Metropolitan Nicholas: what the KGB did with the

Biography 23/12/19 Metropolitan Nicholas: what the KGB did with the “spiritual father” Stalin

a Failed mathematician, candidate for the post of the Patriarch of Moscow, the first Chairman of the reconstituted Department for external Church relations of the Holy Synod, and even the Confessor of Joseph Stalin – all characteristics of Metropolitan Nicholas (in the world of Boris Yarushevich) that he was awarded in one or another period of his life. Why opponents accused him of vanity and ambition, Nikita Khrushchev feared and what should be left to the priest in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church?

Boris Yarushevich was born on 31 Dec 1891 in a family of priest and daughter of the clerk. It would seem that the way of life of the Metropolitan of the future is already predetermined, however, to the service of God young people still did not come immediately. After graduating in 1909 with a gold medal presentation high school, Yarushevich first entered the physics and mathematics faculty of St. Petersburg University. Only after studying one year, he apparently fully aware what I would like to dedicate my life to.

After the first year Yarushevich transferred to the St. Petersburg theological Academy. He graduated in 1914, and in the same year he was tonsured a monk.

Career Yarushevich, even by Church standards, can be considered giddy. To become Metropolitan, and later even qualify for the Patriarchal throne, it took him a quarter of a century – quite a bit, considering the time he spent in exile and under investigation.

And he began his path of the priest, oddly enough, from the war. In November 1914 Yarushevich went to the front of the First world war, where he became a priest of the life guards regiment of Finland. However, the war he spent a short time, for health reasons and went home in 1915.

“Civil service” Yarushevich began in December 1916 in the Church of St. Nicholas to the Nicholas hospital. Two years later he became to perform the duties of the rector of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Peterhof, and just a year later – the rector of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. Step by step Yarushevich succeed, and finally in 1922, perhaps in not the most hectic time for the Church, he was raised to the dignity of Bishop of Peterhof, vicar of the Petrograd diocese.

In Peterhof for Yarushevich has become an iconic place. For active in the Chapter “the Petrograd autocephaly” he in February 1923 he was arrested and for three years exiled to the North. From September 1927 to February 1928, received appointment from the Patriarchal Locum Tenens Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), which he actively supported, ruled the Leningrad diocese.

In 1935 was elevated to the rank of Archbishop and appointed to serve in Peterhof with the rights of the diocesan Bishop. Later, on behalf of Metropolitan Alexis (Simansky), staying under the title of Archbishop of Peterhof, took control of Novgorod and Pskov diocese, who obeyed him until 1940.

Finally, in 1941, the Yarushevich was entrusted to the Ukrainian Exarchate and was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia. Later, in 1944, he became the Metropolitan of Krutitsa and Kolomna, and in 1946 headed the recreated Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. In these positions, he spent almost the rest of his career, although the chances to advance further, the Yarushevich was quite good.

of Course, the careers in Soviet times, even in the Church was impossible without good relations with the authorities. So even when he was Yarushevich head “of the Petrograd autocephaly” he was faced with the choice of whom to support: the Bolsheviks and supporters of the monarchy.

However, in the early 1920-ies the choice made was not. “The Petrograd autocephaly”, he held the position of non-aligned neither to the Renovationist Higher Church administration, which was recognized by the Soviet authorities, nor to the “white” Patriarch Tikhon. Then the uncertainty cost Yarushthe evich several years of exile.

However, while under investigation, the priest signed a letter in which “unequivocally” recognized the Renovationists. Then, in the late 1920s, Yarushevich began to actively support the “legalization” of the Church by the Soviet authorities, naturally, at the expense of considerable concessions to the Patriarchate. Then he began to struggle against the Renovationists, who by that time had fell into disgrace.

In 1940-ies, when the background of the great Patriotic war there was a clear warming of relations between Church and state, Yarushevich acted as a defender of Soviet power. So, in 1942 he became the editor of the book “the Truth about religion in Russia”, in which he denied the facts of the persecution of the Church by the Bolsheviks. In the same year by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, he was appointed a member of the Extraordinary Commission for investigation of atrocities of Nazi invaders. In this capacity he, in particular, has put his signature under the Soviet version of the events at Katyn.

in addition, Yarushevich became one of the three metropolitans, the meeting with whom Joseph Stalin took the decision on the election of the Patriarch and the restoration of the Church’s educational institutions in the country. Perhaps it was then established close spiritual relationship between the leader of the Soviet Union and a priest. There are even indications that Stalin allegedly confessed to the Metropolitan Nikolai. However, direct proof of this.

Moreover, according to the testimony of Stalin’s grandson Alexander Bordosskogo, the alleged spiritual closeness of Stalin and Yarushevich did not prevent the new leadership of the Soviet Union to exert pressure on the latter after the leader’s death.

Then began the obvious deterioration of relations between the Metropolitan Krutitsa and Kolomna and power, especially with Nikita Khrushchev. The Bishop could not, and did not want to accept the new realities – thaw and active anti-clerical policy of the authorities. He began to speak in a sharp, sometimes even critical statements. Later in the report to the Secretary General, the Chairman of the Owlthe Russian Orthodox Church Affairs, Georgy Karpov noted that Metropolitan Nikolai, technically speaking about cooperation with the government, “actually works to incite religious activities”.

In 1960, the KGB had developed a plan to address Yarushevich positions of the Patriarchy. Proposals of bodies was fundamentally supported by Patriarch Alexy II, who agreed with the “duality” and “insincerity” of the Metropolitan and even reported the complaints of the clergy.

for several months, Metropolitan Nicholas was relieved of the post of Chairman of the Department for external Church relations, then leadership, “journal of the Moscow Patriarchate”. And in September, 1960, the Synod, having satisfied the petition of his grace, freed him from the post of Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna.

In the last year of life Yarushevich was actually forbidden to serve – he just wasn’t allowed to do that. Died Metropolitan Nicholas on 13 December 1961. With the stroke he in early November, was hospitalized at Botkin hospital and, according to the testimony of relatives, was already on the mend. However, a shot with an unknown drug, which made him a nurse – whether by mistake, or deliberately, has led to a sharp deterioration and death of the Lord.

Ivan Resepi

© Russian Seven

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