Early Years (to 1905)
Archbishop Theodore, in the world Alexander Vasilyevich Pozdeyevsky,was born on March 21, 1876, in the village of Makaryevskoye, Vetyluzhsky uyezd, Kostroma province (according to another source, Nizhegorod province) in the family of the priest Basil Pozdeyevsky. The church in which Protopriest Basil served has remained to this day - the church of St. Macarius of Unzhensk.Fr. Basil died in the 1930s. He was buried near the church. There still exists a house that was built with funds provided by Vladyka Theodore when he was rector of the Moscow Theological Academy. Vladyka Theodore had seven sisters and one brother.
Once, shortly after Alexander's birth, there was an all-night vigil in the church in Makaryevskoye. When the clergy came out for the polyelei the local "fool", whom the villagers considered to be blessed, entered the church and during the magnification cried out: You're praying here, but there a Vladyka has been born." And he prophesied that the Vladyka would be a pillar of Orthodoxy. And so it turned out
In 1896, on graduating from Kostroma theological seminary, he entered the Kazan Theological Academy.If in Moscow at this time the true spirit of the Church was as it were buried in the depths of the people's consciousness, while on the surface, amidst the intelligentsia, there ruled quite a different spirit - an antichristian, anti-Church spirit, the spirit of people who had lost the true faith, in distant Kazan, by contrast, a true and living faith had been preserved. The Kazan Theological Academy had been founded in 1841 with the aim of sending spiritual workers out into Eastern Russia and Siberia. Andso apart from the usual theological subjects, it also had two missionary sections. It was in this grace-filled atmosphere that the youth Alexander came to maturity.
Vladyka Theodore's instructors during his years in the Kazan Academy included the outstanding elder, Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel (Ziryanov) of Seven Lakes Monastery, and the rector of the Academy, Bishop Anthony (Khrapovitsky).
As Hieromartyr Symeon (Kholmogorov), the author of the Elder Gabriel's life and one of Vladyka Theodore's closest friends, wrote: "At this time the greater part of the Elder's visitors were students from the Kazan Theological Academy, primarily monks. They had long needed such a guide in the spiritual life, one who was full of love, unsophisticated and experienced, and now with eagerness they came to the Seven Lakes Monastery. However, as Father Gabriel himself later recalled, they often came to him out of sheer curiosity and left believers. Many of them hadn't even believed in God! But after their conversion they would sometimes begin to give themselves over to despair because of their former way of life and over their future salvation. Beneath the weight of their sins they now lost hope in forgiveness and salvation.
Father Gabriel comforted them and strengthened them in every way possible, and his words about God's measureless love and kindness were the testimony of a reliable witness who had personally experienced the depths of the loving-kindness of Christ. His words unexpectedly penetrated the darkest corners of men's hearts, kindling the bright ray of hope for salvation which would begin to awaken the soul by the touch of Christ's grace. And the sinner, forgetting himself, would see only the all-forgiving Face of Christ, and yearn for Him and begin to live and breathe together with Him."
Later, when Vladyka Theodore was rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, and the Elder Gabriel would visit him, he would gather together all the monks to meet him. And the meeting with the grace-filled Elder would leave an ineradicable imprint on the lives of them all.
No less a powerful an influence on the students was the young rector, Bishop Anthony, who educated a whole generation of outstanding bishops, priests and religious teachers. He placed particular emphasis on pastoral theology in the system of higher theological education, and his devotion and love effected a gradual change in the system of education in the direction of a closer and more constant spiritual and moral intercourse between teachers and taught. Almost every day after supper he would arrange tea-parties with the students in his rooms. "On a long table," writes one of the participants, "there stood a samovar and ten to fifteen glasses, with sugar and jam. One of the students would pour out the tea. Over tea a conversation would begin and perplexities would be resolved. Sometimes quarrels would arise. But in general, there were all sorts of people present, and one could learn much."
Another of the Academy's graduates, Bishop Metrophanes (Abramov) writes: "A beautiful choir was organized under the direction of the rector. No other academy could rival it, for Vladyka Anthony attracted all the young people who had firmly decided to dedicate themselves to the service of the Church in the priestly or monastic ranks. There were as many as 40 such students (priests and monks). The sacristan of the academy church was the humble and meek youth, Peter Kedrov from Vyatka diocese, who later became [the hieromartyr] Archbishop Pachomius of Chernigov. The staff-bearer was the likeable Vitya Ryashentsev from the Tambov high school, who later became the bishop of Gomel [and hieromartyr Archbishop Barlaam of Perm]."
A third major influence on Vladyka Theodore in the Kazan Academy was the brilliant young philosopher, Professor V.I. Nesmelov. Although his lectures were difficult, and he was harsh in his criticism of the students' written course work, his thinking was deep and highly appreciated by Vladyka Anthony, who wrote with reference to one of his works: "The true nature of philosophy consists in its finding clear, positive formulations of the unclear intuitions of human consciousness as a whole, in consciously penetrating into its syllogism so that anyone could joyously cry out: 'Yes, that's exactlyit! Yes, I recognize the same in myself!' The philosopher is not he who communicates to mankind some unexpected marvels, but he clarifies man to himself. The main thought of the author," continues Vladyka Anthony, "is that philosophizing attains its goal, the recognition of truth, only when it attends, not to the investigation of the things surrounding us, but to man himself ('know yourself' is the foundation of spiritual life), and, moreover, not to man's material composition or to the structure of his logical modes of thought, but to the investigation of the meaning of his existence and reality. From this point of view, the mind can successfully tackle only those subjects of philosophical thought which are bound up with the questions: 'Why do I live?' 'How can I fulfil the demands of my own moral consciousness?'"
In 1900 Vladyka Theodore was tonsured into monasticism. The rite of monastic tonsure was always celebrated by Bishop Anthony accompanied by Elder Gabriel. One eye-witness describes it as follows: "The procession with the novice who was about to be tonsured was particularly majestic. In front walked the universally venerated Elder, Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel, who reverently marked the path of the novice with the sign of the cross. The tonsure usually took place during the All-Night Vigil, after the Great Doxology. At the end of the service our Rector-Bishop always gave an edifying sermon to the newly-tonsured monk. Then the whole brotherhood accompaniedhim to his cell, where the rector blessed him with an icon."
In the same year of 1900 Vladyka Theodore graduated from the Academy with the degree of candidate of theology, and on July 24 was ordained to the priesthood. In 1901 he was appointed a teacher in the Kaluga theological seminary, and in 1902 - inspector of the Kazan theological seminary. From
July 3, 1902 to 1903 he was inspector of the Kaluga theological seminary.On October 13, 1903 he was awarded the degree of master of theology. His thesis was entitled "The Ascetic Views of St. John Cassian". On February 4, 1904he was appointed rector of the Tambov theological seminary with the rank of archimandrite.
It was the year 1905. A new inspector arrived to take up his duties at the Tambov seminary - Fr. Simeon (Kholmogorov), with whom Archimandrite Theodore had become friends when they studied together in Kazan. They served together for a little more than a month... At that time Tambov was one ofthe most revolutionary cities. The local revolutionary party had composed a list of people whom they were to kill: the governor, the vice-governor, the chief of police, the rector of the seminary and other highly-placed people. The first shot was aimed at the rector of the seminary... In his reminiscences on his meetings with Vladyka Theodore, the priest Sergius Sidorov writes: "In 1905 Archimandrite Simeon (in the world Michael Kholmogorov) was inspector of the Tambov theological seminary. During the revolutionary events one of the students made an attempt on the life of the rector of the seminary, Archimandrite Theodore (Pozdeyevsky). Fr. Simeon succeeded in shielding him with his body, and the bullet struck a vertebra at his waist, paralyzing the lower part of his body permanently. From that moment Vladyka Theodore never left his saviour," visiting him every day and fulfilling his smallest request.
Years in Moscow (1906-1917)
On August 19, 1906, Archimandrite Theodore was appointed rector of the Moscow theological seminary, and from August 19, 1909 - rector of the Moscow Theological Academy. On September 14, 1909, he was consecrated bishop of Volokolamsk, a vicariate of the Moscow diocese, by the future hieromartyr, Metropolitan Vladimir of Moscow, and other hierarchs.
The religious life of Moscow in the decade before the revolution was quite different from that of provincial Kazan. The 80s and 90s of the nineteenth century had been a time of social weariness and depression, but at the beginning of the twentieth century there was a return to the faith in some intellectual circles. However, this return was often sickly and mixed with deceptions, and many members of the intelligentsia became infected with unbelief. As one church writer put it: "It is not the flesh, but the spirit that has been corrupted in our time, and men pine away to the point of despair."
In his work The Meaning of Christian Asceticism, Vladyka Theodore wrote: "Many contemporary renovators of Christianity think it unnecessary to take account of the true attitude of Christianity towards man, his nature and the meaning of life. They create their own ideal of life and judge Christianity in accordance with that ideal. They want to bring in Christianity as the most suitable, so to speak, most vital factor contributing to the realization of their ideal. The most important thing, the question of sin, is completely ignored by them, and they have no idea what it is. That is why, for example, Merezhkovsky, who accuses Christianity of the split between flesh and spirit that destroyed the pagan world, has no explanation of where this split appeared among the pagans or why they lived by affirming the flesh. But Christianity says that this destructive split and disharmony in the nature of man was not imposed on man from without, but lives within him, as a consequence of sin... This is the corruption, illness and servitude of man to the flesh, and in order to understand what happened in the soul of man through sin it is necessary to penetrated into the psychology of sin. One should point out that, among the representatives of that part of the intelligentsia which is thinking of going along the path of Christianity,
This path is indeed new, because, far from wanting to accept Christianity as it is and always was, historically speaking, they want to find - or, better, invent - in this same Christianity certain new ways of incarnating it in life and, through it, of renovating human life... For the man who is used to living in accordance with the ideals of the new philosophy of life, or in accordance with the moods revealed by the philosophy of Nietzsche and the wild heroes of the works of Gorky, L. Andreyev, etc., it is of course not easy immediately to accept Christianity in its historical integrity, and such people find much in the teaching of the Christian Church that is as strange as it is incomprehensible. The Apostle Paul said that the preaching of Christ crucified appeared as very strange and difficult to accept: for some it was simply a deception, and for others - sheer madness... This same teaching about Christ, crucified and suffering, this demand that man should crucify his passions and lusts, this Christianity imbued with the spirit of compunction and the suppression of the carnal principle in the name of spiritual interests - in a word: the ascetical spirit of Christianity has disturbed the new pagans who seek in the Christianity the truth of life (as they understand it, of course) and has become a stone of stumbling and fall in the task of following Christ. Open the pages of any work of Merezhkovsky, Minsky or Rozanov, and you will see that their articles are mainly occupied with a criticism of monasticism, which is identified with asceticism. This strange phenomenon is the result of the fact that a part of the intelligentsia which is seeking God has approached Christianity with the very definite aim of reforming it, which is nothing other than the same decadence applied to the religious life."
It was truly an age of universal religious crisis, whose religious searchings, in the words of one thinker, were distinguished by a decadent, dionysiac mood and the absence of spiritual sobriety. Most of these searchers were some distance from the Church. Nevertheless, the intelligentsia began to return to the Church, but in the expectation of reforms. In many circles and meetings, and in all the discussions and arguments, one question was feltto be basic and critical: How was Christianity to be made influential in life? This was the whole meaning of the religious searchings...
But there was also a misunderstanding of the meaning of Christian salvation, which resulted in many accusing asceticism of misanthropy, as being "contrary to the idea of the public good".
Vladyka Theodore wrote about this as follows:
"The proponents of the idea that ascetics should do public service make the direct demand that the antiquated institution of monasticism should be reformed by turning monasteries into associations and congregations with a predominantly practical significance. Among secular writers, Merezhkovsky, for example,in his article 'The Last Saint', directly states that 'the whole of ancient eastern and Russian asceticism is imbued with the spirit of hatred and disdain for society'. Berdyaev for some reason represents asceticism as rejoicing in the existence of diabolical evil in the world, for if this evil did not exist, where would ascetics go in their search for reasons to suffer? This is an example of the contemporary misunderstanding of the nature and meaning of Christian asceticism..." (The Meaning of Christian Asceticism)
However, this atmosphere, which reigned in the capitals at that time, did not satisfy everyone. There were also groups of Orthodox activists who shared the views of Vladyka Theodore and stood close to him. Among these was his spiritual son, the well-known church publisher and publicist Michael Alexandrovich Novoselov, who became the secret Bishop Mark and died in exile for the faith, V. Kozhevnikov, O. Yezerskij, A.D. Samarin and Paul Mayesurov. This group of lay theologians were convinced that the true voice of Christian truth came from the teaching of the elders, who had preserved intact the genuine path of Orthodoxy.
From 1909 to 1914, Vladyka Theodore took an active part in the publication Theological Herald, turning it into one of the best of the theological journals. He attached an appendix to the journal devoted to the writings of the Holy Fathers. And he wrote: "Glory and honour to the great and holy Fathers of the Church, in that they defended the purity of Christian consciousness, and in good time overthrew those ideas - mere products of the human mind - which were introduced by false teachers as tares among the wheat into the enclosure of Christian Church consciousness. However, the historical path of the growth of the Church and the Kingdom of God will never be free from these tares. And since the Councils, the field of the Kingdom of God has been zealously seeded, especially 'while we slept', by tares of all kinds, both from the dogmatic and the moral aspects. We think that the whole process, lasting many centuries, of the assimilation of Christianity and its principles by the historical life of man has been at the same time a constant process, a constant attempt, a constant historical tendency on the part of mankind to counterfeit Christianity, to assimilate it to its purely human demands and tastes, that is, in the language of theology, in accordance 'with the spirit of this world'."
However, in spite of the great advance that Vladyka Theodore made in reorganizing theological education on a strictly patristic basis, the opposite, renovationist trend took the upper hand after the February revolution of 1917. At that time, in the same Theological Herald, there was published an article entitled "The New Theology" by a teacher of the Moscow Academy, M.M. Tarayev, in which the teaching of the Holy Fathers was reduced to gnosticism, and gnosticism and asceticism were declared to be "inveterate enemies of the Russian genius"!
Although the general image of Vladyka was of a strict, unsmiling rigorist, he was in fact a man of great compassion and humility. Two incidents illustrate this clearly.
Fr. Sergius Sidorov, who was shot for the faith in 1937 in Butovo, writes: "The first time I saw Vladyka Theodore was in the late autumn of 1915 in Sergiev. Mists wrapped the Assumption cathedral and metropolitan's residence in a white cloud. The all-night vigil had just ended in the Academy church. The worshippers were hurrying towards the gates, sliding over the wet snow. I had stopped by the grave of I. Aksakov, and was waiting for my companions, when a tall monk wearing glasses and a velvet skull-cap came up to me and said: 'Have you not come from M.A. Novoselov?' 'Yes, I know him.' 'Please, I beg you, give him this. The address is: N. Street, house 10, flat 7... Only don't look to see what's in this bundle and envelope and don't say that it's from me.' 'Vladyka, how glad I am' - I heard the voice of Durylin coming up to us. He introduced me to Bishop Theodore, who invited us to his room and gave us an excellent supper.
"After visiting Vladyka, I carried out his request. Number 10 housed the unfortunate family of a paralytic, who lived in terrible filth and hunger. I do not know what was in the bundle Vladyka gave to the unfortunates, but when I handed over the envelope, they opened it and 200 rubles fell out of it. From that evening I became a frequent visitor of the renowned at that time head of 'the reactionary clergy', Bishop Theodore, the rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, and I became his fervent admirer. I did not share many of his views, but on seeing his genuine kindness which was hidden from many, and on listening to his wise speeches imbued with a burning love for God's creatures, I recognized in his cell the essence of genuine Orthodoxy.
"After 1917, Vladyka Theodore was retired to the Danilov monastery, where his glory, the glory of the first righteous man protecting the Church from rebellious secular movements, began. In 1918 I was attending a theological course on which Bishop Theodore was teaching.
"Once I was accompanying Vladyka to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. He had to take a tram. It was spring and the weather was hot. The rays of the sun burned on the cupolas of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and they seemed to be incandescent globes passing the burning heat onto the noisy bustle of Moscow. On the fiery pavements lines of people were waiting for bread - a famine was raging. A shaven old man with pitiful tufts of grey hair and staring, protruding eyes was greedily looking on as the bread was being handed out. Vladyka had a loaf, and he gave it to him. The old man pounced to kiss the hand of his Eminence Theodore, but Vladyka forcefully pulled it away, while the old man bowed almost to the ground in front of him before merging into the queue. I asked Vladyka whether he knew him. 'Of course, that's the mad official Peter Fyodorovich Spitsyn, I know him well. He has long been playing the fool in Moscow. You know, in order to understand the essence of Orthodoxy, it is necessary to study it, not in books and learned works, but in close contact with people who are forgotten and despised by the world, with fools and wanderers and madmen, even with criminals. This contact is especially useful for pastors. When he has come to know those who have been rejected by the world better, the pastor will understand that in fact these people are closer to Christ than he is, because sinners who are conscious of their fall love the Lord Who forgives and has mercy on them. Orthodoxy is the religion of compassion and humility, one must pity sinners and recognize one's own sins. And this feeling is given to one when one comes into contact with the world of the poor and outcast.'
"While listening to the words of Bishop Theodore, I recalled Metropolitan Philaret, who also loved to look for, and found, people who had been forgotten by life; and the spiritual countenance of Vladyka became closer to me. Besides respecting his mind and his heart, I felt the trembling of his soul - a radiant, pure soul attached to the sources of the Orthodox Faith.
"I was struck by the humility of Vladyka Theodore, this masterful administrator of the Moscow Theological Academy, a man who influenced a whole series of hierarchs in our time."
Revolution and Imprisonment (1917-1922)
On March 2, 1917, the Tsar abdicated, and with his fall the great building of Orthodox Russia began to totter. Among the first pillars of the Church to be attacked was Vladyka Theodore, who was forced out of his post in the Moscow Theological Academy in April. Fr. Sergius Sidorov writes: "In 1923 I became superior of the church of Saints Peter and Paul in Sergiev Posad, and the problems of my parish often forced me to visit Vladyka and ask his advice. Once, in order to console me, who had been hurt by a slander, his Eminence Theodore told me about the events that led up to his expulsion from the Moscow Theological Academy. These events shed a particularly vivid light on the inner nature of the persecutions raised against him by the liberal press and professors in 1917. This is his story:-
"'There are an exceptional number of demon-possessed people in Sergiev. Many of them are brought up to the Holy Chalice. Once, when I was serving the Liturgy in the church of the Academy, I noticed that someone was staring at me malevolently. And when the communicants began to come up to the Holy Chalice, among them came up a girl of about twenty, and I recognized her as the daughter of an old resident of Sergiev. When I had returned home and had started my usual rule of prayer, I could not pray. An inner voice ordered me to save the unfortunate girl from the evil spirit, which, as I had become clearly convinced in the church, dwelt in her. My conviction was based only on the special dull, cold look in the eyes of the girl. In the church she behaved with decorum. The next day I visited her parents and learned that their daughter really was ill. When she prayed she could not read the "Virgin Theotokos, Rejoice!", and she was overwhelmed by despondency at Holy Communion. This information convinced me that the girl was demon-possessed, and I began to pray strongly for her and performed the rite of exorcism over her. On the day that I performed this rite over her, a striking change took place in her attitude towards me. Before, she had acted towards me with complete trust and love. But after the service she stopped visiting me and hid in a distant room when I visited the house of her parents... Rumour had it that she was planning to leave Sergiev, and this, in my opinion, could have destroyed her, since she was under the special protection of St. Sergius.
"'Once, as I was travelling along Pereyeslavka, I saw her carrying a suitcase and heading for the station. I ordered the carriage to stop, got out, told her to get into the carriage with me, and took her home. On the way she asked me why I was not letting her go to the station, and declared that I had been in her house in the morning and had tried to persuade her to leave Sergiev. At that time I took her words for the ravings of a clearly sick person. But hardly had I crossed the threshold of her room when I heard laugh and a voice saying: 'I've outwitted you, don't fight with me, otherwise I'll drive you out of here.' I understood that this was the voice of a dark spirit, and, sprinkling the room with holy baptismal water, I forced it to be quiet. However, I could not sleep the whole of that night. I was thinking about the unfortunate girl the whole time, and I began to work out that her words saying that I had been in her house were not the ravings of a sick person, but the action of a dark power. The next morning I put a part of the relics of St. Sergius into my panagia and set off for the sick girl. The door into their flat was open, noone met me in the hall, and I went straight into her room. She was sitting on the bed, and opposite her sat my double, who was trying to persuade her to leave Sergiev without delay. Thunderstruck, I halted on the threshold. The double turned to me and, pointing to me, said to the girl: 'Don't believe him, it's the devil.' 'You're lying,' I said, and touched it with my panagia. My double suddenly disappeared and did not trouble the girl any more. She made a complete recovery from the mental illness that had tormented her since the age of seven. And two months later I was expelled from my post as rector of the Academy and from Sergiev! When I moved to Danilov I heard a voice in the night: 'I expelled you from Sergiev. Don't save my girls.'"
"'Why, Vladyka,' I asked, 'are there so many possessed people in Sergiev?' 'I think,' he replied, 'that the distinguishing trait of St. Sergius' exploit was his struggle with the demon. True, his life contains no reference to the way in which he struggled with them, but there is some indication that this struggle was long and stubborn. The saint chose a place inhabited by the dark powers to glorify God, and before building the monastery he destroyed the demons. But you know what the dark places are like. They become still more terrible and dark when the holy thing restraining it wavers.'"
On May 1, 1917, Vladyka Theodore was appointed superior of the Danilov monastery in Moscow. This appointment, as A. Flovsky writes, "was providential; for it allowed him to gather around the monastery all that was best, most alive and most Orthodox in the Church, resolving all doubts in a manner that unquestionably furthered the purity of Orthodoxy and uncompromisingly sweeping away all innovations and novelties that undermined the purity of the canons." The "Danilovites", as Vladyka Theodore's circle came to be called, included many future martyr-hierarchs, priests and monks, and was recognized by all as the foremost bastion of uncompromising Orthodoxy in the face of the Soviet Antichrist.
In July, 1917, a congress of learned monastics took place in the Holy Trinity - St. Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad. The congress was opened by Metropolitan Tikhon, the future patriarch, who immediately handed the presidency over to Vladyka Theodore, in spite of the fact that Vladyka had just been relieved of his post as rector of the Moscow Academy "at the unanimous demand of the council of professors and students of the Academy", as the newspapers put it. Metropolitan Tikhon's action was a clear indication of his firm support for Vladyka Theodore's confessing position, which became increasingly isolated and heroic as the revolution spread and deepened.
After the October revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik government openly declared that it would persecute the Orthodox "for exciting the masses against Soviet power on a religious basis". It announced the separation of Church and State and freedom of conscience for all believers and non-believers. However, "separation of Church and State" in fact meant persecution of the Church by the State, and "freedom of conscience" meant freedom from conscience and the license to commit all kinds of brutalities without fear of punishment.
As I.M. Andreyev wrote: "The militant atheist-materialist ideology of the Soviet State could not be reconciled with the existence of the Church and strove by all means to annihilate her as its principal ideological adversary. Soviet power openly and actively fought against religion and the Church, wishing to destroy her completely. The word 'Christian' became equivalent to 'counter-revolutionary'."
Seeing this clearly, the Local Council of the Russian Church, led by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon, anathematized Soviet power in January, 1918, forbidding the members of the Church to have any communion whatsoever with the Bolsheviks. In the years that followed, under the almost unbearable pressure of the State organs, this uncompromising position was at times softened by the leadership of the Church. However, one hierarch who never softened his position, and continually exhorted others to remain uncompromising, was Vladyka Theodore. A great ascetic and an expert on patristic theology and canon law, he warned the patriarch against making too great concessions to the authorities and against any negotiations with the renovationists. Although this sometimes brought him into conflict with the patriarch, the two holy hierarchs never lost their love and respect for each other and communion between them was never broken.
Vladyka Theodore's zeal for the faith was combined with great humility. This is illustrated by an incident related by Fr. Sergius Sidorov, who once visited Vladyka Theodore and Fr. Simeon Kholmogorov in the Danilov monastery in order to tell them of a certain V. Sladkopevtsev's conversion to Catholicism: "Sladkopevtsev was a friend of Vladyka Theodore and a spiritual son of Archimandrite Simeon. His Eminence Theodore was very upset by my news. He began to condemn the Catholics sharply, calling them papists. I remember the circumstances of my discussion with Vladyka to this day. The cell was stuffy and filled with the fragrance of geraniums. Archimandrite Simeon was lying with his face covered on a narrow sofa. Vladyka Theodore was sitting in a white cassock in a big armchair under a small window. 'Tell V.V. from us,' he said, 'that we do not commend his passion for Catholicism and consider the Catholics to be heretics.' Vladyka had hardly uttered these words when the curtain dividing the little room into two was noisily pushed aside and a small, wrinkled, beardless man with severe eyes appeared and shouted to Vladyka: 'Don't you dare revile other faiths, fear God, don't be proud!' 'Well, don't worry. I admit I did get a bit carried away,' replied his Eminence equably. 'You see how strict he is,' said Vladyka to me, pointing to the dwarf. [The dwarf was Hieromonk Ignatius Bekrenev, a graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy.] The dwarf smiled and kissed the hand of Vladyka, who blessed him and left the cell. When he had gone out, Archimandrite Simeon said: 'You see, you can learn humility from Vladyka. He never objects with even a word when people rebuke him and point out his mistakes.'"
In June, 1918 Patriarch Tikhon transferred Vladyka Theodore from the see of Volokolamsk to that of Perm. However, Vladyka did not move to Perm, but remained in the Danilov monastery with the right to administer it. In this period, according to a book published by the Danilov monastery in 1988, the children of the Church who came to the monastery were served by Archimandrites Simeon (Kholmogorov), Polycarp (Solovyov), Seraphim (Klimkov) and Stephen (Safonov). Among the brothers who had previously struggled in Optina monastery were Archimandrite George (Lavrov) and Hieromonk Peter (Drachev). From 1919, Vladyka Theodore, foreseeing that he would probably be sent to prison soon, appointed his deputies in the Danilov monastery. "The last of these was Archimandrite Tikhon (Belyaev), who was distinguished for his kindness, meekness, strict ascetic life and exceptional artistic gifts. At the beginning of the 1920s, with the blessing of his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon, Bishop Theodore organized a higher theological school in the Danilov monastery, its purpose being, as he wrote, 'to study theology on a strictly ecclesiastical, patristic basis and to prepare pastors.'"
Vladyka Theodore was arrested for the first time n June 15, 1920, and on July 12 was sentenced to the camps "until the end of the Civil War" On October 25, 1920 his term was shortened in accordance with the amnesty to five years.
V.F. Martsinovsky describes a meeting with Vladyka and other imprisoned hierarchs in Taganka prison in the spring of 1921: "In the prison while I was there were Metropolitans Cyril [of Kazan] and Seraphim [of Warsaw], Archbishop Philaret of Samara, Bishops Peter, Theodore of Volokolamsk, Gurias [of Kazan], Igumens John Zvenigorodsky and George Meshchevsky, some priests, the Procurator of the Holy Synod A.P. Samarin, Professor Kuznetsov...
"In accordance with the will of the prisoners, Divine services were permitted, and a schoolroom in the prison was set aside for them. It was a small, well-lit hall with school benches and some portraits on the side walls: on the left - Karl Marx, on the right - Trotsky. There was no iconostasis in this improvised church... But there was a table covered with a white cloth, and on it stood a chalice for the celebration of the Mystical Supper, a cross and a Gospel... A seven-branched candlestick had been made of wood by some prisoners. Everything was simple, as it was, perhaps, in the catacombs of the first Christian centuries.
"The usual celebrant was Metropolitan Cyril, tall, with his majestic figure, regular features and wide grey beard. Bishops Theodore and Gury concelebrated with him. Also standing there were Igumen Jonah with his concentrated, somewhat severe face, and the simple and serious Fr. George. The choir was directed by the former Over-Procurator of the Holy Synod, A.D. Samarin. And how they chanted! Only suffering could give such life to the hymn-singing... Many of those present also chanted. How much feeling and profound experience is in the words of the Gospel: 'Blessed are they that weep, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.' As for those who suffer, not for the Faith, but only for their sins and crimes, their brokenness of heart is poured out in the prayer: 'Lord, have mercy', or in the penitential sigh of Great Lent: 'Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me'.
"Behind the small table, Professor Kuznetsov was selling candles. The prisoners loved to light them. In their quiet flicker they felt a warm, prayerful atmosphere which was reminiscent of the sketes of ancient piety, of the monastic life.
"Pascha was approaching. It was the first year that I had not fasted in preparation for Communion in the Orthodox Church. The thought occurred to me that I should receive Communion. But dogmatically speaking I was not quite convinced... So I put a trial question, as it were, to Metropolitan Cyril when I met him on the way to church. He invited me to come to him... The room looked inviting and clean. In the window bouquets of flowers stood out beautifully in the sun. They were offerings of admirers (the people did not forget their beloved pastors). From them they also received parcels of food, which many of the prisoners shared in, of course. Metropolitan Cyril was sitting on his cot at the back of the room, under the window. On his left was Bishop Theodore, and on his right - Bishop Gurias. The metropolitan spoke to me in a kind, fatherly tone; the two other bishops, who were a little younger, evaluated my views in a more theological manner. 'All this is sectarian pride,' Bishop Theodore said to me drily and severely. Bishop Gurias had a tendency for polemical argument, but he spoke more gently: 'It is a great sin that you should despise the sacrament of Baptism which was performed on you in your childhood. You must repent - and only after that can we allow you to come to Communion.' I expounded my views to the bishops. They shrugged their shoulders, but did not change their demand. 'As far as I know the canons, you could allow me to receive Communion. There is a rule which permits the giving of Communion to people of other faiths if they ask for it in extreme need, danger of death, etc. And we are all in just such a situation here...' 'No, this rule cannot be applied to the present situation,' said Metropolitan Cyril [obviously he had apostasized and was still not repentant]. 'God has punished you for your heresy by imprisoning you,' one of the bishops suddenly said hotly. 'And mark my word: you will not get out of prison until you repent.'
"In the following days this bishop would often start talking to me during exercise periods. 'Vladyka,' I asked him once, 'have you look through the passages from the Holy Scriptures which I referred to in my report?' 'Yes, I have looked through them... If you want, we can now discuss each of them.' And he began to go through them in order. 'Mark 16.16: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Well, yes: first faith and then baptism. And in Matthew faith comes first, too... Yes, you're right. But this is your mistake: you have forgotten that the Church has the fullness of grace, and in consequence she has changed the order in accordance with the demands of the time - and has begun to demand, first baptism, and then faith...' A loud voice announced the end of the exercise period. As he walked in the crowd towards the door of the prison, the bishop whispered to me the reproach: 'It is Satan who has deceived you into going against Church tradition.'
"The next day he met me again on the staircase and gave me a big bouquet of lilac. It was obvious that he wanted to soothe the pain which his words of the day before had caused me.
"Pascha in prison. March-April, 1921. Pascha night... The whole of Moscow, the heart of Russia, was trembling from joy... The dense waves of the copper church bells' booming poured through the prison (which was on a hill). Paschal Mattins should have started at 12 midnight, but it was postponed for fear of escape-attempts. Only at six in the morning, when it had begun to dawn, did they begin to lead us out of our cells. Moscow was booming no longer, only our bodyguards' bunches of keys tinkled in the corridors. As always happens at Pascha, there were many people in the church. Those in freedom had sent hierarchical paschal vestments flashing with silver and gold. Metropolitan Cyril, all shining in heavy brocade, was doing the censing, sending in all directions not only incense, but also puffs of flame that burst out of the censer. In his hand he held red paschal candles... 'Christ is risen!' 'He is risen indeed!' voices boomed under the vaults of the prison corridors. Many had tears in their eyes, although most of them were severe men who were used to much. The celebrated paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom was read, greetings were sent to all, both those who had fasted and those who had not fasted, both those who came at the first hour and those who came at the last, eleventh hour... There were cakes and eggs, which had been brought from there, from freedom... I am moved to tears when I remember the great love which burned especially on that day in the prison and which embraced its cold, dark walls in a brotherly, tender caress. They were bringing things all through Holy Saturday - eggs, cakes, pascha made of cheese, flowers, candles - and all at a time when Moscow was starving... Perhaps they brought the last that they had, so as to cast some paschal joy even there, within the dank, dark casemates..."
The Struggle against Renovationism (1922-1924)
On March 18, 1922 Bishop Theodore was released from prison. In May, 1922, Patriarch Tikhon was arrested, and the so-called "Temporary Church Administration" of the renovationist heretics, supported by the communist authorities, seized control of the Church's administrative machinery. Soon those hierarchs and priests who rejected the renovationists' "Living Church", and remained faithful to the patriarch and Orthodoxy, were being sent into prison and exile. In Moscow almost everyone deserted the patriarch; among the very few who did not were the Danilov monastery led by Bishop Theodore and the St. Nicholas on "Maroseika" parish led by the renowned elder and priest, Fr. Alexis Mechiev.
Fr. Alexis had the greatest respect for Bishop Theodore, calling him a pillar of Orthodoxy. He asked him to ordain his son Sergius, the future hieromartyr, which he did on April 4, 1919 in the Danilov monastery. One of Vladyka's spiritual daughters recalls: "It was winter . In the three main prisons languished between seven and ten archpastors, and three to four metropolitans. We, the sisters of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, attended to their needs. We encountered many difficulties and dangers; there were some unpleasant situations. But I had nobody to turn to for advice, since my spiritual director, Archbishop Theodore, was in the Taganka prison... I often met Fr. Alexis, and we talked about charitable works. Once, when we were parting in somebody else's house, batyushka said to me: 'Are you going to accompany me?' 'No, forgive me,' I said, 'I can't.' 'Well, how can I compare with your cathedral protopriests!' But our hosts commented: 'You're not joking, are you, batyushka? Shouldn't you rather be asking about the bishops?' 'Who, then? Vladyka Hilarion? No. Vladyka Bartholomew? No. Who, then?' 'His Eminence Theodore.' 'Ah well, there it would be wrong to joke. Vladyka is a bishop among bishops.'"
When Fr. Alexis was in really poor health, he wrote a will concerning his burial. He said that there should be no speeches, and that they should read out what he had written. And he not only asked, but besought his Eminence Theodore to celebrate the Liturgy and the rite of burial, although Vladyka had been arrested on March 14, 1923. And the Lord heard the prayer of his faithful servant. Vladyka Theodore was released on June 7/20 (according to another source, June 8), 1923, and on June 15 he buried Fr. Alexis in accordance with his desire. At the burial there arrived Patriarch Tikhon, who had also just been released from prison.
Archbishop Leontius of Chile, who stayed in the Danilov monastery during this period, recalls: "The whole Orthodox episcopate and people venerated him [Vladyka Theodore] for his principled, uncompromising and straight position in relation to Soviet power. He considered that until the Orthodox Church received the right to a truly free existence, there could be no negotiations with the Bolsheviks. The authorities were only deceiving them, they would fulfil none of their promises, but would, on the contrary, turn everything to the harm of the Church. Therefore it would be better for his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon to sit in prison and die there, than to conduct negotiations with the Bolsheviks, because concessions could lead, eventually, to the gradual liquidation of the Orthodox Church and would disturb everyone, both in Russia and, especially, abroad. [He said this] at a time when his Holiness the Patriarch had been released from prison. Archbishop Theodore honoured and pitied his Holiness, but was in opposition to him. In spite of the persistent request of his Holiness that he take part in the administration of the patriarchate, he refused.
"He did not receive those bishops who had discredited themselves in relation to the 'Living Church'. He had little faith in their repentance. Only firm bishops were received in the Danilov monastery, and lived there often. Sometimes there were as many as ten or more. All those who had been released from prison or were returning from exile found refuge there. The brotherhood consisted of principled and highly cultured people. Not a few of them became confessor-bishops. The strict spiritual school of Vladyka Theodore left a special imprint on the monastery. With the exception of two novices the whole brotherhood of the Danilov monastery carried their confessing cross in a staunch and worthy manner. In those years the monastery churches of the Danilov, Donskoy and Simonov monasteries were always full of people. As were the parish churches. But one could already feel that this situation was coming to an end... And when his Holiness came out of prison the arrests of bishops did not cease."
On coming out of prison, in the summer of 1923, the patriarch convened a Council of Bishops, known as "the Little Council", in the St. Michael's church of the Donskoy monastery. As we read in Gubonin's The Acts of His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon: "'The Little Council' took place in connection with some bishops' raising the question of the expediency of the patriarch's administering the Church after his release from prison, since he was due to appear as a defendant in the civil courts. Reasons were produced in favour of his being kept away from the administration until the trial."
Moreover, one of the bishops claimed that his Holiness had compromised himself as head of the Church by showing himself incapable of averting in a timely manner the appearance of the renovationist rebellion and by allowing this catastrophic disintegration of the Russian Church.
However, several of the "Danilovite" hierarchs at the Council expressed themselves clearly and forcefully in defence of the patriarch, declaring that his activity had been blameless and without spot. As a result, the rebellion against the patriarch was suppressed, and the Council officially declared its filial obedience and gratitude to his Holiness for the burdens he had undertaken for the Church. Moreover, he was asked not to abandon his post, but to continue bearing the cross of leadership.
Later the patriarch sent a letter to Bishop Theodore thanking him for the line the "Danilovite" bishops had taken at the Council.
But the pressure on the patriarch to make concessions continued, even from those bishops closest to him. Thus in Moscow in August, 1923, his assistant, Bishop Hilarion, expressed the following pro-Soviet sentiments: "A change of landmarks is taking place. The Church is also changing the landmarks. She has definitely cut herself away from the counter-revolution and welcomes the new forms of Soviet construction."
It was inevitable that another confrontation would soon take place between the "left wing" of the Patriarchal Church, represented by Bishop Hilarion and Archbishop Seraphim (Alexandrov), and the "right wing" represented by Vladyka Theodore. The confrontation duly took place when the patriarch convened a meeting to discuss a renovationist proposal for the re-establishment of unity. The price the heretics demanded was the patriarch's voluntary abdication from his patriarchal rank...
"In spite of the insulting tone of the [renovationists'] epistle," writes Protopriest Vladislav Tsypkin, "the patriarch was ready to enter into negotiations with the renovationists for the sake of the salvation of those who had gone astray and church peace. In this he was supported by the Temporary Patriarchal Synod. Archbishops Seraphim (Alexandrov), Tikhon (Obolensky) and Hilarion (Troitsky) opened negotiations with the pseudo-metropolitan Eudocimus concerning the conditions for the restoration of church unity. [But] the former rector of the Moscow Theological Academy and superior of the Danilov monastery, Archbishop Theodore of Volokolamsk, was decisively opposed to such negotiations...
"At the end of September, 1923, 27 Orthodox bishops met in the Donskoy monastery to discuss the results of the negotiations with the pseudo-metropolitan Eudocimus concerning the dissolution of the schism. Archbishop Theodore did not appear at the meeting, but many of his supporters who believed as he did participated in it..."
Bishop Gervasius of Kursk wrote about this Council: "At the end of his short report, Archbishop Seraphim (Alexandrov) remarked that it would be very desirable to have the presence of Archbishop Theodore (Pozdeyevsky) at the meeting, since he was a learned bishop who was popular in Moscow. An official invitation was given to the archbishop, but he did not reply and did not appear himself at the assembly. But if Archbishop Theodore was not there, his fervent supporters and admirers were. Thus Bishop Ambrose, formerly of Vinnitsa, a vicariate of Podolsk [and in 1923 bishop of Podolsk and Bratslav], who admired and held the same views as Archbishop Theodore, gave a speech which touched on the essence of Archbishop Seraphim's report. He began his speech approximately as follows: 'I am surprised why you, your Eminence, should call Eudocimus a metropolitan. Do you recognize him to be a lawful hierarch?' A secret ballot was taken on the project for reconciliation and union with the renovationists, and by a majority of votes the project was defeated and the assembly was dissolved."
Bishop Gervasius continues: "Archbishop Theodore lived at that time, as was well known, in the Danilov monastery, which was the residence of several extremely conservative and staunch bishops of the school of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), Bishop Pachomius and others. Constant visitors at the monastery included Archbishop Seraphim (Samoilovich) of Uglich [the future hieromartyr], Archbishop Gury (Stepanov) and Metropolitan Seraphim (Chichagov)... Archbishop Theodore severely criticized Bishop Hilarion and told me that he would destroy Patriarch Tikhon and the Church, and that in the patriarch was all salvation. If there were no Patriarch Tikhon, then the authorities would abolish the patriarchate completely, and without the patriarchate there would be disaster for the Church..."
Although the patriarch jokingly called the "Danilovites" "the clandestine Synod", he continued to express his warm appreciation for their stand. Thus in October, 1923, he offered Vladyka Theodore the see of Petrograd with promotion to the rank of archbishop. However, Vladyka Theodore declined this offer, preferring to remain within the boundaries of the Moscow diocese. The Patriarch showed his appreciation of Vladyka in another way. He placed his will in an envelope and wrote on it: "In the case of my death or lengthy imprisonment I ask that this envelope be handed to the superior of the Danilov monastery Archbishop Theodore (Pozdeyevsky) immediately he asks for it". This showed that Vladyka knew about the will. The envelope still exists.
When the Russian Church briefly accepted the new calendar, Archbishop Theodore immediately broke communion with the Patriarch, declaring that the new calendar was uncanonical. So when the brothers of the monastery served with the patriarch, Vladyka sent them penances from prison, and the serving brothers made many prostrations in front of the reliquary of St. Daniel of Moscow. But when, eight months later, the Church calendar was returned, a reconciliation took place and the patriarch gave Vladyka a set of vestments as a sign of their unity. The Patriarch considered the Danilov brotherhood to be, not simply an opposition, but "my Synod", and when important questions of Church life arose, he would consult with Archbishop Theodore. He said of the Danilov brotherhood that they were more Tikhonites than Patriarch Tikhon himself.
From the autumn of 1923, renovationism began to decline sharply. And when Patriarch Tikhon came to the Danilov monastery on August 30 / September 12, 1924 to celebrate the feast of the holy Prince Daniel of Moscow for the last time before his martyrdom in the following year, the rollcall of bishops who were invited to concelebrate with him by Archbishop Theodore read like a list of all the major confessing bishops who were in freedom at that time: Metropolitan Peter (Polyansky) of Krutitsa, Metropolitan Seraphim (Chichagov) of Leningrad, Archbishop Procopius (Titov) of Odessa and the Chersonese, Bishop Hilarion (Troitsky), vicar of the Moscow diocese, Bishop Valerian (Rudich) of Smolensk, Bishop Parthenius (Bryanskikh) of Ananyev, vicar of the Odessa diocese, Bishop Damascene (Tsedrik) of Glukhov, vicar of the Chernigov diocese, Bishop Ignatius (Sadkovsky) of Belev, vicar of the Tula diocese, Bishop Ambrose (Polyansky) of Vinnitsa, and other bishops.
The growing strength of the Church, refined by persecutions, is indicated by the words of E. Lopeshanskaya: "The Church was becoming a state within the state... The prestige and authority of the imprisoned and persecuted clergy was immeasurably higher than that of the clergy under the tsars." Only betrayal on the part of the first hierarch could threaten the Church - and that only if the rest of the Church continued to recognize his authority...
The Struggle against Sergianism (1924-1930)
On April 16, 1924, according to Russian Central Government archives, Vladyka Theodore was arrested again "for anti-Soviet agitation", and was imprisoned in Butyrki prison in Moscow. He was released on October 18 and after agreeing not to leave the city. On December 15, 1924 he was arrested again, and on June 19, 1925 he was condemned according to articles 59 (relations with foreign states) and 73 (the spreading of false rumours and unsubstantiated information for counter-revolutionary purposes) to three years' exile in Kazakhstan. From 1925, according to one source, he no longer lived in Moscow. It seems that he rarely came out of prison. In the protocol of his interrogation on July 25, 1937, it is mentioned that between 1920 and 1924 he was arrested twice, was condemned for counter-revolutionary activity three times, and was in concentration camp and exile from 1925. Vladyka Theodore continued to rule his monastery from prison by means of messengers and letters.
Seeing the defeat of renovationism, the "Soviet Orthodox Church Mark I", the Bolsheviks started to plan the creation of a "Soviet Orthodox Church Mark II" which would be more canonical in appearance and therefore more likely to attract the masses of the people. The preparations for this new and more subtle deception began with the imprisonment and attempted "working over" of some of the most prominent hierarchs. Thus in 1924 Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, and both Archbishop Hilarion and Vladyka Theodore, the leaders of the "left" and "right" wings of the Patriarchal Church respectively, were imprisoned or exiled. Later, after the martyric death of the patriarch in March, 1925, it was the turn of Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa, the patriarchal locum tenens, to suffer this treatment. And after him, his deputies Metropolitan Joseph of Leningrad, Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich and Metropolitan Sergius of Nizhni-Novgorod.
Finally, the Bolsheviks attained their goal with Metropolitan Sergius... In July, 1927, he issued a scandalously pro-Soviet and neo-renovationist "declaration", which placed the Church in more or less unconditional submission to the militantly atheist government. Immediately the Church split along the lines that had been foreshadowed by the quarrels of the 1923 Councils. Thus Archbishop Hilarion supported Sergius, becoming the leader of the sergianist bishops in the Solovki concentration camps; while Vladyka Theodore became an opponent of Metropolitan Sergius and a leader of those who broke communion with him.
The following document has been attributed both to Archbishop Hilarion and, with much greater probability, to Vladyka Theodore, who would in any case have supported the views expressed in it wholeheartedly.
The author begins by quoting some of his notes of March 3/16, 1924: "Perhaps in a short while we shall find ourselves a tiny island in an ocean of profanity... The scenario of church relations can undergo a change like in a kaleidoscope. The renovationists may rise as the ruling 'Church Party' in Russia and face very limited opposition if the overt renovationists and covert traitors will find a modus vivendi with each other and jointly disguise themselves under the cover of canonicity."
The next paragraph, he writes, is from his notes of January 14/27, 1925: "The difficulty of our time for an Orthodox is... that the contemporary life of the Church demands of him a high spiritual self-discipline in personal life. He cannot rely on guidance from the official pastors (bishops and presbyters). The church canons cannot be formally applied to problems arising in church life. Altogether, a juridical attitude is insufficient; it is necessary to have a spiritual intuition to show the way of Christ among the multitude of paths made by wolves in sheep's clothing. Life has posed questions that can be solved in a truly churchly manner only by bypassing mores, forms, regulations and being led by senses trained to recognize virtue from evil. Otherwise it is easy to defile the sacredness of one's soul and to allow one's conscience to disintegrate through a legalistically regulated reconciliation with fraud and profanity, brought into the Church by the bishops themselves. By means of laws it is possible to reconcile oneself even with the devil."
This is followed by his comments of October 22 / November 4, 1927: "Aren't the latest events a confirmation of the above premonitions? Hasn't the horror that the soul sensed already two to three years ago come so close to us after Metropolitan Sergius' return to administer the Church? Hasn't Sergius' declaration, which has caused varied and fully justified negative reactions, thrown the church organization, headed by him, into the loathsome, adulterous embraces of the atheistic, blasphemous and Christomachistic power, and hasn't it introduced a frightening profanity into the bosom of our Church? Please note that this declaration appeared not from the hands of the schismatic renovationists... [it came] from a canonical, lawful, apparently Orthodox hierarch. The main assertions of the declaration are based on scriptural texts (although, occasionally, with the help of their misinterpretation...) and on the historical experience of the ancient Church, as if it were similar to the current one. On the other hand, the declaration hopes to quench the essential thirst of believers exhausted by persecutions, for it promises them peace and quiet. And hence multitudes, especially from the clerical ranks, are sympathetically responding to the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod.
"This symphony between the theomachistic power and the regular Orthodox hierarchy has already produced some 'blessings': some bishops (although not the best ones and not the most 'guilty' ones) are returning from exile (not from a very distant one, however) and are being appointed to dioceses (not to the same ones from they had been deported, however);... Metropolitan Sergius has a Synod (which is more like the office of the Over-Procurator) which consists of regular hierarchs (alas, with questionable reputations owing to their longtime and solid cooperation with the GPU...); Metropolitan Sergius' name is being elevated as that of the captain of the Church, but, alas, this name is but a forgery, because the real master of the destiny of the Russian Church and her bishops, both those in positions as well as the persecuted ones... is the current 'Overprocurator' of the Russian Orthodox Church, Eugene A. Tuchkov.
"Everybody with ears to hear and eyes to see knows that contrary to the decree on the separation of Church and state, the Orthodox Church has entered into a close alliance with the state. And what state?... a state whose government aims at the destruction of any religion on the face of the earth, and the Orthodox Church before all the others, because it justly sees in her a basic world foundation of religious faith and a first-class fortress in the struggle against materialism, atheism, theomachism and satanism (practised, according to hearsay, by some members of the contemporary powers that be)..."
Quotations from Revelation (17.3,5,6; 12.6; 18.2) are cited and followed by a comparison of the current church situation with the apocalyptic scenario of the whore sitting on a red beast. The situation is particularly tragic, he says, because "it is not a lawless, schismatic woman who saddles a beast with profane names, but a faithful woman having an image of genuine piety. In this is the chief frightening aspect of that which has been occurring before our eyes, which affects the most profound spiritual interests of the church flock. The consequences are impossible to assess even approximately; but their significance is of a global character... for now the forces of Hades are attacking [the Church] with unprecedented power... How should we behave in these terrible moments of a new threat, advancing by Satan's counsel upon our mother, the holy Orthodox Church?"
He quotes Revelation 18:1-2 and 4, on the coming of an angel, whereupon Babylon and the great whore fell down. But he warns the recipient of the letter that he is not mechanically asserting that the present reality is the fulfilment of these apocalyptic prophecies: "I only trace a dotted line between the apocalypse and the contemporary church developments, which involuntarily direct our thoughts toward these prophetic images. Even in the Old Testament one can see how in some cases prophecies at first were fulfilled on a small scale only to be later expressed in a loftier and final fulfilment... Neither scholarship of the broadest possible scope, nor the deepest natural intelligence, nor the finest powers of mysticism can satisfactorily grasp God's secrets. [In the present Russian church developments] we come into contact with the final secret of the terrestrial existence of the Church and of mankind...
"... In the words of Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov,... whoever does not obtain the Kingdom of God within oneself will not recognize the Antichrist, and will inevitably... become his follower; he will not recognize the coming of the end of the world... Obscured by its terrestrial reasoning mankind will refuse to believe in the second coming of Christ altogether...
"There is no doubt whatsoever that the 'dark power' dominating today thinks, argues and acts in the style of such blasphemers... But isn't it possible that the contemporary churchmen... having entered into a relationship with the blasphemers of this world,... will treat the thoughts of my soul as nothing but 'madness, worthy of contempt'?
"Recently a bishop supporting Sergius' orientation threatened... that Sergius' opponents would become such a small minority as to be eventually reduced to one of a multitude of small sects. How pitiful is such an argument in defence of the newly born 'Soviet Orthodox Church'!... Has the bishop forgotten the multitude of apostolic prophecies on the reduction of faithand the dissemination of all sorts of false teachings in the latter days?...
"Pluralism and majorities are necessary for parliaments and parties but not for God's Church, which is the pillar and foundation of faith, independently of the above categories and even in contradiction of them.
"... Some two or three weeks ago... a blessed woman, when asked about Metropolitan Sergius and reminded that he was not a heretic, said: 'So what?... He is worse than a heretic. He has bowed to the Antichrist, and,if he does not repent, his destiny is in hell together with the satanists.'
"All this... forces the living faithful souls to be on the alert andto watch the picture of the woman saddling the beast with great attention. These people sense a new and unprecedented danger for Christ's Church and, naturally, ring the alarm bell. Most of them are in no hurry to make a final break with the church 'adulterers' in the hope that their conscience has not entirely burned out... God grant that it be so, but in the depth of my soul I have deep doubts, and yet avoid dotting the i's. Let... the Lord do this.And let Him also protect us from superficial haste as well as from a criminally indifferent sluggishness in this terrifyingly responsible situation into which we have been placed by the will of God's Providence."
In another document attributed to Vladyka Theodore, which was entitled "A Letter from a Bishop who has Departed [from Metropolitan Sergius] to a Bishop who has not Departed" and published abroad in 1933, the author writes: "The Russian Orthodox Church, by the Providence of God, has been placed, of necessity, to live in a realm of an entirely unusual sort (Rev. 2.13) which is initiating a new culture and civilization, is founding a new politicaland socio-economic order, a new way of life, a new understanding of family, anew and extraordinary personality on an atheistic and materialistic foundation... Enigmatic words of the Old and New Testaments which have hitherto been obscure have been rendered concrete before our eyes with marvellous clarity; and I, sinful as I am, make so bold as to maintain, on the bases of exegeses of the Holy Fathers which relate to passages from the Word of God, that on the territory of the Soviet Union the Orthodox Church has entered the eraof the 'falling away' - the apostasy (II Thess. 2.3), the sphere of influence of the harlot of the Apocalypse (Rev. 17) who is awakening to the universal activity at the end of the iron-clay period of the final human kingdom (Dan. 11.40-43).
"The recent past confirms our conviction and indicates that even nowthe time draws nigh when, for the good of the Church, we will have to renounce the legalization even of ecclesiastical communal organizations and returnto the pre-Nicaean forms of Church life, when Christian societies were organized and united, not by administrative institutions, but by the Holy Spirit.... [In the iconoclast period] the Orthodox Church was found in deserts, caves, tombs (St. Methodius), prisons, exile and grievous labors. And such tribulations for the Orthodox continued not for ten years, as now, but for one hundred and twenty years, with brief intervals of respite for Orthodoxy. And side by side with the impoverished Orthodox Church, legality and prosperity were enjoyed by the harlot-church which, through lawless obedience to the legal authority, obtained for herself a tranquil and undisturbed life."
From 1925 to 1927 Vladyka Theodore was in exile in the cities of Turgai and Orsk. From 1927 to 1929 he lived in Vladimir.
When he was living in Vladimir, he summoned to himself Archimandrite Simeon, who after the closure of the Danilov monastery lived with some pious sisters in Moscow. Fr. Simeon's cell-attendant Michael Karelin remembers life in Vladimir: "Fr. Simeon had a cell-attendant, Nun Seraphima (Lidia Sergeyevna). We often took batyushka out into the garden. The Danilovites came to us: Fr. Polycarp (Archimandrite Polycarp (Solovyov), deputy of the monastery from 1920 to 1927) and Fr. Stefan (Archimandrite Stefan (Safonov), deputy of the monastery from 1927 to 1930). Fr. Polycarp and Fr. Stefan served while Mother Hermogena and Fr. Simeon chanted. Batyushka Fr. Simeon was ecstatic - he was a great lover of chanting. Vladyka [Theodore] served in a very concentrated, serious manner. Between Fr. Simeon and Vladyka therewas an exceptional agreement and mutual love It was touching to see Vladyka talking with batyushka. They were as one soul
" Fr. Stefan had a cat, and played the fool a little. But Fr. Polycarp was always very inwardly collected. He knew the Holy Scriptures very well. It would happen that while Vladyka was talking with Fr. Simeon he would remember some passage in the Holy Scriptures or from the Holy Fathers
"'Abba,' he would say, turning to Fr. Polycarp, 'don't you remember?' And Fr. Polycarp would unfailingly reply"
These two deputies, Fr. Polycarp and Fr. Stefan, remained loyal to Archbishop Theodore. However, when Vladyka first instructed the brotherhood of the monastery not to commemorate Metropolitan Sergius in 1927, a part of the brotherhood were under the influence of the spiritual father Archimandrite George (Lavrov), a man of unquestionably lofty spiritual life, but who through his simplicity did not see the hidden danger for the moral condition of the children of the Church that proceeded from the actions and ideology of Metropolitan Sergius. And so by 1929 the brotherhood was divided into "commemorators" and "non-commemorators", and they did not serve together but took turns in the church with the relics of St. Daniel standing in the middle of the church and dividing them from each other. However, the disobedient part of the brotherhood still continued to recognize the authority of Vladyka Theodore and humbly made the prostrations which Vladyka prescribed as penances for those who continued to commemorate Metropolitan Sergius.
In 1928, according to Metropolitan Eleutherius of Vilnius, Vladyka Theodore was living in Samara or Saratov province, being forbidden to enter Moscow. It was in this year, according to one source, that, through Hieromonk Nathaniel, he signed the decisions of the so-called "Nomadic Council" of the Catacomb Church, which took place in various places between March and August, 1928.
It was at this time that the first traitors appeared in Vladyka Theodore's own circle. "In 1929," writes Archbishop Leontius, "as I was returning to Kiev, I again visited Metropolitan Sergius in Moscow on behalf of the leadership of the [Kiev Caves] Lavra. He was still more restrictedin his activities. At that time Archimandrites Pitirim and Sergius (Voskresensky) attended on Metropolitan Sergius. Archimandrite Sergius was a pupil of Archbishop Theodore. But now he was with Metropolitan Sergius in spite of the evident displeasure of Archbishop Theodore. Archbishop Theodore did not want him to remain in that circle, which was so abhorrent to him in all respects. But Archimandrite Sergius did not listen to the voice of his spiritual father from prison [from 1924 Vladyka Theodore was almost neverout of prison] and preferred the Moscow Patriarchate. Here, as was only to be expected, he immersed himself head over heels in the whole complex, unsavoury system of church administration, and also took part in contacts with the Soviet authorities in relation to church matters, which had a disastrous effect on the susceptible, ardent and gifted, but still not sufficiently morally grounded nature of Archimandrite Sergius..."
In this period, Vladyka Theodore emerged as one of the most clear-eyed and determined opponents of Metropolitan Sergius. He considered Sergius to be deprived of the grace of sacraments, and until his death himself sent the Holy Gifts to his spiritual children. For his principled defence of the persecuted, truly Orthodox Church against the sergianists, he was to pay dearly...
In 1929 Vladyka Theodore was arrested in Vladimir and sentenced to three years in the camps, and until 1932 was in Ladeinoye Polye in Svirlag.
The Path to Golgotha (1930-1937)
Vladyka Theodore wrote: "If the whole history of the life of man on earth from its cradle could by some miracle be unfurled like a huge scroll before our eyes, then each of us would, of course, see the words: 'Weeping, groaning and sorrow' written in fiery and bloody letters. And so this is the time when 'WEEPING, GROANING AND SORROW' have passed throughout the country."
And the sorrow was made incomparably deeper by the knowledge that the official Russian Church, in the person of its leader, Metropolitan Sergius, had betrayed the spiritual freedom and dignity of the Church for a mess of pottage. Nor was he to be moved from his position by the weeping and groaning of those who wrote to him from the prisons and exile. And so, writes I.M.
Andreyev, "after all those who openly protested had been 'liquidated' by the punitive organs of the God-fighting state, the True Orthodox Church went into the catacombs."
The Danilov monastery, being one of the main centres of opposition to Metropolitan Sergius and his betrayal of the Russian Church, was closed in 1930. Then the brothers moved from the monastery church of the Fathers ofthe Seventh Ecumenical Councils to the parish church of the Resurrection of the Word. Praskovya Emelyanova Machkina recalls: "Once, when the monks were already praying in the church of the Resurrection of the Word, the superior ordered that the authorities be commemorated. The warden, a simple woman,
objected: 'Vladyka does not allow this.' 'That is no concern of mine,' said the priest; 'I am the superior here.' They decided to go to Vladyka, who ordered them not to commemorate the authorities, otherwise they were no longer to call him their superior. But when Vladyka learned that the brothers were not obeying him, he sent them a penance: forty days of prostrations before the reliquary of Prince Daniel." Since the supporters of Metropolitan Sergius gradually gained the upper hand in the church of the Resurrection, Vladyka ceased to consider it as "his". So when he secretly came to Moscow from Vladimir to say goodbye to the relics of St. Daniel, and was invitedby the parishioners to serve, he said that they would first have to ask the permission of Metropolitan Sergius since this church was under his influence. Naturally, Vladyka did not want to secretly enter the church and start a service without the permission of the "masters", since this would more than likely end with his being denounced and arrested.
Vladyka's disciples and friends were scattered over the face of Russia, but remained faithful to his spiritual testament. Thus Archimandrite Simeon (Kholmogorov) had to move to Kirzhach, where he was arrested, and not only he, but also all those who helped him or nursed him there. His case was linked to that of Archbishop Theodore; they were both accused of counter-revolutionary activity. And he won his martyr's crown in the same year as Vladyka - 1937.
Hieromonk Arsenius (Troitsky) confessed another of Vladyka's disciples, the Monk Michael (Terpugov), as he lay dying in a strict regime camp in 1952. He wrote: "The confession of the dying Michael gave him the possibility of seeing how, in the unimaginably difficult conditions of contemporary life, in a time of revolutionary upheavals, of the cult of personality, of difficult human relations, of the official support of atheism, of the general reviling of faith, of the fall of morality, of constant spying and interrogations and the absence of spiritual direction, a man of deep faith could overcome all hindrances and be with God.
"Michael did not go towards God in a skete or a remote monastic cell, but in the hubbub of life, in its dirt, in the cruel struggle with the surrounding forces of evil, atheism and theomachism. He had practically no spiritual direction, only chance meetings with three or four priests and a joyful communication almost once a year from Vladyka Theodore, who tonsured Michael into monasticism, and then two or three short letters from him, and an ineradicable, burning desire to keep on going towards the Lord.
"'Have I gone along the path of faith, have I gone as I should towards God, or have I gone incorrectly? I do not know,' said Michael.
"But Fr. Arsenius saw that not only had Michael not departed from the path that had been mapped out for him, onto which Vladyka Theodore had directed him, but he had gone a long, long way along this path, catching up with and overtaking his teachers..."
In 1932 Vladyka Theodore was released from Svirlag and six months living in secret near Kashira returned to Vladimir. There he was tonsured into the schema with the name Daniel. In 1933 he was arrested in connection with the affair of the "Party for the Regeneration of Russia" and on July 24 was sentenced to three years in exile.
According to new information based on the protocols of his interrogation in 1937, Archbishop Theodore was sent to Zaraisk in 1934, where he had some correspondence with Archbishop Bartholomew (Remov), a close co-worker of Metropolitan Sergius. Then, in January, 1935, he was moved to Archangelsk, where he lived in the flat of another exile, Fr. Spiridon Piunkov. They lived together there for about a month, after which Fr. Spiridon moved to another flat while Vladyka remained in his flat. But they continued to meet until
May, 1935, that is, until the moment of Vladyka's transfer to Syktyvar.
There is some evidence from the protocols that at this time there took place a "Little Council" of Catacomb bishops in Archangelsk in which Archbishop Theodore took part. The hierarchs discussed an epistle issued by Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich in the previous year, in which Metropolitan Sergius was declared to be under ban for his actions since 1927.
In May Vladyka was sent to Ust-Sysolsk, near Syktyvar, a region that had been converted to the faith by St. Stephen of Perm and had been blessed by an abundance of churches and monasteries, but which was now covered by a multitude of camps and stained with the blood of innumerable martyrs and confessors. It had a dry, continental climate with long, very cold winters (the temperature sometimes dropped to -56 degrees) and short, hot summers (the temperature sometimes rose to 44 degrees). Vladyka lived in Tentyukov village, Desyatkov sloboda, near Ust-Sysolsk.
He lived one house with Alexandra Ipatyevna Koretnikova and Alexander Alexeyevich Alexeyev. A. Alexeyev worked as a stoker in some kind of clinic; he was a believer and behaved humbly. Earlier, Alexander had been a novice in the Danilov monastery and a cell-attendant of Archimandrite Simeon (Kholmogorov). The latter sent him to help Vladyka Theodore from the cityof Vladimir.
Vladyka was helped in exile by the Red Cross and by his sister, Elizabeth Vasilyevna Pozdeyevskaya.
In the same village there lived Blessed Alexander Sorvachev, whom many people went to for advice, and of whom one eye-witness wrote: "The road to Verkhnij Chov went through Tentyukovo and at the end of the village turned into a forest. Along the forest road moved a column of prisoners with guards on horses on either side. And in the same direction there wound lines of women whose husbands were suffering in the camps. Many were not allowed to correspond with or meet their husbands, so that some of the women went to Chov on the off chance, not knowing even whether their husbands were there, or whether they were alive. The local authorities had issued an order that these wandering women should not be given a place to sleep. The archives do not tell us where they spent the night, or beside what fires they shared their woes with each other. But during the nights legends were born concerning the contemporary fool-for-Christ, Blessed Alexander. He had the gift of prophecy, everybody knew that he could tell you the truth. He spoke about many things in an oblique way, but he always spoke definitively about the most important thing: whether a man was alive or not. And if some woman particularly pressed him, Alexander would be disturbed and almost wept: 'He is no longer alive, he has been killed!' - as if he saw the dead man with his own eyes."
And if one asks: why all this suffering and cruelty?, the answer is to be found in Vladyka Theodore's writings: "One must remember that from the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit the Church entered the world as a new organization that was different from human societies and even opposed to them. That is why the representatives of Roman statehood persecuted the Christians. They saw what a threat Christianity represented for their public structures. The beginning of the organization of the Church, of a holy and pure society, was the beginning of another order. In the Church the spirit of man is transfigured, he becomes different. It is impossible to unite the Church (for it is spirit) with the State, but it is also impossible to disunite them. In order to separate the Church from the State it is necessary to make it composed completely of unbelievers. Then the separation would take place of its own accord. Juridical rights are not so important for the Church - the work of spiritual perfection can take place in external conditions that are very oppressive for Christians. Christianity calls man to salvation, but one must enter on this path freely, for the Truth makes man free.
"The new atheist religion calls man to slavery, to the worship of a new Idol. There is no choice in it, only complete slavery of spirit and body.A man suffers punishment not only for his acts, but also for his thoughts, and it is demanded that he slander and denounce others. In other words, this new ideology, this new religion demands the complete slavery of a man's soul and body....
"The Bible speaks of a constant battle battle between good and evil and sin. But people understand this battle only in the sense of a struggle of certain external economic, historical or social laws of life. They forgetor reject the living soul of man. Now they do not speak about moral evil, but about that which is useful and harmful, fitting or unfitting, etc. Only in salvation from sin can all these difficult questions of life be resolved."Archbishop Leontius writes: "Archbishop Theodore lived among the free population with his archdeacon, Ananius. Knowing from his own experience all the torments of being interrogated by the GPU, he did not accept a single person, clerical or lay, including Bishop Herman [Ryashentsev], his former concelebrant at the Moscow Academy, Bishop Serapion [Shevaleyevsky] of Kozelsk, the Kievan ascetic, Schema-Igumen Luke, and other good pastors. He decisively refused to go anywhere or pray together with them. Unfortunately, his premonitions were proved justified. A priest who had been exiled to the same city with them, Fr. Hieron, turned out later to be an unwilling informer for the local GPU. Unable to withstand the reproaches of his conscience, he later, in the sight of many women who were washing clothes, hurled himself into the river and perished."
An eye-witness from those years of exile writes: "I occasionally methis Eminence Theodore in the winter of 1935-36, sometimes on the street, at others in the post office in the town of Ust-Sysolsk - Syktyvkar in the Zyryansk language, where we all received letters addressed to us. Vladyka wore a tarpaulin dressing-gown-raincoat, not a rasa. He was distinguished from the surrounding population not only by the fact that he had a beard (his hair was hidden in his winter hat), but especially by his majestic and noble appearance. Outsiders took him for a university professor. One look was enough to inspire respect for him. When I say 'we', I mean a group of people exiled for the Church from various places. They included clergy, monastics and laity who were bound together by a feeling of comradeship. We went to church services, and talked with each other... His Eminence Theodore kept himself to himself. He had no contact with anyone. His sister [Olga Vasilyevna Timofeyeva], who was in freedom, looked after him."
According to Vladyka Theodore, Archimandrite Seraphim (Klimkov), oneof his most faithful disciples, had met him for the last time at the end of 1933 or the beginning of 1934 in Vladimir, in the flat of Archimandrite Simeon. Seraphim went to Syktyvar at the end of the spring of 1936. That may have been the case, and Vladyka simply did not want to give away the arrival of Fr. Seraphim.
In the spring of 1936 Vladyka was visited in exile by Archimandrite Polycarp (Solovyov), who stayed with him for ten or eleven days. He was accompanied by Polina Ivanova. In the autumn of 1937 Fr. Polycarp was shot in Ivanovo prison.
In 1935 there arrived in Syktyvar the former novice of the Danilov monastery, Hieromonk Tikhon Georgievich (Baluyev). He may have been the deputy of the Danilov monastery from 1929 to 1930. He died in Kharkov in 1952. In his time he had been a student at the Moscow Theological Academy while Vladyka Theodore was rector. On arriving in Syktyvar, evidently as an exile, Fr. Tikhon registered there and came to Vladyka.
Archbishop Theodore met Bishop Germanus (Ryashentsev), who was also exiled to Ust-Sysolsk at least twice: at the post office and during a visit by Bishop Germanus to Archbishop Theodore. However, when Bishop Germanus sent his messenger to Vladyka (evidently with a letter), Vladyka Theodore did not receive him. In part this unwillingness to meet Bishop Germanus and other clergy was explained by his very enclosed ascetic life. But we may suppose that another reason was the extreme right position occupied by Archbishop
Theodore in relation to Metropolitan Sergius. Although Bishop Germanus was an opponent of Sergius, he did not separate from him formally - at least until 1935, when his meeting with Archbishop Theodore took place. At their first meeting at the post-office, it seems that the two hierarchs spoke about how they had spent the time since their last meeting. They may also have spoken about Church life. 15 to 20 minutes later, so as not to attract attention, they parted. Soon Bishop Germanus unexpectedly visited the archbishop. This took place on one of the Church feasts, after the service. Archbishop Theodore described this meeting in a letter to Archimandrite Simeon as follows: "Bishop Germanus arrived.. offended that we had not received his messenger. He said that he did not approve of M.S. [Metropolitan Sergius], but could not separate from him, etc." Over a cup of tea they discussed Church matters and the possibilities of a reconciliation between the sergianists and the True Orthodox. As a result of the conversation Vladyka Theodore came to the conclusion that "a new page in the history of church life is being prepared I had in mind the union of the Old Churchmen and the renovationists".
It was probably after this meeting that Bishop Germanus again visited Archbishop Theodore, as the protocols for June 2, 1937 witness. On the basis of the protocols for July 25, there are grounds for considering that Vladyka Germanus later joined the antisergianist movement.
The protocols indicate that Vladyka Theodore and Archimandrite Simeon discussed a certain declaration made by Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, in which the latter called on Christians to confirm his candidacy as the lawful patriarchal locum tenens in the event of Metropolitan Peter's death. This declaration was evidently composed in the middle of the 1930s. It again declared the metropolitan's non-recognition of Metropolitan Sergius as a lawful recipient of Church power. Vladyka Theodore appears to have been not very enthusiastic about this declaration, evidently because of his views on the necessity of administrative decentralization of the Church in conditions of persecution.
In 1937 Vladyka Theodore was arrested in connection with the affair of the Danilov brotherhood. This affair had begun in Kirzhach on January 9, 1937 with the arrest of Archimandrite Simeon (Kholmogorov), who confessed to the creation of "an underground Church of the True Orthodox faith" with house churches and sketes, at whose head stood Archbishop Theodore. "We considered that Soviet power in an organized fashion destroys religion and insinuates atheism among the believers". Groups of three to five trusted believers gathered round one of the archimandrites or hieromonks of the Danilov monastery. They served in secret without commemorating Soviet power and without registering. They prayed for the exiled clergy, helping them with parcels and money. "So as to preserve and support Church cadres", the superiors of these communities carried out secret tonsures into monasticism. All this was evaluated as counter-revolutionary and anti-Soviet.
One of the secret Danilov communities operated in Kashin and was ledby Archimandrite Polycarp. It seems that Archimandrite Stefan was also in Kashin at that time, as well as another Danilovite - Hieromonk Isaac (Ivan Alexeyevich Babikov), who, according to his interrogation protocols, "spent the whole time reading spiritual books and praying".
Also arrested in Kashin at this time was Bishop Gregory (Lebedev), who had been a member of the Danilov monastery in the 1920s, but who claimed not to have been linked with any of the Danilovites in Kashin. In Vladyka Gregory's words, Fr. Isaac had been with him two or three times: "he was interested in the question of mental prayer". However, Isaac said at the investigation that Bishop Gregory was a member of his "counter-revolutionary group", and at the same time admitted that he had conducted "illegal meetings", that is, house services.
According to one source, Bishops Herman, Serapion and Theodore, together with Archdeacon Ananius, were all arrested on the same day, taken out of the city and tortured. According to other sources, Archbishop Theodore was shot together with his closest disciples, Archimandrites Simeon, Polycarp and Stefan, in Ivanovo prison on October 10/23, 1937. According to yet another source, he was executed in 1938.
(Sources: Lev Regelson, Tragediya Russkoj Tserkvi, 1917-45, Paris: YMCA Press, 1977; D. Pospielovsky, The Russian Church under the Soviet Regime 1917-1982, Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1984, vol. I, pp. 483-487; Bishop Gregory Grabbe, "The Russian Church in the wilderness", Orthodox Life, vol. 29, no., 6, November-December, 1979, pp. 33-35; E. Lopeshanskaya, Episkopy-Ispovedniki, San Francisco, 1971, p. 70; Russkiye Pravoslavnye Ierarkhi, Paris: YMCA Press, 1986, p. 76; Flovsky, V.A. Episkop Varnava (Belyaev), Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', 1993, N 2, p. 20; Otyets Arsenij, Moscow: St. Tikhon Theological Institute, 1994, p. 53; M.E. Gubonin, Akty Svyateishago Patriarkha Tikhona, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1994; M.I. "Arkhimandrit Simeon (Kholmogorov)", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', No.2 (541), February, 1995, pp. 12-23; Matushka Joanna (Pomazanskaya) "Ispovyednicheskij Put' Vladyki Fyodora", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', N 9 (549), September, 1995, pp. 1-29; Bishop Ambrose (von Sivers), "Gosudarstvo i 'katakomby'", in Filatov, S.B. Religiya i prava cheloveka, Moscow: Nauka, 1996, p. 108; "Episkopat Istinno-Pravoslavnoj Katakombnoj Tserkvi 11922-1997gg.", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 4(8), p. 5; Lev Regelson, Tragediya Russkoj Tserkvi, 1917-1945, Moscow: Krutitskoye patriarsheye podvorye, 1996, pp. 535, 575-577; V.V. Antonov (ed.). Episkop Shlissel'burgskij Grigorij (Lebedev), Moscow: "Otchij Dom", 1996, pp. 3-16; Bishop Ambrose (von Sievers), "Katakombnaya Tserkov': Kochuyushchij Sobor 1928 g.", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 3 (7), 1997, p. 19; I.I. Osipova, "Skvoz' Ogn' Muchenij i Vody Slyoz", Moscow: Serebryanniye Niti, 1998, p. 271-72; "Noviye danniyek zhizneopisaniyu svyashchennomuchenika Fyodora, arkhiepiskopa Volokolamskogo, osnovanniye na protokolakh doprosakh 1937 g.", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', 48, N 8 (584), August, 1998, pp. 1-8; "Poslyedovateli Arkhiepiskopa Fyodora v Danilovom monastyre", .", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', 48, N 8 (584), August, 1998, pp. 9-14)
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