Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

We, the undersigned, have petitioned the governmental authorities for permission to open the chancery of your holiness and start its functioning.

By the present letter we filially ask for your holiness' blessing upon it, in order that the harmful cessation in the administration of church affairs be terminated.

Your substitute, then, upon his arrival, will immediately enter upon the discharge of his duties.

For these labors in the chancery, until such time as the final formation of the administration under the headship of your substitute be accomplished, we temporarily engage bishops now at liberty in Moscow.

Source: Matthew Spinka, The Church and the Russian Revolution ( New York, 1927), pp. 202, 201. Russian text in Vestnik Svyashchennogo Sinoda Pravoslavnoy Rossiiskoy Tserkvi, No. 2, 1925, p. 18.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

References for Document 127.


136
Sobor Condemnation of Tikhon May 3, 1923

Part of the program of the Living Church was the convening of a second sobor to establish desired reforms. This sobor, with membership carefully screened, met April 29, 1923, endorsed the October Revolution, I condemned the Karlovtsi Sobor, and approved important revisions of church law, including provision for "white" married bishops and remarried priests. Its most important act was this resolution repudiating the 1917 Sobor and setting forth the offenses of Tikhon, reducing him to lay status, and abolishing the patriarchate. The patriarch, still imprisoned, was not present, and no real trial was held. The reformers now regarded their position as established, but actually the deposition was uncanonical, the decision of a party rather than the church. Tikhon, formally notified of the decision, denied its legality and sought to maintain his position against the insurgents.

Having heard the report of Archpriest A. Vvedensky, the All-Russian Local Sobor of the Orthodox Church witnesses before the church and before all mankind that at present the world has become divided into two classes: capitalists-exploiters, and the proletariat, by whose toil and blood the capitalistic world builds its prosperity. No one in the world but the Soviet government of Russia has undertaken a struggle against this social evil. Christians cannot remain indifferent spectators of that struggle. The Sobor declares capitalism to be a mortal sin, and the fight against it to

From Matthew Spinka, The Church and the Russian Revolution ( New York, 1927). Copyright, 1927, by The Macmillan Company. Reprinted by permission of the author. I.

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