(1928). The Orthodox in gatherings like these encouraged western Christians to engage in 'retraditioning', that is, the discovery of a once common, but forgotten, path. Such was the conviction of Fr Georges Florovsky, one of Evlogii's most prominent priests. Since no representatives from the USSR could then participate in any ofthe consultations ofthe ecumenical movement, it fell to the diaspora to represent Russian interests in this and in other spheres. Florovsky was to become a leading figure in the early years of the WCC (World Council of Churches). Two graduates of the Paris theological institute, Fr John Meyendorff and Fr Alexander Schmemann, were laterto continue such workin the context of the American diaspora. Meyendorffwas to become the chairman of the Faith and Order commission of the WCC.


The Russian Orthodox Church in the USSR had no institutes of higher education from 1928 to 1945. Nor was it likely that any of its theological works would see the light of day. The diaspora was faced with the task of making good these defects; hence the foundation in 1925 of the Institut Saint-Serge.38 Its first dean was Sergii Bulgakov. Metropolitan Evlogii's diocese of western Europe was thus able to train many generations of its theological students for service in the wider church. Some of their number went on to become important scholars in their various fields. More productive still was the dedicated staff who taught them. Their writings were usually produced in Russian. But many were translated at the time or since into the major European languages. Thus they also made their contribution to the Christian west. Most of their Russian works appeared in a publishing house which the Christian west itself provided and maintained. In 1920 western friends of the Russian emigration, such as Paul Anderson, John Mott, Donald Lowrie and Gustav Kullmann, secured support from the American YMCA. This body was to sponsor its Russian clients for over sixty years. The enterprise still bears its name.

The fact that western Christians were involved in this sponsorship caused dismay among the members ofthe Church Abroad. Ecumenism was a problem in itself. In this case there were additional suspicions that freemasons were involved. At times the bishops of the Church Abroad convinced themselves that this was so. Hence their declaration of 1932: 'The Russian emigration is

38 Alexis Kniazeff, L'Institut Saint-Serge: de l'Académie d'autrefois au rayonnement d'aujourd' hui (Paris: Editions Beauchesne, 1974).

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