Metropolitan Nikolay of Krutitsy

Metropolitan Nikolay of Krutitsy

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Metropolitan Nicholas was the 12th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, from September 8, 1943 until his death. He was also the de facto head of the Russian Orthodox Church as Patriarchal locum tenens in 1925-1943.-Early life:...

, pledging loyalty of the Church to the Soviet authorities against the will of the imprisoned Patriarchal locum tenens, Peter of Krutitsy
Peter of Krutitsy
St. Hieromartyr Peter of Krutitsy , born Petr Fyodorovich Polyansky , was a Russian Orthodox bishop and martyr. From April 12 till December 9, 1925 he was the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, serving as the Patriarchal locum tenens...

, and Sergius' subsequent collaboration with them.

In 1941 he became Metropolitan of Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

 and Lutsk
Lutsk
Lutsk is a city located by the Styr River in northwestern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Volyn Oblast and the administrative center of the surrounding Lutskyi Raion within the oblast...

 and later, after the German invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, Metropolitan of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and Galicia. Later, as the German troops advanced, he was evacuated to Moscow.

On September 4, 1943, together with Metropolitan Sergius and Metropolitan Alexy, Nikolay had a meeting with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, where the latter proposed to reestablish the Moscow Patriarchate and elect the Patriarch. On September 8, 1943, when the Moscow Patriarchate was reestablished, Nikolay became a permanent member of the Holy Synod
Holy Synod
In several of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, the patriarch or head bishop is elected by a group of bishops called the Holy Synod...

. In 1944 he was appointed Metropolian of Krutitsy
Krutitsy
Krutitsy Metochion , full name: Krutitsy Patriarchal Metochion is an operating ecclesiastical estate of Russian Orthodox Church, located in Tagansky District of Moscow, Russia, 3 kilometers south-east from the Kremlin. The name Krutitsy , i.e. steep river banks, originally meant the hills...

. In 1946, when the External Church Relations Department was established within the Patriarchate, Metropolitan Nikolay became its chairman. In 1947 he became Meptropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna
Kolomna
Kolomna is an ancient city and the administrative center of Kolomensky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia, situated at the confluence of the Moskva and Oka Rivers, southeast of Moscow. The area of the city is about . The city was founded in 1177...

.

In 1950 he became a member of the World Peace Council
World Peace Council
The World Peace Council is an international organization that advocates universal disarmament, sovereignty and independence and peaceful co-existence, and campaigns against imperialism, weapons of mass destruction and all forms of discrimination...

, occupying a staunchly pro-Soviet position.

Nikolay held Joseph Stalin in high esteem. However, his increasingly open opposition to atheism
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 put him at odds with the Soviet leadership under Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

. In 1960 he was dismissed from the position of the Chairman of the External Church Relations Department and later left the position of Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna.