Hieromartyr Andrew, Archbishop Of Ufa 2 of 3

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In February, 1923, the authorities declared that the Ufa brotherhood was engaged in anti-Soviet propaganda, and Vladyka Andrew was again arrested and, on February 24, sentenced to three years in exile, first in Tashkent and then in Ashkhabad. At the beginning of June, 1923, Vladyka was arrested in Tashkent and was in prison for a short time before being exiled to what is now the town of Tedzhen in Turkmenia. In the autumn of 1923, he and Archimandrite (later Bishop) Benjamin (Troitsky) led an Orthodox community in Turkmenia. In November he was arrested, and from November 5, 1923 to November 14, 1924 he was under arrest in Tashkent. In April, 1924 he was in prison in cell number 7 of the prison in Tedzhen. On November 17, 1924 he was transferred to Moscow.

It was in Ashkhabad in August, 1925, that Archbishop Andrew decided to attempt to heal the schism with the Old Believers. The union was to be carried out on August 28 between himself and his vicar-bishop Rufinus (Brekhov), on the one hand, and a representative of the beglopopovtsy, Archimandrite Clement, on the other; and it included, as one of the conditions of the union, Archbishop Andrew's anointing of himself with holy chrism.

The renovationist Vestnik Svysashchennago Synoda reported: "According to the report of Archimandrite Clement, Bishop Andrew did not agree to the second rite (i.e. chrismation) for a long time, and agreed only after sustained discussions with, or demands from Clement, based on the 95th canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (which orders that heretics should be united to Orthodoxy only through chrismation).

"Archbishop Andrew said the following to Clement before the chrismation: 'It is not your hand that is being lain upon me, but the hand of that patriarch who consecrated your ancient chrism: when you read the proclamation, and when I recite the heresies and confession of faith before chrismation, then I immediately become your bishop and can commune with you. But since I am your bishop, that means that a priest cannot anoint a bishop.'

"After this, Archbishop Andrew anointed himself with the Old Believer chrism [more exactly: the chrism consecrated by the seventeenth-century Orthodox Patriarch Joseph] and read out the following confession of faith: 'I, Bishop Andrew, of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, who was consecrated to the rank of bishop on October 4, 1907 in front of the holy relics of the Kazan hierarchs Gurias and Barsonuphius and on the day of their commemoration, and who am now suffering persecution from the ruling hierarchy for the freedom of the Church of Christ, confess before the Holy Church that Patriarch Nicon in his wisdom disrupted the life and love of the Catholic Church, thereby laying the beginnings of the schism in the Russian Church. On the basis of Patriarch Nicon's mistake was established that caesaropapism which has, since the time of Patriarch Nicon, undermined all the roots of Russian Church life and was finally expressed in the formation of the so-called 'Living Church', which is at present the ruling hierarchy and which has transgressed all the church canons... But I, although I am a sinful and unworthy bishop, by the mercy of God ascribe myself to no ruling hierarchy and have always remembered the command of the holy Apostle Peter: 'Pasture the flock of God without lording it over God's inheritance'."

After these events the renovationist Vestnik affirmed that "Bishop Andrew understands neither 'Niconianism' nor the renovationist movement, insofar as he sees in them only political phenomena without going into their ecclesiastical ideology."

Unfortunately, this attempt to unite with the beglopopovtsi ended in failure, as Archbishop Andrew himself admitted in the first part of his Story of my Old-Believerism, where he writes that, soon after the ritual act of union, he received from Bishop Clement (Longinov), whom he and Bishop Rufinus (Brekhov) had consecrated for the beglopopovtsy of Tomsk, the news that the beglopopovtsi recognized neither him nor Bishop Clement as their bishops, and that Clement had been received into the ranks of the bishops of the Byelokrinitsky hierarchy...

According to unconfirmed Old Believer sources, when Vladyka was released from prison in 1931, he began to visit the Rogozhskoye cemetery regularly. And after his exile on April 1, 1932 he was sent communion and an omophorion by the Old Believers. It is even affirmed that in 1931 or 1932 Vladyka Andrew and the head of the Old Believer hierarchy, Archbishop Meletius (Kartushin), consecrated a bishop together.

In reviewing the relations between Archbishop Andrew and the Old Believers, it is difficult to resist the conclusion that the Old Believers used the good intentions and missionary zeal of the holy bishop to deceive him into making errors that have cast a shadow over his reputation both then and to the present day. In striving, like the Apostle Paul, to be "all things to all men", Archbishop Andrew sometimes expressed extreme statements concerning Patriarch Nicon which have not been generally accepted by the Russian Orthodox Church (for example, by Archbishop Andrew's former spiritual father, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who considered Patriarch Nicon to be an uncanonized saint). This gave the opportunity to lesser, evil-intentioned men, such as Metropolitan Sergius, to cast doubt on Archbishop Andrew's Orthodoxy, whereas in fact Vladyka maintained his good confession, as we shall see, to the extent of giving his blood for Christ...

The Struggle with Sergianism

Since Archbishop Andrew's attempt to unite with the beglopopovtsi ended in failure, Metropolitan Sergius and the Ufa renovationists took the opportunity to attempt to remove him from their path, inciting a whole campaign of slander against him. In particular, they spread the rumour that he had been banned by the patriarchal locum tenens, Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa. Thus Metropolitan Sergius wrote and epistle to the Ufa diocese in which he mentioned that Archbishop Andrew had been banned by a certain locum tenens, without mentioning his name.

The spiteful campaign organized by Metropolitan Sergius was so successful that when Archbishop Andrew returned from exile to Moscow at the beginning of the 1930s, he was able to pray in only one of the capital's churches.

Vladyka Andrew's view of his episcopal authority is contained in his reply to the Address of the clergy-lay assembly of March 26, 1926: "I remain a bishop for those who recognize me as their bishop, who fed me for the six years I was in prison, and who need me. I don't impose my episcopate on anyone."

In July, 1926, there appeared the "second ban" on Archbishop Andrew, only this time by the deputy of the patriarchal locum tenens, Metropolitan Sergius. However, this ban was invalid, since it transgressed the 74th Apostolic canon. According to this, a bishop must be first be summoned to trial by bishops, and if he does not obey, he must be summoned again through two bishops who are sent to bring him, and then a third time through two bishops, and only when he does not appear the third time will the Council pronounce its decisions about him. In the case of Archbishop Andrew, he was not only not invited to a trial, but the sentence against him was passed, not by a Council, but by a single bishop like himself. From this it follows that his ban was invalid.

Archbishop Andrew returned from exile to Ufa at the end of 1926, and according to eyewitnesses, the people visited their Vladyka in unending streams. However, the Ufa clergy led by the newly appointed Bishop John met him with hostility and coldness. As one of his parishioners wrote in her diary: "The people search him out and revere him, and all the parishioners of various churches invite him to them, while the clergy does not accept him. There are many rumours, and no one knows what to believe... Bishop Andrew took up his residence in the workers' quarter on Samara street not far from the Simeonov church. He served in the Simeonov church, and in such a way, according to another eyewitness, that "we ascended to heaven and did not want to come down."

At this point, a group of Ufa Christians who believed neither in Sergius' accusations nor in the fictitious ban by Metropolitan Peter, determined to form a commission to resolve the misunderstandings and check out everything relating to the Old Believer affair. One of Archbishop Andrew's vicar bishops, Anthony (Milovidov), set off to search for documents relating to Vladyka in the patriarchate's chancellery in Moscow, and discovered, to his surprise, that there were no documents about him - neither about his supposed "departure into schism", nor about his supposed bans. Another of Vladyka's vicar bishops, Pitirim (Ladygin - in schema Peter) set off for Metropolitan Agathangelus in Yaroslavl. The metropolitan listened with great attention to Bishop Pitirim and told him that he should not be disturbed, that Archbishop Andrew's behaviour had been irreproachable, and that he would only advise him, for the sake of the peace of the Church, not to make any further ordinations. "But this is only my advice," said the metropolitan, " - it will be clearer on the spot what needs to be done."

On returning to Ufa, Bishop Pitirim reported all this to Archbishop Andrew (who had returned from exile in 1926). Bishop Habbakuk immediately decided to carry out Metropolitan Agathangelus' advice and convene a trial for February 3, 1927, to which he invited Bishops Anthony and Pitirim, asking Archbishop Andrew to provide all the materials necessary in order to clarify his behaviour. On the appointed date, the three bishops met and issued an "Act on the Affair of Archbishop Andrew" under their signatures, in which they expounded the circumstances of the case and came to the conclusion that Archbishop Andrew had never departed into schism, and that Metropolitan Sergius had shamefully slandered him.

Later, in October of the same year, this act was read out at a congress of the clergy and laypeople of the Ufa diocese in Ufa's Simeonov church, after which the congress declared that it "recognized his Eminence Andrew as their true Ufa archpastor."

As regards the supposed ban on Archbishop Andrew by Metropolitan Peter, a copy of it has never been found, and we must conclude, if we believe Metropolitan Sergius, that "it may have been lost on the road", or, much more likely, that it never existed. Unfortunately, however, this supposed ban by Metropolitan Peter caused him to be distrusted for a time by Archbishop Andrew. But this distrust did not last, as is demonstrated by the following "Epistle to the brethren" which Vladyka Andrew wrote on 18 June, 1928:

"Yes, we are all living through a fearful, terrible time, when lies and deceit rule and celebrate their triumph on the earth. The breath of the Antichrist can be felt in every corner of our life. Even Metropolitan Peter did not escape this breath of the Antichrist. But later he repented and now he is in a distant exile. As for the renovationists and Metropolitan Sergius, they have completely bowed down to that beast of which the holy book of the Revelation of John the Theologian speaks. Read the thirteenth chapter. Both the renovationists and Metropolitan Sergius are carrying out only the will of the atheists. And they do not hide this from anyone, but even write about it in their 'Declarations'. That is why every true son of the Church must flee from these betrayers of Christ without looking back; and all true children of the Church must give their parish communities foundations that are free and independent of the hierarch betrayers of Christ. There is no doubt that the hierarchs who have submitted to Metropolitan Sergius have all renounced the people of the Church and are serving the atheists and are only corrupting the believing people. That is why it is necessary to carry out the command from the Revelation of John the Theologian: 'Come out from her, My people, so that you may not participate in her sins and not be subjected to her plagues' (Revelation 18.4). It is necessary that all parish priests should be elected and not appointed. It is necessary that all priests should give their signatures to the parish councils that they will do nothing without the knowledge of the parish council. It is necessary that bishops, too, should be elected by the people for their pious life, and not drunkards or betrayers of Christ whom the renovationists have appointed."

On June 13, 1927, Archbishop Andrew was summoned to Moscow and arrested. In the autumn he was sent from Moscow to exile in the town of Kzyl-Orda in Kazakhstan, from where he continued to instruct his flock by means of letters, sermons and theoretical treatises, which were all transcribed by his numerous co-workers and distributed throughout Bashkiria. The fact that Vladyka was visited in exile by so many of his followers and spiritual children was probably the reason why he was arrested again on October 4, 1928, and on January 18, 1929 he was sent into solitary confinement for three years in cell no. 23 of Yaroslavl prison.

It was during these years that Archbishop Andrew's position in relation to Metropolitan Sergius and his infamous "Declaration" of 1927 was worked out. Already before the "Declaration", Archbishop Andrew had called Metropolitan Sergius "a person of great capacities, who is capable of any compromise. He was a Rasputinite with the Rasputinites - without the slightest protest - for 14 years. In 1922 he became a livingchurchman with the livingchurchmen, shamefully recognizing the HCA, betraying Patriarch Tikhon and recognizing the robber Barabbas." In another place Archbishop Andrew called Metropolitan Sergius a "liar", and his "Declaration" - "the real quintessence of caesaropapist loutishness..., being outstandingly, unprecedentedly scandalous in the depth of its anti-churchness and treachery."

When Metropolitan Sergius gave his notorious interview for TASS on February 15, 1930, in which he denied that there was persecution against religion in the USSR and equated the Church confessors with common criminals, Archbishop Andrew wrote: "Such is the opinion of the false head of the false patriarchal church Metropolitan Sergius. Who, after all this, can recognize him as their head? For whom will this false head remain as such, in spite of his betrayal of Christ? Imagine, readers - they recognize him, many recognize him!.. They curse him, but recognize him as their 'canonical' head. As if it were better to sit in hell with such a canonical head than without any head at all... But tell me, reader, is it possible to consider this company of hierarchs, these universal deceivers, as followers of Christ? - It goes without saying: no and no! All the followers of the lying Metropolitan Sergius are themselves filled to overflowing with lies and cunning and have fallen away from the truth of Christ - they have fallen away from the Church of Christ. The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is in some other place, but not with Metropolitan Sergius and not with his 'Synod'. Let the reader himself search where she is... It is not so difficult to find her. But one can firmly say that Metropolitan Sergius has convincingly demonstrated that the Synodal government of the Church did not give, and could not give her anything but harm. Sergius has dug a deep grave for this kind of Church government. The Holy Church will recall the sins of Sergius and his co-strugglers with horror, placing his name next to the names of the ecumenical false-patriarchs - Nestorius, Dioscurus and the other terrible traitors against Orthodoxy. When the hierarch Athanasius of Alexandria was expelled from his see by an heretical emperor, then, of course, hierarchs were found who readily carried out all the unlawful commands of the tsar. These hierarchs were called by St. Athanasius, not episkopoi [bishops], but kataskopoi (i.e. tsarist spies) deprived of all the gifts of grace. Such are our contemporary kataskopoi; they are destroyers of the churches of God and of Church life in general. Such is Metropolitan Sergius."

The Martyric Death of Archbishop Andrew

On October 2 (7?), 1931, Archbishop Andrew's three-year term in Yaroslavl came to an end. He was forbidden to live in Siberia, in the Urals or Bashkiria, so on October (or December) 13, 1931 he went to Moscow, where there were at that time only four parishes which rejected sergianism. Archbishop Andrew visited the Nikolsky church in Podkopayevsky pereulka, prayed there and confessed and received absolution from a certain Hieromonk Gregory. But soon, from fear of Metropolitan Sergius, they asked him to leave that church, too.

On April 14, 1932 Archbishop Andrew was arrested in connection with the affair of Archbishop Seraphim (Zvezdinsky), and was again in Butyrki prison. We have this account of a fellow-prisoner: "In May, 1932, I was transferred from the inner prison of the GPU to the hospital of the isolation wing, scurvy ward, of Butyrki prison. Within two days Bishop Andrew of Ufa.. was transferred from the venereal ward to this ward. Before this transfer, Bishop Andrew had been kept from February, 1932 to May 1st in the inner prison of the GPU in solitary confinement, and then for four days he had been kept - supposedly because there was no other place - in the second ward of the Butyrki prison, the ward of the psychologically ill; then for several days he had been kept in the fifth (venereal) ward, and finally he was transferred to the fourth (scurvy) ward, since in fact he was ill of scurvy. In 1919 I had been with Bishop Andrew in the Omsk prison. But now he was unrecognizable; only a little hair remained on his head and face, almost all of it having fallen out as a result of scurvy; he had become completely grey, decrepit, so thin that he could not be recognized; but he was still as ever humble, encouraging, good, responsive. At the present time he was accused of organizing Orthodox communities [i.e. of the Catacomb Church], which was against Soviet law, and of agitation and propaganda against Bolshevism. During the evenings in the prison Vladyka Andrew would usually hold everyone's attention with his stories, and it should be said that he had such an effect on the prisoners around him that even the criminals, disgraced communists and others never dared to swear and curse in his presence. Bishop Andrew reacted actively and openly to all the injustices in prison (for which he was often deprived of parcels which had been sent him by friends outside). Bishop Andrew referred to the chief priest of Soviet Russia, the head of the Moscow Orthodox Church, as a betrayer of Christ. He responded calmly and in a philosophically reserved way to prison, banishment and other misfortunes. And he suffered more for those around him than for himself. He had an encouraging influence on his fellow prisoners. Large parcels would be sent him as the local residents quickly found out from the prison personnel concerning his arrival at a place of imprisonment. The parcels were not always given to him, but those he received he shared with those who had none."

On July 7, 1932 Archbishop Andrew was sentenced to three years' exiled in Alma-Ata, from where he conducted an extensive correspondence with his co-workers and admirers both in Ufa and throughout Russia. According to the memoirs of the priest Alexander Bogoslovsky, which are preserved in the archive of Protopriest Valery Mokhov of the church of the Kazan Mother of God in Ufa, in Alma-Ata "Archbishop Andrew received endless parcels, which he distributed. There were some criminals there, and they also received of his largesse - they adored him. He was put in charge of the warehouses, but in a childlike manner he attached no importance to material values and so he was given another job as a sweeper."


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