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Category: History

Representatives of Russian Orthodox Church in Russikum college in 1668-1970

s. V. Zemsky


(Department of history of Russia of the Oryol state university, research supervisor Victor Anatolyevich Livtsov)

Article is devoted to a hot topic of relationship of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Vatican in the late sixties of the last century. To comprehend this relationship it is represented quite timely as presently the ROC supports dialogue with Catholic church on many questions of public life. Article is based on data of the State archive of the Russian Federation. In work it is told about stay of two orthodox priests in papal college Russikum in Rome. The research shows internal life of Catholic church. The author draws a conclusion about coincidence of interests of the Soviet state and ROC in foreign policy.

S. Zemskih


The issues of the relations of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Vatican in the late sixties of the 20th century are regarded. It is assumed that the understanding of these relations is relevant as at present ROC supports the dialogue with Catholic Church on many issues of public life. The paper is based on the materials of the State Archive of the Russian Federation. The paper describes two Orthodox priests& stay in the Papal College Russicum in Rome, as well as the internal life of Catholic Church. A conclusion is made that the interests of the Soviet state and ROC in the international arena coincided.

In the 60th years of the 20th century there was a change of relationship of the Soviet state and Russian Orthodox Church. The leadership of the USSR intended to use international relations of the Moscow patriarchy in the purposes. For improvement of an economic situation the Soviet government tried to obtain the long-term credits and other help in the West. Special interest was shown concerning Italy. Considering influence of Catholicism on the Appeninsky peninsula, the USSR went for mitigation of the former hostility towards Vatican. It was promoted also by the peacekeeping figure -

a nost of dad John XXIII in the middle of the Caribbean Crisis. ROC allowed to improve the relations with Rome and to send the observers to the Second Vatican cathedral. The head of the Department of the External Church Relations (DECR) metropolitan Nicodemus (Rotov) heading also Leningrad diocese from 1963 to 1978 made regular trips abroad including to Italy. He met the high-ranking figures of Catholicism and agreed about the direction of two representatives of ROC on training in Catholic seminary of Pontificium Collegium Russicum in Rome, better known as Russikum.

The seminary was created in 1929 according to the order of dad Pius XI. The main goal announced training of Catholic priests of uniatsky east ceremony for Russia. These priests served under the orthodox charter, but recognized domination of dad. Training was conducted by representatives of an award of Jesuits. The number of Russians in seminary was insignificant.

In 1968 the priests Vladimir Stepanovich Rozhkov and Pyotr Kuzmich Raina were directed to training to Russikum [13, page 5]. Rozhkov was a graduate Leningrad, and Raina the Moscow Spiritual academy. Rozhkov defended in Rome the dissertation "Church questions in the State Duma" subsequently and was awarded degrees of the doctor of the canon law [7, page 72]. Pyotr Raina was a participant of the Great Patriotic War, had war decorations [17, page 47]. In the State archive of the Russian Federation there are their reports addressed in OVCS which formed a basis for this article. It should be noted that dates are given in them on old style. The main subject of reports is information on meetings with various church figures, a number of messages have superficial diary character, others contain the generalizing state-of-the-art reviews.

Vladimir Rozhkov and Pyotr Raina arrived in Italy on January 17, 1968. At the airport they were met by representatives of the Secretariat on the assistance to Christian unity (ACU) — Ioann Long and Pyotr Dyupre. In Russikum they were welcomed by the rector Paweł Maillet and Mikhail Arrants, the inspector of college. In the first day of arrival, at the initiative of Maillet, the island of Petr and the island of Vladimir visited St. Peter's Cathedral in which served an obit on a grave of dad John XXIII. Next day the bishop Villebrands, the representative of SHE had priests on reception.

On January 19 Vladimir Rozhkov served the first liturgy in Russikum's temple. In that

day priests visited the Soviet consul I.V. Yudkin. On January 20 acquaintance to Andrey Sterpin, the Jesuit from France took place. He told about the visit the USSR in the summer of 1967 as the tourist. Sterpin noted sincerity praying in the Russian temples and good condition of churches [2, l. 1213]. The nature of similar religious tourism is demonstrated by a case in Oryol in the summer of 1967: "on August 7th of this year. The Oryol cathedral (Nikitsky church) foreign tourists visited 2 persons: both Austrians, one of them the priest, 28 years, ended Roman russikum, the second clergyman, 23 years, studies in the same educational institution at present. Both well know Russian. In cathedral they were met and accompanied by the prior archpriest S.I. Bychek. Tourists were interested in states of cathedral, attendance, the number of arrivals to areas, some data on the bishop" [1, l. 128].

On January 21 the island of Petr served a liturgy, and the island of Vladimir together with Arrants visited prison for juvenile criminals. On January 26 priests visited the bishop of east ceremony Andrey Katkov living in Russikum [2, l. 22]. Knowing about the trip to the USSR planned by Katkov, the island of Vladimir suggests to treat to the guest with as much as possible respect and cares, "that our attention to it became known also in Rome" [2, l. 53].

On February 6 Rozhkov and Raina were on reception at the cardinal Béat, the head of SHE. Next day dad Pavel VI accepted pilgrims among whom there were also Russian priests. "The Holy Father addressed us with the short speech where expressed the satisfaction with our arrival". Vladimir Rozhkov gave as a gift to dad a bronze icon of the Kazan Mother of God which the pontiff reverentially kissed [2, l. 19].

Among persons with whom the Russian priests got acquainted it should be noted

celibate priest Hrizostom, lake of Alexij Shevelyov, lake of Stefan Virgulin, bishop Che glory Sipovich, Jesuit Francisco Echar-ri. The celibate priest Ioann Hrizostom, the native of Russia, arrived to Russikum from the Benedictine monastery in Bavaria. It extremely unfriendly treats the Soviet Union and the Moscow patriarchy. Hrizo-stom is designated in successors to the bishop Andrey Katkov. Shevelyov lived in Russia, in 1921 took orders of the orthodox priest, "had the archeologist's profession, endured repressions". In the years of war together with Germans left to Germany. In 1948 passed into Catholicism and moved to Rome, having become the employee of the Vatican radio [2, l. 52].

Virgulin already was in the Soviet Union. He said that Moscow patriarchy, but not the foreign church "represents the believing Russian people". According to him, in Russia it is necessary to create Catholic seminary for training of priests from the Russian Catholics as Poles and Lithuanians, "poorly knowing Russian and not knowing the charter of a Church Slavonic church service at all", for this purpose do not approach [2, l. 93]. The Jesuit Echarri told that he after war "directed distribution of the help among the Russian displaced persons and had at the order for this purpose the enormous sums from funds of Vatican and Rockefeller". Till 1939 Echarri was in Poland and taught in Catholic seminary for Russians in Dubno. Czeslaw Sipovich, the Belarusian, became the bishop of east ceremony according to the personal decision of dad to influence both Catholic Belarusians, and the former Belarusian uniats [2, l. 7-8].

The Russian priests were carefully sponsored and "always politely asked" about desire to visit any place in Rome. Having heard the answer, "immediately & #34; случайно" found -

sya someone from fathers of Jesuits who was going to go there". Pyotr Raina reports about visit of the temple of the Russian foreign church. At its request the chorus in Russikum's temple began to sing perennity to the patriarch Alexy. The rector Paweł Maillet [2, l granted permission for it. 5-6].

On January 15, 1969 priests Rozhkov and Raina arrived in Rome. In two days the memory of Anthony the Great for the sake of whom the temple in Russikum was consecrated was noted. In honor of the holiday the lunch at which there was an archbishop Mario Brini, the close friend of dad Pavel VI took place. Vladimir Rozhkov gave to the archbishop presents which were accepted with gratitude. Rozhkov reports further about desire of dad Pavel VI to create the center for studying Marxism in Rome. Gustav Wetter before directing in Russikum the center for studying Russia [3, l has to head it. 1-2].

Stefan Virgulin invited on January 25 Rozhkov to a two-day trip to Assisi. After service in the local temple they made speeches on the history of the Russian church and about the developing dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox Christians. They were listened by the local bishop, monks and students [3, l. 7].

On January 27 in Rome Ioann Long asked about the probability of the invitation of dad Pavel VI to Moscow on the conference of representatives of all religions in the USSR which is coming in July, 1969 for cooperation and the world between the people. Rozhkov answered "that, the question still so is not necessary". Also they discussed a possibility of continuation of the theological interviews similar to taken place in December, 1967 in Leningrad [10, page 51]. The editor of the Chivilta Kattolika magazine Roberto Tucci, speaking of an above-mentioned conference, said that it will become "a political action in which Vatican will not take part. Now the issue finally, but events in is not resolved yet

Czechoslovakia created such situation which does not allow to support somehow without risk the Soviet initiatives" [3, l. 17].

On February 14 in Rome solemnly celebrated the 1100 anniversary from the date of death of Kirill equal to the apostles, the educator of Slavs. Paweł VI served a liturgy accompanied by Czechoslovak and Polish bishops in St Peter's Basilica. At a church service there were pilgrims from Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia. "At Dad's meeting in cathedral the Czechoslovaks developed the national flag". In the same day Paweł VI accepted big group of Czechoslovak pilgrims. Rozhkov notes that "this church celebration was especially emphasized in connection with events in Czechoslovakia" [3, l. 25]. In conversations with Arrants the situation of church affairs in the west of Ukraine was affected. The possibility of the address of dad Paweł of VI to the former uniats, was discussed with an appeal to remain faithful to new orthodox hierarchy. "Of course, it is an issue of negotiations, but nevertheless the similar document would correct many errors of post-war time and would give to our hierarchy legal and church authority" [3, l. 28].

Stefan Virgulin raised the question of creation of representative office of ROC in Rome. At the same time he reported that Vatican will not insist on creation of the representation in Moscow. On May 20 Rozhkov and Raina visited Villebrands who in April, 1969 headed SHE and received a cardinalate. On the same day Rozhkov was accepted by the uniatsky cardinal Slipy, "discussion of the latest events among uniats of Ukraine" [3, l became the topic of conversation. 56]. On June 2 dad Paweł VI had a reception in honor of the National holiday of Italy. The Russian priests brought to dad an icon of the Kazan Mother of God. Paweł VI told: "We love your fatherland, your Church. Through you we send to the Russian

Churches our apostolic blessing" [3, l. 58].

Russikum's heads suggested to send from the USSR new students in August that they began learning Italian. At the same time between SHE and Russikum there was some competition in development of contacts with ROC [3, l. 63]. Trips of Jesuits Arrants, Maillet and the bishop Andrey Katkov to the USSR "were not apprehended positively in the Secretariat on unity". It was noticeable during visit of Italy by the metropolitan Nikodi-m in October, 1969. Employees of SHE pretended that they do not notice arrived to meet the metropolitan Paweł Maillet and the bishop Andrey [4, l. 2].

In 1970 in Rome there arrived only Vladimir Rozhkov. At the airport on January 28 it was met by Katkov and Arrants. They discussed definition of the Sacred Synod of ROC of December 16, 1969. "About a nevozbranyaemost of commission of sacraments over Old Believers and Catholics" [4, l. 73]. On February 2 Rozhkov visited SHE where he was accepted by the cardinal Villebrands to whom transferred gifts and the letter from the metropolitan Nicko-dima. On February 4 in Russikum the prayer in connection with 35-year anniversary of service of the patriarch Alexy [4, l was served. 75]. Rozhkov led a number of discussions with the celibate priest Hrizostom who met in Munich the metropolitan Nikodi-m recently. After communication with Nicodemus Hri-zost began to treat much better the Moscow patriarchy [4, l. 78-80]. Rozhkov also talked to Katkov who told: "I very much respect the Most Saint Patriarch Alexy and I would go under his omophorion". But at the same time the bishop was afraid to lose the friends and the situation [4, l. 84].

On March 31 the conversation with Stefan Virgulin who reported about the possible appointment to the place of the bishop Andrey Katkov took place. On April 1 Soviet consul

reported to Rozhkov about the documents of the archbishop Sergio Pinyedoli filed on the visa to a visit to the USSR. Rozhkov found out that Pinyedoli is the secretary of Congregation of evangelization of the people and her actual head. He is close to dad Pavel VI and already made visits to Hanoi and Beijing. "According to some fathers, Pinyedoli's visit to Poland and the USSR can have character of a responsible mission". On April 2 Rozhkov visited Congregation for the Eastern Churches. The head of Congregation cardinal de Furstenberg transferred books for the metropolitan Nicodemus. On April 8 Rozhkov paid a farewell visit to SHE. The cardinal Villebrands told that "The Russian Church could render to Catholic Church big service, having shown the belief and fidelity". Then Rozhkov was accepted by dad Pavel VI. He told: "We love the Russian Church and the Russian people, and always about Russia we uplift the prayers. It is very good that you were here and could make sure of this our sympathy and love for you". Ioann Long told Rozhkov that in Rome are ready to accept the Russian students who then will be able to continue training in Catholic educational institutions of the USA [4, l. 88-89].

On April 14 in Russikum the farewell dinner in connection with Vladimir Rozhkov's departure in the USSR took place. Next day in the airport on farewell profit "all monks & #34; Руссикума" and almost all professors of East institute" [4, l. 91-92]. Rozhkov was handed the diploma of the licentiate

the canon law it is also offered to write the doctoral dissertation [4, l. 73].

Considering the above, it is necessary to consider that rapprochement of ROC and Vatican took place in the course of political and economic cooperation of the USSR and Italy including and contacts of the Soviet leaders with representatives of Catholic hierarchy. In the Soviet documents of this period strengthening of the realistic beginning in the foreign policy St. line is noted ". Throne" [8, page 64]. Vatican tried to soften contradictions between Marxism and religion in Eastern Europe. Meetings with Catholics took place rather regularly. "The Soviet government institutions controlling church obtained information on the relations between Vatican and the orthodox world from the Patriarchy" [8, page 323]. But in Council for affairs of religions understood that "flirting with the Soviet Union, will allow to achieve activization of Catholic church in the USSR" [14, page 139].

Thus, it is possible to come to the following conclusions: Vatican used considerable efforts for penetration and distribution of the influence on territories of the USSR. The Moscow patriarchy used international relations for strengthening of the situation within the country, and the Soviet state was interested in propaganda effect of peacekeeping and ecumenical activity of ROC.


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