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TheReligionofRussia
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TherearetwotheoriesinregardtotheearlyChristianityofRussiaaccordingtooneof
them,RussiawasCatholicfromthetimeswhensheembracedChristianityuntilthe
twelfthcenturytheotherholdsthatRussiawasalwaysOrthodox,i.e.,anadherentofthe
Greekschism,fromthetimewhenChristianmissionariesfirstcrossedherfrontiers.
ThefirstofthesetheoriesisheldbyCatholics,whoseargumentswerecondensedand
developedbyVizzardelli("DissertatiodeoriginechristianreligionisinRussia",Rome
1826),and,moreamply,byFatherVerdire,S.J.("Originescatholiquesdel'gliserusse
jusqu'auXIIesicle",Paris,1856).RussianOrthodoxwritersunanimouslyrejectthe
conclusionsthatVerdiredemonstratedintheformoftheses,which,tous,appeartobe
withoutsolidfoundations.ThehistoryofRussianChristianitydatesfromtheninth
centurybywhichitisnotimpliedthatChristianitywasentirelyunknowntotheRussians
beforethatperiod,forthemerchantsofKieffwereinfrequentcommunicationwith
Constantinople:oneofthequartersoftheflourishingmetropolis,St.Mamante,was
inhabitedbythem,andthereisnodoubtthattherewereChristiansamongthem.Onthe
otherhand,somenucleusofChristianitymusthaveexistedatKieffbeforePhotius,ashe
himselfrelatesinhisencyclicallettertothePatriarchsoftheEast,sentabishopand
missionariestothatcity.Onaccountofthisaction,Photiusisconsideredtohave
introducedChristianityintoRussia.HistestimonyisrepudiatedbyCatholicwriters,who
claimforSt.IgnatiusthegloryandtheinitiativeofthisevangelicalmissiontoRussia.
Therearenovalidarguments,however,tothrowdoubtupontheauthenticityofthe
informationthathasbeenhandeddownbyPhotius,asisprovedinthepresentwriter's
work"LaconversionedeiRussialcristianesimo,elatestimonianzadiFozio",in"Studii
religiosi",t.I,1901,pp.13361.
AccordingtothenationalchroniclerNestor,manyRussianswereChristiansin945,and
hadatKiefftheChurchofSt.Elias("LachroniquedeNestor",t.I,Paris,1834,p.65).In
955Olga,widowofIgor,wenttoConstantinople,whereshewasbaptizedbythePatriarch
Poliutus(95670),and,loadedwithrichgiftsthatshereceivedfromConstantine
Porphyrogenitus(91259),shereturnedtoKieff,anddevotedherselftotheconversionof
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herfellowcountrymen.TheschismbetweentheChurchesoftheEastandoftheWestwas
notyetaccomplishedandthereforeOlga,whoreceivedinbaptismthenameofHelen,is
veneratedasasaintalsobytheUnitedRuthenians.WesternchroniclersrelatethatOlga
sentanembassytotheEmperorOttoI,toaskforLatinmissionaries,andthatOtto
chargedAdaldag,BishopofBremen,tosatisfythatrequest.Adaldagconsecratedas
bishopoftheRussiansLibutius,amonkoftheConventofSt.Albano,whodiedbefore
enteringRussia.HewassucceededbyAdalbertus,amonkoftheconventofSt.
Maximinus,atTrier.TheRussians,however,receivedtheLatinbishopbadly,killed
severalofhiscompanions,andconstrainedhimtoreturntoGermany.Itmaybeobserved
thatAssemaniandKaramzindonotadmitthatLatinmissionariescametoRussiawith
Adalbertus.
TheeffortsofOlgatoconverthersonSviatoslafftoChristianitywereunsuccessful.
Vladimir,sonofSviatoslaff,hasthegloryofhavingestablishedChristianityastheofficial
StatereligioninRussia.Accordingtothelegend,VladimirreceivedMohammedan,Latin,
andGreeklegates,whourgedhimtoadopttheirrespectivereligions.TheGreeksfinally
triumphed.VladimirmarchedwithanarmytowardstheTaurida,andin998took
KhersonthenhesentambassadorstotheEmperorsBasiliusandConstantine,askingfor
thehandoftheirsisterAnna,whichheobtainedonconditionthathewouldbecomea
Christian.HewasbaptizedbytheBishopofKherson,who,accordingtoRussian
chroniclers,madeVladimirreadaprofessionoffaiththatwashostiletothe"corrupt"
doctrineoftheLatins.Thereafter,takingwithhimtherelicsofPopeSt.Clementandof
thatpope'sdisciple,Phebus,aswellassacredvesselsandimages,Vladimirreturnedto
Kieff,accompaniedbyhisconsort,andbysomeGreekmissionaries.Oncetherehecaused
theidolofPeruntobethrownintotheDnieper,andonthesitethatitoccupiedbuilta
Christianchurch,alsocommandingthatallhissubjects,withoutdistinctionofage,should
bebaptized.TheinhabitantsofKieffyieldedbeforehisthreatsbutthoseofNovgorod
resistedandsufferedseveretreatment.TheRussianswerebaptized,buttheydidnot
receiveChristianinstructionandeducationtheancientbeliefsandhabitsofPaganism
endured,andsurvivedformanycenturiesconsequentlythemoralinfluenceof
ChristianitywasnotefficientlyexercisedupontheRussianpeople.Vladimirerecteda
churchinhonouroftheAssumptionoftheBlessedVirginMary,underthedirectionof
Grecianartists.Thankstohissolicitude,theRussianChurchwasendowedwitha
hierarchy,ametropolitan,bishops,andpriests.AtfirstthishierarchywasGreekthe
metropolitanswereappointedandconsecratedbythePatriarchofConstantinople,wentto
Russiaasforeigners,andremainedsuch.Theysucceeded,however,ininspiringthe
RussianswithhatredfortheLatinChurch.ThemetropolitansLeontius(deadin1004),
George(1072),IvanII(deadin1089),andNicephorusI(110321)wrotethefirst
polemicalworksofRussianliteratureagainsttheLatins.

CatholicisminRussia,fromthetwelfthcenturytothe
CouncilofFlorence
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AlthoughtheRussianChurchinitsearliestperiodswascompletelydominatedbythe
clergyofConstantinoplewhomadetheschism,therelationsbetweenRussianprincesand
theHolySee,begununderVladimir,subsistedforseveralcenturies.Russiandocuments
testifythatVladimirin991sentanembassytoRome,andthatthreeembassieswentfrom
RometoKieff,sentbyJohnXV(98596),andbySylvesterII(9991003).AGerman
chronicler,Dithmar,relatesthataSaxonmissionary,consecratedarchbishopbythe
ArchbishopofMagdeburg,wenttoRussia,wherehepreachedtheGospel,andwaskilled
witheighteenofhiscompanionson14Feb.,1002.AtaboutthattimeReinbert,Bishopof
Kolberg,wenttoRussiawiththedaughterofBoleslaustheIntrepid,brideofSviatopolk,
thesonofVladimir.HestrovetodiffuseCatholicisminRussia,anddiedaprisoner.Other
missionariescontinuedtheirApostoliceffortsbutRussiawasalreadylosttoCatholicism.
TheMetropolitanNicephorusI(110321)regardedtheLatinChurchasschismatic,and
reproacheditwithalonglistoferrors.Russiancanonicaldocumentsofthetwelfth
centuryrefertotheLatinsaspagans,andprohibitallrelationswiththem.Themost
virulentcalumniesagainsttheRomanChurchwereinsertedinthe"Kormtchaiakniga"
andRussianmetropolitansdowntoIsidor(1437)hadnorelationswiththeHolySee.
Thisdoesnotmeantosay,however,thattheCatholicChurchneglectedRussiaasafield
foritsapostolateforthepopesalwaystriedtoleadherbacktothecentreofunity,andto
enterintorelationswithherprinces.TheprinceIziaslaffYaroslavitch(105468106973
107678)senthissontoGregoryVII,askingtheassistanceofthatpontiff,andpromising
tomakeRussiaavassaloftheHolySee.Gregoryansweredhimbyletterof17April,
1075.UndertheGrandDukeVsevolodYaroslavitch(107893)therewasestablishedthe
feastofthetranslationoftherelicsofSt.NicholasofBari,approvedbyUrbanII(1088
99),whoin1091senttothesameprinceBishopTeodoro,withrelics.In1080the
antipopeClementIIIsentalettertotheMetropolitanIvanII(deadin1089),proposingto
thelattertheunionoftheRussianChurchIvananswered,however,enumeratingthe
heresiesoftheLatins(MarcovitchattributesthislettertotheMetropolitanIvanIV,who,
accordingtoGolubinsky,diedin1166).ClementIII(118791)sentalettertotheGrand
PrinceVsevolodandtotheMetropolitanNicephorusII(118297),invitingthemtotake
partintheCrusade,butinvain.InnocentIII(11981216)senttwolegationstotheprinces
ofRussia,exhortingthemtobereunitedtoRome.UnderHonoriusIII(12161227)St.
Hyacinth,withotherreligiousoftheOrderofSt.Dominic,preachedtheCatholicfaithin
southernRussia,andfoundedaconventatKieff,whileareligiousofthesameorderin
1232wasappointedbishopofthatcity,outofwhich,however,theDominicanswere
drivenin1233.AnotherletterofHonoriusIII,andoneofGregoryIX(122741)
encouragedtheRussiansofPskoftorealizetheirintentionofembracingCatholicism.All
oftheseeffortswereinvain,itwasonlyinGaliciathatthesolicitudeofthepopeswas
attendedwithsomefavourableresults.InnocentIV(124354)hadcontinuousrelations
withtheGrandPrinceDanielRomanovitch(122964),whohopedfortheassistanceofthe
WesttothrowofftheTataryokethepope'snunciototheKingofPolandin1254
crownedthegrandprinceaskingatthecityofDorogtchin.Butthroughdissensionamong
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theprincesoftheWesttheassistancethatthepopepromisedtoDanielwasnotgiven,and
in1256thelatterrepudiatedhisunionwithRome.Thesamepopemadeeffortstoconvert
toCatholicismthenationalhero,AlexanderNevski,whosefatherhadabjuredtheerrorsof
theschismbeforethepontificallegateGiovannidaPianCarpino.In1248InnocentIV
wrotetothePrinceAlexanderNevski,exhortingthelattertoembraceCatholicismandin
anotherletterthesamepopeassertsthattheconversionofthatprincetookplace.Russian
writershoweverareunanimousinconsideringtheirnationalheroachampionofthe
Orthodoxfaith,whorefusedtosubmittoRome.
UnderJohnXXII(131634)CatholicismwaspropagatedinLithuania,whereithadits
martyrs.Gedimin(131545),althoughapagan,wrotealettertoJohnXXII,declaringthat
FranciscansandDominicanswereauthorizedtopreachinhisprincipality.Paganismwas
firmlyrootedinthepeople,andin1332fourteenFranciscansweremassacredatVilna.In
1323thesamepopereestablishedtheLatinDioceseofKieff,towhichheappointeda
Dominican.CatholicismbecamepreponderantinLithuania,whenHedwig,Queenof
Poland,marriedJagello,andthetwostateswereunitedintoasinglekingdom.Jagello
embracedCatholicismin1386,calledPolishprieststoLithuania,and,likeVladimirthe
Great,resortedtoviolencetoconverthissubjects.ManyRussianswereconvertedto
Catholicism,andVilnabecametheseeofaLatinbishop.
In1436theRussianChurch,whichwasstilldependentuponConstantinople,hadas
metropolitanIsidor(143641),aGreek,nativeofThessalonica,andstaunchadherentof
thecauseoftheunion.Thisprelateon8Sept.,1437,withAvraam,BishopofSuzdal,and
manyclergymenandlaymen,wenttotheCouncilofFlorence,whereheardently
defendedtheunionandbyaBriefof17Aug.,1438,EugeneIVnamedhimlegatea
latereforLithuania,Livonia,andRussia.AvraamofSuzdal,however,wasnotapartizan
oftheunionandleavingIsidor,returnedalonetoRussia.Isidorsentanencyclicalletterto
theRussians(5March,1440),extollingtheunionthathadbeenconcludedatFlorence.
UponhisreturntoMoscow,however,PrinceVasiliVasilevitchconvenedacouncil,
condemnedtheworkofthemetropolitan,andimprisonedthelatterintheMonasteryof
theMiracles(Tchudoff)butIsidorsucceededinmakinghisescape,andfoundasylumin
Italy.Wherefore,RussiadidnotacceptthedecreeofunionoftheCouncilofFlorenceon
thecontrary,shedrewfromitargumentstoproclaimthesuperiorityofherOrthodoxfaith
overthepliantfaithoftheGreeks,andtopreparethewayforherreligiousautonomy.

CatholicisminRussiafromtheCouncilofFlorencetothe
presenttime
IsidorresignedtheMetropolitanSeeofKieffabout1458,andinthesameyearPiusII
appointedGregortheBulgarian,whowasadiscipleandcompanionoftheformer
metropolitan,andwho,accordingtothehistorianGolubinski,remainedunitedtoRome
until1470,afterwhichhebecameOrthodox,anddiedin1472.Amonghissuccessorswho
werefriendlytotheunionwereMikhailDrucki(147580),Semion(148188),Jonah
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Glezna(149294),Makap(149597),andJosefSoltan,whoin1500wrotealetterto
AlexanderVIaskingforpapalconfirmationofhismetropolitandignity.Atthedeathof
JosefII,whichaccordingtoStroeffwasin1519,theMetropolitanateofKieffbecame
againwhollyOrthodox.
AftertheCouncilofFlorence,thefanaticismoftheRussiansinregardtotheLatinChurch
increased.TheLatinswerenotevenconsideredcitizens.Theywerenotallowedtobuild
churchesinRussiancities.Thepopes,however,didnotceasetheireffortstoeffecta
reconciliationbetweenRussiaandtheRomanSee.Aneventthatshouldhavehastenedthe
attainmentofthatendservedonlytowidenthebreachbetweenOrthodoxyand
Catholicism.TherelivedatRomeunderthetutelageofthepopesandthespiritual
guidanceofCardinalBessariontheGreekPrincessZoe,daughterofThomasPalologus,
DespotofMoreaandPaulII,wishingardentlytoinducetheRussianstojointheprinces
oftheWestinacrusadeagainsttheTurks,proposedtoofferthehandofZoetoIvan
VasilevitchIII(14621505)butdeathovertookhimbeforehewasabletobringaboutthe
realizationofhispurpose.SixtusIV(147184)continuedthepolicyofhispredecessor.
IvanIIIreceivedtheproposalwithenthusiasm.On12Nov.,1472Zoewithanumerous
suitearrivedatMoscow,andtheMetropolitanPhilipI(146473)unitedherinmarriage
withIvan.Butthehopesofuniontowhichthismarriagehadgivenrisevanished.Ivan
wouldnothearthepropositionsoftheBishopAntonio,whoaslegateoftheHolySeehad
accompaniedZoewhilethelatterpassedovertotheschism.IvanIIIandtheRussians
thoughtonlyofdrawingprofitfromthegoodwillofthepopes.Thegrandprince,having
marriedaprincessoftheimperialhouseofPalologus,formulatedclaimstothethroneof
ByzantiumwhiletheRussiansbegantoregardMoscowasthethirdRome,whichshould
inherittheprerogativesofthefirstandofthesecond.
SeveralembassiesofLeoXandofClementVIItothePrinceBasilIvanovitch(150533)
werewithoutfavourableresultsfortheunion.JuliusIIIandPiusIVinvitedIvanthe
TerribletosenddelegatestotheCouncilofTrentwhilePiusVinhisturninvitedhimto
joinacrusadeagainsttheTurksbutSigismund,KingofPoland,andMaximilianII,
EmperorofGermany,preventedthelegatesofthepopefromcrossingtheRussian
frontiers,orrenderedtheirmissionsfruitless.In1580IvantheTerrible,menacedbythe
victoriousarmsofBthori,KingofPoland(157686),andoftheSwedes,senttoGregory
XIIIanembassyattheheadofwhichwasLeontiusTchevrigin.TheHolySee,although
placinglittlefaithinthepromisesofthetsar,senttoMoscowoneofthemosteminent
menofhisday,theJesuitAntonioPossevino,who,on22Feb.,1582,hadatheological
disputationwiththetsar.PossevinowaswellreceivedattheCourtofMoscow,buthis
apostoliceffortswerewithoutresult.Hereturnedon15March,1582,incompanywith
JacobMolvianinoff,legateofthetsar,andbearerofalettertoGregoryXIII.Inthatletter
IvantheTerribledidnotrefertotheunion.Possevinohadrelationsalsowiththe
successorofIvan,FeodorIvanovitch,andwithConstantineII,PrinceofOstrog,thegreat
championofOrthodoxyinthesixteenthcenturyalways,however,withunfavourable
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results.TheadventoftheFalseDemetriusandhismarriagewiththeheiressofthe
WaywodesofSandomirgavehopesthatRussiawouldseeaCatholicdynastyonits
throne.Demetrius,indeed,hadbeenconvertedtoCatholicismin1604,andhadentered
intorelationswiththeHolySee,which,throughitsnunciosinPoland,proceededto
confirmhimintheCatholicfaith,andtomaintainhisdevotiontotheRomanChurch.
DemetriusgavetotheHolySeethehappiesthopesfortheconversionofRussiabut
throughaconspiracyon27May,1606helostthecrownandhislife.FanaticalRussian
writerschargethepopeswithresponsibilityfortheturbulencethatfollowedtheadventto
thethroneoftheFalseDemetriusbutthelettersoftheRomanpontiffsrefutethat
calumnydecisively.
In1675theTsarAlexis(164576)sent,asambassadortoClementX,GeneralPaul
Menesius,aCatholic.Theobjectofthisembassywastopromoteanallianceofthe
ChristianprincesagainsttheTurks.TheRussianlegatewasreceivedwithgreat
distinction.Nohappyresults,however,attendedhismissionfromareligiouspointof
view.DuringthereignofAlexis,strenuouseffortsweremadetodrawRussiatowards
CatholicismbyafamousCroatianmissionary,GeorgeKrizhanitch,astudentofthe
Propaganda,onwhoselifeandworksProfessorBielokuroffrecentlywroteseveral
valuablevolumesrichindocuments.Krizhanitchisregardedasoneofthepioneersof
PanslavismbuthiseffortstobringRussiatotheCatholicChurchcosthim,in1661,an
exiletoSiberia,whencehewasunabletoreturntoMoscowuntil1676,afterthedeathof
Alexis.
In1684theJesuitFatherSchmidtestablishedhimselfatMoscowaschaplaintothe
embassyfromVienna.In1685anotherJesuit,FatherAlbertDeboiswasthebearerofa
letterfromInnocentXItotheTsarandin1687FatherGiovanniVota,alsooftheSociety
ofJesus,advocatedatMoscowtheneedofRussiatouniteherselftotheChurchofRome.
TheEmperorofGermany,LeopoldI(16571705),obtainedpermissionfortheJesuitsto
openaschoolatMoscow,wheretheyestablishedahouse.Theirworkwouldhavebeen
veryfavourablefortheChurch,forundertheinfluenceofCatholictheologyabandof
learnedOrthodoxtheologians,ledbythehiqumenoSylvesterMedvedeff,supported
certainLatindoctrines,especiallytheEpiklesis.Unfortunatelyhowevertwofanatical
Greekmonks,JoannikiusandSophroniusLikhudes,excitedthefanaticismoftheRussians
againsttheLatinsatMoscow,andwhenPetertheGreatfreedhimselfofthetutelageof
hissisterSophiain1689,theJesuitswereexpelledfromMoscow.Theschismatic
PatriarchJoachim,amanactuatedbyhatredforforeigners,andinparticularforCatholics,
hadmuchtodowiththatexpulsion.ThereformsofPetertheGreatdidnotbetterthe
conditionofCatholicisminRussia.Inthefirstyearsofhisreignheshoweddeferenceto
theCatholicChurchhegrantedpermissiontotheCatholicsin1691tobuildachurchat
Moscow,andtosummonJesuitsforitsservicein1707hesentanembassytoClement
XI,toinducethatpontiffnottorecognizeStanislausLeszczynskiasKingofPoland,to
whichdignitythelatterhadbeenelectedbytheDietofWarsawon12July,1704he
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promisedthepopetopromulgateaconstitutionthatwouldestablish,infavourof
Catholicism,thefreedomofworshipthathadbeenpromised,butnevermaintained.
DuringhissojournatParisin1717hereceivedfromvariousdoctorsoftheSorbonnea
schemefortheunion,towhichhecausedTheophanusProkopovitchandStepanGavorski
toreplyin1718.InordertocaptivatetheRussians,thedoctorsoftheSorbonnehad
workedGallicanideasintothatscheme,regardingtheprimacyofthepopeandhis
authority.
PetertheGreat,however,wasinimicaltoCatholicism.Hisreligiousviewswere
influencedbyProkopovitch,amanofgreatlearning,butacourtierbynature,andabitter
enemyoftheRomanChurch.PetertheGreatrevealedhisantiCatholichatredwhen,at
Polotskin1705,hekilledwithhisownhandtheBasilianTheophanusKolbieczynski,as
alsobymanyothermeasureshecausedthemostoffensivecalumniesagainstCatholicism
tobedisseminatedinRussiaheexpelledtheJesuitsin1719heissuedukasestodraw
CatholicstoOrthodoxy,andtopreventthechildrenofmixedmarriagesfrombeing
Catholicsandfinally,hecelebratedin1722andin1725monstrousorgiesasparodiesof
theconclave,castingridiculeonthepopeandtheRomancourt.
FromthetimeofPetertheGreattoAlexanderI,thehistoryofCatholicisminRussiaisa
continuousstruggleagainstRussianlegislation:lawsthatembarrassedtheactionof
CatholicisminRussiathatfavouredtheapostasyofCatholics,andreducedtheCatholic
clergytoimpotenceweremultipliedeachyear,andconstitutedaNeroniancode.In1727,
toputastoptoCatholicpropagandaintheGovernmentofSmolensk,Catholicpriests
wereprohibitedfromenteringthatprovince,or,havingenteredit,wereprohibitedfrom
occupyingthemselveswithreligiousmattersthenobilitywasforbiddentoleavethe
Orthodoxcommunion,tohaveCatholicteachers,togotoforeigncountries,ortomarry
Catholicwomen.In1735theEmpressAnnaIvanovnaprohibitedCatholicpropaganda
amongOrthodoxRussiansundertheseverestpenalties.Illustriousconverts,likeAlexei
LadygenskiandMikhailGalitzin,weretreatedwiththemostinhumanbarbarityon
accountoftheirconversion.In1747thegovernmentexpelledfromAstrakhanthe
CapuchinswhoweremakingmanyconversionstoCatholicismamongtheArmenians.
UnderCatharineII(176296)theconditionofCatholicsbecameworsethanbefore,
notwithstandingtheukasesofreligioustolerancethattheempresspromulgated.Theukase
of22July,1763authorizedtheCatholicstobuildchapelsandchurchesofstone.Another
ukaseof23Feb.,1769promulgatedtheecclesiasticalconstitutionoftheCatholics.This
constitutionestablishedtwoparishes,atSt.PetersburgandMoscow,andplacedthemin
chargeoftheReformedFranciscansandtheCapuchins.Itprovidedthatthenumberof
parishesshouldnotbegreaterthannineanditstrictlyprohibitedCatholicpriests,residing
inRussia,fromproselytizingamongOrthodoxRussians.
ThefirstdismembermentofPoland(1772)broughtastrongbodyofCatholicstoRussia,
andCatharineIIproposedtomakeofthemanationalChurch,independentofRome.
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UnfortunatelyanambitiousPolishbishop,StanislausSiestrzencewicz,enteredintoher
views,andaukaseof23May,1774establishedtheDioceseofWhiteRussia,withits
episcopalseeatMohileff,itsfirstbishopbeingSiestrzencewicz,VicarGeneralofVilna.
Thispersonageisjudgedvariouslybyhistorians.Pierling,Zalenski,andMarkovitchtreat
himasanambitiousmanwhosoughttobecomepatriarchofalltheCatholicsinRussia,
andwhoinhishearthatedtheRomanSee.Godlewskionthecontraryisinclinedto
excusehim,andtobelievethatthedifficultconditionsofCatholicisminRussia,possibly
ledhimtoadoptmeasuresthatappeartohavebeeninjurioustoCatholicinterests.
AccordingtoMarkovitch,duringhislongepiscopate(17741826),Siestrzencewiczwas
thescourgeoftheCatholicChurchofbothritesinRussia.Byhermanifestosof1779
CatharineIIbeganthesystematicdestructionofthereligiousorders,withdrawingthem
fromtheauthorityoftheirreligioussuperiors,andputtingthemunderthejurisdictionof
theBishopofMohileff.Thelatterin1782wasraisedtothearchiepiscopaldignity,andin
1784receivedthepalliumfromtheApostolicLegate,Mgr.GiovanniAndreaArchetti,
ArchbishopofChalcedon.HeassumedepiscopaljurisdictionoveralltheCatholicsofthe
RussianEmpire,andactedasifhewereindependentoftheHolySee.
ThesoundprinciplesofCatholicism,however,weremaintainedandpropagatedbythe
Jesuitswho,suppressedbytheHolySeeandexiledfromtheCatholicnations,foundan
asylumandthecentreoftheirfuturerevivalinRussia.In1779CatharineIIinvitedthe
JesuitstoexercisetheirministryinWhiteRussia,andin1786theyhadinRussiasix
collegesand178members.TheirnumberincreasedsomuchthatPiusVIIreestablished
theirorderforRussia,whereitreturnedtolifeunderFatherGruber.In1801thesociety
had262members,and347in1811.TheJesuitsretainedalivelygratitudeforthe
hospitalitythattheyhadreceivedinRussia,andworkedwithzealtoconvertitto
Catholicism.
TheSecondandThirdPartitionsofPoland(179394)considerablyincreasedthenumber
ofCatholicsinRussiaCatharineIIpromisedthemthefreeexerciseoftheirreligion,their
rightsofpropertyandthoseoftheirChurch,andtheircompleteindependenceofthecivil
power.Thesepromisesweredeceptive,aswasshownbythedestructionoftheRuthenian
Church,accomplishedbyherorder.TheCatholicsoftheLatinRitealsosoonhadcauseto
rememberthattheywereunderthedominationofimplacableenemies.TheCatholicshad
awaitedthedeathofCatharineandtheadventtothethroneofPaulI(17961801),to
bettertheircondition.In1797ArchbishopLorenzoLitta,legatealatereoftheHolySee,
arrivedatSt.Petersburg,wherehewasreceivedwithgreathonours.TheCatholicswho
hadbeenexiledtoSiberiawererecalledtheSeesofLutzk,Vilna,Kamenetz,Minsk,and
Samogitia(theancientDioceseofLivonia)werecreatedthearchiepiscopalSeeof
Mohileffwasdeclaredmetropolitan,whichitstillisandthegovernmentgrantedan
indemnitytotheclergyforthepropertythathadbeentakenfromthem.In1802the
numberofthefaithfulamountedto1,635,490,ofadultsalone.PaulIshowedaspecial
predilectionfortheJesuits,andreposedgreatconfidenceinFatherGruberhecalledthem
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toSt.Petersburg,whereheauthorizedthemtoopenschoolsandseminaries,whilehe
obtainedfromPiusVIIaBrief(7March,1801),reestablishingthesocietyinRussia.
UnderAlexanderIdiplomaticrelationswereestablishedbetweentheHolySeeandthe
RussianGovernment.In1802aRussianlegationwasestablishedatRome,whilePiusVII
onhispartnamedanApostolicnunciotoSt.Petersburg,Mgr.Arezzo,Archbishopof
Seleucia.TheaffairsoftheCatholicChurchinRussiaweretobeadministeredbythe
RomanCatholicEcclesiasticalCollege,createdinimitationoftheSynodofSt.
Petersburg.ThiscollegehadbeenapprovedbyAlexanderI,throughhisukaseof21Nov.,
1801.SiestrzencewiczofcoursewasselectedasitspresidentandtheRussian
Government,initsNoteof13Dec.,1803,askedoftheHolySeesuchpowersforhimas
wouldhaverenderedhimindependent.TheSovereignPontiffopposedadetermined
resistancetothesedemands,andtheEcclesiasticalCollegewashenceforwardmerelya
name.In1804Mgr.Arezzi,theApostolicnuncio,inviewofthedisagreementsbetween
theRussianGovernmentandtheHolySee,leftSt.Petersburgwhereupon
Siestrzencewiczhadafreehand,anddevotedhimselftodiscreditingCatholicismby
proposingasbishopsofthevacantseesmenwhowerecorruptoralliedtothe
government,bypersecutingthereligiousorders,bygrantingdivorcesarbitrarily,by
favouringtheEnglishBibleSociety,andfinally,bysurroundinghimselfwithassistantsof
evilmindandheart.DiplomaticrelationsbetweentheHolySeeandRussiawereresumed
in1815.TheRussianplenipotentiary,BarondeTuyll,hadcolloquieswithCardinaldella
SomagliainregardtotheunionofthetwoChurches,which,however,werewithout
result,fortheRussianGovernmentdeclaredthattheunionwasimpossiblesolongasthe
HolySeewishedtoimposeitsdogmaticteachingsanditsdisciplinarypracticesuponthe
Russians.Meanwhile,Siestrzencewiczmadeuseoftherenewalofrelationsbetween
RomeandSt.PetersburgtoseekthroughtheRussianGovernmentnewfavoursand
concessions,e.g.thenominationofepiscopalcandidatesbythetsar,thetitleofPrimate,
matrimonialdispensations,etc.Inotherwords,itwasaquestionofimitatingthecanonical
legislationoftheOrthodoxChurch,andofharnessingCatholicismtothecaroftheState.
TheHolySeemerelygrantedtotheMetropolitanofMohileffthehonorarytitleof
primate,withoutanyadditionaljurisdiction,andauthorizedasmallnumberofprieststo
administertheSacramentofConfirmationwithoilblessedbythebishop.Thevarious
effortsoftheRussianGovernmenttoestablishaprimate,withpatriarchal,almostI
independentpowersinRussiawerealwaysthwartedbythedeterminedresistanceofthe
HolySee.
ThemostpainfuloccurrenceinthehistoryofCatholicismduringthereignofAlexanderI
wastheexpulsionoftheJesuitsfromRussia,thepretextforwhichwastheconversionof
PrinceAlexanderGalitzintotheCatholicfaith.TheJesuitswereexpelledfromSt.
Petersburgduringthenightof2223Dec.,1815,andtheCatholicparishchurchofSt.
CatharinewasgiventotheDominicans.TheJesuitswererelegatedtoPolotsklater,
however,bytheukaseof25March,1820,theywereexiledfromRussianterritory.Onthe
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otherhand,asmanynoblesoftheformerPolishprovinces,subjectsofRussia,senttheir
childrenabroadtobeeducatedbytheJesuits,thegovernmentprovidedthatyoung
CatholicsshouldnotleaveRussia.InthelastyearsofhisreignAlexanderIshowedmore
sympathyforCatholicism,andtherelationsoftheHolySeewiththeRussianGovernment
werecordialduringthepontificateofLeoXIIandthesojournoftheChevalierItalinskiat
RomeasRussianminister.TheHolySeeobtainedtheconcessionthattheRussian
GovernmentwouldpaytotheDatary1000scudifortheBullsofCatholicarchbishopsin
Russia,and800scudiforthoseofbishopsAlexanderIalsoallowedaCatholicchapelto
beerectedattheimperialresidenceofTsarskoyeSelo,andgave40,000roublesforits
construction.HeproposedtovisitRome,and,accordingtoanunauthenticatedhistorical
report,toabjureOrthodoxy.ThereareCatholicwriterswhoaffirmthatAlexanderIand
hisconsortbecameCatholicsbutthereisnodocumentaryevidenceinsupportofthis.
ThereignofNicholasIwasalongperiodofpersecutionandsufferingforCatholicsin
Russia.In1826theHolySeesentMgr.BernettitoSt.Petersburg,tobepresentatthe
coronation.Hewaswellreceivedbythetsar,andthereafterwroteoptimisticallytoRome.
Soon,however,thetrialsoftheCatholicsbegan.Bytwoukasesin1828theadmissionof
novicesinthereligiousorders,andofclericsintheseminaries,wasmadeverydifficult,if
notquiteimpossibleandinthefollowingyearallthenovitiateswereclosed.In1830
otherukasesencourageddivorceamongCatholics,prohibitedCatholicreligious
propagandaamongtheOrthodox,thehearingtheconfessionsofforeigners,andchanges
ofresidenceamongtheclergy.
ThePolishinsurrectionof1830and1831intensifiedthepersecutionagainsttheLatin
Catholics.In1832theRussianGovernmentaskedofthe"RomanEcclesiasticalCollege"
thatthenumberofconventsbediminished.Of300monasteriesintheDioceseofMohileff
202wereclosedwhiletheadministratorofthatdiocese,BishopSzczyt,whohadopposed
thisreductionwassenttoSiberia.InthesameyearthepublicationofPapalBullsin
Russiawasprohibited.InJuneandSeptember,1832respectivelytheHolySeeaddressed
twonotestotheRussianGovernment,lamentingthedisabilitiestowhichCatholicswere
subjectedinRussia,andtheinnovationswhichhadbeenintroducedintoecclesiastical
discipline.ThegovernmentblamedthePolishrevolutionistsforitsseverity.On9June,
1832,yieldingtotheRussianGovernment,GregoryXVIaddressedhisEncyclicaltothe
Polishclergy,urgingobediencetothecivilpowerincivilmatters.Theencyclicalaroused
greatdiscontentamongthePoles,anddidnotdetertheRussianGovernmentfromits
purposeofannihilatingCatholicism.TheGovernmentdirecteditsblowsagainst
Catholics,moreespeciallybylawsconcerningmixedmarriages,bypreventingCatholic
priestsfromministeringtotheUnitedCatholics,andbycallingtotheepiscopalseesmen
whoweredevotedtoitspolicy,e.g.Mgr.Pawlowski,whowasnamedArchbishopof
Mohileffin1841.TheHolySeecouldnolongerremainsilentinthepresenceofthis
violence,andinhisAllocutiontothesolemnConsistoryof22July,1842,GregoryXVI
calledtheattentionoftheCatholicworldtothepainfuloppressiontowhichCatholicism
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wassubjectedinRussiaandhisprotestsweremoreseriousandenergetic,whenin1845,
upontheoccasionofthevisitofthetsartoRome,hehadaninterviewwiththelatter
whichresultedintheconcordatof3Aug.,1847,bywhichtherewereestablishedin
Russiaanarchbishopricandsixepiscopalsees,andinPoland,thesamenumberof
diocesesthathadbeenestablishedbytheBullofPiusVIIof30June,1818.Theconcordat
repealedseveraliniquitouslawsthathadbeenpromulgatedagainstCatholics,placedthe
seminariesandtheecclesiasticalacademyofSt.Petersburgunderthejurisdictionofthe
ordinary,andrecognizedtoasomewhatgreaterdegreetheauthorityoftheHolySeeover
thebishops.TheTsarNicholas,byaletterof15Nov.,1847,ratifiedtheconcordatof3
Aug.,which,likesomanyotherRussianlawswasdestinedtoremainadeadLetter.
Obstacleswereplacedtothedeterminationoftheboundariesofdioceses21convents
weresuppressedbyaukaseof18July,1850whileCatholicswereprohibitedfrom
restoringtheirchurchesandfrombuildingnewonesfrompreachingsermonsthathadnot
previouslybeenapprovedbythegovernment,andfromrefutingthecalumniesofthe
PressagainstCatholicism.ItisnotnecessaryforustorecurtotheauthorityofCatholic
writers,likeLescur,toprovehowodiousthisviolencewaswemaybesatisfiedwitha
mereglanceattheimmensecollectionoflawsandgovernmentalmeasuresconcerningthe
CatholicChurch,fromthetimesofPeterandofIvanAlexeievitchto1867
("Zakonopolozhenijaipravitelstvennyiarasporjazhenijadorimskokatolitcheskoicerkvi
vRossiiotnosjachtchijasjasovremenicarstvovanijaTzareiPetraiIoannaAleksieevitchei,
16691867",Vienna,1868).ItisnotwithoutreasonthataCatholicwriterhassaidthatthe
lawsofNicholasIagainstCatholicismconstituteaNeroniancode.
ThefirstyearsofthereignofAlexanderIIwerenotmarkedbyantiCatholicviolence.
TheRussianGovernmentpromisedtheHolySeethattheconcordatwouldbe
scrupulouslyobserved,andin1856theepiscopalseesofRussiaandPolandwerefilled.
SoonhowevertherewasareturntothemethodsofNicholasI,notwithstandingthefact
thatPiusIXwrotetothetsar,imploringlibertyforCatholicsofbothritesinRussia.In
anotherletter,addressedin1861toMgr.Fialkowski,ArchbishopofWarsaw,PiusIX
referredtothecontinualeffortsoftheHolySeetosafeguardtheexistenceofCatholicism
inRussia,andtothedifficultiesthatwereopposedtoallmeasuresofhisandofhis
predecessorsinthatconnection.Encouragedbythewordsofthepope,thePolishbishops
presentedamemorandumtotherepresentativeoftheemperoratWarsaw,askingforthe
abrogationofthelawsthatoppressedCatholicsanddestroyedtheirliberty.Asimilar
memorandumwaspresentedtothetsarbytheArchbishopofMohileffandthebishopsof
Russia.Uponthebasisofthesememoranda,thegovernmentaccusedtheCatholicclergy
ofpromotingthespiritofrevolutionandofplottingrevoltsagainstthetsar.Mostpainful
occurrencesensuedthesoldierywasnotrestrainedfromprofaningthechurchesandthe
HolyEucharist,fromwoundingdefencelesswomen,orfromtreatingWarsawasacity
takenbystorm.Onehundredandsixtypriests,andamongthemthevicarcapitular
Bialobrzeski,weretakenprisoners,andseveralofthemwereexiledtoSiberia.Mgr.
Deckert,coadjutoroftheArchbishopFialkowski,diedofthesufferingsthattheseevents
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causedhim.TheconditionofthePoleswerebecomingintolerable,andCatholicism
sufferedproportionately.AmidthegeneralindifferenceofEurope,onevoice,thatofPius
IX,wasraised,firmandenergetic,infavourofanoppressedpeopleandofapersecuted
faith.On12March,1863,inhisAllocutiontotheConsistory,andon22April,1863,ina
lettertothetsar,PiusIXdemandedthatjusticeandequitybenolongerviolated.Thetsar
AlexanderIIwrotetothepopeexpressingregretsthatthePolishclergyshouldallyitself
withtheauthorsofcivildisorderandshoulddisturbthepublicpeace.
ThePolishrevolutionof1863furnishedthegovernmentwithapretextforinhumanity
towardstheCatholicclergy,bothregularandsecular.Thereisnodoubtthatsomepriests
andreligious,movedbypatrioticardour,committedtheerroroftakingpartinan
insurrectionwhichwasopposedbythemoreculturedandreasonableportionofthe
nation.TheRussianGovernment,however,didnottakepainstopunishonlytheguilty,
butdealtwithalltheCatholicclergyalike.In1863theArchbishopofWarsaw,Mgr.
Felinski,wasconfinedatYaroslaff,aswashiscoadjutorMgr.RzaewuskiatAstrakhanin
1865whiletheirsuccessors,thecanonsSzczygielskiandDomagolski,wereexiledto
Siberiain1867.Mgr.Krasinski,ArchbishopofVilna,wasconfinedatVyatka.Several
priestsin1863wereeitherhangedorshot,asimplicatedintherevolt,whileotherswere
senttotheinteriorofRussia,orweredeportedtoSiberia.ThePolesandtheCatholicsin
theirdistressreceivedconsolationonlyfromPiusIX,whodistinguishedbetweentheright
ofagovernmenttopunishanunjustrevoltandtherightofsubjectstoprofesstheirFaith
freely.Intheencyclical"UbiUrbaniano"of30July,1864,addressedtothebishopsof
RussiaandPoland,heenumeratedthegrievousevilsthattheRussianGovernmenthad
inflictedonCatholicism.
Thelettersandtheprotestsofthepopehoweverwereoflittleavail.On8Nov.,1864the
governmentsuppressedtheconventsandreligiousordersofRussianPolandandaukase
of16Nov.,1866abolishedtheconcordatof1847.Anotherukase,on22May,1867,made
the"RomanCatholicCollege"theintermediarybetweentheCatholicbishopsofRussia
andtheHolySee.Unfortunatelysomeprelatesallowedthemselvestobeledastraybythe
promisesorbythethreatsoftheRussianGovernment,whichsoughttheruinof
CatholicisminRussiathroughtheestablishmentofaPolishnationalchurch.Wemaycite
Mgr.Staniewski,administratoroftheDioceseofMohileff,Mgr.ConstanceLubienski,
BishopofAugustowo,whonoblyexpiatedhismistake,anddiedinexileatDnaburgand
Mgr.Sosnowski,administratoroftheDioceseofLublin.Aseriesofcuriousrevelations
anddocuments,concerningtheincredibleabusesofRussianlegislationagainst
Catholicism,iscontainedinthework"DaspolnischrussischeStaatskirchenrechtauf
GrundderneuestenBestimmungenundpraktischerErfahrungensystematischerzhltvon
einemPriester",Posen,1892.
UnderAlexanderIII(188194)negotiationsbetweentheHolySeeandtheRussian
Governmentwererenewed,andRussiamaintainedalegationattheVatican.In1882
ArchbishopFelinskiwasrecalledfromexile,and,insteadofhisSeeofWarsaw,received
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thetitleofArchbishopofTarsus.TheSeeofWarsawwasgiventoMgr.Vincent
TheophilusPopiel,whohadenergeticallyresistedtheeffortsoftheRussianGovernment
toestablishanindependentecclesiasticalcollegeforthegovernmentoftheCatholic
ChurchinRussia.Anewconcordatwasconcludedin1882,butitsclauseswerenullified
bynewlaws.Itshouldnotbeforgottenthat,duringtheentirereignofAlexanderII,the
religiouspolicyofRussiawasinspiredbyKonstantinPobiedonostseff,ProcuratorGeneral
oftheHolySynod,who,forpoliticalratherthanreligiousmotives,wasafierceadversary
ofCatholicism.TheCatholicclergycontinuedtoenduretheseverestoppression,
abandonedtothecapricesofthepolice,greatlyreducedinnumbers,andtrammelledbya
thousandobstaclesintheexerciseofitsapostolicministry.Thisconditionofthingswas
prolongedintothereignofNicholasII,duringwhichPobiedonostseffexercisedhis
dictatorshipuntil1905.
AfterthewarwithJapan,however,andinconsequenceofinternalpoliticaltroubles,
NicholasIIpromulgatedtheconstitutionin1905,andpublishedtheedictofreligious
toleration.TwoyearsoflibertyweresufficienttorevealthegreatvitalityofCatholicism
inRussia,forthenumberofconversionstotheCatholicfaith,insoshortalapseoftime,
amountedto500,000,includingover300,000UniateCatholicswhomtheRussian
GovernmenthadcompelledtodeclarethemselvesOrthodox100,000ofthese,knownin
RussianasObstinates(uporstvujushshie)hadnotreceivedthesacramentsformorethan
thirtyyears,duringwhichtimetheyfrequentednochurch,inordernottobereckoned
amongtheOrthodox.TheCatholicclergydevelopedthegreatestactivityinsocialand
educationalwork,inthePress,andintheawakeningofChristianpietyandthe
reactionarypartyoftheOrthodoxChurch,centredintheSynod,criedoutagainstthe
danger,andcalledfornewlawstoprotectOrthodoxyagainsttheassaultsofmilitant
Catholicism.Theseprotestsandlamentationswereheardthelawsrelatingtolibertyof
conscienceweresubmittedtorevision,abolished,ormodifiedthegovernmentrefusedto
recognizeaslegitimatetheconversionstoCatholicismoftheformerUniateCatholicsthe
priestswhobaptizedchildrenofmixedmarriageswerepunishedwithfinesand
imprisonmenttheparochialschoolswereclosedtheconfraternitiesandtheCatholic
socialorganizationsweredissolved,andtheformerseverityagainsttheCatholicPress
wasresumed.Thegovernmentdirecteditsactionespeciallyagainstthereestablishment
oftheUnitedChurchinRussia,andin1911closedtwoRussoCatholicchapelsthathad
beenerectedatSt.PetersburgandMoscow.DenunciationsagainstazealousJesuit,Father
Werczynski,whohadestablishedhimselfatMoscowin1903,andhadconverteda
thousandRussianstoCatholicism,furnishedthegovernmentwithpretextsforrenewed
severity:FatherWerczynskiwasexiledthesuffraganBishopofMohileff,Mgr.
Denisewicz,wasdeposed(1911)withoutthepreviousconsentoftheHolySee,andwas
deprivedofhisstipendandanothermostzealousprelate,Baronvon.Ropp,Bishopof
Vilna,wasobligedtoresignhisseeandtoretiretotheGovernmentofPerm.
NeverthelessCatholicismcontinuestoexerciseagreatinfluenceupontheculturedclasses
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ofRussia,afactdueingreatmeasuretoVladimirSoloveff,thegreatestofRussian
philosophers,whohasrightlybeencalledtheRussianNewmanandfromtheseclasses
therehavealwaysbeenconversionsthathavebroughttothefoldoftheCatholicChurch
nobleandexaltedsouls,as,forexample,PrincessNarishkin,PrincessBariatinski,
PrincessVolkonski,CountessNesselrode,MissUshakova,PrinceGagarin,Prince
Galitzin,CountShuvaloff,andmanyothers.Khomiakoff,thelegislatorandapostleof
Slavophilism,saidthatiflibertyofconsciencewereestablishedinRussiatheupperand
theculturedclasseswouldembraceCatholicism,whichseemstobejustifiedbythefacts.

StatisticsoftheCatholicdiocesesofRussia
ThebasisforthediocesanandclericalstatisticsofRussiaisfurnishedbytheveryuseful
"ElenchiomniumEcclesiarumetuniversicleri"whichispublishedeveryyearbythe
variousdiocesesasanappendixtothe"Directoriumdiviniofficii".These"Elenchi"are
usefulnotonlyfortheirstatisticsbutalsofortheirhistoricaldata,becausetheysometimes
containdocumentsandhistoricalnotesconcerningthedioceses.Fromtheecclesiastical
pointofview,theCatholicdiocesesofRussiaaredividedintotwoclasses:thediocesesof
theKingdomofPoland,andthoseofRussia.
TheKingdomofPoland,orRussianPoland,hassevensees:
(1)ArchdioceseofWarsaw
(2)DioceseofKielce
(3)DioceseofLublin(withadministrationofPodlachia)
(4)DioceseofPlock
(5)DioceseofSandomir
(6)DioceseofSejnyandAugustowo
(7)DioceseofWladislaw.
InRussiathereare:
(1)ArchdioceseofMohileff(withadministrationofMinsk)
(2)DioceseofLutzk,Zhitomir,andKamenetz
(3)DioceseofSamogitia
(4)DioceseofTiraspol
(5)DioceseofVilna.
Thesearealltreatedunderseparateheads.In1866theRussianGovernmentsuppressed
theDioceseofPodlachiainPoland,andMinskandKamenetzinRussiatheHolySee,
however,didnotsanctionthesearbitraryacts,andthereforethethreediocesesinquestion
existcanonically,althoughtheyhavenobishops,andhavebeenincorporatedintoother
dioceses.ThereareintheRussianEmpiremorethan13,000,000Catholicsofwhommore
than5,000,000areinRussiathereareapproximately2900parishes,3300churches,2000
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chapels,and4600priests.AccordingtotheillustrativetablesofFatherUrban,S.J.,there
maybereckonedanaverageofmorethan3000Catholicsforeachpriest.Insome
dioceses,asforexampleinPodlachia,thereis1priestforeach4800Catholicsandinthe
DioceseofMinsk1priestforeach4670Catholics.Thedivisionintoparishesisirregular,
andsomeoftheparisheshaveaverylargepopulationthatofHolyCrossatLodzhasa
populationof142,000Catholicswithonly10priestsandPraga,nearWarsaw,has82,000
Catholicswithonly4priests.InSiberiatheparisheshaveanenormousextent.According
totheconventionbetweentheHolySeeandtheGovernment,thediocesanbishopsshould
have22auxiliaries:3forthemetropolitanateofMohileff3fortheDioceseofKovno3
forLutzk,Zhitomir,andKamenetz3forVilna2forTiraspol2forWarsawand1each
forKielce,Lublin,Wladislaw,Sandomir,Plock,andSejnyandAugustowo.Unfortunately
howevertheconventionisnotobservedbytheRussianGovernment:in1911therewere
onlyfoursuffraganbishopsanditshouldbeaddedthatthediocesesremainvacantfor
longperiods.TheDioceseofVilnahasbeenvacantsince1905.Therefollows
consequentlygreatdisorganizationandmanyabusesintheecclesiasticaladministration,
whichcannotberemediedforlackofcompetentauthority.
Eachdiocesehasitscathedralanditscollegiatechapters.Aukaseof1865fixed12asthe
numberofcanonsofacathedral.Eachdiocesehasalsoitsconsistoryandtothetwelve
diocesanconsistories,shouldbeaddedtheconsistoriesofKalish,Piotrkow,andPultusk.
Theconsistoriesarecomposedof"Officers","viceofficers",assessors,visitorsof
monasteries,andalsolaymembersintheRussiandioceses.TheeffortsoftheRussian
Governmenttomakeautonomoustheconsistoriesofthevariousdiocesesandthe
ecclesiasticalcollegeatSt.Petersburghavefailed,fortheCatholichierarchyinRussia,
taughtbyexperience,remainsfaithfultotheRomanSee,andacceptsnoinnovations
contrarytoCatholiccanonlaw.

Religiousorders
IntheseventeenthandeighteenthcenturiestherewereinRussianPolandmany
monasteries,andseveralthousandreligiousofthevariousorders.Amongthelatterthe
JesuitsandthePiarists(foundedbySt.JosephCalasanctius)distinguishedthemselvesby
theirservicestoeducationbuttheiniquitouslawsofCatharineIIandNicholasI,andthe
measuresadoptedbytheRussianGovernmentin1864afterthePolishinsurrection,almost
extirpatedWesternmonachismfromRussia.In1864itwasprovidedthatthemonasteries
ofRussiashouldbedividedintotwoclasses,thoseapprovedkindrecognizedbythestate,
andthosenotapprovedorrecognized.Themonasteriesofthefirstofthesetwoclasses
wereallowedtohavenovices,andtobeinhabitedeachby14religiousthoseofthe
secondclasswereallowedtoremaininexistenceuntilthenumberofreligiousineach
shouldbereducedto7,whenthemonasterywastobesuppressed.Theopeningofthe
novitiatesoftherecognizedmonasterieswasdeferredtothetimewhenthenonapproved
monasteriesshouldhaveceasedtoexist.ThenumberofthePaulistmonksofthe
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monasteryofCzenstochowawasfixedattwentyfour.Eventheserestrictivelaws
however,werenotobserved.Onlythreeorfouroftherecognizedmonasterieswere
allowedtoreceivenovices,andthemembersofreligiousorderswereprohibitedfrom
havingrelationswiththeirreligioussuperiorsoutsideofRussia.Itisthereforenot
astonishingthatthereligiousordersshouldhavenearlydisappearedfromthatcountry.
TheSistersofCharityalonehavebeenabletodeveloptheirorganizationand,as
elsewhere,theyhavewontheadmirationofall,evenoftheOrthodox.
ThegreaterpartofthereligiousareinRussianPoland.TheArchdioceseofWarsawhasa
CapuchinmonasteryatNoweMiasto,with15religious,andtheconventsoftheVisitation
(14religious),thePerpetualAdoration(13religious),andtheSistersoftheImmaculate
Conception(36religious).TheSistersofCharity,382innumber,haveundertheircharge
there34hospitalsorphilanthropicinstitutions.In1905theRedemptorists,fiveinnumber,
hadestablishedthemselvesatWarsawbuttheRussianGovernmentexpelledthemin
1910.Thereareremnantsoftheoldordersthatweresuppressedin1864,buttheirnumber
isreducedfromyeartoyear.
TheDioceseofWladislawhasthecelebratedmonasteryofCzenstochowa,belongingtoa
congregationofcenobitescalledPaulists(fromSt.PaulIthehermit).Thereareabout
fortyreligious,priestsandlaymen,intheconvent.Agrievouscrimethatwascommitted
intheconventin1909ledthediocesanauthoritiestoadopttheseverestmeasuresforthe
reestablishmentofreligiousdisciplinethere.Inthesamediocesetherearetwoconvents
ofFriarsMinor,atKoloandatWladislaw,with10religiousoneconventofDominican
Tertiaries,atPrzyrw,with12religiousandoneconventofFranciscanTertiaries,with
13religious,atWielun.Thereare49SistersofCharity,whohavechargeof13
philanthropicestablishments.IntheDioceseofPlockthereare:aconventofCarmelites,
atObory,with6religiousamonasteryofFelicianSisters,atPrzasnysz,with9religious
and5charitableinstitutions,inthecareoftheSistersofCharity.
IntheDioceseofSejny,besidesaBenedictinemonastery,with10religious,therearetwo
hospitalsandoneasylum,underthecareof13SistersofCharity.
IntheDioceseofSandomirthereisaFranciscanconventforwomen,with13religious
and6charitableinstitutions,underthecareof29SistersofCharity.
TheDioceseofKielcehas35SistersofCharity,andthatofLublin44,whoareincharge
of8charitableestablishments.
IntheArchdioceseofMohilefftherearenoconvents,properlysocalled.AtSt.Petersburg
andMoscowtherelivesomeDominicansofdifferentnationalities,anditisbypriestsof
thatorderthattheFrenchparishesofthosetwocitiesareserved.In1907eightFranciscan
Sisters,MissionariesofMary,establishedthemselvesatSt.Petersburgwiththeconsentof
thegovernment.Theydirectahouseofwork.Therearealsointhearchdioceseafew
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SistersofFrenchandofPolishcongregations.
TheDioceseofVilnahasaBenedictinemonasteryatVilna,with6religious,anda
Franciscanmonastery,with3religious,atSlonim.IntheDioceseofKovnothereis:a
Franciscanmonastery,with3religious,atKretingaoneBenedictinemonasteryatKovno,
with9religiousandaconventofSistersofSt.Catharine,with9religious,atKroki.At
Zaslaff,intheDioceseofLutzk,Zhitomir,andKamenetz,theFranciscanshavea
monasterywith4residentreligiousandthereareabout10religiousofvariousother
ordersscatteredthroughoutthediocese.TherearenoreligiousintheDioceseofTiraspol.
Inall,therefore,ofthe13,000,000CatholicsinRussia,150menand550womenare
religious,andofthewomen450areSistersofCharity.TheCatholicChurchinRussia,
therefore,isdeprivedofanimportantpartofitsmilitia,andthereissmallhopethat
religiouslifewillflourishinthatcountry.Thesmallmonasteriesthatremaindependon
thebishops,andhave,insteadofprovincials,visitorswhoarechosenfromamongthe
secularclergy.TheseveralattemptsofthePolishreligiousofGalicia(Augustinians,
Franciscans,Bernardists,Piarists,Redemptorists)andotherstoestablishthemselvesin
Russiasince1905havebeenfutile.

MoralandintellectuallifeoftheCatholicclergyinRussia
Fromthemoralandintellectualpointsofview,inRussia,asinallOrthodoxcountries,the
Catholicclergyisverysuperiortothatofotherdenominations,accordingtothe
confessionevenoftheOrthodoxwritersthemselves.Anyshortcomingswhichmayoccur
inthelivesoftheCatholicclergyariseoutofcircumstancesbeyondthecontrolofthe
ecclesiasticalauthority.TheHolySeecannotexerciseinRussiaamoreefficacious
vigilancethanitexercisesinothercountriesbutevenifitwereinapositiontodoso,it
wouldfindanobstacletoitseffortsinthelawsofthecountry.Ontheotherhand,the
clergyistooscattered,itsworktoogreat,andthecivilofficesimposeduponitbythe
bureaucracytooarduous.Nevertheless,inthedifficultcircumstancesinwhichitisplaced,
itszealhassucceededinworkingmarvels,inholdingitsfoldfirmlyboundtotheFaith,
andinconciliatingtheesteemoftheOrthodoxandtheaffectionofCatholics.The
generosityoftheCatholics,especiallyPolesandLithuanians,isconsiderable,and
thereforethefinancialcircumstancesoftheCatholicclergyareofthebest,
notwithstandingthefactthatthestipendswhichitreceivesfromtheRussianGovernment
areexceedinglysmall:parishpriestsreceivefrom230to600roublesayear,andcanons
havethesamestipend.Thepeopleareverypious,andtheirpilgrimagestothesanctuaries
arefrequent.AttheFeastoftheAssumption,thesanctuaryofCzenstochowaisvisitedat
timesbyasmanyas1,000,000pilgrims.ThesanctuaryofOurLadyofOstrabrama,at
Vilna,isalsoacentreofmanypilgrimages,andthestreetsthatleadtoitarealways
crowdedwithpeopleontheirknees.
TheCatholicclergyinRussiaisunabletocontributeefficientlytothepropagationofthe
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Faith,foritszealistrammelledbyveryseverelaws.In19081911manypriestswere
fined,imprisoned,andevenexiledforhavingbaptizedchildrenofmixedmarriages
neverthelesstheclergycontributesinsomemeasuretotheworkoftheunion.Therehad
beenhopesofrestoringtheUniateChurchinRussiathroughtheagencyofthreeorfour
RussianpriestswhowereconvertedtoCatholicismandtwochapelsoftheSlavRite
sprangup,atSt.PetersburgandMoscow.In1911,however,theRussianGovernment
closedthetwochapels,andforbadetheexerciseoftheirministrybytheconvertedpriests,
oneofwhomreturnedtotheschism.
TheCatholicclergy,andCatholicsingeneral,abstainfromtakingpartinpolitiesbutthey
doagreatdealforthemoralandintellectualdevelopmentoftheirfellowcountrymen.The
PolesarethestaunchestsupportersofCatholicismandPolishnationalisminRussia.The
LithuanianclergyhastakenaveryactivepartintheawakeningofLithuaniannationalism,
therestorationoftheLithuanianlanguagetothechurchesofLithuania,andthe
developmentofLithuanianliterature.Fromthesepointsofview,therefore,boththePolish
andLithuanianclergyhaverenderedgreatservicetotheirrespectivenationalities.Itisto
beregretted,however,thatthereshouldfrequentlyariseatVilna,betweenthePolishand
theLithuanianclergy,disputesthatareatvariancewithCatholicinterests.Theintellectual
developmentoftheclergy,asyet,isnotallthatmightbedesired.Theseminaries,inall
thatconcernstheadmissionofyoungmen,areatthemercyofthegovernment,which,
possibly,preventsthemoredesirableyouthsfromenteringthoseestablishments.Forthe
rest,thecourseofstudiesinthoseseminariesisnotverycomplete.Atpresent,however,
anintellectualandmoralreformintheseestablishmentsisbeingsought:aconsiderable
numberofCatholicpriestsgotoforeigncountriestocompletetheirstudiesinCatholic
universities,andupontheirreturntoRussiateachintheseminaries.TheCatholicPress,
also,whichhadbeenkeptatalowstandardbytheRussiancensorship,hasimproved
greatlyofrecenttimes.In1909theseminaryofWladislawbeganthepublicationofthe
"DuchowniKaplan",amonthlyperiodicalthatisonalevelwiththemostlearnedCatholic
publicationsofEurope.OtherCatholicperiodicalsarepublishedatWarsaw,Vilna,
Sandomir,etc.,andseektoneutralizetheantiCatholicpropaganda,andthepropagandaof
atheism,whichlatterhasitscentreatWarsaw,whereitpublishesitsorganthe"Mysl
Nepolegla"(IndependentThought).
ThechiefcentreofCatholicstudyinRussiaistheRomanCatholicEcclesiastical
AcademyofSt.Petersburg,establishedin1833,inplaceoftheseminaryofVilna,which
wasconsideredtheuniversityoftheCatholicclergyinRussia.Theacademyhasarector,
aninspector,aspiritualdirector,15professors,andalibrarian.Thediocesessendtothis
establishmenttheirbeststudents,whoafteracourseoffouryearsreceivetheDegreeof
MasterofTheology.Ithas60students.Amongitsprofessorsmentionshouldbemadeof
MikhailGodlewski,authorofimportantpublicationsonthehistoryofCatholicismin
RussiaandStanislausTrzeciak,theauthorofanimportantworkontheliteratureand
religionoftheJewsatthetimeofChrist("Literaturaireligijauzydwzaczasw
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ChrystusaPana",Warsaw,1911).
ThesectoftheMariavitesistreatedinthearticlePOLAND.

TheOrthodoxChurchofRussia
Russianwritersordinarilydividethehistoryoftheirnationalchurchintofiveperiods.The
first,from989to1237,wastheperiodofthediffusionofChristianityinRussia.
Christianitywasspreadslowly,butthewantofcultureamongthepeoplecausedpagan
superstitionstobemaintainedundertheexternalappearancesofChristianrites.The
conditionsofthelowerclergy,bothastocultureandtoapostolicspirit,werewretched.
MonasticlifebegantoflourishinRussia,whenthemonkAnton,comingfromMount
Athosin1051,establishedhimselfinagrottonearKieff,andcollectingabouthimvarious
followers,amongthemthefamousBlessedTheodosiusPetcherski,laidthefoundationof
thegreatmonasterycalledKievoPetcherskaja.Thismonasterybecameafocusofculture
inthedevelopmentofRussia,andisrightlyconsideredanationalmonumentofthat
country.Monasticismwassogenerallyspreadinthetwelfthcenturythatinthecityof
Kieffalonetherewereseventeenmonasteries.
DuringthisfirstperiodtheRussianChurchwastotallydependentupontheChurchof
Constantinople,andwasgovernedbytheMetropolitansofKieff,thelistofwhichopens
withLeo(deadin1004)andcloseswiththeMetropolitanJosefin1237.Accordingto
Golubinskithisfirstlistcontainstwentyfournames.Someofthem,Mikhail,Ilarion,Ivan
II,Ephraim,andKonstantinwereplaceduponthecalendarofthesaints.Oneofthemost
famoussaintsofthisfirstepochwasSt.CyrilofTuroff.
Thesecondperiod,from1237,inwhichyearbegintheMongolianinvasionsandthe
progressivedevelopmentofthepowerofnorthernRussiaextendsto1461,whenOrthodox
Russiawasdividedintotwometropolitanates.Duringthisperiod,Russiawasgovernedby
theMetropolitansofallRussia,thelistofwhombeginswithCyrilIII(124249),and
closeswithSt.Gona(144861).Amongthesemetropolitans,St.Pioter(130826),St.
Alexei(135478),andSt.Gona(144861)wereraisedtothehonoursofthealtarofthe
RussianChurch.ThelatterfoughtagainsttheTatarswhileseveralRussianprinces
sufferedmartyrdomfortheirFaithandwerecanonized.Somefewmissionariesattempted
tospreadChristianityamongtheTatars.In1329twoRussianmonks,Sergeiand
Germanus,foundedthefamousmonasteryofBalaam,onanisletofLakeLadoga.Inthe
secondhalfofthefourteenthcenturySt.Stephen,BishopofPerm(died1396),preached
ChristianitytotheZyriani.TheeffortsoftheRussians,however,towinLithuaniaoverto
theschismwerenotcrownedwithsuccess.Duringthisperiod,therewereeighteen
eparchiesinRussia.TheRussianbishopsgraduallyleanedtowardsMoscow,whichhad
aspirationstospiritualsupremacy.Themoralandintellectualconditionsoftheclergy
wereverylow.Towardsthelatterendofthefourteenthcentury,therearosetheheresyof
theStrigolniki,whorejectedthehierarchy.Monasticismattaineditshighestdevelopment,
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thereappearing180newmonasteries.St.SergeiRadonejski(deadin1392),asaintwhom
popularlegendsrepresentasendowedwithsupernaturalpowers,becamethelegislatorof
thenewmonasticism.AtSergievo,40milesfromMoscow,hefoundedthecelebrated
monasteryoftheMostHolyTrinity,agreatreligiousandnationalmonumentofRussia.
Themonasteriesatthisepochcontainedpossibly300religious.
Thethirdperiodisfrom1461to1589,whentheRussianChurchwasdividedintothetwo
metropolitanatesofMoscowandKieff.TheformerwasboundedbythefrontiersofGreat
Russia,andwasstrictlyRussianandOrthodox.ThatofKieffattemptedtoassimilatethe
cultureoftheWest,anddevelopedgreatliteraryactivity.InthemetropolisofMoscow,
TihonofVyatka(deadin1612)workedfortheconversionoftheVoguliandofthe
OstiakioftheGovernmentofPerm.ThemonksofthemonasteryofSolovkaevangelized
theLopari,inwhicheffortstheBlessedTheodoretus(deadin1577)andtheBlessedTihon
Petchengski(14951583)distinguishedthemselves.Intheworkoftheconversionto
ChristianityoftheTatarsofKazan,thehigumenoGeorge(Gurij)Rugotinbecamefamous.
Hedied4Dec.,1563,andwascanonizedbytheRussianChurchsoalsowasthe
archimandriteBarsonofius(deadin1576,andGermanus(died1567).OtherRussian
monksdevotedtheirenergiestotheconversionofthepagansofAstrakhanandofthe
Caucasus.
TheRussianChurchbecamemoreandmoreseparatedfromtheGreekChurch,and
towardstheendofthefifteenthcenturyrefusedtoreceiveGreekmetropolitansand
bishops.Amongthemetropolitansofthistime,Macarius(154263),andtheenergetic
PhilippusII,whowasslainbyorderofIvantheTerriblein1473,weredistinguishedby
theextentoftheirlearning.IntheMetropolitanateofMoscowtherewereteneparchates.
Theclergywasverynumerous,andmanyofitsmembers,unabletosubsistinthevillages,
livedavagabondlifeatMoscow,tothedetrimentofdiscipline.Withaviewtoreforming
theclergytherewasconvenedatMoscowin1551thefamousCounciloftheHundred
Chapters(Stoglav).Monasticismspreadmoreandmore.Fromthefifteenthtothe
seventeenthcenturythereappearedthreehundrednewmonasteries,whichaccumulated
enormouswealth.TheBlessedNilSorski(14331508)madehimselfthechampionofa
reformamongthemonks,whichimpliedontheirparttherenunciationofallrealproperty
andseclusioninthemonasteries.Hisdoctrinesfoundnumerousadversaries,amongwhom
wastheBlessedJosefofVolock(14401515).Manymonksandasceticsofthistimewere
veneratedassaints.Amongthemorefamousofthese,wereAlexanderSvirski(deadin
1533)andDanielofPereiaslaff(died1540).Thewantofreligiousinstructionfavoured
superstitionandthegerminationofheresies.Inthefifteenthcenturytherebrokeout,at
Novgorodanditssurroundings,theheresyoftheJudaizers(zhidovstvujushshie),against
whichtheArchbishopGennadius(asaintwhodiedin1505)andtheBlessedJosefof
Volockstruggledwithmuchenergy.InthesixteenthcenturyMatweiBaksinand
TheodosiusKosoitaughtrationalistdoctrines,abjuringthesacramentsandecclesiastical
government,whichevokedrefutationsandanathemasfromMaximtheGreek,andfrom
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themonkZinoviiOtenski.TheProtestantsestablishedthemselvesatMoscow.
TherewerefifteenmetropolitansofKieff,fromGregortheBulgarian(145873),who,
accordingtoGolubinski,afterembracingtheunion,returnedtotheOrthodoxChurch,to
OnisiphorusDievotchak(157989),whowassucceededbyMikhailRagosathelatter
havingembracedtheUnion.TheOrthodoxofthemetropolitanate,aftertheUnionof
Brest,fanaticallyopposedtheprogressoftheUnionists.Russianwritersmentionwith
praise,amongthesechampionsofOrthodoxyagainsttheUnion,PrinceAndreiKurbski
andPrinceKonstantinofOstrog.ThefollowersofOrthodoxyalsoestablished
confraternitiesfortheprintinganddisseminationofpolemicalworks,andtooppose
Catholicinfluencethroughtheschools.Forwantofbishopsandpriestsoftheirown,
membersoftheOrthodoxChurchpassedovertotheUnion.In1620,however,
Theophanus,PatriarchofJerusalem,consecratedJobBoreckiMetropolitanofKieff,and
sixmembersoftheOrthodoxChurchasbishopsrespectivelyofPolotsk,Vladimir,Lutzk,
Przemysl,Chelm,andPinskandthustheOrthodoxhierarchywasreestablished.Inthe
domainoftheologythesixteenthandseventeenthcenturieswereprolificofworks,written
byOrthodoxtheologians,tocombattheargumentsoftheCatholicsandUniates.Themost
salientpersonalityoftheOrthodoxhierarchyofKieffduringthisperiodwasthe
MetropolitanPeterMoghila(died1646).
ThefourthperiodoftheRussianChurchisthatofthePatriarchateofMoscow(1589
1700).ThePatriarchateofMoscowwascreatedin1589byJeremiasII,Patriarchof
Constantinople.ThefirstpatriarchwasJob(15891605)hewassucceededbyIgnatei
(160506),Hermogenes(160611),FilareteRomanoff(161933),Joshaphat(163440),
Josef(164252),Nikon(165266),Joshaphat(166772),Pitirim(167273),Joachim
Saveloff(167490),andAdrian(16901700).Amongthemostfamousofthesemention
shouldbemadeofFilareteandJoachim,bitterenemiesofCatholicismandofNikon,who
withuncurbedenergyupheldtherightsofhisChurchagainsttheusurpationsofthecivil
power,onwhichaccounthewasdeposedin1666.ThepatriarchsformedatMoscowa
court,which,especiallyunderFilareteRomanoff,wasarivalofthatofthetsars,bothas
towealthandauthority,andwhichforthesereasonswassuppressedbythetsars.The
patriarchsexercisedsuperintendenceoverthemetropolitansandoverthebishops,the
numberofwhomwasincreasedanddiminishedbyturns.Aftertheestablishmentofthe
patriarchate,Novgorod,Kazan,Rostoff,andKrutickibecamemetropolitanates,and
Suzdal,Ryazan,Tver,Vologda,andSmolenskweremadearchiepiscopalsees.The
numberofdioceseswasfixedateight.In1620Siberiawasgivenanepiscopalseeat
Tobolsk.In1682theTsarFeodorAlexeievitchproposedtheestablishmentof12
metropolitanatesand72diocesesbutacouncilofbishopsreducedthelatternumberto
34,laterto22,andthereafterto14.Therewasalackoffundsforthesupportofthenew
dioceses,andattheendoftheseventeenthcenturythepatriarchateofMoscowhad13
metropolitanates,7archbishoprics,and2dioceses.
Meanwhilethetsars,seeingthegrowthoftheinfluenceandpoweroftheChurchunder
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theruleofthepatriarchs,adoptedthepolicyofdiminishingtheprerogativesoftheclergy.
TheTsarAlexisMikhailovitchpublishedastatute(ulozhenie)whichprohibitedthefurther
acquisitionofpropertybytheclergy.Thejudicialpositionoftheclergyreceivedanother
blowbythepromulgationofthesocalledmonastyrskijprikaz(monasterialordinance).
TheclergyreceivedthisdiminutiocapitiswithevidentdispleasureandwhenNikon,
MetropolitanofNovgorod,wasraisedtothepatriarchaldignityin1652,protestswere
redoubled,andtheconflictbetweenthepatriarchandthetsarbecameacute.Thebishops,
whowerepartisansofthetsar,hadthesupportoftheGreekhierarchy.TheCouncilof
Moscow,topleasethetsar,deposedthepatriarch,whodiedafteralongcaptivity,at
Bieloozero,in1681.WiththedeathofNikontheRussianChurchwasyokedtothe
chariotoftheState.PetertheGreatfoundthatthepatriarchatewasuseless,andinfactan
obstacleinthewayoftherealizationofhispurposesandaccordingly,atthedeathof
Adrianin1700,hesuppressedit.ThePatriarchateofMoscowhadsucceededinunifying
theOrthodoxChurchofRussia.Aftertheconventionof1686betweenRussiaandPoland,
whichmadethetsarsofMoscowmastersofKieffandLittleRussia,thePatriarchJoachim
namedGedeonTchetvertinskimetropolitanofKieff,andin1687Dionysius,Patriarchof
Constantinople,recognizedthedependencyoftheMetropolitanateofKieffuponthe
PatriarchateofMoscow.
IntheseventeenthcenturyunderthePatriarchNikonagreatschismbrokeoutinthe
OrthodoxChurch,calledtheSchismoftheOldBelievers.Theliturgicalbooksinusein
theRussianChurchwererepletewitherrors.Theircorrectionwasanurgentnecessity,and
hadbeenundertakeninthesixteenthcentury.Thefanaticsopposedthis"corruption"of
thesacredtexts,andMaximtheGreek,whohadworkeduponit,paidforhisparticipation
intheworkwithalongimprisonment.UnderNikonin1654acouncilheldatMoscow
recognizedthenecessityofthereforminquestion.Accordinglytheliturgicalbookswere
corrected,butmanyRussians,influencedbythemonks,refusedtoacceptthecorrected
versions.ItbegantoberumouredthatAntichrist,personifiedbythepope,hadinviewthe
destructionoftheOrthodoxRussianChurch,throughtheLatinCatholicsofwestern
Russia.ButacouncilheldatMoscowin1666approvedthereformofNikon,and
pronounceditsanathemaagainstthosewhohadnotacceptedhisdecisions.Anathemas,
werehowever,liketheseverityofthegovernment,withouteffectagainstthesedeserters
fromtheofficialChurch.Themonkswhowereaversetothereformwithdrewtosolitary
places,andfoundedclandestinemonasteries,amongwhichthoseofVyg,Starodub,and
Vyatkabecamefamous.Themoreviolentschismaticswereburntaliveordecapitated.But
persecutionsinvigoratedtheschism,calledinRussianraskio,whencethenameofits
adherents,Raskolniki.
Thefifth,calledthesynodal,periodbeginswith1700,andextendstothepresenttime.At
thedeathofAdrian(1700),StepanTavorski,MetropolitanofRyazan,andalearned
theologian,wasappointedpatriarchalvicar,andchargedtoreformtheentireconstitution
oftheRussianChurch.TavorskifoundanexcellentcooperatorinTheophanus
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Prokopovitch,whowasBishopofPskofin1718,andwho,althougheducatedatLemberg,
Cracow,andRome,andaccordingtosome,aconverttoCatholicism,nourishedabitter
hatredforCatholics.PetertheGreatgavetoProkopovitchthetaskofpreparingthe
"EcclesiasticalRegulations"whichbecametheMagnaCartaoftheRussianChurch.This
codewasfinishedin1720.Itisdividedintothreeparts,concerningrespectivelythe
functionsofthesynod,themattersputunderitsjurisdiction,andthedutiesofits
members.Thesynodwassolemnlyopenedon14Feb.,1721.Bythe"Ecclesiastical
Regulations",thetsaristhesupremejudgeoftheecclesiasticalcollege.Hisrepresentative
inthatcapacitywasalayman,whoinadocumentof1722iscalledtheeyeofthetsar.
Thisfunctionary,bearingthetitleofOberProkuror,wastobechosenpreferablyfromthe
militaryclass.
Thesynodintheearlyperiodofitsexistencehadtenmembers,besidesthepresident,and
maintaineditsecclesiasticalcharacter.AfterthedeathofPetertheGreat,however,that
ecclesiasticalcharacterwaslostbydegrees,andthesynodbecameavastpolitical
bureaucracy.Thebishopswereatthemercyoftheprocuratorsgeneral,whoattimes,asin
thecaseofPrinceSharkhovski,regardedthesynodasapoliticalinstitution,and
sometimesmaltreatedtheprelateswhoformedthatbody.Therewereprocuratorsgeneral
whomadepublicprofessionofatheism,asTchebysheff(176874),orofrationalism,as
PrinceA.Golycin(1803).TheRussianChurchsufferedhumiliationunderthelayruleof
thesynod(seetheimportantworkofBlagovidoff,anexprofessoroftheEcclesiastical
AcademyofKazan,on"TheProcuratorsoftheHolySynod").In1881therewascalledto
thegovernmentofthesynodKonstantinPobiedonostseff,amanofgreatculturebutof
reactionaryideas,whowishedtouniteallthereligionsprofessedinRussiainthe
OrthodoxChurch.TheepochofPobiedonostseffwasoneofcompletethraldomforthe
RussianChurch.Hisdictatorshiphowevercametoanendin1905,whentheedictof
tolerationwaspromulgated.TheLiberalRussianclergyattackedthesynodandtheanti
canonicalconstitutionoftheRussianChurchinthePress,anddemandedthe
reestablishmentofthepatriarchate.TheGovernmentproposedtheconvocationofagreat
nationalsynod,toreturnitslibertiestotheChurchofRussiaandtogiveitanew
constitution,butthispurposewasfrustratedbythefrictionbetweenthe"white"(secular)
andthe"black"(regular)clergy,bythetriumphoftherevolutionaryparties,andbythe
outbreakoftherevolution.Thesynodcontinuedtoexerciseitsdeleteriousauthorityunder
variousprocurators:PrinceObolenski,Izvolski,Lukianoff(amentalspecialist),and
finally,in1911,CarolusViadimirovitchSabler,aformerassociateofPobiedonostseff,but
amanofbroaderandmoreliberalideas.
Otherchangesweremadeintheeparchies.Whenthesynodwasestablished,therewere
18eparchiesand2vicariatesinRussiain1764,thenumberoftheformerhadincreased
to29,andto36atthebeginningofthenineteenthcenturywhichlatternumberwas
increasedunderNicholasI,andbecame65inourday.Theeparchiesareruledby
metropolitans(St.Petersburg,Moscow,andKieff),archbishops,andbishops.According
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tothemostrecentstatistics,therewere133Russianbishops,includingthebishopvicars
oftheeparchies,andthebishopswithoutacharge.Inregardtothemoralcharacterofthe
Russianepiscopate,andconcerningthevariousinstitutionsoftheRussiandioceses,see
thepresentwriter'swork"LaChiesarussa",pp.105160.TheRussianclergy,whichis
dividedintotwocastes,the"white"clergy,orseculars,andthe"black"clergy,orregulars,
hasnotacquired,amongtheRussians,themoralprestigethattheCatholicclergyhas
acquiredinCatholiccountries.Accordingtothelateststatistics,thereareinthe"white"
clergy45,000priests,2400archpriests,15,000deacons,and44,000singers,whilethere
are60,000churchesandchapelsinthecountry.Thisclergyexercisesitsministryover
morethan90millionsofOrthodoxfaithfulbutitisrenderedincapableofaccomplishing
itsmissionbypoverty,wantofeducation,thelackofsoundvocations,theoppressionof
theGovernment,contemptandsocialisolation,familycares,andnotinfrequentlyby
drink.Onlyinthecitiesaretheretobefoundpriestsofcultureandincomfortable
circumstancesthosewhoworkintheruralparishesaredeservingofpityandcompassion.
Intheeighteenthcentury,the"black"clergysufferedvicissitudesthatgreatlyreducedthe
numberofmonasteriesandmonks.PetertheGreatespeciallyandAnnaIvanovnatreated
themonkswiththegreatestseverity.Neverthelessthe"black"clergypreservedthemoral
andeconomicsuperiorityinRussiabishops,rectors,andinspectorsofacademiesand
seminariesaretakenfromtheranksofthe"black"clergy,andthemonasteriesstillpossess
immenseriches.Accordingtothemostrecentstatisticsthereare298monasteriesthatare
recognizedandsubsidizedbytheGovernment,whilethereare154notsubsidized
(zastatnij).Therewere9317monksand8266novices.Therewere400religioushousesof
women,inhabitedby12,652nunsand40,275novices.Manyofthesereligioushousesare
oftheRussianSistersofCharity,whomaintain184hospitals,and148asylums.Thelife
oftheregularclergy,exceptinafewmonasteriesofstrictobservance,isverylax.
TheOrthodoxclergyreceivesitseducationintheecclesiasticalschools,preparatoryfor
theseminaries(dukhovnyjautchilishsha)ofwhichthereare185,with1302instructors,
andwhicharemaintainedatanexpensetothestateof6,153,353roublesyearlyinthe
ecclesiasticalseminaries,ofwhichthereare57,with866instructorsand20,500students
andalsointheecclesiasticalacademiesofSt.Petersburg,Moscow,Kieff,andKazan,in
whichthereare120instructorsand862studentstheseacademiespossessveryvaluable
libraries,andhaveprofessorsofgreatscientificmerit.Theseminariesbothmorallyor
intellectuallyareinawretchedconditionfromtheseseminariesthemoralandintellectual
shortcomingsoftheRussianclergyarederived,theirstudents,asarule,enteringthe
priesthoodwithouttheleastvocation.In190608theseinstitutionsbecamehotbedsof
revolutionists,andevenofanarchists.Theecclesiasticalsciencesarecultivatedinthe
academies,whichpublishperiodicalsofgreatmeritasthe"KhristianskoeTchtenie"
(ChristianReading)atSt.Petersburgthe"BogoslovskiViestnik"(Theological
Messenger)atSergievskPosadthe"Trudy"(Works)oftheEcclesiasticalAcademyof
Kieff,andthe"PravoslavnyiSobesiednik"atKazan.Otherimportantperiodicalsarethe
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"Strannik"(St.PetersburgTraveller),the"TcherkovnijViestnik"(Ecclesiastical
Messenger),the"CerkovnijaViedomosti"(EcclesiasticalNews),theorganofthesynodat
St.Petersburg"DushepoleznoeTchtenie"(EdifyingReading),atMoscow,andthe
"Khristianin"(TheChristian),atSergievskPosad.Amongthemostfamousprofessorsof
theecclesiasticalacademiesofthepresentday,mentionshouldbemadeofthegreat
exegeteNikolaiGlubokovski,thecanonistsZaozerskiandBerdnikoff,thehistorian
Znamenski,etc.Themostfamousofthemall,atpresent,isthearchpriestMalinovski.A
comprehensivestudyontheRussianseminariesandacademiesmaybefoundinthework
"LaChiesarussa",pp.541679.
TheeducatinginfluenceoftheRussianclergyuponthepeopleisveryslight.Ontheother
handthebureaucracywouldsuppressanyeffortoftheclergytogivetothepeoplea
highersenseofitsrights.Theclergymaintainsagreatmanyelementaryschools,the
numberofwhichwasmuchincreasedinthetimeofPobiedonostseff.These
establishmentsaredividedintoschoolsoftwoclasses,andschoolsofoneclassofthe
formerthereare672,with77,000studentsofbothsexeswhilethereare25,425oneclass
schools,with1,400,000studentsofbothsexesandinaddition13,650schoolsinwhich
readingistaught,with436,000pupils.Thereare426secondaryschools,with22,300
students,theyearlymaintenanceofwhichcostsasumof17,000,000roubles.
TheapostolicworkoftheRussianclergyhassmallresult.Theinternalmissionsare
againsttheRaskolniki,themysticandtherationalistsects,theMohammedans,the
Catholics,theLutherans,andtheJews.Themissionariesdirecttheireffortstowardsthe
conversionofdissidentstoOrthodoxyratherbytheassistanceofthepoliceandbyhuman
meansthanbyasupernaturalspiritandbyconvincingarguments.Allefforts,not
excludingdeportationtoSiberia,havefailedtosecuretheconversionoftheRaskolniki,
whosince1905haveenjoyedacertainliberty,andatthepresenttimemaintainagreat
propaganda.Theirnumberisestimatedat15,000,000.AmongCatholicsandLutheransthe
Russianmissionsarewithouteffectinfactsince1905manyoftheOrthodoxhave
embracedCatholicismorLutheranism.ForthreecenturiesRussianmissionarieshave
workedfortheconversionoftheMohammedanTatarsbutthetrivialnatureofthe
propagandaamongthatpeoplewasshownin1905,when500,000ChristianTatars
returnedtothefaithofIslam.
TheforeignmissionsofRussiaareinNorthandSouthAmerica,Japan,Corea,andPersia.
InNorthAmericatheeffortsoftheOrthodoxmissionariesaredirectedtotheconversion
oftheUniateRuthenianswhoemigratetothatcontinent.Inothercountriestheirefforts
arealmostwithoutresult,withtheexceptionofJapan,whereIvanKasatkin,whoisnow
anarchbishop,andwhowenttothoseislandsin1860,succeededinestablishinga
JapanesebranchoftheOrthodoxChurch,Whichnumbersabout30,000adherentsand
about40nativepriests(cf."LaChiesarussa",pp.397539).
TheChurchofRussiaisthesupportandstrengthofOrthodoxy,which,countingRussians,
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Greeks,andRumanians,hasmorethan110millionsofadherents.Theconversionof
RussiatoCatholicism,therefore,wouldendtheEasternSchism.Butthehourofa
reconciliationbetweentheEastandtheWestisyetfardistant,howevermuchdesiredby
CatholicsandalsobyRussians,suchasVladimirSoloveff.Thereisnodoubtthatamong
theculturedclassesofRussiatherearetobefoundpersonswhodesirethisunion,and
whoreadilyrecognizethedefectsoftheirnationalChurchbutthereisnomovement
towardsunionwithCatholicism.Asarule,theculturedclassesofRussiaarecontaminated
withthepoisonofinfidelitywhilethelowerclassesareslavesofsuperstitionor
ignorance,andmostattachedtotheformalitiesoftheirrite.Theyaretheeasypreyofthe
rationalistormysticRussiansects.PossiblyRussiawouldhavebeenCatholicif,afterthe
UnionofBrest,politicsandhumanpassionshadnotrenderedtheconditionoftheUniates
mostunhappy,andplacedobstaclesinthewayofthedevelopmentoftheRuthenian
clergy.Butitisuselesstolamentthepastandeveryeffortshouldbemadethatthelatent
religiousforcesofRussiamaysomedayfindtheirfulldevelopmentinunionwith
Catholicismunderasingleshepherd.

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lutherischeGemeindeninRussland(St.Petersburg,1909).

Aboutthispage
APAcitation.Palmieri,A.(1912).TheReligionofRussia.InTheCatholicEncyclopedia.
NewYork:RobertAppletonCompany.RetrievedJune6,2015fromNewAdvent:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13253a.htm
MLAcitation.Palmieri,Aurelio."TheReligionofRussia."TheCatholicEncyclopedia.
Vol.13.NewYork:RobertAppletonCompany,1912.6Jun.2015
<http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13253a.htm>.
Transcription.ThisarticlewastranscribedforNewAdventbyDouglasJ.Potter.
DedicatedtotheImmaculateHeartoftheBlessedVirginMary.
Ecclesiasticalapprobation.NihilObstat.February1,1912.RemyLafort,D.D.,Censor.
Imprimatur.+JohnCardinalFarley,ArchbishopofNewYork.
Contactinformation.TheeditorofNewAdventisKevinKnight.Myemailaddressis
webmasteratnewadvent.org.Regrettably,Ican'treplytoeveryletter,butIgreatly
appreciateyourfeedbackespeciallynotificationsabouttypographicalerrorsand
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