On the Circumstances of the Assignment of Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin) as a Head of the Russian Ecclesiastic Mission in Jerusalem

Print PDF

Аннотация / Annotation
В исследовании на новом архивном материале представлена историческая реконструкция конфликта между Св. Синодом Русской Православной Церкви и Патриархом Иерусалимским, который привел к назначению архимандрита Антонина (Капустина) начальником Русской Духовной Миссии в Иерусалиме. Автор показывает, что вовлеченные в конфликт стороны рассматривали это назначение как единственный приемлемый способ для разрешения конфликта. В силу данных обстоятельств начальник Миссии негласно получил более независимый статус, чем имели его предшественники. Это позволило ему в дальнейшем, используя противоречия между российским МИД, Св. Синодом и Иерусалимской Патриархией, вести собственную церковно-политическую деятельность на святых местах, итогом которой стало создание Русской Палестины.
There is a historical reconstruction of a conflict between the Most Holy Synod of Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Jerusalem which led to the assignment of Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin) as a head of the Russian Ecclesiastic Mission in Jerusalem, based on new archive materials. The author shows that sides involved in the conflict considered that assignment as the only acceptable way to solve the conflict. That is why the head of the Mission unofficially received more independent status than his predecessors. Later it gave him a chance to use conflicting views of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Most Holy Synod and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and to build his own “Antonin’s” ecclesiastic and political activity in the Holy Land resulting in the creation of Russian Palestine.

Ключевые слова / Keywords
Ближний Восток, Палестина, Иерусалим, внешняя политика России, Русская Духовная Миссия, Антонин Капустин, Русская Палестина, Министерство иностранных дел, Святейший Синод, Русская Православная Церковь. Middle East, Palestine, Jerusalem, foreign policy of Russia, Russian Ecclesiastic Mission, Antonin Kapustin, Russian Palestine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Most Holy Synod, Orthodox Church

Before arrival in Jerusalem at the end of 1865 of the most known representative of Russian Church in the Orthodox East of the archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin) on Russian constructions of the Sacred Hail went more than two years open fight between two branches of the Russian power: secular which was personified by the consul, and spiritual which was represented by the chief of Mission. Internal contention became a reason for intervention of the Jerusalem Patriarch Kirill II which not only didn't support the chief of Russian Spiritual Mission of archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin), but also declared undesirable his further stay in limits of jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Church. The Russian Synod counted this action of the Patriarch insulting for Russian Church. According to the settled representations which meet in modern researches, the numerous conflicts between the Russian establishments in the Holy Land, resulted because of distinction of departmental and corporate interests, and also because of multidirectional influence of most august patrons of these establishments - empress Maria Aleksandrovna and grand duke Konstantin Nikolaevich. Let's remind short history of relationship of Spiritual Mission, the Russian consulate and the Jerusalem Patriarch before emergence in Palestine the archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin). The third chief of Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem (1864-1865) archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin), was appointed on a patronage of metropolitan Moscow Philaret. Ascetic and exacting in character, it restored against itself(himself) not only the consul and own subordinates, but even the Jerusalem Patriarch soon, which on April 13, 1865. sent to the Russian Synod the message with a request to remove the archimandrite who has lost his trust from Jerusalem, having replaced it with "any other person». The Jerusalem consul A.N. Kartsev was the creator of an intrigue against Leonid's lake. Official Petersburg the message of the Patriarch took unawares. Danger which the first metropolitan Philaret understood, consisted that the Russian Church, compelled to protect the initial rights, necessarily entered the conflict to the Jerusalem Church.

Archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin) - the third chief of Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem (1864-1865).
Portrait (oil paint). Collection of
Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem

At the beginning of June, 1865 the Russian envoy in Constantinople N.P. Ignatyev suggested to send temporarily serving as the prior of ambassadorial church of the archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin) to Jerusalem for arrangement of affairs of Mission. The Synod decree about purpose of the lake Antonin temporarily was sent to managers of Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem from Petersburg to Constantinople on June 16, 1865. Soon, in addition to this decree one more followed, dated on July 6 Antonin it was recommended which will go to Jerusalem for personal negotiations with Blessed Patriarch. About the new appointment archimandrite Antonin learned from N.P. Ignatyev on June 23 and, according to the last, “strongly was afraid”. Fears of Antonin were justified. One of the most influential members St. Synod, metropolitan Philaret, considered the message of the Jerusalem Patriarch as direct intervention in affairs of Russian Church and actually suggested to demand from Blessed apologies.

Letter of the archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin) to N.P. Ignatyev. On March 27, 1891

However uncertain at the beginning position of the archimandrite Antonin in the Sacred Hail was quickly strengthened thanks to the competition among themselves two Russian departments - St. Synod and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Antonin persistently didn't interfere with the conflict and didn't take up a role of the inspector, accused nobody and on anybody didn't inform. Being the skilled church diplomat, it “soberly built the possible line of the relations of the chief of RDM, the consul and the Greek Patriarch” that most not to become in this game by the obedient performer of another's will. On a twist of fate, to Jerusalem archimandrite Antonin was in many respects obliged by the appointment to the Jerusalem consul Andrey Nikolaevich Kartsev who fallen down before it of two previous chiefs of Mission and has made, in fact, its defeat. Kartsev suggested idea to use appointment Antonin for the solution of the most difficult conflict in the relations between two Churches and then helped her realization in practice. However in 1867, to the statement of the archimandrite Antonin, A.N. Kartsev it was appointed the consul general to the lake of Corfu and forever left Jerusalem boring it.

Archimandrite Antonin - the former chief of Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.