Bartholomew Remov

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Bartholomew Remov (born Nikolai Fedorovich Remov, October 3, 1888, Moscow, Russian Empire – June 26, 1935, Butyrka Prison, Moscow, Soviet Union ), was a Russian Orthodox bishop, representative to Metropolitan Peter, the locum tenens of the late Patriarch Tikhon. While secretly leading an underground Orthodox monastery and convent, Bishop Bartholomew was received into the Russian Catholic Church by the Latin Rite Bishop Pie Neveu. After this became known to Joseph Stalin's NKVD, the Bishop endured eighteen months of torture, all the while refusing to recant or to inform on his fellow believers. In 1935, he was convicted by an NKVD troika of plotting to assassinate Joseph Stalin and overthrow the CPSU in favor of a British-style constitutional monarchy. Almost immediately afterwards, Metropolitan Bartholomew was shot.


Son of the priest of the Church of Assumption in Moscow on Malaya Dmitrovka church. Remov graduated at Zakonospasskoe religious school, after in the Moscow Theological Seminary in 1908, the Moscow Theological Academy in 1912 with a degree in theology. Master of Theology in 1914, with a thesis: "The Book of Habakkuk. Introduction to interpretation".

Monastic life and scholar[edit]

On June 10, 1911 Remov was tonsured a monk, on June 23, 1911, ordained a deacon and February 18, 1912, as a priest. In 1912 he became an associate professor of Old Testament Scriptures of the Moscow Theological Academy. In 1913 dean of Academic Intercession Church and 1914 an associate professor. On August 20, 1916, Remov became an extraordinary professor. In 1919 head of the Academic Protection Church and Archimandrite. In 1920 Patriarch Tikhon appointed him director of the Higher Institute of Theology. At the same year preached against the opening of the relics of Sergius of Radonezh. On September 6, 1920, he was arrested for it, and on February 28, 1921, released for health reasons (he was carried from the prison on a stretcher). Master's thesis Bishop Bartholomew is based on a detailed analysis of the Greek and Hebrew texts of Habakkuk with the Slavic manuscripts. Work shows the deep erudition and multifaceted approach to the subject. The author focused on textual criticism and the "historical interpretation of the book of Habakkuk." However, more than a historian and biblical scholar, was known as an expert on liturgy and Church Slavonic. Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) asked him to correct all church services, singing, coming to review the Moscow Patriarchate.

Orthodox bishop[edit]

On July 28, 1921 Bishop of Sergiev Posad vicariate, a vicariate of the Moscow diocese. After the closure of the Trinity Sergius Lavra in from 1923 to 1929 Remov became head of the Vysokopetrovsky Monastery in Moscow. From 1925 to 1935 he became head of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, in Putinki, and in this temple after the closing of the monastery moved clergy who served with Bishop Bartholomew, and those close to him by parishioners. Respected by the faithful as an ascetic, a prayer and confessor, had a reputation as an old man. Remov organized secret monastic communities and remained under the jurisdiction of Deputy Patriarchal Locum Tenens Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), was critical of the church and its political course. In 1928 he was arrested, charged with "harboring a spy." While in detention, signed an undertaking to cooperate with the Joint State Political Directorate, and then was released. As the agent did not give information security officers, which they had hoped. Since his "cooperation" with the JSPD agent acted as a formal order to preserve the secret monasticism in Moscow, "covering" him from reprisals from the authorities. On June 9, 1934 Remov was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

Secret Catholic[edit]

In 1928 Remov met with the apostolic administrator in Moscow, Bishop Pius Eugene Neva, which then constantly communicated (the JSPD believed that Bishop Bartholomew will inform security officers about the moods and activities of the Bishop Neva). In fact, considered a reapprochement with Catholics as an opportunity to ease the fate of the Russian Church, committed to the Vatican representative in Russia about the persecution of the Church in order to bring it to the international community. Gradually Remov began to show sympathy for Catholicism, but still in 1931 the bishop of the Neva in a letter expressing doubt that Bishop Bartholomew may be a Catholic, because it is "limited to vague words about their likes and is very afraid of compromising himself." However, already in 1932 secretly converted to Catholicism, has created a small Catholic community of secret members of his church. On his move to Catholicism without the knowledge of security officers. In 1933 received the official documents on its powers of papal commission Pro Russia signed by the head of the commission of Bishop Michel d'Herbigny. The document said the establishment of the Department of titular Sergiev Posad vicariate in the jurisdiction of the Pope and put to it "is vested with the episcopal dignity in the Eastern rite" and putting Bishop Bartholomew as a vicar bishop of the Bishop Neva. D'Herbigny' gave his support to Bishop Bartholomew (the first such example in Russia in the 20th century), considering the secret Catholic bishop as the future Patriarch of the Eastern Rite in the jurisdiction of the Pope. Some fans believed Bishop Bartholomew's information about its transition to Catholicism false (in the first half of the 1990s seriously considered the possibility of his identity as a saint of the Orthodox saints). They believed that an Orthodox bishop in his relations with the Catholics did not go beyond consultation and transfer of information. In their view, the recognition of the interrogations were "knocked out" by employees of the NKVD, and the documents that came from d'Herbigny dubious. However, their argument is rejected both Orthodox and Catholic scholars. The General Archive of the Augustinian monks in Rome kept correspondence between Bishop Bartholomew and Bishop Neve, proving his Catholicism.

The last arrest and death[edit]

In early 1928 Remov was arrested and released, because he had given a written that become a secret informant for the JSPD. However, when on February 21, 1935 Remov was arrested, and was charged in the fact that he had nothing NKVD and posted a shot for "dereliction of duty." Rather than transferring the NKVD about fellow believers, he passed on the Vatican's representative in Russia, about the persecution of the Church. On February 21, 1935 Remov was arrested and sent to Butyrka prison. Remov was charged of treason and dereliction of duty in relation to the NKVD. On June 17, 1935, he was sentenced to death by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, and soon shot. Of all those arrested with him, he was one shot. For 1935 the sentence was quite severe. Perhaps this was due to the hardness Remov in interrogations, in particular, in response to the question, why did not he answer, the bishop said, "I tried to find a suitable material, but it is not found".

Further reading[edit]

  • Irina I. Osipova, Hide Me Within Thy Wounds: The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the USSR, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Fargo, North Dakota, 2003.


External links[edit]