Orthodox Priests at Stalin's funeral?

Apr 2014
203
Earth
#1
I was watching some videos about Joseph Stalin because I like stories about horrible dictators and pychopaths and Stalin was way, way up there on killing people, from peasant farmers in the Ukraine due to a forced famine called the Holomodor to just killing anyone and everyone that Stalin was slightly paranoid of. Really a bad dude to say the least.

Being it was Stalin under a Communist state I would think that Stalin would have done his best to enforce State Atheism on the people and destroyed many churches. Being a killer that he was of any perceived enemy, I would think that that religion would have been deep underground and most of the leaders of churches killed. There were members of a deeply religious sect called Old Believers and a family ran away deep into Siberia getting away from Stalin's killers, into a very precarious life where they survived on hunting, berry gathering and eventully being forced to make their own clothes because they were literaly alone in the forever of the Taiga of Siberia.

So to my surprise I see several Orthodox priests in his wake/funeral, of viewing his dead body. Why were there Orthodox priests there? I would think again that Stalin had all of them shot or sent to the Arctic to die building a railroad to nowhere. Thats the question, why were there priests at the one man who wanted all of them dead?
 

Maribat

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
5,048
#2
There were members of a deeply religious sect called Old Believers and a family ran away deep into Siberia getting away from Stalin's killers,
Actually Old Believers run from the Russian Orthodox Church which persecuted them with all their delight. Like burning in wooden houses.

Those priests you saw in the movie were on Stalin's payroll.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,423
Republika Srpska
#3
Actually Stalin allowed a partial revival of Russian Orthodoxy during the war, and in 1943 there was even an official election of a new patriarch. It was during Khruschev's era that the Orthodox Church would once again be actively persecuted.
 

holoow

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,834
Vilnius, Lithuania
#4
I was watching some videos about Joseph Stalin because I like stories about horrible dictators and pychopaths and Stalin was way, way up there on killing people, from peasant farmers in the Ukraine due to a forced famine called the Holomodor to just killing anyone and everyone that Stalin was slightly paranoid of. Really a bad dude to say the least.

Being it was Stalin under a Communist state I would think that Stalin would have done his best to enforce State Atheism on the people and destroyed many churches. Being a killer that he was of any perceived enemy, I would think that that religion would have been deep underground and most of the leaders of churches killed. There were members of a deeply religious sect called Old Believers and a family ran away deep into Siberia getting away from Stalin's killers, into a very precarious life where they survived on hunting, berry gathering and eventully being forced to make their own clothes because they were literaly alone in the forever of the Taiga of Siberia.

So to my surprise I see several Orthodox priests in his wake/funeral, of viewing his dead body. Why were there Orthodox priests there? I would think again that Stalin had all of them shot or sent to the Arctic to die building a railroad to nowhere. Thats the question, why were there priests at the one man who wanted all of them dead?
Nazis supported Orthodox revival in occupied territories [http://orthodoxwiki.org/Pskov_Orthodox_Mission] so Stalin needed counterbalance. In 1943 ROC was 'legalized' after decades of persecution.
 
Sep 2012
3,887
Bulgaria
#5
In the the mid XVIII century the Russian Orthodox Church experienced a schism, the reason was mostly the requirement for the Christians to cross themselves with three fingers, instead the centuries old way of two, along with many other minor things. Old Believers were condemned to anathemas by the Church and subjected to waves of persecution, most severe in the XVIIIth and beginning of XIXth centuries.

EDIT: Moscow Patriarchate, the very centre of the Church and the seat of the Patriarch of All Rus was abolished by Peter I, when he established the empire in 1721 and was restored in 1917 by the commies.

Not saying that commies were religious or something, soviets were militant atheists all right, it was part of their ideology. One of the reasons why Census 1937 was declared invalid was because very high percentage of people stated that they were religious. Two years later questions about religious belief were absent from the Census 1939 form.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2015
1,930
Kyiv
#6
Moreover, Moscow Patriarch Alexy held a solemn memorial service for the dead Stalin in 1953. He called him "the Great Leader of our people", thrice ingenious - as scientist, commander and thinker.

"The memory of him is unforgettable for us, and our Russian Orthodox Church lamenting his departure from us accompanies him on his last journey, to the path of all the earth with a fervent prayer. We proclaim eternal memory to our beloved and unforgettable Joseph Vissarionovich prayerfully, with deep, ardent love, "said Alexis

In the same vein the patriarch spoke at a moleben on the occasion of Stalin's seventieth birthday on December 21, 1949.

Absolute loyalty to secular authorities was a long tradition of the Moscow Orthodox Church. And only a short period after 1917 under Patriarch Tikhon it found itself in opposition to the state authorities. Moreover the church remained silent during the terrible repression of Bolshevik authorities against their own people in the 1930s. The

Moscow church in the 20th century and its fraternization with the Bolsheviks was a very sad picture.
 

Maribat

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
5,048
#7
Moreover, Moscow Patriarch Alexy held a solemn memorial service for the dead Stalin in 1953. He called him "the Great Leader of our people", thrice ingenious - as scientist, commander and thinker.

"The memory of him is unforgettable for us, and our Russian Orthodox Church lamenting his departure from us accompanies him on his last journey, to the path of all the earth with a fervent prayer. We proclaim eternal memory to our beloved and unforgettable Joseph Vissarionovich prayerfully, with deep, ardent love, "said Alexis

In the same vein the patriarch spoke at a moleben on the occasion of Stalin's seventieth birthday on December 21, 1949.

Absolute loyalty to secular authorities was a long tradition of the Moscow Orthodox Church. And only a short period after 1917 under Patriarch Tikhon it found itself in opposition to the state authorities. Moreover the church remained silent during the terrible repression of Bolshevik authorities against their own people in the 1930s. The

Moscow church in the 20th century and its fraternization with the Bolsheviks was a very sad picture.

I think "to be loyal" and "to be silent" is the tradition of all Churches. Vatican was silent during WWII when the Jews were killed at mass and it was loyal to Mussolini and Hitler. At the same time the Churches were vociferous at condemning the atrocities happening far away from them. The rule of thumb - "if nothing endanger us we will condemn otherwise we'll keep tongue in cheek"
 
Nov 2015
1,930
Kyiv
#8
In Russia the picture was different. There the church not only did not condemn the extermination of the infidels by the authorities, but also indifferently looked at the mass extermination of the Christians by them. Moreover, it sang hosannah to the main man-eater and held a touching burial service when he died
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,995
Crows nest
#9
Metropolitan Nikolai inspecting new T-34-85 of the 38th Separate Tank Regiment on March 7 1944. Photo credit to Военная Летопись [Military Chronicle] issue 10 by Ilya Moshchanskiy

 
Sep 2012
3,887
Bulgaria
#10
All right. One tells us that the Church was evil, because it is Russian, the other because certain bishops pledged loyalty to the commies and held Stalin in high esteem. There were others like Peter of Krutitsy e.g. canonised as saint and martyr, because of his resistance towards soviet authorities.