The Moscow Patriarchate and the ROCOR to start composing common
martyr list next month
Moscow, June 21, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia plan to start composing a common
list of new saints, martyred by the Bolsheviks, in July 2007.
'The ROCOR has canonized many new martyrs without clear evidence that
they were really martyred for their faith, such as interrogation or
execution protocols. That could result in some mistakes,' the St.
Petersburg Central State Archive official Mikhail Shkarovsky told the
participants of the conference on Christianity, Culture and Moral
Values in Moscow on Thursday.
According to him, the number of Soviet citizens martyred for their
faith is still uncertain. We know, for instance, that out of 300,000
Orthodox clergymen 200,000 were murdered. At the moment, the Moscow
Patriarchate has canonized near 1,500 new martyrs.
However, the canonization process involves some problems, Shkarovsky
said. In particular, only few new saints martyred during the first
two years of the Bolshevik rule have been canonized due to lack of
documents. Members of the so-called 'rightwing opposition'
or 'Sergianist movement' also have problems with canonization since
the church people remain divided over the issue.
Finally, another problem with the canonization is that places of mass
execution and burial of the new martyrs are still unknown.