861.404/517: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Hamilton) to the Secretary of State

1453. Izvestiya for September 18 reprinted an item from the first issue of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate regarding the excommunication of “traitors to the Church and the Fatherland”.98

The few among the clergy who have lent aid or comfort to the Germans or have betrayed their countrymen are warned they will suffer temporal as well as eternal punishment. The Holy Orthodox Church, the Russian as well as the Eastern, states the warning, has already condemned traitors to Christianity and the Church. The assembled bishops who sign the statement, declare that they confirm this condemnation. Everyone going over to the side of fascism will be excommunicated, and traitorous bishops or clergy will be unfrocked.

  1. For correspondence concerning the trial and sentencing of German war criminals and their Russian accomplices in the Soviet Union, see pp. 845 ff.