Kostryukov Andrey

St. Seraphim (Sobolev) and the “Case of prince Lobanov-Rostovsky”

Kostryukov Andrey (2018) "St. Seraphim (Sobolev) and the “Case of prince Lobanov-Rostovsky” ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2018, vol. 82, pp. 107-134 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201882.107-134


Archbishop Seraphim Sobolev (proclaimed a saint in 2016) is known as an ascetic and defender of Orthodoxy. This publication deals with an unexplored period of life of this hierarch. During the confl ict between authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and head of West European diocese metropolitan Eulogy (Georgievsky), the brochure “Turmoil of Carlovci” (Russ. «Карловацкая смута») was spread. Among various accusations against the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, it contained insinuations against archbishop Seraphim. In particular, the author of the brochure accused him of an unfair excommunication of prince Lobanov-Rostovsky. Drawing on to the letters of Lobanov-Rostovsky that were found in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the author of the publication came to a conclusion that these remarks about the holy hierarch are unfair. The struggle for infl uence over the parish of St. Nicholas in Sofi a became a cause of the confl ict. Lobanov-Rostovsky held tactless conversations as he was displeased with the fact that archbishop Seraphim became close to the family of M. Zyzykin. These conversations stained the reputation of bishop Seraphim and his younger brother hieromonk Sergius. As a result, Lobanov-Rostovsky was excommunicated until he showed repentance. Episcopal Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad discussed this confl ict in 1925. Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) decidedly supported archbishop Seraphim. Episcopal Synod also took the side of the bishop. They confi rmed that archbishop Seraphim’s decision was fair. The confl ict ended with the reconciliation between archbishop Seraphim and prince Lobanov-Rostovsky in the summer of 1925.


Saint Seraphim (Sobolev), metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), metropolitan Eulogy (Georgievsky), M. Zyzykin, I. Lobanov-Rostovskiy, Russian emigration in the 20th century, Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, West European exarchate of parishes of Russian tradition, Russian church of St. Nicholas in Sofia


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Information about the author

Kostryukov Andrey

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Theology;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for Humanities; 6/1 Likhov Pereulok, office 219, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Post: Leading Research Fellow, Research Centre for Contemporary History of Russian Orthodox Church; Associate Professor, Department of General and Russian Church History and Canon Law;
ORCID: 0000-0003-4334-1035;
Email: a.kost@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.