Insights and Perspectives
Edited By Elżbieta Katarzyna Dzikowska, Agata Handley and Piotr Zawilski
The influence of World War I on the activity of the Russian military and naval clergy
The institution of the Russian military and naval clergy had a long history. Sources concerning the official formation of church structures in the Russian army reached the beginning of the eighteenth century. In 1706 tsar Peter I issued the first decree (ukase) obliging Orthodox parish communities to the regular collection of donations for regimental chaplains and hieromonks serving in the Navy. Other Peter’s laws (1716, 1720) provided a foundation for the creation of the military clergy hierarchy led by the regimental oberpriest of the active army and the oberhieromonk of the Navy. In the period of hostilities, the clergy were members of the General Staff and were subject to the commander in chief of the army and navy while remaining at the same time under the direct jurisdiction of the Most Holy Governing Synod in clerical matters. (Полное собрание законов Российской Империи с 1649 года. Типография Второго отделения Собственной Его Императорского Величества канцелярии: Санкт-Петербург 1830, t. 5, p. 240–324; Рыбаков, Николай Александрович: “Развитие правового регулирования деятельности православных священников в армии за период XVIII–XIX вв.”. Молодой ученый 11, 2012, s. 339–390). The form of dependence from the Synod, as well as from the Synod field church executive bodies represented by local bishops and archbishops, without a clear definition of the scope of bishop’s and oberpriest’s powers, often provoked conflicts of competence relating primarily to the issue of control over military clergy and churches intended for guards regiments. The state of disorganization and mutual aversion persisted for nearly a century, complicating the military ministry of priests and depriving them of the possibility to effectively administer the property of the orthodox church entrusted to their care. (Григорьев, Анатолий Борисович: “Из истории военного духовенства“. In: Галкин, Юрий Юрьевич (ed.): Религиозно-...
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