Of the patriarch's three appointees in 1925 - metropolitans Cyril of kazan, Agathangel of Yaroslavl and Peter of Krutitsky, only the last was at liberty. His "locum tenens" became the only universally (in Russia and abroad) accepted symbol of the unity of the Church after Patriarch tikhon's death. Even more disputable are the subsequent appointments of "locum tenentes". Metropolitan Peter made two appointments of "locum tenentes while still in power he appointed Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky michael (Ermakov) and Joseph (Petrovykh) and after his arrest a deputy "collegia" with Archbishop Gregory (Yatskovsky) at its head. Metropolitan Joseph (the future head of the "Josephians who took over the management of the Church after the arrest of Metropolitan Sergius in 1926, appointed up to ten possible locum tenentes. The statement - withdrawn almost immediately - by metropolitan Agathangel in 1926 that he was assuming the powers which he had received from Patriarch tikhon himself complicated the question of leadership of the Church even more. There can be no doubt, as Regelson frequently admits, that the chaos over tlie "locum tenens" was deliberately fuelled by the authorities, who encouraged the renovationists, the "Gregorians" and Metropolitan Agathangel himself to declare their "rights".
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The open acceptance of ireland Renovationism by this eminent theologian and churchman played a fatal role in the tragic months of 1922. True, his solemn repentance in 1923 before patriarch tikhon was also not lacking in immense spiritual significance. The personality of Metropolitan Sergius and his activity are at the centre of all the church events of the twenties and thirties. Decisive non-acceptance and criticism of this activity is the main thesis of Regelson's book. In the author's opinion, the authority of the "Deputy to the locum war tenens and then simply "locum tenens" Metropolitan Sergius was, on the one hand, void of indisputable canonical legality and, on the other, presupposed a morally unacceptable servility to the authorities. Such an assessment of Metropolitan Sergius' activity coincides for the most part with the standpoint of those church leaders who, although in opposition to the "locum tenens" in the thirties, recognized as legitimate the election of Patriarch Alexis by the council of 1945 and entered. The most authoritative and outstanding churchman in this group was Bishop Athanasius (Sakharov) about whose confessorial life the book has much to say. The question of the legitimacy of illegitimacy of the heading of the russian Church by metropolitan Sergius is connected, firstly, with the actual system of appointing a locum tenens while the patriarch himself is still alive, which was introduced by patriarch tikhon at the request. This system has no precedent in the history of the Church and directly contradicts the canons, which forbid bishops (and even more so patriarchs) to appoint their own successors: a bishop is always God's elect through the Church and cannot be appointed by any single. In justification of the patriarch's action it can only be said that the conditions in winch the russian Church found itself were entirely unprecedented and, as Regelson rightly points out, the patriarch was acting in accordance with the council's instruction, and not on some personal. True, the "locum tenentes" designated in his will in 1925 were probably already not those whom he appointed at the closed meeting of the council in 1918.
Some of them had somewhat ambivalent relations with the Renovationist "Supreme Church Administration" set up in 1922: thus, metropolitan Alexis (Simansky) of Yamburg who administered the petrograd diocese, the future patriarch, together with another Petrograd vicar, bishop Nicholas (Yarushevich) of Peterhof, also set. Levitin in his history of Renovationism. On bishop Alexis removed the ban from vvedensky and boasted that his administration of the diocese had received the "consent" of the renovationist Supreme Church Administration. Lev regelson is not quite right in accusing bishops Alexis and Nicholas of outright acceptance of Renovationism. Bishop Alexis limited himself - and that for a very short time - to semi-acceptance of the renovationist Administration, but already two weeks later (on ) refused to cooperate directly with the supreme Church Administration and was exiled as a result. Information and documents concerning these events were published by Archbishop Sergius (Larin) in the "Vestnik russkogo zapadno-yevropeiskogo patriarshego ekzarkhata" Nos. The author was not aware of this publication. The case of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) is quite a different matter.
By in effect permitting the control of the authorities over the activity of the "center". We shall return to this main thesis of Regelson's below, but it must be said here that the author recognizes not only the psychological lack of readiness of the russian episcopate for the principle of "the independent existence of dioceses but also that Patriarch tikhon. Consequently, metropolitan Sergius' efforts to preserve the "center" were in keeping with the inner strivings of the russian hierarchy and the patriarch himself. But the question of whether or not these efforts were right in essence and in the method which Metropolitan Sergius used must, of course, remain open. Regelson's book contains much historical information about the attempts made by several Russian churchmen to set up temporary "autocephalia" in keeping with the decree of 1920. The most important of them were metropolitan Agathangel of Yaroslavl and Metropolitan Cyril of kazan. It should be remembered that in 1924 the north American diocese proclaimed itself "temporarily self-governing" on the basis of the decree of 1920. In paper any case, several "autocephalia" arose in the twenties and thirties.
The author sees this Decree as a return to the old church structure, where there was indeed no concept of the subordination of bishops and their dioceses to any "supreme power". The council of, by restoring the election of archbishops by dioceses, also in part restored this old structure, in which the author rightly sees the foundation of the Orthodox interpretation of the Church as it was expressed in the pre-constantine period, when the Church had. The gradual historical formation of "metropolises "archbishoprics" and "patriarchates" (in the 4th-5th centuries) was not aimed at changing the original structure of the Church as a unity of faith between local communities led by their bishops, but simply expressed the need for organized unity. The "subordination" of local bishops to metropolitans and patriarchs was not an aim in itself, but only a means conditioned by sobornost,. E., the subordination of the metropolitan or patriarch himself to the soborny judgement of the bishops and the Church as a whole. Patriarch tikhon's Decree of 1920 admitted the possibility of the abolition of patriarchal rule and indicated how, in that case, the Church was to return to the conditions which existed in the age of persecution during the first few centuries of Christianity. Regelson takes the view - and this is the leitmotif of his work - that Metropolitan Sergius, who ran the patriarchal administration after the locum tenens Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsky was exiled (December 1925 made the mistake of not following the decree of 1920 and.
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Soviet power sought to abolish all these structures and agreed to a temporary compromise with the Church only to lie extent that the Church continued to enjoy popular support. Yet at the same time the authorities tried to use hierarchical structure of the Orthodox Church in order to control it "from the top" (i.e. Through the episcopate itself) to divide global it (exploiting canonical and personal disagreements between the bishops) and, finally, to bring about its inner collapse. The main question for the leaders of the Church was the following one: should they or should they not try to preserve the centralized structure of the Church under the administration of the patriarch (although after the death of Patriarch tikhon in 1925 the authorities. To agree to the abolition of the patriarchal center meant handing over the monopoly of a "legalized" church to the renovationist "Synod" (recognized by the eastern Patriarchs! which would gradually have acquired the use of all open churches. However, preserving patriarchal administration presupposed state control.
A strange choice faced the conscience of Locum tenens Sergius, who (after long vacillation) chose the path of cooperation with the authorities for the sake of preserving the continuity of "lawful" Orthodox. Lev regelson believes that this choice by the locum tenens was wrong. In his opinion, the locum tenens should not even be given credit for the restoration of church life by Stalin during the second World war: Stalin allowed the election of a patriarch and the opening of churches not because sergius' synod was a ready (and. If patriarchal rule had not existed in 1943, Stalin would have summoned the various groups of clergy and believers' out of the underground and restored patriarchal rule all the same, which would have had more inner freedom and moral purity than Sergius' rule. The author bases his canonical and historical assessments on the decree of Patriarch tikhon issued on 7/20 november, 1920,. Still during the civil War. The decree admitted the possibility of the temporarily independent existence of dioceses (or groups of dioceses) in the event of the separation from the patriarchal center or the termination of the activity of the supreme Church Administration.
Troitsky's book: What is the living Church? . Warsaw, 1928 with its excellent assessment of Renovationism as a kind of revolt by the White clergy against the episcopate, and the memoirs of a former colleague of Patriarch tikhon and Metropolitan Sergius, Protopresbyter Vasily vinogradov: On some most important aspects in the activity. (Priest-Monk nogradov was a member of the Supreme Church council under Patriarch tikhon in 1924). Whereas these editions can supplement the content of Regelson's book, however, the latter provides a canvas within the framework of which individual events and materials described in other sources fit and itself contains a vast number of hitherto unknown facts and documents. One may disagree in individual cases with the author's criteria and "spiritual style" in selecting facts. Was it, for example, really necessary to include the visions of the virgin Mary in Fatima in the list of "dates and documents" of the history of the russian Church?
(This information is omitted in the present edition -. However, it is not the book's "spiritual style" that its main interest, but the author's general conception, which is of tremendous importance in assessing not only the events inside russia, but also the russian church formations abroad. The following tenets seem to us to be most important for an understanding of Regelson's historical conception:. His history is primarily a history of the russian episcopate in the post-revolutionary period: the book contains very little information about the life and views of the ordinary clergy and parish communities and about their attitude to the bishops who were disputing among themselves. The meaning of the amazing fact that it was the people who managed to preserve true orthodoxy, reject the falsity of the renovationist schism and "withstand" the onslaught of state attempts to destroy the Church remains a task for future historians. We do not reproach the author for his interest in the episcopate in the post-revolutionary period. As an Orthodox historian, he understand that without the episcopate there can be no Orthodoxy, 'no church, and he rightly believe that the history of the episcopate should serve as the basis for Russian church historiography of the new period. But the history of the russian episcopate in the twenties and thirties presupposes that questions of a canonical nature are the central ones: the episcopate preserve the continuity of church life and church teaching; it is called upon to observe the unity of the Church;.
Bibliography (Classic Short Stories)
1968 (Priest-Monk Clirysostomus himself took part in database and witnessed church life in Russia in the 1920s and 1930s william c, fletcher: A study in survival. The Church in Russia. 1965; Harvey fireside: Icon and Swastika. The russian Orthodox Church under nazi and soviet Control. . Harvard University Press, 1971 and many others. Although these authors did not have access to the sources used by regelson and, of fuller course, did not have the personal (and therefore indispensable) experience of a contemporary participant in church life in Russia, nevertheless their works contain facts and assessments which add significantly. Of the important Russian foreign editions the author was unfamiliar with.
emerge. Lev regelson's heroic work will undoubtedly serve as the foundation of the historiography of the russian Church of the modern period, but it requires continuers. Among the material not used by the author are several foreign editions. Gelson had access to only some of them: Archpriest. Polsky's book on "The new Martyrs metropolitan Eulogy's "my life's Path" and others. But lie did not have access to books published in German, English and French. Many of these foreign editions are of inestimable value for clarifying the church policy of Patriarch tikhon and Sergius as locum tenens. I have in mind, for example, the book by the catholic priest-monk Chrysostomus: Kirchengeschichte russland der neuesten zeit.
The moscow Patriarchate, confirm the state version of events and deny that religion is persecuted, although the closing of churches and discrimination against Christians, the incredibly heavy taxes on both parishes and clergy are easily observed facts of soviet life, cannot be ignored. And consequently, if the official version of the position of the Church is false, is it not time to reinstate the truth and, in particular, to resurrect the memory and cult of the martyrs? However, all these questions can be answered only after the historical facts of the last few decades have been restored and made accessible to the public at large. Just as without restoring the memory of the "Archipelago" Russia cannot revive its conscience, so Orthodoxy cannot build the future without the memory of the past and, in particular, without the memory of its martyrs, on whose bodies the Christians of the early church celebrated. Lev regelson's attempt to collect material about the events and people responsible for the life of the Church in the transition period between the revolution and the second World war is not only historic work, but also a most timely manifestation of loyally to all. The author had access to private archives and correspondence and made use of memoirs and unpublished manuscripts, of which one of the most important was six-volume dictionary of Russian bishops of this period compiled by metropolitan Manuil (Lemeshevsky) of kuibyshev before his death in 1969. This does not mean, of course, that all lev regelson's conclusions can be regarded as final. Undoubtedly there are a large number of documents to which he did thesis not have access. At the present time it is impossible to even raise the question of a "normal" study of the most recent period in the history of the russian Church.
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The author of the present book belongs to the young generation of the russian intelligentsia. He and his contemporaries came to the Orthodox Church trough conscious conversion to Christ, although in guaranteed upbringing they belong to soviet society, where religion has been being eradicated for almost sixty years now. It is most significant that this first - in Russian - attempt to write an outline history of the russian Orthodox Church in the terrible years of persecution in the twenties and thirties has appeared now in Russia, although the author cannot, of course, publish. The religious renaissance among the young intelligentsia cannot avoid such questions as: into what kind of Church are they being converted? What is the nature of Russian Orthodoxy today? What is the place on the Church in the tragic history of the revolution and its consequences? Are the accusations made by anti-religious propaganda right in saying that in their non-acceptance of Marxism the Orthodox clergy were guided only by mercenary interests and the dream of a political restoration of the monarchy? Is it true that while nothing "official particularly official propaganda, is trusted by the intelligentsia today, the question of why the organs of the Church itself,.