Tuesday, February 27, 2018

1923 Participation of the ROCOR Bishops in the All-Orthodox Congress

Informational Sharing: For serious students of the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: "1923 Participation of the ROCOR Bishops in the All-Orthodox Congress"

Dan Everiss <oregdan@hotmail.com>
Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 7:07 PM

Lengthy but valuable history: PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHER INTERTESTED PERSONS!
English version:

Participation of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the work of the All-Orthodox Congress of 1923


Participation of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the work of the All-Orthodox Congress of 1923
Author: Internet Cathedral. Date of publication: February 27, 2018 . Category: History of the ROCOR .

February 27, 2018
We invite readers of the portal to familiarize themselves with the report that was read at the International Historical and Theological Conference "Intercession Readings in Brussels-2017". It provides a detailed analysis of each of the 11 meetings of the All-Orthodox congress, a congress of representatives of a number of Local Orthodox Churches, that is ambiguously perceived by church historians. The author is the vice-rector for scientific work of the Minsk Theological Academy and Seminary, the editor-in-chief of the church-historical almanac "ΧΡΟΝΟΣ".

One of the most pressing issues of inter-Orthodox relations of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. is the preparation of the All-Orthodox Council. The first practical step towards realizing this idea was the holding in 1923 of the so-called All-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople. The study of the materials and circumstances of the work of this forum is relevant not only in the context of modern tendencies of inter-Orthodox relations, but also within the framework of understanding the historical path of Russian ecclesiastical emigration. Confirmation of this is the participation in the Congress of such notable Russian church hierarchs as Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky), in 1936-1964. who was First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), and Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), in 1936-1960. who headed the Brussels diocese. It should be noted that in modern historiography the role of the Russian bishops in the process of work and preparation of the decisions of the All-Orthodox Congress of 1923 is extremely insufficiently reflected and understood [1] . This message is aimed at filling this gap.

The main source of information that allows to form an idea of the participation of the ROCOR bishops in the work of the All-Orthodox Congress of 1923 is the Greek-language documentary "Protocols and decisions of the All-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople (May 10-June 8, 1923)". Published by the Patriarchal Printing Office of Constantinople in 1923, the collection includes not only the texts of official decisions of the Congress, but also minutes of meetings reflecting the position of the Russian hierarchs on the issues discussed [2] .

The most important motive for the preparation of the All-Orthodox Congress was the desire of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to accelerate rapprochement with the Anglican Church in the conditions of the completed Greek-Turkish war of 1919-1922. and preparations for the signing of the Lausanne Peace Treaty (July 24, 1923). The development of the Orthodox-Anglican dialogue was perceived by the Greek side as a means of attracting political support to Great Britain during the post-war reconstruction and approval of the Greco-Turkish border [3] .

At this time, the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletius IV (Matkasakis) made efforts to implement the wishes expressed in the District Address (Encyclical) "Towards the Christian Churches All Across the World" ("The Protocols" απαντάχου 'Εκκλησίας του Χριστου "), published in January 1920 The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople under the chairmanship of the Metropolitan of Brusques Dorotheus (Mammelis) [4] . Published during the height of the Greek-Turkish war, the Message was oriented towards the Orthodox-Anglican rapprochement. It expressed a special hope for a productive ecumenical dialogue aimed at removing the contradictions in the relations of separate Christian denominations for "preparing and facilitating the cause of a full, with the help of God, the blessed reunification of all Churches" [5] . One means of achieving inter-Christian unity encyclical called "the adoption of a common calendar for a one-time celebration of the great Christian feasts by all the Churches» ( «διὰ της παραδοχης 'ενιαίου ' ημερολογίου προς ταυ̉τόχρονον 'εορτασμὸν των μεγάλων χριστιανικων' εορτων 'υπο πασωντων ̉Εκκλησιων»). The Circular Epistle was published in Greek, English, French and Russian and sent out to all Primate of the Local Orthodox Churches and heads of non-Orthodox confessions. [6] All the further work of the Patriarchate of Constantinople for many years was conditioned by the ecumenical preconditions of the Encyclical.

Pursuing the goal of fulfilling the wish expressed in the Encyclical, the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletius IV (Matkasakis) published February 3, 1923, Epistle No. 872/467 "To the Blessed and Honorable Primate of the Holy Orthodox Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Serbia, Cyprus, Hellas and Romania" ( «Πρὸςτοὺς Μακαριωτάτους καὶ Σεβασμιωτάτους Προέδρουςτῶν Ἁγίων Ὀρθοδόξων Ἐκκλησιῶν Ἀλεξανδρείας, Ἀντιοχείας, Ἱεροσολύμον, Σερβίας, Κύπρου, Ἑλλάδος καὶ Ρουμανίας»). Having ascertained the presence of many topical issues of modern church life, which require all-Orthodox discussion and permission, Patriarch Meletios in his message emphasized the need to bring the church timing into conformity with the Gregorian calendar adopted in European countries and America. Moreover, the need to reform the Orthodox calendar was explained by the importance of achieving Christian unity in the celebrations of the Nativity of Christ and the Resurrection [7] . To discuss the existing issues, the Patriarch of Constantinople proposed to organize in Istanbul after the Easter holidays the work of the Committee (or the Commission - Ἐπιτροπή), in which one or two representatives of the above-mentioned Local Churches would take part. [8]

By the time of the convening of the Constantinople Committee, the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA had developed good and constructive relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, expressed in mutual support in political and ecclesiastical matters. An example of this can be the joint actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletius (Metaxakis) and the Chairman of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) in the sphere of counteracting the renewal of the schism in the Russian Orthodox Church. Thus, on May 5, 1922, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople adopted a Memorandum in favor of persecuted Christians in Asia and Russia, condemning the campaign conducted by the Bolsheviks to seize church values and the arrest of the patriarch of Moscow Tikhon (Bellavin) [9] . The Memorandum text, sent to the leadership of all Christian Churches, was also sent to Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) with a request to transfer it to Patriarch Tikhon [10] . This circumstance testifies to the recognition of Metropolitan Anthony from the Patriarchate of Constantinople as a representative and spokesman of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in exile.

Counting on the support of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, including the patriarch of Constantinople, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) sent on February 18, 1923, a message addressed to them containing an appeal not to recognize the validity of the sacraments in the renewal and Ukrainian autocephalous schisms [11] . A little more than a month later, on April 24, 1923, the Holy Synod and the Mixed Council of the Patriarchate of Constantinople adopted a resolution prohibiting the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Moscow to take part in the trial of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Tikhon (Bellavina) [12] . It should be noted that at this time the renewed "Second Local All-Russian Council" (April 29-May 9, 1923) was preparing for the opening, at which the eruption of the patriarch who was under arrest was planned. In addition, the resolution adopted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate recommended that the Russian hierarchs refrain from participating in this condemnation, since "all Orthodoxy (hapasaiortodoxia) looks at the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia as a confessor (homologitin)" [13] . This decision was the basis for the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA to refute the decision adopted at the renewal Council [14] .

An important component of the relationship between the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA and the Ecumenical Patriarchy was the foreign political support of the latter from the side of the Russian hierarchs. Thus, on January 4, 1923, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) sent an official address to the President of the Lausanne Conference, in which he expressed concern about the possible removal of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from Istanbul. The impossibility of resettlement of the Ecumenical Patriarch was explained as follows: "The Patriarch of Constantinople for Orthodox Christians of all countries is the supreme judge, and the abolition or humiliation of this Apostolic chair would be a profound insult and humiliation of the entire Orthodox Church" [15] .

The current constructive interaction between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA determined initially the positive attitude of the Russian hierarchs in exile to the initiative of Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) on the convening of the Committee of Representatives of Local Churches. The first announcement of the forthcoming forum in the journal Church News, which was the official organ of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA, was published in No. 5-6 March 14-28, 1923. In the appendix to the official part, the editorial office posted a short note "Meeting on a new style" , from which it followed that in the near future Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) intended to hold in Constantinople a meeting of representatives of the Eastern Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches to discuss the issue of the reform of the church calendar [16] .

It is noteworthy that the official chronicle of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA does not contain information on the referral of a representative to the Committee of Local Churches. It can be assumed that this circumstance resulted from the absence of the name of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Epistle of the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletius (Metaxakis) "To the Blessed and Honorable Primate of the Holy Orthodox Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Serbia, Cyprus, Hellas and Romania" dated February 3, 1923 . [17] . However, the Archbishop of Kishinev and Khotynsky Anastassy (Gribanovsky), the Administrator of the Russian Orthodox churches of Constantinople, and Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), who lived in Istanbul until 1922, was the administrator of the North American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The opening of the all-Orthodox conference, organized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, was held on May 10, 1923 in Istanbul. Very remarkable is the evolution of the official name of this meeting, reflecting the aspirations of its organizers and participants to enhance the status of the event. As noted above, the Epistle of Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) on February 3, 1923, called on the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches to send representatives to participate in the work of the Committee (Ἐπιτροπή). On the day of the beginning of its work, the all-Orthodox forum already had the name of the Committee (Commission) of the Orthodox Churches (Ἐπιτροπή τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων κκλησιῶν) [18] . Later, the official name of the forum will undergo changes twice more, as will be discussed below.

Turning to the composition of the Committee of Orthodox Churches, it is necessary to note not only the presence of authoritative persons in it, but also the absence of direct representatives of a number of autocephalous Churches. In particular, there were no representatives of the Alexandrian, Antioch and Jerusalem Orthodox Churches. Plenipotentiary representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople were Metropolitan Kizik Kallinik, Professor of the Theological School on the island of Khalki Vasily Antoniadis and Secretary General of the Patriarchate Archimandrite Herman; representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church were the Metropolitan of Chernogorsk and Primorye Gabriel (Dozhich), in 1938-1950. Militin Milankovic, the Patriarch of Serbia, and the author of the New Julian calendar, Professor of Mathematics and Mechanics of the Belgrade University; representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Church were Archimandrite Julius (Sriban), Professor of the Central Seminary in Bucharest, and Senator Peter Drangich; the representative of the Hellenic Orthodox Church was Metropolitan Jacob of Dirrah. The credentials of the representative of the Cyprus Orthodox Church were delegated to the hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Metropolitan of Nicaea Basil (Georgadis), in 1925-1929. who was the Patriarch of Constantinople. [19]

The issue of the status and powers of Archbishops Anastas (Gribanovsky) and Alexander (Nemolovsky), who took part in the work of the Committee of Orthodox Churches, is of particular importance. In official documents of the Committee, they are positioned as hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church. Archbishops Anastassy and Alexander are not called representatives of the Church (ἀντιπροσωπευόντοι), but invited by the Constantinople Church (κατ 'αὐτεπάγγελτον πρόσκλησιν αὐτῶνἀπὸμέρους τῆς Ἐκκλησίας Κωνσταντινουπόλεως). At the same time, Russian hierarchs occupy the second position in the list of participants and follow representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople [20] . During the work of the Committee of Orthodox Churches (later renamed the All-Orthodox Congress), the status of Russian hierarchs has changed. In the definition of the Bishops' Council of the ROCA of June 4, 1923, they were recognized as representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church at the All-Orthodox Congress [21] .

Description of the grand opening of the work of the Committee of Orthodox Churches is reflected in the collection of its protocols and decisions, as well as in the pages of the journal "Church Life". On May 10, 1923, at 10 o'clock in the morning, representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, members of the Holy Synod and high-ranking officers of the Patriarchate of Constantinople gathered in the Great Patriarchal Throne Room. The Patriarchal Archdeacon met representatives of each delegation and accompanied them to a specially prepared place for them. Archbishops Anastassy (Gribanovsky) and Alexander (Nemolovsky) were given a high honor. Despite their lack of status as official representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, the places of Russian hierarchs were located immediately after the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Half an hour later the patriarch of Constantinople Meletius IV (Metaxakis) entered the hall, clad in a cloak with a staff in his hands, who was preceded by two deacons who carried trikiri and dikiri. Having ascended to the patriarchal throne, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople put on epitrachel and omophorion, after which he performed a short moleben. Remaining on the throne, the patriarch unmasked and delivered a greeting speech in Greek, in which he outlined the tasks facing the Committee of the Orthodox Churches, the most important of which he saw was the coordination of the issue of reforming the system of church time. Then the director of the patriarchal office read out the Russian translation of the greeting speech of the patriarch, and Archimandrite Lukakis voiced the greeting text in Romanian [22] .

Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro addressed the audience with a salutatory address to the patriarch Meleti. In his speech, he highly appreciated the importance of holding the Committee of Orthodox Churches, first using the names "All-Orthodox Committee" (Pανορθοδόξος Ἐπιτροπή) and "All-Orthodox Congress" ("Pаνορθοδόξος Συνεδρίον"), [23] .

On the same day, after a short break, the first meeting of the Committee of Orthodox Churches began under the chairmanship of the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletius (Metaxakis). Quite predictably the attention of the forum participants was immediately turned to the issue of the reform of the church calendar. During the discussion, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) announced that he had no instructions from the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA concerning calendar issues and refrained from making judgments on this issue. Present at the meeting, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) did not indicate his position on the topic discussed. Both hierarchs signed their minutes of the first meeting [24] .

At the second meeting of the Committee of Orthodox Churches, held on May 11, 1923, it was decided to form three subcommittees oriented to a thorough study of the dogmatic-canonical, mathematical-astronomical and practical aspects of calendar reform. The third commission included Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro, Metropolitan Dirrahy of Jacob, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) and Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky). The secretary of the commission was the leader of the patriarchal chancellery of Chr. Papaioannou [25] .

On the same day, Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) voiced a list of issues that, in his opinion, required reflection and decision at the pan-Orthodox level. In particular, it was proposed to consider: 1) the possibility of carrying celebrations of the memory of saints from weekdays to the next Sunday; 2) obstacles to marriage; 3) the admissibility of a married episcopate, a second marriage for widowed clerics and marriage after ordination; 4) the admissibility of reducing and simplifying worship services; 5) streamlining the practice of fasting; 6) the frequency of the convening of All-Orthodox Councils [26] . At the initiative of Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro, the following questions were raised on the agenda of the Committee of Orthodox Churches: 1) grounds for divorce; 2) conditions of mixed marriages; 3) the canonical age of ordination to all degrees of priesthood; 4) the possibility of joining the Orthodoxy of Roman Catholic clergy on the conditions of preserving the sacred dignity and allowing them to marry; 5) the appearance and clothing of the clergy [27] .

During the second meeting of the Committee of Orthodox Churches, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) addressed the audience with a word in which he told about the renewed "Second Local All-Russian Council" held in Moscow, the participants of which were described as persons "acting in full harmony with the Soviet authorities" [28] . Reporting on the uncanonical decision of the renovation council concerning the eruption of the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Tikhon from the rank of Archbishop Anastassy called the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church a symbol of Christian courage and courage in repelling the forces of hell directed against the Church of Christ. According to the idea of the former administrator of the Chisinau diocese, the All-Orthodox Assembly convened at the initiative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Πανορθόδοξος συνέλευινις) will fulfill its duty only if it shows determination in assessing Moscow's events. Encouraging the forum participants not to remain indifferent to the fate of Patriarch Tikhon, Archbishop Anastassy proposed to reject the decisions of the renovation council and publish an official statement on behalf of the Committee of Orthodox Churches as soon as possible with an expression of support to Patriarch Tikhon [29] .

In response to the appeal of Archbishop Anastasia, the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletios (Metaxakis) stated that it is the seriousness of the problem that was voiced that does not allow for haste in the adoption of the corresponding statement. According to the Primate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, it is necessary not only to condemn what happened in Moscow, but also to achieve tangible practical results, for which it is necessary to have the fullness of information. Expressing the hope for obtaining the necessary information from the representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Moscow, Patriarch Meletios proposed to postpone the deadline for the adoption of the resolution on the situation in the Russian Orthodox Church. The members of the Committee present at the meeting expressed their agreement with the position of the Ecumenical Patriarch [30] .

At the third meeting of the Committee of Orthodox Churches, held on May 18, 1923, Metropolitan Jacob of Dirrahia expressed his opinion that the status of the forum used the names "Inter-Orthodox Committee" ("Διορθόδοξος Ἐπιτροπή") and "Committee of Orthodox Churches" ("Ἐπιτροπή τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων κκλησιῶν"). Further hierarch of Orthodox Church proposed conducted assimilate assembly here "Pan-Orthodox Constantinople Congress» ( «Τὸἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει Πανορθόδοξον Συνέδριον» ) or "Constantinople Congress Orthodox churches» ( "Τὸἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει Συνέδριοντῶν Ὀρθοδόξων Ἐκκλησιῶν») [31] . During the discussion of this issue, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) agreed with the opinion of Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro regarding the expediency of renaming the Committee of Orthodox Churches to Congress or Conference. Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), who was present at the meeting, refrained from expressing his own opinion. The result of the discussion was the adoption of an agreed decision on the adoption by the forum of the name "All-Orthodox Congress" ("Πανορθόδοξον Συνέδριον") [32] .

On the same day, the Subcommittee on the study of the practical aspects of the calendar reform, which included the hierarchs of the Archbishop's Synod of the ROCA, proposed the materials of its work for consideration by the participants of the All-Orthodox Congress. According to the conclusion submitted by the subcommittee, in coordination with the real astronomical time, not only the fixed holidays of the annual cycle, but also the Orthodox Paschalia, are needed. The use of an imperfect calendar leads to a mismatch of the celebration of the great holidays in Christian countries, which can not be justified. At the same time, the members of the subcommittee noted in their conclusion the possibility of criticism of the calendar reform by conservative church circles. It is noteworthy that the final document of the subcommittee on practical issues, in addition to Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro, Metropolitan Jacob of Dirrahia and secretary Hr. Papaioannou was signed by Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky). Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky), who was present at the meeting, did not leave his signature on the conclusion of the subcommittee. However, both Russian hierarchs signed the final protocol of the third session of the All-Orthodox Congress of May 18, 1923 [33] .

At the fourth meeting of the All-Orthodox Congress held on May 21, 1923, the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletius I V (Metaksakis) addressed the audience in a speech stating the need to harmonize the church time with the civil calendar and the absence of canonical obstacles to the implementation of the calendar reform. At the same time, he proposed to switch to a new style the calculation of fixed holidays already in October 1923, and leave Paschalia unchanged [34] . After the performance of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) took the floor, pointing out the possible negative consequences that the calendar reform will engender. Changing the timing system will lead to temptations in the Local Churches, Archbishop Anastassy believed, but the problem would be most affected by the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, which the Russian Orthodox people are accustomed to perceive as a defender and guardian of Orthodox traditions [35] . In this case, Archbishop Anastassy implied possible embarrassment of Orthodox pilgrims who linked the convergence of the Holy Fire to the Holy Sepulcher with the calculation of the day of the celebration of the Passover in the Julian calendar.

Objecting to Archbishop Anastasia, Patriarch Meletios of Constantinople referred to a correspondence with the Patriarch of Jerusalem on the issue of the possible reform of the Orthodox church calendar. In particular, a fragment of the telegram text of the Primate of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church was cited, which spoke about the relevance of calendar issues for the Patriarchate he headed in the context of opposing the days of Orthodox holidays by Roman Catholic. It was further stated that the patriarch of Jerusalem objected to the one-time celebration of Easter with the Catholics, and at the same time spoke in favor of an agreed decision of the Local Churches concerning the calendar issue. [36]

During the discussion, opinions were voiced in support of the calendar reform. However, Archbishop Anastassy noted the possible coincidence of the days of the celebration of the Christian and Jewish Passover in the case of translating Paschalia into a new calendar style. The inadmissibility of such coincidences, he supported by reference to the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council, the 7th apostolic rule, the first rule of the Council of Antioch and a message to the bishops of the emperor Constantine the Great. The counterarguments of the supporters of the calendar reform were reduced to recognizing the inadmissibility of a one-time celebration of the Christian Easter and the Jewish one not in coincidence of dates, but in the sense of using a single system for calculating a holiday. The fourth meeting of the All-Orthodox Congress ended with the consideration of the draft of a new church calendar presented by the Vatopedi Archimandrite Pankratii. The course of the discussion was reflected in the minutes of the meeting, signed by all its participants, including the archbishops Anastassy (Gribanovsky) and Alexander (Nemolovsky) [37] .

The fifth session of the All-Orthodox Congress was held on May 23, 1923. On this day, a report was delivered by the Romanian professor Dimitrescu, who proved the absence of dogmatic and canonical grounds for the second-order Orthodox clerics and the possibility of their marriage after consecration. Then followed the continuation of the discussion of the issue of calendar reform in the Orthodox Church, during which the author of the project of a new calendar, the professor of the Belgrade University M. Milankovich, spoke. The representative of the Romanian Patriarchate, Archimandrite Julius (Scriban), put forward the proposal to call the reformed Orthodox calendar not Gregorian, but corrected Julian. The final part of the meeting was attended by the former Bishop of Oxford, Charles Gore (1853-1932), speaking to Congress participants with a word that reflected the significance of calendar reform in the process of rapprochement between the Anglican and Orthodox Churches. In turn, the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletios stated the readiness of the Orthodox side to adopt a new calendar and asked Bishop Charles notify the Archbishop of Canterbury about this. Among other participants of the fifth meeting, the protocol includes the signature of Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), who has never interfered in the course of the discussion. There is no signature in the protocol of Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) [38] . At present, it seems difficult to answer the question whether he took part in the fifth session of the Congress. Considering the activity of the Bishop during the previous meetings, it can be assumed that on that day he was not present at the Congress, since the official protocol did not reflect his participation in any form.

The most principled position of the Russian bishops was voiced at the sixth meeting of the All-Orthodox Congress held on May 25, 1923. The agenda for this day included discussion of the issue of admitting secondaries for the Orthodox clergy. After the announcement of the reports of Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro, Archimandrite Yulia Skriban and Metropolitan Basil of Nicea, who allowed the possibility of revising the established norms regarding the marriage of clergy, a lively discussion began. Most of the participants in the meeting, including the patriarch of Constantinople, approved the initiative that was sounded [39]

However, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) made a statement that the admission of seconded-for clergy can be considered a violation of the canonical order. He supported his position by referring to the words of the apostle Paul ("the bishop must be one wife's husband" (1 Timothy 3, 2), who in the current Orthodox tradition presume the necessity of the marriage of priests and deacons by the time of their consecration. 7th Rule of the Council of Non-Caesarea, prohibiting presbyters from attending the marriage of bigamy, since such a presence would be an excuse for such marital unions. Archbishop Anastassy reported that this issue was considered on the Preces the aboriginal Presence of 1906 and the All-Russian Local Council of 1917-1918, but after the discussion, the decision on the duplicity of the clergy was never accepted, according to the Bishop, the convincing position of the well-known Orthodox canonist of the Dalmatian-Istrian bishop Nikodim (Milash) One of the ways to solve the problem of the widowed clergy, not finding the strength for a lonely life, suggested simplifying the procedure for erupting from dignity for them. Further, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) declared his full agreement with the words of Archbishop Anastasius, reflecting the position of the Russian Orthodox Church [40] .

The speeches of the Russian hierarchs aroused criticism from the Metropolitan of Montenegro, Gabriel, who opposed them to the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which was inclined to use oikonomia in the matter of the second-rate clergy, but not daring to reconsider the practice without pan-Orthodox discussion. According to Metropolitan Gabriel, for the Serbian Church this problem was so urgent that in case of rejection of a positive decision, it could engender major church misfits. However, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) insisted on the need to preserve the existing canonical norms. Then, at the suggestion of Metropolitan Montenegrin, a commission was formed to study the issue of the admissibility of secondaries for Orthodox clerics. The commission included Metropolitan Nikeisky Vasily (chairman), Metropolitan of Chernogorsk Gabriel, Metropolitan Dirrahy of Jacob and Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky). It is noteworthy that, as an active participant in the sixth session of the All-Orthodox Congress, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) refused to put his signature under the text of his protocol [41] .

In subsequent meetings of the All-Orthodox Congress, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky), the administrator of the Russian Orthodox churches of Constantinople, did not participate. In modern Russian historiography, there is an opinion that "Archbishop Anastassy, having participated in only four meetings out of ten, left the assembly in protest" [42] . This statement regarding the participation of the named hierarch in only four sessions of the Congress is based on the presence of the signature of Archbishop Anastasia under the minutes of four meetings. However, the minutes of the sixth meeting, which were not signed by the former Chisinau lord, contain a verbatim record of his speeches during the discussion. The allegation that Archbishop Anastassy will not participate in the work of the Congress because of the protest also does not hold water. Protocols of the Constantinople forum do not contain the slightest mention of the readiness of the Administrator of the Russian Orthodox churches of the Constantinople District to leave the Congress in protest. Leaving Istanbul, Archbishop Anastassy took part in the work of the Bishops' Council of the ROCA, which opened on May 31, 1923 in Sremski Karlovtsi (Yugoslavia) [43] . For this reason, he was not able to attend the Constantinople Congress, the seventh meeting of which was held on May 30, 1923.

The work of the seventh session of the All-Orthodox Congress began with the announcement by the Patriarch of Constantinople Meleti of the draft decree on the calendar reform in the Orthodox Church. According to this project, it was planned to abolish the backlog of the Julian calendar from real astronomical time by taking out 13 days. The transition from the conditionally calculated dates of the Julian calendar to dates coinciding with the modern European calendar was supposed to be carried out on October 1, 1923. The draft resolution also stipulated the necessity of calculating the day of the celebration of Easter with an orientation to the day of the vernal equinox and the subsequent full moon [44] . Despite the fact that the First Ecumenical Council determined to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, the draft resolution of the All-Orthodox Congress envisaged amendments to the Orthodox system of Easter computation. The novelty was that the Orthodox Easter for a long time was oriented not on the real astronomical day of the vernal equinox, but on the calculated, determined by the Julian calendar. In other words, the project, voiced by the patriarch Meleti (Metaxakis), formally preserved the traditional logic of the easter accounts, but in reality it was intended to correct the Easter tables and adjust the dates for the Easter celebrations for subsequent years. It is noteworthy that the protocol of the seventh meeting informs that there is no discussion on the approval of the draft calendar reform, confining itself to a laconic entry: "The meeting adopts the above-mentioned formulation of the decision" (ὸὸΣυνέδριον ἀποδέχεται τὴνὡςωνωδιατύπωσιν τῆς ἀποφάσεως) [45] .

Without expressing his objections to the draft decision on the reform of the church calendar, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), present at the meeting, expressed the desire to continue the discussion begun on previous days on the issue of admitting a second marriage for the clergy. In his memorandum, he declared disagreement with the representatives of the Serbian and Romanian Orthodox Churches and referred to the authority of the All-Russian Local Council of 1917, which also dealt with this issue and did not sanction the revision of the established canonical norms. According to the former administrator of the North American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, only the Ecumenical Council can audit the church legislation in the sphere of the marriage law of the clergy. At the same time, Archbishop Alexander was extremely critical of the expediency of applying the principle of canonical indulgence (economy). According to him, the economy was known even in the Ancient Church, but its direct consequence was the distortion of the Nicene Creed by the inclusion of the Filioque in the Latin Church of the Nicene Creed. Recalling the words of Christ forbidding divorce, except for the crime of adultery, Archbishop Alexander then enumerated the grounds for dissolution of marriage accepted in the Russian Orthodox Church (the absence of one of the spouses, the mental disorder of one of the spouses, the inability of one of the spouses to marry, adultery, etc.) .). However, in his opinion, even these excusable circumstances can not become the basis for blessing the clergy to enter a second marriage[46] .

After the performance of Archbishop Alexander, the word was taken by the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletios (Metaxakis). Disagreeing with the position of the Russian hierarch, he stated that the decision to allow secondaries for clerics should be canonical, and not be a manifestation of economy (that is, a weakening of the canons) [47] .

Further, the secretary read out the memorandum of Metropolitan Kizic Kallinik, in which it was reported on the work of the profile commission for studying the issues of marriage of priests. At the same time, the absence of Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) was stipulated during the work of the commission and the unanimous adoption of draft resolutions by the remaining members of the commission. The first of these projects was called "The Second Marriage of Widowed Priests and Deacons" and allowed the canonical opportunity to re-marry Orthodox clergymen. It was assumed that after the official approval of this resolution, it will have a legitimate canonical force for the entire Orthodox world until the convening of the Ecumenical Council [48] . It is quite obvious that the draft resolution, which claimed all-Orthodox authority, ignored the opinion of the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, who referred to the position of the All-Russian Local Council of 1917-1918. For this reason, the canonical merit of this decree was extremely dubious, and it did not express the opinion of the entire Orthodox world.

The following draft decisions dealt with issues in the detailed development of which the Russian Orthodox hierarchy did not take an active part. In particular, the definition of "Episcopal dignity and marriage" was proposed to the All-Orthodox Committee [49] , "On the age of consecration of deacons, priests and bishops" [50] and on the appearance of clerics [51] .

During the discussion of the draft resolutions of the All-Orthodox Congress, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) expressed his disagreement with the alleged permission to enter into the marriage of the clergy after their consecration. Referring to the 10th rule of the Council of Ankara [52] , he allowed in the form of oikonomia the possibility of allowing deacons to marry, previously declaring their desire to create a family after the adoption of the holy rank. However, for Archbishop Alexander, it seemed unacceptable to allow a possible marriage for the priests [53] .

As evidenced by the minutes of the Seventh Session of the All-Orthodox Congress, the vast majority of its participants, headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, did not find convincing the arguments of Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky). At the end of the discussion, the Russian hierarch urged the congregation to realize the catastrophic situation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet state, which prevented it from taking full participation in the Congress and thoroughly expounding its own position on the issues under discussion [54] .

The eighth meeting of the All-Orthodox Congress, held on June 1, 1923, began with a discussion on the question of the canonical age voiced at the previous meeting for the adoption of the sacred dignity. The presiding over the meeting, Patriarch Meleti (Metaxakis) asked those present to talk about the traditions existing in the Local Churches concerning the age of the ordained persons. During the discussion of the issue, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) reported that the Russian Orthodox Church had established the practice of ordaining graduates of theological seminaries after attaining the age of 21 and not ordaining hieromonks before they reached the age of 30. At the same time, a reservation was made that the exception was made by monastic graduates of theological academies and seminaries, whose ordination to priesthood became possible at the age of 22 years. Given the practice in the Local Churches, Patriarch Meletios invited the participants of the All-Orthodox Congress to approve the following age limits for those who receive the holy order: 21 years for deacons, 24 years for priests and 30 years for bishops. The meeting participants approved this proposal [55] . It is quite obvious that this decision revised the Byzantine canonical decrees that prevented persons under 30 years of age from being ordained to the priesthood (Tru 14). At the same time, the All-Orthodox Congress did not disagree with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, which allowed the reduction of the boundaries of the canonical age of candidates for joining the clergy.

Further, Patriarch Meleti (Metaxakis) went on to discuss the age of the monastic community and suggested setting a lower limit for monastic vows at least 25 years. Attending the meeting, including Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), approved the decision [56] .

After discussing the appearance of the clergy, endorsing the practice of wearing secular clothes and cutting hair, the Committee went on to consider the issue of obstacles to marriage. Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro and Archimandrite Julius (Scriban) made reports describing the existing approaches to the issue in the Serbian and Romanian Orthodox Churches. In the course of further discussion, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) spoke about obstacles to marriage, accepted in the canonical practice of the Russian Orthodox Church (blood and spiritual kinship, consistent residence in three legal marriages, etc.). The discussion of this issue ended with a speech by Metropolitan Jacob of Dirrah. Summarizing the discussion, the Patriarch of Constantinople proposed that it be necessary to adhere to the canonical regulations of the Ecumenical Councils, retaining the right to canonical condescension (oikonomia) for the Councils of Local Churches [57] .

Then the participants of the All-Orthodox Congress moved to the consideration of the proposal regarding the possible transfer of the commemoration of the saints from weekdays to the nearest Sundays. The opinion of Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) on this issue was not voiced. Summarizing the results of the discussion, the Ecumenical Patriarch announced the expediency of adopting this decision, the basis of which can be the tradition of celebrating the memory of the Holy Fathers of Ecumenical Councils exclusively on Sunday. At the same time, he recognized the need to preserve for the Local Churches the right to independently resolve this issue [58] .

At the initiative of Metropolitan Nikolai of Transylvania, whose official address was voiced by Archimandrite Julius (Scriban), the All-Orthodox Congress discussed the issue of the celebration of the 1600th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council in 1925 [59] .

At the beginning of the ninth meeting of the All-Orthodox Congress, held on June 5, 1923, the Patriarch of Constantinople Meletios (Metaxakis) proposed to approve the previously discussed draft decisions. After a brief discussion, from which Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) abstained, a decision was made to reform the Orthodox church calendar. According to the definition of the Congress, it was intended to translate into a new style both immovable holidays of the Orthodox month, and a moving Easter cycle. The observatories of Athens, Belgrade, Bucharest and Pulkovo (Petrograd) were supposed to draw up new Easter tables [60] . Further, a decision was taken on the potential admissibility of the transition of the Orthodox Church to the new calendar that was discussed in the League of Nations, in which the number of days of the week could be less than seven. Also, the potential admissibility of establishing the celebration of Easter as a fixed holiday was stated in the event that this day will have scientific confirmation [61] .

Then the participants of the Congress approved other previously discussed draft decisions. In particular, the resolution on the permission of a second marriage for widowed priests and deacons, 62 on the assumption of the practice of marriage of clergy after consecration (with the exception of monastics) [63] , in 1925 celebrating the 1600th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council [64 ] , on the lower border of the age of the ordained deacon is 21, on the presidency - 24 years, on the bishop for 30 years and for monastic vows - 25 years, on allowing the clergy to cut hair and wear secular clothes outside the temples, o preservation of canonical definitions and to allow the Councils of Local Churches to show their economy in this matter, to admit the practice of transferring the celebrations of saints from weekdays to the nearest Sunday days, about the need to focus on the 64th Apostolic Rule, which presupposes fasting only on the Great Fourth, Wednesday and Friday. As noted in the text of the official definitions of the All-Orthodox Congress, they were of a temporary nature and could be applied in church practice before decisions on these issues were made by the All-Orthodox Assembly. Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), who participated in the ninth meeting, agreed with the adopted definitions and put his signature under each of them [65] .

Further, Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) proposed to discuss the issue of jurisdictional belonging of the Orthodox diaspora. In this connection, it should be noted that on March 1, 1922, the Patriarchate of Constantinople issued Tomos "On the compulsory and exclusive subordination of the Orthodox Church to the entire Orthodox diaspora, the entire Orthodox" dispersion "" [66] . Initiation of the discussion on the recognition of the rights for the leadership of the Orthodox diaspora over the Ecumenical Patriarchate was aimed at legitimizing the pan-Orthodox level published a year earlier by Tomos. Appealing to the 28th rule of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, Patriarch Meletios argued for the exclusive right of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the spiritual leadership of all Orthodox dioceses outside the boundaries of the Local Churches, which he identified with the "bishops of foreigners" mentioned in the canon ("ἐντοῖς βαρβαρικοῖς ἐπισκόπους") [ 67] . Turning to the prevailing church situation in North America, the patriarch noted the absence there of a single Orthodox canonical jurisdiction, which violates the canonical order and does not contribute to Orthodox testimony in the heterodox world. As a possible means to eliminate the existing disunity, the patriarch proposed the establishment of the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople within the North American continent [68] .

It is only natural that during the discussion of this issue Patriarch Meletios could not ignore the opinion of Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), who previously ruled the North American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. Having agreed with the urgency of the problem, the latter urged the participants of the All-Orthodox Congress to take into account the situation in which the Russian Orthodox Church was located. In his opinion, the consent of the Russians living in America to the transition to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople will be tantamount to the betrayal of the patriarch of Moscow Tikhon, who was under arrest. As an interim measure, Archbishop Alexander considered the potential possibility of appointing a Russian bishop for the four-year term as the Exarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. However, in connection with the tragic events of church life in Russia, the implementation of such a scenario seemed premature to him. The practical solution to the issue of the disunity of American Orthodox Archbishop Alexander saw in the intensification of the interaction of Russian and Greek hierarchs. After the speech of Archbishop Alexander began an active discussion, which was suspended by Patriarch Meletiy because of the lack of time [69] .

The resumption of discussion on the issue of the jurisdictional subordination of the Orthodox Diaspora took place at the tenth meeting of the All-Orthodox Congress held on June 6, 1923. After a short exchange of views, in which Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) no longer participated, a decision was taken to remove the issue from the agenda of the meeting [70] . Consideration of the protocols of the ninth and tenth meetings allow us to conclude that in many respects it was the position of Archbishop Alexander that predetermined the rejection by the All-Orthodox Congress of the initiative of Patriarch Meletios (Metaksakis) to recognize the legitimate subordination of the entire Orthodox diaspora to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Then the All-Orthodox Congress went on to discuss the situation in which the Russian Orthodox Church found itself in the homeland. The initiator of the consideration of this problem at the tenth meeting was the Metropolitan of Montenegro Gabriel (Dozhych), who reminded the audience of the proposal of Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) at the second meeting of the Congress to receive an official appeal on behalf of the Constantinople forum in support of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Tikhon. The tenth meeting of the All-Orthodox Congress ended with the adoption of a formal resolution concerning the church situation in Russia. According to the text of the decree, the renewed "Second Local All-Russian Council" (April 29-May 9, 1923) was called the church-people's assembly ("κληρικολαϊκή Συνέλευιι"), and its decisions, including the decision on the deposition of Patriarch Tikhon, who was under arrest, were declared uncanonical ("ἀντικανοηκῶν ἀποφάσεωνἐξέδοτο καὶἀπόφασιν καθαιρέσεως τοῦ ἐνφυλακῇκρατουμένου Μακαριωτάτου Πατριάρχου Μόσχας και πάσης Ρωσσίας Τύχωνος»). The Congress expressed deep regret at the incident and "heartfelt sympathy for the confessor to the Patriarch" ("συμπάθειαν δὲἐγκάρδιον πρὸςτὸνὁμολογητήν Πατριάρχην"). The text of the definition of the Congress called for the whole Christian world to make efforts to liberate the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and appeal to the Patriarch of Constantinople with a request to consider, together with other Local Churches, the church situation in Russia [71] .

The completion of the work of the All-Orthodox Congress took place at the eleventh meeting, held on June 8, 1923. During the meeting, all participants had the opportunity to express their views on the past forum. Addressing the audience, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) in his warmest words responded to the Congress and expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarchate that initiated it. The introduction of a new calendar (which he called "all-Orthodox") was assessed as the basis for the unification of the Christian Churches. Other decisions were also highly evaluated. At the end of his speech, Archbishop Alexander thanked the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the All-Orthodox Congress for indifference to the position of the Russian Orthodox Church and His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Tikhon [72] .

Acts of the All-Orthodox Congress served as the basis for the transition of a number of Local Churches to a new calendar style, which was the result of the appearance in most of them of the so-called. old-style split [73] . Other decisions of the Congress were not adopted in canonical practice by any Local Church. Moreover, the credibility of the Congress itself was later questioned by the Alexandrian, Antiochian, Jerusalem, Russian and Serb Churches [74] . What was the attitude towards the All-Orthodox Congress from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, whose hierarchy took the most direct part in it?

As noted above, archbishops Anastassy (Gribanovsky) and Alexander (Nemolovsky), who were invited to the All-Orthodox Congress privately, were recognized as official representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church [75] at the meeting of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR, held on June 4, 1923 . This circumstance indicates the initial recognition of the legitimacy of the Congress by the ROCA. At the same meeting, at the same meeting, the members of the Council of Bishops did not consider the implementation of the initiative of the Congress in the church life of the Russian emigration possible for the reform of church timing and the admission of secondedness for the clergy [76] . From the second half of June 1923 the magazine "Church News" is the official organ of the Synod of Bishops, began publishing critical articles on the draft of the church calendar reform, decisions on second marriages widowed clergy and Fanara claims to subordinate the entire Orthodox diaspora [77] .

At the end of July 1923, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia abruptly changed its attitude towards the All-Orthodox Congress, the reason for which was the receipt by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of a copy of the Epistle of the Patriarch of Alexandria Photius to the Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory IV. This document was sharply criticized by the All-Orthodox Congress, calling it "self-styled," "uncanonical," and "illegally drafted," describing the issues raised at the Congress as "untimely" and "inappropriate", and decisions "aimless," "uncanonical," and "harmful " [78] . Patriarch Fotiy declared about the condemnation of the All-Orthodox Congress by the Holy Synod of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church and rejection of the change in the traditional Orthodox canonical norms. According to him, with respect to the authority of the "sacred canons, legends and dogmas ..." there should be no doubt for a moment, but they concern the self-styled All-Orthodox and Inter-Orthodox Congress, and that they do not resent the conscience of the peoples and do not waver in the fatherly faith, but yes On the one hand, their holiness is inviolable and untouched, and on the other hand, the religiosity of the peoples will remain unshakable and unchanged both in theory and practice, while the Supreme Providence will not be pleased to bring it to the real and true Universe one of the Council, which will determine the final and perfect obezbedit intact our holy faith " [79] .

The final attitude of the Synod of Bishops to the All-Orthodox Congress was formulated in the definition of July 25-August 7, 1923, according to which it was intended "to notify the Ecumenical Patriarch that the decisions of the Inter-Orthodox Constantinople Commission he had convened, renamed the All-Orthodox Congress, in particular the second- on the reform of the church calendar and the introduction from October of this year in the church usage of the new time, there can be no admissions of the Russian Orthodox Churches nd abroad, as contrary to Fr. [ennym] canons and ancient church practice, consecrated by the Ecumenical Councils " [80] . Not confining to the statement that the decisions of the Congress of Constantinople were not canonic, the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA refused him the all-Orthodox status: "The Commission (ie, Congress- AS) <...> is not the voice of the entire Holy Ecumenical Catholic Apostolic Church, and its decisions can not have the force of decrees binding on the Orthodox Church " [81] .

Further, the synodal definition contained an attempt to minimize the role of Russian bishops in the work of the Congress. In particular, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky), who participated in the first meetings, was called the representative of only the Russian Church Abroad, but not the Church of the All-Russian Church. Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) was described as an occasional and uncontrolled Congressman [82] . The issues discussed at the All-Orthodox Congress were declared subject to consideration exclusively by the Ecumenical Council, untimely for the Russian Orthodox Church and fraught with the emergence of a split. The decision to reform the church calendar was characterized as hasty, conducted uncanonically and harmful [83] .

Having leveled the role of Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) as representative of the Russian Orthodox Church at the All-Orthodox Congress, the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA officially requested Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky), "does he find it convenient to remain in the Constantinople Inter-Orthodox Commission after its decisions" [84] . In fact, recalling the voice of his representative from the acts of the All-Orthodox Congress, the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA also determined to send a copy of the reply of Archbishop Anastasius to the Patriarch of Constantinople . [85] A few days later, the Synod of Bishops decided not to await the reply of Archbishop Anastas and, on the basis of the rejection of the All-Orthodox Congress by the three Eastern Patriarchs (Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem), withdraw the governor of the Russian parishes in Constantinople from the Congress [86] .

The final assessment of the status of Archbishops Anastasia (Gribanovsky) and Alexander (Nemolovsky) as participants in the All-Orthodox Congress was given by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Tikhon (Bellavin), Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. In his "Statement to the Central Executive Committee on the Relation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Calendar Reform (transition to the Gregorian" new "style), dated September 30, 1924, he denied the above-mentioned Hierarchs of the ROCA the authority to express the voice of the Russian Orthodox Church on Constantinople forum. In the context of assessing the legitimacy of the decisions of the All-Orthodox Congress, Patriarch Tikhon wrote: "The circumstance that largely undermined the weight of all its decisions was unfavorable for the Conference, because there were no authorized representatives of the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and All Russia. [The Russian Church was represented there by Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) Chisinau and Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) American, personally invited by Patriarch Meletius IV] " [87] .

Thus, the official position of the Russian Orthodox Church, declared in September 1924, does not allow us to evaluate the Constantinople Congress as having an all-Orthodox character, and the role of the archbishops Anastasiy (Gribanovsky) and Alexander (Nemolovsky) participating in it can be perceived only as an observational one. An appeal to the history of the Constantinople Congress demonstrates the importance of the Russian Orthodox diaspora as a subject of inter-Orthodox relations in the first half. 1920's. An example of rejection of the decisions of the Congress by a number of Local Churches allows us to conclude that it is important to achieve an all-Orthodox consensus in the process of preparing and adopting decisions of general-church scale. At the same time, an extremely negative assessment of the All-Orthodox Congress of 1923 is unjustifiable in Russian historiography. Without denying the doubt about the legitimacy of the Congress and the canonical legality of some of its decisions, the statement regarding the reprehensibility of the deposition by the Russian patriarchs of the Moscow Patriarch Tikhon deserves exceptionally positive assessments. At a time when the supreme ecclesiastical authority in the Russian Orthodox Church was usurped by the OGPU proteges and the legitimate Primate was under house arrest, the Constantinople Congress, on behalf of the Orthodox fullness, spoke in support of the Moscow saint and declared the decisions of the revival "Second Local All-Russian Council" uncanonical. This act destroyed the hopes of the Renovationists for legitimizing the Supreme Church Council formed by them and emphasized the canonicity of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Tikhon.

It seems to us that for church historical science the issue of comprehending the significance of the mentioned decision of the Constantinople Congress in the process of approving the authority of Patriarch Tikhon, who returned to church administration three weeks after his official recognition by the Congress, remains relevant. At the same time, the appeal to the Protocols of the Constantinople Congress convincingly demonstrates the exceptional role of Archbishop Anastas (Gribanovsky) and Alexander (Nemolovsky) in the process of elaborating an all-Orthodox position on the support of Patriarch Tikhon and the non-recognition of Russian Renovationists.


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