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Drozdov Philaret

1782-1867. Metropolitan of Moscow. Son of a church cantor, he was educated at the Troitskii laura, near Moscow, became lecturer at its seminary in 1803, and took monastic vows in 1808. Ordained in 1809, he held the chair in philosophy in the seminary in St. Petersburg, also lecturing in theology in the Ecclesiastical Academy. Appointed to the Holy Synod (1818), he was made bishop of Jaroslav (1820), then archbishop (1821) and metropolitan (1826) of Moscow. His liberal episcopal career was restricted by the reactionary reign of Nicholas I (1825-55). The work of a gifted theologian, printed sermons rather than books preserve his thought, together with several volumes of letters which demonstrate his administrative judgments. Having early been exposed to and much appreciated Protestant thinking, he protested the Russian Church's insinuation of heresy, even declaring that their official pronouncements were only private opinions, doctrinal decisions being invalid so long as there were no administrative canons. With the liberal reforms of Alexander II he was honored by the production of a manifesto (1861) whereby the czar released the peasants from serfdom.