June 19, 2024

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)


23 min read

By Dr. Vladimir Moss

On this day 103 years ago, January 19 / February 1, 1918, Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow anathematized the Bolshevik government, an act that was confirmed a few days later by the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church then convened in Moscow. This, with the 1983 anathema on ecumenism, represents the most important act of the Russian Orthodox Church – arguably, of the whole Orthodox Church – since the foundation of the Romanov dynasty and the anathematization of all those opposing it in 1613. And yet it is little known, and its significance still less well understood, by Orthodox Christians toda
     In order to understand its significance, we need to put it in historical context…
     The leadership of the Orthodox Church had not distinguished itself when the last times began on March 2/15, 1917 with the abdication of “him that restraineth” the coming of the Antichrist, the Orthodox Christian Emperor or Tsar. The Holy Synod of the Russian Church had done nothing to support the tsardom, or the monarchical principle in general, or stood up in defence of the unjustly imprisoned (and later murdered) Tsar and his family. It had even welcomed the coming of the new Provisional Government, calling it “right-believing” when it was in fact heretical and Masonic.
     But a new spirit began to prevail with the convening of the Moscow Council on August 15/28, 1917, and especially after the election of Patriarch Tikhon on November 21 / December 4, 1918. The second major decision of the Moscow Council after the restoration of the patriarchate was its refusal to recognize the legitimacy of Soviet power. It was as if the Church was emerging out of a deep sleep to take up arms with unexpected vigour.
     Thus already on the day after the coup, when Lenin nationalized all land, making the Church’s and parish priests’ property illegal, the Council addressed a letter to the faithful on November 11, calling the revolution “descended from the Antichrist and possessed by atheism”: “Open combat is fought against the Christian Faith, in opposition to all that is sacred, arrogantly abasing all that bears the name of God (II Thessalonians 2.4)… But no earthly kingdom founded on ungodliness can ever survive: it will perish from internal strife and party dissension. Thus, because of its frenzy of atheism, the State of Russia will fall… For those who use the sole foundation of their power in the coercion of the whole people by one class, no motherland or holy place exists. They have become traitors to the motherland and instigated an appalling betrayal of Russia and her true allies. But, to our grief, as yet no government has arisen which is sufficiently one with the people to deserve the blessing of the Orthodox Church. And such will not appear on Russian soil until we turn with agonizing prayer and tears of repentance to Him, without Whom we labour in vain to lay foundations…”[1]
     This recognition of the real nature of the revolution came none too early. On November 15, a Tver peasant, Michael Yefimovich Nikonov, wrote to the Council: “We think that the Most Holy Synod made an irreparable mistake when the bishops went to meet the revolution. We do not know the reasons for this. Was it for fear of the Jews? In accordance with the prompting of their heart, or for some laudable reasons? Whatever the reason, their act produced a great temptation in the believers, and not only in the Orthodox, but even among the Old Ritualists. Forgive me for touching on this question – it is not our business to judge that: this is a matter for the Council, I am only placing on view the judgement of the people. People are saying that by this act of the Synod many right-thinking people were led into error, and also many among the clergy. We could hardly believe our ears at what we heard at parish and deanery meetings. Spiritual fathers, tempted by the deception of freedom and equality, demanded that hierarchs they dislike be removed together with their sees, and that they should elect those whom they wanted. Readers demanded the same equality, so as not to be subject to their superiors. That is the absurdity we arrived at when we emphasized the satanic idea of the revolution. The Orthodox Russian people is convinced that the Most Holy Council in the interests of our holy mother, the Church, the Fatherland and Batyushka Tsar, should give over to anathema and curse all self-called persons and all traitors who trampled on their oath together with the satanic idea of the revolution. And the Most Holy Council will show to its flock who will take over the helm of administration in the great State. We suppose it must be he who is in prison [the Tsar], but if he does not want to rule over us traitors,… then let it indicate who is to accept the government of the State; that is only common sense. The act of Sacred Coronation and Anointing with holy oil of our tsars in the Dormition Cathedral [of the Moscow Kremlin] was no simple comedy. It was they who received from God the authority to rule the people, giving account to Him alone, and by no means a constitution or some kind of parliament of not quite decent people capable only of revolutionary arts and possessed by the love of power… Everything that I have written here is not my personal composition alone, but the voice of the Russian Orthodox people, the 100-million-strong village Russia in which I live.”[2]
     Many people were indeed disturbed by such questions as: had the Church betrayed the Tsar in March 1917? Were Christians guilty of breaking their oath to the Tsar by accepting the Provisional Government? Should the Church formally absolve the people of their oath to the Tsar? What about the oath of allegiance that the Russian people had made to the Romanov dynasty in 1613? Had the people fallen under the anathema-curse of the 1613 Council against all those who broke that allegiance?
     A letter by a group of Orthodox Christians to the president of the Council declared: “Holy Fathers, Most Holy Synod, Apostles, Preachers of the Teaching of Christ. Do your actions correspond to your names? Alas, alas, alas! Have not all of you turned into Judases? He was one man who betrayed Christ and hanged himself, but are you not all in the place of Judas? Are you not all whitewashed sepulchres on the outside, with golden klobuks, but straw inside, in your brains? Are not you all hiding your disgusting pride in your silken mantias, are you not seeking the earthly kingdom of freedom? Your helpers, the sacred servers of the Altar, follow your example, and inspire the Christian people with the ideas of freedom and equality. Alas, crucifiers, because of your freedom the throne of the Autocracy has been destroyed. Because of your unhappy freedom the Anointed of God, his Majesty the Emperor, is suffering: he is slandered, dishonoured, exiled. The innocent heir to the Throne is suffering. The Royal Family and the whole race is suffering.
     “O Lord, by Thy Grace stand up for and save the Passion-Bearer of Christ the Lord, the all-innocent Tsar.
     “Holy Fathers, the Orthodox people beseeches you: look at the Holy Bible. Come to your senses, take off your golden klobuks, scatter ashes on your heads, weep, repent. It is not you who are calling the Orthodox people to repentance, but the Russian people is beseeching you to seek justice and truth, and not demonic freedom. What were you bound by? The hellish monster, the Beast, has been unbound by freedom and has come out from the abyss. Who is your Kerensky? A zhid [Jew], an Antichrist, and you are his servants, whatever face you put on it. What has your diabolical freedom brought Russia, what joy? How has the Russian People met ‘freedom’? With songs, with dances, with murders. All Orthodox people beseech you: come to your senses, all you Judases. May at least one person be found like the Apostle Peter to weep over his guilt. You have sinned terribly, you have overthrown the innocent batiushka-Tsar…”[3]
      The letter could be accused of being “over the top” insofar as several of the hierarchs it addressed became holy martyrs of Christ. And yet the general direction of the accusation was surely correct. The Church leadership had failed to defend the Tsar or the monarchy, and only the simple people understood, it would seem, what was really happening.
     The leadership of the Council passed consideration of these questions, together with Nikonov’s letter, to a subsection entitled “On Church Discipline”. This subsection had several meetings in the course of the next nine months, but came to no definite decisions…[4]
     The Council’s decree of December 2, “On the Legal Status of the Russian Orthodox Church”, ruled, on the one hand, that the State could issue no law relating to the Church without prior consultation with and approval by her, and on the other hand, that any decree and by-laws issued by the Orthodox Church that did not directly contradict state laws were to be systematically recognized by the State as legally binding. Church holidays were to remain state holidays, blasphemy and attempts to lure members of the Church away from her were to remain illegal, and schools of all levels organized and run by the Church were to be recognised by the State on a par with the secular schools. It is clear from this decree that the Church was determined to go Her own way in complete defiance of the so-called “authorities”.
     On December 11 Lenin decreed that all Church schools be transferred to the Council of People’s Commissars. As a result, the Church was deprived of all its academies, seminaries, schools and all the property linked with them. Then, on December 18, ecclesiastical marriage was deprived of its legal status and civil marriage introduced in its place. The Church responded by declaring that civil marriages were sinful for Orthodox Christians…
     As if to test the decree “On the Legal Status of the Russian Orthodox Church”, on January 13, Alexandra Kollontai, the People’s Commissar of Social Welfare (and Lenin’s mistress), sent a detachment of sailors to occupy the Alexander Nevsky monastery and turn it into a sanctuary for war invalids. They were met by an angry crowd of worshippers and in the struggle which followed one priest, Fr. Peter Skipetrov, was shot dead.[5]
     According to Orlando Figes, Lenin was not yet ready for a confrontation with the Church, but Kollontai’s actions forced his hand.[6] On January 20 a law on freedom of conscience, later named the “Decree on the Separation of the Church from the State and of the School from the Church”, was passed (it was published three days later in Izvestia). This was the Bolsheviks’ fiercest attack yet on the Church. It forbade religious bodies from owning property (all property of religious organizations was declared to be the heritage of the people), from levying dues, from organizing into hierarchical organizations, and from teaching religion to persons under 18 years of age. Ecclesiastical and religious societies did not have the rights of a juridical person. The registering of marriages was to be done exclusively by the civil authorities. Thus, far from being a blow struck for freedom of conscience, it was, as the Council put it, a decree on freedom from conscience, and an excuse for large-scale pillaging of churches and murders, often in the most bestial manner.[7]
     Fr. Alexander Mazyrin points out that this decree in effect deprived the Church of its rights as a legal person. “This meant that de jure the Church ceased to exist as a single organization. Only local religious communities could exist in legal terms, the authorities signing with them agreements on the use of Church property. The Eighth Department of the People’s Commissariat of Justice, which was due to put into practice Lenin’s decree, was officially dubbed the ‘Liquidation’ Department. It was the elimination of the Church, not its legalization as a social institution, that was the aim pursued by the ‘people’s commissars’ government.”[8]
     “The ending of financial subventions,” writes S.A. Smith, “hit the central and diocesan administrations hard, but made little difference to parish clergy, who depended on parishioners for financial support. During the land redistribution even the pious took an active part in seizing church lands, but villagers provided local priests with an allotment of land and some financial support. The Bolshevik leadership was largely content to leave ecclesiastical institutions and the network of parish churches intact. The major exceptions were the monasteries. By late 1920, 673 monasteries in the RSFSR had been dissolved and their 1.2 million hectares of land confiscated.”[9]
     According to other sources, more than one thousand monasteries were “nationalized”…
     On January 19 / February 1, Patriarch Tikhon, anticipating the decree on the Separation of Church and State, and even before the Council had reconvened[10], issued his famous anathema against the Bolsheviks: “By the power given to Us by God, we forbid you to approach the Mysteries of Christ, we anathematize you, if only you bear Christian names and although by birth you belong to the Orthodox Church. We also adjure all of you, faithful children of the Orthodox Church of Christ, not to enter into any communion with such outcasts (izgoiami) of the human race: ‘Remove the evil one from among you’ (I Corinthians 5.13).” The decree ended with an appeal to defend the Church, if necessary, to the death. For “the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her” (Matthew 16.18). This anathema against the collective Antichrist was appropriately recorded as Act 66.6…[11]
     The significance of this anathema lies not so much in the casting out of the Bolsheviks themselves, as in the command to the faithful to have no communion with them. In other words, the government were to be regarded, not only as apostates from Christ (that was obvious), but also as having no moral authority, no claim to obedience whatsoever – an attitude taken by the Church to no other government in the whole of Her history.[12] Coming so soon after the Bolsheviks’ dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, it indicated that now that constitutionalism had proved its uselessness in the face of demonic barbarism, it was time for the Church to enter the struggle in earnest…[13]
     It has been argued that the Patriarch’s decree did not anathematize Soviet power as such, but only those who were committing acts of violence and sacrilege against the Church. However, this argument fails to take into account several facts. First, the patriarch himself, in his declarations of June 16 and July 1, 1923, repented precisely of his “anathematization of Soviet power”.[14] Secondly, even if it were true that the decree did not formally anathematize Soviet power as such, since Soviet power sanctioned and initiated the acts of violence against the Church and her servers, the faithful were in effect being exhorted to having nothing to do with it. And thirdly, in his Epistle to the Council of People’s Commissars on the first anniversary of the revolution, November 7, 1918, the Patriarch obliquely but clearly confirmed his non-recognition of Soviet power, saying: “It is not our business to make judgments about earthly authorities. Every power allowed by God would attract to itself Our blessing if it were truly ‘the servant of God’, for the good of those subject to it, and were ‘terrible not for good works, but for evil’ (Romans 13.3,4). But now to you, who have used authority for the persecution of the innocent, We extend this Our word of exhortation… “[15]
     It was important that the true significance of the anathema for the Church’s relationship with the State be pointed out. This was done immediately after the proclamation of the anathema, when Count D.A. Olsufyev pointed out that at the moleben they had just sung ‘many years’ to the powers that be – that is, to the Bolsheviks whom they had just anathematized! “I understand that the Apostle called for obedience to all authorities – but hardly that ‘many years’ should be sung to them. I know that his ‘most pious and most autocratic’ [majesty] was replaced by ‘the right-believing Provisional Government’ of Kerensky and company… And I think that the time for unworthy compromises has passed.”[16]
     On January 22 / February 4 the Patriarch’s anathema was discussed in a session of the Council presided over by Metropolitan Arsenius of Novgorod, and the following resolution was accepted: “The Sacred Council of the Orthodox Russian Church welcomes with love the epistle of his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon, which punishes the evil-doers and rebukes the enemies of the Church of Christ. From the height of the patriarchal throne there has thundered the word of excommunication [preshchenia] and a spiritual sword has been raised against those who continually mock the faith and conscience of the people. The Sacred Council witnesses that it remains in the fullest union with the father and intercessor of the Russian Church, pays heed to his appeal and is ready in a sacrificial spirit to confess the Faith of Christ against her blasphemers. The Sacred Council calls on the whole of the Russian Church headed by her archpastors and pastors to unite now around the Patriarch, so as not to allow the mocking of our holy faith.” (Act 67.35-37).[17]
     Another source quotes the following response of the Council to the patriarch’s anathema: “The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia in his epistle to the beloved in the Lord archpastors, pastors and all faithful children of the Orthodox Church of Christ has drawn the spiritual sword against the outcasts of the human race – the Bolsheviks, and anathematized them. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church adjures all her faithful children not to enter into any communion with these outcasts. For their satanic deeds they are cursed in this life and in the life to come. Orthodox! His Holiness the Patriarch has been given the right to bind and to loose according to the word of the Saviour… Do not destroy your souls, cease communion with the servants of Satan – the Bolsheviks. Parents, if your children are Bolsheviks, demand authoritatively that they renounce their errors, that they bring forth repentance for their eternal sin, and if they do not obey you, renounce them. Wives, if your husbands are Bolsheviks and stubbornly continue to serve Satan, leave your husbands, save yourselves and your children from the soul-destroying infection. An Orthodox Christian cannot have communion with the servants of the devil… Repent, and with burning prayer call for help from the Lord of Hosts and thrust away from yourselves ‘the hand of strangers’ – the age-old enemies of the Christian faith, who have declared themselves in self-appointed fashion ‘the people’s power’… If you do not obey the Church, you will not be her sons, but participants in the cruel and satanic deeds wrought by the open and secret enemies of Christian truth… Dare! Do not delay! Do not destroy your soul and hand it over to the devil and his stooges.”[18]
     One member of the Council said: “If the father, mother, brothers and sisters did not receive the returning evil-doer, but expelled him, saying: ‘You are a scoundrel, your hands are covered in blood, you are not our son, nor our brother,’ the disorders would cease.”[19]
     During the same session A.A. Vasiliev said: “We thank the Lord for giving us what we have been waiting for – that is, finally to hear the true Church voice of our Most Holy Father and Patriarch. For the first time in this year of disorder, a truly ecclesiastical word, a word spoken with regard to the events about which nothing has been said up to now. And a pastoral judgement delivered on all those who are guilty of these events… Our Christian conscience must suggest to each of us what concessions he can and cannot make, and when he must lay down his life for the truth. People are puzzled about precisely who is subject to this ban that his Holiness the Patriarch speaks about in his epistle. After all, it is not just since yesterday, and not since the coming of the Bolsheviks, that we have been experiencing a real satanic attack on the Church of Christ, these fratricides, fights and mutual hatred. At the very beginning of the revolution the authorities carried out an act of apostasy from God (voices: “Right!”). Prayer was banned in the armies, banners with the cross of Christ were replaced by red rags. It is not only the present powers that be that are guilty of this, but also those who have already departed from the scene. We shall continue to hope that the present rulers also, who are now shedding blood, will depart from the scene.”[20]
     Then Fr. Vladimir Vostokov spoke: “In this hall too much has been said about the terrible things that have been suffered, and if we were to list and describe them all, this huge hall would be filled with books. So I am not going to speak about the horrors. I want to point to the root from which these horrors have been created. I understand this present assembly of ours as a spiritual council of doctors consulting over our dangerously ill mother, our homeland. When doctors come up to treat a sick person, they do not stop at the latest manifestations of the illness, but they look deeper, they investigate the root cause of the illness. So in the given case it is necessary to reveal the root of the illness that the homeland is suffering. From this platform, before the enlightener of Russia, the holy Prince Vladimir, I witness to my priestly conscience that the Russian people is being deceived, and that up to this time no-one has told them the whole truth. The moment has come when the Council, as the only gathering that is lawful and truly elected by the people must tell the people the holy truth, fearing nobody except God Himself…
     “The derailing of the train of history took place at the end of February, 1917; it was aided first of all by the Jewish-Masonic global organization, which cast into the masses the slogans of socialism, the slogans of a mythical freedom… So much has been said here about the terrors brought upon the country by Bolshevism. But what is Bolshevism? – the natural and logical development of Socialism. And Socialism is – that antichristian movement which in the final analysis produces Bolshevism as its highest development and which engenders those phenomena completely contrary to the principles of Christian asceticism that we are living through now.
     “Unfortunately, many of our professors and writers have arrayed Socialism in beautiful clothes, calling it similar to Christianity, and thereby they together with the agitators of revolution have led the uneducated people into error. Fathers and brothers! What fruits did we expect of Socialism, when we not only did not fight against it, but also defended it at times, or almost always were shyly silent before its contagion? We must serve the Church by faith, and save the country from destructive tendencies, and for that it is necessary to speak the truth to the people without delay, telling them what Socialism consists of and what it leads to.
     “The Council must say that in February-March a violent coup took place which for the Orthodox Christian is oath-breaking and which requires purification through repentance. We all, beginning with Your Holiness and ending with myself, the last member of the Council, must bow the knee before God, and beseech Him to forgive us for allowing the growth in the country of evil teachings and violence. Only after sincere repentance by the whole people will the country be pacified and regenerated. And God will bestow upon us His mercy and grace. But if we continue only to anathematize without repenting, without declaring the truth to the people, then they will with just cause say to us: You, too, are guilty that the country has been reduced to this crime, for which the anathema now sounds out; you by your pusillanimity have allowed the development of evil and have been slow to call the facts and phenomena of state life by their real names!
     “Pastors of the Church, search out the soul of the people! If we do not tell the people the whole truth, if we do not call on them now to offer nationwide repentance for definite sins, we will leave this conciliar chamber as turncoats and traitors of the Church and the Homeland. I am so unshakeably convinced of what I say now that I would not hesitate to repeat it even if I were on the verge of death. It is necessary to regenerate in the minds of people the idea of a pure central authority – the idea that has been darkened by the pan-Russian deception. We overthrew the Tsar and subjected ourselves to the Jews! [Voices of members of the Council: ‘True, true…’] The only salvation for the Russian people is a wise Russian Orthodox Tsar. Only through the election of a wise, Orthodox, Russian Tsar can Russia be placed on the good, historical path and re-establish good order. As long as we will not have a wise Orthodox tsar, there will be no order among us, and the people’s blood will continue to be shed, and the centrifugal forces will divide the one people into hostile pieces, until the train of history is completely destroyed or until foreign peoples enslave us as a crowd incapable of independent State life…
     “We all must unite into one Christian family under the banner of the Holy and Life-Creating Cross and under the leadership of his Holiness the Patriarch, to say that Socialism, which calls people as if to brotherhood, is an openly antichristian and evil phenomenon, that the Russian people has become the plaything of the Jewish-Masonic organizations behind which the Antichrist is already visible in the form of an internationalist tsar, that by playing on false freedom, the people is forging for itself slavery to the Judaeo-Masons. If we say this openly and honestly, then I do not know what will happen to us, but I know that Russia will be alive!”[21]
     On March 12, 1918 the Council reaffirmed the patriarch’s anathema, proclaiming: “To those who utter blasphemies and lies against our holy faith and Church, who rise up against the holy churches and monasteries, encroaching on the inheritance of the Church, while abusing and killing the priests of the Lord and zealots of the patristic faith: Anathema (Act 94).
     However, in 1918, the rite of the Triumph of Orthodoxy with the anathemas against the atheists, was omitted on the First Sunday in Great Lent. As Valery Shambarov writes: “The Bolsheviks were in power, and such a rite would have constituted an open challenge to on the part of the hierarchs of the Church. Nevertheless, one cannot find any decision on removing the traditional rite of the celebration of the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in the materials of the Local Council of 1917-1918.”[22]
     And so the implementation of the anathema on Soviet power was weak and inconsistent, and became more so as Soviet power consolidated its power. By 1922 and the end of the Civil War, physical opposition to the power had been abandoned. But there was nothing to prevent civil disobedience to the antichristian power, and there were still many who remained faithful to the spirit of the anathema by refusing to obey the authorities. Such were the thousands who suffered martyrdom through opposing the confiscation of church valuables. And such was Bishop Nicholas of Saratov, who immediately went into reclusion after the 1918 anathema in order not to sin against it, but still suffered martyrdom in 1939.
     In 1923 Patriarch Tikhon anathematized the fake church of the renovationists created by the authorities, and declared that its sacraments were invalid. A second fake church, led by former renovationists and now known as “the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate”, was created in 1927, and was anathematized by secret Catacomb Councils and by the Russian Church Abroad. In the 1930s there was a widespread movement of disobedience to the authorities through a refusal to support collectivization and entry into the new collective farms, leading to thousands of martyrdoms. In July, 1937 a secret Council of the Catacomb Church at Ust-Kut in Siberia upheld the validity of the 1918 anathema. During the Second World War there were several martyrdoms of Catacomb Christians who refused to join the Red Army because it meant fighting for the anathematized regime of the Bolsheviks…
     After the Second World War, civil disobedience to the Soviets in obedience to the Church’s anathema was carried on by heroic groups of True Orthodox Christians. But they were getting fewer and weaker, and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 came as a very welcome relief to the beleaguered Church. Now, it was hoped, open church activity that was blessed by God could be resumed; and under the anti-communist Yeltsin and with the support of the Russian Church Abroad, a valid Church hierarchy inside Russia was restored.
     However, in 2000 a former head of the KGB, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, became president. He not only did not repent of his KGB membership or membership of the Communist Party, but proclaimed the fall of the Soviet Union to have been “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century”. As a former member of the KGB’s Fifth Directorate that had been concerned with monitoring and persecuting church dissidents in the Soviet period, Putin took an interest in the Church, and in 2007, with the aid of traitors in the Russian Church Abroad, he engineered the union of that Church with the false, anathematized “church” of the Moscow Patriarchate. By now, there were few who remembered the 1918 anathema or pondered its significance, and there were few who paid much attention to the crimes of Putin’s avaricious and murderous regime. Among those few were the last ROCOR elder, Nektary of Jerusalem (+2000), who declared that the only legitimate government that Russia could have was a True Orthodox tsardom, and the Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Russia under Archbishop Lazarus (Zhurbenko), which in May, 2004 fiercely condemned the Putinist regime.
     In the second decade of the twenty-first century, resistance to Putin, as expressed in protests and demonstrations, began slowly to increase. The largest so far, over 200,000 people in all the major cities of Russia, took place in January, 2021. While there is no evidence that Putin’s regime is on the verge of falling, the curse of the 1918 anathema still weighs heavily on all those who, like Putin and his supporters, continue to justify the Bolshevik revolution and hinder the restoration of the throne of the Orthodox tsars.
January 19 / February 1, 2021.

[1] Nicholas Zernov, “The 1917 Council of the Russian Orthodox Church”, Religion in Communist Lands, vol. 6, N 1, 1978.
[2] http://www.ispovednik.org/fullst.php?nid=31&binn_rubrik_pl_news=136.
[3] ГА РФ. Ф. 3431. Оп. 1. Д. 522. Л. 444, 446–446 об. Рукопись. Подлинник.
[4] M. Babkin, “Pomestnij Sobor 1917-1918 gg.: ‘O Prisiage pravitel’stvu voobsche i byvshemu imperatoru Nikolaiu II v chastnosti” (The Local Council of 1917-1918: On the Oath to the Government in general and to the former Emperor Nicholas II in particular), http://www.portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=lib&id=2704.
[5] Richard Pipes, Russia under the Bolshevik Regime, 1919-1924, London: Fontana, 1995, p. 343. According to Regelson (op. cit., p. 226), this took place on January 19.
[6] Figes, A People’s Tragedy, London: Pimlico, 1997, p. 528; Archpriest Michael Polsky, The New Martyrs of Russia, new edition, Wildwood, Alberta: Monastery Press, 2000, pp. 91-92.
[7] Professor Ivan Andreyev, “The Catacomb Church in the Soviet Union”, Orthodox Life, March-April, 1951. For details of the destruction wrought against the Church in these years, see Vladimir Rusak, Pir Satany (Satan’s Feast), London, Canada: Zarya, 1991.
[8] Mazyrin, “Legalizing the Moscow Patriarchate in 1927: The Secret Aims of the Authorities”, Social Sciences: A Quarterly Journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences, No 1, 2009, p. 28. This article was first published in Russian in Otechestvennaia Istoria (Fatherland History), N 4, 2008.
[9] Smith, Russia in Revolution, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 242-243.
[10] “When they asked the holy Patriarch why he had issued his epistle on the eve of the Council’s Sitting, Vladyka replied that he did not want to put the Council under the hammer and preferred to take it on himself alone” (Andreyev, op. cit., p. 9), a characteristic remark of this truly self-sacrificial man of God.
[11] Russian text in M.E. Gubonin, Akty Sviateishego Patriarkha Tikhona (The Acts of His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon), Moscow: St. Tikhon’s Theological Institute, 1994, pp. 82-85; Deiania Sviaschennogo Sobora Pravoslavnoj Rossijskoj Tserkvi (The Acts of the Sacred Council of the Russian Orthodox Church), 1917-1918, Moscow, 1918, 1996, vol. 6, pp. 4-5.
[12] In a letter to Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) that was captured by the Bolsheviks, the Patriarch called the Bolsheviks “oprichniki” – that is, he compared them to the murderous henchmen of Ivan the Terrible (Za Khrista Postradavshie (They Suffered for Christ), Moscow, 1997, vol. 1, p. 426).
[13] On January 1, 1970 the Russian Church Abroad under Metropolitan Philaret of New York confirmed this anathema and added one of its own against “Vladimir Lenin and the other persecutors of the Church of Christ, dishonourable apostates who have raised their hands against the Anointed of God, killing clergymen, trampling on holy things, destroying the churches of God, tormenting our brothers and defiling our Fatherland” (http://catacomb.org.ua/modules.php?name=Pages&go=print_page&pid=1775)
[14] Gubonin, op. cit., pp. 280, 296.
[15] Gubonin, op. cit., p. 151.
[16] Deiania, op. cit., vol. 6, p. 7; quoted in A.G. Yakovitsky, “Sergianstvo: mif ili real’nost? (Sergianism: myth or reality?), Vernost’, 100, January, 2008.
[17] Deiania, op. cit., vol. 6, p. 36.
[18] “Iz sobrania Tsentral’nogo gosudarstvennogo arkhiva OktIabr’skoj revoliutsii: listovka bez vykhodnykh dannykh, pod N 1011” (From the collection of the Central State Archive of the October Revolution: pamphlet without dates, under N 1011, Nauka i Religia (Science and Religion), 1989, N 4; partly translated in Arfed Gustavson, The Catacomb Church, Jordanville, N.Y.: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1960, p. 9.
[19] Deiania, op. cit., vol. 6, p. 40.
[20] Deiania, op. cit., vol. 6, p. 40.
[21] Deiania, op. cit.,vol. 6, pp. 41-43.
[22] Shambarov, “Vosstanovit’ prervannuiu pravoslavnuiu traditsiu!” (Restoring an interrupted Orthodox tradition), February 28, 1917, http://zavtra.ru/blogs/vosstanovit_prervannuyu_pravoslavnuyu_traditciyu.

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