Vladimir Abrikosov

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Vladimir Abrikosov
Alma materImperial Moscow University

Vladimir Vladimirovich Abrikosov (22 October 1880 – 22 July 1966) was a Catholic priest of the Byzantine rite who converted from Russian Orthodoxy, and a member of Russian apostolate in the Diaspora.

Early years[edit]

Abrikosov was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church, but in his youth his attitude towards religion became critical. Abrikosov graduated from the 5th Moscow Gymnasium and historical-philological faculty of Moscow University, and also studied at Oxford. In 1905, married his cousin Anna Abrikosova. For five years the couple traveled to Europe, where he became seriously interested in Catholicism.

Conversion to Catholicism[edit]

In 1908, Anna Abrikosova converted to Catholicism and a year later, Vladimir. In 1910, Abrikosov returned to Russia. In his apartment in Moscow, they organized meetings of intellectuals, speaking to them on religious subjects and material support for poor Catholic children. Abrikosov's apartment was at that time one of the main centers of distribution of Catholic ideas in Moscow. In 1913, the couple taken novitiate of the Third Order of the Dominicans,[1] in the same year, during a trip to Rome, they brought vows and became members of the Order, and they had an audience with Pope Pius X. In Russia Abrikosov practiced Latin rite, thinking back to the Byzantine when it received sufficient development in Russia.

Ordination as Catholic priest[edit]

On 29 May 1917,[2] Vladimir Abrikosov took part in the Council of the Russian Greek Catholic Church and was ordained a Catholic priest of the Byzantine rite by a Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and in the same year he was appointed him rector of the Moscow Greek Catholic parish and head of the Moscow Dominicans.

Arrest and expulsion from Russia[edit]

In 1920–1922 in the Abrikosov's house an interview occurred between representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, which was attended by Moscow intellectuals. Under the influence of Abrikosov in particular, Dmitriy Kuz'min-Karavaev converted to Catholicism. Such activity was considered counterrevolutionary and on 17 August 1922, Vladimir Abrikosov was arrested and sentenced to death, but then the punishment was condemned to perpetual exile. On 29 September of the same year, Abrikosov was expelled from Russia for philosophers' ship with the 150 largest Russian intellectuals.


Abrikosov built contacts with various representatives of the Russian emigre community, organized in Romea Committee of Russian Catholics, kept the Holy See due to the persecution of Catholics in Soviet Russia. In 1922 Abrikosov obtained an audience with Pope Pius XI to discuss the situation of the Russian Catholic Church. Soon after Abrikosov was recognized as an official member of the Congregation for Eastern Churches and procurator of the Russian Exarchate. However, Abrikosov faced accusations of being a Russian spy by a Russian officer, Baron Igor von der Launitz, a strong opposition of Michel d'Herbigny who wanted Abrikosov's resignation of his position inside the Roman Curia and conflicts with Jesuits. After Launitz's extradition from Italy, Abrikosov continued his work to abolish the Russian Exarchate when he left Rome to establish himself in Paris.


In the last years of his life away from the contacts with Russian immigrants, Abrikosov remained in solitude. He died on 22 July 1966.


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