THE CLERGY OF THE ORTHODOX REFORMATION CONFESSIONS AND PRECONDITIONS OF INSTITUALISATION OF THE MOSCOW PA-TRIARCHATE DIOCESES IN THE DONBAS (at the beginning of the 1920s – mid-1950s)

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24919/2519-058X.24.264747

Abstract

The purpose of the research is to elucidate the clergy's influence of the oppositional Reformation denominations on the prerequisites for institutionalization and development of the Ukrainian Exarchate dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Donbas (at the beginning of the 1920s – mid-1950s). The methodology of the research is based on the principles of historicism, systematicity, scientificity, verification, the author’s objectivity; as well as the use of general scientific and special historical methods. The scientific novelty of this study consists in the attempt to do an unbiased systematic analysis of the circumstances of the Orthodox Church eparchial network development in the Donbas based on a comprehensive analysis of sources and scientific publications. The Conclusions. The historical analysis of the prerequisites and circumstances of the institutionalization of Voroshylovhrad Diocese proves that the clergy’s integration of the Reformation Orthodox denominations allowed the leadership of the renewed Moscow Patriarchate, headed by the former member of the renewed VCU, Patriarch Serhii (Strahorodsky), not only to solve the acute personnel shortage of the higher hierarchy and workers of the Diocesan Administrations, but also to minimize partially the consequences of the marginalization of the religious consciousness of the believers. Due to the abolishment of the legal parish life in the Donbas by force at the end of the 1930s, the confessional division resumed against the background of a general church revival during the German occupation of 1941 – 1943. However, owing to the lack of the liberal UAOC episcopate, the restoration of church structures was mainly implemented under the jurisdiction of the conservative Autonomous Church, which indicates the scarcity of awareness concerning the importance of church reforms by local followers of the opposition denominations in the 1920s and 1930s. At the same time, the exclusive discrediting of the Orthodox Reformation and the concealment of their original confessional affiliation by the clerics led to the emergence of unresolved key issues of the church system and the restoration of division under the conditions of religious policy liberalization at the end of the 1980s, the consequences of which could be felt in the religious discourse of the post-Soviet countries up till nowadays. Further analysis of interfaith dialogue experience and integration of the oppositional Reformation clergy will allow us to elaborate new conceptual approaches to restoring the unity of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

Key words: Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Renovatonist Movement, political represion, the German-Soviet war, the Nazi occupation, the postwar period, Donbas, Voroshylovhrad Diocese.

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2022-09-25

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