Vol. 42 (2022)
Archive Materials

Vladimir Beneshevich and the Provisional Administration of the Georgian Church

Merab Ghaghanidze
University of Georgia

Published 2022-04-30


  • Beneshevich,
  • Church,
  • Administration,
  • Autocephaly,
  • Commissioner

How to Cite

Ghaghanidze, M. (2022). Vladimir Beneshevich and the Provisional Administration of the Georgian Church. Literary Researches, 42, 317–340. Retrieved from https://literaryresearches.litinstituti.ge/index.php/literaryresearches/article/view/6495


On March 12, 1917 the Georgian clergy and lay people – with the support of the political forces – declared the autocephaly of the Georgian Church,

i.e. the independence of the Georgian Church from the Russian Church. At the beginning, the Russian Provisional Government supported this decision, but the Synod of the Russian Church firmly opposed to it. As the situation became tense, the Government decided, – in its attempt to solve the issue, –to send its representative, Professor Vladimir Beneshevich to Tbilisi, as the commissioner of the Government.

Now a good opportunity to describe and understand time tense situation is given by the archive materials, which were first published only recently, such as the documents of the Provisional Administration of the Georgian Church.

The most important letter to to the Provisional Administration by Beneshevich’s of May 4 is published in the book, and which in fact, consists of questions that were raised to the Administration and the answers to which would be decisive not so much for the state recognition of the Georgian Church as for its canonical recognition, even from the point of view of

the Russian Church. Beneshevich’s letter received a strong response from Georgians, but he still tried to ease the situation and transfer the agreements to the solving private problems and he entrusted the final solution of the essential issue to the Provisional Government in Petrograd.

In the end, the Provisional Administration preferred not to aggravate relations with Beneshevich and the fundamental issues related to the autocephaly of the Georgian Church and its future work were judged and decided in Petrograd, where an extraordinary delegation was sent and where they hoped for the political support there.