outward impression of a unanimous and undisputed election, an election approved and accepted by everybody present. But the very fact that such a ruse is needed points to a dubious element in the legality of these elections, first of the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexei and now of Pimen. This dubious element is glossed over and there is the evident hope that it can be eliminated altogether by introducing added pomp and circumstance to the elections. It is impossible to overlook the fact that all this glitter and pomp is created mostly by the Soviet Government, which allocates special funds, provides living quarters for the invited guests, and caters for them during their stay in the USSR. And yet this Government, as everyone knows, represents the communist party which has an important plank in its platform - to fight religion with all possible means until it is completely extinct. This applies to all religions in general and to the Orthodox Church in particular. II The Origin of the Present-day Moscow Patriarchate: The sainted Patriarch Tikhon died on Annunciation Day in 1925. Foreseeing the difficulties which were bound to arise in connection with the electing of a new head of the Russian Church after his death, the Patriarch had prepared a will in which he indicated the names of three metropolitans, to one of whom his authority should be transferred until it was possible to hold patriarchal elections in a 1 The obtaining of ecclesiastical preferment by means of bribes, or the buying and selling of ecclesiastical rank legal manner as prescribed by the All Russian Church Council of 1917-1918. On the strength of that document, one of the three Metropolitans named in Patriarch Tikhon’s will, Metropolitan Peter (Krutitsky) became “Locum Tenens” of the Moscow Patriarchal Throne. The candidates who were named before him in the will were: the Metropolitan of Kazan, and the Metropolitan of Yaroslav, Agathangel, who were then already imprisoned. Following the example of Patriarch Tikhon, Metropolitan Peter also named four candidates to his succession, the last in the list being the Metropolitan of Nizhny-Novgorod, Sergei. After the arrest and imprisonment of Metropolitan Peter, who was subsequently replaced by several consecutive hierarchs, each of whom in turn also named their successors, the mantle of “Locum Tenens” fell to Metropolitan Sergei in 1927. Metropolitan Peter took a firm stand on the matter of the independence of the election of the head of the Church, which, he insisted, should remain free of any interference on the part of the Soviet authorities in the internal affairs of the Church. His successors adhered to the same principle and held their ground, and as a consequence were arrested one after the other. In the meantime the civil authorities endeavoured to entice them away from their unbending position by offering them certain facilities which could be obtained for the Church at the price of a number of compromises, including an agreement to cooperate with the Soviet Government. The older hierarchs understood that such offers were intended as bait meant in fact to put the Church in a position subordinate to, and actually dependent upon the civil authorities. It was clear to them that they were dealing with sworn enemies of the Church. They understood that any compromise on their part would inevitably place the Church in a humiliating position in the future, the same as that in which the “Renovationists” found themselves. The latter were reduced to the role of agents whose only right was to praise the Government and to extol Soviet rule. Thus Metropolitan Cyril, Metropolitan Peter, Metropolitan Agathangel, Metropolitan Joseph, Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich and many others of the senior hierarchs of the Russian Church refused, one after the other, any kind of agreement with the Soviet authorities. Metropolitan Sergei at first prepared a declaration written in the same spirit as those of the other hierarchs who filled the post of “Locum Tenens”. However, after prolonged incarceration he published, on July 16/29, 1927, a declaration written in a totally different spirit. In it he promised obedience to the political authorities. In addition to this he constituted a Synod of Bishops composed entirely of persons of his own choice. Those who disagreed with the declaration and who objected against the canonical validity of the new Synod, whether they were bishops or priests, were put into prison as disloyal elements, just as were the so-called followers of Patriarch Tikhon. This procedure was applied to all those who remained loyal to the Patriarch and true to his principles as against those who pledged obedience to the civil authorities and toed their line. The latter were called “Renovationists” and were favoured by the Soviet Government. Once more the Church was divided. The oldest bishops accused Metropolitan Sergei of having abused the trust put in him by Metropolitan Peter, saying that he had overstepped his authority that, by making a pact with the atheistic government, he had become a traitor to the Orthodox Faith. Many bishops broke off communion with him and, being persecuted by the civil authorities, began organizing a secret Church known as the “Catacomb Church”. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, then headed by Metropolitan Anthony, adhered to their point of view. As long as Metropolitan Peter was alive, the Church Outside of Russia recognized him as the head of the Russian Church. But Metropolitan Sergei, who had compromised the Church to the Soviet authorities, was no longer recognized by that Church as the lawful successor of Metropolitan Peter. In the meantime, Metropolitan Sergei, who had undertaken his rule in rather modest fashion, began to make many demands which not only undermined the morale and religious foundations of the Church but were contrary to the sacred canons. This question was debated in detail during the drafting of the resolution passed by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia on March 30/April 12, 1937, after the news of the death of Metropolitan Peter was received. Underlying that draft were two canonical investigations of the question. They were: my own note, prepared at the request of the President of the Synod, and the note of a professor of canon law, S. V. Troitsky. (Troitsky, having remained in communist territory, subsequently wrote a book in a completely different spirit from that in which he had previously been accustomed to write. This book is entitled “The Lie of the Karlovtsy Schism” (Paris, 1960). However, I irrefutably demonstrated the falsity of his book in my reply to it in “The Truth About the Russian Church in Russia and Abroad” (Jordanville, 1961). I have shown that Mr. Troitsky, in his book, merely kept silent about what he had written earlier, but was not able to refute it. The considerations he voiced while he was free therefore retain their validity as proof.) Of particular importance is an article written by Metropolitan Sergei himself which serves as the best proof of the canonical irregularity of his own activities. The article is entitled “On the Powers of the Patriarchal Locum Tenens and his Deputy”, published in issue No. 1 of the “Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate” in 1931. It was reprinted in 1933 in issue No. 7 of the Paris magazine “Orthodoxy”, published by Archbishop Benjamin. Metropolitan Sergei was an outstanding authority on church administration and a master of the finest shades of expression as far as canonical problems were concerned. In his article he begins by pointing out the difference between the title “Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne” and the title “Patriarchal Locum Tenens”, the author explains that the power wielded by the “Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne” in normal times is very limited. He appears as the temporary “advocate” of the Church but does not have the authority of a patriarch - for the very reason that he is elected to fill the gap until the election ‘of a patriarch. “Nor does he enjoy the fullness of patriarchal power because he remains a member of the Synod and its representative, and is entitled to act exclusively on the authority of the Synod and in conjunction with it”. This limitation of power is emphasized by the fact that “the Locum Tenens does not enjoy the right reserved to patriarchs of having his name proclaimed in all churches of the Patriarchate, nor does he have the right to address, in his own name, messages to the flock of All Russia. The source of the power of the “Locum Tenens” is the Synod, “which may at any time transfer this power to another person of the same rank”. On the other hand, as Metropolitan Sergei points out, Metropolitan Peter received the power of “Locum Tenens” “not from the Synod, but directly from the Patriarch”. “It is significant”, writes Metropolitan Sergei, “that at the death of the Patriarch, all that was left of the project for a vast establishment made at the Council was the Patriarch . . . The existing Synod, consisting of three archbishops, and later of three metropolitans, was constituted by the personal invitation of the late Patriarch and lost its authority with his death. Thus, there was no institution parallel to the Patriarch and possessing sufficient authority entitling it to assume that authority and power in order to elect a “Locum Tenens”. The Patriarch filled that lacuna by making a will”.
“The will,” Metropolitan Sergei continues, “does not confer the specific title of “Locum Tenens” upon the person designated to wield patriarchal powers in the future, which designation might have given rise to equating him with an ordinary “Locum Tenens”. According to the spirit of the will, he ought to have the title “Patriarchal Vicar” or “Patriarchal Vice-regent”. The title “Locum Tenens” was assumed by Metropolitan Peter on his own initiative. Metropolitan Sergei points out, and this fact deserves special attention, that “the late Patriarch, when he, by his own decision, transferred the patriarchal authority, owing to the prevailing cir-cumstances, did not so much as mention by a single word the chair of the Moscow Patriarch. It remains vacant until this day. “We shall add for our part that as far as pertains to his theoretical status, Metropolitan Krutitsky is to assist the Patriarch in the ruling of the Moscow diocese, but that as a matter of fact he rules it ... In the event of the Patriarch’s death he is the natural temporary head of that diocese, no matter who is elected by the Synod as “Locum Tenens”. In case of the death or arrest of Metropolitan Krutitsky, the administration of the Moscow diocese should be taken over by the suffragans of that diocese in the order of their seniority, but not by the “Locum Tenens”, if he should be a bishop of another diocese.” As far as the extent of the power vested in the Deputy “Locum Tenens” is concerned, Metropolitan Sergei considers that “the deputy is to have power to the same extent as the “Locum Tenens” for whom he serves as deputy. The difference between the “Locum Tenens” and his deputy lies not in the extent of the patriarchal power exercised but in the fact that the deputy is a kind of assistant parallel to the “Locum Tenens”. He retains his authority for as long as the “Locum Tenens” remains in function. With the cessation of the functioning of the “Locum Tenens” (whether by reason of death, withdrawal from responsibilities or whatever), the deputy automatically loses the power vested in him. It is naturally understood that with the return of the “Locum Tenens” to power, the deputy ceases to rule”. Let us emphasize two important premises in the conception of Metropolitan Sergei. 1. Metropolitan Sergei admitted that without a patriarch the chair of Moscow remains vacant. The election to that chair of a new patriarch reverts to the competence of the Local Ecclesiastical Synod. 2. The Deputy “Locum Tenens” retains his authority only for as long as the “Locum Tenens” remains in his post. In practice Metropolitan Sergei violated both of these principles. This question, as already mentioned, was the subject of detailed discussions by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia after it was informed that Metropolitan Sergei had begun to call himself Patriarchal “Locum Tenens”. For the possession of that title, according to the opinion expressed by Metropolitan Sergei himself, he should have had the special authorization of Metropolitan Peter. As there was no such authorization, he should have relinquished the position. On the contrary, he added the title of “Locum Tenens”, to the title of Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, which he had on his own authority. That was done with the “ukaz” of December 27, 1937, which contained no reference to the death of Metropolitan Peter and which entirely omitted to mention the procedure whereby the Metropolitan had been given the title of “Locum Tenens”, but ordered his own name to be mentioned in prayers according to the newly established form. The resolution of the Synod of Bishops of March 30/April 12, 1937, expressed dismay at the state of affairs then obtaining. That resolution recalled that Metropolitan Peter, having named four “Locum Tenens” in a statement made on December 6th, 1929, had made the following stipulation: “The proclaiming of my name as Patriarchal “Locum Tenens” during services remains compulsory”. In a letter of April 9/22, 1926, according to the very words of Metropolitan Sergei, he (Metropolitan Peter) “declared unequivocally that he considers it his duty to remain the “Locum Tenens” even though he be imprisoned”. (Letter to Metropolitan Agathangel of April 17/30, 1926). Having assumed the administration after the arrest of Metropolitan Peter, Metropolitan Sergei at first used to sign his statements as follows: “for the Patriarchal Locum Tenens”. Subsequently, and on his own initiative, he began to call himself the “Locum Tenens”. Nevertheless, he considered himself to be the personal deputy of Metropolitan Peter. It is clear from the above words of Metropolitan Sergei that he admitted that when the “Locum Tenens” relinquished his post whether by reason of death, refusal to continue in that capacity, or whatever “the authority of his deputy ceases”. “It is clearly indicated”, the same resolution of the Synod of Bishops goes on to say, “that in case of the death of Metropolitan Peter, Metropolitan Sergei may not presume to head the Russian Church; and that is because, as he himself admits, his own authority ceases with the demise of the person by whom that authority was conferred”. The decision of the Synod recalls that in 1926 Metropolitan Sergei had himself written to Metropolitan Agathangel as follows: “Besides, the will of the Holiest, (i.e. Holiest Patriarch; “Holiest” in Russian is often used by itself to mean Patriarch), although it has already served its purpose (i.e., we have a “Locum Tenens), has not lost even now its moral and, let us also say, compulsory canonical force. And should Metropolitan Peter for some reason or other relinquish the post of “Locum Tenens”, he shall naturally turn to the candidates named in his will; that means - to Metropolitan Cyril, and after that to Your Reverence. I have already expressed this opinion of mine earlier in writing. I may say that it is the same as that of Metropolitan Peter”. One would think that having made these declarations, Metropolitan Sergei might have given some explanation when he assumed his new title, pointing to the canonical law that justified it. It was his duty to inform his flock of the demise of Metropolitans Peter, Cyril, Agathangel, and Arseny, or else to produce statements of theirs (had they been available) publicly declaring that they refused to head the Russian Church. But for him to assume the title of Patriarchal “Locum Tenens” as well as the title of His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna without giving any explanation is nothing more nor less than the usurpation of titles and an authority that did not belong to him. What makes this particularly noticeable is the fact that he assumed the title of His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Moscow (which took place on April 14/27, 1934) at a time when he was still holding the title of Deputy “Locum Tenens”. Though only a deputy at that time, Metropolitan Sergei clearly showed by his action that he was putting himself above the person for whom he was deputed to serve. Besides that, this title eliminated, to a certain extent, the temporary character of the powers of “Locum Tenens”.
Such an inference is also in conformity with the conclusion of Metropolitan Sergei’s present apologist, S. V. Troitsky. In his note submitted on April 11, 1937, to the Very Reverend Metropolitan Anastassy, Mr. Troitsky wrote very convincingly: “It is a legal axiom that the powers of the “Locum Tenens” cease with his death”. This was acknowledged “expressis verbis” by Metropolitan Sergei himself. Therefore with the death of Metropolitan Peter the authority of Metropolitan Sergei came to an end, and the post of “Locum Tenens” becomes automatically “eo ipso” occupied by Metropolitan Cyril, whose name should be proclaimed during services. Against this view there could be but one objection, namely, that Metropolitan Cyril, judging by the situation, will not be given the opportunity to assume the title and carry out the duties of “Locum Tenens”. Metropolitan Sergei, on the other hand, will not refuse the function of temporary head of the Russian Church. It appears, therefore, that in order to preserve the administrative unity of the Russian Church, it is not Metropolitan Cyril but Metropolitan Sergei who ought to be acknowledged and his name proclaimed. And yet such an objection would be erroneous. The possession of a right does not depend upon its exercise, but rather the reverse - the exercise of a right depends upon the possession of that right. It therefore follows that it is Metropolitan Cyril who is the legal “Locum Tenens”, the first (Russian) bishop of the people (Apost. Canon 34), even though he may be prevented from exercising his rights. “One may not sacrifice legality for the sake of administrative unity. Metropolitan Sergei, by declaring himself ‘Locum Tenens’, would repeat the mistake he already made earlier by acknowledging the power of the ‘Living Church’”, and by such an act would have assumed the role of this Synod. The Russian Church had already found itself in a similar situation once before, after the exile of “Locum Tenens” Metropolitan Agathangel. Metropolitan Agathangel, however had not been lured into preserving the unity of administration at the price of recognizing the “Living Church”. Instead, he authorized all dioceses to form temporarily independent administrations, i.e., to restore the same order as existed in the Church during the first centuries of Christianity when the Christian Church was being persecuted. That order, issued by Metropolitan Cyril, would of necessity retain its full force even in the event of his being precluded from the possibility of actually heading and ruling the Russian Church. Even in such a case the proclamation of his name would remain an absolute duty.” The Synod of Bishops, in part, enlarged upon the arguments of its two counsellors. Having weighed all aspects of the matter, the Synod, in its resolution, discussed a possible argument that might be brought forward by Metropolitan Sergei against the recognition of the right of Metropolitan Cyril to the post of “Locum Tenens”. The Synod discussed the premise that the canonical rights of Metropolitan Cyril could be invalidated by the interdict imposed on him by Metropolitan Sergei for his refusal to agree with the measures taken by the latter. The Synod of Bishops found that the steps taken by Metropolitan Sergei had been criticized by Metropolitan Cyril and many other authoritative hierarchs only because they jealously guarded the purity and the rights of the Church, and not for any other consideration. “Their disavowal and protests,” says the Synodal resolution, “could not have brought them any advantage; on the contrary, these were acts of “profession de foi” (confession of faith) that brought down upon them increased oppression and further exiles. Metropolitan Sergei’s imposition of interdicts on them, therefore, (even if this type of interdict could be formally justified by num-erous - though in this case irrelevant - quotations from the Church canons) cannot be accepted as just by the conscience of the Church. Besides, Metropolitan Sergei had no right to inflict punishment of Metropolitan Cyril for his disagreement with the order of Church administration set up by Metropolitan Sergei because he, Sergei, was an interested party in that controversy, concerning which he kept up a polemical correspondence with Metropolitan Cyril. Thus, the suspicion naturally arises that he was simply seeking to tarnish the latter’s reputation in order to deprive him of his lawful right to head the Russian Church. Metropolitan Cyril, therefore, in no way deserves to be deprived of the title of “Locum Tenens” as a consequence of the interdict issued by Metropolitan Sergei; on the contrary, it is rather Metropolitan Sergei who should be removed in the event that the information concerning Metropolitan Peter’s will should be confirmed. That will allegedly named Metropolitan Sergei among the candidates to the post of “Locum Tenens”. Metropolitan Sergei may not be acknowledged as “Locum Tenens”, however, if only by reason of the fact that he has abused the power that was vested in him, having assumed the title of His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna. This act not only means that he has usurped the Patriarchal diocese, which, as Deputy “Locum Tenens”, he was bound to administer only temporarily until the election of a legal hierarch to fill that post (namely, Patriarch of All Russia); but such an act also undermines the entire order of patriarchal rule as established in the Russian Church by the All-Russian Church Council in 1917-18.” In other words, the Synod of Bishops Outside of Russia found clear indications in the activities of Metropolitan Sergei of the usurpation of rights that were not his, and especially of the right to head the All-Russian Church. The usurpation was proved by the fact that Metropolitan Sergei announced the termination of Metropolitan Peter’s function of “Locum Tenens” by reason of the latter’s death only after he had assumed those rights himself. As was pointed out earlier, he condemns himself by his own statement on the rights of the “Locum Tenens” and his deputy. The views professed in that statement cannot be reconciled with the material on the fate of Metropolitan Peter given by Protopresbyter M. Polsky in the second volume of his work “New Russian Martyrs” (Jordanville, 1957). On pp. 287-288, the author says that the term of exile of Metropolitan Peter was to be completed in 1935. The New York Russian Daily “Novoe Russkoye Slovo” (“New Russian Word”) announced that news had been received concerning the liberation and return of Metropolitan Peter from exile. The information was conveyed by the Russian Pat-riarchal Exarchate in America and was as follows: “We have been notified of the liberation of Metropolitan Peter; but until now this information has come only from Americans we know who have very recently returned from Moscow. They had seen both Metropolitan Sergei and Metropolitan Peter and talked to them. Later, about a month ago, a notice came from Moscow clerical circles with the following content: ‘We have news of the liberation of Metropolitan Peter. Metropolitan Peter Krutitsky was recalled from his exile six weeks ago and is now living in Kolomna. The health of the Patriarchal “Locum Tenens” is very unsatisfactory, especially his legs, which are suppurating from the colds he has suffered’ “. A similar notice with one additional detail was published on April 3, 1937, in the Paris newspaper “Vozrozhdeniye” (“Renaissance”): “The term of exile was completed in 1935. Metropolitan Peter returned to Russia and met with Metropolitan Sergei. The latter wanted to obtain from him an acknowledgement of the new order of administration of the Church and his agreement to convene the Council. There was also other news, saying that the Bolsheviks had allegedly offered Metropolitan Peter the Patriarchal Throne, subject to certain conditions. Metropolitan Peter was adamant and refused to enter into any kind of compromise. Shortly after that he was once more sent into exile.”
The same notice was confirmed in the Paris paper “Russkaya Mysl” (“Russian Thinking”) of November 16, 1951. The above information was published with the addition of the following: “Metropolitan Peter demanded from Metropolitan Sergei that he hand over to him the function of “Locum Tenens”. This was refused him. Soon after that Metropolitan Peter was returned to exile, where he died at the beginning of 1937”. These facts appearing in information later received from the USSR may serve to explain why Metropolitan Sergei kept silent about the reasons for his having assumed his new title. Metropolitan Peter, having demonstrated his moral strength by refusing to enter into any compromises with the atheistic authorities, was eliminated by those authorities from the path of Metropolitan Sergei, who had shown himself willing to compromise. Yet the, fact that he, Sergei retained the power in his hands, made it impossible to publicize the differences of views between him and Metropolitan Peter; nor could the latter’s death be announced publicly, nor the death of Metropolitan Arseny in 1936. That was rendered impossible because of the views earlier expressed by Metropolitan Sergei on the rights of the Deputy “Locum Tenens”. Inasmuch as Metropolitan Sergei agreed that the death of the “Locum Tenens” put an end to the exercise of the functions of his deputy, that death not only failed to clear the way for him to the assumption of power, but even deprived him of canonical status altogether. For that reason the Soviets kept silent about the death of Metropolitan Peter for some time. The Synod of Bishops took all possible steps in order to ascertain whether Metropolitan Peter was, in fact, dead. These steps included turning to diplomatic representatives and to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury informed Metropolitan Anastassy that it had received news from the British Chargé d’Affaires in Moscow that an official memorial service was held for the late Metropolitan Peter in January, 1937, by the Dragomil Gates in Moscow. No notice of his death appeared in the Soviet press, however, until June 1937. About that time the news of Metropolitan Peter’s death appeared in many papers, although, in an official publication of the Moscow Diocese, “The Voice of the Lithuanian Orthodox Diocese”, published in Lithuania, mention of his death was made for the first time in issue No. 3-4, in April, 1937. The London Times of March 29, 1937, wrote that Metropolitan Eleuthery (in Kaunos), surprised and confused by the order of Metropolitan Sergei to have his name proclaimed as that of “Locum Tenens”, enquired of Moscow and received the following curt cablegram: “Metro-politan Peter is dead”. And yet in the statements printed in Metropolitan Eleuthery’s publication another riddle appears. On December 26, 1927, a decree was issued proclaiming Metropolitan Sergei’s name as that of Patriarchal “Locum Tenens”; but it was only as late as March 22, 1937, that a decree appeared in which it was stated that cognizance had been taken of the will of Metropolitan Peter dated December 5, 1926, and that in his will the following were designated as his successors: Metropolitan Cyril, Metropolitan Agathangel, Metropolitan Arseny and, in the last place - Metropolitan Sergei. It seems that the publication of the decree proclaiming Metropolitan Sergei’s name should have been preceded by the publication of that will, and not the other way round. According to additional information received, the death of Metropolitan Peter took place on August 29, 1936, that is, more than half a year prior to the official publication of that death, and five months before the first memorial service was held at the Dragomil Gates. Considering the general situation in the USSR, it is easy to imagine that the demise of Metropolitan Peter was not known and could not have been immediately verified by the church administration of Metropolitan Sergei. This may explain the delay in announcing his death. Nevertheless, memorial services for Metropolitan Peter ought to have been read not at the end of January but in December of the previous year had Metropolitan Sergei assumed the title of “Locum Tenens” in consequence of the demise of his predecessor. Owing to the fact that everything was done precisely in the reverse chronological order, it is impossible not to conclude that we have here a case of the usurpation of power carried out by Metropolitan Sergei with the acquiescence of the atheistic authorities. Metropolitan Peter refused to conclude a bargain with the Soviet authorities. He entered the name of Metropolitan Sergei in his will in the fourth (last) place at a time when the latter had not yet embarked on a career of pandering to the authorities and making compromises with apostasy. The will of Metropolitan Peter was written ten years before his death, at a time when he could not have foreseen that Metropolitan Sergei would deny all those principles for the sake of which he himself suffered arrest. Even if this were not the case, however, the bare fact that Metropolitan Sergei assumed the patriarchal diocese with the title of His Beatitude and the right to wear two panagias merely on his own volition while he was still Deputy “Locum Tenens” constitutes an outrageously lawless act. This lawless act, however, was to the profit of the Soviet authorities. They understood that the lengthy period during which the Russian Church remained headed by a Deputy “Locum Tenens” and the long term during which the patriarchal diocese remained orphaned were most clear indications that Church and religion were being persecuted. In order to create the impression abroad that the situation of the Church was, on the contrary, more or less normal, Metropolitan Sergei had to appear in the Church’s name not as Deputy “Locum Tenens” but as the acknowledged head of the Church, His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna. Besides these considerations, that title gave greater weight and stability to the personal position of Metropolitan Sergei. Let us remember his own words - “that the powers vested in the Deputy “Locum Tenens” are valid only as long as the ‘Locum Tenens’ who had deputed him remains alive”. These words might easily have been remembered by Metropolitan Sergei when Metropolitan Peter’s death was imminent, but, wearing two panagias and bearing the splendid title of His Beatitude, the Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, Metropolitan Sergei seized the opportunity and, for his own purposes, made use of these obvious advantages over all the rest of the hierarchs, assuming the pose of natural successor to the primate. For a number of years his new title had cast his former modest title of Deputy “Locum Tenens” into the shadow. That leads us to assume that the above act was intended to enhance his authority abroad prior to his signing, two months later, a decree of interdict against the hierarchs abroad, in punishment for their refusal to give written promises and pledges of loyalty to the Soviet authorities. That decree, by the way, had no effect whatsoever, since not a single Eastern Church paid any attention to the Metropolitan’s illegal in-terdict. All these things were done by Metropolitan Sergei at a time when all his accusers were already imprisoned. Therefore, the only body that could protest against Metropolitan Sergei’s anticanonical usurpation of the title “His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna” was the free Russian Church Outside Russia. This was done without delay by Metropolitan Anthony. In his letter No. 4036 of August 7/20, 1934, addressed to Metropolitan Eleuthery, Metropolitan Anthony declared, in reply to Metropolitan Sergei’s letter No. 944 of July 22 of the same year, that his having proclaimed himself Metropolitan of Moscow during the lifetime of Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsk, constitutes an illegal usurpation of power by Metropolitan Sergei. It should be noted that the canonical significance of this protest by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia carries great weight, since it was issued by the hierarch of greatest seniority after the late Patriarch Tikhon. As Metropolitan of Kiev, Anthony was not only the senior hierarch of the Russian Church; he was also a permanent member of the All-Russian Synod.. The fact that at that time he was living abroad owing to the persecution of the clergy by the atheists could in no way deprive him of his right to vote according to canon 37 of the ‘Sixth Ecumenical Council. Archbishop Anastassy of Kishinev and Khotin, another member of the All-Russian Synod, was in full agreement with that declaration of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and repeated his protest in the above-mentioned definition of the Synod of March 30/April 12, 1937. These acts underline and corroborate the canonical invalidity of the acts of Metropolitan Sergei whereby he took over the Moscow diocese and assumed for himself the title of “His Beatitude” at a time when he was still only Metropolitan of Nizhny-Novgorod. III Locum Tenency Changed Into Patriarchal Incumbency One lawless action draws another in its wake. There is no doubt whatever that his change of title and the seizure of the Locum Tenency were but preliminary steps taken by Metropolitan Sergei with a view to gaining the title of patriarch. But the Bolsheviks were not at that time prepared to enhance the authority of Metropolitan Sergei to so great an extent. They were still hoping to crush the Church and to annihilate its root and branch. I have already mentioned that towards the beginning of World War II, not only had those who disagreed with Metropolitan Sergei been imprisoned, but even those who had collaborated with him. Diocesan administrations, in the re-installation of which he had taken such pride and concerning which he had boasted in his message of December 18/31, 1927, were in fact non-existent... V.I. Alexeev, in his research work “Material for the History of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USSR” has written: “Dioceses, in the year 1941, did not exist as administrative bodies. There were only parishes which kept irregular contact with the Patriarchate. These parishes were, probably, very few. This may be concluded from the Pskov Mission and the fact that, in 1941, missionaries who arrived there from the Baltic States found only a single church that had not been closed. A similar situation existed in the South ... In Kiev, when the Germans occupied it, there was only a single church, while in the Kievan diocese there were none. In 1943, however, close to forty churches were opened in Kiev and, in the Kievan diocese no less than five hundred.” Stalin, having decided to use the Church as an instrument in his total war against the Germans, stopped the persecution and destruction of the Church, thereby reversing his former policy. To Metropolitan Sergei he even offered to restore the Patriarchate. It was, in fact, restored, but this was done in the same revolutionary manner as that in which Metropolitan Sergei had assumed the title of Metropolitan of Moscow. It cannot be emphasized too much that all this took place at the initiative of the enemies of the Church. The exceedingly straitened position of the Synod under Metropolitan Sergei could not for a moment permit it to imagine that he could have entrée to Stalin. It could not be doubted, therefore, that the initiative for restoring the patriarchate came from Stalin himself. The measure was dictated by the internal situation of the USSR and the areas under German occupation, where a strong revival of religious life was noticeable. It was also good propaganda, which would go a long way with the Western Allies. When Metropolitan Sergei was received by Stalin, therefore, the matter was given the widest possible publicity. The restoration of the patriarchate was pushed through at a speed such as can only be obtained when it is physically impossible for anyone to raise a voice of protest. His reception by Stalin and his having previously assumed the title of Metropolitan of Moscow were the decisive factors in the election of Metropolitan Sergei to the office of patriarch. Those bishops who disagreed with him had already been eliminated from his path by Stalin. In the eyes of the pro-Sergei party, Stalin suddenly became, instead of an anathemized atheist - “the God-sent Leader”. Metropolitan Sergei’s only handicap remained the scarcity of bishops, but those could be brought back from exile to swell the ranks of the newly-consecrated ones. The first new dignitary was Pitirim, a former “Renovationist” priest who later became Metropolitan Pitirim Krutitsky. The haste with which these measures were pushed through is obvious from the chronological data: on September 4, Stalin’s reception of Metropolitans Sergei, Alexei, and Nikolai took place; by September 8, the Council had already been convened. It must be assumed that, considering Soviet bureaucracy on the one hand and the fear of Stalin on the other, the election of a patriarch had already been in preparation for quite some time before the three metropolitans were received by Stalin. The hierarchy was increased and its ranks filled out in view of the coming event. Even so, only 19 bishops were able to attend the Council. The author of the most complete and best-documented book on this subject, the “History of the Russian Orthodox Church in Our Time” (3 vols., in German2), Johannes Chrisostomos, compares the election of Patriarch Tikhon with that of Sergei. In the former case the names of candidates were openly announced; then, from the names of those which had received the most votes, one was chosen by drawing lots. In the case of Metropolitan Sergei, Metropolitan Alexei declared at the opening of the election that there was only one candidate and that, therefore, all the rules which normally apply to the election of a patriarch would be dispensed with. Chrisostomos draws the following conclusion from this: “When we compare this hasty formality of the election of a patriarch with that of the election of Patriarch Tikhon, which was a ceremony well-prepared in all its details, we cannot avoid the impression that the complete freedom which undoubtedly prevailed at the 1917 Council, was not to be found here even in the slightest degree. One cannot help asking why it was that the leaders of the Patriarchate were so afraid that they put forth only one candidate, and emphasized that fact so insistently and so tactlessly? ...” Pointing out that among the eighteen bishops present there was not a single one who was representative of the opposition, the author asks: “Why all that tension? Why that nervousness and those feverish efforts to prevent the possibility of a new discussion? and why the tendency to have a show of ‘general enthusiasm and delight’ instead of a free exchange of opinions and the expression of freely-taken decisions?” This took place in Soviet Russia at a time when it had long ago become the accepted form to express “general 2 Chrisostomos, Johannes, “Kirchengeneschichte Russlands der neuestenzit.” enthusiasm” over anything that was suggested from “higher up”. Father Chrisostomos justly remarks that the leaders of the Patriarchate were in deadly terror of the possibility that someone might name another candidate when they had already received their instructions from Stalin that Metropolitan Sergei was to be elected. It was a futile gesture when the Archbishop of Saratov, Grigory, after his welcoming address following the enthronization, found it necessary to castigate the “opposition”. Thus a thorough study of all the circumstances leading to the election of Metropolitan Sergei as patriarch has convinced us of the fact that he achieved his purpose by eliminating from his path all those bishops who were not prepared to swear allegiance to the atheistic Government. Many of them were still alive and languishing in prisons. He was elected patriarch in haste, by a council composed of only a small number of bishops, hand-picked and conveyed to Moscow especially for that purpose. At the time, there were many more Russian bishops both in the areas occupied by the Germans and also abroad, who were prevented from participating in the election of the patriarch. This election contains every element that would constitute an infringement of canon 30 of the Holy Apostles and canon 3 of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. The latter canon contains the sternest condemnation of Metropolitan Sergei: “If any bishop making use of the secular powers shall, by their means, obtain jurisdiction over any Church, he shall be deposed, and also excommunicated, together with all those who remain in communion with him”. The famous interpreter of canon law, Bishop Nikodim Milash, gives the following explanation of the 30th Apostolic Canon. “If the Church condemned the illegal interference of the secular powers in the appointment of a bishop at a time when the rulers were Christians, how much more severely must she condemn it when the rulers are pagan; and an even heavier punishment must be meted out to those who are not ashamed to turn to pagan rulers and the authorities subordinate to them in order to obtain Episcopal power and rank. This canon (the 30th) provides precisely for such cases”. Why is it that the Church so severely condemns a bishop who has obtained his position with the help of the secular authorities? Because such an action gives reason to suspect that the bishop is motivated by considerations which lie outside the sphere of the Church’s interests; and also because a bishop who has reached his position thusly, and who owes his election not to bishops but to persons pursuing their own interests and inimical to the Church, is doubtless compelled to serve “two masters”. (Matthew 6:24). To such a bishop, these words of our Saviour apply: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber”. (John 10:1). Seeing that the Church so sternly condemned the obtaining of Episcopal office with the help of secular powers which were not hostile to the Christian Church and were not persecuting her, what can be said of the occupation of an Episcopal chair with the help of an authority that has made it its purpose to exterminate all religions? Could it be said that a patriarch nominated with the help of Antichrist will have a canonical right to his power? We do not suppose that anybody will venture to give an affirmative answer to that question. And yet the Soviet authorities openly declare themselves to be atheistic, and their power is one of apostasy, i.e., is of the same nature as the power of Antichrist. It follows from this that Sergei, who was nominated by that power, was not a patriarch but a pseudo-patriarch.
IV. The Patriarchal election in 1945 A successor to Sergei was appointed beforehand in the person of the Metropolitan of Leningrad, Alexei. That much is clear from the letter of Metropolitan (later Patriarch) Alexei which he addressed to Stalin after the death of Patriarch Sergei. In that letter he speaks of having received three metropolitans, of his predecessor’s loyalty to Stalin, and explains the principles of his own future activities: “By adherence to canon law on the one hand and unfailing loyalty to the Motherland and the Government that is headed by you on the other hand, by acting in full agreement with the Council for Russian Church Affairs and in conjunction with the Holy Synod established by the late Patriarch, I shall be able to avoid making mistakes and taking wrong steps”. It would not seem that a “Locum Tenens”, whose only task is to prepare for the speediest possible election of a patriarch, need have given this kind of assurance. The letter may be interpreted as a promise of obedience and submission on the part of a person already “indicated” by Stalin as the future patriarch, a declaration that he intends to follow the example of his predecessor in the latter’s obedience to the authorities. Turning to the election of Metropolitan Alexei as Patriarch, it is impossible not to see signs indicating that his election also was decided beforehand “from higher up”. When the All-Russian Council was electing a patriarch in 1917-1918, it had full freedom of choice. Three candidates were chosen by vote, and the election was completed by drawing lots between those three. The election of Metropolitan Alexei to the patriarchal office, however, proceeded along different lines. The first meeting of the Council took place on 31 January, 1945. There were two subjects on the agenda: the election of a patriarch and the confirmation (not the working out) of a “Statute of Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church”, which was to replace the statute that had been worked out as a result of numerous meetings and after thorough discussions during free debates at the All-Russian Council in 1917-18. The Council of 1945, however, met only twice. The first meeting, was to a great extent, devoted to the solemn reception of important foreign guests invited to attend. After the greetings and welcoming speeches, a report was given by the “Locum Tenens” “on the patriotic activities of the Church during the war”. It was only after the reading of that political report and the voting of a resolution upon it that the draft of the “Statute of Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church” was heard. This important document did not provoke a single objection - “so thoroughly was it prepared as far as both its canonical basis and its practical details were concerned”. (Patriarch Sergei and his “Spiritual Inheritance”, p. 324, Publ. by the Moscow Patriarchate, 1947). Everybody knows, even a person with scarcely any experience in the conduct of public meetings and the submitting of drafts for legislation, that in a free atmosphere such drafts, no matter how thoroughly they may be prepared, always draw certain objections, require changes or modifications, corrections, etc. Only the particular conditions existing in the USSR allowed such an important document, and one which is far from being uncontroversial, to be approved and accepted without encountering any objections. This statute has been seriously criticized by Prof. Kolesnikov in the publication of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, “Church Life”. The criticism appeared in an article called “An Analysis of the Statute of Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church”, which appeared in the above publication on January 31, 1954. An even stronger impression of fraud in the case of that Council - the participants in which were completely deprived of free choice - is given by the so-called “election” of the Patriarch, which took place the next day. The election was carried out by open vote and was, of course, unanimous. In the description of the Council cited above there is an interesting detail: “Thus the election of Patriarch Alexei, took place, confirmed by a special Writ then and there handed to the electee” (ibid p. 326). From this it may be inferred that the election had been decided beforehand to such an extent that even the Writ “happened” to be prepared in advance. The participation of the Soviet authorities in the organization of the Council is clearly confirmed in the article written by Metropolitan Nikolai entitled “At the Reception by Stalin”. This article says that Patriarch Alexei thanked the Government for “arranging transportation for the arrival of the invited guests from abroad and providing them with warm clothing during their stay in our wintry country, lodgings and food for all the members of the Council, and cars and buses for moving around Moscow” (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1945, No. 5, pp. 25-26). When authorities who publicly declare that they aim at the destruction of religion organize, in such a remarkable manner, the material side of a Council for the election of a patriarch, is it possible to doubt that these authorities were doing anything but pursuing their own aims - aims which they intended to achieve through the Council and which have no connection with the interests of the Church? It should be remembered that government assistance was given not only for the reception and upkeep of the foreign guests, but that all the members of the Council were kept in Moscow at Government expense as well. It must also be remembered that Government funds were spent on the election to the office of patriarch of a candidate favoured by atheists. If one judges these events objectively, it is impossible to accept a council of this sort -- one which was set up by the Soviets -- as canonically legal, nor can one accept the election of a patriarch staged by them as canonical. The Soviet authorities’ interest in having the Church headed by a docile patriarch was perfectly clear from the very beginning, when all the opponents of Metropolitan Sergei were eliminated beforehand in order that his way to the Patriarchal Throne might be unimpeded. The elimination of those who were “personae non gratae” to the Soviets was effected by accusing them of some crime or other. Charges were easily found against anyone considered undesirable by the, authorities. Khrushchev himself said, in his famous speech at the closed session of the Convention of the Communist Party of the USSR, that, “during the many trumped up trials” the defendants were accused of “preparing acts of terrorism” (Speech of Khrushchev at the closed session of the Convention of the Communist Party of the USSR. Munich, 1956, p. 17). Khrushchev was referring mainly to the victims of the Stalinist terror, who were Bolsheviks. Speaking of the arrest of 1108 out of 1956 delegates at the Seventeenth Convention of that party, he said: “That fact alone, as we see it now, demonstrates the absurdity and irrationality of those fantastic accusations of counterrevolutionary activities made against the majority of the participants in the Seventeenth Party Convention” (ibid, p. 16). When even influential party members were not safe from unjustified persecution on fictitious grounds, what can be said of defenceless ecclesiastics? A close collaborator of Patriarch Sergei, his Exarch in the Baltic States during World War II, in a paper about the situation of religion in the USSR, said that the final and decisive word in the appointment of clergy remains completely dependent upon and at the arbitrary mercies of the Bolsheviks, who permit some to perform legal Divine Services while they eliminate others, naturally preferring the worst to the best.” Repeating the words of S.V. Troitsky already quoted above, that “The possession of a right does not depend upon its exercise, but the exercise of a right depends upon its possession”, we are bound to conclude that the election to the Patriarchate of Metropolitan Sergei and also of his successor, has no canonical force. The comparatively large number of bishops who were present at the election of the latter, and the presence of representatives of other local Eastern Churches, cannot change anything in that respect. The representatives of other local Orthodox Churches, being present only as invited guests, took no part in the election of Metropolitan Alexei to the office of patriarch. Moreover, they were poorly and one-sidedly informed about the situation of the Church in the USSR and were thus misled. How could they know that a large number of the grey-haired and grey-bearded bishops participating in that Council were just newly created? How could they know by what criteria clerics and laymen had been drummed together, and whether they arrived at the Council as a result of free elections according to the rules established at the All-Russian Church Council in 1918? They certainly could not have known that all those people were brought to Moscow for the sole purpose of “voting unanimously” - according to the Soviet custom - for the candidate who had been named to them in advance, and that the casting of votes had to be done in the presence of the heads of other Churches. No matter what authority these silent witnesses of that illegal act possess, their presence at the performance of that act does not make it legal. It is impossible not to mention once more, the fact that the great majority of the bishops who elected Metropolitan Alexei to the position of Patriarch were consecrated after 1943. The canonicity of these bishops depends on the canonicity of the authorities who gave them their rank - and, as has already been pointed out, the power of Metropolitan Sergei, who later became patriarch, was not canonical. No matter how many bishops were made by him and his successor, they may not be conceded to be any more legitimate than those who were the source of their power. This is the formal side of the question. Of even greater importance, however, is the heart of the matter - the treason to the principles of Orthodoxy as described above, and the fact that such treason deprives all acts of the present-day Moscow Patriarchate of any canonical validity, thus rendering them void of any moral force and therefore not binding upon its flock. Supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate are fond of quoting canon 14 of the First-and-Second Council of Constantinople (A.I}. 861) when they demand obedience to Moscow from all Russians, including those bishops who reside abroad. But this canon, like canon 13 of the same Council, merely establishes that normal canonical obedience is to be given to the representatives of Church authority as long as they have not been exposed or indicted by a Court. However, canon 15 of the First-and-Second Council provides a corollary to the above canons and to canon 31 of the Holy Apostles. It explains that interdict is imposed on those who refuse obedience to their church authority without valid reason i.e., those who, using certain accusations as a mere pretext, cease to recognize the authority of their spiritual leaders, “create schism, and destroy the unity of the Church”. On the other hand, it is ruled that those who shall separate themselves from their leaders before a Council on the grounds that there has been real treason to Orthodoxy, not only are not liable to punishment as laid down in the canons, but are “worthy to enjoy the honour which befits them among Orthodox believers”. Those are precisely the grounds which many believers had for breaking off communion with Metropolitan Sergei, believers inside Russia as well as our hierarchy abroad. Therefore, to apply the canons of the First-and-Second Council to them is futile. It should be added that after the acts of Metropolitan Sergei had been marked as flagrantly treasonable to the Orthodox Faith, and his election and that of his successor shown to be uncanonical, any acts of theirs directed against the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia could have no moral force whatsoever. V Preliminaries to the Election of the New Patriarch: The closing of more than half of all the churches in the USSR during the intensified assault on religion upon Khrushchev’s coming to power, evoked a series of protests from the religious segment of the population, news of which reached the free world when more flexible lines of communication were revived and travel from the West made easier. Thus, a series of documents reached us, which vividly pictured the enslavement of the Church by the atheistic authorities. These documents show how justified the elder Russian bishops were in denouncing the fallacies of the Church policies implemented by Metropolitan Sergei from the time of his notorious 1927 declaration. The difference between the new denunciators and the former ones who repudiated the declaration immediately upon its promulgation, lies in that the present day dissenters, despite their opposition to and well-founded disagreement with those policies, maintain the hope of compelling the Soviet authorities to minimize their interference in Church affairs by a firm stand of the hierarchy, grounded on Soviet Law. However, this hope is unrealistic since it neglects the Communist antagonism to any religion and its aim to destroy it as a matter of principle. Those who entertain such hopes regarded it especially important that the Patriarch, as head of the Church, should be a leader and not a willing tool in the hands of the atheistic authorities. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is not alone in pointing out the deviation of the Moscow Patriarchate from canonical laws and from the path of truth, for there are also many zealous, alert and sincere believers in the USSR, even among those who continue to officially belong to the Patriarchate while disagreeing with its policies. In this respect it is interesting to note the views voiced by Archbishop Germogen (Golubeff) of Kaluga, and two Moscow priests, Nikolai Eshliman and Gleb Yakunin.
Archbishop Germogen is one of the most erudite theologians among the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. In addition, he is undoubtedly the most courageous of all the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate. In his function as a diocesan bishop, he tried to oppose the pressure of civil authorities, assiduously and bravely protesting the closing down of churches. He was successful, up to a point, until he was deprived of his diocese, at the insistence of the civil authorities. In 1961, a council was hastily convened at the command of the atheistic authorities, to change the standing statutes of the Russian Orthodox Church (obviously in violation of all canonical laws). On the initiative of Archbishop Germogen, eight bishops sent notes protesting this change. Under pressure from the Government, seven bishops retracted their protest. Archbishop Germogen alone did not give in to Government demands; it was this stand which led to his being deprived of his See. As the priests Nikolai Eshliman and Gleb Yakunin wrote in the supplement to their report to the Patriarch, which they sent to all the bishops, “Archbishop Germogen was given to understand that the decision of the Patriarch (concerning his dismissal from his See) was engendered by the urgent demand of the leaders of the Governmental Council (of Affairs of the Russian Church) who used, for this end, the alleged insistent complaints on the part of the Chairman of the Regional Executive Commissariat.” Although he protested against the anti-canonical action in the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop Germogen did not join the ranks of those uncompromising foes to Metropolitan Sergei’s agreement with the Soviet rulers, such as Metropolitans Peter, Cyril, Joseph and others. His point of view has been that the spiritual integrity of the Church can best be defended from a position based on the sure ground of existing laws. His stand is given both in his statement to Patriarch Alexei and in his paper on historico-canonical and juridical material distributed in 1968 for the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the Patriarchate in Russia. It was published abroad in the “Messenger of the Russian Christian Student Movement”, No. 86, 1967. The weak side of this view point lies in its being based on the premise that the possibility exists of a long term non-interference on the part of Communist civil authorities in Church affairs, thereby completely ignoring the Communist Party’s goal of the total destruction of religion. This is not unlike nurturing hope that a modus vivendi can be established between a wolf and a lamb which has been caught in its paws. Nevertheless, Archbishop Germogen’s view-points are certainly important. He compares the present Moscow Synod with the Synod composed according to the precepts worked out at the All-Russian Council in 1917-1918. The Synod, properly structured, according to his words, “would have been authoritative and a representative body of the Highest Church Administration within our Church, having the canonical and moral rights to speak for the entire Russian Orthodox Church.” In contrast, referring to the present Synod in Moscow, Archbishop Germogen writes: “This cannot be said of our present Synod based on the grounds of the Statutes for the Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church” accepted at the Council of 1945. Nothing is actually said in these Statutes about the structure of the Synod, stating only that it consists of six members. Furthermore, Archbishop Germogen points out the non-canonical participation of civil authorities in its organization. In his words, “the permanent membership of the Synod, as well as the bishops’ appointments, transfers and dismissals, at the present time depend on the Chairman of the Council on Religious Affairs, to a much greater degree than they depended in Tsarist Russia on the Over-Procurator of the Synod (p. 74).” As an example of those who, because of this dependency are named to high offices, he mentions the appointment of Bishop Ioasaph of Vinitza as Metropolitan of Kiev and as a permanent member of the Synod. “Prior to his consecration as bishop, he was thrice ordained a priest. The first time in the Renovation schism, the second time under Hitler’s occupation of the Ukraine, by Bishop Gennady in the jurisdiction of Bishop Policarp Sikorsky, and a third time by the Archbishop of Dniepropetrovsk, Andrei (Komarov). Having been consecrated Bishop of Soumy, he promoted the closing down of that diocese. Transferred thereafter to the See of Dniepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye, he took over a diocese with 268 active parishes. In a very short time of his tenure that number was reduced to less than 40 parishes. He was then transferred to the Vinitza See where in a short time the Cathedral of that see was itself shut down (p 74)”. Archbishop Germogen notes that the possibility of such appointments bears witness to “grave irregularities in the structure of our Synod”. (ibid). He further observes that the statutes of 1945 were not preceded by a resolution regarding the repeal of the statutes laid down in 1917-1918, by a Council of equal significance. “If the Conference of Bishops which took place in the autumn of 1944 on the question of preparing for the election of a patriarch at the Council of 1945, changed the order for the election of a patriarch set down by the All-Russian Council of 1917-1918, it violated the established canonical order according to which a greater Council corrects the decisions of the lesser one, and not vice versa. Therefore, its decisions have no validity for the future election of a Patriarch.” (p. 77) Speaking of the 1945 statutes, Archbishop Germogen clearly hinted that it was imposed upon the Church by the civil authorities: “Studying the Statutes one clearly feels that they were not worked out by the Council, but were presented to the Council in completed form merely for affirmation; while canonical order in the conduct of business in the Council demands mandatory discussion of problems subject to settlement. Without the proper and thorough discussion of each matter placed before it, the Council loses its meaning” (p. 75). Therefore, in the opinion of Archbishop Germogen, the election of the patriarch in 1945 was conducted illegally. From this it follows that any new elections, which would be conducted in a similar manner, would also have to be considered in violation of the law. Without doubt, his desire to forewarn of this lay behind his reason for compiling the memorandum he prepared for the 50th anniversary of the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, and so he furnishes detailed account of the order of procedure in the election of the patriarch, established at that Council. Archbishop Germogen reminds us that the legitimate procedure for the election of a patriarch is as follows: (1) The patriarch is elected by the Council, which consists of bishops, clergy and laymen. (2) Voting is by secret ballot. (3) All members of the Council participate in the voting bishops, clergy and laymen.
“The Council, convened to elect a patriarch, holds three meetings. At the first meeting the candidates for patriarch are nominated. Every member of the Council has the right to nominate a candidate. In order to name a candidate to the patriarchal throne, every member of the Council writes one name on a special ballot and presents it to the Chairman of the Council in a sealed envelope. The Chairman of the Council announces the names written on the ballots and compiles a list of these, with a tallying of the votes for each candidate. “At the second meeting, the entire Council chooses three candidates from the announced list by secret ballot, writing three names on the ballot. Of the chosen, three are acknowledged, each of whom must have received not less than one half of all the votes, and the largest number of votes in comparison to the others subject to the voting. “If, at the first balloting, no one is elected, or less than three are elected, another balloting takes place, at which time the voting lists are proffered with the designation of three, two or one name, in accordance with the number remaining to be elected. “The names of the three chosen candidates are entered, in the order of the number of votes received, in special Council minutes. “In the event of a unanimous election of a candidate to the Patriarchate, the balloting for two other candidates does not take place. “At the third meeting, which takes place at the Patriarchal Electoral Cathedral, the patriarch is picked by drawing a name from the three designated candidates listed in the Council document, while in the event of a unanimous election of a patriarch, the name of the elected patriarch is announced”. (p. 76). A retort can be made to Archbishop Germogen that the election of Patriarch Alexei was unanimous. However, it must not be forgotten that, in the eyes of the electors, Metropolitan Alexei was already a candidate of the Government. To openly vote against him was unsafe for anyone. But that does not preclude the fact that with secret balloting, another candidate may well have been put forth. This opportunity was not given to the members of the Council. Under Soviet conditions no one could dare to openly speak for the inclusion in the candidates’ listing, of another name, since it was perfectly clear to everyone that, from the viewpoint of the Government, there should be no candidates other than the one previously approved by the Government. The question of procedure in the election of the patriarch is also given consideration in the well known open letter to Patriarch Alexei from two priests Father Nikolai Eshliman and Gleb Yakunin, which was written in 1965 and received widespread circulation outside of Russia. This letter was undoubtedly written under the influence of Archbishop Germogen. The above-named priests pointed out that from the time of Metropolitan Sergei’s pronouncement in 1927, the Patriarchal Administration deviated from the path on which it was directed by Patriarch Tikhon - “the inadmissibility of interference by lay functionaries in the spiritual life of the Church on the one hand, and strict observance by Church leaders to civil laws on the other hand, - this is the fundamental principle of the civil existence of the Church, which the Most Holy Patriarch
Tikhon, true conveyer of the thinking of the whole Church, bequeathed to his followers. However, the history of the Russian Church during the past 40 years bears indisputable witness to the fact that, beginning from the time of the lengthy Locum Tenency of Metropolitan Sergei (Starogorodsky), the highest Church administration ignored the patriarchal legacy and, arbitrarily changing course, went along the path of deliberately liquidating the Church’s freedom. These two priests give many factual examples to corroborate this conclusion: “The Council on the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church”, they write, “radically transformed its character, changing from an official intermediary agency into an agency of unofficial and illegal administration of the Moscow Patriarchate”. “Currently in the Russian Church, a situation has been created in which not one aspect of church life is free from administrative interference on the part of the Soviet Council on the Affairs of the Russian Church, its delegates, and local organs of power; interference directed at the destruction of the Church, telephone directives, oral instructions, unrecorded unofficial agreements. This is the atmosphere of unhealthy secretiveness which has enveloped the relationship of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Soviet Council on the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church in a thick fog.” (p. 5). It is appropriate at this point to remember the characteristic method of this unofficial submission to the atheistic government officials in Church matters, which is cited in the February 20, 1968 letter of Archbishop Germogen addressed to Patriarch Alexei. He relates a conversation he had with the late, former member of the Synod, Metropolitan Pitirim of Krutitsky: “Once, meeting me at the Patriarchate”, writes Archbishop Germogen, “and discovering that I was having difficulties with the Commissioner of Tashkent, he offered this advice: ‘To avoid all complications, do this: when a priest or a member of a parish council comes to call on you concerning any Church matter, listen to him, then direct him to see the Commissioner and to report to you again afterwards, so that having been seen by the Commissioner, he would return to you. When he returns and is announced, you telephone the Commissioner and ask what he told your caller. And then you tell him the same thing that the Commissioner told him’.” In that way, decisions concerning Church matters are given through the mouth of the bishop, but in reality come from an atheist, an enemy of the Church. This is a fallacious principle, which lies at the foundation of all the administration and all the decisions of the Moscow Patriarchate. The above mentioned two Moscow priests do not particularly analyze the question of procedure in the election of the Patriarch, which point is debated by Archbishop Germogen. Still, having described in detail the various forms of total enslavement of the Church administration by atheistic powers, they seek a solution in the convocation of a free Council, which would truly express the voice of the Russian Church. “The assembling of a Local Council in the near future”, they write, “is dictated by the urgent need of an overall Church judgement as to the activities of the Church Administration and the urgent need for an early decision concerning historically ripe problems of Church life and of Church teachings.
“In order that the new Local Council would not find itself an obedient instrument in the hands of non-church powers, it is essential that the entire Russian Church actively participate in preparing for this Council. There must be parish meetings and gatherings within the dioceses. Only then can the Council be attended by clergy and laymen, truly representing, together with the best bishops of the Russian Church, the fullness of the consen-sus of the Church,” Thus, the authors of the open letter to Patriarch Alexei hoped that a free council could direct the life of the Church onto a different path, and dreamed that it would freely elect a worthy patriarch. With all the good intentions of these adherents to the truth, one must note a certain naiveté in their proffered plan, which could only be implemented if a radical change occurred in the Soviet structure, putting an end to its vigorous fight against the Church. The pointing out of features which determine a genuine Council, one having canonical significance, is in itself already condemnation-in-anticipation of a Council which would follow the paths of the Councils of 1945 and 1961. This is especially made clear in the statements of Archbishop Germogen for the 50th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Patriarchate in Russia. The procedure in the election of the new patriarch was also discussed in the foreign press. It can be said that to every unprejudiced observer it was manifestly clear that the elections of Patriarchs Sergei and Alexei were unlawful. Many authors expected that the new elections to be conducted would put to the test whether the Church in the USSR is truly free. This question was especially thoroughly examined in an article ‘by Jean Fabre in the April 1, 1971 issue (No. 381) of “Informations Catholique Internationales”. Let us also note that this publication cannot be considered either anti-Communistic or antagonistic ‘toward the Moscow Patriarchate. Recalling that in accordance with the orders of the Local Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, there should have been periodical convocations of the Council, the author notes that after 1918, Councils convened only on special occasions: to elect a patriarch in 1943 and in 1945 and, on the orders of the civil authorities in 1961, to change the statutes of the Russian Orthodox Church. “The rarity of these convocations”, the author writes, “is in itself an anomaly in the function of the Church. And it must be noted that the 1945 Council had no other task than to accept, without further judgement, the previously determined decisions. In session from 31 January to 2 February, the Council held only two meetings; one to accept the change in the “Statutes”, which was prepared by Metropolitan Alexei, and the other to elect the new patriarch, obviously pre-chosen by G. Karpoff, Chairman of the Council on the Affairs of the Orthodox Church, which is under the Council of Ministers of the USSR.” The author further notes that “if the All-Russian Council of the Church is in itself the highest power, it is clear that this power has been relegated to an almost fictitious role.” Bringing to mind the order of procedures in the 1945 election of the Patriarch, Fabre writes: “In 1945 each diocese had only one vote. Each bishop voiced this vote, standing together with the delegates of his diocese. The votes of the clergy and laymen were therefore neutralized by the blending of voices. Will they utilize the procedure of voting by secret ballot this time?”
“The choice of the procedure to be followed in the elections will be an indicator of the degree of their authenticity. Unanimous balloting will arouse suspicion, since the Moscow Patriarchate no longer has personalities of the stature of Patriarch Alexei, and the concentration of ballots on one name would give opportunity to surmise the forceful recommendation from a source known to all. “Actually, for the elections to be authentic elections, the electors should have had the opportunity to deliberate prior to the meeting of the Council, in order to form an opinion about possible candidates.” Even more interesting were the remarks made in articles concerning the then forthcoming Council to be held in Moscow, by the well-known Anglican authority on the position of the Church in the USSR, the Rev. Michael Bourdeaux, author of several books on this subject. He dedicated several articles to reviewing the possibilities of the outcome of the Council. Thoroughly aware of the true situation in the Church, Rev. Bourdeaux had no illusions concerning the possibilities of a free election. He notes that the elections of the Patriarch were held up for several months by the civil powers. “Whatever the canonical position, Soviet law (Article 20 of the still-operative 1929 Law on Religious Associations) makes it explicit that no local, regional or All-Union religious conference may be held without permission of the secular authorities - which is, incidentally, one of the many clauses in this law which prove that ‘separation of Church and State’ may be proclaimed in the written constitution, but does not exist in practice. Therefore, the secular authorities can influence the timing now, just as they always have in the past. The inference is that they needed a great deal of time to insure that when the Council finally takes place, it shall have been properly ‘prepared’ “. Turning to the forthcoming elections, Reverend Bourdeaux writes: “If separation of Church and State in the Soviet Union were a fact instead of a worthless sentence on an official piece of paper, then there would be no basic ‘problem’ in the forthcoming election”. In the next article, under the title, “The Captive Patriarchate”, the author notes “Even if all the canonical rules as set out by Archbishop Germogen, are meticulously observed, there is still a built-in mechanism for rigging the election: the possibility of State control aver the votes of all those delegates who are not bishops - in other words, at least two-thirds of the total number … The bishops have probably by this time been ‘instructed’ how they should cast their votes”. (The Tablet, May 15, 1971). In order to show the method and degree of enslavement of the Church under the Soviet system, Reverend Bourdeaux, in the same article, quotes from an article on the Lutheran Church in the May 31, 1968 issue of the magazine “Cultural Life”, published in Bratislav, Czechoslovakia, during the short period of relative freedom in that country. “The foundation of the life of the Lutheran Church became crippled and its activity almost totally incapacitated. This was brought about not by any administrative prohibition, but by structural reorganization. Outwardly it appeared as if nothing had happened. There was some talk about elections; conventions were held; there even existed an association of ministers which would occasionally meet; the church press produced a few pages of printed material. But over all there ruled the ‘hand’, which forcibly held the reins of church life, ruthlessly whipping and eliminating from further activity anyone whom it found ... expressing any freedom of mind or trying to oppose the machinery. Only a man predetermined by the approval of the State could be elected to any office ... A congregation could either formally ‘elect’ a candidate who had been designated for that particular office by the State or church authority (there was no great difference between the two), or ... it could accept an alternative minister, which basically meant one and the same thing ... The church as a whole has been in prison since 1950 ... which means that all ‘elections’ and decisions of the captive church since then are, in fact, invalid.”
Saying further, that a single independent voice at an assembly of Russian bishops, expressing even a veiled reference in the sense of the above statements would have the force of an electric current, Rev. Bourdeaux writes: “It may be too much to expect any such thing, yet perhaps in the present climate of opinion in the Soviet Union, complete unanimity, even among such a select and ‘prepared’ band of people, is more than the State can hope to achieve”. This did not take place. “Unanimity” was demonstrated and events have proved that no one dared to violate any of the State authorities. However, in preparation for any eventuality, the election of the Patriarch took place behind the closed doors. Indeed, not one of the wishes of Archbishop Germogen, the Reverend Nikolai Eshliman and Reverend Gleb Yakunin and the well-wishers of the Moscow Patriarchate, mentioned in the Roman Catholic Journal quoted previously, were taken into consideration. The totalitarian system of the Communist State does not admit free elections of any kind. All elections in a Communist State are merely farces. In that respect, the election of a patriarch is no exception. The elections took place, in fact, not at the Council, but in the office of Mr. Kuroyedov, to whom the Communist Party entrusted the conduct of the Russian Orthodox Church affairs. Therefore, all thoughts about pre-election conferences or discussions by the delegates to the Council are simply naive. There was nothing for them to confer about except the order in which the votes for the Government appointed candidate were to be called. VI Election of the Patriarch in 1971: In the preceding chapter the reader became acquainted with the order of procedure for the election of the patriarch, which was adopted by the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, and which was never abrogated. The most important moment in that order was the nomination of the candidates by a secret ballot. The meaning of that manner of balloting is in fact that it takes place without embarrassment and without fear of incurring the displeasure of someone from among the proffered candidates, or of those who put them forward. Describing the election of Patriarch Alexei, Reverend Father Chrisostomos in his “History of the Russian Church in Recent Times” notes that the Government feared that someone might vote in an undesirable manner, not in accordance with its designs. For that reason, the Chairman of the Soviet for the Affairs of the Russian Church made it clear in advance that Metropolitan Alexei was the desirable candidate, after which Alexei was elected through an open vote in which each bishop voiced his ballot in the name of his diocese. This divergence of procedure from ‘the rules adopted at the All-Russian Council of 1917-1918', is indicated above. Obviously nothing has changed when comparison is made with what took place in 1945. The Council elected the patriarch in the very same manner. Typically, only a short moment was allotted for the election of the patriarch. The entire session of the Council, with the performance of the election and the acceptance of three important documents, took only three hours and ten minutes, including the procession from the Cathedral of the Trinity to the Church of the Dormition, and the acceptance of the resolution concerning the procedure for the elections.. Instead of each member indicating the candidate of his choice secretly, in writing, an oral question was asked of every ruling bishop by the Metropolitan of Tallinn and Estonia, Alexei: “Who do you, the clergy and flock of (name of diocese) - choose to be the Patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia?” Everyone gave the same answer: “I, the clergy and flock of (name of diocese) choose for Patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia, His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Krutitsk and Kolomna, Pimen”.
The “discipline” of Soviet elections is such that most probably the overwhelming majority would have written the same name even in a secret ballot. Still, the organizers of the Council took no chances because they feared to risk the possibility of a non-unanimous vote, knowing in advance that no one would dare to disagree openly, the whole procedure was mounted not so much as an election, but as a solemn and triumphant announcement of an election which had already taken place. One question in particular arrests one’s attention: on what ground did the diocesan bishops make their declaration about the choice of Metropolitan Pimen? Their declarations would have been understandable if the procedure of the elections had been laid down prior to the Council and a preliminary vote had taken place in diocesan conferences. However, it is not known that such conferences ever took place. Besides, if a balloting on the election had been carried out in such conferences, it would have been a radical change from the previously established system of elections. Such a change would have required a decision in another Council well in advance of the elections, and not immediately preceding them. Instead of that, as is stated in the Moscow Patriarchate Press Bulletin No. 6, the president of the Council “gave the word to the Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, Nikodim, who communicated the proposals to the Pre-Council Bishops Conference on the Procedure for the Election of the Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia. The Council approved this proposed procedure and immediately went about the business of electing a patriarch”. Every unprejudiced reader will clearly see that the result of the elections had been determined in advance. After these previously rigged elections, “the Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, Nikodim, solemnly announced that the whole episcopate of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, in its own name and in the name of the clergy and the laymen of the Church, with unanimous voices and unanimous hearts, chose for the throne of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Metropolitan of Krutitsk, Pimen.” In this manner the elections were conducted, not in accordance with Church tradition, but according to Soviet practice. Let us recall what Jean Fabre wrote about the impending elections. He asked a question: “Will a secret written ballot be permitted this time?” Now he has the answer: there was none. He is right also in that the type of procedure chosen is an indicator of the degree to which the election is genuine. Obviously it is not genuine, but rigged. He is equally right in observing that “elections” of this kind make it possible to surmise that a forceful “recommendation” was dictated from “it is known what source”. Another similarity with the 1945 election of Patriarch Alexei is to be noted here. After the death of Patriarch Sergei, Metropolitan Alexei sent a telegram to Stalin, promising him obedience. Similarly, upon assuming the function of “Locum Tenens”, Metropolitan Pimen sent a telegram to Kosygin, assuring him that “Our Holy Synod, embodying the government of the Russian Orthodox Church, in compliance with the established Church Statutes, shall continue in the future to unrelentlessly serve that to which our whole Soviet people has consecrated its efforts - the great task of strengthening peace in the world, and friendship among all the people”. In other words, he assumed the obligation to support the foreign policy of the Soviet Union, expressed in these sly terms. One more glaring similarity cannot be overlooked. When Patriarch Alexei was being elected, the Soviet Government saw to it that the Council was well provided for materially, taking special care, in that respect, of foreign guests. This time again the Communist Government, consisting of members of the Communist Party which has for a goal the abolition of all religions, lavishly supplied the Council both materially and with police escorts - the Council which had the alleged purpose of strengthening the very religion they had vowed to destroy. It is clear to everyone that this was done because the new Patriarch is destined to serve as one of the instruments of Communist policy. The Council which chose the new Patriarch did not delay in issuing a resolution in that connection. Just as Patriarch Alexei had expressed thanks for the help received in convoking the Council in 1945, so too the present Council expressed gratitude to Kosygin. “Permit me, as Chairman of the Council,” wrote the new Patriarch, “in the name of its members and on my own personal behalf, to transmit to you and, in your person, to the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, sincere gratitude for your unchangeable benevolent concern for the needs of the Russian Orthodox Church and for the cooperation in bringing about the present Council”. In conclusion, there is an expression of a pledge to promote the foreign policies of the Soviet Union: “Strengthened by the experience of its post-war service for the cause of peace, the Russian Orthodox Church will continue also in the future steadfastly and energetically doing everything within its power so that its contribution to the sacred cause of strengthening international peace would con-stantly increase and become ever more effective”. In its sessions of May 30 and June 1, the Council issued a series of resolutions in harmony with Soviet policies. In its first resolution the Council approved everything that the Synod had been accomplishing after 1945, including the controversial declaration of July 18, 1961, adopted to gratify the demand of the Civil Government. This anti-canonical resolution which tears down the structure of the Church will be discussed below. The very serious considerations expressed by Archbishop Germogen and the two Moscow priests, in criticism of this declaration were, of course, never reported to the Council, in spite of their having addressed an appeal to the Council of Bishops, referring to canon 6 of the Second Ecumenical Council. For their disagreement with the declaration of 1961, Patriarch Alexei imposed a ban on them in an administrative order, without the due process of a trial. There is no known canon which could justify the imposition of a ban for an appeal to a body of higher instance. The Council issued a declaration on the necessity to combat the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which Church is so irksome to the Soviet Government because it exposes its war on religion. It approved ecumenism and, of course, dwelt with respectful attention on the political action of the late Patriarch Alexei and of the Synod in the “defence of Peace”. In this respect the Council issued a special address to the Christians of the whole world. It contains all the deceitful slogans of the Communist propaganda. Why did the choice made by Mr. Kuroyedov for the post of Patriarch of Moscow fall on Metropolitan Pimen? Not all of his motives can be known of course, but even a summary acquaintance with the biography of the new Patriarch contains the explanation. Outwardly, Patriarch Pimen is quite decorative: tall in stature, with a large beard. But he is not a forceful personality and he does not possess a theological education. At the age of seventeen he entered a monastery and, consequently could not continue his education. He had previously completed some kind of secondary school, but nothing about it is revealed in his official biography. Having taken monastic vows at such an early age, he was soon sent to Moscow as a singer of the Bogoyavlensky Cathedral, today, the Patriarchal Cathedral. In 1930, when he was 20 years old, Pimen was ordained hierodeacon and in half a year, hieromonk. Possessing a good voice and a musical ear, he was first a singer, and then he directed choirs in various Moscow churches. It is not apparent from his official biography whether or not he was ever subjected to any reprisals. His advancement began in 1946, when he was appointed treasurer of the monastery in Odessa. In 1947 he was elevated to the rank of abbot, and was given a cross as a rewarding decoration. He was soon transferred to Rostov-on-the-Don, where he occupied the post of secretary to the Bishop, member of the Diocesan Council and Sacristan of the diocesan cathedral. In 1949 he became the rector of the Pskovo-Petchersky Monastery, and in 1954, was elevated to the rank of archimandrite. He later became the superior of the Trinity-Sergei Lavra in Zagorsk. In 1957 he was consecrated Bishop of Yalta, Vicar of the Diocese of Odessa, but in December of the same year he was transferred to Moscow as Vicar Bishop of Dmitrovsk. His further promotion coincides with the replacement of Karpov as President of the Council for the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church by Kuroyedov. It was at this time, also that the advance in Episcopal ranks began for the present Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, Nikodim, and the other young bishops, known as obedient instruments of the civil authorities. Today these young bishops occupy the most important posts in the Moscow Patriarchate. In June, 1960, Pimen became chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, in 1961 he became Metropolitan of Leningrad and in 1968 he was appointed Metropolitan of Krutitsk. Not having a theological education, Patriarch Pimen does not take part in theological encounters with foreign dignitaries, exercises, or listen to dissertations. His area is that of administration and of politics agreeable to the Soviet higher-ups. At the Council of 1961, for instance, he argued for the necessity of the amendments to the statutes relative to the governing of the Russian Church, which were desirable to the Soviet Politburo. The arguments he used were far from theological: “In the present time”, he said, “in our country we see the consistent realization of vast democratic transformations, as a result of which the role of those who labour in the public life of the country is ever growing in importance. In these circumstances one cannot recognize as normal that an order still prevails in parish communities, in which the reverend rectors retain complete control in their hands.” (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate 1961, No. 8, p. 10). Obviously it is not without his participation that a deception was used in the convocation of the Council of 1961. The amendments to the Statutes which were effected at that Council were intensely desirable to the Soviet Government as part of its scheme to weaken the Church by disrupting the life of parishes. These amendments could not meet with sympathy on the part of the majority of the episcopate and the heads of the Moscow Patriarchate feared that many of the bishops would avoid attending the Council, using one pretext or another, if they knew beforehand for what purpose they were being summoned. Therefore, as Archbishop Germogen writes, “This Council was not called, as would have been appropriate, through a brief from the Patriarch, but by means of telegrams addressed to diocesan bishops inviting them to attend a special service at the Lavra (in Zagorsk) on the feast day of St. Sergei (founder of the Lavra). The telegrams contained no allusions to a Council and the bishops who gathered for that celebration were informed of the impending Council only late in the evening after the all-night vigil service on the eve of the commemoration of St. Sergei, less than one day before the Council. This was an unusual way to convoke a Council, and it goes without saying, cannot be justified from a canonical standpoint.” (“Vestnik” R. Kh. S. D. 1967, No. 86, pp. 77-78). Looking through the Herald of the Moscow Patriarchate for the last ten years, one can not find a single purely Church oriented statement by the new Patriarch. He usually speaks only at such gatherings as sessions of the “World Council of Peace” or the “World Congress for Universal Disarmament”. His speeches and articles are not dedicated to pastoral remarks, but to political subjects. His election, therefore, like that of his two predecessors, underscores even more the circumstances that the present Moscow Patriarchate is not a true representative of the Russian Church. It is an organization permitted to exist by the Moscow Government in as much as it serves the cause of Soviet propaganda. Its task is to deceive the Free World into believing that Communism is not adverse to religion and that the Soviet Union is primarily preoccupied with the cause of peace. Therefore, the new Patriarch of Moscow began his term in that exalted office by glorifying the dedication to peace of the Soviet Union and accusing the United States of America of aggression, colonialism and racism. The reaction of the foreign press to the election of Patriarch Pimen is interesting indeed. The noteworthy feature of it is that publications of completely different orientations point out his obedience to the Soviet Government and none observe in him any kind of spiritual merit. The most widely circulated American newspaper, and one with rather left-wing, sometimes even pro-Soviet, tendencies, “The New York Times”, in its edition of June 3, 1971, says of the new Patriarch: “His selection by a special Church Council, the first since 1945, which met for four days in the small monastery town of Zagorsk outside Moscow, had been foreseen after he was named temporary Patriarch following the death of Patriarch Alexei ... All indications are that the choice was completely acceptable to and presumably approved by the Soviet authorities, who carefully monitor the religious life in this country”. The very widely circulated American periodical “Newsweek “, in its issue of June 14, notes that the Soviet regime preferred Pimen to the more brilliant Nikodim. He is referred to as the “Kremlin’s apparent choice for the Patriarchal Throne”. The Catholic Journal “America”, in its issue of July 26, 1971, writes: “No one doubted his acceptability to the Kremlin, for whose foreign policies Pimen was the more common church spokesman, even while Alexei was Patriarch ... Little wonder then, that Vladimir Kuroyedov, the atheist chairman of the Kremlin’s Council for the Religious Affairs, was on hand to give the welcoming address to the delegates in Zagorsk ... or that the Soviet Government hosted a reception after the enthronement ceremonies, at which Premier Kosygin’s congratulations, in turn, were conveyed to the Patriarch”. The Journal of the American Episcopal Church, “The Living Church”, in the issue of July 4, concludes its report about the election of Patriarch Pimen by recapitulating his political sorties against America and his speech denouncing Svetlana Alliluyeva after defection from the Soviet Union. The Catholic Austrian Newspaper, “Linzer Kirchenblatt” of June 6, printed its announcement of the election of Patriarch Pimen under the title “Patriarch by the Grace of Reds”. (Patriarch von roten Gnade). In the July 1, issue of the Yugoslav newspaper “Iskra” (“Spark”), published in Munich, Dr. Slepchevich writes, “The position which Metropolitan Pimen occupied, and the function which he fulfilled in the Communist movement for peace and his close association with Patriarch Alexei, who enjoyed the confidence of the Soviet Government, led him to be considered from the very beginning as the candidate to be the new Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church”. The official organ of the Exarchate of the Ecumenical’ Patriarch in America, “The Orthodox Observer”, for July 1971, cautiously expresses that the election of Metropolitan Pimen for the high office of Patriarch “by all indications is acceptable to the Soviet Government”. However, before that, the paper cites a whole list of pronouncements of the newly elected Patriarch, concordant with the general political schemes of the Kremlin. The journal also notes his allegations that the Church in the Soviet Union enjoyed, as it were, complete freedom, first made in 1964 and repeated after his election to the patriarchate. “He has often acted as a spokesman for the Patriarchate, especially on matters reflecting Church agreement with the Moscow government”. One could easily prolong this list of press organs, which clearly characterize the election of Patriarch Pimen as an act performed on orders of the Soviet dictators.
If even the correspondents of the press, far removed from the Russian Orthodox Church, clearly see that Pimen was elected Patriarch on directives of an atheistic Government, then naturally it is much more evident for those who belong to the free part of the Russian Church. Elections performed in violation to the rules set down by the All- Russian Council of 1917-1918, and what is especially important, in violation of canon 30 of the Holy Apostles, and of canon 3 of the sixth Ecumenical Council, are invalid. For the above reasons, Pimen cannot be recognized as the canonical Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. VII The Moscow Patriarchate - a Legal Fiction: In 1918, on January 23, the Church in the USSR was separated from the state and stripped of all legal rights by a decree of the Soviet of the People’s Commissars. That act, however, was preceded by other, separate decrees, beginning with the resolution signed by Lenin on December 11, 1917, debarring the Church from the right to operate educational institutions. Some time before that, a decree was published depriving the Church of its landed properties. Subsequent acts were directed at limiting the functions of the Church in various aspects of life. All of these decrees contained clauses indicative of the Church’s loss of her rights as a legal body. In the decree of January 23, 1918 (p. 12), it is written out clearly: “No Church associations or religious societies are entitled to own property. They do not possess the rights of legal bodies”. That is the basic law concerning religious societies in the USSR. This law remains unchanged at present. Since the law does not recognize the Church as a legal body, in reality it does not acknowledge the Church as a unified organization either. On August 3, 1922, the People’s Commissariat of Justice concluded the following in reply to an enquiry by the Petrograd District Executive Commissar: “The Department of Justice is of the opinion that, while each religious organization, separately, may be allowed to administer its own affairs, it is hardly advisable to permit these organizations to become united and to create for them a central organization such as an All-Russian General Council”. A little later, on August 25 of the same year, the same Commissariat explained the law in greater detail: “Departing from the principle that religion is the private concern of the individual believer, the decree of January 23, 1918, which separates the church from the state, does not recognize a church or a religious society as a legal institution, but permits the existence only of separate religious groups of citizens who come together to satisfy their religious needs. Such a group does not enjoy the rights of a legal body and may not own property. According to the spirit of Soviet legislation, each such group of believers is a free, self-ruling church which is free to arrange its life and have any beliefs it wishes, provided that in so doing it does not break the law or disturb public order, and does not infringe upon the rights of Soviet citizens. Should any such group however, exhibit any activity under a religious banner for which, according to Soviet legislation, private societies and associations are liable to being closed, the local Soviet of Deputies has the right to review the agreement entered into by that group of believers. In view of this, Soviet legislation and the Soviet State do not interfere in the problems of church hierarchies of religious groups formed in its territory, and permits them complete independence in their internal organization, including the right to declare themselves autonomous church communities, independent from any other.”
In connection with this point, the 5th Section of the People’s Commissariat of Justice has explained repeatedly that the subordination of a separate group of citizens and of priests to their bishop is, in the RSFSR, just as it is in Western Europe, purely voluntary. Canonical punishments by the Church, for disobedience to spiritual authority, such as excommunication, interdiction, defrocking, deprivation of functions, transfer, etc., have no legal force in the RSFSR because the choice lies not with the bishop but with the parish which is free to decide between the bishop and the priests they wish to have for their group. In consequence of what has been said above and taking into consideration that the decree of January 23, 1918, does not recognize the Church as a whole as having legal rights, or to put it into other terms, does not consider any other historical church such as the Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Reformed, Greek Orthodox, etc., as a legal body. The 5th Section (cited above) assumes that the highest hierarchical organization of all the above-mentioned churches, such as diocesan, diecenal, central, etc., does not have to be registered with ‘the Soviet authorities in the RSFSR, owing to the system of separation of church from state”. (P. V. Guidulyanov, “The Church and the State in the Legislation of RSFSR”, Moscow, 1923, p. 56). In the Instructions on Roman Catholic property of December 24, 1921, the same Commissariat of Justice makes a summary of the basic legislation: “According to the law in force in the RSFSR, churches and religious societies, without any exceptions, are deprived of the rights of a legal body; all the property of the churches and religious societies existing in Russia is declared the people’s property (p. 13 of Decree on Separation of Church and State). No church or religious society is entitled to own property. They do not possess the rights of a legal body (p. 12). Buildings and objects intended exclusively for church services are handed over to the relevant religious societies by special decision of the local and central authorities, for their use free of payment”, (same document, p. 51). These statutes were worked out in detail in the “Instructions on the Manner in which the Decree on the Separation of Church and State should be effectuated” (Collection of legislation and instructions, 1918, No. 62). According to p. 4 and p. 16 of the Instructions, “all church property intended for church purposes, such as houses, lands, etc., are taken away form the ownership of religious societies and transferred to the direct administration of local Soviets of Deputies, who are given the right to transfer, by special agreement, temples and the religious objects within them to groups of citizens, indefinitely and free of charge”. In the years 1929 and 1932, the Soviet Government issued new decrees concerning the application of the law on the separation of Church and State. They contain many details, although there is nothing new in them except that of the recognition, in principle, of the existence of a central institution of the Church. However, both the law of April 8, 1929, clause 22, and the Instruction of 1932, clause 17, stress that such institutions do not possess the rights of a legal body. It should be pointed out that the Soviet legislators, when they issued the decree on the confiscation of Church property, obviously did not have in mind such property as is located outside the borders of Russia. Clause 13 of that decree refers only to “property of the Church and of religious societies in Russia”, which was declared to be “the people’s property”. No mention was made of Church property outside the borders of Russia, nor did the Soviet authorities claim that property until the end of World War II, declaring it only then State property. The only Church properties which were claimed prior to that consisted of churches or chapels which belonged to embassies and were situated in the buildings of these embassies or on their compounds. An expert in Soviet law, Mr. Isaac Shapiro, lecturer at the Law School of New York University, has said in statements in court, in his capacity as legal expert, and also an affidavit signed by him in which he summarizes his statements: “Under Soviet law, only two types of religious organizations are legally recognized: religious societies or associations consisting of at least 20 local inhabitants and groups of believers less than 20 in number. Neither a religious society nor a group of believers has any legal personality or the capacity to enter into contracts, other than agreements of a purely private character connected with the use of religious property. Religious societies and groups of believers are subject to registration with local government authorities. “I am aware of no provision of Soviet law which expressly recognizes the existence of a church hierarchy for the Russian Orthodox Church in the USSR. While it may exist “de facto”, it has no status “de jure”. This includes the Moscow Patriarchate, which has no legal capacity under Soviet law to act for the Russian Orthodox Church or to enter into any transactions or agreements on its behalf. Nor does the Russian Orthodox Church have any legal personality or status under the law or any right to registration as a church group or body.” The statutes accepted by the Moscow Church Council in 1945, are very obviously based on these premises. That is why clause 41 refers the parish’s responsibility for church property not to the Church authority, but to the civil authorities. The Parish Committee, according to clause 39, is responsible for any damage or loss of temple property only to the atheistic authorities because it is considered that in such a case there has been damage to, or loss of, state property. In the internal life of parishes, the very modest rights that were given by the above statement to the patriarch and bishops were even further restricted by the decision of the Synod of April 18, 1961, ratified by a resolution of the Church Council in July of the same year. This resolution, which completely nullifies all hierarchical authority, was adopted according to instructions direct from the atheistic civil authorities. The resolution itself points out that it was made after the Soviet for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church had informed the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church that the Council of Ministers of the USSR had indicated a need to introduce “fitting order into the life of the parishes”, and particularly into the matter of reinstating the rights of the executive organs of church communities in the field of financial and economic activities, according to the civil legislation concerning religious cults. The economic life of the parishes, according to the resolution of 1961, is based, not on the holy canons, but exclusively on civil laws, which, in turn, are based on the decrees concerning the sep-aration of church and state, and on various other (often secret) instructions issued in connection with the administration of church communities. The priests Nikolai Eshliman and Gleb Yakunin wrote in their “Open Letter”: “Everyone who is familiar with the Acts of the Council of 1961, (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1961, No. 8, 5-1) is struck by the absence of correct canonical argumentation, i.e., the baseless quotations from certain unnamed interpreters of the canons, and the arbitrary and groundless introduction of ‘a broad democracy’ into the sphere of clerical-hierarchical principles of relations.” Here then are the unstable “foundations” which the fathers of this council endeavour to oppose to the rules of the Apostles and of the Councils.” (cf. Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1961, No. 8, p. 10) What is very striking is that the above journal publishes almost nothing but the decisions of the Synod concerning the appointments and transfers of bishops, rewards and distinctions, and, most of all, information concerning the foreign relations of the Patriarchate. No other administrative decrees or instructions appear there; particularly noticeable is the total absence of instructions concerning economic matters. The reader will not find there any indication of a source of revenue for the upkeep of central church institutions. Do they receive allocations from their flock and collections from their parishes?
According to the “Instructions of the Peoples Commissariat of Justice, and the Peoples Commissariat for Interior Affairs (NKVD) of April 27, 1922, “On the Regulations for the Registration of Religious Societies, and the Issuance of Permits to call Meetings of Same”, “these societies, personified as parishes, can gather funds solely for the purpose of meeting their own local needs. The voluntary contributions collected by them can only be utilized for expenses connected with the use of properties for religious services, such as: heating, guarding, maintenance in cleanliness, etc., and for the rehabilitation and repairs of such premises.” (par. 14). According to the next paragraph of the cited Instructions, “Not having the rights of a legal entity or juristic person, nor the rights of ownership, a religious society can conclude agreements only of a private nature, in connection with the use of the cult’s premises, such as in the hiring of singers, or contracting for the delivery of fuel, or carrying out of the necessary repairs, etc.” (par. 15). The same principle is laid down in the Instructions on the Application of the Law Regarding Religious Societies, issued in 1929 and in force to date. Paragraph 9, prohibits the setting up of any kind of obligatory fees or contributions; and paragraph 10, permits the collecting of funds for meeting the needs arising from the maintenance of the property in use by the group of “twenty” i.e. parish needs. However, paragraph 12 allows the governing bodies of the Church to receive voluntary donations, but without the right to organize fund raising activities, or to institute membership dues. But right away, a reservation follows, that such donations can only be expended on needs contingent to the activities and the needs of the governing body. One asks: does it mean that they can be spent on the upkeep of the revenueless dioceses abroad? From what source do the means for that purpose originate? In the statutes concerning the governing of the Russian Church, paragraph 41 of the 1945 edition, and in paragraph 5 of the amended edition of 1961, provisions are made for voluntary contributions for expenditures connected with the Patriarchal office. However, in amending the Statutes for the Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church, in paragraph 30 of Section III - the clause concerning the duty of the dean to oversee the proper economic management of the parishes is omitted. (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, No. 8, 1961, p. 17). Thus, the contributions of the parishes toward the upkeep of the Moscow Patriarchate are only voluntary and are not subject to any control by the Church authorities, according to the laws of the State, as well as to the statutes of the Church. This explains why no financial or economic orders are published in the “Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate”. The very absence of such reports demonstrates the fact that the financial foundations of the Patriarchate must be extremely unstable, especially so since the closing down of over 10,000 parishes, i.e., more than half of all the churches which could have provided for the upkeep of the Moscow Patriarchate. ‘ Nevertheless, there is no evidence that expenses connected with the activities of the Department of Foreign Relations have been reduced in any way. On the contrary, we notice that these activities are on the increase; one such instance is the setting up of foreign Episcopal sees without any flocks whatever, therefore also without any local income. The frequent journeys abroad of all kinds of delegations, the reception of foreigners in the USSR, and the many gifts made in Moscow and abroad must constitute a very considerable expense which could hardly be provided out of uncontrolled and fluctuating contributions made by parishes. The above expenses are bound to be covered out of government funds the same as was the case when the All Russian Council was convened for the election of Patriarch Alexei. It is, therefore, clear that if the Soviet Government does provide funds for some of the activities of the Church, which is separated from the State, such provisions can be motivated only by considerations of what is useful and expedient for its policies, and not by any good-will toward the Church. Besides the atheistic program of the Communist party, we have also witnessed repeated expressions of hostility towards religion on the part of the Soviet Government. This was particularly clearly stated in the official daily of the Communist Party, “Isvestiya” of February 18, 1961. An article on that date contained the following: “Servants of the Church, even when they uphold the interior and foreign policy of the Soviet State remain, as they always were, our ideological antagonists and we shall continue our ideological fight against them”. This official point of view never changed, but the would-be “Servants of the Church” pretend that it is not so, and that the true enemies of the Church are actually those who are in reality its well-wishers and benefactors. Even if the 1945 statutes regulating the administration of the Russian Orthodox Church gave the impression of allowing greater freedom to the Church authorities in governing Church affairs, this was but a temporary and illusory administrative concession on the part of the government, whereas, the basic limiting legislation concerning the Church remained unchanged. In 1961, the policy underwent a change and the Moscow Patriarchate altered the statutes - at the proposal of the government. This change infringed further upon the canonicity of the regime, but the new statutes are consistent with the law of 1929, which remains in force even now. The resolution of the Council of Bishops of June 18, 1961, concerning the Statutes for the Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church deprived the Synod and the diocesan bishops of all canonical administrative rights in the governing of dioceses and parishes. The Moscow Patriarchate has no canonical authority which would entitle it to rule the Church. The controlling authority for parishes is not the bishop but the civilian institutions. This can be seen from the following: (1) In order to open a parish community one needs first of all an authorization of the civil authorities. The bishop may give his blessing for the opening of a parish only after such an authorization has been received. (Paragraph “a” of the definition adopted by the Synod and approved by the Council on April 18, 1961). (2) According to paragraph “b” of the same resolution, a parish .community “has an independent character in the administration of its household and financial matters”. In other words - the parish is outside Episcopal control. (3) In cases of abuses, mismanagement, disappearance of property or of monies, the parish auditing committee does not report such occurrences to the diocesan authority but, in accordance with paragraph “b” - prepares a report which is sent to the local “Town Council or Rural Council”. (4) Diocesan meetings are called, according to paragraph “g”, not with the bishop’s blessing or that of the rector but “with the authorization of local Town Councils or (if it is in a rural area) Regional Councils”.
(5) As for the safekeeping of the building and appurtenances of a church (including holy objects and ritual requisites), the executive committee of the parish community is responsible, according to paragraph “e”, only to the civil authorities. (6) The diocesan bishop does not even have the right to appoint a reader, an altar servant or any other person in any way connected with church services. According to paragraph “1” this is done by the executive committee of the parish, though referring such appointments to the rector. Thus, a diocesan bishop is merely a decorative figurehead devoid of all authority, whereas the rector of a parish is no longer the authoritative and responsible leader in all aspects of parish life, as it ought to be according to the definitions of the All-Russian Council of 19171-A18, but is exclusively a performer of services. This uncanonical status was introduced by the Synod and the Council of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1961 in compliance with the Soviet laws of 1918 and 1929, which laws have for some time been contravened with the knowledge of the civil authorities but were never rescinded and are in force until now. This can be clearly understood from the words of Patriarch Alexei himself, when he explained to the bishops the necessity of a reorganization of the Church. “In April of this year,” he said, “the Council for Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church informed us that the Council of Ministers of the USSR had again noted numerous cases of infringement, by the clergy, of Soviet laws on cults. It pointed out that it is imperative to introduce proper order into the life of parishes, i.e., to restore the rights of the executive committees of church communities in financial and household matters, in accordance with the legislation on cults.” Attempting to deny the obvious, the Patriarch endeavoured to prove that the change introduced on the demand of the civil authorities “was not a cancellation but only a correction and more precise formulation of the rights and duties of rectors, with that -- coming closer to the clerical and spiritual conception.” Apart from the decree of the Council of 1961 which dislocated the whole structure of parish life, it is important to note also that the policies of Metropolitan Sergei after 1927 ushered in the atheistic Government’s penetration into the internal life of the Church. Of those bishops and clerics who persistently endeavoured, in spite of all, to protect the integrity of the Church, there remain fewer and fewer with each passing year. As they pass out of this life, the control by the godless over every phase of Church life is growing. The two Moscow priests, whom I have already cited, clearly depict this process in their open letter to Patriarch Alexei. Pointing out that while Soviet law does not require a previous consent of the civil authorities for the ordaining of priests, and their appointments or transfers, they write: “A practice has been established in the Church in the last few years by which no consecration of a bishop, or ordaining of a presbyter or deacon, takes place without the inevitable prior sanction by the officials of the Government Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church. Utilizing all the tried methods of secret dictates, these officials forestall the consecration of persons in whom the Soviet sees a potential force capable of opposing the unlawful activities of the godless state, directed toward the destruction of the Church. “Guided by this principle, the officers of the Council carry out an arbitrary screening of the graduates of religious institutions of learning, hypocritically disguising their motives as concern for the welfare of the Church. They likewise hinder the ordaining of deserving candidates who do not have an ecclesiastical education; not permitting persons who have received a higher lay education to dedicate their strength to the service of the Church, and so on. Moreover, the Council for the Affairs of the Russian Church promotes the infiltration of morally unstable individuals into the clergy, and furthers their advance in ranks. These unfaithful and totally unprincipled elements are capable of undermining the Holy Church, and at a propitious moment, of completely disavowing Christ”. (p. 15). It is not surprising that, under such circumstances, we observe a sharp decline in the calibre of persons permitted by civil authorities to occupy the Patriarchal Throne. Patriarch Sergei was the first to inaugurate this era, but he was a more prominent figure than his successor, who opened, to an even greater degree, the access of godless individuals into the administration of the Church. The new Patriarch is of a far lower calibre in all respect, and he promises to be even more obedient in implementing the directives of Soviet Government officials. For those who are little informed and who can see only the exterior, the Moscow Patriarchate can appear strong and attractive, but a more attentive study of the facts show that this outwardly dazzling product is full of inward rot and corruption. The churches of the USSR are filled with genuine believers, who for the sake of the opportunity to worship, do not wish to be deterred by thoughts on the negative aspects presented by the hierarchy of their Church. But those who pry deeper into the essence of things, often retreat to the underground, forming what is known as the “Catacomb Church”. We know that some of them attend services in open churches, but do not receive communion there, turning, at the risk of their lives, to clandestine priests not connected with the Moscow Patriarchate, for the sacraments. From all the above information, it can be clearly perceived that the Moscow Patriarchate has no canonical origin nor do its bishops have any canonical authority over their parishes. Synodal and diocesan administrations in the Moscow Patriarchate do not have much to do of a practical nature, because the only matters with which they continue to concern themselves are: the ordination to the priesthood of candidates previously approved by the civil authorities and the carrying on of relations, in compliance with directives from the civil authorities, with other local Orthodox Churches and with churches of other confessions. These relations remain under the special supervision and actual administration of the Soviet authorities who, as can be imagined, are not motivated by considerations of what is advantageous to the Church, but by consideration of political advantages to the State. Legally and canonically the Moscow Patriarchate and its Synod are nothing but a fiction and a vast bluff.
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НАС ЗАГОНЯЮТ В ОГРАДУ МОСКОВСКОЙ ПАТРИАРХИИ
Протодиакон Василий Якимов
В эти судьбоносные дни нам всем, преданным чадам Св. Церкви, есть о чем долго подумать. Торопиться ни в коем случае нельзя. Хотя нас многие торопят и есть люди в нашей среде, для которых такие явления как “чекисты в рясах”, “архиереи с бабами” (и даже хуже) уже охотно и нарочно позабыты. История покажет, что нас просто загоняли в ограду постсоветской Московской Патриархии по заранее составленному сценарию, но ни в коем случае не в интересах нашего спасения.
Вот что один из наших батюшек писал в 1994 году: «Жизнь нашей Церкви заграницей была всегда трудной, путь её был узкий, со всех сторон на нее рушились невзгоды, происходили расколы, поддерживались клевета и презрение. Но чем дальше мы будем идти в процессе апокалипсическом к грядущему антихристу, тем больше будем мы встречать невзгод, скорбей и испытаний. Несмотря на относительную свободу в стране, МП ни в чём основном не изменилась и она чем-то злополучным скована до сего дня. Её представители - мы не говорим ни о верующем народе, ни о добрых священнослужителях - не раскаялись по сей день в своём грехе. Некоторые каются в личном порядке, и часто только на устах, что на деле ничего не меняет, ибо они привыкли к установленному образу жизни ещё в эпоху самого страшного гонения на Церковь, когда аппарат церковный, установленный воинствующими безбожниками, помогал этим безбожникам уничтожать Церковь. Но в этом ещё никто не покаялся. Мы не смеем в тех несчастных бросать камень; может быть никто из нас не устоял бы перед мучениями. Но утверждать, как они тогда делали, и по сей день утверждают, что они спасали Церковь, этого мы допустить не можем: оправдать их в этом, значит изменить Самому Христу, Главе Церкви, Который не нуждался в спасении Себя человеческими руками. Церковь не земным обеспечением оберегается, а кровью мучеников, свидетелей Истины, ибо Истина есть жизнь Церкви. МП жила и живет компромиссами. Компромиссами с богоборцами, с католиками и так дальше. Она, на подобие политической партии, ищет укрепить своё влияние, устанавливая переговоры с мировыми организациями и заключая с ними соглашения”.
Даже о. Андрей Папков, сторонник унии, признает: “Двухсторонняя комиссия, грубо говоря, занимается церковной дипломатией, поставив себе задачу найти общую почву для будущего сближения и евхаристического общения. Мне показалось, и может быть я очень ошибаюсь, что из-за этого стремления комиссии, некоторые фрагменты текста составлены в довольно обтекаемых выражениях и я боюсь как бы это не привело к недоразумениям в дальнейшем. Ведь постановления вселенских и других древних соборов выносились в предельно ясных терминах, что только увеличивало их авторитетность. Хотелось бы и в нашей ситуации видеть некоторые формулировки выраженными более четко”.
Да! Именно четко надо было сказать о сергианстве и экуменизме. Церковь в дипломатии не нуждается!
Наши батюшки как приснопамятный протоиерей Владимир Евсюков, и ему подобные, органически не были способны идти на какие-либо компромиссы с совестью. Это были, прежде всего, правдолюбы, для которых белое было белым, а черное черным. Тогда это многим не нравилось, а в наше «политически корректное» время думаю, что они были бы совсем не в моде. Они всегда искали Правду Божию и, дерзаю утверждать – находили ее. Соответственно с этим они руководствовалися своей пастырской совестью во всех своих деяниях и высказываниях.
И в среде нашей есть еще такие стойкие батюшки. И целые наши епархии как Одесская на Украине в один голос нас предупреждают: “Все участники съезда, от имени делегировавших их приходов, единодушно высказались о преждевременности установления евхаристического общения с МП, ввиду того, что, как определилось в ходе переговорного процесса, она ни в чем не отказалась от сергианской политики и продолжает участвовать в экуменическом процессе, в частности, остается членом Всемирного совета церквей и Конференции европейский церкве.”
А вот голос нашего батюшки о. Иоанна Стукача: “Теперь многие говорят – в России идёт «возрождение». Все наши святители ожидали этого момента, поэтому оно уже настало». Погоди, не торопись! Да, святители наши верили в русский народ, ожидая возрождённую Историческую Православную Россию. Где же эта возрождённая Православная Россия, когда имя её не существует на карте, а лишь Российская Федерация – пространство населённое обезбоженным народом и иными племенами. На российском пространстве строится нечто совершенно новое, в духовном смысле явно апокалипсическое, исторически сложившееся в советские времена под красным знамением, в обновлённой видимости с прежними символами и декоративной символикой Исторической России».
Священник Владимир Христовый пишет в газете «Русь Православная«: «Показное, бурное возрождение внешнего церковного благолепия сегодня имеет мало общего с возрождением истинного православного благочестия. Пастырство воспринимается большинством клириков не как священное служение, страшное своим величием, святостью и ответственностью, а как чиновничья карьера с непременными перспективами служебного роста и материального благополучия».
И вот еще голос истинного пастыря, о. Стефана Сабельника: “Мы держим, и будем «держать то, что имеем», по завету митрополита Филарета — как и наши предшественники при Кливландском Соборе. И тут ясен ответ на вопрос: кто от кого будет очищаться? Те из нас, кто ставит свои личные интересы выше Церкви — сейчас колеблются. Действительно, предстоит последнее, страшное испытание. И только тот, кто поставит Бога перед всем земным — устоит.”
И еще одна епархия предупреждает всех нас: “Онакомившись с публикацией «документов» о совместной работе комиссий и «Комментария» на них (все без подписей), считаем целый ряд постановлений неприемлемыми для нас - верных чад РПЦЗ (Обращение 183 мiрян Южной Америки ко всем архиереям РПЦЗ). Главным препятствием для соединения с МП были и остаются: 1. Сергианство во всех его проявлениях. 2. Участия МП в экуменических «межконфессиональных» (как это теперь называют) - собраниях, и нежелание МП выйти из Всемирного Совета Церквей. Однако, в проекте о каноническом общении, нет ясного и удовлетворительного решения относительно устранения этих главных препятствий, из-за туманности и казуистики.
Ведь сергианство - не столько подчинение Церкви интересам богоборческого государства, сколько предательство Христовой Церкви и поклонение сатанинской власти - грех, требующий искреннего покаяния - который не может «уйти в прошлое», как выразился патриарх Алексей II, так как грех, не омытый покаянием, навеки остается грехом, по учению Церкви”.
Приведем выдержки из письма неоспоримого авторитета Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония (Храповицкого) митрополиту Сергию, «бывшему ученику и другу»: «Что касается Вас, Вы постарались соединить свет со тьмой, Вы впали в искушение... Вы не взяли пример со Христа, святых мучеников и исповедников, отвергших такой компромисс, а поклонились исконному врагу нашего спасения. Вы даже постарались развенчать мучеников и исповедников, утверждая, будто бы они терпят темничное заточение не за имя Христа, а как контр-революционеры». И далее: «Мы, свободные епископы Русской Церкви, не хотим перемирия с сатаной». (Ответ от 6го мая 1933 г. на требование Митрополита Сергия Страгородского от Зарубежной Церкви «лояльности богоборцам, гонителям и хулителям Св. Христовой Церкви». Он не ограничился тем, что в своей «Декларации» 1927 г. призвал весь русский народ быть верноподданным богоборческой власти "не только из страха, но и по совести”, а требовал того же и от Зарубежной Церкви….”
А вот голос рядового мирянина из современной РФ: ”В настоящее время значительных размеров достигла бюрократизация Русской Церкви. Если еще несколько лет назад церковный народ еще мог влиять на принятие решений хотя бы в пределах прихода, то теперь, после принятия нового гражданского устава, люди Божьи лишились и такой возможности. Епархиальную жизнь определяет единолично епископ и его окружение. На общецерковном уровне органом, призванным служить голосом всей Церкви, и клира и 'простецов', является Поместный Собор. В связи с 2000-летием Рождества Христова планировали собрать такой Собор, однако в последний момент от этой идеи отказались, заменив Поместный Собор Архиерейским, состоящим из одних епископов. Более того, если раньше Патриарха избирал Поместный Собор, то теперь, по новому уставу, его предполагается избирать на Архиерейском. Обсуждается мнение, что от Поместных Соборов вообще следует отказаться. Все это говорит о том, что церковное руководство не желает прислушиваться к голосу народа Божьего. Все это было бы терпимым, если бы все епископы РПЦ были высоко духовными людьми, однако различные скандалы, о которых время от времени сообщают СМИ, свидетельствуют скорее об обратном. Это не удивительно, если иметь в виду что в советское время атеистическое государство активно влияло на назначение архиереев, стараясь продвигать наиболее конформистских кандидатов.”
Протоиерей Николай Артемов, сторонник унии, признаёт: “По ходу процесса могут быть поправки: мы можем наткнуться на стенку и придется ощупью искать дверь. Не столько пролито света, чтобы не надо было идти ощупью”.
А для чего ощупью искать дверь?! Для меня это означает, что ещё преждевременно устанавливать евхаристическое общение с МП.
Еще не время соединяться. Причины нас разделяющие до сих пор не устранены. А главные причины следующие: 1. Анафема 1918 года на большевиков и сотрудничающих с ними. 2. Декларация митрополита Сергия 1927 г, подведшая его Синод под анафему. 3. Раскол, учиненный Сергием, похитившим не принадлежавшую ему власть и присвоившим себе титул больший, чем у митрополита Петра, заместителем которого он являлся. 4. Сомнительная каноничность епископата МП. 5. Анафема РПЦЗ экуменизму 1983 года. 6. Членство МП во ВСЦ.
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ДОБИТЬСЯ ОТСРОЧКИ МАЙСКОГО СОБОРА
Г. Ракитин, Представитель Общества Митрополита Антония на Аргентину
Наша брань не против крови и плоти, но против начальств, против властей, против мироправителей тьмы века сего, против духов злобы поднебесных. (Ефес. 6-2)
Митрополит Лавр в своем Рождественском Послании пишет: “Единение от Бога, разделение от дьявола. Методы человеконенавистника искони были, разделяй, разрушай и царствуй“.
К этому можно прибавить, что дьявол отец лжи и мастер туманить человеческий разум.
Дальше в послании следует призыв душевно готовиться к назначенному Всезарубежному Собору, на котором мы будем представлены “нами избранными делегатами“.
Как мы можем относиться к такому призыву?
Да очень просто не давать себя одурачивать!
Никто из православных не должен принимать участия в этой игре, потому что лица, организующие этот “собор“ лишены морального, а посему и канонического права на это: они совершили слишком много проступков.
Всезарубежный Собор нужно было собирать до начала переговоров с МП, для того чтобы “сохранить соборность“. А не сейчас, - когда уже все решено, - созывать Собор только чтобы придать напускную законность своим проступкам.
Священники должны ясно высказаться, не дожидаясь Собора. Но так как Синод митрополита Лавра действовал чисто по-ленински, предварительно переписав на себя приходское имущество во многих епархиях и добившись, таким образом, полной материальной зависимости духовенства, мы, миряне, должны помочь нашим батюшкам.
а) Требуя вернуть имущество приходам.
б) Проводя собрания по приходам для выражения клирикам нашей духовной поддержки.
Если еще есть епископы в Синоде митрополита Лавра, не согласные на соединение с МП и вообще с официальным курсом, они тоже должны недвусмысленно высказаться именно сейчас.
Духовенство не должно бояться запретов в служении, потому что миряне выступят в их защиту.
Поступая, таким образом, намеченный лжесобор не состоится, и даже если в Сан-Франциско соберется группа, идущая на поводке МП, то ей станет невозможным назвать такое собрание Всезарубежным Собором.
Надо добиться отсрочки майского Собора. И принеся общее покаяние, с помощью Главы Церкви, Господа нашего Иисуса Христа найти правильный выход из создавшегося положения.
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CONSEGUIR QUE SE POSPONGA EL CONCILIO DE MAYO
Jorge Rakitin. Representante de la Sociedad del Metropolitano Antonio en la Argentina
"Nuestro combate no es contra la sangre y el cuerpo, sino contra las jefaturas, contra las autoridades, contra los que rigen el mundo de la tiniebla de este siglo, contra los espiritus de la inquina bajo los cielos". (Efes. 6-2)
El metropolitano Lauro en su Carta Navidena escribe: "La union viene de Dios, la desunion del diablo. Los metodos del enemigo del hombre siempre fueron divide, destruye y reina". A esto se podria agregar que el diablo es el padre de la mentira y un maestro en el arte de enturbiar la razon humana.
Luego en la carta sigue un llamado a a preparase espiritualmente para el Concilio de Toda la Diaspora (Vsezarubezhniy Sobor) , en el cual estaremos representados por "los delegados que hemos elegido".
Que actitud podemos tomar frente a este llamado?
Muy simple no permitir que se nos tome por tontos!
Ningun ortodoxo debe tomar parte en este juego, porque los individuos que estan organizando este "sobor", no tienen el derecho moral, y por ello tampoco el derecho canonico, a convocarlo: han realizado demasiadas transgresiones.
El Concilio de Toda la Diaspora debio haberse convocado antes de empezar las negociaciones con el Patriarcado de Moscu, para asi poder conservar la "sobornost". Y no ahora, - cuando ya todo esta decidido, - convocar el Concilio tan solo para darle una patina de legalidad a las propias
Los sacerdotes deben expresarse claramente, sin esperar el Concilio. Pero como el Sinodo del Metropolitano Lauro ha actuado al mejor estilo leninista, traspasando previamente los bienes de las parroqiuias a su nombre en muchas diocesis, y logrando asi la total dependencia economica del clero, nosotros, los feligreses, debemos ayudar a nuestros sacerdotes.
a) Exigiendo la devolucion de los titulos de propiedad a las parroquias.
b) Llevando a cabo reuniones en las parroquias para expresar a los clerigos nuestro apoyo espiritual.
Si todavia quedan en el Sinodo del metropolitano Lauro obispos que no aceptan la unificacion con el Patriarcado de Moscu en particular y con el curso oficial en general, tambien deben expresarse inequivocamente en este preciso momento.
El clero no debe temer que le prohiban oficiar, porque los feligreses saldran en su defensa.
Actuando de esta manera, el proyectado falso-sobor no tendra lugar, y aun si en San Francisco se llega a juntar un grupo, cuyas riendas esten en manos del Patriarcado de Moscu, le va a resultar imposible denominar tal reunion como el Concilio de Toda la Diaspora.
Hay que lograr la postergacion del Concilio de mayo. Y realizando un acto general de contricion, con la ayuda del Jefe de la Iglesia, Nuestro Senor Jesus Cristo encontra la salida correcta a la situacion que se ha creado.
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MARTYR-KING HAROLD AND THE NORMAN CONQUEST (1066-1070)
Dr. Vladimir Moss
The Wages of Sin
The rule of St. Edward brought peace and prosperity - but a drastic decline in the moral condition of the people. Like Tsar-Martyr Nicholas of Russia, he presided over an unprecedented expansion of the Church’s influence, which spread from England to Scandinavia; and in 1066 there were probably over 10,000 churches and chapels for a population of 1.5 million, with 400 churches in Kent alone. But, again like Tsar-Martyr Nicholas, his departure, betrayed by his subjects, ushered in the fall of the nation and the triumph of the Antichrist.
Thus Edmer of Canterbury wrote of the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, just before the Conquest, that they lived "in all the glory of the world, with gold and silver and various elegant clothes, and beds with precious hangings. They had all sorts of musical instruments, which they liked playing, and horses, dogs and hawks, with which they were wont to walk. They lived, indeed, more like earls than monks."
Again, "several years before the arrival of the Normans," wrote the Anglo-Norman historian William of Malmesbury, "love of literature and religion had decayed. The clergy, content with little learning, could scarcely stammer out the words of the sacraments; a person who understood grammar was an object of wonder and astonishment. The monks mocked the Rule by their fine clothes and wide variety of foods. The nobility, devoted to luxury and lechery, did not go to church in the morning like Christians, but merely, a casual manner, attended Mattins and the Liturgy, hurried through by some priest, in their own chambers amidst the caresses of their wives. The common people, left unprotected, were prey to the powerful, who amassed fortunes by seizing their property or selling them to foreigners (although by nature this people is more inclined to self-accumulation of wealth)... Drinking bouts were a universal practice, occupying entire nights as well as days... The vices attendant on drunkenness, which enervate the human mind, resulted."
William mentions that there were some good clergy and laymen. Nevertheless, even allowing for some exaggeration, the general picture of decline is clear.
If the curse of God on a sinful people was the ultimate cause of the tragedy, the proximate causes are to be sought in the lust for power of England's external enemies, and in particular Duke William and the Pope of Rome. Duke William claimed that the kingdom of England had been bequeathed to him by King Edward. As we have seen, it was to Earl Harold, not William, that the king bequeathed the kingdom on his deathbed, and this election was confirmed by the witan immediately after King Edward’s death. However, William pointed to three facts in defence of his claim and in rejection of Harold’s.
First, there was the murder of Prince Alfred in 1036, which almost everybody ascribed to Earl Godwin, the father of Harold. However, Harold could not be blamed for the sin of his father, although that is precisely what William of Poitiers did. And there is ample evidence that King Edward had trusted Harold in a way that he had never trusted his father.
Secondly, there was the uncanonical position of Archbishop Stigand, who had been banned by the Pope and who, according to the Norman sources (but not according to the English) had crowned and anointed Harold as king. William made out that the English Church, as well as being led by an uncanonical archbishop, was in caesaropapist submission to a usurper king.
The irony is that William's own archbishop, Maurilius, had been uncanonically appointed by the Duke, who exerted a more purely caesaropapist control over his Church than any European ruler before him. But the Pope was prepared to overlook this indiscretion (and the other indiscretion of his uncanonical marriage) in exchange for his military support against the Byzantine empire and England.
Thus from 1059 the Normans were given the Pope's blessing to conquer the Greek-speaking possessions of the empire in Southern Italy in the name of St. Peter. And when that conquest was completed, they went on to invade Greece (in the 1080s), and then, during the First Crusade, the Near East, where they established the Norman kingdom of Antioch. For the Normans were the Bolsheviks of eleventh-century Europe, the military right arm of the totalitarian revolution that began in Rome in 1054.
Thirdly, and most seriously in the eyes of eleventh-century Europeans, Harold had broken the oath of fealty that he had taken to William in 1064. Now all the evidence suggests that this oath was taken under duress. Nevertheless – and even if Harold had received absolution for breaking his oath – there can be no doubt that this sin weakened his position probably more than any other factor.
When Harold was crowned king, William sent a formal protest to him, which was rejected. Then, having won the support of his nobles and clergy, he turned to the rest of Europe. Professor Douglas writes: “At some undetermined date within the first eight months of 1066 he appealed to the papacy, and a mission was sent under the leadership of Gilbert, archdeacon of Lisieux, to ask for judgement in the duke’s favour from Alexander II. No records of the case as it was heard in Rome have survived, nor is there any evidence that Harold Godwineson was ever summoned to appear in his own defence. On the other hand, the arguments used by the duke’s representatives may be confidently surmised. Foremost among them must have been an insistence on Harold’s oath, and its violation when the earl seized the throne. Something may also have been alleged against the house of Godwine by reference to the murder of the atheling Alfred in 1036, and to the counter-revolution of 1052. The duke could, moreover, point to the recent and notable ecclesiastical revival in the province of Rouen, and claim that he had done much to foster it. For these reasons, the reforming papacy might legitimately look for some advantage in any victory which William might obtain over Harold. Thus was the duke of Normandy enabled to appear as the armed agent of ecclesiastical reform against a prince who through his association with Stigand had identified himself with conditions which were being denounced by the reforming party in the Church. Archdeacon Hildebrand, therefore, came vigorously to the support of Duke William, and Alexander II was led publicly to proclaim his approval of Duke William’s enterprise.”
According to Frank McLynn, it was the argument concerning Stigand’s uncanonicity “that most interested Alexander. William pitched his appeal to the papacy largely on his putative role as the leader of the religious and ecclesiastical reform movement in Normandy and as a man who could clean the Augean stables of church corruption in England; this weighed heavily with Alexander, who, as his joust with Harald Hardrada in 1061 demonstrated, thought the churches of northern Europe far too remote from papal control. It was the abiding dream of the new ‘reformist’ papacy to be universally accepted as the arbiter of thrones and their succession; William’s homage therefore constituted a valuable precedent. Not surprisingly, Alexander gave the proposed invasion of England his blessing. It has sometimes been queried why Harold did not send his own embassy to counter William’s arguments. Almost certainly, the answer is that he thought it a waste of time on two grounds: the method of electing a king in England had nothing to do with the pope and was not a proper area for his intervention; and, in any case, the pope was now the creature of the Normans in southern Italy and would ultimately do what they ordered him to do. Harold was right: Alexander II blessed all the Norman marauding expeditions of the 1060s.
“But although papal sanction for William’s ‘enterprise of England’ was morally worthless, it was both a great propaganda and diplomatic triumph for the Normans. It was a propaganda victory because it allowed William to pose as the leader of crusaders in a holy war, obfuscating and mystifying the base, materialistic motives of his followers and mercenaries. It also gave the Normans a great psychological boost, for they could perceive themselves as God’s elect, and it is significant that none of William’s inner circle entertained doubts about the ultimate success of the English venture.
Normandy now seemed the spearhead of a confident Christianity, on the offensive for the first time in centuries, whereas earlier [Western] Christendom had been beleaguered by Vikings to the north, Hungarians to the east and Islam to the south. It was no accident that, with Hungary and Scandinavia recently Christianised, the Normans were the vanguard in the first Crusade, properly so called, against the Islamic heathens in the Holy Land.
“Alexander’s fiat was a diplomatic triumph, too, as papal endorsement for the Normans made it difficult for other powers to intervene on Harold’s side. William also pre-empted one of the potential sources of support for the Anglo-Saxons by sending an embassy to the [German] emperor Henry IV; this, too, was notably successful, removing a possible barrier to a Europe-wide call for volunteers in the ‘crusade’.”
So at the beginning of 1066 Duke William began to gather a vast army from all around Western Europe in preparation for what became, in effect, the first crusade of the heretical Roman Papacy against the Orthodox Church. The dramatic story of that fateful year was to decide the destiny of the Western Christian peoples for centuries to come. For if the English had defeated the Normans, it is likely that not only the Norman conquests in the rest of Europe would never have taken place, but also the power of the "reformed" papacy would have gone into sharp decline, enabling the forces of true Romanity to recover.
But Divine Providence judged otherwise. For their sins, the Western peoples were counted unworthy of the pearl beyond price, Holy Orthodoxy, which they had bought with such self-sacrificial enthusiasm so many centuries before.
Harold the King
The new king is described by the anonymous biographer as handsome, graceful and strong in body; and although he is implicitly critical of Harold’s behaviour in 1065 during the Northumbrian rebellion (probably reflecting the views of Queen Edith), he nevertheless calls him wise, patient, merciful, courageous, temperate and prudent in character. That he was both strong and courageous is witnessed not only by his highly successful military career but also by his pulling two men out of the quicksand during his stay with William in 1064. The fact that he was admired and trusted by most Englishmen is shown by his ascending the throne without any opposition, although he was not the strongest candidate by hereditary right. Only after his death did anyone put forward the candidacy of Prince Edgar – and that only half-heartedly. Thus on the English side there was general agreement that, in spite of his oath, he was the best man to lead the country.
He was both hated and admired by the Normans. Thus William of Poitiers admitted that he was warlike, courageous and eager for renown. Again, Ordericus Vitalis, writing some 70 years after the conquest, says that Harold "was much admired for his great stature and elegance, for his bodily strength, for his quick-wittedness and verbal facility, his sense of humour and his honest bearing."
Whatever his personal sins before he became king, he appears to have tried hard to atone for them once he ascended the throne. Perhaps under the influence of Bishop Wulfstan, he put away his mistress, the beautiful Edith “Swan-neck”, and entered into lawful marriage with the sister of Earls Edwin and Morcar, Alditha. Then, as Florence of Worcester writes, he "immediately began to abolish unjust laws and to make good ones; to patronize churches and monasteries; to pay particular reverence to bishops, abbots, monks and clerics; and to show himself pious, humble and affable to all good men. But he treated malefactors with great severity, and gave general orders to his earls, ealdormen, sheriffs and thegns to imprison all thieves, robbers and disturbances of the kingdom. He laboured in his own person by sea and by land for the protection of his realm."
Although there had been no open opposition to his consecration as king, one source indicates that “the Northumbrians, a great and turbulent folk, were not ready to submit”, just as they had not been ready to submit to King Edward. Harold needed to be sure that he had the support of the turbulent North. So early in the year he enlisted the aid of Bishop Wulfstan on a peacemaking mission to Northumbria.
“For the fame of [Wulfstan’s] holiness,” writes William of Malmesbury, “had so found a way to the remotest tribes, that it was believed that he could quell the most stubborn insolence. And so it came to pass. For those tribes, untameable by the sword, and haughty from generation to generation, yet for the reverence they bore to the Bishop, easily yielded allegiance to Harold. And they would have continued in that way, had not Tostig, as I have said, turned them aside from it. Wulfstan, good, gentle, and kindly though he was, spake not smooth things to the sinners, but rebuked their vices, and threatened them with evil to come. If they were still rebellious, he warned them plainly, they should pay the penalty in suffering. Never did his human wisdom or his gift of prophecy deceive him. Many things to come, both on that journey and at other times, did he foretell. Moreover he spake plainly to Harold of the calamities which should befall him and all England if he should not bethink himself to correct their wicked ways. For in those days the English were for the most part evil livers; and in peace and the abundance of pleasant things luxury flourished.”
In the spring and summer, as Halley's comet blazed across the sky, the two armies massed on opposite sides of the Channel. While William built a vast fleet to take his men across the Channel, King Harold kept his men under arms and at a high degree of alert all along the southern English coast. By September, William was ready; but adverse winds kept him in French ports. King Harold, however, was forced to let his men go home to bring in the harvest. The English coast was now dangerously exposed, and on September 27, taking advantage of a change in the wind, William embarked his men.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge
As if that were not enough, Harold now suffered another reverse: King Harald Hardrada of Norway, who had acquired a great reputation as a warrior in the Byzantine emperor’s army, invaded Northumbria with the aid of the English King Harold's exiled brother Tostig. According to the medieval Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson, as the Norwegian Harald was preparing to invade England, he dreamed that he was in Trondheim and met there his half-brother, St. Olaf. And Olaf told him that he had won many victories and died in holiness because he had stayed in Norway. But now he feared that he, Harald, would meet his death, "and wolves will rend your body; God is not to blame." Snorri wrote that "many other dreams and portents were reported at the time, and most of them were ominous."
After defeating Earls Edwin and Morcar at Gate Fulford on September 20, the Norwegian king triumphantly entered York, whose citizens (mainly of Scandinavian extraction) not only surrendered to him but agreed to march south with him against the rest of England.
This last betrayal, which took place in the same city in which, 760 years before, the founder of Christian Rome, St. Constantine the Great, had been proclaimed emperor by the Roman legions, was probably decisive in sealing the fate of Orthodox England.
But on September 25, after an amazingly rapid forced march from London, the English King Harold, went through York and seven miles on to Stamford Bridge, where the Norwegians and rebel English and Flemish mercenaries were encamped. After a long battle in which both sides suffered huge losses, the Norwegian army was destroyed and both Harald Hardrada and Tostig were killed. The 'C' manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ends on this high point; but Divine Providence decreed that "the end was not yet".
On October 1, while he was celebrating his victory in York, King Harold heard that William had landed at Pevensey on the south coast. Although, from a military point of view, he would probably have done better to rest and gather together a large force from all round the country while drawing William further away from his base, thereby stretching his lines of communication, Harold decided to employ the same tactics of forced marches and a lightning strike that had worked so well against the Norwegians. So he marched his men back down to London.
On the way he stopped at Waltham, a monastery he had founded and generously endowed to house the greatest holy object of the English Church - the Black Cross of Waltham. Several years before, this Cross had been discovered in the earth in response to a Divine revelation to a humble priest of Montacute in Somerset. It was placed on a cart drawn by oxen, but the oxen refused to move until the name "Waltham" was pronounced. Then the oxen moved, without any direction from men, straight towards Waltham, which was many miles away on the other side of the country. On the way, 66 miracles of healing were accomplished on sick people who venerated it, until it came to rest at the spot where King Harold built his monastery.
Only a few days before, on his way to York, King Harold had stopped at the monastery and was praying in front of the Black Cross when he received a cheering message from Abbot Ethelwine of Ramsey. King Edward the Confessor had appeared to him that night, he said, and told him of his (Harold's) affliction of both body and spirit - his anxiety for the safety of his kingdom, and the violent pain which had suddenly seized his leg. Then he said that through his intercession God had granted Harold the victory and healing from his pain. Cheered by this message, Harold received the healing of his pain, and, as we have seen, the victory.
But it was a different story on the way back. Having decided to march against the Normans without delay, Harold "went into the church of the Holy Cross and placed the relics which he had in his capella on the altar, and made a vow that if the Lord granted him success in the war he would confer on the church a mass of treasures and a great number of clerics to serve God there and that he himself would serve God as His bought slave. The clergy, therefore, who accompanied him, together with a procession which went before, came to the doors of the church where he was lying prostrate, his arms outstretched in the form of a cross in front of the Holy Cross, praying to the Crucified One.
“An extraordinary miracle then took place. For the image of the Crucifixion, which before had been erect looking upward, when it saw the king humble himself to the ground, lowered its face as if sad. The wood indeed knew the future! The sacristan Turkill claimed that he himself had seen this and intimated it to many while he was collecting and storing away the gifts which the king had placed on the altar. I received this from his mouth, and from the assertion of many bystanders who saw the head of the image erect. But no one except Turkill saw its bending down. When they saw this bad omen, overcome with great sorrow, they sent the senior and most distinguished brothers of the church, Osegood Cnoppe and Ailric Childemaister, in the company to the battle, so that when the outcome was known they might take care of the bodies of the king and those of his men who were devoted to the Church, and, if the future would have it so, bring back their corpses..."
The Battle of Hastings
On October 5, Harold was back in London with his exhausted army. Common sense dictated that he stay there until the levies he had summoned from different parts of the country arrived; but instead, to the puzzlement of commentators from the eleventh to the twentieth centuries, he pushed on by a forced march of fifty to sixty miles south, after only a few days' rest and without the much needed reinforcements. What was the reason for this crucial tactical blunder?
David Howarth has argued convincingly that the reason was that Harold now, for the first time, heard (from an envoy of William's) that he and his followers had been excommunicated by the Pope and that William was fighting with the pope's blessing and under a papal banner, with a tooth of St. Peter encrusted in gold around his neck. "This meant that he was not merely defying William, he was defying the Pope. It was doubtful whether the Church, the army and the people would support him in that defiance: at best, they would be bewildered and half-hearted. Therefore, since a battle had to be fought, it must be fought at once, without a day's delay, before the news leaked out. After that, if the battle was won, would be time to debate the Pope's decision, explain that the trial had been a travesty, query it, appeal against it, or simply continue to defy it...
"... This had become a private matter of conscience. There was one higher appeal, to the judgement of God Himself, and Harold could only surrender himself to that judgement: 'May the Lord now decide between Harold and me' [William had said]. He had been challenged to meet for the final decision and he could not evade it; in order that God might declare His judgement, he was obliged to accept the challenge in person.
"He left London in the evening of 12 October. A few friends with him who knew what had happened and still believed in him: Gyrth and his brother Leofwine, his nephew Hakon whom he had rescued from Normandy, two canons from Waltham already nervous at the miracle they had seen, two aged and respected abbots who carried chain mail above their habits, and - perhaps at a distance - Edith Svanneshals, the mother of his sons. He led the army, who did not know, the remains of his house-carls and whatever men of the fyrd had already gathered in London. The northern earls had been expected with contingents, but they had not come and he could not wait. He rode across London Bridge again and this time down the Dover road to Rochester, and then by the minor Roman road that plunged south through the Andredeswald - the forest now yellow with autumn and the road already covered with fallen leaves. The men of Kent and Sussex were summoned to meet at an ancient apple tree that stood at the junction of the tracks outside the enclave of Hastings. Harold reached that meeting place late on Friday 13, ready to face his judgement; and even while the army was forming for battle, if one may further believe the Roman de Rou, the terrible rumour was starting to spread that the King was excommuncated and the same fate hung over any man who fought for him."
The only military advantage Harold might have gained from his tactics - that of surprise - was lost: William had been informed of his movements. And so, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says, it was William who, early on the morning of October 14, "came upon him unexpectedly before his army was set in order. Nevertheless the king fought against him most resolutely with those men who wished to stand by him, and there was great slaughter on both sides. King Harold was slain, and Leofwine, his brother, and Earl Gurth, his brother, and many good men. The French had possession of the place of slaughter, as God granted them because of the nation's sins..."
Why did the chronicler say: "with those men who wished to stand by him"? Because many did not wish to stay with him when they learned of the Pope's anathema. And yet many others stayed, including several churchmen.
Why did they stay, knowing that they stood to lose, not only their bodies, but also, if the anathema was true - their eternal souls? Very few probably knew about the schism of 1054 between Rome and Constantinople or about the theological arguments - over the Filioque, over unleavened bread at the Liturgy, over the supposed universal jurisdiction of the Pope - that led to the schism of 1054. Still fewer, if any, could have come to the firm conclusion that Rome was wrong and Constantinople was right. That Harold had perjured himself in coming to the throne was generally accepted - and yet they stayed with him.
In following King Harold, the Englishmen who fought and died at Hastings were following their hearts rather than their heads. Their hearts told them that, whatever the sins of the king and the nation, he was still their king and this was still their nation. Surely God would not want them to desert these at the time of their greatest need, in a life-and-death struggle against a merciless foreign invader? Perhaps they remembered the words of Archbishop Wulfstan of York: "By what means shall peace and comfort come to God's servants and God's poor, but through Christ and through a Christian king?" Almost certainly they were drawn by a grace-filled feeling of loyalty to the Lord's Anointed; for the English were exceptional in their continuing veneration for the monarchy, which in other parts had been destroyed by the papacy.
The English might also have reflected that this day, October 14, was the feast of St. Callistus, a third-century Pope who was considered by many Roman Christians of his time (including St. Hippolytus) to be a schismatic anti-pope. If that Pope could have been a schismatic, was there not much more reason to believe that this one was schismatic, too, being under the anathema of the Great Church of Constantinople and presuming as he did to dispose of kingdoms as he did churches and blessing the armed invasion of peaceful Christian countries by uninvited foreigners? And if so, then was it not they, the Normans, who were the schismatics, while the true Christians were those who refused to obey their false decrees and anathemas?
In any case, after the battle very few Englishman fled to Old Rome, the traditional refuge of English exiles. They preferred, as we have seen, the Orthodox capitals of Constantinople and Russia!
The Burial of King Harold
After Hastings, William could claim that God had decided between him and Harold in his favour. And yet even his Norman bishops were not so sure. Thus in a conciliar enactment of 1070, which Sir Frank Stenton called "a remarkable episode", they imposed penances on all of William's men who had taken part in the battle - in spite of the fact that they had fought with the Pope's blessing!
William's actions just after the battle were unprecedentedly cruel and impious. Thus he refused to give the body of King Harold, hideously mutilated by the Normans, to his mother for burial, although she offered him the weight of the body in gold. Eventually, the monks of Waltham, with the help of Harold's former mistress, Edith "Swan-neck", found the body and buried it, as was thought, in Waltham. However, they did this furtively, in secret. For the Normans wanted by all means to stop the body of the Orthodox king from becoming a centre of resistance for the English.
There is now compelling evidence that a mutilated body discovered in a splendid coffin in Godwin's family church at Bosham on March 25 / April 7, 1954 is in fact the body of the last Orthodox king of England. In fact, two royal coffins were found on that date. One was found to contain the bones of the daughter of a previous king of England, Canute, who had drowned at a young age. The other, "magnificently furnished" coffin contained the bones of a middle-aged man, but with no head and with several of the bones fractured. It was supposed that these were the bones of Earl Godwin, the father of King Harold.
For several years no further attention was paid to this discovery. However, just recently a local historian, John Pollock, has re-examined all the evidence relating to the bones in the second coffin and has come to the conclusion that they belong to none other than King Harold himself.
He points out, first, that they could not belong to Earl Godwin, because, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Godwin was buried in Winchester, not Bosham.
Secondly, the bones are in a severely mutilated state, which does not accord with what we know about Godwin's death. However, this does accord with what we know about King Harold's death, for he was savagely hacked to pieces by four knights on the field of battle. As the earliest account of the battle that we have, by Guy, Bishop of Amiens, says: "With the point of his lance the first (William) pierced Harold's shield and then penetrated his chest, drenching the ground with his blood, which poured out in torrents. With his sword the second (Eustace) cut off his head, just below where his helmet protected him. The third (Hugh) disembowelled him with his javelin. The fourth (Walter Giffard) hacked off his leg at the thigh and hurled it far away. Struck down in this way, the dead body lay on the ground." Moreover, the Bayeux Tapestry clearly shows the sword of one of the knights cutting into the king's left thigh - and one of the bones in the coffin is precisely a fractured left thigh bone.
Thirdly, although some sources say that Harold was buried in the monastery he founded at Waltham, his body has never been found there or anywhere else in spite of extensive searches. However, the most authoritative of the sources, William of Poitiers, addresses the dead Harold thus: "Now you lie there in your grave by the sea: by generations yet unborn of English and Normans you will ever be accursed..." The church at Bosham is both by the sea and not far from the field of battle...
Therefore it is eminently likely that the grieving monks who gathered up the remains of King Harold's body buried them in his own, family church by the sea at Bosham. But this was done in secret, because the Normans did not want any public veneration of the king they hated so much, and the Church could not tolerate pilgrimages to the grave of this, the last powerful enemy of the "reformed Papacy" in the West. And so the rumour spread that Harold had survived the battle and had become a secret hermit in the north - a rumour that we can only now reject with certainty, thanks to the important research of John Pollock.
William the King
After Hastings, William made slow, S-shaped progress through Kent, Surrey, Hampshire and across the Thames at Wallingford to Berkhamstead north of London. As he was approaching London, near St. Alban's, the shrine of the protomartyr of Britain, he found the road blocked, according to Matthew of Paris, "by masses of great trees that had been felled and drawn across the road. The Abbot of St. Albans was sent for to explain these demonstrations, who, in answer to the king's questions, frankly and fearlessly said, 'I have done the duty appertaining to my birth [he was of royal blood] and calling; and if others of my rank and profession had performed the like, as they well could and ought, it had not been in thy power to penetrate into the land so far.' Not long after, that same Frederic was at the head of a confederacy, determined, if possible, to compel William to reign like a Saxon prince, that is, according to the ancient laws and customs, or to place... Edgar Atheling in his room. William submitted for a time, and, in a great council at Berkhamstead, swore, upon all the relics of the church of St. Albans, that he would keep the laws in question, the oath being administered by Abbot Frederic. In the end, however, the Conqueror grew strong to be coerced by any measures, however nationally excellent or desirable, and he does not seem to have cared much about oath breaking, unless it was he who had enacted the oath, - the unhappy Harold, for instance, found that no light matter - and so William became more oppressive than ever. St. Albans, as might have been anticipated, suffered especially from his vengeance, he seized all its lands that lay between Barnet and Londonstone, and was with difficulty prevented from utterly ruining the monastery. As it was, the blow was enough for Frederic, who died of grief in the monastery of Ely, whither he had been compelled to flee."
In November the Conqueror stayed in Canterbury, from which Archbishop Stigand had fled in order to join the national resistance in London. One night, St. Dunstan was seen leaving the church by some of the brethren. When they tried to detain him he said: "I cannot remain here on account of the filth of your evil ways and crimes in the church." The first church of the kingdom did not long survive St. Dunstan's departure. On December 6, 1067, it was burned to the ground...
William continued his march, systematically devastating the land as he passed through it. Early in December he was in Southwark, burnt it, and drove off Prince Edgar's troops at London Bridge. Important defections from the English side began to take place. The first was Edith, King Edward's widow and King Harold's sister, who gave him the key city of Winchester. Then Archbishop Stigand submitted to him at Wallingford. And at Berkhamstead, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, "he was met by Bishop Aldred [of York], Prince Edgar, Earl Edwin, Earl Morcar, and all the best men from London, who submitted out of necessity."
Finally, on Christmas Day - how fateful has that day been, both for good and ill, in English history! - he was crowned king by Archbishop Aldred; "and William gave a pledge on the Gospels, and swore an oath besides, before Aldred would place the crown on his head, that he would govern this nation according to the best practice of his predecessors if they would be loyal to him."
The Londoners also suffered from their new master. During William's coronation service, Archbishop Aldred first asked the English in English if it was their will that William be made king. They assented. Then Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, addressed the Normans in French with the same question. When they, too, assented, those who were standing guard outside the Abbey became alarmed because of the shouting, and started to set fire to the city. Professor Allen Brown writes: "Orderic Vitalis, in a vivid passage, describes how panic spread within the church as men and women of all degrees pressed to the doors in flight, and only a few were left to complete the coronation of King William, who, he says, was 'violently trembling'. For William this must indeed have been the one terrifying moment of his life... He believed implicitly in his right to England, and God had seemed to favour that right and to deliver His judgement on the field of Hastings. And now, at the supreme moment of anointing and sanctification at his coronation, when the Grace of God should come upon him and make him king and priest, there came a great noise, and the windows of the abbey church lit up with fire, and people fled all about him. It must have seemed to him then that in spite of all previous signs and portents he was wrong, unworthy, that his God had turned against him and rejected both him and his cause, and it is no wonder that he trembled until the awful moment had passed and the world came right again."
After the festivities, the Conqueror imposed "a very heavy tax" on the people. Then, after giving instructions for the building of castles all over the land, he returned to Normandy taking all the chief men of England with him as hostages.
The Harrowing of the North
In December, 1067, he returned to England, and quickly put down rebellions in Kent and Herfordshire. Then a more serious rebellion broke out in Exeter. Thither he marched with a combined army of Normans and Englishmen, and after a siege of eighteen days the city surrendered; which was followed by the submission of the Celts of Cornwall, and the cities of Gloucester and Bristol.
Meanwhile, in the North resistance was gathering around Earl Morcar, who had been allowed to return from Normandy; and there was a threat of interventions by King Malcolm of Scotland, who was sheltering Prince Edgar and had married his sister Margaret, and King Swein of Denmark. After spending Pascha at Winchester, William marched swiftly north and built castles in Warwick and York, where he received the submission of the local magnates and secured a truce with the Scottish king. Then he turned southward to secure the submission of Lincoln, Huntingdon and Cambridge.
But on January 28, 1069, the Norman whom William had appointed earl of Northumbria north of the Tees was attacked in the streets of Durham and burnt to death in the house of Bishop Ethelwine. This was followed by an uprising in York, and Prince Edgar prepared to move from Scotland. William, however, moved more swiftly, dispersing the besiegers of York castle, taking vengeance on the rebels and appointing Gospatric as earl.
In early summer, 1069, he returned to Normandy; but almost immediately a Danish fleet of about two hundred and forty ships sailed into the Humber. Combining with Edgar, Gospatric and Waltheof, they destroyed the Norman garrison at York, and then encamped on the southern shore of the Humber, fortifying the Isle of Axholme. This was the signal for other uprisings in Dorset and under Edric the Wild in the Welsh Borders.
The great French historian Thierry writes of this northern campaign: "The conquering army, whose divisions covered a space of a hundred miles, traversed this territory.. in all directions, and the traces of their passage through it were deeply imprinted. The old historians relate that, from the Humber to the Tyne, not a piece of cultivated land, not a single inhabited village remained. The monasteries which had escaped the ravages of the Danish pagans, that of St. Peter near Wear, and that of Whitby inhabited by women, were profaned and burned. To the south of the Humber, according to the early narrators, the ravage was no less dreadful. They say, in their passionate language, that between York and the eastern sea, every living creature was put to death, from man to beast, excepting only those who took refuge in the church of St. John the archbishop [of York, +721], at Beverley. This John was a saint of the English race; and, on the approach of the conquerors, a great number of men and women flocked, with all that they had most valuable, round the church dedicated to their blessed countryman, in order that, remembering in heaven that he was a Saxon, he might protect them and their property from the fury of the foreigner. The Norman camp was then seven miles from Beverley. It was rumoured that the church of St. John was the refuge of the rich and depository of the riches of the country. Some adventurous scouts, who by the contemporary history are denominated knights, set out under the command of one Toustain, in order to be the first to seize the prize. They entered Beverley without resistance; marched to the church-yard, where the terrified crowd were assembled; and passed its barriers, giving themselves not more concern about the Saxon saint than about the Saxons who invoked him. Toustain, the chief of the band, casting his eye over the groups of English, observed an old man richly clad, with gold bracelets in the fashion of his nation. He galloped towards him with his sword drawn, and the terrified old man fled to the church: Toustain pursued him; but he had scarcely passed the gates, when, his horse's feet slipping on the pavement, he was thrown off and stunned by the fall. At the sight of their captain half dead, the rest of the Normans turned round; and their imaginations being excited, hastened full of dread to relate this terrible example of the power of John of Beverley. When the army passed through, no one dared again to tempt the vengeance of the blessed saint; and.. the territory of his church alone remained covered with habitations and produce, in the midst of the devastated country...
"... Famine, like a faithful companion of the conquest, followed their footsteps. From the year 1067, it had been desolating some provinces, which alone had then been conquered; but in 1069 it extended itself through the whole of England and appeared in all its horror in the newly conquered territories. The inhabitants of the province of York and the country to the north, after feeding on the horses which the Norman army abandoned on the roads, devoured human flesh. More than a hundred thousand people, of all ages, died of want in these countries."
In the wake of the secular armies came the ecclesiastical. Thus new monasteries were founded by the Conqueror and peopled with Norman monks. Or the monks of the old monasteries were simply slaughtered to make way for the new. For example, at Stone near Stafford on the Trent, as Thierry writes, "there was a small oratory, where two nuns and a priest passed their days in praying in honour of a Saxon saint called Wolfed. All three were killed by one Enisant, a soldier of the conquering army, 'which Enisant,' says the legend, 'killed the priest and the two nuns, that his sister whom he had brought with him might have the church.'"
Professor Douglas writes: "An eleventh-century campaign was inevitably brutal, but the methods here displayed were widely regarded as exceptional and beyond excuse, even by those who were otherwise fervent admirers of the Norman king... 'I am more disposed to pity the sorrows and sufferings of the wretched people than to undertake the hopeless task of screening one who was guilty of such wholesale massacre by lying flatteries. I assert moreover that such barbarous homicide should not pass unpunished.' Such was the view of a monk in Normandy. A writer from northern England supplies more precise details of the horrible incidents of the destruction, and recalls the rotting and putrefying corpses which littered the highways of the afflicted province. Pestilence inevitably ensued, and an annalist of Evesham tells how refugees in the last state of destitution poured into the little town. Nor is it possible to dismiss these accounts as rhetorical exaggeration, for twenty years later Domesday Book shows the persisting effects of the terrible visitation, and there is evidence that these endured until the reign of Stephen..."
Archbishop Aldred of York died, broken-hearted, on September 11, 1069, in the burnt-out shell of his metropolitan see - but not before he had gone to William and publicly cursed him for breaking his coronation oath...
Bishop Wulfstan of Worcester meekly accepted the Conqueror's rule; and he was now sent to pacify Chester, being the only bishop to whom the people of that north-western province, the last to be conquered by the Normans, would be likely to listen. His surrender, more than any other, signified the end of the English resistance. For while bands of fugitives continued to struggle in different parts of the country, particularly in the Fens under the famous Hereward the Wake, Wulfstan was the last Englishman of nation-wide renown around whom a national resistance could have formed.
Before leaving events in the north, we should not forget to mention the influence of the greatest saint of the north, St. Cuthbert (+687). After the violent death of William's appointee, Robert Comin, in Durhan, another expedition was sent by William to restore order. But St. Cuthbert's power, which had terrified unholy kings in the past, had not abandoned his people.
For the expedition, writes C.J. Stranks, "was turned back by a thick mist, sent for the protection of his people by St. Cuthbert, when the army reached Northallerton. Then the king himself came. The frightened monks [led by Bishop Ethelwine of Durham] decided to take refuge at Lindisfarne and, of course, to take the body of their saint with them. When they reached the shore opposite to the island night had fallen and there was a storm raging. It looked as if their way was blocked, for the sea covered the causeway. They were tired and frightened and at their wits' end, when miraculously, as it seemed to them, the sea withdrew and the path to the island lay open...
"Their stay was not long, for they were back in Durham by the beginning of Lent, 1070. Two years later William the Conqueror himself felt the saint's power. He was staying in Durham for a little while on his way home from Scotland in order to begin building the castle there. Perhaps he had heard of the flight to Lindisfarne, for he thought it necessary to take an oath of the monks that St. Cuthbert's body was really at Durham. But he was still not convinced, and ordered that the tomb should be opened on All Saints' Day, threatening that if the body was not there he would execute all the officers of the monastery. The day arrived. Mass was begun, when suddenly the king was seized by a violent fever. It was obvious that the saint was angry at his temerity. William left the church, mounted his horse and never looked back until he had crossed the Tees and was safely out of the Patrimony of St. Cuthbert..."
Meanwhile, Bishop Ethelwine decided to flee Norman England. He tried to set sail for Cologne, but adverse winds drove his ship to Scotland, where he spent the winter. In 1071, however, he headed for Ely, where the English were to make their last stand…
The Last Stand of the English
In 1071 the last remnants of the English resistance, led by Earls Edwin, Morcar and Siward and Bishop Ethelwine of Durham, sought refuge in the island monastery of Ely in East Anglia. There, under the leadership of Hereward the Wake, they made frequent sallies against William's men. When William heard of this, he invested the island and started to build a causeway towards it.
However, Hereward's men put up a strong resistance, and the "most Christian" King William then resorted to a most infamous tactic - he called in a witch, put her onto a tower over the fens and ordered her to cast spells on the English. But this, too, failed to work - the English launched a successful counter-attack, and the witch fell from her tower and broke her neck. Finally, it was through the abbot and monks (with the connivance of Early Morcar) that William conquered the stronghold; for, considering it "their sacred duty," as the Book of Ely put it, "to maintain their magnificent temple of God and St. Etheldreda", they came to terms with William, and in exchange for promises that their lands would be restored and confirmed, they guided the Normans secretly into the rebel stronghold.
Hereward and his men made their escape; but others were not so fortunate. As Kightly writes, many must have wondered "whether surrender had been such a good idea after all. 'The king caused all the defenders to be brought before him, first the leaders and then anyone else of rank or fame. Some he sent to perpetual imprisonment' - among them the deluded Morcar, Siward and Bishop Aethelwine - 'others he condemned to lose their eyes, their hands or their feet' - William rarely hanged men, preferring to give them time for repentance - 'while most of the lesser folk he released unpunished.' Then, to ensure that Ely would not trouble him again, he ordered that a castle be built in the monastic precinct (where its mound still stands)..."
"Next, going to the abbey, 'he stood as far as possible from the tomb of the holy Etheldreda, and threw a gold piece to her altar: he dared not go any closer, because he feared the judgement of God on the wrong he was doing to her shrine.' And well he might, for though the monks kept their estates and their English abbot, King William soon found an excuse to levy an immense fine on them, so that they were forced to sell almost all the adornments of their church: when their payment proved a few coins short, he increased his demands still further, and they lost the few treasures that remained. 'But even after all this,' mourns the Ely Book, 'no one believed that they would be left in peace' - and nor were they."
After further adventures, Hereward was eventually reconciled with William. However, another English leader, Earl Waltheof, was not so fortunate. He had joined a conspiracy of Normans and Saxons which was defeated in battle, and was executed at Winchester on May 31, 1076, just as he finished praying: "... and lead us not into temptation." “And then, goes the story, in the hearing of all, the head, in a clear voice, finished the prayer, ‘But deliver us from evil. Amen.’” He was buried at Crowland, and according to Abbot Wulfketyl of Crowland many miracles took place at his tomb, including the rejoining of his head to his body. However, veneration of him as a saint was not permitted by the Norman authorities: Wulketyl was tried for idolatry (!) before a council in London, defrocked, and banished to Glastonbury...
*) The Fall of Orthodo England, Vladimir Moss, St Michael's Press, England, 2004, pp.305, pg. 120-163. - http://www.cafepress.com/orthodoxbook04 , $19.99
 Loyn, H.R. Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest, London: Longmans, 1970, p. 254; G. Ward, Archaeologica Cantiana, vol. XLV, p. 89.
 Life of St. Dunstan; quoted in Antonia Gransden, "1066 and All That Revisited", History, September, 1988, p. 48.
 Gesta Regum Anglorum, slightly modified from the translation in Gransden, op. cit.
 See Walker, op. cit., p. 138.
 Frank McLynn writes (op. cit., p. 182) that Harold’s alleged perjury was “irrelevant because, even if Harold did actually swear the most mighty oath on the most sacred relics, this neither bound Edward in his bequest nor the witan in its ratification; whatever Harold said or did not say, it had no binding power in the matter of the succession.”
6] William the Conqueror, op. cit., p. 187. What would have happened if William had lost? John Hudson speculates that “the reformers in the papacy, who had backed William in his quest for the English throne, might have lost their momentum. Normandy would have been greatly weakened…” (“The Norman Conquest”, BBC History Magazine, vol. 4, no. 1, January, 2003, p. 23). In other words, the whole course of European history might have been changed.
 McLynn, op. cit., pp. 182-183.
 On Harold’s “marriage”, more Danico, to Edith, and in general on his personal life and character, see Walker, op. cit., chapter 8.
 Florence of Worcester, Chronicle; translated in D.C. Douglas & G.W. Greenway (eds.) English Historical Documents, Eyre & Spottiswood, vol. II, p. 212.
 William of Malmesbury, Vita Wulstani, p. 33.
 William of Malmesbury, Vita Wulstani, p. 34.
12] King Harald's Saga, 82; translated by Magnusson & Palsson, Harmondsworth: Pengun books, 1966. Harald of Norway was married to the Kievan princess Elizabeth - another example of the extensive links between the Varangians of Russia and other parts of North-West Europe.
 R. Allen Brown, The Normans and the Norman Conquest, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1985, p. 135. For an account more favourable to the Northumbrians, see Walker, op. cit.
 The story is recounted in the twelfth-century manuscript, De Inventione Crucis, edited by Bishop Stubbs, Oxford, 1861. See V. Moss, Saints of Anglo-Saxon England, op. cit., volume III, pp. 55-66.
 Vita Haroldi, chapter 10.
 De Inventione Crucis, chapter 21.
 For the view that this was not in fact a blunder, see Walker, op. cit., pp. 169-174.
 Howarth, op. cit., pp. 164-165.
 D, 1066. As William of Malmesbury said, the English "were few in numbers, but brave in the extreme". Even the Normans admitted that the battle had been desperately close. If King Harold had not been hit in the eye by a stray arrow, the result may well have been different. But Divine Providence judged otherwise, as the chronicler said, “because of the nation’s sins”.
 The Institutes of Polity, 2; translated in Michael Swanton (ed.) Anglo-Saxon Prose, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1993, p. 188.
 "Indeed," writes Loyn, "the pre-eminence of the monarchy, for all the political vicissitudes involving changes of dynasty, is the outstanding feature that strikes the careful student of eleventh-century England" (op. cit., p. 214).
 Anglo-Saxon England, Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 653. See also J.E. Cross, "The Ethic of War in Old English", in Clemoes and Hughes, op. cit., p. 282.
 Pollock, op. cit.
 The church at Bosham is also depicted on the Bayeux tapestry, from which Harold is seen setting out on his fateful journey to Normandy in 1064.
 Translated in Old England: A Pictorial Museum of Regal, Ecclesiastical, Baronial, Municipal and Other Popular Antiquities, 1845, reprinted by Arno Press, New York, 1978, p. 195.
 Osbern of Canterbury, Vita Dunstani; in Bishops Stubbs, Memorials of St. Dunstan, Rolls series, 1874, p. 142.
 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, D, 1066.
 Allen Brown, op. cit., p. 158.
 Thierry, History of the Conquest of England by the Normans, London: Dent, 1840, volume I, pp. 214-217.
 Probably St. Wulfhad, a Mercian prince who, together with his brother St. Rufinus, was martyred by the pagan Mercian king in the seventh century. See V. Moss, Saints of England’s Golden Age, Etna, Ca.: Center for Traditionalist Studies, 1997, pp. 108-128.
 Thierry, op. cit., p. 224.
 Douglas, William the Conqueror, op. cit., p. 221.
 Stranks, The Life and Death of St. Cuthbert, London: SPCK, 1964, pp. 34-35.
 Charles Kightly, "The English Resistance", in Folk Heroes of Britain, London: Thames & Hudson, 1982, pp. 133-134.
35] Kightly, op. cit., p. 139.
 Kightly, op. cit., p. 140.
(37] Forrest S. Scott, “Earl Waltheof of Northumbria”, Archaeologia Aeliana, 1952, vol. 30, p. 207.
 William of Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum Anglorum; Scott, op. cit., p. 204.
* * *
ТАЙНА ЛИЧНОСТИ ЦАРЯ.
Священник Кирилл Зайцев (Архим. Константин) (Продолжение см. № 27-32)
Ведь, то, что произошло в Петербурге, не был «бунт»: то была «Революция!» Ее надо было умилостивлять уступками, возможно скорыми, мгновенными, способными остановить возгорающийся ее аппетит. Стоя у одного конца прямого провода, Родзянко волновался и негодовал по поводу того, что Царь недостаточно быстро реагирует на его требования об уступках. К сожалению, у другого конца этого провода не было людей, способных оборвать бесплодные речи и без всяких околичностей поставить себя в распоряжение Царя… «Революция» и в Ставке, в глазах окружавших Царя генералов, была уже не просто силой внешней и вражеской, а она была авторитетом. Этот авторитет давил на их волю, на их совесть. Самодержавный Царь был уже как бы чем-то отжившим, устарелым, выходящим в тираж. «Будущее», шло ему на смену – какое, никто толком не знал и не понимал, но, во всяком случае, далекое от навыков и традиций прошлого. В глазах даже этого – «генеральского» – общества, судьба России бесповоротно отделилась от судьбы «самодержавия». Царь один этого не понимал!…
Да! Царь этого не понимал. Он готов был восстановить порядок самыми крутыми мерами – и тем спасти Россию.
- Я берег не самодержавную власть, - сказал он старому другу своей семьи, Фредериксу, - а Россию.
В этом убеждении он оказался одинок. Ближайшее окружение его стало на сторону «Бунта» и свои устремления направило на соглашательство с ним.
Психологическую опору это настроение находило в убеждении, принявшем в то психологически-больное время форму навязчивой идеи, будто Царь, и особенно Царица, препятствуют нормальному ведению войны! Измена Царю тем самым облеклась в патриотический покров. Убрать Царя и Царицу – в этом намерении сходились и «бунтовщики» и «патриоты». Что было делать Царю?
Оставалась одна надежда спасти Россию: признать, что, действительно, по каким то непонятным, но вполне реальным причинам, лично он с Царицей являются помехой для успокоения России и для срочного возврата ее на путь бесперебойного продолжения войны.
Уйти – уступить место на Троне другому и тем образумить Россию. Пред этим решением склонился Царь, как перед необходимостью, определяемой обстоятельствами непреодолимыми. Как мог Царь поступить иначе, когда на этот путь толкали его не только настойчивость петербургского прямого провода, но и армия!
Не кто иной, как генерал Алексеев, предложил Государю разослать запросы главнокомандующим фронтами по вопросу об отречении от престола. Самая форма запроса с несомненностью показывала, что ближайший к Государю человек ищет у своих помощников поддержки своему настойчивому совету. В запросе было прямо сказано: «Обстановка, по-видимому, не допускает иного решения»». Ответы были единогласны. Не составил исключения и ответ великого князя Николая Николаевича. Бывший Верховный телеграфировал:
«Считаю необходимым, по долгу присяги, коленопреклоненно молить Ваше Величество спасти Россию и Вашего Наследника. Осенив себя крестным знамением, передайте ему Ваше наследство. Другого выхода нет».
Запросы и ответы датированы 2 мартом 1917 г. В этот же день Государь телеграфировал Председателю Государственной Думы: «Нет той жертвы, которую я не принес бы во имя действительного блага и для спасения России. Посему я готов отречься от престола в пользу моего сына, при регентстве брата моего Михаила».
Судьба России была решена. С этого момента – спасения для нее не было. Генерал Алексеев едва ли не первый протрезвел, - но было поздно. Уже 3-го марта он сокрушенно говорил: «Никогда не прошу себе, что поверил в искренность некоторых лиц, послушался их и послал телеграмму главнокомандующим по вопросу об отречения Государя от престола.
Царь только в одном изменил свое решение: он отрекся и за себя и за сына. Можно думать, что не только соображения о здоровье Наследника играли здесь роль. Вероятно, приняты были во внимание и соображения государственные: раз необходимость отречения диктовалась отрицательным отношением «народа» к личности Царя и Царицы – не лучше ли было власть передать лицу совершеннолетнему, а не отроку, неотделимому от родителей? Вообще удивительна та собранность мысли и рассудительность поведения, которые проявил отрекающийся от престола Монарх: он все сделал, чтобы облегчить положение своим преемникам по власти.
Вот, как об этом говорится в изданном кн. Д.Д. Оболенским очерке, посвященном Государю Императору Николаю II и составленном по материалам, собранным «старым профессором»: «Он сделал все от него зависящее, чтобы обеспечить своим преемникам успех в борьбе с внешним врагом и внутренними беспорядками. Понимая отлично, что регент не будет иметь того авторитета, как Император, что лица, способствовавшие перевороту, всегда будут бояться возмездия со стороны сына низложенного Императора, Император Николай II изменил первоначальную мысль об отказе в пользу сына и отказался в пользу брата. Мало того, он указал брату путь сближения с народным представительством (присяга конституции, ответственный кабинет). Он дал приказ Армии и Флоту бороться до конца за Россию в единении с союзниками и повиноваться Временному Правительству (без этого приказа многие офицеры не принесли бы ему присяги). Он успел до отречения назначить Главнокомандующим Великого князя Николая Николаевича и Председателем Совета Министров – кн. Г.Е. Львова, которого Государственная Дума намечала на этот пост, именно для того назначил, чтобы оставшиеся верными Государю могли со спокойной совестью подчиниться тем, кому повиновением обязал их сам Государь. Все было обдумано, все взвешено…»
Государь, покидая Трон, поглощен был мыслью о том, как пойдут дела на фронте. Война была в центре его жизни. «И подумать только, - сказал он с печалью одному из офицеров свиты, - что теперь, когда я уже больше не Император, мне не позволят даже сражаться за мою родину». С какою болью в сердце отрывался от армии ее Державный Вождь, с какой тягостной заботой: будут ли также думать о нуждах доблестных защитников России теперь, когда не будет его неусыпного глаза?
Ген. Н.М. Тихменев, начальник военных сообщений театра военных действий во время Великой войны, передавая свои воспоминания о последнем прощании Государя со своими сотрудниками по Ставке, отмечает, между прочим, прощальные слова, обращенные Государем к нему и к главному полевому интенданту ген. Егорьеву. Как характерны эти слова! Подав обоим руку, и на секунду задумавшись, Государь, рассказывает Тихменев, потом, подняв на меня глаза и глядя в упор, сказал: «помните же, Тихменев, что я говорил вам, непременно перевезите все, что нужно для армии», и, обращаясь к Егорьеву: «а вы непременно достаньте; теперь это нужно больше, чем когда-либо. Я говорю вам, - что я не сплю, когда думаю, что армия голодает».
А прощальное обращение Царя к Армии?
Нельзя без волнения читать его. Какое беспредельное самоотвержение звучит в нем, какая преданность долгу обороны страны! Страшным укором должен был прозвучать этот прощальный Царский привет войскам по адресу тех, кто боролся с Царем, сверг его и занял его место. Не этим ли объясняется, что обращение Царя, опубликованное ген. Алексеевым по Армии, не допущено было Временным Правительством к распространению?…
Вот этот исторический документ:
«Я последний раз обращаюсь к вам горячо любимые мной войска. После отречения мною за себя и за сына от престола Российского, власть передана Временному Правительству, по почину Государственной Думы возникшему. Да поможет ему Бог вести Россию по пути славы и благоденствия. Да поможет Бог и вам, доблестные войска, отстоять нашу Родину от злого врага… Эта небывалая война должна быть доведена до полной победы.
«Кто думает теперь о мире, кто желает его – тот изменник Отечества, его предатель. Знаю, что каждый честный воин так и мыслит. Исполняйте же ваш долг, защищайте же доблестно нашу Великую Родину, повинуйтесь Временному Правительству, слушайтесь ваших начальников, помните, что всякое послабление порядка службы только на руку врагу.
«Твердо верю, что не угасла в ваших сердцах беспредельная любовь к нашей Великой Родине. Да благословит вас Господь Бог и да ведет вас к победе Святой Великомученик и Победоносец Георгий.
8 марта 1917 г. Ставка».
Для уходящего Царя думы о России неотделимы были от исповедания Православной Веры: только под св. стягом Великомученика Георгия мыслил он победу! Не так уже думала и чувствовала Россия. Простившись с Царем, Россия прощалась и с верою отцов.
«Россия никогда не будет побеждена, и это не столько благодаря обширной своей территории, сколько благодаря душе своего народа, которая все будет гореть, и страдать, страдать и гореть. Русские могут потерять весь мир, но они сохранят свою душу».
Так писал во время Великой войны архиепископ Лондонский, передавая своим единоплеменникам и единоверцам то реальное впечатление, которое испытывал каждый вдумчивый и чуткий иностранец, прикасавшийся к России. Так оно и было. Теперь, с отказом от Царя, Россия отрекалась и от своей души.
«Помни, Россия, - восклицал в середине XIX века, в разгар Великих Реформ, в бытность его еще архимандритом, знаменитый церковно-православный проповедник, епископ Иоанн (Смоленский), - что в тот день, когда ты посягнешь на свою веру, ты посягнешь на свою жизнь…»
Этот день наступил с вынужденным уходом Царя, с отречением от него русского народа. Вот, когда мог русский народ восклицать, обливаясь слезами: «Погибаем, погибаем…» Ибо подлинно «закатилось Солнце Земли Русской».
* * *
THE ABDICATION OF THE TSAR
Dr. Vladimir Moss
“Terrible and mysterious,” wrote Metropolitan Anastasy, second leader of the Russian Church Abroad, “is the dark visage of the revolution. Viewed from the vantage point of its inner essence, it is not contained within the framework of history and cannot be studied on the same level as other historical facts. In its deepest roots it transcends the boundaries of space and time, as was determined by Gustave le Bon, who considered it an irrational phenomenon in which certain mystical, supernatural powers were at work. But what before may have been considered dubious became completely obvious after the Russian Revolution. In it everyone sensed, as one contemporary writer expressed himself, the critical incarnation of absolute evil in the temper of man; in other words, the participation of the devil – that father of lies and ancient enemy of God, who tries to make man his obedient weapon against God – was clearly revealed.”
The event that triggered the revolution was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas. “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” says St. Paul; “only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way” (II Thess. 2.7). Since “he who restrains”, according to the interpretation of St. John Chrysostom and the Holy Fathers, is lawful monarchical power, the removal of that power must usher in “the mystery of lawlessness”, the revolution.
On February 21, a 14-year-old Kievan novice, Olga Zosimovna Boiko, fell into a deep trance which lasted for exactly forty days and during which many mysteries were revealed to her. One of these was the coming abdication of the Tsar. And she saw the following: “In blinding light on an indescribably wonderful throne sat the Saviour, and next to Him on His right hand – our sovereign, surrounded by angels. His Majesty was in full royal regalia: a radiant white robe, a crown, with a sceptre in his hand. And I heard the martyrs talking amongst themselves, rejoicing that the last times had come and that their number would be increased.
“They said that they would be tormented for the name of Christ and for refusing to accept the seal [of the Antichrist], and that the churches and monasteries would soon be destroyed, and those living in the monasteries would be driven out, and that not only the clergy and monastics would be tortured, but also all those who did not want to receive ‘the seal’ and would stand for the name of Christ, for the Faith and the Church.”
The abdication of Tsar Nicholas on March 2, 1917 (old style) was the single most important event in modern history; its consequences are still reverberating to the present day. And yet it remains in many ways shrouded in mystery. For there is no consensus on several critical questions raised by it, such as: Did the Tsar in fact abdicate? Did he have the right to abdicate? Was he right to abdicate?
In the months leading up to the abdication, the Tsar was put under increasing pressure by the political and military leaders of Russia. They were convinced that his abdication in favour of a government “responsible to the people”, i.e. a constitutional monarchy or parliamentary democracy, would bring peace and prosperity to the country. But Nicholas, with his deeper knowledge of God’s ways and his country’s needs, was doubtful, repeatedly asking: "Are you confident that my abdication will save Russia from bloodshed?"
They reassured him that it would. But the Tsar knew the quality of the men who were advising him. As he sadly wrote in his diary on the day of his abdication: "All around me I see cowardice, baseness and treason." And again, on the same day, while holding a bundle of telegrams from the Corps of Generals and even from his own uncle, he said: "What is left for me to do when everyone has betrayed me?"
And indeed, there was very little he could do. He could probably continue to defy the will of the social and political élite, as he had done more than once in the past. But could he defy the will of his generals? Perhaps he could count on the support of some military units. But the result would undoubtedly be a civil war, whose outcome was doubtful, but whose effect on the war with Germany could not be doubted: it would undoubtedly give the Germans a decisive advantage at a critical moment when Russia was just preparing for a spring offensive.
It was probably this last factor that was decisive in the Tsar’s decision: he would not contemplate undermining the war effort for any reason. For the first duty of an Orthodox Tsar after the defence of the Orthodox faith is the defence of the country against external enemies – and in the case of the war with Germany the two duties coincided. And so, after an entire night spent in prayer, he laid aside the crown for his country’s sake. For, as he wrote: "I am ready to give up both throne and life if I should become a hindrance to the happiness of the homeland." And again: "There is no sacrifice that I would not make for the real benefit of Russia and for her salvation."
What has been called “the Abdication Manifesto” was in fact a telegram to the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Alexeev: “During the days of the great struggle against the external foe which, in the space of almost three years, has been striving to enslave our Native Land, it has pleased the Lord God to send down upon Russia a new and difficult trial. The national disturbances that have begun within the country threaten to reflect disastrously upon the further conduct of the stubborn war. The fate of Russia, the honour of our heroic army, the well-being of the people, the entire future of our precious Fatherland demand that the war be carried out to a victorious conclusion, come what may. The cruel foe is exerting what remains of his strength, and nor far distant is the hour when our valiant army with our glorious allies will be able to break the foe completely. In these decisive days in the life of Russia, We have considered it a duty of conscience to make it easy for Our people to bring about a tight-knit union and cohesion of all our national strength, in order that victory might be the more quickly attained, and, in agreement with the State Duma We have concluded that it would be a good thing to abdicate the Throne of the Russian State and to remove Supreme Power from Ourselves. Not desiring to be separated from Our beloved Son, We transfer Our legacy to Our Brother Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, and bless Him to ascend the Throne of the Russian State. We command Our Brother to conduct State affairs fully and in inviolable unity with the representatives of those men who hold legislative office, upon those principles which they shall establish, swearing an inviolable oath to that effect. In the name of our ardently beloved Native Land We call upon all faithful sons of the Fatherland to fulfil their sacred duty before it, by submitting to the Tsar during the difficult moment of universal trials, and, aiding Him, together with the representatives of he people, to lead the Russian State out upon the path of victory, well-being and glory. May the Lord God help Russia. Pskov. 2 March, 15.00 hours. 1917. Nicholas.”
It has been argued that the telegram was not an abdication, but a final coded appeal to the army to support him. But such a supposition cannot be reconciled with the plain meaning of the text. And since all agree on the crystal-clear sincerity of Nicholas’ character, there is no reason not to believe the plain meaning of the text. In any case, Grand Duke Michael’s refusal to take up the burden placed on him by his brother meant the effective end of the dynasty…
It has also been argued that the “abdication”, if that is what it was, had no legal force because there was no provision for abdication in the Fundamental Laws. Thus, as Michael Nazarov points out, the Basic Laws of the Russian Empire, which had been drawn up by Tsar Paul I and which all members of the Royal Family swore to uphold, “do not foresee the abdication of a reigning Emperor (‘from a religious… point of view the abdication of the Monarch, the Anointed of God, is contrary to the act of His Sacred Coronation and Anointing; it would be possible only by means of monastic tonsure’ [N. Korevo]). Still less did his Majesty have the right to abdicate for his son in favour of his brother; while his brother Michael Alexandrovich had the right neither to ascend the Throne during the lifetime of the adolescent Tsarevich Alexis, nor be crowned, since he was married to a divorced woman, nor to transfer power to the Provisional government, or refer the resolution of the question of the fate of the monarchy to the future Constituent Assembly.
“Even if the monarch had been installed by the will of such an Assembly, ‘this would have been the abolition of the Orthodox legitimating principle of the Basic Laws’, so that these acts would have been ‘juridically non-existent’, says Zyzykin (in this Korevo agrees with him). ‘Great Prince Michael Alexandrovich… performed only an act in which he expressed his personal opinions and abdication, which had an obligatory force for nobody. Thereby he estranged himself from the succession in accordance with the Basic Laws, which juridically in his eyes did not exist, in spite of the fact that he had earlier, in his capacity as Great Prince on the day of his coming of age, sworn allegiance to the decrees of the Basic Laws on the inheritance of the Throne and the order of the Family Institution’.
“It goes without saying that his Majesty did not expect such a step from his brother, a step which placed the very monarchical order under question…”
On the other hand, Archpriest John Vostorgov considered the transfer of power lawful, in spite of its incompatibility with the Basic Laws of the Empire: “Our former Emperor, who has abdicated from the throne, transferred power in a lawful manner to his brother. In his turn the brother of the Emperor, having abdicated from power until the final decision of the Constituent Assembly, in the same lawful manner transferred power to the Provisional Government, and to that permanent government that which be given to Russia by the Constituent Assembly. And so we now have a completely lawful Provisional Government which is the powers that be, as the Word of God calls it. To this power, which is now the One Supreme and All-Russian power, we are obliged to submit in accordance with the duty of religious conscience; we are obliged to pray for it; we are obliged also to obey the local authorities established by it. In this obedience, after the abdication of the former Emperor and his brother, and after their indications that the Provisional Government is lawful, there can be no betrayal of the former oath, but in it consists our direct duty.”
And yet confusion and searching of consciences continued, as can be seen in a letter of some Orthodox Christians to the Holy Synod dated July 24, 1917: “We Orthodox Christians most ardently beseech you to explain to us in the newspaper Russkoe Slovo [Russian Word] what... the oath given to us to be faithful to the Tsar, Nicholas Alexandrovich, means. People are saying in our area that if this oath is worth nothing, then the new oath to the new Tsar [the Provisional Government?] will be worth nothing. Which oath must be more pleasing to God. The first or the second? Because the Tsar is not dead, but is alive and in prison…”
M.A. Babkin points out that Great Prince Michael’s statement contained the sentences: “I made the firm decision to accept supreme power only if that would be the will of our great people, to whom it belongs in the Constituent Assembly to establish the form of government and the new basic laws of the Russian State. Therefore I ask all citizens of the Russian Realm to submit to the Provisional Government until the Constituent Assembly by its decision on the form of government shall express the will of the people”. “We can see,” writes Babkin, “that the talk was not about the Great Prince’s abdication from the throne, but about the impossibility of his occupying the royal throne without the clearly expressed acceptance of this by the whole people of Russia. Michael Alexandrovich presented the choice of the form of State government (in the first place – between people power and the monarchy) to the Constituent Assembly. Until the convening of the Constituent Assembly he entrusted the administration of the country to the Provisional Government ‘which arose on the initiative of the State Duma’.”
Since Great Prince Michael had presented the choice of the form of State government to the Constituent Assembly, many firm opponents of the revolution – for example, Hieromartyr Andronicus, Archbishop of Perm – were prepared to accept the Provisional Government on the grounds that it was just that – provisional. They were not to know that the Constituent Assembly would hardly be convened before it would be dissolved by the Bolsheviks, and therefore that the monarchical order had come to an end. So the results of the Tsar’s abdication for Russia were different from what he had hoped and believed. Instead of an orderly transfer of power from one member of the royal family to another, Great-Prince Michael also abdicated, the Constituent Assembly was not convened, and the whole dynasty and autocratic order collapsed. And instead of preventing civil war for the sake of victory in the world war, the abdication was followed by defeat in the world war and the bloodiest civil war in history, followed by unprecedented sufferings and persecutions of the faith for generations. Indeed, in retrospect we can see that this act brought to an end the 1600-year period of the Orthodox Christian Empire that began with the coming to power of St. Constantine the Great. “He who restrains” the coming of the Antichrist, the Orthodox Christian Emperor, “was removed from the midst” (II Thessalonians 2.7) – and very soon “the collective Antichrist”, Soviet power, began its savage torture of the Body of Holy Russia. St. John of Kronstadt had said that Russia without the Tsar would no longer even bear the name of Russia, and would be “a stinking corpse”. And so it proved to be…
So was the Tsar right to abdicate, if there was no provision for such an act in law and if the results of his decision were so catastrophic for Russia?
The saints were ambiguous in their utterances. The great eldress Paraskeva (Pasha) of Sarov (+1915), who had foretold his destiny at the glorification of St. Seraphim of Sarov in 1903, is reported to have said: “Your Majesty, descend from the throne yourself”. But Blessed Duniushka of Ussuruisk, who was martyred in 1918, said: “The Tsar will leave the nation, which shouldn’t be, but this has been foretold to him from Above. This is his destiny. There is no way that he can evade it.” And another great eldress, Blessed Matrona of Moscow (+1952), said: ”In vain did Emperor Nicholas renounce the throne, he shouldn’t have done that. They forced him to do it. He was sorry for the people, and paid the price himself, knowing his path beforehand.”
“He shouldn’t have done it”? Or was it “his destiny” in the sense that it was the will of God, which he neither could nor should have avoided?
One might have expected the Church authorities to throw light on this question by coming out for or against the abdication. However, the Synod showed itself to be at a loss at this critical moment. At its session of February 26 (old style), it refused the request of the Assistant Procurator, Prince N.D. Zhevakhov, that the creators of disturbances should be threatened with ecclesiastical punishments. Then, on February 27, it refused the request of the Over-Procurator, N.P. Raev, that it publicly support the monarchy. Ironically, therefore, that much-criticised creation of Peter the Great, the office of Over-Procurator, proved more faithful to the Anointed of God at this critical moment than the Church leadership itself…
“On March 2,” writes M.A. Babkin, “the Synodal hierarchs gathered in the residence of the Metropolitan of Moscow. They listened to a report given by Metropolitan Pitirim of St. Petersburg asking that he be retired (this request was agreed to on March 6 – M.B.). The administration of the capital’s diocese was temporarily laid upon Bishop Benjamin of Gdov. But then the members of the Synod recognized that it was necessary immediately to enter into relations with the Executive committee of the State Duma. On the basis of which we can assert that the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church recognized the Provisional Government even before the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne. (The next meeting of the members of the Synod took place on March 3 in the residence of the Metropolitan of Kiev. On that same day the new government was told of the resolutions of the Synod.)
“The first triumphantly official session of the Holy Synod after the coup d’état took place on March 4. Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev presided and the new Synodal over-procurator, V.N. Lvov, who had been appointed by the Provisional government the previous day, was present. Metropolitan Vladimir and the members of the Synod (with the exception of Metropolitan Pitirim, who was absent – M.B.) expressed their sincere joy at the coming of a new era in the life of the Orthodox Church. And then at the initiative of the over-procurator the royal chair… was removed into the archives… One of the Church hierarchs helped him. It was decided to put the chair into a museum.
“The next day, March 5, the Synod ordered that in all the churches of the Petrograd diocese the Many Years to the Royal House ‘should no longer be proclaimed’. In our opinion, these actions of the Synod had a symbolical character and witnessed to the desire of its members ‘to put into a museum’ not only the chair of the Tsar, but also ‘to despatch to the archives’ of history royal power itself.
“The Synod reacted neutrally to the ‘Act on the abdication of Nicholas II from the Throne of the State of Russia for himself and his son in favour of Great Prince Michael Alexandrovich’ of March 2, 1917 and to the ‘Act on the refusal of Great Prince Michael Alexandrovich to accept supreme power’ of March 3. On March 6 it resolved to accept these acts ‘for information and execution’, and that in all the churches of the empire molebens should be served with a Many Years ‘to the God-preserved Russian Realm and the Right-believing Provisional Government’.”
But was the new government, whose leading members were Masons, really “right-believing”? The foreign minister of the new government, Paul Milyukov, when asked who had elected his government, had replied: “The Russian revolution elected us”. But the revolution cannot be lawful, being the incarnation of lawlessness. How, then, could the Church allow her members to vote for Masonic or social-democratic delegates to the Constituent Assembly? After all, that Assembly would determine the future form of government of the Russian land. Why had the Church so quickly renounced Tsarism, which had formed one of the pillars of Russian identity for nearly 1000 years?
The hierarch who took perhaps the most uncompromising stand on this question was the future Hieromartyr, Archbishop Andronicus of Perm. On March 4, in an address “To All Russian Orthodox Christians”, he called the present situation an “interregnum”. Calling on all to obey the Provisional Government, he said: “We shall beseech the All-Generous One that He Himself establish authority and peace on our land, that He not abandon us for long without a Tsar, as children without a mother. May He help us, as three hundred years ago He helped our ancestors, that we may unanimously and with inspiration receive a native Tsar from His All-Good Providence.”
The new over-procurator wrote to Andronicus demanding an explanation for his actions in support of the old regime, which “aimed at the setting up of the clergy against the new order”. The correspondence between them culminated on April 16 with a detailed letter from Archbishop Andronicus, in which he said: “The act on the refusal of Michael Alexandrovich which legitimises the Provisional Government declared that after the Constituent Assembly we could have a monarchical government, or any other, depending on how the Constituent Assembly will pronounce on this. I have submitted to the Provisional Government, I will also submit to a republic if it will be established by the Constituent Assembly. But until then not one citizen is deprived of the freedom of expressing himself on the form of government for Russia; otherwise a Constituent Assembly would be superfluous if someone could irrevocably predetermine the question on the form of government in Russia. As I have already said many times, I have submitted to the Provisional Government, I submit now and I call on all to submit. I am perplexed on what basis you find it necessary to accuse me ‘of inciting the people not only against the Provisional Government, but also against the spiritual authorities generally’”.
A similar position was taken by Archbishop Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Kharkov, who on March 5, at the end of the liturgy, declared: “When we received news of the abdication from the throne of His Most Pious Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich, we prepared, in accordance with his instructions, to commemorate His Most Pious Emperor Michael Alexandrovich. But now he too has abdicated, and commanded that we should obey the Provisional Government, and for that reason, and only for that reason, we are commemorating the Provisional Government. Otherwise no power could force us to cease the commemoration of the Tsar and the Royal Family…
“… We must do this, first, in fulfilment of the oath given by us to His Majesty Nicholas II, who handed over power to Prince Michael Alexandrovich, who handed this power over to the Provisional Government until the Constituent Assembly. Secondly, we must do this so as to avoid complete anarchy, larceny, fighting and sacrilege against the holy things. Only in one must we listen to nobody, neither now nor in the past, neither tsars nor rulers nor the mob: if they demand that we renounce the faith, or defile the holy things, or in general carry out clearly lawless and sinful acts.”
However, with the exception of a very few such as these, the Church could not be said to have been on the Tsar’s side. Thus on March 7 the “conservative” Archbishop Seraphim (Chichagov) of Tver and Kashin appeared to welcome the change of regime: “By the mercy of God, the popular uprising against the old, wretched order in the State, which led Russia to the edge of destruction in the harsh years of world war, has taken place without many victims, and Russia has easily passed to the new State order, thanks to the firm decision of the State Duma, which formed the Provisional Government, and the Soviet of workers’ deputies. The Russian revolution has turned out to be almost the shortest and most bloodless of all revolutions that history has known…”
On March 9, the Holy Synod addressed all the children of the Orthodox Russian Church. The Address began with the fateful words: “The will of God has been accomplished. Russia has entered on the path of a new State life. May God bless our great Homeland with happiness and glory on its new path. Trust the Provisional Government. All together and everyone individually, apply all your efforts to the end that by your labours, exploits, prayer and obedience you may help it in its great work of introducing new principles of State life…”
Now it is understandable that the Synod would not want to risk a civil war by displaying opposition to the new government. But was it true that “the will of God has been accomplished”? Was it not rather that God had allowed the will of Satan to be accomplished, as a punishment for the sins of the Russian people? And if so, how could the path be called a “great work”?
Babkin writes: “This epistle was characterised by B.V. Titlinov, professor of the Petrograd Theological Academy, as ‘an epistle blessing a new and free Russia’, and by General A.I. Denikin as ‘sanctioning the coup d’état that has taken place’. To the epistle were affixed the signatures of the bishops of the ‘tsarist’ composition of the Synod, even those who had the reputation of being monarchists and ‘black hundredists’, for example, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and Metropolitan Macarius of Moscow. This witnessed to the ‘loyal’ feelings of the Synodal hierarchs…”
Other hierarchs echoed the words of the Address in still more revolutionary tones. Thus Bishop Andrew of Ufa wrote: “The abdication from the throne of Nicholas II frees his former subjects from their oath to him. But besides this, every Orthodox Christian must remember the words of one Church song, that ‘if thou hast sworn, but not for the good, it is better for thee to break thine oath’ than to do evil (from the service on the day of the Beheading of John the Forerunner). I wrote about this in Thoughts on February 9, 1916, when I pointed to the great church-civil exploit of Metropolitan Philip of Moscow, who found in his conscience support for his rebuking the iniquities of the Terrible one. And so the question of the oath for those who have been disturbed and are weak in conscience completely falls away.
“… The Autocracy of the Russian tsars degenerated first into absolutism [samovlastie] and then into despotism [svoevlastie] exceeding all probability… And lo! their power has collapsed – the power that turned away from the Church. The will of God has been accomplished… The Catholic Church of Christ has been delivered from the oppression of the State.”
The Council of the Petrograd religious-philosophical society went still further, demanding the removal not only of the Tsar, but also of the very concept of Sacred Monarchy. Thus in its sessions of March 11 and 12, the Council resolved that the Synod’s acceptance of the Tsar’s abdication “does not correspond to the enormous religious importance of the act, by which the Church recognized the Tsar in the rite of the coronation of the anointed of God. It is necessary, for the liberation of the people’s conscience and to avoid the possibility of a restoration, that a corresponding act be issued in the name of the Church hierarchy abolishing the power of the Sacrament of Royal Anointing, by analogy with the church acts abolishing the power of the Sacraments of Marriage and the Priesthood.”
If the Church hierarchy, traditionally the main support of the Autocracy, faltered, it is not surprising that the people as a whole faltered, too… The Tsar was alone. And since the leadership of a Christian State must be dual – through a partnership or “symphony” of Church and State – he could not continue to rule as an Orthodox Christian tsar. Just as it takes two to make a marriage, so it takes two powers to make a Christian state. The bridegroom in this case was willing and worthy, but the bride was not. In Deuteronomy 17.14 the Lord had laid it down as one of the conditions of the creation of a God-pleasing monarchy that the people should want a God-pleasing king. The Russian people did not want their pious Tsar. And so the Scripture was fulfilled: “We have no king, because we feared not the Lord” (Hosea 10.3).
As P.S. Lopukhin wrote: “At the moment of his abdication his Majesty felt himself to be profoundly alone, and around him was ‘cowardice, baseness and treason’. And to the question how he could have abdicated from his tsarist service, it is necessary to reply: he did this because we abdicated from his tsarist service, from his sacred and sanctified authority…”
And yet in a real sense the Tsar saved the monarchy for the future by his abdication. For in abdicating he resisted the temptation to apply force and start a civil war in a cause that was just from a purely juridical point of view, but which could not be justified from a deeper, eschatological point of view. (Compare the words of the Prophet Shemaiah to King Rehoboam and the house of Judah as they prepared to face the house of Israel: “Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren, the children of Israel. Return every man to his house…” (I Kings 12.24)).
The Tsar-Martyr resisted the temptation to act like a Western absolutist ruler, thereby refuting those in both East and West who looked on his rule as just that – a form of absolutism. He showed that the Orthodox Autocracy was not a form of absolutism, but something completely sui generis – the external aspect of the self-government of the Orthodox Church and people on earth. He refused to treat his power as if it were independent of the Church and people, but showed that it was a form of service to the Church and the people from within the Church and the people, in accordance with the word: “I have raised up one chosen out of My people… with My holy oil have I anointed him” (Psalm 88.18,19). So not “government by the people and for the people” in a democratic sense, but “government by one chosen out of the people of God for the people of God and responsible to God alone”.
In demonstrating this in the whole manner of his self-sacrificial life, the Tsar actually preserved the ideal of the Orthodox Autocracy, handing it over “for safe-keeping”, as it were, to God and His Most Holy Mother. For on that very day the Mother of God appeared to the peasant woman Eudocia Adrianovna and said to her: “Go to the village of Kolomenskoe; there you will find a big, black icon. Take it and make it beautiful, and let people pray in front of it.” Eudocia found the icon at 3 o’clock, the precise hour of the abdication. Miraculously it renewed itself, and showed itself to be the “Reigning” icon of the Mother of God, the same that had led the Russian armies into war with Napoleon. On it she was depicted bearing the orb and sceptre of the Orthodox Tsars, as if to show that the sceptre of rule of the Russian land had passed from earthly rulers to the Queen of Heaven…
 Metropolitan Anastasius, Besedy so svoim sobstvennym serdtsem (Conversations with my own Heart), Jordanville, 1948, p. 123 ®; translated in Living Orthodoxy, № 101, vol. XVII, September-October, 1996, p. 9.
 Letter of Sergius Nilus to Hierodeacon Zosimas, 6 August, 1917; in Vladimir Gubanov, Tsar’ Nikolai II-ij i Novie Mucheniki (Tsar Nicholas II and the New Martyrs), St. Petersburg, 2000, p. 121 ®.
 E.E. Alferev writes: “Factually speaking, in view of the position taken by [Generals] Ruzsky and Alexeev, the possibility of resistance was excluded. Being cut off from the external world, the Sovereign was as it were in captivity. His orders were not carried out, the telegrams of those who remained faithful to their oath of allegiance were not communicated to him. The Empress, who had never trusted Ruzsky, on learning that the Tsar’s train had been help up at Pskov, immediately understood the danger. On March 2 she wrote to his Majesty: ‘But you are alone, you don’t have the army with you, you are caught like a mouse in a trap. What can you do?’ (Imperator Nikolaj II kak chelovek sil’noj voli (Emperor Nicholas II as a Man of Strong Will), Jordanville, N.Y.: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1983, 2004, p. 121 ®).
4] Nazarov, Kto naslednik rossijskogo prestola? (Who is the Heir of the Russian Throne?), Moscow: “Russkaia Idea”, 1996, p. 68 (in Russian)). In defence of Great Prince Michael, it should be pointed out that he, too, acted under duress. As Nazarov points out, “Great Prince Mikhail Alexandrovich also acted under duress, under the pressure of the plotters who came to his house. Kerensky admitted that this had been their aim: ‘We decided to surround the act of abdication of Mikhail Alexandrovich with every guarantee, but in such a way as to give the abdication a voluntary character’” (p. 69).
 Quoted in Tamara Groyan, Tsariu Nebesnomu i Zemnomu Vernij (Faithful to the Heavenly and Earthly Tsar), Moscow: Palomnik, 1996, p. 128 ®.
 Groyan, op. cit., pp. 122, 123.
 Babkin, “Sviatejshij Sinod Pravoslavnoj Rossijskoj Tserkvi i Revoliutsionnie Sobytia Fevralia-Marta 1917 g.” (“The Most Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Revolutionary Events of February-March, 1917”), http://www.monarhist-spb.narod.ru/D-ST/Babkin-1, p. 3 ®.
 Gubanov, op. cit., p. 70.
 In Gubanov, op. cit., p. 62.
 A.D. Stepanov, “Mezhdu mirom i monastyrem” (“Between the World and the Monastery”), in Tajna Bezzakonia (The Mystery of Iniquity), St. Petersburg, 2002, p. 491 ®.
 Babkin, op. cit., pp. 2, 3.
 Tsuyoshi Hasegawa writes: “Five members, Kerensky, N.V. Nekrasov, A.I. Konovalov, M.I. Tereshchenko and I.N. Efremov are known to have belonged to the secret political Masonic organization” (“The February Revolution”, in Edward Acton, Vladimir Cherniaev, William Rosenberg (eds.), Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution 1914-1921, Bloomington and Indianopolis: Indiana University Press, 1997, p.59).
 Quoted in G.M. Katkov, Fevral’skaia Revoliutsia (The February Revolution), Paris:YMCA Press, 1984, p. 370 ®.
 Babkin, op. cit., p. 8.
 Archbishop Anthony, Pastyr’ i Pastva (Pastor and Flock), 1917, № 10, pp. 280-281; Pis’ma Blazhenneishago Mitropolita Antonia (Khrapovitskago) (The Letters of his Beatitude Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), Jordanville, 1988, p. 57; Monk Benjamin (Gomareteli), Letopis’ tserkovnykh sobytij Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi nachinaia s 1917 goda (Chronicle of Church Events, beginning from 1917), www.zlatoust.ws/letopis.htm, pp. 2-3 ®. Cf. Victor Antonov, “1917 god: Arkhiepiskop Antonij i Fevralisty” (1917: Archbishop Anthony and the Februarists), Vozvrashchenie (Return), № 2 (6), 1994, p. 25 ®.
(17] Archbishop Seraphim, Tverskie Eparkhial’nie Vedomosti (Tver Diocesan Gazette), 1917, № 9-10, pp. 75-76; in Monk Benjamin, op. cit., p. 4.
 Babkin, op. cit., pp. 3-4. The epistle also said: (quoted by Oleg Lebedev, “Mezhdu Fevraliem i Oktiabrem” (“Between February and October), Nezavisimaia Gazeta (The Independent Newspaper), 13 November, 1996, p. 5 (in Russian))
Archb. Andrew, Ufimskie Vedomosti (Ufa Gazette),1917, № 5-6, pp.138-139; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., pp. 6-7 ®.
 Groyan, op. cit., p. 142. Italics mine (V.M.).
 As Lev Tikhomirov writes: "Without establishing a kingdom, Moses foresaw it and pointed it out in advance to Israel... It was precisely Moses who pointed out in advance the two conditions for the emergence of monarchical power: it was necessary, first, that the people itself should recognize its necessity, and secondly, that the people itself should not elect the king over itself, but should present this to the Lord. Moreover, Moses indicated a leadership for the king himself: 'when he shall sit upon the throne of his kingdom, he must… fulfil all the words of this law'." (Monarkhicheskaia Gosudarstvennost (Monarchical Statehood), Buenos Aires, 1968, pp. 127-129 ®).
 Lopukhin, “Tsar’ i Patriarkh” (Tsar and Patriarch), Pravoslavnij Put’ (The Orthodox Way), 1951, pp. 103-104 ®.
* * *
(spiritual deception) by Fr. Dr. Photios+ (W)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. St. James 4:7
One of the nineteenth century’s most spiritual Orthodox Fathers wrote forcefully about the dangers to our souls posed by prelest. Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov) [+1867] commented
“Spiritual deception is the wounding of human nature by falsehood.”
Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, we all have this disease. We only fool ourselves if we deny being afflicted with it. “Likewise, the greatest spiritual deception of all is to consider oneself free from it.” Perhaps the best definition is “spiritual deception is man’s assimilation of a falsehood which he accepts as truth…”
If we fail to follow the Faith, prelest is a prelude to demonic deception:
He that is not faithful to Christ’s teaching, who follows his own will and knowledge (emphasis supplied), will submit to the enemy, and will pass from a state of self-deception into a state of demonic deception, will lose the remnant of his freedom, and in the end he will become totally enslaved to the devil…
One of the greatest Russian saints explained spiritual delusion to be: spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel…(emphasis supplied) imagining that they are God’s elect…often try to foretell the future.
The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness (emphasis supplied).
In his letters, Archbishop Theophan comments that to St. Isaac the Syrian, there were two kinds of prelest: General and Proper. General Prelest “is forgetting and not noticing one’s sinfulness”. In such a case, at least the individual acknowledges his prelest because he forgets, doesn’t notice his sinfulness. Yet, he recognizes it. He then repents for his sinfulness, prelest, and throws himself on God’s mercy. He admits he sins.
One ‘guilty’ of Prelest Proper admits nothing of the kind. He is ‘full of himself’. He “thinks too highly of himself, God’s grace is withdrawn from him and he falls under the influence of the evil one who actively begins to tickle his vainglory with lofty contemplation and [spiritual] delights”. Prelest Proper “is attributing to oneself righteousness when it does not actually exist. If a man thinks he is righteous, then his righteousness is not divine, but diabolical (emphasis supplied), foreign to the grace of God and to humility”.
A prime example of prelest is following “charismatic” practices. Anyone doing so is in spiritual denial. If an individual engages in charismatic practices, he enters into communion with satan:
Bp. Ignatius writes: One possessed by this kind of spiritual deception fancies of himself [the second form of prelest is called ‘fancy,’ mnenie in Russian] that he abounds in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This fancy is composed of false concepts and false feelings, and in this character which it has it belongs fully to the realm of the father and representative of falsehood, the devil (emphasis supplied).
If one goes to a Pentecostal gathering or a Protestant or Roman Catholic venue and dances, cavorts, sings praises in “free-form,” sits on a chair cross-legged, attempts to speak in tongues, has a ‘good time,’ witnesses to divine experiences the person is having or has had, feels ‘good’ about himself, is self-satisfied, has a warm feeling – he is in spiritual denial. These “experiences” are not caused by the Holy Spirit! The cause is demonic.
This secular approach, which is what it is, has its foundation in “self-centeredness and self-satisfaction,” promising a ‘quick fix’ for the impatient and ‘contentment’ to the participants. These ‘spiritual movements’ emanate from their self-satisfaction, self-glorification bases and are completely at variance with true Christian spirituality.
Christian spirituality is formed in the arduous struggle to acquire the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, which begins only with the dissolution of this temporal world, and the true Christian struggler never finds repose even in the foretastes of eternal blessedness which might be vouchsafed to him in this life; but the Eastern religions, to which the Kingdom of Heaven has not (emphasis supplied) been revealed, strive only to acquire psychic (emphasis supplied) states which begin and end in this life.
The present-day ‘charismatic’ movement and ‘Christian meditation,’ and the ‘new religious consciousness’ of which they are part are forerunners of the religion of the future, the religion of the last humanity, the religion of antichrist, and their chief ‘spiritual’ function is to make available to Christians the demonic initiation hitherto restricted to the pagan world.
We are called upon to recognise and distinguish between the true spirituality of the Church and these “counterfeit spirituality” movements. We find the source of our spiritual enlightenment in the teaching of the Holy Fathers. The charismatic movement is part and parcel of the heresy of Ecumenism that infects the world, i.e., that all church organisations possess God’s grace, even extending this to non-Christian religions. Obviously, those holding to this heretical view [for that is what it is] do not believe that the Orthodox Church is the only path of salvation, the Royal Path being, at most, just one of many leading to salvation.
If an Orthodox Christian accepts these premises, he has voluntarily opted out of Christ’s Church. There is only one way. All of the Fathers’ teachings agree that there is only one path to salvation. We are probably in the ‘last times’ since these heresies are rampant. We know, however, that victory is ours because Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. . He didn’t say His many and very different churches.
Some Roman Catholics and Protestants are deeply involved in the charismatic/ecumenist movement. They recognize no concept such as prelest (spiritual deception). This is probably one reason it has gained footholds in nominally ‘Christian’ circles. Prelest is completely incompatible with Holy Orthodoxy. We can’t have both. We must choose between “charismatic revival” and Orthodoxy. The former is a “counterfeit of Orthodoxy”.
Common behaviour in charismatic gatherings include laughter, tears, warmth, trembling, contortions, falling on the floor (perhaps in being’ healed’ by one of the Protestant TV charlatans), and these are the ‘ordinary’ experiences of Roman Catholics and Protestants of the charismatic ilk. The behaviour is more extreme in Pentecostal circles. If these activities could be considered “religious” at all, they would be classified simply as pagan, medium-driven, spirit-possessed which may or may not culminate in demonic possession, the latter being permanent whereas, the former is temporary. It could be that in charismatic activities the people experiencing this bizarre behaviour are “spirit-filled,” “but it is certainly not the Holy Spirit with which they are filled.”!
Even so-called Latin “saints” as Francis of Assisi and Ignatius Loyola were deeply afflicted with spiritual delusion:
But the Holy Spirit is not acquired from ecstatic ‘charismatic’ experiences, but by the long and arduous path of asceticism the ‘path of sorrows’ of which the Elder Macarius spoke, within the Church of Christ.
Stigmata - Holy Orthodoxy has never been infected with this disease. The great saints of the Church approach their spirituality through Christ in a humble, thoughtful, sober, reasoned and highly spiritual manner. Stigmata do not appear on true saints.
Roman Catholics believe that it is the seal of the Holy Spirit. The seal of the Holy Spirit is received at one’s Chrismation following Baptism. The stigmata phenomenon is totally foreign and unknown to the Orthodox Church of Christ. The great Russian Saint, St. Seraphim of Sarov did not encounter the stigmata phenomenon. Neither has any other Orthodox Father of the Church.
Francis of Assisi’s stigmatization, resultant from his ‘vision,’ came from a prayer in which he invited “earthly or bodily sensations, i.e., physical suffering”. All that Francis experienced in the stigmatization process are completely unorthodox: “As a matter fact, all of the things Francis experienced in the process of his stigmatization are the very beguilements the Church Fathers repeatedly warned against (emphasis supplied)”. Where is the humility in Francis’ thirsting after stigmatization? No humble man expects to be transformed into Jesus as Francis prayed.
St. Seraphim of Sarov didn’t ask God to favour him with a Divine Manifestation of His presence in his prayers. Instead, he frees himself from the passions and approaches the Lord in utter humility and repentance. St. Seraphim’s experience has these characteristics:
Simplicity; Repentance; Humility; An unexpected vision beyond sensory and rational categories; Spiritual ecstasy or ravishment.
St. Seraphim’s mysticism “appears as a purely spiritual ecstasy… while Francis’ spiritual experience is a mysticism induced by his will, and obviously darkened by his own imagination and sensuality (emphases supplied)”. “It has already been shown that Francis’ vision contains strong marks of spiritual deception.” Note Francis’ remarks to his brethren reek with self-importance:
I (emphasis supplied) do not recognize any transgression in myself for which I could not atone by confession and penance. For the Lord in His mercy has bestowed on me the gift of learning clearly in prayer in what I have pleased or displeased Him.
This is the talk of a vain, self-righteous, self-contented individual, not a humble repentant sinner. His words “are far from genuine (emphasis supplied) humility”.
Prelest derives from pride and vainglory. We begin to believe our spiritual publicity about ourselves. We act on our emotions in our relationships with the Church, turning away from all the Fathers of the Church as we indulge ourselves in various kinds of spiritual delusion. We may believe that God has personally called us to the ministry, hear voices, see visions, experience stigmatas, or ‘speak in tongues’. We begin to believe, perhaps, that we are special, we’ve been or are being especially called to experience the Church charismatically.
When we are confronted with the opportunity to engage in these unorthodox activities, we must recall the famous words uttered by a former First Lady in relation to drugs and just “say no”! The Undivided Orthodox Church knows no such spiritual delusion in its worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy, Christ’s Church from the beginning, knows nothing of a christianity that knows no suffering and struggle but instead concentrates on making its members ‘feel good,’ and be satisfied with themselves. I have used the lower case in the c of Christianity to emphasise that this is not Christianity at all. Feeling good about ourselves spiritually is the antithesis of true Orthodox Christianity. We are to approach Christ with the utmost humility and be willing to struggle and sacrifice. We are not in the ‘game’ to maximise ourselves. Rather, we understand that we are all sinners and are unworthy.
As Orthodox Christians, we also understand that the Church does not exist to conform to the mores of society. Man conforms to the Church, not the other way around. The prince of this world is the evil one, and make no mistake about it, he is capable of great mischief. However, he is no match for God’s grace. We keep to the Royal Path, our spiritual mean. We are to be not of this world not merely in it. Our bar is set much higher because of the fact that we, as Christians, have as our goal, our deification. We follow the Saints and Fathers of the Church, the decrees of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils, and, above all, we actively seek to transform ourselves from within recognizing fully our spiritual inadequacies.
We believe that faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, is the only way to salvation. We are spiritually opposed to all forms of paganism, including the modern paganistic model of ecumenism, feminism and other variants of these aberrations. We do not pray with heathens, pagans, atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims.
Christ does not compel adherence (although He could). We can choose to follow Him, or… We will bear the consequences of our actions (or inactions). Let’s commit to coming to Christ’s Table with true humility and no spiritual misconceptions about our ‘worthiness’. We are all unworthy, and that certainly includes the author of this homily!
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+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 Orthodox America, What is Prelest?, citing Bp. Ignatius, pp.1 & 2 (excerpted from a longer article in Orthodox Life, July-August, 1980, tr. by S. Karganovic from the Serbian edition of Bp. Ignatius’ writings), at http://www.roca.org/OA/66-68/66n.htm .
 id., p.1.
 id., p.2.
 St. Seraphim of Sarov (+1833), Prelest, Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers, St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Dallas, TX, at http://www.orthodox,net/gleanings/prelest.html, and see the wonderful Vol. I of the Little Russian Philokalia on the Spiritual Instructions of St. Seraphim of Sarov (tr. by Fr. Seraphim Rose ), St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, CA, 1996.
 Orthodox America, What is Prelest , op. cit., p.3 (from Archbishop Theophan’s letters translated from the Russian by Antonina Janda, Sophia, 11/24, 1927).
 id., p.4.
 Fr. Seraphim Rose, Charismatic Revival A Sign of the Times, Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church, Missionary Leaflet #E90 (ed.) Archimandrite (then) Alexander (Mileant), citing Bp. Ignatius (Brianchaninov), p.21.
 Fr. Seraphim Rose, id., p.16.
 id., p.29.
 e.g., St. Nikodimos, Unseen Warfare, St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ.
 Matt. 16:18.
 Fr. Seraphim Rose, op. cit., pp.13-14, and see http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/charismatic_ revival_s_rose_e.htm.
 id., Physical Accompaniments of ‘Charismatic’ Experience, pp.17-18.
 id., p.19.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church, Bp. Alexander (Mileant)’s booklet, A
Comparison of the Mysticism of Francis of Assisi with that of St. Seraphim of
Sarov (originally printed in Synaxis: Orthodox Christian Theology in the
20th Century, Vol. 2, pp. 39-56), p.1, and see
 id., p.3.
 id., pp.4-5.
 id., p. 5.
 id., p.6.
 id., p. 8.
* * *
WE RESPOND …
Gratefully we acknowledge receipt of several letters from our readers, who expressed surprise at our publishing of an article written by Fr. A. Phillips entitled “On the Restoration of Eucharistic Unity in the Russian Orthodox Church” (FIDELITY, Issue 32). We published this article even though we do not share the views of its author. We hoped we would receive in response a few in-depth articles from our readers who would challenge and refute the propositions made by Fr. A. Phillips.
The position of FIDELITY on this issue has not changed. As before, we believe that any serious considerations of establishing Eucharistic communion with the Moscow Patriarchate are premature. Time and again, the current discussions of “pro” and “con” purport the issues to be primarily of political, “national” or “cultural” nature that are subject to “debate” and “barter”. However, nothing is further from the truth! The entire issue, in essence, is an ecclesiological and canonical one.
As we know it only so well, ever since the time when Christ the Lord established His Church – and by His promise – the Church has never been fragmented or divided. The Church of Christ has always been one. And as we also know it so well, when heresies or other particularly difficult issues would erupt and threaten the faithful of the whole Orthodox Church, since the apostolic times – inspired by the commandment of Christ – the Church would convene holy councils to resolve such issues. Resolutions of true and rightfully convened councils – local or Oecumenical – reaffirmed the Faith and restored harmony among the faithful of the Church.
In the Orthodox Church, common Chalice always signified a complete unity of Faith in Christ. Common Chalice is not attained through negotiations, compromise or “deals” between majority and minority factions. The Church is not a social club where, for the sake of expedience, the Truth can be ignored, bartered, or trampled upon by a dissenting majority. Resolution of ecclesiastical or canonical disputes precedes the establishment of Eucharistic union. The Church, unlike man, does not make compromises.
The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony Memorial Society and the editorial board of its official publication – FIDELITY – continue to maintain that a number of conditions would first need to be resolved before there can be any serious consideration of “unification” with the Moscow Patriarchate. Numerous ecclesiastical and canonical issues – on both sides – would need to be carefully, openly, honestly, without prejudice, patiently and thoroughly examined and resolved. It is a painful proposition. For the sake of the Truth, however, there is no other way. True unity is established in the Truth.
Представители Общества Ревнителей Памяти Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония.
Representatives of The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society :
Switzerland: M-me Catharina Raevsky/ 6, Chemin du Champ d'Anier, 1209 Geneve
France: T.R. Protodiacre, Dr. G.Ivanoff-Trinadzaty, 152 rue Joliot-Curie, Tassin la Demi Lune, 69160
Australia: Mr. Alexandr Petrovich Kondakov, 320 Anzac Highway, Plympton, SA 5038
Argentina: Sr. Jorge Rakitin, Fray Justo Sarmiento 2173/ 1636 Olivos Pcia. Bs. As.
Chile: Sr. Oleg Minaeff, Felix de Amesti 731, Les Condes, Santiago
Canada: Mr. Boris S. Dimitrov, 720 Montpellier, Apt 708, v. St. Laurent, PG H4L 5B5
US Central States: Mr. Valentin W. Scheglovsky, P.O. BOX 27658, Golden Valley, MN 55427-0658, USA
The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony Society published in the past, and will do so again in the future, the reasons why we can not accept at the present time a "unia" with the MP. Other publications are doing the same, for example the Russian language newspaper "Nasha Strana"(N.L. Kasanzew, Ed.) and on the Internet "Sapadno-Evropeyskyy Viestnik" ( Rev.Protodeacon Dr. Herman-Ivanoff Trinadtzaty, Ed.). There is a considerably large group of supporters against a union with the MP; and even though our Society is new - only a few months old - it already has representatives in many countries around the world including the RF and the Ukraine with membership of several hundred members. We are grateful for the correspondence and donations from many people that arrive daily. With this support, we can continue to demand that the Church leadership follow the Holy Canons and Teachings of the Orthodox Church.
Советуем нашим читателям читать газету "Наша Страна" а также на узлах интернета:
Западно Европейский Вестник - www.karlovtchanin.com и
Церковные Ведомости РИПЦ - www.catacomb.org.ua
ВЕРНОСТЬ (FIDELITY) Церковно-общественное издание
“Общества Ревнителей Памяти Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония (Храповицкого)”.
Председатель “Общества” и главный редактор: проф. Г.М. Солдатов.
President of The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society and Editor in-Chief: Prof. G.M. Soldatow
Secretary: Mr. Valentin Wladimirovich Scheglovsky, P.O. BOX 27658, Golden Valley, MN 55427-0658, USA
Please send your membership application to: Просьба посылать заявления о вступлении в Общество:
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ОБЩЕСТВО БЛАЖЕННЕЙШЕГО МИТРОПОЛИТА АНТОНИЯ
По-прежнему ведет свою деятельность и продолжает издавать электронный вестник «Верность» исключительно за счет членских взносов и пожертвований единомышленников по борьбе против присоединения РПЦЗ к псевдоцеркви--Московской Патриархии. Мы обращаемся кo всем сочувствующим с предложением записаться в члены «Общества» или сделать пожертвование, а уже ставшим членам «Общества» напоминаем o возобновлении своих членских взносов за 2006 год.
Секретарь-казначей «Общества» В.В. Щегловский
* * *
THE BLESSED METROPOLITAN ANTHONY SOCIETY
Is active and continues to publish an electronic periodical “Vernost’ – “Fidelity”. We rely exclusively on the support of our like-minded members. Your membership dues and generous donations provide us the necessary means to exist in our struggle against the union of ROCOR with the pseudo-church – the Moscow Patriarchate. If you share our goals – join the “Society” or consider making a contribution. If you are already a member, please renew your 2006 membership.
(КО ВСЕМ ПОЛУЧАТЕЛЯМ «ВЕРНОСТИ»)
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