Rostislav Prosvetov (Tambov)
In the Soviet Union the relations between the diocesan Bishop and the civil authorities were regulated via the Сommissioner of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church Affairs. We can observe the development of these relations by the example of Metropolitan Veniamin (Fedchenkov) who consistently headed three Bishop’s Offices in the USSR in 1948 – 1958.
Metropolitan Veniamin was ordained into bishops in 1919, he participated in the White movement, and then served in Europe and in North America, where he headed the Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate. The experience of his ministry outside the Soviet Union was very important, as on his return, Metropolitan Veniamin had the opportunity to compare the degree of Church freedom abroad with that in the Soviet Russia.
In 1948, Metropolitan Veniamin returned to the USSR from the USA and entered the Office of the Latvian Diocese. By that time, the image of the Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate had undergone significant changes.
In 1945, in a letter to Metropolitan Sergius (Tikhomirov), Metropolitan Veniamin, who had visited The Local Council in Moscow, said that there were many former «renovationists» among the new bishops in Russia. Hoping for the revival of the Church, he wrote: «in terms of «spirit» (to tell the truth), I personally would like more flame». Those bishops who had returned from prison, or had been recently ordained or had moved from renovationary schism to the Orthodox Church, were forced to manage their dioceses under the strict control of the Commissioners of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church Affairs. By the end of Metropolitan Veniamin’s ministry in the USSR, this state institution, designed originally to serve as a link between the Church and the government, turned into a body of atheistic control over all spheres of spiritual life and all people involved in it. The former KGB members were appointed Commissioners of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church Affairs. The nature of their activities was affected by the whole complex of factors: the pressure of the local authorities, the instructions of the Council, the position of the diocesan Bishop, the activity of the congregation, and finally, their own vision of the Church issues. During his Episcopal ministry in the USSR, Metropolitan Veniamin was forced to establish relations with seven Commissioners of the Council. In our report, we examine the dynamics of these relations, and summarize the results.
In the first years of his ministry in the Soviet Union, Metropolitan Veniamin parted with many illusions he had returned from abroad to his homeland with. In 1951, C.K. Belyshev, the first Deputy Chairman of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church Affairs, reported to G.G. Karpov, the Chairman of the Council, that Metropolitan Veniamin «sees the Church in the Soviet Union as a state in a state, which pursues a certain line». Of course, Metropolitan Veniamin could not follow «his line» there. This soon led to a conflict between Metropolitan Veniamin and N.P. Smirnov, the Riga Commissioner. The Metropolitan was a very active archpastor. He wanted to open theological courses in the Riga diocese, to publish a diocesan journal, to increase the number of nuns in the Riga convent and much more. According to the job description, the Commissioner of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church Affairs was to act as a mediator between the Bishop and the state institutions if problems arose during the Bishop’s administering of the diocese. In 1947, the instructions stated that «the Commissioner should not promise anything to the Bishop that he does not know or can not do. The promised should be executed». Next, «in order not to spoil relations with the Bishop, in case the Commissioner is not fully confident about the possibility of satisfaction of the Bishop’s petition, the Commissioner should tell the Bishop that the answer would be given the next time, upon consulting the appropriate authorities, or directly answer that there was no possibility to satisfy the request». N.P. Smirnov, the Council Commissioner, chose different tactics. He tried to avoid direct contact with Metropolitan Veniamin, he neither promised anything, nor helped. The Commissioner of the Council passed his refusals to the Metropolitan through the diocesan Secretary archpriest Nikolay Smirnov.Quite often, avoiding his mediation, he would send the Metropolitan directly to the government bodies to settle certain problems. Thus, in his numerous initiatives Metropolitan Veniamin had to receive refusals.State institutions referred to the Commissioner, and the Commissioner referred to the state institutions. Moreover, Metropolitan Veniamin could not even recruit or dismiss a member of the diocese without the Commissioner’s approval.
On October 6, 1948, being unable to manage the diocese independently and freely, Metropolitan Veniamin sent a letter to G.G. Karpov, the Chairman of the Council, and a copy to Patriarch Alexy. Нe enclosed a special report titled «Brief Notes on General Issues of the Church and Public Life», which summed up his stay in the Soviet Union. In this report, he stated that the declared «normal» and «established relations between the Church and the state» in the USSR actually had no «accepted legal standards». That is, «it was not clear where the sphere of the «Church» started and where «non-interference of the state into internal Church activities» ended». «As far as the Orthodox Church of Latvia is concerned, — he informed, — I certify that such a facet does not really exist. Whatever problems I or the Diocesan Council begin to discuss, or settle, in almost all cases, we firstly face the question: «what would the Commissioner for the Affairs of the Orthodox Church of Latvia do?» And we have no information about the future of our propositions. Sometimes, on the basis of the previous experience, we have to refuse undertaking measures which seem adequate, for the benefit of the Church». Metropolitan Veniamin pointed out that the main figure of the Church life in the diocese was not the Bishop and not the Diocesan Council, but the local Commissioner. Giving a few examples to confirm his words, he asked for the opportunity of free work which he had enjoyed abroad. Alongside with it, Metropolitan Veniamin felt it was important not to complicate but only to improve mutual relations between the Church and the authorities. «And I ask you to believe, — he said — that we (that is, the Church — approx. R.P.) are sincere in our intentions. We wish the good to our Fatherland. And the established relations will help us, the Church, to fight against the saboteurs, in both ecclesiastical and public spheres». According to the Metropolitan, it was necessary to foster «normal» relations between the state and the Church, which were not observed in practice.
Metropolitan Veniamin always confirmed his words about loyal and sincere attitude towards authorities with references to the Scripture (Mat. 22, 21; John 19, 10-11; 1 Pet. 2, 11-21; 4, 12-19; Rom. 12 и 13; Eph. 6, 5-9; Col. 3, 22-25; 4, 5-6; 1 Tim. 2, 1-5; 6, 1-8; 2 Tim. 2, 23-26; Tit 2, 9-15; 3, 1-9; Heb. 10, 32-39; 12, 1-16),because he was sure that the benevolent attitude of the Orthodox Church to authorities complied with the Word of God. He persuaded his clergy in it, too.
After Metropolitan Veniamin’s appeal the Deputy Chairman of the Council, S.K. Belyshev was sent to the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church Affairs in Latvia. Upon an investigation, he blamed the diocesan Secretary archpriest Nikolay Smirnov for the current situation in the Latvian diocese. According to Belyshev, before Metropolitan Veniamin arrived to Riga, archpriest Smirnov had been the «sole master» of the Riga diocese affairs, as Cornelius, the former Archbishop Vilensky and Lithuanian, who temporarily managed the diocese, rarely came to Riga. Upon the arrival of Metropolitan Veniamin, the position of archpriest Smirnov became «minor and dependent». Being a mediator between the Commissioner and the Metropolitan, he began to block the initiative of the ruling Bishop, that, in turn, satisfied the Commissioner of the Council, as his main task was to prevent the rise of Church life in the Republic.
Circumstances clarified, archpriest Nikolay Smirnov was dismissed by the diocesan secretary and the Commissioner received additional instructions from the Council. Later on, Metropolitan Veniamin got the opportunity to solve all issues directly with the Commissioner and the relations between them improved. Soon, Metropolitan Veniamin was allowed to conduct short-term training courses for young clergymen, and also to publish several issues of a diocesan journal. Eventually, the conflict was settled, and was regarded as a sort of misunderstanding.
After Commissioner N.P. Smirnov’s death, A.A. Sakharov, the new Commissioner, noticed Metropolitan Veniamin’s high activity pretty soon. In his report he informed the Council that «Metropolitan Veniamin was conducting active work to increase and strengthen the clergy, was ordaining and training the new priests, was replacing the elderly priests and retraining the young priests». Despite the fact that Metropolitan Veniamin repeatedly tried to establish warm and even friendly relations with Commissioner Sakharov, the latter behaved indifferently or even disliked the Bishop. The figure of Metropolitan Veniamin was uncomfortable for Sakharov and his career. Having no influence on the Metropolitan directly or through the clergy, Commissioner Sakharov tried to draw the attention of the Council to the Metropolitan’s supposedly anti-Soviet activity. Sakharov reported to Moscow that «Metropolitan Veniamin continued to maintain active correspondence with addressees in the Soviet Union and abroad. Supported correspondence with the clergy repressed by the Soviets, with the prisoners and provided them with material assistance. When the clergymen returned from exiles – he provided them with material assistance and assigned to profitable parishes <…> rendered pecuniary aid to families of the clergy repressed by the state for anti-Soviet activities» and etc. The Commissioner also reported that «…rectors of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church of Latvia, not without the consent of Metropolitan Veniamin, granted allowance to active Church members, which put some parishioners in dependence from their parishes and attracted them to active work in interests, hostile to the Soviet ideology».
Metropolitan Veniamin’s reluctance to participate in the so-called «struggle for peace» was also a painful issue for Sakharov. In 1950, Sakharov reported that Metropolitan Veniamin objected to the clergy taking part in the international movement for peace.
On December 26, 1950, in accordance with the instructions of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church Affairs, at a meeting with Metropolitan Veniamin, Sakharov gave him the Council’s «request» to write two articles for the radio, including the article «The Orthodox Church of Latvia in the Struggle for Peace». According to the Commissioner, Metropolitan Veniamin «did not hesitate» and promised to fulfill this request. In 1951, on the eve of the Nativity, the Metropolitan spread his greetings over the diocese, in which he dwelt on the issue of «peace». Starting with the words of the Gospel: «Glory to God in the highest, and on the earth peace among men of good will» (Luke 2:14), — he draw the readers and listeners’ attention to the fact that peace had come. And that peace was «the peace of God», «the peace of Christ». According to him, that was not the peace of the earth. That was «a blessed peace from the Holy Spirit, the Lord Comforter Spirit». «And if Christian preachers», — he continued, — «hitherto said that there was no peace on earth, it was a clear sign that they «did not know» from their own experience the peace from the Comforter Spirit; and confused peace of the earthly world with the peace of Christ, of Comforter: «If anyone does not have Christ’s Spirit, he does not belong to Him», «does not belong to Christ (Rom. 8:9)». «Then why is there war and world enmity around?» — he asked. — «And today society is shaking; international and internecine conflicts, heresies and schisms are continuing… Where is peace on earth, proclaimed by the angels? Where is the peace brought by the God on earth?Where is the peace that the Gospel and the apostles preach?..«The whole world lies in the Evil One», — said the Apostle (1 John 5:19)». In fact, Metropolitan Veniamin said, that there existed an outer peace and an inner peace, a spiritual peace: «And therefore every person, who is a true believer and fulfils the commandments of Christ, every truly penitent sinner has the peace of Christ within himself, which no external troubles of this world can break, if he does not enter again on the path of wickedness and sin, which takes away the Grace of the Comforter from us. This «Kingdom is not of this world», and from Christ Himself. «Christ is our PEACE», — Metropolitan Veniamin concluded in his message.
The Commissioner regarded this message as a «direct opposition to the cause of peace». He reported to the Council: «I think it necessary, given Metropolitan Veniamin’s increased anti-Soviet preaching, directly opposite to the cause of peace, to remove Metropolitan Veniamin from the Latvian SSR». Understanding insufficient basis for his claims on the diocesan Bishop, the Riga Commissioner enlisted the support of J.I. Kalnberzin, the Secretary of the Communist party of Latvia. In a letter to G.Karpov, dated January 31, 1951, he reported: «…given the characteristics of the Latvian SSR as a relatively young Soviet Republic, located in the border area, the Central Committee of the CP(b) of Latvia considers, that Metropolitan Veniamin’s further stay at the head of the Orthodox Church of Latvia is undesirable, and the Central Committee asks for your assistance to recall him from the Latvian SSR. I ask to inform the CC of CP(b) of Latvia on the taken measures».
As it turned out, the previous conflict between Metropolitan Veniamin and the former Commissioner Smirnov was no exception, but the rule. In 1951, at the meeting with S.K. Belyshev in Moscow, Metropolitan Veniamin openly expressed his opinion that there was no the freedom for the Church in the Soviet Union, but on the contrary, there existed real persecution. He illustrated his words by examples of such persecutions at school, in the army, through the media. «All these facts», — he concluded — «convince me that there is not only no religious toleration, but, on the contrary, the policy is anti-religious». Such state of affairs, according to the Metropolitan, caused his deep sorrow, but he still did not change his loyal attitude to the authorities and regarded the current situation as the test of God to the faithful, which they were to take like Christians – with patience and humility. Metropolitan Veniamin also admitted that the Russian Orthodox Church and its episcopate were forced to adapt to such conditions. However, he consistently limited the degree of the state interference into the Church administration, and also refused to participate in any political actions, an example of it was his speech on the «struggle for peace». Metropolitan Veniamin explained to diocesan clergy that loyalty meant neutrality, non-interference of the Church and the clergy in worldly affairs. Later, being a Bishop of Saratov, Metropolitan Veniamin argued with a priest, who insisted that such understanding of loyalty was insufficient, that loyalty meant something more, that they should show their compliance with the Soviet policy, and therefore it was necessary to take part in it. The Metropolitan disagreed with the priest completely, saying that he could not change his views ever.
Consequently, it was impossible to leave Metropolitan Veniamin in the Riga Bishop’s office. On March 27, 1951, at the meeting of The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy (Simansky) announced his decision: to transfer Metropolitan Veniamin to Rostov diocese (Rostov-on-Don). In April, 1951, Metropolitan Veniamin left Riga and started his ministry at the new location.
According to Metropolitan Veniamin, the relations between him and D. Amarantov, the Rostov Commissioner, were «business-like and quite normal». Still, the Bishop considered it his duty to treat the Commissioner of the authorities «with due respect, Christian humility and personal trust». In his report to the Patriarchate he wrote: «For many principle reasons, I believe it necessary to obey the Soviet authorities completely in state matters; for I believe that they also perform some will of God, intended for it in this world by Providence. Though sometimes certain government measures and Soviet orders appeared difficult and painful to us, we should take them humbly and obediently as orders of the Authorities (not related to faith); and sometimes as a test for us, that teaches us and lets us reveal our Christianity. A different attitude towards the Authorities would be a sin for the Church, a sign of our spiritual «unfreedom» (1 Pt. 2:12) and absence of love, and I just say non-Christian views. Although we may «cover» ourselves with the idea of God, of Church, of «freedom», it would only be the cover of the «evil» inside us (verse 16)».
The relations between the Commissioner and the Metropolitan seemed conflict-free. However, the Council for Russian Orthodox Church Affairs was dissatisfied with D. Amarantov, the Commissioner of the Rostov region. He was repeatedly accused of sending weak reports to the Council, quoting Metropolitan Veniamin too much, and being a passive observer of the processes which were taking place in the Rostov diocese. «This proves comrade Amarantov’s light attitude to his information and underestimation of certain facts, characterizing the situation of the Church in the region», — the report of the Council stated. In 1954, Amarantov asked the Council for resignation, and his request was satisfied soon.
I. Usanov was appointed the new Commissioner in the Rostov region. He characterized Metropolitan Veniamin as a «fanatic». According to Usanov, it was obvious as the Metropolitan applied all his efforts to strengthening and expanding the influence of the Church among the believers». Like Usanov, Matershev, the Commissioner for the Kamenskaya region (Metropolitan Veniamin worked with Matershev after the Rostov region divided into two parts), also confirmed that the Metropolitan desired «to consolidate religious influence among the population». But for all that, both Usanov and Matershev recognized that Metropolitan Veniamin obeyed the decisions of the civil authorities and performed any given order «precisely on time». He willingly subscribed for the state loan, took active part in subscription under the appeal of the World Council for Peace and instructed all Deans to explain the necessity of the subscription to the believers. Matershev confirmed that, in solving business issues, he never noticed or felt any resistance from the Metropolitan and the diocesan clergy. Moreover, Metropolitan Veniamin «always willingly, loyally took into account advice and wishes, performed instructions of the Commissioner of the Council». However, Metropolitan Veniamin’s activity in the Church affairs, sermon and his open opposition to the strengthening anti-religious propaganda in the USSR soon led to strained relations with the local authorities again.
In October 1955, Metropolitan Veniamin sent his report «One Word of Consolation» to all churches of the Rostov diocese. This report consisted of thirteen small chapters and the conclusion, in which the Metropolitan said that the Orthodox faith was alive in all layers of the Soviet society, despite the government’s anti-religious campaign.In addition, he urged Christians not to be afraid of persecutions. Soon after that «speech» Metropolitan Veniamin faced the question of his transfer to another diocese. On November 12, 1955, on his return from Moscow, where he had been summoned deliberately, Metropolitan Veniamin announced his resignation in Rostov. Soon he received a decree on his transfer to Saratov, where he left in a few days.
In Saratov, Metropolitan Veniamin did not change his view on the relations between the Church and the state. Moreover, in a narrow circle, Metropolitan Veniamin even made several statements criticizing speeches of N.S. Khrushchev, the Secretary General of the CPSU. In particular, at the fourth session of the Supreme Council of the USSR, Khrushchev said, American leaders claimed in their «Christmas letters» that they «prayed» for changing the existing system in the countries of «people’s democracy», i.e. in the countries of the East European block. Khrushchev was sure their prayer was caused only by the fact that American leaders wanted the capitalist order back, they wanted factories returned to capitalists, and they wanted restitution of land to big land barons in those countries». Metropolitan Veniamin characterized this speech as rude. «Why can’t American people pray [sincerely] » — wondered the Bishop.
In early 1956, V. Filippov, the Commissioner of the Saratov region, sent to G.G. Karpov and the highest officials of the Saratov region a secret information letter, in which he reported, that, in his communication with the clergy, Metropolitan Veniamin «expressed politically incorrect ideas» and that «Metropolitan Veniamin’s position put him on a par with American and other colonizers».
In his report for the second half of 1955, which was delivered to the Council in early 1956, Filippov said: «For the short period of staying in Saratov Metropolitan Veniamin showed himself as an inveterate reactionary, monarchist, which is alien to the Soviet people, Motherland, patriotism, what he hints and even says in conversations with priests, teachers and students of the Seminary <…> I deeply believe, in the person of Metropolitan Veniamin, we are dealing with a barely disguised enemy of the Soviet state and the people». Filippov made only one conclusion: «Metropolitan Veniamin should immediately be discharged from managing the Saratov diocese, because I am convinced that one cannot establish the required business contacts with such an «administrator».
Despite the Commissioner’s extremely negative attitude to Metropolitan Veniamin, the Council for Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church still insisted on the settlement of their relations. The Commissioner’s main task was to achieve the desired influence on the work of the Church and, mainly, on the clergy and the diocesan Bishop, as the central figure: «The relations between you and Veniamin», — they explained to Filippov — «preclude any influence on him in the right direction <…> The data in your report on Veniamin’s activities bring out nothing new in his character, and his identity is clear to the Council. However, all these materials are not enough for the Council to put the question about Veniamin’s retirement to the Patriarch. It is better to do with the hands of the clergy (obviously some of them are dissatisfied with Veniamin) who need to write negative comments about Veniamin personally to the Patriarch, and the Patriarch will have to react. And if the Patriarch asks the Council’s opinion of Veniamin, then we shall have our say. This solution is diplomatic and easier for the Council. If you are able to arrange this case carefully and skillfully, it is going to be the result of your work with the clergy». But Filippov could not «arrange things carefully and skillfully». On the contrary, in October and November 1957, the Council was still receiving complaints about his rude interference into internal Church affairs. A.M. Pashkin, the Inspector of the Council, went to the Saratov region to check on these complaints. Pashkin sent the results of this inspection to G.G. Karpov. He reported that «the Metropolitan remained the same, and there was nothing new in his church activity». Next, Pashkin admitted that the Saratov Commissioner had unnecessarily aggravated his relations with the head of the diocese and, on a number of issues, his information on Metropolitan Veniamin’s activity was not sufficiently objective. Pashkin also mentioned the fact that complaints about Filippov’s interference into church affairs were confirmed: «For example, in the presence of Filippov, Veniamin told me that he might not assign, move or dismiss any priest without the Commissioner’s approval of their Church activity. When I asked Veniamin to give the facts to me, he named them». Further, it was found out, that Filippov forced the Metropolitan to dismiss the manager and the secretary of the Saratov diocese, that the Metropolitan needed the Commissioner’s approval of all Church matters. The situation in the Latvian diocese repeated itself.
At the meeting with Myakishev, the Deputy head of the KGB Department for the Saratov region, who was also dissatisfied with the figure of Metropolitan Veniamin, A.M. Pashkin gave the following argument: «it is necessary to assess Veniamin not from the point of view of Saratov interests, but those of the state», as Metropolitan Veniamin’s transfer to another city was of little use. Myakishev’s opinion on Metropolitan Veniamin was different, he wanted «to eliminate him from the church activity».
Chernykh, the Head of the Propaganda Department of the Saratov regional Committee of the CPSU, expressed a similar opinion, agreed with the opinion of Denisov, the first Secretary of the Saratov regional Committee, that Veniamin’s Church activity in the Saratov region was quite unacceptable, and requested the Council not only to consider, but to solve the question of removing the Metropolitan from Saratov. Pashkin concluded that the current situation in the Saratov region was unlikely to be fixed, and the relations between the Commissioner and the Diocesan Bishop were not going to become «proper». He recommended to the Council to put the question before the Patriarch «about Metropolitan Veniamin’s discharge from the Church activity». Apparently it was Karpov who wrote on the top of this text: «I Agree».
On December 26, 1957, the Council decided to recommend «Metropolitan Veniamin’s retirement» to Patriarch Alexy. On February 1, 1958, Metropolitan Veniamin wrote in his diary: «Change of life. In the near future, I might (maybe within 1-2 weeks) leave Saratov and leave, by the Patriarch’s order (more precisely: by the superintendents’ order), for the Pskovo-Pechersky monastery «on vacation». Maybe, «for a short period of time» (hardly so). And maybe? The Church of God teaches us that everything happens at the gracious Providence of the Lord. Glory to God for everything».
Eventually, on February 20, 1958, Metropolitan Veniamin retired to the Pskovo-Pechersky monastery. After two years and a half, on October 4, 1961, Metropolitan Veniamin passed away and was buried in the caves of the Pskovo-Pechersky monastery.
During all the years in the Soviet Union, Metropolitan Veniamin confirmed adherence to his principles in relations with the state authorities in the field of Church administration. It was not by chance, that the beginning and the end of his Episcopal Ministry in the Homeland was associated with persecution by the atheistic authorities. However, Metropolitan Veniamin always saw only one solution in his relations with the authorities – humility and patience. On October 28, 1957, he wrote in his diary: «It was clear for me: we need to be humble. And we need to be humble especially before the Commissioner. Others are subject to me, but he is the boss! No doubt, this is my Cross; but we must have patience, patience and patience». Truly, it was Apostolic Ministry.
State archive of the Russian Federation (then – SA RF). Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 1. Д. 64. Л. 97.
 См.: Onishchenko A. The role and importance of the Council for Russian Orthodox Church Affairs in 1943-1953 years. // The Church and time, № 55. April-June2011. М., 2011. [Electronic resource] : Site of scientific-theological and Church-public magazine «The Church and time». –Electronic data. –Access mode: http://www.mospat.ru/church-and-time/717, свободный. –Title screen. –Viewed 7.11.2012.
Chumachenko T.The Council for Russian Orthodox Church Affairs under the СPC (CM) of the USSR 1943-1965’s.The dissertation for scientific degree of the doctor of historical Sciences. М., 2011. P. 36.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 7. Д. 27. Л. 30.
 Цит. по: «The development of Luke continue…»: Saint Luka (Voino-Yasenetsky) and Crimean diocese. 1946-1961. Collection of documents. М., 2011. P. 9.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 7. Д. 27. Л. 18.
 Ibid. Л. 10.
Ibid. Л. 12 об.
Russian state archive of socio-political history(then – RSASPH). Ф. 17. Оп. 16. Д. 6. Л. 180.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 7. Д. 27. Л. 103.
 Ibid. Оп. 1. Д. 712. Л. 64.
 Ibid. Л. 65.
 Ibid. Оп. 7. Д. 27. Л. 32.
 Ibid. Оп. 1. Д. 831. Л. 8.
 Ibid. Л. 15.
 Ibid. Л. 16.
 Ibid. Л. 16-17.
 Ibid. Л. 17.
 Ibid. Л. 9.
 Ibid. Л. 10.
 Ibid. Л. 33-34.
Onishchenko A. The role and importance of the Council for Russian Orthodox Church Affairs in 1943-1953 years. // The Church and time, № 55. April-June2011. М., 2011. [Electronic resource] : Site of scientific-theological and Church-public magazine «The Church and time». –Electronic data. –Access mode: http://www.mospat.ru/church-and-time/717, свободный. –Title screen. –Viewed 7.11.2012.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 7. Д. 27. Л. 30.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 1. Д. 1368, Л. 2.
 Ibid. Оп. 7. Д. 27. Л. 35.
 Ibid. Оп. 1. Д. 1042. Л. 43.
 Ibid. Д. 1150. Л. 55.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 7. Д. 27. Л. 54-55.
 Ibid. Л. 59.
Destination and move bishops // Journal Of The Moscow Patriarchate, 1956. №. 1. P. 10.
Khrushchev N. Speech at the fourth session of the Supreme Soviet of the fourth convocation (December 29, 1955). М., 1956. P. 30-31.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 1. Д. 1368. Л. 2.
 Ibid. Л. 1.
 Ibid. Л. 3.
 Ibid. Л. 5.
 Ibid. Л. 7-8.
 Ibid. Оп. 1. Д. 1476. Л. 14-14 об.
Silin N.The life and activities of Metropolitan Veniamin (Fedchenkov) in 1948-1961 years in the context of Church-state relations.The dissertation for scientific degree of candidate of theology.Sergiev Posad, 2010. P. 152.
 SА RF. Ф. Р-6991. Оп. 1. Д. 1476. Л. 37.
 Ibid. Л. 38.
 Ibid. Л. 41.
 Ibid. Л. 42.
 Ibid. Оп. 1. Д. 1576. Л. 2.
Veniamin (Fedchenkov), Metropolitan. «Lord have mercy on me for Orthodoxy…». Diary notes. SPb., 1998. P. 125.
 Ibid. P. 123.
Доклад был озвучен 7 февраля 2014 г. в Мюнстерском университете им. Вильгельма II в ходе конференции, посвященной истории церковного управления в Европе.