The trial of Patriarch Nikon (S.D. Miloradovich, 1885)
Since the Great Schism, the people and the government have been irrevocably alienated from each other. There is a gradual loss of living faith, a decline in the authority of the church. Official Orthodoxy is degenerating, shrinking, becoming an appearance. In the final we get the catastrophe of 1917-1920. Exploded and destroyed temples. And the complete indifference of the people.
Priesthood or kingdom
Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich still trusted Patriarch Nikon and did not interfere in his activities. The tandem seemed to work well:
ruled in the rear, and the tsar can engage in war with Poland.
In the campaigns, Alexei Mikhailovich moved away from the capital’s courtyard, plunged into a new life for him, matured. I learned better and began to appreciate the generals Trubetskoy, Dolgorukov, Romodanovsky, Khitrovo, Streshnev, Urusov, etc. As a result, the former boundless influence and charm of Patriarch Nikon faded. The king received new advisers, no less educated and intelligent. I saw warriors, brave and selflessly devoted to him.
When he returned to Moscow and got down to business, he found that Nikon was not doing it the best way. The treasury was empty. Not only did Russia spend colossal money on the war, but the patriarch took huge sums to build his residences, temples and monasteries.
The monetary issue was so acute that the government had to mint copper rubles along with silver rubles. The king tried to put things in order in finances. He ordered to issue money for certain needs only on his personal instructions.
Nikon believed that this did not concern him. He again demanded in a large order a large sum for the construction of New Jerusalem (Nikon’s “New Jerusalem” versus “Light Russia”). He was refused.
Nikon raised a scandal. He came to the sovereign, threatened that
“Shake the dust off his feet”
and will not come to the palace longer. Alexei Mikhailovich was by nature a peace-loving, religious person, this time he yielded. He apologized, ordered to give the money. But a split began to emerge between the tsar and the patriarch.
In the meantime, Nikon stubbornly promoted church reforms. And they met with strong resistance. Somewhere they were simply sabotaged, served in the old way. The Solovetsky and Makaryevsko-Unzhensky monasteries rebelled openly.
The Patriarch, as usual, was not flexible and peaceful. He answered harshly. Opponents of the reform were persecuted in the most severe manner. Solovki was besieged by the tsarist troops (the siege lasted from 1668 to 1676). The hierarchs no longer dared to object to the patriarch. Nikon achieved a curse and excommunication from the church of all supporters of the old rite.
There was a Great Schism.
The best, the most persistent and spiritual part of the people went into schism.
Nikon planted a dead “Orthodoxy”. He believed that faith is not the source of life, but a way of preparing for death. The patriarch expected the end of the world in 1666 and prepared the church for the end times. Therefore, the Russians had to “correctly” praise God, unite in this with the Greeks and other Christians.
The dual power of the two great sovereigns, Alexei Mikhailovich and the patriarch, became completely intolerable. Contemporaries noted that Nikon behaved
“More regal than the king himself.”
The servants were more afraid of the patriarch than the sovereign.
Nikon formed his own large courtyard. The patriarchal confidants and officials quickly got a taste of their position, became insolent. Nikon himself was consumed by lust for power. Boyars and nobles every holiday had to present the patriarchal confidants, wait a long time for a reception at the patriarch. Nikon imposed his opinion on the tsar on any issue, no matter how serious or small. He tortured the royal court and the Boyar Duma with his nagging.
There was a new monetary conflict. In 1649, according to the Cathedral Code, church lands were taxed, and the Monastic Order was established to collect them. Nikon was against the fact that this money is spent not only for church, but also for state needs. The patriarch began to insist that church property had nothing to do with the state, the tax should be abolished. Nikon hated the head of the Monastic Order of Odoevsky, called
His opponents among the nobility and clergy responded as best they could. They played a game against Nikon, tried to win the tsar over to their side. Once, at a feast under the tsar, Streshnev compared the behavior of his dog with the manners of the patriarch. Nikon was told, and in the presence of Alexei Mikhailovich, at the service in the Assumption Cathedral, he cursed Streshnev. This angered the king.
Then the patriarch imagined that he could dispose of in external affairs.
In 1658, the king of Kakheti (Western Georgia) Teimuraz came to Moscow. Ask for help, support against the Persians and Ottomans. Such visits were commonplace for the Russian state. In such cases, the dear guest was greeted magnificently, gave gifts, gave money, but did not give serious promises. Russia was not yet up to the Caucasus.
According to Russian etiquette, any foreign delegation first received an audience with the tsar, then negotiations began. Then it became known that Nikon ordered the Georgians to visit him first, and only then go to the emperor. He showed that spiritual power is higher than secular. He also wanted to proclaim himself the Georgian patriarch, which threatened to get into trouble in the foreign arena.
The tsar’s bailiffs were ordered to lead the Georgians first to Alexei Mikhailovich. The patriarchal man Vyazemsky tried to prevent this, to turn the delegation to the Assumption Cathedral. Okolnichy Khitrovo beat Vyazemsky. He complained to Nikon.
The patriarch got angry. He wrote a letter to the king, where he listed the grievances.
The tsar promised to investigate, but did not punish Khitrovo. Alexei Mikhailovich began to avoid the patriarch. Nikon demonstratively took off the patriarch’s vestment, changed into a monastic dress, announced that he was no longer a patriarch. He hoped that the previous story would repeat itself, as when deciding to become the patriarchate, Alexei Mikhailovich would come running to him, roll at his feet, pray and repent. But this did not happen.
Alexei Mikhailovich is already tired of his “friend’s friend” and his freaks. True, he made an attempt at reconciliation through the boyar Trubetskoy. Nikon took a bite at the bit. He did not want to talk to the boyar, he said that he was leaving.
On July 10 (20), 1658, Nikon left Moscow as a protest: without abandoning the Moscow See, he retired to the Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery.
The patriarch still hoped that the king would catch himself and pray for forgiveness.
But the “quietest” one was only glad to get rid of such a problem.
He instructed Trubetskoy to conduct an investigation into the affairs of the patriarch. Numerous grievances, violations and extortion were immediately revealed. The tsar was given the correspondence of the “friend”, imbued with arrogance and pride.
As a result of the investigation, land and wealth were confiscated from the patriarchal close associates. In August Trubetskoy and Lopukhin visited Nikon. Nikon capitulated. He blessed Alexei Mikhailovich and the hierarch who will lead the church.
Pitirim became the locum tenens of the patriarchal throne. Nikon was officially deprived of the position of patriarch only at the Great Moscow Cathedral in 1666-1667. He was condemned and, as a simple monk, was sent to the Ferapontov monastery. Joasaph was elected the new patriarch.
The same council approved the most harsh measures against the Old Believers, and uttered an anathema against them. Old Believers indulged in state criminal prosecution, were equated with schismatic heretics. The split has become irreversible.
Destruction of the “fair custom of the ancestors”
The Russian Empress Catherine II at the general conference of the Synod and the Senate on September 15, 1763 very accurately and fairly showed the foundations of the Great Schism and what it led to.
What is Old Belief?
I remember the events and their sequence. From time immemorial, the Russian Orthodox people were baptized with two fingers. I am not listing other rites. All this was beautiful, all excellent, godly and salutary.
There was no need for us before the rituals of the Greeks, as well as the Greeks before ours.
Both churches – the Greek and ours – lived in peace and fellowship.
Eastern fathers, bishops, metropolitans, patriarchs, visiting us in Moscow, glorified the piety of Russia, comparing it with the sun that illuminates the universe. ”
However, in the time of Nikon and Alexei Mikhailovich, the church and the authorities, under the influence of the Greek and Kiev clergy, decided to carry out a “reform”. They believed that the Russian faith was allegedly distorted, corrupted. Repressions and terror fell upon those who resisted, that is, the best Russian people.
The Empress wisely noted:
Against people who want one thing: to remain faithful to the faith and the rite of the fathers!
Reverend Fathers! Why should you be so beastly against them and Satan?
Do you even have a spark, though the ghost of human feelings, conscience, meaning, fear of God and fear of men?
Do I see saints?
Are Christians before me raging and raging? ”
The tsarist government took the side of foreign agitators,
“The government stood up against its people”,
“In full force betrayed the fatherland and demanded this betrayal from the people.”
The people resisted.
And the government did not change its mind, intensified the repression.
Nikon and Alexei attacked the popular protest with torture and death.
The Russian land groaned from two tyrants: “holy” and “quiet”.
Also, Catherine II noticed that the best, lively and energetic part of the Russian people, bearing the name of “Holy Russia”, took the side of the protest. Since that time, the Russian church has been in ruins.
S. D. Miloradovich “Black Cathedral”. 1885 Black Cathedral – a meeting of monks of the Solovetsky Monastery, who revolted against the church “reform” of Nikon
The tragedy of “Holy Russia”
As a result, the greatest spiritual and informational sabotage against the Russian civilization and people was carried out. There was a complete substitution of meaning, its replacement with form.
The Nikonians, who introduced Greek rituals, played the role of inquisitors, “witch hunters” in Russia. The Nikonians reduced the tradition of the Russian faith to the nationalization of the church, bureaucracy, reverence for rank and police supervision. Living faith was destroyed.
Alive, fiery, joyful and diverse, like the surrounding world itself, Nikon and his supporters opposed faith with a dead, formal teaching, a fanatical expectation of the end of the world.
The Old Believers became the true heirs of the Russian faith. Their centers were “places of power” (holy places, nodal points in which God and nature talk to man), Solovki, Belomorsky Krai, Zaporozhye, the Urals and Siberia. For two centuries of persecution, the Old Believers who retreated to remote, remote places of Russia (like the Russian pagans several centuries before) did not break down. They became the core of the new economic structure in Russia. It was the strongest, healthiest and most harmoniously developed part of the Russian ethnos.
Thus, since the Great Schism, the people and the government have been irrevocably alienated from each other. The Russian Church is in decline. Peter I will complete the church “reform”, destroy the institution of the patriarch, and subordinate the church to the state.
There is a gradual loss of living faith, a decline in the authority of the church. The people are beginning to despise the priests. Official Orthodoxy is degenerating, shrinking, becoming an appearance.
In the final we get the catastrophe of 1917-1920.
Exploded and destroyed temples. And the complete indifference of the people.
IN AND. Surikov. Boyarynya Morozova. 1884-1887