P. 1
Archbishop Luca, Surgeon and Scholar

Archbishop Luca, Surgeon and Scholar

|Views: 2|Likes:
Published by niceta

More info:

Published by: niceta on May 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/18/2012

pdf

text

original

Archbishop Luka, Surgeon

and Scholar
MARK POPOVSKY
Communist ideology claims that religion contradicts science and is the
enemy of all social and economic progress. This tenet, insistently re-
peated over 60 years, has entered the consciousness of Soviet man to such
an extent that the very idea of a believing scientist or scholar appears to
most people in the USSR to be ridiculous.
I am going to tell the story of a man who, for more than 40 years under
the Soviet system, was not only a great scientist but openly demonstrated
his religious faith. As a Doctor of Medical Science and Professor of
Surgery, Valentin Feliksovich Voino-Yasenetsky (1877-1961) created a
new branch of medicine - septic surgery. Three generations of doctors
have learnt from his established classic Essays on Septic Surgery (1934,
1946, 1956). At the same time, from 1921 until his death in: 1961, Pro-
fessor Voino-Yasenetsky was a priest and then a bishop of the Russian
Orthodox Church. As a monk and a bishop he bore the name of Luka.
The life of Archbishop Luka is surrounded by legend. While working
on his biography, I heard from his contemporaries about 50 legends which
had been created during the lifetime of Luka Voino-Yasenetsky. One
such folk story, which, however, is based on a real episode, runs thus:
"In Tambov the secretary of the regional committee of the Communist
Pafty (Kuznetsov) had taken a dislike to the famous Professor-Bishop.
Intending to scoff at him, he asked Luka: 'You talk about the soul the
whole time, but have you yourself ever seen a human soul?' Bishop Luka
answered: 'I have never actually seen a soul, which is by its nature in-
visible. But as a surgeon and anatomist I have more than once uncovered
a human brain and have likewise never there revealed either conscience
or honour. But you will agree that one does s o ~ e t i m e s come across these
qualities in some people nevertheless .. .' " Stories were told about him,
too, by surgeons and generals, by former inmates of Soviet prisons, and
by those who had ·been wounded in the last war, by believing women
from the towns of central Russia, by Moscow professors, by bishops, by
fishermen from the River Yenisei and the Uzbeks from Tashkent. Their
Archbishop Luka, Surgeon and Scholar
stories as well as the many letters, sermons, medical works and reminis-
cences of Archbishop Luka, make it possible to recreate the complicated
but attractive image of a Russian scientist and religious thinker.
Luka was tall and even as an old man, when I met him, he looked
majestic. He had a deep voice and the large beautiful hands of a surgeon.
The Voino-Yasenetskys were a princely Russian family, several genera-
tions of whom worked at the Polish and Lithuanian courts. In the 18th
century however, the family became poor and had to adopt a simpler
life-style. Luka's grandfather was a village miller and his father a phar-
macist. While still a student at Kiev University at the turn of the 20th
century, he declared to his friends that he was planning to become a
"peasant doctor". Over the following 15 years until the Revolution he
remained a country doctor and mainly looked after peasants.
In the country, without any kind of scientific guidance, Valentin
Feliksovich completed ,his dissertation and became a, doctor of medicine.
His dissertation, published in 1915, was devoted to an important subject
which was quite new in those days - local anaesthesia. Asa doctor,
Voino-Yasenetsky worked tirelessly without thinking of himself: in the
hospi.tal in the little town of Pereslavl-Zalessky, where he worked alone,
he used to perform a. thousand operations in one year. Sixty years later
I asked the head doctor at that hospital about their surgical department.
With pride the doctor answered that his hospital had ten surgeons, and
that the total number of operations performed in 18 months amounted
to one thousand.
In 191.7 Professor Voino-Yasenetsky was working as the chief surgeon
in Tashkent; In Central Asia during the Revolution people were seized
and killed on the first shred of information, and twice Dr Voino-Yasenetsky
was led oU,t to be shot,. But he was saved because amongst those who
were, annihilating' the "bourgeoisie" there were people who had been
eured by and who knew his integrity and goodness.
Then Voino-Yasentsky's young wife who had TB died from cold and
hunger"iIDdtheprofessor, always,quiet and absorbed in himself, became
even more withdrawn. He worked whole days and nights without rest;
he took in the sick, performed operations and lectured at the University.
He often went hungry because on principle he would not accept any
payment from his patients.
In 192rhe becaine a priest, but did not leave the hospital or the
versity. He was ordained at a time when many priests, unable to bear
the humiliations :inflicted by the Soviet authorities, were abandoning their
churches 'and leaving the priesthood. He,however, began to give a series
of lectures 'on pathology; dressed in a:cassock and wearing across, and
was not touched by the authorities because asa scientist and doctor he
was highly respected. Then in 1923 he became a monk, taking the name
of Luka, and at the request of Patriarch Tikhon became Bishop of
Archbishop Luka,Surgeon and Scholar
-99
Turkestan and Tashkent. This was at a time when the Russian Orthodox
Church was being tom apart by the Renovationist movement, or Living
Church * which was dedicated to supporting Soviet power and thus be-
came an officially approved substitute for the Patriarchal Orthodox
Church. Bishop Luka was arrested only ten days after he became head of
the diocese of Turkestan. But before his arrest he was able to preach
several ~ i m e s to the faithful, and wrote a "Testament" in which "by the
authority of the apostolic succession, given by our Lord Jesus Christ",
he forbade all Orthodox believers to receive Renovationists or to pray
with them. This "Testament" made an enormous impression on the
people of Tashkent, and when a few months later Bishop Luka was sent
into exile from Tashkent, the train taking him away could not move out
of the station for a long time because hundreds of believers lay down
on the track in front of the engine.
Bishop Luka was exiled twice to the Krasnoyarsk region of Eastern
Siberia and once to the shores of the White Sea. But wherever he went
he began to heal the' sick and preach in the nearest church. If the
churches were closed, he illegally unlocked them and continued his
ministry as a bishop. He was then moved further north. I sailed 2,000
km from Krasnoyarsk to Turukhansk, which is on the Arctic Circle, and
talked to people who had known Bishop Luka. He was remembered with
great tenderness: he had been· active as a surgeon; he had restored the
sight of many; he had operated on patients with cancer; and had once
saved a peasant from uremia, giving him a kidney transplant from a calf.
The local peasants and fishermen remembered that in answer to the
abuse of the Party leaders, the Professor-Bishop had said: "You'll take
my cassock from my skin, only from my skin ... " The simple people
also remembered how the head of the local GPU (secret police) sent Luka
from Turukhansk further north to the Arctic Ocean, without giving him
warm clothing, and how the local inhabitants managed to collect some
furs for him and thus saved his life. -
'After each period of exile, which lasted three to four years, Bishop
Luka would return to Tashkent where his four children were being
looked after. After a few years he would be arrested arid exiled again. In
May 1930 Bishop Luka wasarrestedon.an alleged charge of incitement
to murder, and in December 1937 he was arrested as a spy. Later in his
reminiscences he wrote: "I asked them which country I had spied for,
but they could give me no answer." After his .arrest in i937 he was sub-
jected to a method of interrogation called the "conveyer". The'interro-
gators took turns while Bishop Luka had to remain standing for 13 days
and nights. Several times he lost consciousness and fell. They dragged
him to the watertap, :brought him round and made him'shmd again. His
• See "The Living Church I922-I946" by Philip WaIters, ReL, Vol. 6,No. 4, .Pp.
235":'43. Ed. '.
100
Archbishop Luka, Surgeon and Scholar
health was badly damaged but he did not sign any false statements about
his "espionage", and was sent once more to the Krasnoyarsk region.
Whenever he came out of prison, Bishop Luka at once took up his
work as a scientist: he wrote notes about the most interesting events in
medicine, he performed autopsies and read a great deal in German,
French and English. Between his first and second exile Bishop Luka was
able to publish the first edition of his book, Essays on Septic Surgery. He
continued to work on his book over a period of ten years and put forward
the idea of an All-Union Institute of Septic Surgery. None of his plans,
however, materialized, because, as the People's Committee for Health of
the USSR pointed out, the professor was also a bishop; were he to re-
nounce his episcopal orders, all his difficulties would evaporate.
At the beginning of the Second World War Bishop Luka was in exile
north of Krasnoyarsk. After hearing that the Germans had invaded the
USSR, he asked Moscow to use him as a surgeon at the front. In a tele-
gJ;am addressed to Kalinin, President of the Central Executive Committee,
he wrote that after the war he would be ready to return to the
Krasnoyarsk region to complete his exile. In September 1941 a plane
landed next to the village where Bishop Luka was living. The medical war
authorities had flown to see the famous surgeon. In Krasnoyarsk, 5,000
kilometres from Moscow, trainloads of the wounded were already
coming from the front and there were not enough doctors. So remaining
an exile, Luka became the chief consultant surgeon of the huge Krasnoy-
arsk hospital with 10,000 beds.
Bishop Luka's letters from Krasnoyarsk during this period (1941-42)
are full of hope and joy. He was doing about five or six major operations
a day, not eating properly, dressing badly, but all this was nothing com-
pared to the great happiness of his life: he had returned to major surgery.
He healed the wounded and taught young doctors. In the spring of 1943
he became Archbishop of Krasnoyarsk. He was made a member of the
first Synod of the Soviet era and invited to Moscow, where with the few
bishops who remained after the purges he elected Patriarch Sergi.
In 1946 Stalin himself ordered the publication of the second edition of
Essays on Septic Surgery, for which Bishop Luka won the highest scien-
tific award - the Stalin Prize, First Class. During the war and after, Bishop
Luka wrote a number of pro-Stalin articles in the Journal of the Moscow
Patriarchate, and in December 1949, on Stalin's birthday, he preached a
sermon wholly devoted to the "wise" leader of the p ~ o p l e . Unfortunately
many, including Archbishop Lub of Krasnoyatsk, did not understand
that the Party's short-lived "friendship" with the Church was promoted
for political reasons by Stalin. In the middle '50s,however, Archbishop
Luka changed his attitude : when Khrushchev launched his anti-religious
campaign Archbishop Luka openly protested. As Archbishop of the
Crimea and Simferopol, he preached a sermon on "Fear not, little flock",
Archbishop Luka, Suroeon and Scholar
101
in which he called on the faithful to be fearless in the face of the anti-reli-
gious campaign. He carried on this struggle for the Church, for man's
right to freedom of conscience, until he died. His last protest about the
oppression of the Church was sent from Simferopol to the Patriarch two
weeks before his death.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of Archbishop Luka was his book
The Spirit, the Soul and the Body. * He began to write it in 1946 when
his career was at its zenith, when his bust stood in the Tretyakov Gallery
in Moscow, and the New York Times printed his biography. This small
book was finished in 1947 and was the first example of religious
samizdat. As a natural scientist Archbishop Luka tried to prove in this
work that man consists of a non-material spirit and soul as well as a body.
Thus he repudiated the Marxist theory that human behaviour is deter-
mined by a man's material circumstances. It needed great courage to
question. a fundamental tenet of Party ideology in the Stalinist era. To
refute Marx and Marx's Soviet successors, Archbishop Luka enlisted all
the available literature in physics, chemistry, psychology, psychiatry and
theology. He thought much about the threefold nature of man, consulted
physicists, physiologists, and even sought the help of Academician Orlov,
a pupil of the great Pavlov. Fortunately, this manuscript has been pre-
served until today, and I have seen a number of copies of it. One type-
script is in the State Museum of the History of Religion in Leningrad, and
although the book was not published, several Soviet philosophers have
written dissertations refuting the ideas of its author from a Marxist
position. [This manuscript has now been published in Brussels. See
footnote. Ed.]
As a theologian, Archbishop Luka became famous for his sermons.
Most often he preached on moral questions, but in his search for evidence
he frequently turned to his experience as a doctor and scientist. Once
during the Khrushchev anti-religious campaign he tried to deliver a series
of ,sermons refuting atheism. The KGB immediately notified the Moscow
Patriarch ate and the sermons were stopped. Nevertheless in 1955 Arch-
bishop Luka was made an honorary member of the Moscow Theological
Academy on the strength of 12 typewritten volumes of his sermons.
The centenary in 1977 of Archbishop Luka's birth was marked by an
article in the Moscow medical newspaper, Meditsinskaya Gazeta. The
article mostly discussed his medical work and his work with the wounded
during the war, and did n o ~ mention that he had been a member of the
Russian Orthodox Church's hierarchy for 40 years. The Journal of the
Moscow Patriarchate also devoted an article to Luka,but did not mention
the arrests, imprisonment or exile which he endured because of his faith.
The half-truths in both these publications are not accidental. Today, as
* Dukh, dusha i telo, Foyer Oriental Chretien, Brussels, I978. See extracts in this
issue of RCL, pp. 104-5 Ed.
102 Archbishop Luka, Surgeon and Scholar
during the past 60 years of Soviet rule, the press is not allowed to inform
its readers that a great scientist and scholar was also a believer. Only in
one place can a Soviet citizen read the truth about the late Archbishop.
He was buried close to the church in the cemetery of Simferopol, and on
the white marble cross above his grave are the words: 'iArchbishop Luka
Voino-Yasenetsky, Doctor of Medical Science, Professor of
Sermon by Archbishop Luka
This sermon was preached by Arch-
bishop Luka on 27 April 1957 on the
occqsion of his 80th birthday. His words
were recorded at the time and circu-
lated in samizdat form. A copy reached
the West and is now published for the
first time in English.
I hope that what I am going to say will
not seem like self-praise to you, for I
say truly that I do not seek my own
glory but the glory of Him who sent
me.
In the book of Tobit we -read these
words: "A King's secret ought to be
kept, but the works of God should be
acknowledged publicly". It is of the
great· works of God,- as manifested in
my life, that I wish to tell you. I know
that a great many people cannot under-
stand how, once I had -achieved fame as
a scientist and had become quite well-
known aSl a surgeon, I could then aban-
don surgery and science and become a
preacher of Christ's Gospel.
Those who think in this way are pro-
foundly mistaken in considering that
science and religion are incompatible.
_This is quite untrue, for we know from
the-history of science that even many
scientific geniuses like Galileo, Newton,
Copernicus, Pasteur and our own great
physiologist Pavlov, were deeply reli-
gious men. I know that there are also
many believers among modem profes-
sors, who have asked me to give them
my blessing. -
We have not convinced those who
condemn me for becoming a priest and
bishop. Let us leave them be.
However, I must tell you that I my-
self find God's work in me to be some-
thing wonderful and beyond under-
standing, for in looking back on my
past life, I see clearly how from my ear-
liest years the Lord - unknown to me -
was leading me to the priesthood, which
I myself had never even contemplated,
for I greatly loved surgery and was
wholly: devoted to it. It deeply
my constant yearning to serve the poor
and suffering, to their sufferings
and satisfy their needs by every means
in my power.
I remember with amazement what
happened 60 years ago, when I finished
high school and received a certificate
of secondary education,- enclosed in a
New Testament, from the headmaster at
the graduation ceremony. I had read the
New Testament before but now I read
it once more, from beginning to end. I
made a note of everything that made a
strong impression on me. Nothing had a
more striking effect on - me than the
words of the Lord Jesus Christ to his
Apostles at the sight of a ripening corn-
field:
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the
labourers are few. Pray ye therefore
the Lord of the harvest that he will
send forth labourers into his harvest
... (Matt. 9 : 38)
My heart trembled at these words, and
I cried out in my mind: "What, Lord,
do you really have few labourers in
your cornfield?" I remembered those
words all my life .
.. , Many years went -by.i received
Archbishop [uka, Surgeon andScholar
the degree of, Doctor of Medicine for
my dissertation on "Local Anaesthesia",
which was given a very high award. I
became a district council doctor; healing
the ailments of peasants and workers
and finding deep satisfaction in this. A
few more years went by, and I decided
to write a much needed book on septic
surgery; When I was writing the intro-
duction, I was suddenly struck by a
strange, persistent thought: "When this
book is finished, it will bear the name of
a Where did this idea come
froin ? What was this? What bishop?
I repeat, I had never even thought of
becoming a priest, or of reaching the
rank of bishop. Nevertheless, a few
years later that strange, vague thought
had become reality. I intended to pub-
lish my book Essays on Septic Surgery,
which later became quite well known,
in two parts; when I had finished the
first part I wrote on the title 'page:
"Bishop Luka: Essays on Septic Sur-
gery", for by then I was already a
bishop.
And I'became one quite unexpectedly,
even' for myself, in response to the clear
call of God.
InTishkent, where at that time I was
the senior doctor and surgeon at the
city hospital, a diocesan council was in
progress, in which I also participated; I
gave a long and fiery speech on a very
important subject. At the end of the
coilncil'meeting, Bishop Innokenty took
me by the arm, led me out onto the
pavement surrounding the cathedral and
spoke of the deep impression my speech
had made on him. Suddenly he stopped,
looked me in the face and said: "Doc-
tor, 'You should become a priest . . ."
However far I had been from such a
thought, I took this call to the priest-
hood froIn the lips of an Archbishop as
a call from God and, without thinking
it over for a minute, replied: "All right,
Your Grace, I will".
The next Sunday I was ordained as a
deacon, a' week later I was ordained as
a priest and became the most> junior
member of the cathedral clergy. I im-
mediately developed a great vocation for
preaching and organized discussions out-
side church services. And in disputes
with atheists, I attacked them without
mercy.
Two years and four months later, I
became a- bishop and it was already as
a bishop that the Lord led me to the
distant town of Yeniseisk.
All the priests of this town, which
boasted a number of churches, were
ready Renovationists and members of
the Living Church, as were all the
priests of Ktasnoyarsk, the regional
capital. So I had to hold the services in
my flat, 'together with the three priests
who accompanied me.
One day, when I went into the hall to
begin the liturgy, I saw an elderly monk
standing, by the front door. Staring at
me, he looked as if he had been struck
dumb and' did not even bow to me.
This was the reason: the Orthodox
believers of Ktasnoyarsk, not 'wanting
to pray together with their uIifaithful
priests, had chosen this monk and had
sent him to the town of Minusinsk,
south of Krasnoyarsk, to be ordained a
hiero-monk by the Orthodox bishop
living there. However, some unknown
force had directed him, not to the south
but to Yeniseisk in the north, where I
was living. He told me why he had been
so dumbfounded at the sight of me:' ten
years ago, while I was still living in cen-
tral Russia, he had had a: dream. He had
dreamt that an unknown'bishop was or-
daining him _as a hiero-monk. On seeing
me,' he had recognized me as that
bishop. - - - -
So ten years ago, when I was still
only the surgeon of Pereslavl-Zalessky
hospital, I was already counted as an
archbishop in the eyes of God.
-You see how unswervingly over these
ten years the Lord God led me to serve
Him as an archbishop during a difficult
time for the Church.
The words of the Apostle Paul in his
letter to the Romans have been fulfilled
inme:
Those whom God fore-ordained, them
he also chose to be conformed- to the
image of His Son, that He might be
- the first-born among many brethren.
Moreover, those whom He chose, He
also called, and those whom He called,
. He also justified, and those whom He
justified, He also glorified. (Rom.
9-: 29-3
0
)
, I could tell you more still of the won-
derful guidance of God's hand in my
life, but' I think I have said enough for
you to cry out' with me "Glory to our
God for ever and ever. Amen".

In the country.quiet and absorbed in himself. taking the name of Luka. Luka's grandfather was a village miller and his father a pharmacist. when I met him. While still a student at Kiev University at the turn of the 20th century. and was not touched by the authorities because asa scientist and doctor he was highly respected. He. annihilating' the "bourgeoisie" there were people who had been eured by DrVQino~Yasenetsky. Luka was tall and even as an old man. and who knew his integrity and goodness. Valentin Feliksovich completed . and that the total number of operations performed in 18 months amounted to one thousand.tal in the little town of Pereslavl-Zalessky. he declared to his friends that he was planning to become a "peasant doctor". became even more withdrawn. doctor of medicine.t to be shot. he took in the sick. medical works and reminiscences of Archbishop Luka. were abandoning their churches 'and leaving the priesthood. was devoted to an important subject which was quite new in those days . In 192rhe becaine a priest. several generations of whom worked at the Polish and Lithuanian courts.his dissertation and became a. Asa doctor. Over the following 15 years until the Revolution he remained a country doctor and mainly looked after peasants. he looked majestic.. His dissertation. Voino-Yasenetsky worked tirelessly without thinking of himself: in the hospi. Then Voino-Yasentsky's young wife who had TB died from cold and hunger"iIDdtheprofessor. performed operations and lectured at the University. and twice Dr Voino-Yasenetsky was led oU. always. With pride the doctor answered that his hospital had ten surgeons. published in 1915.local anaesthesia. sermons. In the 18th century however. In Central Asia during the Revolution people were seized and killed on the first shred of information. The Voino-Yasenetskys were a princely Russian family. thousand operations in one year.however. make it possible to recreate the complicated but attractive image of a Russian scientist and religious thinker. In 191. the family became poor and had to adopt a simpler life-style. Then in 1923 he became a monk. but did not leave the hospital or the Uni~ versity. where he worked alone. He had a deep voice and the large beautiful hands of a surgeon. and at the request of Patriarch Tikhon became Bishop of . he used to perform a. unable to bear the humiliations :inflicted by the Soviet authorities.Archbishop Luka. He often went hungry because on principle he would not accept any payment from his patients. He was ordained at a time when many priests.7 Professor Voino-Yasenetsky was working as the chief surgeon in Tashkent. Sixty years later I asked the head doctor at that hospital about their surgical department. He worked whole days and nights without rest. dressed in a:cassock and wearing across. began to give a series of lectures 'on pathology. Surgeon and Scholar stories as well as the many letters. But he was saved because amongst those who were. without any kind of scientific guidance.

the train taking him away could not move out of the station for a long time because hundreds of believers lay down on the track in front of the engine. In May 1930 Bishop Luka wasarrestedon. and in December 1937 he was arrested as a spy. Ed. 4. But wherever he went he began to heal the' sick and preach in the nearest church. Later in his reminiscences he wrote: "I asked them which country I had spied for. which is on the Arctic Circle. He was then moved further north. he had operated on patients with cancer. . If the churches were closed. The local peasants and fishermen remembered that in answer to the abuse of the Party leaders. and how the local inhabitants managed to collect some furs for him and thus saved his life. . Bishop Luka was arrested only ten days after he became head of the diocese of Turkestan. But before his arrest he was able to preach several ~imes to the faithful. His • See "The Living Church I922-I946" by Philip WaIters. but they could give me no answer. 'After each period of exile. They dragged him to the watertap. 6. Bishop Luka would return to Tashkent where his four children were being looked after. I sailed 2. or Living Church * which was dedicated to supporting Soviet power and thus became an officially approved substitute for the Patriarchal Orthodox Church. he illegally unlocked them and continued his ministry as a bishop." The simple people also remembered how the head of the local GPU (secret police) sent Luka from Turukhansk further north to the Arctic Ocean. only from my skin . given by our Lord Jesus Christ". and when a few months later Bishop Luka was sent into exile from Tashkent. This was at a time when the Russian Orthodox Church was being tom apart by the Renovationist movement.arrest in i937 he was subjected to a method of interrogation called the "conveyer". Bishop Luka was exiled twice to the Krasnoyarsk region of Eastern Siberia and once to the shores of the White Sea.No. he forbade all Orthodox believers to receive Renovationists or to pray with them.000 km from Krasnoyarsk to Turukhansk. 235":'43. The'interrogators took turns while Bishop Luka had to remain standing for 13 days and nights.. Several times he lost consciousness and fell. He was remembered with great tenderness: he had been· active as a surgeon.Pp.. ReL.Surgeon and Scholar -99 Turkestan and Tashkent." After his . which lasted three to four years. he had restored the sight of many. giving him a kidney transplant from a calf. Vol. and talked to people who had known Bishop Luka.Archbishop Luka. and had once saved a peasant from uremia. This "Testament" made an enormous impression on the people of Tashkent. ' . After a few years he would be arrested arid exiled again.an alleged charge of incitement to murder. :brought him round and made him'shmd again. the Professor-Bishop had said: "You'll take my cassock from my skin. and wrote a "Testament" in which "by the authority of the apostolic succession. without giving him warm clothing.

not eating properly. Unfortunately many. he preached a sermon wholly devoted to the "wise" leader of the p~ople. The medical war authorities had flown to see the famous surgeon. He healed the wounded and taught young doctors. all his difficulties would evaporate. In the spring of 1943 he became Archbishop of Krasnoyarsk. he wrote that after the war he would be ready to return to the Krasnoyarsk region to complete his exile.000 kilometres from Moscow. In 1946 Stalin himself ordered the publication of the second edition of Essays on Septic Surgery. were he to renounce his episcopal orders. but all this was nothing compared to the great happiness of his life: he had returned to major surgery. he performed autopsies and read a great deal in German. After hearing that the Germans had invaded the USSR. In the middle '50s.100 Archbishop Luka. he preached a sermon on "Fear not. Essays on Septic Surgery. Bishop Luka's letters from Krasnoyarsk during this period (1941-42) are full of hope and joy. Archbishop Luka changed his attitude : when Khrushchev launched his anti-religious campaign Archbishop Luka openly protested. however. Luka became the chief consultant surgeon of the huge Krasnoyarsk hospital with 10. Whenever he came out of prison. did not understand that the Party's short-lived "friendship" with the Church was promoted for political reasons by Stalin. 5. At the beginning of the Second World War Bishop Luka was in exile north of Krasnoyarsk. In a telegJ. First Class. because. and in December 1949. materialized. dressing badly. .000 beds. During the war and after. where with the few bishops who remained after the purges he elected Patriarch Sergi. trainloads of the wounded were already coming from the front and there were not enough doctors.the Stalin Prize. including Archbishop Lub of Krasnoyatsk. None of his plans.however. on Stalin's birthday. In Krasnoyarsk. Bishop Luka wrote a number of pro-Stalin articles in the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate. he asked Moscow to use him as a surgeon at the front. As Archbishop of the Crimea and Simferopol. for which Bishop Luka won the highest scientific award . Surgeon and Scholar health was badly damaged but he did not sign any false statements about his "espionage".am addressed to Kalinin. little flock". as the People's Committee for Health of the USSR pointed out. the professor was also a bishop. So remaining an exile. Between his first and second exile Bishop Luka was able to publish the first edition of his book. French and English. and was sent once more to the Krasnoyarsk region. Bishop Luka at once took up his work as a scientist: he wrote notes about the most interesting events in medicine. He was made a member of the first Synod of the Soviet era and invited to Moscow. He was doing about five or six major operations a day. President of the Central Executive Committee. He continued to work on his book over a period of ten years and put forward the idea of an All-Union Institute of Septic Surgery. In September 1941 a plane landed next to the village where Bishop Luka was living.

and although the book was not published.sermons refuting atheism. His last protest about the oppression of the Church was sent from Simferopol to the Patriarch two weeks before his death. dusha i telo. psychology. consulted physicists. Suroeon and Scholar 101 in which he called on the faithful to be fearless in the face of the anti-religious campaign. Fortunately. The KGB immediately notified the Moscow Patriarch ate and the sermons were stopped.] As a theologian. * He began to write it in 1946 when his career was at its zenith. pp. The article mostly discussed his medical work and his work with the wounded during the war. but in his search for evidence he frequently turned to his experience as a doctor and scientist. several Soviet philosophers have written dissertations refuting the ideas of its author from a Marxist position. Archbishop Luka became famous for his sermons. As a natural scientist Archbishop Luka tried to prove in this work that man consists of a non-material spirit and soul as well as a body. Ed. when his bust stood in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. [This manuscript has now been published in Brussels.Archbishop Luka. Meditsinskaya Gazeta. a fundamental tenet of Party ideology in the Stalinist era. The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate also devoted an article to Luka. the Soul and the Body. a pupil of the great Pavlov. Archbishop Luka enlisted all the available literature in physics. Foyer Oriental Chretien. 104-5 Ed. I978. psychiatry and theology. until he died. See extracts in this issue of RCL. The centenary in 1977 of Archbishop Luka's birth was marked by an article in the Moscow medical newspaper. Most often he preached on moral questions. Today. Brussels. To refute Marx and Marx's Soviet successors. This small book was finished in 1947 and was the first example of religious samizdat. and I have seen a number of copies of it. imprisonment or exile which he endured because of his faith.but did not mention the arrests. as * Dukh. It needed great courage to question. . See footnote. The half-truths in both these publications are not accidental. Thus he repudiated the Marxist theory that human behaviour is determined by a man's material circumstances. this manuscript has been preserved until today. One typescript is in the State Museum of the History of Religion in Leningrad. chemistry. Once during the Khrushchev anti-religious campaign he tried to deliver a series of . and did no~ mention that he had been a member of the Russian Orthodox Church's hierarchy for 40 years. and even sought the help of Academician Orlov. physiologists. for man's right to freedom of conscience. and the New York Times printed his biography. He thought much about the threefold nature of man. Nevertheless in 1955 Archbishop Luka was made an honorary member of the Moscow Theological Academy on the strength of 12 typewritten volumes of his sermons. He carried on this struggle for the Church. Perhaps the greatest achievement of Archbishop Luka was his book The Spirit.

It is of the great· works of God.as manifested in my life.enclosed in a New Testament. for we know from the-history of science that even many scientific geniuses like Galileo. I know that a great many people cannot understand how. I hope that what I am going to say will not seem like self-praise to you. Lord. Pasteur and our own great physiologist Pavlov.. 9 : 38) My heart trembled at these words. I see clearly how from my earliest years the Lord . In the book of Tobit we -read these words: "A King's secret ought to be kept. His words were recorded at the time and circulated in samizdat form. I know that there are also many believers among modem professors. the press is not allowed to inform its readers that a great scientist and scholar was also a believer. for in looking back on my past life. A copy reached the West and is now published for the first time in English.me than the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to his Apostles at the sight of a ripening cornfield: The harvest truly is plenteous. and I cried out in my mind: "What. but the labourers are few.. I remember with amazement what happened 60 years ago. Those who think in this way are profoundly mistaken in considering that science and religion are incompatible. when I finished high school and received a certificate of secondary education. that I wish to tell you. Doctor of Medical Science.102 Archbishop Luka. from beginning to end. However. for I say truly that I do not seek my own glory but the glory of Him who sent me. _This is quite untrue. It deeply Sa~isfied my constant yearning to serve the poor and suffering. were deeply religious men. Surgeon and Scholar during the past 60 years of Soviet rule. Copernicus. I could then abandon surgery and science and become a preacher of Christ's Gospel. Professor of Surgery. Nothing had a more striking effect on . once I had -achieved fame as a scientist and had become quite wellknown aSl a surgeon. I made a note of everything that made a strong impression on me. Newton. and on the white marble cross above his grave are the words: 'iArchbishop Luka Voino-Yasenetsky. which I myself had never even contemplated. Many years went -by.~' Sermon by Archbishop Luka This sermon was preached by Archbishop Luka on 27 April 1957 on the occqsion of his 80th birthday.unknown to me was leading me to the priesthood. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest . to rel~eve their sufferings and satisfy their needs by every means in my power.. We have not convinced those who condemn me for becoming a priest and bishop. I must tell you that I myself find God's work in me to be something wonderful and beyond understanding. . Only in one place can a Soviet citizen read the truth about the late Archbishop.. but the works of God should be acknowledged publicly". I had read the New Testament before but now I read it once more. Let us leave them be.. He was buried close to the church in the cemetery of Simferopol. for I greatly loved surgery and was wholly: devoted to it. who have asked me to give them my blessing. do you really have few labourers in your cornfield?" I remembered those words all my life . from the headmaster at the graduation ceremony. (Matt.i received . .

had chosen this monk and had sent him to the town of Minusinsk. 9-: 29-3 0 ) .bishop and it was already as a bishop that the Lord led me to the distant town of Yeniseisk. looked me in the face and said: "Doctor. This was the reason: the Orthodox believers of Ktasnoyarsk. them he also chose to be conformed. -You see how unswervingly over these ten years the Lord God led me to serve Him as an archbishop during a difficult time for the Church. Staring at me. Moreover. some unknown force had directed him. Nevertheless.' he had recognized me as that bishop.Archbishop [uka. . and those whom He justified. even' for myself. south of Krasnoyarsk. I attacked them without mercy. . healing the ailments of peasants and workers and finding deep satisfaction in this. replied: "All right. Surgeon andScholar the degree of. . Suddenly he stopped. for by then I was already a bishop. when I was still only the surgeon of Pereslavl-Zalessky hospital. a' week later I was ordained as a priest and became the most> junior member of the cathedral clergy. I immediately developed a great vocation for preaching and organized discussions outside church services. a diocesan council was in progress. in response to the clear call of God. those whom He chose. . I was already counted as an archbishop in the eyes of God. or of reaching the rank of bishop. but' I think I have said enough for you to cry out' with me "Glory to our God for ever and ever. I will". I was suddenly struck by a strange. not to the south but to Yeniseisk in the north. Where did this idea come froin ? What was this? What bishop? I repeat. and I decided to write a much needed book on septic surgery. I became a district council doctor. Doctor of Medicine for my dissertation on "Local Anaesthesia". However. where I was living. The next Sunday I was ordained as a deacon. not 'wanting to pray together with their uIifaithful priests. 'together with the three priests who accompanied me. I intended to publish my book Essays on Septic Surgery. InTishkent. I had never even thought of becoming a priest. He also called. Your Grace. The words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans have been fulfilled inme: Those whom God fore-ordained. were al~ ready Renovationists and members of the Living Church.to the image of His Son. that He might be . a few years later that strange. I could tell you more still of the wonderful guidance of God's hand in my life. He told me why he had been so dumbfounded at the sight of me:' ten years ago. by the front door. while I was still living in central Russia. At the end of the coilncil'meeting. Amen". in two parts. which later became quite well known. he looked as if he had been struck dumb and' did not even bow to me.the first-born among many brethren. And in disputes with atheists. persistent thought: "When this book is finished. . I became a. without thinking it over for a minute. One day. He had dreamt that an unknown'bishop was ordaining him _as a hiero-monk. where at that time I was the senior doctor and surgeon at the city hospital. 'You should become a priest . it will bear the name of a bishop'~. as were all the priests of Ktasnoyarsk. to be ordained a hiero-monk by the Orthodox bishop living there. Two years and four months later. I gave a long and fiery speech on a very important subject. He also glorified. When I was writing the introduction. and those whom He called. Bishop Innokenty took me by the arm. A few more years went by. All the priests of this town. He also justified. he had had a: dream. So I had to hold the services in my flat. vague thought had become reality. I took this call to the priesthood froIn the lips of an Archbishop as a call from God and. And I'became one quite unexpectedly. the regional capital. when I went into the hall to begin the liturgy." However far I had been from such a thought. I saw an elderly monk standing. which boasted a number of churches. (Rom. when I had finished the first part I wrote on the title 'page: "Bishop Luka: Essays on Septic Surgery".So ten years ago. On seeing me. in which I also participated. which was given a very high award. led me out onto the pavement surrounding the cathedral and spoke of the deep impression my speech had made on him.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->