PHOTO: Grigory Rasputin and Emperor Nicholas II
The head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion, believes that Nicholas II should have followed the advice of Grigory Rasputin and not entered the First World War, and thus saved both the monarchy and Russia.
“Rasputin was an ardent opponent of Russia’s entry into the war, and he *warned the Tsar that if Russia entered the war, it would threaten the entire country with catastrophic consequences,” the metropolitan stated during an interview on the Church and Peace program, aired recently on the Russia-24 TV channel.
*In July 1914, while still lying in bed in Siberia recovering from stab wounds he received during an attempt on his life, he telegraphed, “Let Papa [Nicholas II] not plan war, for with the war will come the end of Russia and yourselves and you will lose to the last man.” Anna Vyrubova, who delivered the telegram to the Emperor, reported that he angrily tore it to pieces.
The hierarch recalled that Tsar did not listen to Rasputin’s stark warning, “Russia entered the war and had every chance of winning by military means, but other factors entered the course of history, and as a result, Russia lost not only part of it’s lands, but the collapse of the Russian Empire.”
“A new state, a totalitarian state, was formed in Russia, and nothing remains of that old great Russia, of that Holy Russia which survived for many centuries, except, of course, the Russian Orthodox Church,” the bishop said.
At the same time, Metropolitan Hilarion noted that he had an ambivalent attitude towards the figure of Rasputin. In particular, he admitted that Rasputin committed all sorts of inappropriate acts, including drunkenness, which took place in front of many witnesses. “All this is documented, it would be impossible, it seems to me, to represent this as some kind of slander against a holy man,” he added.
© Paul Gilbert. 21 March 2022