Theodosius of Moscow

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Theodosius of Moscow (Феодосий in Russian) was the second Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia of the independent Church of Russia. In a short tenure as metropolitan, he attempted to improve the moral quality of the clergy in the Russian Church but was unsuccessful.


Details of Theodosius’ life before 1454 are not known including the date of his birth. In 1454, he was a archimandrite in the Chudov Monastery in Moscow when he received an appointed as Archbishop of Rostov. Following the desires of Metr. Jonah, Theodosius became his successor as Metropolitan of Moscow upon Jonah’s repose in 1461.

In his day many of the parish level clergy were illiterate and uneducated. Their lifestyles were dissolute and provided poor examples for their parishioners. From his enthronement as metropolitan he began a policy of eradicating the unscrupulous from the ranks of the priests. His campaign proved more difficult than he thought as he was largely unsuccessful because he could not find enough priests to replace those who were defrocked, thus leaving many parishes without priests. As the common people were largely satisfied with the priests who were removed, they objected to being left without priests. The people became discontented and sharply criticized the metropolitan.

Discouraged from the failure of his plan, after only three years as metropolitan Theodosius retired as metropolitan and returned to the Chudov Monastery in 1464. He reposed in 1475.