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Sergius (Stragorodsky) of Moscow

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'''Serguis I (Stragorodsky) of Moscow''' was the seventeenth [[Patriarch]] of Moscow and All Russia. He previously served as a bishop in three dioceses and as deputy and patriarchal ''[[locum tenens]]'' from 1927 to 1943, having ascended to this position following the death of Patr. Tikhon and imprisonment of Metr. Peter of Krutitsy, the previous locum tenens. He was particularly known and criticized for his allegedly willing submission to the Soviet government in Russia, often referred to as ''Sergianism''.
Ivan Nikolayevich Stragorodsky was born in the town of Arzamas near Nizhny Novgorod on [[January 11]], 1867. His father, Nicholas, was an arch[[priest]]. After receiving the name Sergius when he was tonsured a [[monk]], he studied in the Nizhny Novgorod [[seminary]], followed by studies at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. Sergius became proficient in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He was [[ordination|ordained]] to the [[deacon|diaconate]] and then to the priesthood. He was soon raised to the rank of [[archimandrite]]. In September 1890, he arrived in Japan to assist Bp. [[Nicholas of Japan]]. Here, while he taught at the [[Tokyo Orthodox Seminary (Tokyo, Japan)|Tokyo Orthodox Seminary]], he became fluent in Japanese before his return to Russia in 1898. Upon his return to the St. Petersburg Academy in 1899, he was appointed rector.
However, through his declaration he was able to establish a ''Temporary Patriarchal Council'' that received government recognition. In 1934, he assumed the title of His Beatitude, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna. In 1936, on the basis of reports of Metr. Peter's death, although in reality he wasn't executed until 1937, Metr. Sergius assumed the title of Patriarchal Locum Tenens. But arrests and executions of the Orthodox clergy and destruction of [[cathedral]]s, [[church]]es and other Church property continued. By mid-1941, only four [[bishop]]s remained free in the territory of the USSR.
With the serious strain on the USSR caused by the Nazi invasion in 1941, Joseph Stalin began scaling down on the campaign of militant [[atheism]] advocated by the Bolsheviks and sought the moral and financial support of the Church of Russia in the war. Stalin, on [[September 4]], 1943, met with the hierarchy of the Church and, in exchange for their loyalty and assistance, gave concessions to religion. Among these concessions were permission to open the Moscow Theological Seminary and Academy, release of imprisoned clergy, and return of church property including the [[Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra]]. This was at the cost of increased control by government secret services.
Among the concessions was an important one: permission to convene a council to elect a new patriarch. At a formal meeting of bishops on [[September 8]], 1943, Metr. Sergius was elected to the [[see]] of the Patriarch of Moscow. Although of advanced age (he was 76) and ailing in health, he was enthroned on [[September 12]], 1943. He died eight months later on [[May 15]], 1944 in Moscow.
== External links ==
==External link==* [ Wikipedia: Sergius_I_of_MoscowSergius I of Moscow]
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[[Category:Patriarchs of Moscow]]

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