Meletius Smotrytsky : biography
"What is a letter?…" from the first edition of Smotrytsky’s grammar
Meletius Smotrytsky ( ), né Maksym Herasymovytch Smotrytsky (c. 1577 – 17(27) December 1633), Archbishop of Polotsk (Metropolitan of Kiev), was a writer, a religious and pedagogical activist of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a Ruthenian linguist whose works influenced the development of the Eastern Slavic languages, and a Doctor of Medicine. His book "Slavonic Grammar with Correct Syntax" (1619) systematized the study of Church Slavonic and, according to Vinokur, "became the standard grammar book in Russia right up till the end of the 18th century." He believed in the revival of the Orthodox religion in traditionally Slavic lands(see Slavic people) centered in the Tsardom of Moscow.
As Uniate Bishop
Following the adoption of the union Smotrytsky was a huge advocate of complete reunification of the Church. He continued efforts in this regard, it has taken more in the years 1621-1624 by Uniate Archbishop Rutsky (all resulting from the projects of the new union were firmly rejected by the Orthodox hierarchy). He hid the fact that he has already made a convert to the union. His attitude, however, began to raise suspicions of the clergy. If retained popularity among the priests and faithful in Belarus, both fraternity Vilnius and Kiev monks from monasteries ceased to trust him. Also, Catholics were not yet convinced that Smotrytsky retained full fidelity to the recently adopted Catholicism. On April 8, 1628, Cardinal Ludovisi in a letter to Alexander Zasławski demanded that the minister made a public profession of the Catholic faith. Smotrycki not already resided in Vilnius, but in a monastery in Dermaniu. The events that led to the final disclosure of Smotrytsky’s conversion to Catholicism is known for a number of certificates of origin from himself or from his Orthodox opponents – with published in 1628 as Apology Smotryckiego and anonymous works Apolleia Apology. Smotrytsky claimed that for the first time after conversion met with the Orthodox bishops of the Republic during the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lady in 1627 in Kiev. The meeting was also attended by Peter Mogila, which is still a layman. Mogila and Archbishop Job asked Smotryckiego to show them the catechism, who had presented the Patriarch of Constantinople. This agreed, provided that the Metropolitan agree to the publication of his six chapters that discuss the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, before the council of the Orthodox Church in the Republic approved the catechism. The next meeting of the hierarchy took place in the sixth Sunday of Lent in Horodku, property belonging to the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. It was attended, in addition to Meletius Smotrytsky, the Metropolitan Job, Bishop Isaac Luck, Chelm Paisjusz and Peter Mogila, who was already superior Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. Smotrytsky delivered a speech at the meeting, which discussed the six basic differences between the two confessions. Then the assembled council decided to convene the Orthodox Church in the Republic to Kiev, participation in it had taken not only the clergy, but also representatives of the Orthodox nobility and bourgeoisie. The bishops agreed to at the Council presented a draft union between Orthodox and Uniate Churches. Hierarchs agreed thereby that the contrary to earlier findings published Meletius Smotrycki no new treaty discussing the differences between the rival churches, and the text of a completely different pronunciation. Smotrytsky later argued that both the Metropolitan Job and Peter Mogila allows for the conclusion of a new union . It was not until much Anti-EU stance of the Cossacks in attendance at the council to Kiev led them to change their position. According Mironowicz, Smotrycki convinced that the organization of Metropolitan Job council in August of 1628 years. In the run-up to the Orthodox council Smotrytsky contacted with the Metropolitan Rutsky, presenting him to consult their catechism developed. However, in Catholic circles have continued to be expressed doubts about the sincerity of his intentions. Smotrytsky described that the council took place in a tense atmosphere, and lay delegates, mainly Cossacks were forced certain decisions of the bishops. Smotrycki was increasingly suspected of pro-Uniate sympathies. Therefore, after his arrival in Kiev was not accommodated in Pechersk Lavra and had to live in the monastery of Saint Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery. The priest wrote that he has been in the council visited by representatives of the Cossacks, who threatened him in death, in the event that the Orthodox hierarchy has agreed to join the union. His design of a new union of church and arguments for the introduction signed the Treaty of Apology peregrinated to Eastern countries. Discussion on Smotrytsky’s projects of union held at the Kyiv council, without the participation of Cossack delegates. However, under the pressure of the Orthodox clergy explicitly rejected the proposals of the former archbishop of Polotsk, and his treatise condemning. Smotrytsky was accused of preaching heresy, including Sabellianism and Manichaeism. They do not agree on the introduction of the amendments to the Treaty, and the public demanded the rejection of the claims contained therein. During the informal meeting of hierarchs in one of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Smotrycki signed statement submitted to it by renouncing also Apology and that he will not return after the Council of the monastery in Dermaniu. However, on the same day (as claimed Smotrytsky – quite unexpectedly) during the evening prayer, gathered again condemned Apology: each hierarchy cursed book, tore one of her cards and burned. He did it also with Meletius Smotrytsky’s works. According to the Orthodox relations of the same event were Archbishop of Polotsk knew about the planned condemnation of the Treaty and to come to terms with this fact. After the meeting of the council Orthodox hierarchs announced the Smotrytsky’s condemnation to which he answered, two new texts polemical: Protestacją, published in the same year, and Exethisis of 1629. Smotrytsky’s works that occurred in the years 1628-1629 were also repeatedly criticized publicly by the Orthodox monks of the Republic. This meant the failure of EU initiatives hierarchy, although projects to unite the two Churches were still presented in the following years. Smotrytsky’s arguments in favor of union presented again in 1629 published in Paraenensis, poorly admonition to the Russian nation. And this time was not supported Orthodox Bishops. Smotrycki was considered Orthodox bishop in January 1629 (Joseph Bobrykowicz was even then his deputy in the office of the monastery of Saint Spirit in Vilnius), but a few months later the Orthodox clearly recognized him as a traitor, who renounced his former profession of private material benefits. Also the Catholic Church immediately after the council of Kiev decided Smotrytsky be fully devoted the union, especially since it is still not publicly acknowledged that he had left Orthodoxy. Only in mid-1629 years concerns of Catholics in this area have expired. The documents of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith since then are only words the belief that Smotrycki will be a great Catholic, devoted strengthening to the union. The moment of official and public Smotrytsky’s deliver to the Catholic creed, which ultimately led to the controversy surrounding his confessional affiliation, has not been clearly established. It must, however, take place between his return to Kiev after the council Dermania (at the end of August 1628) and in January 1629 when the Uniate Archbishop Rutsky had complete confidence in him. Smotrytsky in his writings never mentioned the date and circumstances of the eventual abandonment of the Orthodox Church. In September of 1629 Smotrytsky took part in Orthodox-Uniate Synod in Lviv, where he has already performed at the opening of the Uniate and Orthodox negotiations to convert to Catholicism. It was his last public appearance during which he took voice on issues of religion and the position of the Ruthenian nation. Synod of Lviv, in which assumptions and Uniate Metropolitan King was to lead to the establishment of the Republic of the Uniate Patriarchate, ended in the complete failure, because neither the Orthodox hierarchy, and even sent a fraternity Lvov agreed with their delegates.