The “Confidential” Matters of the Don Clerical Consistory as a Source of the History of the 1905–1909 Don Clergy


The article is devoted to the reaction of the Don and Novocherkassk Diocese on the events of the fi rst Russian revolution. Based on the analysis of the “Confi dential” set of matters, representing the investigatiory records of the clerical court of the Don and Novocherkassk Diocese that are firstly introduced for the scientific use, the dynamics and peculiarities of the formation of the political position of the 1905–1909 Don clergy are shown.
The causes of commencement of the “Confidential” matters give an idea of that the holy and minor orders of the Province of the Don Cossack Host were under an intent control of the military power, consistory and congregation. Analysis of the dynamics of the formation of political views of the clergy indicates that in 1905 the holy and minor orders did not have any clear political position and were brought to clerical court for defining the position towards the October Manifesto of 1905 and the revolutionary events. In 1906 the increased police surveillance and inlarged, often ungrounded, whistleblowing led to the arrest of the clergy and to the case transfer under the civil court conduction. The peculiarity of that year was the emergence of clergymen with a strong political position. Starting from 1907, a clergy interested in illegal literature appeared. However, neither the holy nor the monir orders committed acts of misconduct that could be administered by a secular Court. 1908 and 1909 are characterized by an almost complete stop of investigations for political reasons.
The study, carried out, showed that the Don Orthodox clergy of the first Russian Revolution period, despite the response in its minor part, demonstrated the passivity and indifference to the revolutionary events, pronounced the dictated by the Holy Synod ideology and avoided conflicts both with secular and clerical powers.
Don clergy, The October Manifesto (17th of October 1905), the first Russian revolution, the clerical court, the “Confidential” matter of the Don clerical consistory

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