Russian New-Martyrs and Confessors on the Moscow Patriarchate

Various statements from the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia on the question as to whether the Moscow Patriarchate is a valid Church organization containing life-saving Mysteries.

The following is a partial list of all those who broke communion with Metropolitan Sergei…those who did not accept his declaration of July 16/29, whereby the interests of the Soviet power were identified as the interests of the Church of Christ, and who had broken prayerful communion with him…the New Martyr Hierarchs of the Russian Church…….

Following are the testimonies of the New-Martyrs and Confessors of Russia regarding Grace in the Mysteries of the “Sergians,” and also concerning the canonical situation of Metropolitan Sergius, and the Moscow Patriarchate formed by him.

“In August, 1936, the Bolsheviks spread the (false) information that Metropolitan Peter had died. Immediately Metropolitan Sergius quite illegally assumed to himself Peter’s title of Metropolitan of Krutitsa. From this time, a distinct hardening in Metropolitan Cyril’s position is noticeable. Thus in March, 1937, he wrote: ‘With regard to your perplexities concerning Sergianism, I can say that the very same questions in almost the same form were addressed to me from Kazan ten years ago, and then I replied affirmatively to them, because I considered everything that Metropolitan Sergius had done as a mistake which he himself was conscious of and wished to correct. Moreover, among our ordinary flock there were many people who had not investigated what had happened, and it was impossible to demand from them a decisive and active condemnation of the events. Since then much water has flowed under the bridge. The expectations that Metropolitan Sergius would correct himself have not been justified, but there has been enough time for the formerly ignorant members of the Church, enough incitement and enough opportunity to investigate what has happened; and very many have both investigated and understood that Metropolitan Sergius is departing from that Orthodox Church which the Holy Patriarch Tikhon entrusted to us to guard, and consequently there can be no part or lot with him for the Orthodox. The recent events have finally made clear the renovationist nature of Sergianism. We cannot know whether those believers who remain in Sergianism will be saved, because the work of eternal Salvation is a work of the mercy and grace of God. But for those who see and feel the unrighteousness of Sergianism (those are your questions) it would be unforgiveable craftiness to close one’s eyes to this unrighteousness and seek there for the satisfaction of one’s spiritual needs when one’s conscience doubts in the possibility of receiving such satisfaction. Everything which is not of faith is sin…. I am in fraternal communion with Metropolitan Joseph, and I gratefully esteem the fact that it was precisely with his blessing that there was expressed the first protest against Metropolitan Sergius’ undertaking from the Petrograd diocese…’ ” (The New Martyrs of Russia, Monastery Press, 2000).

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