Matvey Katkov on Vesti.FM: Russian Lutherans and Catholics in 16th-18th centuries

Matvey Katkov on Vesti.FM: Russian Lutherans and Catholics in 16th-18th centuries

Today, Vestnik Kavkaza expert Matvey Katkov on the air of the National Question program on Vesti.FM, dedicated to the topic of Catholicism and Lutheranism in Russia, spoke about the attitude towards Lutherans and Catholics in the 16th-18th centuries, noting that it is a highly ambiguous issue.

"On the one hand, the representatives of these faiths were perceived as the most advanced and educated foreign nationals. In the times of the Moscow kingdom,  there were mostly physicians and jewelers among them. Some especially talented of them could even live outside the German settlement (the place of compact residence of all European foreigners). The attending physicians of Russian tsars and emperors were almost always foreigners, usually Lutherans. Physicians in those days had a special status and privileges - the respect for their education was expressed this way,”-  the expert said.

Matvey Katkov noted that initially, it was just a special attitude to the specialty of a physician, not to the confessional affiliation of doctors, however, since in the Moscow kingdom most of them were Catholics and Lutherans, the representatives of these faiths had a reputation for educated people, which soon started to cause problems.

"The church authorities began to be wary of Lutherans and Catholics because of their education. Beginning in the middle of the 16th century, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church started to complain more and more of the Gentiles, mostly Lutherans, that their theories began to spread in the Russian society. Being deep-read people, many Protestants acquainted Russian people with the works of Luther. Initially, the Orthodox Church did not intervene in this process, since the Protestant sermons were often of the anti-Catholic character.

"Under Peter I in Russia, the attitude towards other European faiths changed since they were actively invited to serve. Moreover, in the 18th century, the Russian Empire included the territories of Poland and the Baltic countries, and Lutherans and Catholics became foreign nationals of the Russian crown,’’ Matvey Katkov concluded.