The Pastor of Souls
Archbishop Andrew, in the world Prince Alexander Alexeyevich Ukhtomsky, was born on December 26 (according to another source, December 28), 1872, in the village of Voslom, Arefinskaya volost, Rybinsk uyezd, Yaroslavl province. His parents were called Alexis and Antonina. The Ukhtomsky Byelozersk princes were a very ancient family which traced its origins to the holy Great-Prince Vladimir himself. The young Alexander was brought up in childhood by his nanny, Manefa Fyodorovna, a former serf of the Ukhtomskys. She imbued him with a love for the Church and the feeling of sincere prayer.
In 1887, on completing the fifth class of high school, Alexander at the insistence of his parents entered the Nizhni Novgorod military school in the name of Count Arakcheyev.
Once, when Alexander's mother was bringing him and his younger brother home for the holidays, they met St. John of Kronstadt on a Volga steamer. The conversation with St. John made such an impression on the brothers that they both decided, in spite of the attempts of their mother to dissuade them, to enter the Moscow Theological Academy. In later life, Alexander often met St. John, corresponded with him, and often mentioned him in his sermons and articles.
In 1891, after graduating from the Nizhni Novgorod military school, Alexander entered the Moscow Theological Academy. His teachers there included E. Golubinsky, N. Subbotin, V. Klyuchevsky and I. Kapterev. The inspector of the academy at that time was Archimandrite Sergius (Stragorodsky), while the rector was Archimandrite Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who became his spiritual father and with whom he maintained contact for many years. When he was archbishop he remembered Vladyka Anthony with gratitude, saying that "he always firmly instilled in us the attitude that the Church must be free, that she must be ruled by Councils, and that without Councils there can be no Church life."
In 1895, Alexander Ukhtomsky wrote his course dissertation on the theme: "The Wrath of God", for which he later received the degree of candidate of theology. On graduating from the academy, on November 9, 1895 he became a teacher of Russian in the Kazan theological school, and on December 2 he was tonsured into the mantia by Archimandrite Anthony (Khrapovitsky) with the name Andrew. On December 6, 1895, he was ordained to the priesthood.
Subsequently, in his sermon before his consecration to the episcopate, Vladyka Andrew recalled with what fear he, a young hieromonk, had taken upon himself this responsibility: "I have suffered awesome torments ever since I first heard these words found in the rite for the consecration of a bishop: 'Take this Covenant (the Body of Christ) and keep it whole and untainted until your last breath - to Whom you must give an account at the great and terrible Second Coming of our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.' I thought, 'How can I preserve this great Covenant, which was entrusted to me, the Body of Christ, if I cannot even preserve myself?' I felt then that the Holy Mysteries of the Eucharist were, indeed, a fire burning the unworthy.
"For two whole years I found no peace, performing the Holy Mysteries in fear and trembling on account of my unworthiness, ready to forsake that terrible and awesome calling. But a meeting with the great Father John of Kronstadt saved my soul from further bitterness, torment and the prolongation of the almost sickening duel in my soul. When I asked him for counsel on this matter, Father John said, 'Yes, we are all guilty before the Holy Mysteries, but we must be true to our priestly calling, for we are in obedience to the Holy Church. Weeping over our own sins, we must, however, do the will of Christ's Church and follow the instructions of the Church which are made known to us through our Archpastors.'
"These words of Father John were, in truth, a soothing balm for my wounded and sinful soul which had been torn by various doubts; they made my outlook on life whole and indicated my path in life; I began to understand it only as the most precise fulfillment of obedience to the Church, as the most perfect way of serving the Holy Church, the nation and people of God who have been redeemed by the Precious Blood of Christ."
In 1897 he was appointed inspector of the Alexandrovsky (Ardonsky) missionary seminary. In 1898 he was promoted to the rank of archimandrite. In 1899 he was appointed overseer of the Kazan missionary courses.
He began his work of Orthodox enlightenment in his native Kazan as a young hieromonk, being in charge of a seminary and a missionary school, highly respected and loved by all. He soon became a popular figure for his deeds of mercy to the poor and needy and for his asceticism. It was known that he spent his nights in prayer, using a hard bed with no blanket or pillow for his brief rest. In the midst of his social activity he always fasted, never eating even fish. When his wealthy admirers presented him with crates of fresh fruit he immediately gave it away to seminarians and children. People were astonished to see him eat only two or three prosphora and a few glasses of tea a day, never complaining of frailty or loss of energy, yet his activity was enormous. When raised to the rank of archimandrite he became abbot of the ancient Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Kazan, ably governing it, delivered flaming sermons, founded a convent for Tatar girls, was an excellent spiritual adviser, published a magazine and booklets, and organized missionary conferences.
Once in the revolutionary year of 1905 the workers of a gunpowder factory eight miles from Kazan rose up in revolt, as a result of communist propaganda, and killed one of the eight directors of the factory. A barrel of explosives was blown up, breaking all the windows in the neighbouring houses. Archimandrite Andrew immediately mounted a horse and, fearlessly risking his life, galloped to the factory. There he mounted a high place and silently waited for the mob to quiet down. They laughed at him, cursed, threw handfuls of dirt and rotten apples; but he stood quietly, looking at the mob and praying silently. The mob, seeing him fearless and peaceful, gradually calmed down; and then Vladyka began to talk. His talk was short, but so powerful that the whole mob came to repentance, realizing what a sin they had committed in killing an innocent man. They released the other directors and resumed work, after accompanying Fr. Andrew with great respect back to his monastery quarters.
On October 4, 1907 he was consecrated bishop of Mamadysh, the third vicariate of the Kazan diocese. This see was specially established for missionary work among the Tatar population. Vladyka's spiritual daughter, Nun Tabitha, writes that when he left Kazan, "a crowd of thousands accompanied him. His carriage headed for the steamer quayside. The workers and soldiers unharnessed the horses from his carriage and transported him themselves. Everyone wept... Non-Russians wept like children as they accompanied their beloved 'batka', and they strewed their clothes in his path..."
On July 25 (according to another source, June 25), 1911 he became bishop of Sukhumi, and on December 22, 1913 - archbishop of Ufa. He immediately started attracting more and more people of all ages to the cathedral. During the services he would be completely immersed in prayer, and was an example of a true pastor caring without ceasing for the salvation of souls.
As a bishop, Vladyka continued his missionary activities among the Tatar Moslem population. Many remembered his speeches at missionary congresses in Moscow, Kazan and Kiev, and his brilliant, unforgettable appeals to unite around the Church and the Tsar. Once he wrote:
"What can save us, preserve our Orthodox fatherland, and return to Holy Rus' her former glory?
"I believe and am firmly convinced that, just as Holy Rus' grew around the Orthodox Church, so only her native Orthodoxy can regenerate her. That is why I await that great day in Rus' when a Council of the Russian Church will be convened in the presence of our most meek and Christian Tsar, Nicholas Alexandrovich... It is not a faithless gathering of self-appointed arrogant people, not crowds of people united by nothing and hating each other, that will point out for us new paths of public and state life, but a Council of Church hierarchs... who come together in complete concord and love and speak the truth to the most truth-loving of tsars with Christian firmness."
At the same time, Vladyka Andrew was outspoken in his opposition to the rich exploiters of the poor and showed himself to be a faithful disciple of Metropolitan Anthony in criticizing the Synodal system of Church government and calling for the restoration of the Patriarchate.
In 1915-16 he distributed pastoral epistles attacking the use of tobacco by priests of the Russian Church.
On April 14, 1917, after the restoration of the Holy Synod by the Provisional Government, Archbishop Andrew became a member of the Holy Synod. However, he did not believe that the Provisional Government had changed the situation for the better. "The Provisional Government," he wrote, "appointed a revolutionary Over-Procurator, but the problem of having the Church ruled by a government official was not resolved."
In May, 1917, Archbishop Andrew had a conversation about the future of the Church with A.T. Kerensky, and in August he sent him a big letter, in which he declared that "the separation of the Church from the State is not frightening for the Church, but for the State its own separation from the Church is frightening."
Archbishop Andrew took a very active part in the elections for a patriarch in the Council of 1917-18, and his admirers put his name forward as one of the candidates for the patriarchal throne.
Archbishop Andrew considered the February and October revolutions to be the natural result of, and just recompense for, the people's loss of faith, whose roots he saw in the process of the destruction of Christian consciousness in the Russian people that had taken place over the previous 200 years. And he refused to accept the superficial excuses given by many: "In defence of the Russian people, they try to say that the people have been confused by the Jews, or deceived by their own leaders... A bad excuse! It's a fine people and a fine Christian religious disposition that can be confused by any rogue that comes along!..."
Already in the spring of 1917, clashes took place between Archbishop Andrew and the new socialist authorities. The newspaper of the Ufa social-democrats accused him of monarchist sympathies, pointing out that the bishop who had previously prayed fervently for the autocratic power did not want to do this for the new revolutionary government.
However, it is clear from the bishop's articles that when, during the first months of the revolution, the socialist movement was dominated by fairly moderate elements, he tried to establish contacts with the movement and even wrote about its positive sides:
"Is it possible for the parish councils to form a block with the social revolutionaries?.. This party is the closest for me of all the parties. The Church-parish councils and the party of the social revolutionaries must form one whole..."
But as the violence of the socialists grew, the bishop sharply changed his attitude towards the movement. Thus in one of his sermons in the cathedral, he said: "The socialists have taken for our original Apostolic Church her holy teaching on the community, brotherhood and equality... and have departed from us with this teaching."
"The socialists," wrote the bishop, "do not have enough love, and so at the base of their theory and practice they have placed the idol of class struggle, which on Russian soil has given 'freedom to hooliganism'."
And again: "Our homeland and the whole of our Russian people is confused, and is now living the last weeks of its existence. One page of Russian history has come to an end, and another, terrible one is beginning..."
In his speech before the opening of the state conference of members of the Constitutional Assembly, which took place in Ufa in April, 1918, Archbishop Andrew gave a clear basis to his judgements on the events that were taking place. He referred to Biblical history, when the judges of Israel led the people along the path of spiritual regeneration and national renewal:
"And now," he said, "for the salvation of the fatherland we need one particular fine, patriotic name, and an inspired leader who is powerful in word and deed, and who could incarnate our unfortunate Homeland and incarnate it in himself."
Later, in 1933, Archbishop Andrew expressed his final opinion on socialism and the revolution in the final chapter of his book, The Story of my Old-Believerism, in which he wrote:
"I must finish - I have used all my material relating to the story of my old-believerism. Now I consider it my sacred duty to say firmly and openly: I am an irreconcilable enemy of caesaropapism, and of all violence... I am not a revolutionary, for in the revolution there is a large element of spite and vengefulness. But I well understand the revolution as a protest against injustice and violence... I am not even a Christian socialist, for in so-called Christian socialism there is something from the evil one in the form of useless human verbiage and contradictions. Christian socialism, like social democracy is the fruit of Roman Catholicism, just as Bolshevism is the fruit of Petersburg caesaropapism."
Between the Old Believers and the Renovationists
Archbishop Andrew was the President of the All-Russian Congress of Yedinovertsy, converts to Orthodoxy from the Old Believers who were allowed to retain the Old Believer rite, and in January, 1919 (according to another source, 1918) he was elected bishop of Satki and the first-hierarch of the Yedinovertsy. He was also very concerned to reconcile the Old Believers who were not members of the Orthodox Church - the Byelokrinitsky hierarchy, which derived from the Greek Metropolitan Ambrose, and the priestless beglopopovtsy. At first, just after the revolution, he recognized neither branch of the Old Believers; but he gradually acquired a more positive attitude towards them, and entered into negotiations with them in Bashkiria in accordance with the line approved in 1917 by Patriarch Tikhon and his mentor, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky).
Archbishop Andrew believed that the Old Believer schism, which arose and took root in the reign of Peter the Great, when the Church fell into submission to state power, was precisely a protest against this unlawful encroachment on the freedom of the Church. In other words, it was a protest against caesaropapism - the process which had led, in Vladyka's opinion, to the Russian revolution and to the renovationist and sergianist submission of the Church to Soviet power. Therefore Vladyka Andrew's attempted rapprochement with the Old Believers must be seen in the context of the times - the struggle of the Church against State power and renovationist caesaropapism.
In May, 1917 he visited the Rogozhskoye monastery in Moscow and suggested to the Byelokrinitsky bishops that they join the Russian Church. In September of the same year, having come to Moscow again for the 1917-18 Moscow Church Council, Vladyka approached the beglopopovtsi with a request that he become their bishop. After the Council, at a meeting of representatives of the Moscow communities, Vladyka declared his intentions and plans to enter the Old Believers' church and, having read the Symbol of Faith and an extended confession of Faith, to anoint himself, in accordance with their suggestion, with the chrism that the Old Believers considered to be remaining from the time of Patriarch Joseph (1642-1652), the last Moscow Patriarch recognized by both the Orthodox and the Old Believers. Thus it was that Vladyka began his negotiations with the Old Believers - negotiations which both Patriarch Tikhon and Metropolitan Anthony knew and approved of.
In 1919-20, Vladyka took an active part in leading the clergy serving under the White leader, Admiral Kolchak. The commander of one of Kolchak's armies, Lieutenant-General Sakharov, wrote of Vladyka's work during this period: "His idea was simple and great. His arguments were incontrovertible and taken from life itself. He said: 'We must organize the people... around the best people in each village and town, around the most honourable, moral and hardworking people. And we do not need to go far; there are many such Russians, they are everywhere, in every church parish - only give them the chance.'
"Archbishop Andrew often appealed to Admiral Kolchak himself with his plan for organizing parishes throughout Eastern Russia. But he was rejected, and sometimes even persecuted. And this in spite of the fact that the supreme ruler himself greatly respected him.
"And so this major Russian activist and patriot failed until almost the very end to find an application for his abilities."
In 1920 (according to another source, 1921), after the collapse of Admiral Kolchak's armies, Vladyka Andrew was arrested by the Bolsheviks in Novonikolayevsk and accused of inciting class hatred and aiding the Whites. He was in prison in Omsk from March 8, 1920 to November, 1920. On February 28, 1921 he was again arrested in Omsk on a charge of calling on the peasants to organize themselves into peasant unions. From March to October, 1921 he was in prison in Omsk. On November 1, 1921 he was sent to Moscow, and from November 5, 1921 to November 11, 1922 he was in the inner prison of the GPU, where he fell ill with tuberculosis. However, he was cured in a private clinic, after which he was transferred to the Butyrki prison.
From this time until his death, Vladyka was only rarely out of prison or exile. Nevertheless, the people did not forget him, and many managed to see him in prison or deliver food parcels to him; and every time he was released and returned to his flock, it would cause a whole 'event' among the people. The Secret Police sought to use his popularity as bait to fish out the more fervent church people, but Bishop Andrew was so cautious and prudent in his behaviour that these attempts always failed.
At the end of 1921 Patriarch Tikhon appointed Vladyka Andrew Bishop of Tomsk. In August, 1922 Vladyka was cleared by a Moscow revolutionary tribunal "because of insufficient evidence", after officially declaring that the Church was loyal to Soviet power. On November 14, he was sent under supervision to Ufa. Already on May 18, 1922, just after the appearance of the renovationist heresy, he had declared the Church in Ufa autocephalous on the basis of Patriarch Tikhon's ukaz of November 7/20, 1920. And now, in December, he organized a diocesan congress in Ufa and consecrated a group of bishops for the main regions of his diocese. These included Bishops Habbakuk and Rufinus.
The renovationists, who sought every opportunity to accuse Vladyka, immediately labelled this group of bishops "the Andrewite schism". Thus in an article for Vlast' Truda a certain P. Pravdin rejected the "schismatic" bishops' right to rule their flock. And he went on to say that Bishops Mark, Trofimus and Habbakuk "act under the banner of Patriarch Tikhon, which prompts Soviet power to think of arresting these bishops".
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."
Another witness records that "Vladyka Andrew reacted in a lively and open fashion to all the injustices that took place in prison, for which the bosses did not love him, but feared him. He prayed a great deal. He entered into arguments with the atheists and always left them in a derisory position, for which he was often deprived of parcels."
It was in Alma-Ata in 1932 that Archbishop Andrew was reconciled with Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd. They may even have consecrated a bishop together. Archbishop Andrew claimed in a letter that he had consecrated 42 secret bishops up to 1932!
In 1934 he was unexpectedly arrested and taken to Moscow, where he was again condemned by the OGPU on May 14 to three years in a political isolator. According to Moscow patriarchal sources, Archbishop Andrew died in the Archangelsk camps in 1944. But according to recently revealed archival material concerning the criminal case of Ukhtomsky, Alexander Alexeyevich, which is kept in the Russian Ministry of Security, Archbishop Andrew died in the NKVD camp of Rybinsk, where he had been assigned according to the sentence of a Special meeting of the NKVD of the USSR. "On September 3rd, 1937, a troika of the NKVD of Yaroslavl region condemned Ukhtomsky, A.A. to HMP (highest measure of punishment - shooting). No juridical definition of the crime was given, and records of the indictment decision cannot be found. The sentence was carried out on September 4th, 1937 in Rybinsk."
According to other sources, however, on March 27, 1937 Archbishop Andrew was sentenced to three years' imprisonment without right of correspondence in a camp near Rybinsk, but was shot on September 4 in the Yaroslavl prison. One of these sources, Schema-Monk Epiphany (Chernov) writes: "Before the shooting the archbishop asked for permission to pray. The executioners gave the condemned man a few minutes. Vladyka fell on his knees. And it was as if a cloud covered him and he disappeared from view. The executioners were so upset that they had absolutely no idea what to do. He hadn't had the opportunity to flee, and at the same time he was not there... It was only about an hour later that the hierarch appeared on his knees in fiery prayer in the same place, as if covered by a radiant cloud which quickly dispersed. The murderers were glad that their victim was again in front of them, and that they did not have to answer for his disappearance. They hurried to carry out the sentence..."
In 1984 the elderly Nun Tabitha wrote in her memoirs: "Five years ago, Bishop Andrew appeared to me in my sleep and said: 'I've been assigned again to Ufa, I'm going to live with you.' What joy! The God-saved city of Ufa is under his supervision! Glory and thanks to the Lord God for this His care for Ufa and her people!"
(Sources: Paul Boyarshinov, "Svyashchennomuchenik Arkhiepiskop Andrei Ufimsky (v miru Knyaz' Ukhtomsky) - Izsledovaniye Zhiznedeyatel'nosti", Diploma thesis, Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1995; M.E. Gubonin, Akty Svyatejshago Tikhona, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1994, pp. 903-04; Schema-Monk Epiphanius (Chernov), Katakombnaya Tserkov' na zemlye Rossijskoj, typescript, Mayford, England, 1980; I.M. Andreyev, Russia's Catacomb Saints, Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1982, chapter 19; Bishop Ambrose (von Sievers), "Istoki i svyazi Katakombnoj Tserkvi v Leningrade i obl. (1922-1992)", report read at the conference "The Historical Path of Orthodoxy in Russia after 1917", Saint Petersburg, 1-3 June, 1993; "Ekkleziologiya arkhiepiskopa Andreya, Ufimskogo (kn. Ukhtomskogo)", Vestnik Germanskoj Eparkhii Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi za Granitsei, N 2, 1993, pp. 20-24; "Gosudarstvo i 'katakomby'", in Filatov, S.B. Religiya i prava cheloveka, Moscow: Nauka, 1996, pp. 108-109, 111; "Episkopat Istinno-Pravoslavnoj Katakombnoj Tserkvi 1922-1997gg.", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 4 (8), 1997, pp. 8-9, 15; Lev Regelson, Tragediya Russkoj Tserkvi, 1917-1945, Moscow: Krutitskoye patriarsheye podvorye, 1996, p. 536; Staroobryadchestvo, Moscow: "Tserkov", 1996, pp. 25-26, 141-142; Za Khrista Postradavshiye, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1997, pp. 84-86)
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