Written by Vladimir Moss



     January 23, 2017 marked the 150th anniversary of the death of “Patriarch” Sergius (Stragorodsky) of Moscow, the man who betrayed hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of the finest Christians of our time to tortures and death in the Soviet Gulag by denouncing them to the KGB as “counter-revolutionaries”, becoming himself “an agent of worldwide antichristianity”, as one of his victims, Boris Talantov, put it. On January 26, his successor, “Patriarch” Cyril (Gundiaev), codenamed “Mikhailov” in the files of his master, the KGB, served a pannihida for him in Moscow, and delivered the following words in front of his grave. This is his speech, with a commentary in italics: 

     “Metropolitan Sergius did everything so that the Church should be preserved in the life of our people.”  

     Why call him “metropolitan” and not “patriarch”? Could it be because, in the conscience of the Russian people, Sergius was never a real patriarch, having acquired his rank by fawning before Stalin and trampling on the bodies of so many of his fellow hierarchs? For when he was made patriarch in 1944, no more than a handful of fellow traitors were in church to elect and enthrone him. The great majority of the others were either dead, having suffered martyrdom for refusing to do precisely what Sergius agreed to do, - that is, make the Church an instrument of “worldwide antichristianity” - or were still rotting “alive” in the camps, condemned to that destiny by Sergius himself when he denounced them as “counter-revolutionaries”. Was this the “life” that Sergius had preserved for the Church? No, this was spiritual death, the death of Judas, who hanged himself for 30 pieces and silver and then descended into hell as an example and warning to all traitors to the end of time…

     “Not everyone was able at that time to understand the wisdom of his acts.” 

     True up to a point. Sergius did not think about saving his reputation in the future. He thought only about saving his miserable skin in the present… As for saving the Church – yes, he thought about that, too. But not about the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is already saved by Christ and has no need of any human hand to support it. (Remember what happened to Uzzah when he tried to support the Old Testament Ark with his hand – he was struck dead by God!) He thought also – perhaps, for we cannot be sure that Sergius really cared for anybody except himself - about saving his “church” organization, what is now called the Moscow Patriarchate – that is, keeping it in existence as a faithful servant of the Antichrist and a spiritual snare for many future generations of Russians. As for his teaching that the Church is saved, not by the Cross of Christ, but by the treachery of feeble and sinful men, this was the heresy that the True Church has called “Sergianism”, but which Hieromartyr Victor of Vyatka – the very first bishop who separated from Sergius, whose relics are incorrupt, and whom the Moscow Patriarchate, amazingly, glorifies as a saint – called “worse than heresy”.

     “Let us offer up our prayers in a special way for this great man, the confessor-patriarch, on whose actions the very destiny of the Church depended to a large degree. After all, we know that although the Church is invincible and gates of hell will never prevail against it (cf. Matthew 16.18), there have been many historical examples of Local Churches disappearing under the pressure of hostile forces. His Holiness Patriarch Sergius did not permit the disappearance of our Church. He preserved it and thereby to a great degree he predetermined the present spiritual development of our Church and of our people.” 

     Yes, and what a terrible, truly terrible spiritual state does the Moscow Patriarchate find itself today! And all as a direct result of Sergius’ betrayal, which tore his church away from Christ, depriving it at the same time of the Grace of God and the Truth of the Orthodox confession of faith. And all “only that they may not suffer persecution for the Cross of Christ” (Galatians 6.12).

     The True Church will certainly prevail against the gates of hell, and glory to God that there are still Russian Christians today who are prevailing in it and through it. But let us not forget what happened immediately after the dialogue between Christ and the holy Apostle Peter on the Church. The Lord went on to describe how He would suffer and die for His Bride – that is, do the opposite of what Sergius did. “Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from Thee, O Lord, this shall not happen to Thee! But He turned and said to Peter: ‘Get thee behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’” (Matthew 16.22-23).

     St. Peter repented, and was restored to his position as leader of the Church, going on to suffer a glorious martyric death. Sergius did not repent. He rebuked the Christians for choosing the way of Christ, and died still unmindful of the things of God. To him, therefore, and to the demonic temptation that he and his “church” continue to place before us, we reply in the words of the Lord: “Get thee behind me, Satan!”


January 22 / February 4, 2017.

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