Pope Pius X and Russia
The relations between Pope Pius X and Russia were difficult, and the situation of Polish Catholics in Russia did not improve.
Religious freedom decrees in 1903 and 1905
Tsar Nicolas issued a decree on 22 February 1903, promising religious freedom for the Catholic Church, and, in 1905, promulgated a constitution, which included religious freedom.
Accords undermined by Church rivals
Opposition to the Mariavites sect
A religious movement supported and financed by Russia, the Mariavites, began to gain ground among the Polish faithful, although the Pope had condemned it in 1907. In his encyclical Tribus circiter Pope Pius wrote to the episcopate, warning against national radicals and asking for peace and order.
In 1907, he signed an agreement that prescribed mandatory Russian history and literature courses in Catholic seminaries in Polish Russia in exchange for greater rights for the faithful.
The publication of the Apostolic Letter Ea Semper, which dealt with the Eastern Rite Catholics in the United States, led to a number of defections to the Russian Orthodox Church in America.
Feeling of betrayal from Russia
Afterwards, he felt betrayed by the Russians, who did not ease the conditions of Polish faithful. At his last public reception of the Diplomatic Corps, Pius X publicly told the Russian ambassador, Aleksandr Nelidov:
We will not accept greetings or congratulations from Russia, which did not keep a single promise to us and or to the Catholics in Russia.
- Schmidlin III, 125
- Schmidlin II, 126
- Acta Pii II, 1905.
- Schmidlin III 127
- Diethelm, O.S.B., Walter (1956). Saint Pius X: The Farm Boy Who Became Pope. Vision Books. pp. 136–137. LCCN 56-5990. OCLC 1672245.