First Mitred Archpriest in Russia

In 1786, Empress Catherine the Great "awarded" her father confessor, a member of the Most Holy Synod, Court Archpriest John Pamfilov, with a mitre. It was unheard of for a white (non-monastic) clergyman to receive this honour.

Archpriest J. Pamfilov was famous for his anti-monastic sentiments and his negative disposition towards bishops. These attitudes were shared by Empress Catherine. In her decisions in regard to the Church, she tended to follow the advise and petitions of her spiritual father, which were in favor of the white clergymen.

In 1786 the custom of awarding mitres to white clergymen became the peculiar characteristic of the Church of Russia, differring from other Eastern Churches.

Metropolitan Platon of Moscow, who personally enjoyed the Empress' attention, viewed this new award very critically but could do nothing about it.

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