Antony (Khrapovitsky)

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Archbishop Anthony by Mikhail Nesterov. 1917

Metropolitan Antony (Russian: Митрополит Антоний, secular name Aleksey Pavlovich Khrapovitsky, Russian: Алексей Павлович Храповицкий; 17 March 1863 – 10 August 1936) was an Orthodox Christian bishop in Russia, who after the Russian Revolution of 1917 played a part in restoring the Moscow Patriarchate. After Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917 he left Russia, and became a founder of Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Biography[edit]

Aleksey Pavlovich Khrapovitsky was born in Russia on 17 March 1863 in Vatagino (near Novgorod), the son of a landowner. He studied theology at Saint Petersburg Theological Academy, from which he graduated in 1885. In that year he became a monk and took the name Antony in honor of St. Antony the Roman of Novgorod.

He taught briefly at the Academy where he had studied, and then at the Moscow Theological Academy (1890-1894) and as Rector of the Kazan Theological Academy (1894-1900). During the latter period he was appointed vicar-bishop of Kazan (1897). In 1900 Antony was made bishop of Ufa, and in 1902 bishop of Volhynia and Zhitomir. In this position he suppressed the Eastern Catholics of Ukraine as well as nationalism within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In 1912 bishop Antony was elected to the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. Two years later he became bishop of Kharkov, with the title of arch-bishop. After the February revolution of 1917 he was among those who argued successfully for the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate. After Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized power bishop Antony became bishop of Kiev, with the title of metropolitan (1918), but in the face of increasing opposition from the Communists to the Christians he fled Russia for Sremski Karlovci, Serbia, and in 1920 became leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in exile.

He became known as a polemicist who argued against papal supremacy. In the 1920s and 1930s he published in Russian many books on theology and literature.

Bishop Antony died on 10 August 1936. A nine-volume Russian biography by bishop Nicon (Rklitsky) was published in New York, 1956-1962.

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