- Having been a member of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad for almost all of my twenty seven years as Orthodox, and yet never having been ontologically a Russian because my parents weren't Russian, this contretemps about Tsardom and Russian Monarchy has raised new questions in my mind:1. Since I have lived all my Orthodox life only in a political democratic republic, can I be saved? Is voting a sin because it participates in democratic republican government?2. Since Orthodoxy rests on the Patristic Tradition, the Councils and Canons, what is the Patristic, Conciliar and Canonical explanation or explication that only a Monarche/Monarchy can lead its people to Paradise?3. Prior to St Constantine's declaration that Christianity would now be protected instead of persecuted, or in other words when the Emperors persecuted Christians, was Monarchy still an essential Saving principle of government?4. However unpleasant it may be as a fact, it is nevertheless a fact that Tsar Ivan III Grozny ran a spear through his son. I think that is a fact of history. Does the fact that he was Tsar make that murder acceptable in the sight of God?These questions just come to mind, and have nothing whatever to do with the Tsar Martyr Nikolai II.Perhaps Vova H and one or more of his few fellow intellectuals on this List can respond. I am really trying to understand something new here which my mentors in Orthodoxy so far have failed to illuminate for me.Joseph Miller
- Actually, I think Ivan the Terrible was the 4th of that name.
And, furthermore, it was ever my understanding Tsar Ivan Groszny, murdered
his son Dimitri, by hitting him in the head with a metal rod, not a spear.
Dimitri was just as dead, either way.
This, of course, led to the "False Dimitri," who raised an army and so on.
I want to publicly confess: I vote. It is distasteful to me, but I do it.
It always seems to me hypocritical, but I do it!
The Romanovs came to power as Joseph says: By election of the Boyars, not
by the Grace of God. Doubtless, the Romanovs were descendants of St.
Valdimir, in some way.
Aren't most of us?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 01, 2000 7:12 PM
Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: Monarche
> Actually, I think Ivan the Terrible was the 4th of that name.
*** I was afraid I'd get the number wrong, you see, but the number of Ivans
was not the point, of course.
> And, furthermore, it was ever my understanding Tsar Ivan Groszny,
> his son Dimitri, by hitting him in the head with a metal rod, not a spear.
*** Okay, but I've read some other expert than yours, and mine said he
threw a spear. That's the trouble with historical experts.
> Dimitri was just as dead, either way.
*** It doesn't seem to matter, does it, but dear Fr Andrew nowhere in your
response do you exculpate or give absolution to Tsar Ivan III-IV, not even
because he was Tsar, and that's one of the dark corners of this brouhaha
about Tsars which I was hoping you or someone would enlighten.
> > I want to publicly confess: I vote. It is distasteful to me, but I
> It always seems to me hypocritical, but I do it!
*** Why hypocritical? I don't seem to me to be hypocritical when I vote,
just near to pointless.
> The Romanovs came to power as Joseph says: By election of the Boyars,
> by the Grace of God. Doubtless, the Romanovs were descendants of St.
> Valdimir, in some way.
> Aren't most of us?
*** Quite possibly you are, but my genealogy reaches back no more than three
generations, which makes me suspect something about my ancestors that
perhaps I don't want to know.
- There is a famous, 19th century painting of Ivan the Terrible clutching his
dead son. He looks not just bereaved, but absolutely demented (we are to
infer: by reason of the grief). It is not possible for me to absolve Ivan
the Terrible for what he did. Dead is dead. Unless I have missed something,
that particular book is closed.
The heightened rhetoric of all this becomes tedious. One person demanding
apologies from Americans for not being monarchists. Another saying the one
who started (and keeps starting) this line of reasoning reasons "like a
Of course, he does. He was educated by them. There was created a Homo
Sovieticus. There is an analogous situation in those of us who graduated
from Jesuit schools: We think the way they taught us to think.
Since, as a young man, Tsar Nicholas, II, kept a mistress, shall we refer to
that ballet dancer as "the sacred mistress of the sacred monarch"?
I doubt it. That is why, trying to remove this from something that
"matters" to an historical reference, I repeated the scoffing remark of the
wag who said of His Brittanic Majesty King Charles, II, "It must always be
remembered that His Majesty uses the chamber pot."