August 19, 1927 – Soviet press (official Izvestia newspaper) made public a Declaration of Sergius Stragorodsky, Acting Patriarchal Locum Tenens of the Orthodox church in Russia, about the “unconditional loyalty of the Orthodox Church to the Soviet state”. Although this important document was signed before, it was made public exactly on the “Fatima day” of August 19. Unfortunately, this event is not widely known outside Russia, including in religious circles, although it is directly linked with religion. This document laid the foundation of such phenomenon (which the Orthodox opposing him called heresy) as Сергианство (Sergianism).
In his declaration, Sergius, and other bishops who signed it, said that the Orthodox church “decisively and irrevocably stood on the path of loyalty” to the Soviet (Communist and Atheist) State and called the Orthodox people to leave their political sympathies at home, bringing to the Church “only faith”, or, if they can’t, “get away from business”, and that the Declaration changes only the “relation to power”, but “faith and orthodox life remain unshakable” (which wasn’t true).
In this document Sergius, also without any shame, silenced religious persecutions in Soviet Russia, called anti-communist forces (including Orthodox clergy) “enemies”, said that the “joys and successes” of the Soviet State are “our (i.e. Orthodox) joys and successes” and the failures – “our failures” (however, we all know that the “joys” of the Communist State included the destruction of churches and murder of Christians).
Likewise any blow to the Soviet power Sergius called to consider as a “blow on us” (Orthodox) (sic!). But, the most important is the first paragraph, which was quoted above. As said Russian author Boris Talantov, it created a situation when people can be at the same time Orthodox believers and loyal and enthusiastic citizens of the Communist State. So, a person can believe in God, go to church, pray, take Communion, etc., but, outside the church building the same person can (and must) be a loyal and fervent servant of the Communist regime – a regime which spread atheism, materialism, persecutions of Christians, Red terror, and so on, not only in Russia, but to the whole world.
This is the essence of Sergianism. It is the direct rejection of the Social Reign of Jesus Christ.
Although some Orthodox bishops, priests and faithful (whom we can call kind of “Orthodox traditionalists”) opposed the Declaration of Sergius, they were soon silenced, exiled or murdered. And eventually Sergianism became an official doctrine of the Orthodox church (Sergius himself was elected Patriarch of Moscow on September 12th, 1943, with Stalin’s help). And although the Orthodox church had a long history of submission to the state power (caesaropapism, synodal period in Russia, etc.), there was something unprecedented in this – the submission of the Orthodox church to the openly anti-Christian, atheist regime – which broke even with the traditional Orthodox doctrine of church-state relations. What was interesting also about this event is that such change of doctrine happened against the background of saving the traditional Orthodox liturgy, traditional Orthodox liturgical practices, etc. When today many Western people (including some Traditional Catholics) admire the Eastern Orthodox liturgy, they do not understand, that these traditional forms do not have such a traditional essence.
This was a clever strategy of the Bolsheviks, the real instigators of Sergius’ Declaration, who, after their first attempt to destroy the Orthodox Church from inside – so-called obnovlenchestvo (“renewal”), which included modernization of doctrine and liturgy – failed, and made a second, more successful, attempt (Sergianism) to change doctrine almost without changing the liturgy. The Orthodox church and the Orthodox people, who are (as we can see through history) so obsessed by the liturgical forms, often not taking into account the essence, fell victims of this deception.
Interestingly, this event took place in the year 1927, the year in which Sister Lucy for the first time received from Heaven a permission to reveal the first two parts of the Fatima Secret.
Now, I want to speak about the years 1929 –1931, years crucial to the whole world from the Fatima point of view. Why? In this year, 2017, many people waited for something unusual, grandiose to happen, because this year is the 100-year anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. But, I, like some other people, who believe and are interested in Fatima, didn’t agree with them because the year in which Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia was the year 1929. In 1917 Our Lady said: “I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia…” and She came to ask in 1929 (apparition at Tuy, June 13). Why did She choose this year 1929 and why are those years 1929 –1931 (in 1931 Our Lord appeared at Rianjo and said that the Pope and bishops are delaying the consecration) so crucial?