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Seleznev Fedor

Nicholas II and divorce of spouses Butovich (1908–1909)


Seleznev Fedor (2019) "Nicholas II and divorce of spouses Butovich (1908–1909) ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2019, vol. 91, pp. 61-73 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201991.61-73

Abstract

This article analyses the causes and consequences of the infl uence of Nicholas II on the divorce process of the spouses Butovich. It examines the background of the process and the role of General V.A. Sukhomlinov in it. General V. A. Sukhomlinov wanted to marry Ekaterina Butovich. Her husband, Vladimir Butovich, sent a complaint against Sukhomlinov to the tsar. Ekaterina Butovich left her husband. She asked Nicholas II to dissolve her marriage because of her husband’s oppression. The tsar sympathized with her and General Sukhomlinov. Nicholas II wished to resolve the issue of the divorce by means of his supreme right. However, the Chief Prosecutor of the Holy Synod P. P. Izvolskiy claimed that in the Orthodox Church there can be no divorce by decree of the emperor. The next Chief Prosecutor S. M. Lukyanov and members of the Synod also insisted on strict compliance with the current norms of divorce-related legislation. According to the law, the only reason for divorce was adultery. Only when these formal proofs were presented, the Synod gave consent to the divorce. However, church hierarchs were dissatisfi ed with the pressure on them. On the other hand, Nicholas II had reasons to accuse the members of the Synod that they put the formal side of human relations above the moral one. The article concludes that the case of the Butoviches aggravated the alienation between the tsar and the higher clergy.

Keywords

Nicholas II, V. A. Sukhomlinov, Holy Synod, P. P. Izvolskiy, S. M. Lukyanov, divorce in Russian Empire, Russian Orthodox church

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Information about the author

Seleznev Fedor


Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: Lobachevsky Nizniy Novgorod State University; 23 Prospekt Gagarina, Nizhniy Novgorod 603950, Russian Federation;
Post: professor;
ORCID: 0000-0002-0934-3312;
Email: fseleznev@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.