An appeal for assistance has recently appeared on the Institute’s website. It noted that the Institute, which may soon celebrate the 90th anniversary of its founding, is well-known for several Russian philosophers and renovationists. These were expelled from Russia in the early twenties of the last century, but had mainly died out by the 1950s. At present, the St Sergius Institute is experiencing a financial crisis that threatens its existence, though not for the first time. Now teachers’ salaries have not been paid for several months.
This difficulty comes on top of the fact that its jurisdiction is now a deanery under the Greek Metropolitan, since it no longer has any bishops. Thus, no ordinations are taking place.This is the direct result of the anti-monastic current in the Rue Daru jurisdiction and cultivated at St Serge over the decades. Having recently lost St Nicholas Cathedral in Nice, which had been on loan from the Russian Mother-Church, and with other properties possibly having to be returned to their lawful owners, the Rue Daru splinter group seems unlikely to be able to continue for much longer.
This is all the more the case when there is a real Russian Orthodox seminary in Paris and a new Cathedral and spiritual centre are to be built there. In this context, the old Russophobic factionalism and infighting of this tiny St Petersburg emigration to Paris seems increasingly irrelevant in the 21st century world of a united and large-scale Russian Orthodox Church and world-view.