process, a modest number of parishes was added to the Moscow loyalists of 1931. In consolidated form, this now formed a western European exarchate of its own. For good measure, another exarchate was added for the central parts of Europe. Each was an outpost of the Russian Church. Each also helped to further the foreign policies of the Moscow patriarchate. These policies were necessarily determined by the Soviet government's council for religious affairs. Emigres were not usually themselves their prime promoters. Even so, independent churchmen were welcome to the Soviet state since these could veil or even validate such policies by means of the credibility which they had earned abroad. At the behest of Stalin, the council for religious affairs ensured that a gathering of the world's Orthodox churches should take place at Moscow in 1948, the fifth centenary of Russia's self-proclaimed independence from Constantinople.29 It seemed a good moment for the Russian church authorities to seize the initiative and transform the jubilee into an ecumenical council, no less. In the process, the Constantinople patriarchate would be put in the shade, and the old dream of Moscow the third Rome would be realised at long last.30
In the event, the project was reduced to a conference, and no such council was ever to take place. But the idea that Moscow should take precedence in the Orthodox world was long to outlive the Stalin period. This was no longer 1931 or even 1948. Russian church affairs were proceeding on what appeared to be an even keel, the more so since the Khrushchev persecutions (1959-64) were carefully concealed. Was it reasonable for Constantinople still to be charged with the protection of emigre Russians? As the result of pressures from the Moscow patriarchate, Constantinople suddenly suspended its Russian exarchate in 1965 and urged its members to return 'home'. It made little difference. The exarchate retired for some years into a self-authenticating independence as an Orthodox archdiocese of France and western Europe, but was then in 1971 received back by the patriarchate of Constantinople. Had independence lasted longer, there might have been the need to reconsider the importance of validation from a parent church. Not that the problem was new. It had been posed in the distant 1920s by the Russian Church in exile, but it remained unresolved until 1970 when, as we have seen, the Russian archdiocese (metropolia) in the New World negotiated its formal independence from the patriarchate of Moscow, but its earlier experience had been one of 'temporary' independence.31
29 M. V Shkarovskii, Russkaiapravoslavnaia tserkov'pri Staline i Khrushcheve (gosudarstvenno-tserkovnye otnosheniia v SSSR v 1939-1964 godakh) (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo Krutitskogo Patriarshego Podvor'ia, 1999), 301-3.
30 Quoted with approval in Zhurnal Moskovskoi Patriarkhii 9 (1946), 56.
31 lubileinyi sbornik v pamiat' 15 o-letiia Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi v Severnoi Amerike (New York: Izdanie izdatel'skoi iubileinoi komissii, 1945), 11, 29.
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