Church Council in 1654 (Patriarch Nikon presents new liturgical texts) A.D. Kivshenko, 1880
Nikon announced a global project:
"New Jerusalem will be in Moscow!"
New Jerusalem will become the world center of Orthodoxy, like the Vatican. Nikon himself will become an "Orthodox pope." He also liked the old thesis of Pope Gregory VII:
"Priesthood above the kingdom."
The attack on Russian customs
The "devotees of piety" viewed church reform differently. Rtishchev and Nikon welcomed Greek and Kiev scholars and monks, considered it necessary to adopt their achievements in theology and education. Correct Russian divine services according to their models. Another wing of the "zealots" was wary of the Greeks and Ukrainians, advising to protect the Russian Church from their influence.
But in some matters, the entourage of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was united. It was believed that
"The people are mired in sin"
and a radical correction of morals is necessary.
The result was a decree in which everything was piled into one heap - fortune telling, fortune telling, gambling, folk entertainment and games, music, buffoons and various customs that have existed in Russia since time immemorial. All of this was declared "demonic" and banned.
In particular, it was ordered not to call buffoons and sorcerers into homes, not to swim in thunder in rivers and lakes, not to gamble (including chess), not to drive or dance bears, not to sing “demonic songs” at marriages and not to sing shameful words talk, do not fist fights, do not swing on a swing, do not wear masks, etc. Domras, surnas, beeps, gusli and hari to find and burn, etc. For disobedience to beat with batogs, for repeated violation - link.
Thus, the Romanov government began an offensive against Russian traditions dating back to the gray, pagan times. The authorities started a war with the people.
Round-ups swept across Moscow and large cities, grabbing buffoons. Found musical instruments and masks were burned.
It is interesting that these actions in Russia coincided with the repressions that fanatics-Protestants, Calvinists, Puritans carried out against popular traditions in Western Europe. However, the authorities did not yet have the opportunity to suppress the thousand-year-old traditions.
Repression swept over the top. The common people, especially in the outback, in the countryside, were not affected by all this. And the local priests usually showed sanity and did not climb into folk customs or participated. The priest was chosen by the "world" (community), and he could not go against the people. Those who went against the "peace" were simply kicked out.
Grecophiles and Grecophobes
Russia at that time was the stronghold of world Orthodoxy. Her political life was closely intertwined with the spiritual. The Ukrainian (Western Russian), Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek, Syrian and Georgian clergy were drawn to Moscow. They helped the Orthodox brothers financially, with money, and sent church literature. For this, a second printing house of the "Greek language" was opened in the capital. Under her, a central metropolitan library was created.
Among the foreign priests and monks, there were many educated people, theologians and scientists. They tried to use their talents. From Kiev, the learned monks Epiphanius Slavinetsky and Arseny Satanovsky were invited for rhetorical teaching.
A friend and favorite of the tsar, Rtishchev, founded a special St. Andrew's Monastery on the Kiev road, in which Epiphanius and other specialists had to check spiritual books being prepared for printing, open a school for studying the Greek language, grammar, rhetoric and philosophy.
During this period, some of the high-ranking clergy and officials were carried away by Greek education. Along the way, they got used to consider everything else that came from the Greeks (from the West) as a role model. They began to prove that church reforms are necessary for the state as well. If Russia wants to become the world center of Orthodoxy, then you need to bring your rituals closer to the rituals of other countries. They were a kind of "Grekophiles", Westernizers.
They had serious opponents - the "soil people". They believed that the true purity of Christianity was preserved only in the Russian kingdom. That is why Moscow ("Third Rome"), "Holy Russia" rose. And the first Rome and the second, Constantinople, fell due to damage, distortion of faith. And now the Greeks and Kievans carry this damaged faith to Russia. It is possible that they need to be re-baptized. The traditionalists were strong in spirit, determined and confident. Among them is the famous Avvakum.
The question of "unanimity"
The first serious conflict broke out around "unanimity." Russians at that time constantly went to churches, to all services. And they were long. To save time, we introduced "polyphony". Priests and deacons conducted several services at once and read quickly.
The Greeks and other foreigners criticized this improvement. They say that the service has become a formality. The tsar's confessor Vonifatiev agreed with them. Unanimity was established in the churches subordinate to him. And a sermon was added to the Liturgy, it was read in the Greek Church, but it was not yet in Russia. "God-lovers" (they are also "zealots of piety") began to demand that unanimity be introduced in all churches.
This innovation caused a violent protest among traditionalists. They announced that Vonifatiev had moved away from the Russian tradition. Patriarch Joseph gathered a church council. On it (February 11, 1649) it was decided to restore the old order of worship.
Vonifatiev did not reconcile himself, appealed to the Patriarch of Constantinople. He spoke in favor of unanimity. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich supported this decision. Meeting in Moscow on February 9, 1651, the council approved unanimous singing in churches instead of polyphonic.
So the Great Schism began.
At the same time, it was decided to bring church literature to a single model. The party of Nero, Avvakum and Daniel Kostroma insisted that the books should be corrected not according to Greek, but according to Old Slavic manuscripts. True, from a purely technical point of view, this was impossible. Such work has been done for hundreds of years, and the manuscripts differed from each other, new disagreements were revealed.
Rtishchev, Vonifatiev and Nikon stood for the options that the Kiev monks worked on. The king took their side. That is, we again followed the path when the Western (Greek or Kiev) was considered the standard. And Russian sanity, when the people themselves took all the best that suited them, was rejected.
The Greek lovers believed that the true "antiquity" is not in Russia, but in Greece. They say that a direct tradition comes from the Byzantine Empire. However, they were wrong. The same liturgical literature was imported to the Greeks in the XNUMXth century from Moscow, when Ivan the Terrible established the first printing house.
On the whole, everything would have been possible, and everything would have worked out, through reasonable sabotage on the ground, without further pressure from above. Patriarch Joseph behaved with restraint, caution, did not support either conservatives or radical reformers. Allowed the processes to proceed gradually, without sudden movements.
But in 1652 Joseph died. In his place they predicted Vonifatiev, but he refused, citing his advanced age. Called Nikon's best successor - in his prime, strong-willed and energetic. Everyone in the circle of "devotees of piety" supported him - both Greek lovers and traditionalists. It was believed that Nikon would take the post of patriarch, and would promote his old comrades. The tsar was also delighted that his "friend" would be the patriarch.
Everyone was wrong.
Nikon was an extremely ambitious man. He saw himself at the head of the state, as earlier Filaret (father of Tsar Mikhail Romanov).
Immediately after the election, Nikon openly tried to occupy the position he needed. When the consecrated cathedral had already named him patriarch, he unexpectedly refused to accept the staff and other regalia. They tried to persuade him, begged him. Finally, the king began to beg and knelt in front of him. Then Nikon demanded that Alexei Mikhailovich obey him
"As the chief and the shepherd and the reddest father."
The sovereign agreed.
Moreover, he offered Nikon to accept the title of "Great Sovereign", which Philaret once bore. The king himself wore it.
The Patriarch temporarily became a valuable assistant to Alexei Mikhailovich. But everyone else had a hard time right away. Nikon hated competition. He sharply marked the distance between himself and yesterday's comrades, they were not allowed beyond the hallway of the patriarch. And he took up the reform resolutely and individually.
In February 1653, "Memory" was sent to Moscow churches, where he demanded to conduct rituals in accordance with the Greek, correct books, be baptized with three fingers, serve the Liturgy on five prosphora, write the name Jesus not after one, but after two "and" and etc.
The former "lovers of God" tried to revolt. Nero submitted a report to the tsar, where he accused Nikon of heresy and numerous sins. But Alexei Mikhailovich was already tired of the "devotees of piety" with their endless squabbles and attacks on each other. And he completely believed in his "friend's friend".
Neronov's petition was handed over to the patriarch for his consideration. Nikon immediately showed that he was a tough ruler and would not allow himself to argue with himself. Neronov was exiled to the Novospassky monastery, then to Simonov and Spaso-Kamenny (Vologda diocese), ordered to tonsure a monk.
Avvakum and Daniil Kostromskoy spoke in his defense. Habakkuk was arrested and called upon to accept the "new books." The archpriest did not betray his convictions, the patriarch ordered to deprive him of his dignity (to be cut off) and exiled to Siberia. Daniel was also defrocked and exiled to Astrakhan, where he was killed in an earthen prison.
So the split began.
True, at first it had not yet become a national disaster. The revolt of Neronov, Habakkuk and Daniel was not supported, and few knew about them. "Memory" was taken calmly. Like, the tsar and the patriarch know better. Most of the temples were still serving. Who will check it? Why retrain and change something? And there were no “corrected” books in the required quantity.
And, in general, the Russians were not up to it. There were plenty of other important events inside Russia. A big war was impending with the Commonwealth. However, Nikon's decisive policy ultimately led to disaster.
Vyacheslav Schwartz. Patriarch Nikon at the New Jerusalem Monastery. 1867. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
The policy of the "Great Sovereign"
After the death of Tsarevich Dmitry, the sovereign had daughters, but there was no heir. Alexey Mikhailovich and his wife prayed earnestly, made rich contributions to monasteries, and went on pilgrimages to holy places. Nikon usually accompanied the king, prayed with him, instructed.
The main sin was lack of respect for the patriarch, deeds committed contrary to his opinion. The "sobny friend" firmly took the sovereign under his influence.
In 1654, an heir was finally born. Alexey Mikhailovich was sincerely grateful to the “friend”. Nikon was well versed in political and economic issues. Going to war with Poland, the tsar gave him all civil affairs. He received almost tsarist powers and increasingly became a taste for power.
Foreigners noted that Nikon
"Lives well and willingly jokes."
But he was not joking with everyone. Arrogant and extremely self-confident, he chopped off his shoulder and destroyed opponents. While the war was going on, the patriarch launched a campaign to "correct morals." Each parishioner was required to spend at least four hours in church; drunkenness, gambling, fornication, and swear words were prohibited. The patriarch's staff was significantly increased. The patriarch's servants traveled through the cities, streets and bazaars. They reported about disorder, arrested violators. Especially the clergy got it. Undesirable abbots of monasteries, priests and monks were defrocked, exiled, thrown into prisons.
Nikon began to push forward the church "reform" by means of power. His spies reported that "Memory" was not being fulfilled, the priests were sabotaging his decisions, serving in the old way. He convened the Consecrated Cathedral in 1654. I knew that many hierarchs were in opposition to the reform. Therefore, he was cunning, he did not ask questions directly. He did not mention the sign and other discrepancies in the Russian and Greek churches. I formulated in a general way - whether it is necessary to correct books and rituals according to the old Slavic and Greek models. The council answered this question in the affirmative: it is necessary. Bishop Paul of Kolomna began to argue about bowing to the ground. The patriarch immediately stopped him and the hierarch went to prison from the cathedral. Nikon taught everyone - he is the supreme power, you cannot contradict him.
Thus, Nikon received the decision of the council. However, he began to reform the church not according to the "old Slavic and Greek" models, but only according to the Greek ones.
The hierarchs did not dare to openly oppose Nikon. We tried to circumvent. They drew up a message to Patriarch Paisius of Constantinople, invited him to become an arbiter. He replied that the church requires unanimity only on the main point, that the difference in rituals is not a crime against dogmas and a sign of heresy and schism. Therefore, different local churches may well differ in order, for example, the time of the liturgy or with what fingers to be baptized.
This did not suit Nikon. He found a new arbiter. In 1655, Patriarch Macarius of Antioch came to Moscow for "alms". He realized that if you support Nikon, there will be more "alms". He unconditionally supported the righteousness of the Moscow Patriarch in everything. Agreed to take part in a magnificent ceremony invented by Nikon.
He organized his secondary ruling by the patriarch. Macarius laid a miter on him, as it were, from the Ecumenical Church, and not just the Russian one. He also suggested that the Armenians are crossing themselves with two fingers. They came up with a label - “Armenian-like heresy”. And if “heresy”, then what are we talking about? With heretics, the conversation is short.
Another council was convened and two patriarchs (Moscow and Antioch) smashed the "heretics" to smithereens. The Council approved a new Service Book based on the Greek service book.
Nikon gave orders to smash and burn the icons depicting two-fingered fingers during the sign of the cross.
Nikon began to destroy everything that he considered wrong. He condemned the icons of the Novgorod style, ordered to select and destroy them. The patriarch smashed them with his own hand, cursing the authors and owners. Russian temples of the ancient hipped-roof style did not correspond to the Greek models, Nikon forbade their construction. I noticed that in Greece and in the East there are no wooden churches at all (apparently, due to a lack of wood). He judged that they were fire hazardous and short-lived, ordered to break down all the wooden churches in the capital and replace them with stone ones.
At the same time, this spiritual sabotage against "Holy Russia" was carried out at a time when the heavy war with the Commonwealth continued. War for Western Russia - White and Small. The war required full mobilization and concentration of forces and resources. The country has just gone through a series of riots, an epidemic, has lost a lot of people, suffered huge losses. But Nikon didn't give a damn about that. Anything that did not fit into his projects, he rejected.
He not only ordered to replace wooden churches in Moscow with stone ones, but also got carried away by the grandiose project of "New Jerusalem". He disposed of the state treasury alone and uncontrollably. In Moscow, in a short time, the Patriarchal Chambers were erected, which were not inferior to the royal ones. In the richest and most beautiful chamber, Krestovaya, Nikon started the custom of dining, sat on a dais as a sovereign, surrounded by boyars and church hierarchs. The construction of several patriarchal monasteries began. New Jerusalem in the suburbs became the main one. Part r. Istria was renamed Jordan, one of the hills was named Golgotha. And the main cathedral of the monastery reproduced the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem.
It was not just an imitation. Nikon announced a global project:
"New Jerusalem will be in Moscow!"
He believed that the Poles had almost been defeated, that Malaya and Belaya Rus would join the Russian state. Royal armies will reach the borders of the Turkish Empire. Further, the Christian and Slavic peoples of the Balkans, the Caucasus and Syria will come under Russian influence. New Jerusalem will become the world center of Orthodoxy, like the Vatican. Nikon himself will become an "Orthodox pope." He also liked the old thesis of Pope Gregory VII:
"Priesthood above the kingdom."
Resurrection Cathedral in the XNUMXth century