Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute
Relying on Orthodox published media, as well as on the special scientific literature,
the author of this article analyses public opinion about the Russian Orthodox
Church and Its Clergy’s Influence on population in the Right-Bank Ukraine
during late 19th — early 20th Cent. The author concludes that the official religion
was in a deep crisis. Its influence on the parishioners gradually diminished, especially
in cities and industrial centres. This manifested itself in a gradual spread
of indifference, free-thinking, disbelief, atheism, the conversion from Orthodoxy
into sectarian religious directions. The authors of analysed documents explained
these threatening phenomena in radically different ways. No less conflicting were
proposed methods of coping these issues. Nevertheless, despite a variety of discussions
in the Orthodox media, the Russian Orthodox Church’s reaction was onesided.
It concentrated main efforts on church-oriented events (anniversaries, congresses,
the creation of new structures, etc.) or, with state’s assistance, on events of administrative, prohibitive character. As time has shown, such approaches could not hinder or neutralize negative phenomena in the Orthodox Church. The spirit of the approaching catastrophe was haunting.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox clergy, the Right-bank of Ukraine,
Russian autocracy, society.