Polit Buro and the Church

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  Politburo And The Church, Kremlin Archives

N. Petrovsky, S.G. Petrov

On confiscation of church valuables

 Memorandum of the GPU to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) - "on the activities of the clergy in connection with the withdrawal of valuables from churches." March 20, 1922

No. 23-21 *

March 20, 1922


Patriarch TIKHON and 1 * the surrounding pack of higher hierarchs, members of the synod in the person of: GROMOGLASOV, Protopriest KHATOVITSKY (not an official member of the synod) [,] Metropolitan 2 * NIKANDRA (in the world of Finomenov), Bishop SERAFIM, professor of theology and other theology LAPP. Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of 26 / 11-22 on the seizure of church values, they are carrying out a certain counter-revolutionary and open-ended work against the seizure of church values. Their work is expressed:

1)                   In the personal instruction of the clerics who are known to them coming from the localities against the seizure of church valuables. -

2)                   In sending to the localities, a directive with calls to prevent the collection of church valuables, and these 3 * directives are of a disguised nature (reference to church canons and sayings of the socalled holy fathers).

3)                   Arrangement of illegal meetings of the clergy in Moscow, at which members of the synod suggested to the clergy to wake up the believing masses against the removal of valuables from churches (data from agents 4 *). -

4)                   At the last meeting of the Synod, it was decided: (data from agents 5 *) the clergy should not openly speak out against the removal of valuables from churches, but to put forward for this purpose 6 * faithful believers who, allegedly on their own initiative, should oppose the seizure of church valuables. -

The GPU has information that some local bishops are in opposition to the reactionary group of the Synod and that, due to canonical rules and other reasons, they cannot sharply oppose their leaders, therefore they believe that with the arrest of the members of the Synod, they have the opportunity to organize a church council. where they can choose the patriarchal 7 * throne and synod-minded individuals more loyally to the Soviet authorities. -

The GPU and its local bodies have sufficient grounds for the arrest of TIKHON and the most reactionary members of the synod.

The GPU finds: 1) that the arrest of the synod and the patriarch is now timely, 2) that the admission of a spiritual council for the election of a new synod and patriarch is now also possible, and 3) that all priests and churchmen [,] are sharply opposed to the removal of valuables from churches [, ] must be sent to the most hungry regions of the starving Volga region, where they should be advertised in front of the local hungry population as enemies of the people.


20 March 8 * 1922.

-  L. 35 — rev. (AND). Typewritten original, signatures - autographs.

-  L. 29 — rev. (B). Typewritten original, first signature missing, second - autograph. In the upper right corner of l. 29 stamp of the Secret Archives of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) with an inventory number.

-  RCKHIDNI, f. 5, op. 2, d.48, l. 36-rev. (AT). Typewritten original of the same bookmark as fol. 35 — v., Made for V. I. Lenin; signatures - autographs, date handwritten. On l. 36 below there is a stamp "Comrade Lenin's Archive" with a handwritten entry number.

-  CA FSB, f. 1, op. 6, d.11, l. Pa, pb. (D). Typewritten copy made on September 24, 1984 and certified by the detective Tomin. There are no signatures or numbers in the date.

Notes and Comments:

The case contains a cover letter on the letterhead of the GPU to document l. 35-rev., Sent on March 21, 1922 on behalf of I. S.

Unshlikht            “TO           ALL            MEMBERS            OF            THE

POLITBURO. Comrade TROTSKY ”signed by the secretary of the GPU Presidium R.D. Yezerskaya with a round official seal. The letter reads: “ at the disposal! ". A handwritten note about belonging to the office work of the Politburo meeting, minutes No. 115, item 12 of March 22, 1922 (No. 23-22). (L. 34).

The file also contains a cover letter of the same content to document l. 29-rev. with the same date and signature, sent to VM Molotov. On the letter there is a handwritten note: “For information

[information]. V. Molotov. 21 / ІII ". (L. 28).

The copy of the RCKHIDNI contains a cover letter of the same content with the same date and signature, sent to VI Lenin. The letter bears the stamp "Comrade Lenin's Archive" with a handwritten entry number. (L. 35).

1 * about BG. 2 * Metropolitan BG

3   * No BG.

4   * agents BG.

5   * agents BG.

6   * im BG.

7   * Corrected by BG, in A petriarchy.

8   * Restored in B, not in A.