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Anthony Khrapovitsky, Metropolitan


(18631936), metropolitan of Kiev, theologian, church reformer, and leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in exile after the Russian revolution.

Through early study of Dostoyevsky and Slavophilism, Anthony became convinced that faith and philosophy were closely intertwined. His Psychological Data in Favor of Free Will and Moral Responsibility (1887) extended this earlier insight, established his reputation as a theologian, and inspired many young men to become monastic missionaries so as to combat the rebellious ideas current in society and to relieve human suffering.

To build the Kingdom of God in society, Anthony believed, the church must be free from dependence on the state (although he always remained a staunch monarchist in politics). In August 1917 he advanced his ideas on church reform at a council (sobor) of the Russian church. He argued that the church should be governed at the top by a patriarch and a council of bishops, a structure favored by many bishops in attendance. For a time it looked as if the council would elect Anthony as patriarch. In the first round of balloting, he was the most popular of the three finalists for the patriarchal office. However, the final selection by drawing lots resulted in the selection of Tikhon (Bellavin).

In the confused political and religious turmoil in Ukraine during the last months of German occupation (World War I), Anthony became metropolitan of Kiev. During the civil war, he supported the losing side and was forced to leave Russia for a life of exile, first in Constantinople, then at Sremski Karlovci in Yugoslavia. In 1920, as senior among the bishops who had left Russia, he took the lead in creating a Higher Church Administration and a Synod of the Russian Church in Constantinople. The next year, he convened a council in Yugoslavia that declared the new Synod as the central church authority in emigration, expressed its desire to see a restoration of monarchy in Russia, and proclaimed Anthony as "Vice Regent of the All-Russian Patriarch." The new organization declared unconditional loyalty to Patriarch Tikhon, but came to fear that the patriarch was acting on behalf of the Communist government in Russia. In the two years following Patriarch Tikhon's death in 1925, Anthony broke off relations with the Moscow patriarchate and declared the Synodal church in Yugoslavia to be the sole heir of the historic Orthodox church in Russia. His followers expected him to be elected patriarch of this fully autonomous church that claimed jurisdiction over the entire Russian diaspora. Such a claim caused a rupture in relations with Metropolitan Evlogy, whom Patriarch Tikhon had placed in charge of the Russian parishes in western Europe. Eventually, in 1931, the ecumenical patriarch Vasilios III intervened and permitted Evlogy to place the exarchate of the Russian church in western Europe under Constantinople's jurisdiction. Anthony's influence in the Orthodox emigration diminished thereafter.

See also: russian orthodox church; tikhon, patriarch


Antic', Oxana (1988). "The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad." In Eastern Christianity and Politics in the Twentieth Century, ed. Pedro Ramet. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Robert L. Nichols

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