Priest Igor Logunov: For members of the Royal martyrs, in the first place, the example of a family

On the night of 17 July 1918 in the house of engineer Ipatiev in Yekaterinburg was the execution of the Royal family and its entourage. Killed were 11 people. In 2000 the Royal family was canonized. To the 100-year anniversary of the shooting we talked to the priest by Igor Logunov, the clergyman of the first Church in Moscow consecrated in honor of Saint Regal martyrs.

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  • About the Martyr’s death of the Royal Family and their faithful servants
  • The memory of the Royal Family: cry or rejoice?
  • Patriarch Kirill: the Royal passion-bearers with their Calvary instructed us to take care of people’s spiritual life

The iconostasis we have in the Athonite style – see which archangels simply from another world calling.

– “Remember death”, father Igor?

No, not of repentance, he laughs.

The temple of Regal martyrs on voykovskoy – the first Cathedral in Moscow dedicated to the Royal family. He’s almost finished, there is not much to conduct communication: heat and water supply, ventilation. Priest Igor Logunov appointed to serve in the temple two years ago.

The protesters believed that the temple rubbish

– Tell about the temple, how it was built, why this place? Not coincidentally, perhaps, and the metro station “Voykovskaya” next?

– Yes, of course, the place was not chosen accidentally. It is known that Voikov is associated with the execution of the Royal family and the temple in such a place becomes a kind of monument, a reminder of the committed in 1918. Construction began under the program “200 temples” in 2014, it is still not completed. And it was the first Orthodox Church in Moscow dedicated to the passion-bearers Emperor Nicholas II and his family — Empress Alexandra, Tsarevich Alexy, Grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.

And the history of the temple began in 2011, when residents of the district at a public hearing supported the construction of a Church of 200 members. At the same time and the decision was made the consecration of the future temple in honour of Regal martyrs. Undoubtedly, the name of the Church is essential for spiritual and historical memory of Russia.

– The construction of the temple did not cause the protests, maybe the Communists?

– There was discontent, but not associated with ideology, just were people of the old school, who do not need a temple. They believe that in the temple of the powder brains, and Christianity in General sect. With the Royal family, these protests were not connected. People didn’t care, after whom the temple.

Someone who is a conscious atheist, and someone who is driven a lot, when asking the questions: “Why are you here? What is your opinion, what can you say?”, they often don’t know what to say. But serious conflict is not reached. When you invite people to drink tea in a calm atmosphere, they are ready to communicate constructively. For example, the main claim was that the temple will close the window – the houses here are quite close. We went to meet – reducing the height of the temple.

Today your members are the people who have chosen a Church in honour of the Royal family by chance?

Primarily for our members of the Royal martyrs – the sample families. The Royal family became for many an example of the feat of confession in our complicated modern world – at work, among non-Church friends. They appeal to the saints with a prayer for strengthening families and raising children in faith and piety, the preservation of their purity and chastity, help in school — in fact during the persecution of the Imperial family was especially close-knit.

The monarchy is the ideal, which we lost

– Come to the temple people who want to do the Royal family like a banner of political struggle? Monarchists, Communists?

– Yes, there were such people, but we somehow just all extremes repaid. Even came a guy from ultra-nationalist organization, Russian national unity “Russian national unity”. He wanted to take the blessing we have to constantly pray and talk to people on nationalist themes. Said very fond of the Tsar Nicholas. But the political life in our parish had not happened.

We immediately voiced his position that the Russian Orthodox Church is not involved in various political movements and that we honor the Royal family as saints. You cannot do any Holy banner of political struggle, and then under this banner shouting their slogans to make political statements. This way of life for an Orthodox Christian. That’s what we explained to the guy.

And the Communists came, as a rule, old age. They visited us a few times, but not fanatics against the Church, they are not. They have their own beliefs, their own faith, and they want to meet, discuss their views.

– How do you feel about the idea of the return of the monarchy?

– I think at the moment the restoration of the monarchy is not appropriate for Russia. This idea is not viable it will not survive, and it is artificial to impose the more strange. Society is too divided and in a state dominated by trends which do not contribute to its unification.

The monarchy is the ideal, which we lost. And ideal monarch serves the people and the country, leads to salvation of people and the state. Otherwise, I’m afraid, get a new totalitarian state. “Everything that is done, let is love”, otherwise it will collapse. An example of such a construction without love, without spiritual aspiration for salvation is of the Soviet Union. But the monarchical idea just promotes Association of the people of society based on the ideals of the New Testament.

We can only pray for ancestors, but to repent for them it is impossible

– What kind of feat this – strastoterptsev who revealed to the Royal family? You know his people?

– Martyrs – the martyrs who showed obedience to the will of God and Bethsabee to their murderers, not requiring them a direct renunciation of faith in Christ. Tsar Nicholas II made his will, and death, and preceding suffering. He didn’t try to escape their fate, fled across the border, for example, he chose to go to the end. He probably knew his way, the Lord has opened. And he probably felt guilty about the abdication. He wrote about it in letters, repented and wanted to atone. But we don’t judge him as a historical figure.

Now historians are trying to evaluate the reign of Nicholas II. Yes, Tsar Nicholas rules gently, but he made decisions not influenced by other people’s opinions, it was not spontaneous, flighty decisions. And the fact that he was a gentle soul… you know, our people always judge with a “minus”: if the ruler is solid, will call a tyrant; if it’s too soft – weak. I believe that the main assessment of the life of the king revealed his death. Tsar Nicholas and his family became martyrs for Christ.

– How do you feel about the calls for a national repentance for the murder of the king?

– As an Orthodox man and an Orthodox priest as a negative, of course. First, repentance must come from the Church itself in a natural way, it may not be out of context of the divine Eucharist, it may not be outside the context of the sacrament of penance. If we act outside the Body of Christ, we are outside of Christ, we have fellowship with Him, and such repentance will not bring fruit.

Secondly, a person can repent for myself, because the salvation, knowledge of God is of a personal nature. And for someone to repent I can’t for my grandfather, grandmother, and ancestors. It’s their life, once they have made their choice, and not I, but the Lord will only give an estimate of their life. Personally, my salvation, may serve to rescue them, but none of my repentance for them. I only can according to the teachings and experience of Church that comes from the experience of the saints, to pray for their ancestors. Everything else is fanatical secular in nature. If we honor the Holy fathers and the teaching of the Church, we will avoid the extremes. Because extremes lead to heresy. We know many such examples in the life of the Church.

I was just a soldier – and became the Church warden, the Treasurer and the caretaker

– Igor, how did you come to the priesthood?

The priest I was eight years ago, and to the priesthood came gradually, as well as the awareness of God in my life, to fellowship with Him. It all started back in 1997 when I was in the army. I am originally from Tambov region, and he served in the Perm region in the Urals. In military units of a missile division decided to build the temple – had the opportunity, had the means, though the times were hard: there was the first Chechen war. In part sent a monk from one of the oldest monasteries of the Perm region – Holy Trinity Stefanov. His name was Simeon, and I remembered in prayers so far. I think he is alive and well, but we have not seen him, and he probably doesn’t even know that I was the priest.

Then I was just a soldier. And participated in the construction of this temple. Gradually I got interested in the Church books, Church Slavonic language, which I began to read. When the temple was consecrated in honor of St. innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow, the first time I went to confession and received communion. Then God somehow providentially arranged that I stayed at the Church one someone quit, someone was transferred to another part. I got all the keys, and, as father Simeon often went to the monastery, I became and elder, and Treasurer, and Keeper – followed along, while remaining in military service. I still had six months of service.

The authorities were not against it. Reached that I from the barracks brought a bed and I slept in the temple separately. I did not expect, but ordered the division commander.

– And the other soldiers as they react to such an elite status? Not jealous?

Quietly somehow. I was invited to his co-workers, and fed up. I even fired from the army before all the guys then promoted a month and a half, and I’m around town was free. The dismissal of mine, by the way, had on 6 may – day of memory of St. George the victorious, and I often prayed to him.

So began my initiation to the Church. The Lord led from strength to strength: “Without Me ye can do nothing.” Then I went back home, became an altar boy at the Church of the Holy unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian in the Tambov region. Realised that need to be defined in life, not stand still, develop. I decided to try their hand and enter the Moscow theological Seminary. Received the blessing of Archpriest Sergius Toroptseva and entered the first time. Serge didn’t even expect. When I returned from the monastery, he asked, “Well, what?” I say “Received”. He shouts, “can’t be!”

At the Academy I was first ordained deacon in 2009, and a year later – in 2010 – to the priesthood. And the temple of the Royal martyrs I was appointed in 2016 Patriarch.

– None army colleagues did not come to you?

– No, I did not meet anyone. Yes they are, I probably wouldn’t. The boy who was in the army, quite changed.

Interviewed By Maria Stroganova

Photo: Yefim, Richman

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