New Developments in the Church Reform Movement

New Developments in the Church Reform Movement. August 12, 1923


Original Source: Moskovskie izvestiia, 12 August 1923.

In connection with the activity of ex-Patriarch Tikhon, an All-Russian Congress of plenipotentiaries of the Supreme Church Council was called in Moscow.

With a view to establishing unity within the Church, the Congress considered it imperative to effect a fusion of the two reformist groups: the “Living Church” and the “Union of Congregations of the Ancient Apostolic Church.”

This question was submitted to the Supreme Church Council for definite settlement.

In the end the whole reformist movement was amalgamated under the name of the “Russian Orthodox Church.” All groups shall be guided in their work solely by the resolutions of the Church Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1923, and by the acts and measures of the Holy Synod.

The personnel of the Holy Synod has been increased and some of the more prominent ecclesiastics have been appointed to its anew: the Metropolitan Tikhon of Simbirsk, Archbishop Veniamin of Riazan, Archbishop Vitalii of Tula, Archbishop Artemii of Petrograd, and Bishop Makarii of Penza.

A special commission appointed by the Synod is revising the list of old bishops retired, in order to make use of their services in the matter of reestablishing peace within the Church.

The Greek Synod and the Patriarch of Constantinople are taking up an attitude favorable to the Holy Synod and the reformist movement.

Official greetings were extended to the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Evdokim, by the representatives of the Eastern Patriarchs: Prior Iakov on behalf of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and Prior Paul on behalf of the Patriarch of Alexandria.

A Special Commission for Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church has been organized at the Constantinople Patriarchate. Thus, contact is reestablished with the Eastern Orthodox Churches abroad.

With a view to giving the Synod an opportunity of furthering religious life in print, a fortnightly journal News of the Holy Synod is being published.

Source: Boleslaw B. Szczesniak, ed. and tr., Russian Revolution and Religion; a collection of documents concerning the suppression of religion by the Communists, 1917-1925 (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1959).


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