«Vladimir Moss © Copyright: Vladimir Moss, 2010 INTRODUCTION 1. HIEROMARTYR HERMOGENES, BISHOP OF TOBOLSK 2. HIEROMARTYR EPHRAIM, BISHOP OF ...»
THE HOLY NEW MARTYRS AND CONFESSORS OF
THE URALS, SIBERIA AND CENTRAL ASIA
© Copyright: Vladimir Moss, 2010
1. HIEROMARTYR HERMOGENES, BISHOP OF TOBOLSK
2. HIEROMARTYR EPHRAIM, BISHOP OF SELENGINSK
3. HIEROMARTYR PIMEN, BISHOP OF ALMA-ATA
4. HIEROMARTYR ANDRONICUS, ARCHBISHOP OF PERM
5. HIEROMARTYR THEOPHANES, BISHOP OF SOLIKAMSK..................34
6. HIEROMARTYR SYLVESTER, ARCHBISHOP OF OMSK
7. HIEROMARTYR SERAPHIM, BISHOP OF YEKATERINBURG..............42
8. HIEROMARTYR METHODIUS, BISHOP OF PETROPAVLOVSK..........43
9. HIEROMARTYR MARK, BISHOP OF VLADIVOSTOK
10. HIEROCONFESSOR NICODEMUS, BISHOP OF BARNAUL................47
11. HIEROCONFESSOR DANIEL, BISHOP OF KIRENSK
12. HIEROMARTYR PANTELEIMON, BISHOP OF KHABAROVSK.........51
13. HIEROMARTYR BARSANUPHIUS, BISHOP OF VLADIVOSTOK......57
14. HIEROMARTYR NICETAS, BISHOP OF NIZHNE-TAGIL
15. HIEROMARTYR ANTHONY, BISHOP OF TROITSK
16. HIEROMARTYR LEO, BISHOP OF NIZHNE-TAGIL
17. HIEROMARTYR GURIAS, ARCHBISHOP OF IRKUTSK
18. HIEROMARTYR BASSIAN, BISHOP OF SOLIKAMSK
19. HIEROCONFESSOR ALYPIUS, BISHOP OF OKHTENSK
20. HIEROMARTYR BARLAAM, ARCHBISHOP OF PERM
21. HIEROMARTYR AMPHILOCHIUS, BISHOP OF KRASNOYARSK.....76
22. HIEROCONFESSOR DOMETIAN, SCHEMA-BISHOP OF TYUMEN..80
23. HIEROMARTYRS AND MARTYRS OF PERM AND YEKATERINBURGPROVINCES
24. HIEROMARTYRS AND MARTYRS OF WESTERN SIBERIA...............139
25. HIEROMARTYRS AND MARTYRS OF EASTERN SIBERIA................198
26. HIEROMARTYRS AND MARTYRS OF CENTRAL ASIA
27. HIEROMARTYRS AND MARTYRS OF THE ALTAI
INTRODUCTIONIn 2007 the first volume of the series, The Russian Golgotha: The Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, was published by Monastery Press, Wildwood, Alberta, Canada. That volume was devoted to the All-Russian Martyrs – that is, the Royal Martyrs and Patriarch Tikhon – and to the Martyrs and Confessors of North-West Russia. This is the fifth volume in the series, and is devoted to the Martyrs and Confessors of the Urals, Siberia and Central Asia.
Inevitably, difficult choices have had to be made concerning who should be included, and who excluded, from the lists of martyrs and confessors. I cannot claim to have made the right decisions in all cases. For an authoritative list we shall have to wait for the decision of a future Council of the True Church of Russia.
In the meantime, I have been governed by the following main criteria of
who is a true martyr or confessor:
a) Belonging to the Orthodox Church, and not to any heresy, schism or pseudo-Orthodox grouping;
b) Unjust death at the hands of the organs of Soviet power, or unjust imprisonment or exile for a minimum period of three years;
c) Canonization by either the Council of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia that took place in New York on November 1, 1981, or the Council of the Russian True Orthodox Church that took place in Odessa on November 1, 2009.
The main problem in this process of selection has been to distinguish between the true and false confessors of the period 1927 to 1937. In 1927, the deputy of the patriarchal locum tenens, Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), created a schism in the Russian Church by placing the Church in more or less unconditional submission to Soviet power and the demands of the revolution.
Those who separated from him, including many senior hierarchs, were called the True Orthodox Christians, and those who died for their belonging to the True Orthodox Church are undoubtedly martyrs and confessors of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The question is: what is the status of those who did not separate from Sergius, but who suffered at the hands of Soviet power in this period?
The approach adopted here is closely modelled on the words of Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, one of the senior and most respected of all the Russian hierarchs, who was one of the leaders of True Orthodoxy and himself received the crown of martyrdom in 1937. In 1934, when asked about the sacraments of the “sergianists” – those who followed Metropolitan Sergius – he replied that they were still valid and salvific for those who partook without knowing the sin of Sergius and its destructiveness for the Church. For those who knew, however, he said that communion in the sergianist church was for their condemnation. Three years later, in March, 1937, Metropolitan Cyril was taking a stricter line. Enough time had passed, he said, for people to come to a decision about sergianism, which was in essence a new version of renovationism – the heresy condemned and anathematized by Patriarch Tikhon in 1923… On the basis of Metropolitan Cyril’s words, we have taken the end of the year 1934 as a provisional cut-off point. Those who suffered unjustly at the hands of Soviet power before that point, whether they belonged to the sergianist or to the True Orthodox Church, are counted as having suffered for the true faith and as being martyrs or confessors of the True Church – with the exception of the sergianist hierarchs, who, as being responsible for “rightly dividing the word of truth”, must be considered as having failed in their duty to confess the truth against sergianism, and other leading priests or laymen who quite clearly did know what sergianism was but still remained members of the sergianist church. However, from 1935 – by which time almost all the True Orthodox had in any case been killed, incarcerated or driven underground – those sergianists who suffered at the hands of Soviet power are not counted as martyrs and confessors, including the vast numbers killed in the purges of 1937-38, unless there are clear indications in their biography that they struggled against Soviet power and in this way liberated themselves from the sin of sergianism.
Of course, this is a rough criterion which will probably involve the misclassification of some of those who suffered. However, in the absence of a clearly superior criterion, and of a definitive list given by the True Church, it will have to do. May the martyrs and confessors not included here forgive us their omission, and continue notwithstanding to pray for us!
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us!
Bishop Hermogenes, in the world George Ephraimovich Dolganov, was born on April 25, 1858, in Chersonese province, in the family of a yedinoveriye priest who later became a monk. He received his early and intermediate education in Church academic institutions, and had a classical education in Ananyevo before entering the juridical faculty of Novorossiysk University. On graduating from there, George did a course in the mathematical faculty and listened to lectures in the historico-philosophical faculty. Then, in 1889, he entered the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, graduating in 1893. Being a religious child from his early years, he was helped to make the decisive step in devoting himself to God by Archbishop Nicanor (Brovkovich) of the Chersonese. On November 28, 1890 he was tonsured into monasticism. Then on December 2, 1890 he was ordained to the diaconate, and on March 15, 1892 – to the priesthood. He worked hard as a preacher and took an active part in the circle of student-preachers. He served frequently in the academy church and acquired a large number of admirers, who saw in him a future pillar of the Russian Church. In 1893 he was appointed inspector of the Tiflis theological seminary, where he more than once had to punish the young Stalin. In 1898 he was appointed rector of the seminary with promotion to the rank of archimandrite. In Georgia he founded church schools and assisted the spread of missionary work among the population.
On January 14, 1901, in the Kazan cathedral in St. Petersburg, he was consecrated Bishop of Volsk, a vicariate of the Saratov diocese by Metropolitans Anthony (Vadkovsky) of St. Petersburg, Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) of Moscow and others. In this see he paid particular attention to missionary work. On March 21, 1903 Bishop Hermogenes became Bishop of Saratov, and in the same year was summoned to attend the Holy Synod. He built many churches, sketes, prayer houses and chapels in his diocese. Regular services and chanting according to the typicon was introduced into the monasteries, monks of strict life came from Athos and other places. The bishop attracted many people to missionary work, including many with higher education. There began the publication of brochures and pamphlets on questions of the faith which were widely distributed. The bishop himself led religious readings and discussions on religious subjects outside the services.
Bishop Hermogenes took an active part in the struggle against the growing revolutionary fervour. During the disturbances of the 1905 revolution, in spite of poor health, he served almost every day and preached with great inspiration. He called on the people to exhort and rebuke the disturbers of the peace, and if this did not work, to depart from them. At the request of the Orthodox population he led cross processions, which soon came to embrace almost the whole city.
He used to say: "Orthodox flock, hold strongly onto the Faith of Christ as the anchor of salvation, and He will lead you to your new fatherland... Do not forget your Mother, the Orthodox Church. She will not teach you bad things, she will guard you from the wolves which are appearing in sheep's clothing among you... They promise much, but in fact give nothing except trouble and the destruction of the state structure. Always remember that prayer and labour are the true hope of the true sons of the Holy Church and the native land of Russia. Always remember also that it is not joys and satisfactions that lead to the blessed life, but sorrows; it is not through the wide gates that we can reach the Heavenly Kingdom, but along the narrow path, through the magnanimous bearing by each of his cross."
On February 6, 1905 Vladyka served a pannikhida for the murdered Great Prince Sergius Alexandrovich, saying that it was not only the terrorists who were responsible for his death, but also Russian society, many of whose members had little faith and even rejected the State order.
Saratov was a very "progressive" city in those years, and in 1908 the Saratov Duma decided to name two primary schools after the novelist Tolstoy.
Vladyka asked the governor to revoke the Duma's decision, but was refused.
He also asked for the Orthodox to be protected from the plays "Anathema" and "Anthisa", but was again refused.
Bishop Hermogenes was greatly admired by St. John of Kronstadt, who said that he did not fear for the destiny of Orthodoxy after his death, knowing that Bishop Hermogenes would continue his work and struggle for Orthodoxy. In 1906 he wrote to Bishop Hermogenes foretelling his martyric death: "The Lord is opening the heavens [for you] as He did for Archdeacon Stephen, and is blessing you."
Bishop Hermogenes prepared and read out to the Holy Synod a report calling for the expulsion of certain Russian writers from the Church. On the initiative of the author the report was published and distributed to the members of the State Duma and many influential people. The reaction of the State officials was one of universal indifference. They were all afraid of touching the public's idols, although many State officials considered themselves to be Orthodox.
At a session of the Holy Synod at the end of 1911, Bishop Hermogenes had a sharp difference of opinion with V.K. Sabler, the procurator of the Synod, with regard to the attempt to introduce a corporation of deaconesses into the Orthodox Church and the rite of a funeral litany for the heterodox. The bishop spoke in defence of the church canons against the procurator and the Synodal officials, who were often completely indifferent to the fate of Orthodoxy. The procurator, with the silent acquiescence of the hierarchs in session, insisted on his opinion. On December 15, 1911 Bishop Hermogenes sent a telegram to the Tsar as the supreme defender and preserver of the foundations of the Orthodox State. The procurator responded by sending a report to the Tsar asking him to suspend the bishop from participation in the Holy Synod and to order him to return to his diocese. On January 3, Vladyka was removed from the Holy Synod and ordered to return to his diocese. He received this order on January 7, but asked permission to stay in St.
Petersburg for three days in view of his illness. The procurator refused. On January 12 the Synod under the presidency of the procurator condemned the bishop's "dishonouring of the Holy Synod's decrees and judgements before his Majesty the Emperor".
Concerning his suspension Bishop Hermogenes wrote: "I consider the reason for my suspension to have been, in the main, those differences of opinion which emerged between myself and the majority of the members of the Synod during an examination of the most important questions that have arisen during the present session of the Synod. I have often pointed out to the members of the Synod that it is necessary to examine the matters raised by the over-procurator, and not just pass over them in accordance with the wishes and views of the secular authorities. For now, when the Church is seen to be in a state of complete disintegration, the voice of the Synod must be firm, clear, definite and in strict accordance with the canons and teachings of the Church. In my speeches in the Synod I began a struggle not with the hierarchs in session in the Synod - I understand their position - but with that bureaucratic attitude to the affairs of the Church which has recently been observed in the Synod. And my critical attitude to the projects put forward by the over-procurator were displeasing above all to the over-procurator himself, and it was at his request that I was suspended. If my suspension is linked with a telegram, then it is with the telegram sent to the Higher authority [the Tsar]. I expounded in detail my view on those questions which were examined in the Synod, and I demonstrated the necessity of deciding them on the basis of the strict application of the canonical rules of the Church."