Sergey L’vovich Firsoff PhD in history, professor, Institute of Philosophy, Saint-Petersburg State University (Mendeleevskaya linia, dom 5, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034), firstname.lastname@example.org
Firsoff S. L. Pope John XXIII in the mirror of Soviet press: to question of pontifics pesonality perception in USSR, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 42–68.
The article explores, how activities of Roman Pope John XXIII were reflected in the Soviet press. The author finds out, that there were two main approaches. While Vatican was understood as one of the centers of the international bourgeois and anticommunist reaction, the Pope was seen as an initiator of the disarming policy and pacifism. In the beginning of 1960s an outflow in the Russian press from anticlerical clichés was evident, and positive characteristic and even sympathy to the Pope were quite symptomatic. The author assumes, that the attitude of the Soviet press to the statements and activities of John XXIII mostly depended on the policy of the Soviet management and, especially, Nikita Khrushchev, who tried to use the authority of the Pope and, in particular, his antiwar rhetoric, to develop his own pacifistic propaganda in the background of foreign policy crisis of 1950–60s. Besides, the article explains reasons of the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church representatives as observers at the Second Vatican Council and clarifies its estimation of the Pope›s personality and politics.
Keywords: Khrushchev, the Russian Orthodox Church, pacifism, anticlericalism, disarmament