Mogila(S), Peter

Mogila(s), Peter a distinguished Russian prelate, was born in Moldavia very near the close of the 16th century (about 1597). He studied at the University of Paris and other high schools, afterwards entered the Polish army, and greatly distinguished himself. Becoming sober-minded, he decided to devote himself to the service of the Church, was made a monk at Kief in 1625, and rapidly rose in favor. In 1629 he was elected archimandrite of his monastery, and in 1633 was elevated to the rank of metropolitan of Kief, Galicia, and Little Russia. Mogila was the first to introduce in the study of theology at Kief the developments which it had acquired in the European universities. Indeed, Mogila is today honored annually by a panegyrical oration at the Academy of Kief, in recognition of his services to that institution of learning. He arranged and improved the courses of study in every particular; established, among. other advantages, three classes in philosophy and theology in the Latin and Polish languages; obtained from the Polish government permission to erect a printing-press, invited many learned men to the academy, and settled upon them sources of revenue which had formerly gone to the metropolitan; and, besides affording all these advantages, gave them his own library, which was considered a very rare and valuable collection of books. He died December 31, 1646. To confirm the views and feelings of the Oriental Church in opposition to the encroachments of Roman and Protestant elements, Mogila wrote a Confession of Faith (Ο᾿ρθόδοξος ὁμολογία τῆς καθολικῆς καὶ ἀποστολικῆς ἐκκλησίας τῆς ἀνατολικῆς), which occupies an important place in the history of the Russian Church. In this the doctrines of the Church are presented in the simple manner and style of the ancient Church, but in accordance also with the latest developments they had gradually attained; and as the exception of the work was ranked among the three cardinal theological virtues it has become prominent in the practical system of the Church (Hase, Ch. Hist. page 481). "The Eastern churches," says M. Boulgakof, bishop of Vinitzi, "had heretofore no symbolic books of their own in which they could find,' on matters of faith, sufficient authoritative information and direction; no systematic exposition and apology of their dogmas; they had to be satisfied with short definitions, given by oecumenical and local councils, and with the rules of the fathers named in the council in Trullo. For anything further they had to refer to the other writings of the fathers, which did not possess the same authority. The Confession of Faith of Peter Mogila, examined and approved by two councils — that of Kief in 1640, and that of Jassy in 1643 — and further endorsed by the four oecumenical patriarchs, and by the Russian patriarchs Joachim and Adrian, became the first symbolic book of the Eastern Church." This work, which remains to this day the text-book of the Russo Greek Church in dogmatic theology, went through numerous editions in Russian, was translated into Greek (Amst. 1662), Latin (Leips. 1695), and German (Berlin, 1727, and Breslau, 1751), and has furnished the basis for several catechisms in different Greek churches. SEE CONFESSIONS OF FAITH. Mogila published also a Catechism (Kief, 1645), and some pamphlets. A work containing biographical sketches of the saints, in the Slavonic language, he undertook, but did not bring to completion. But Mogila gained some distinction also as a poet, and made dramas, which were acted by the pupils of his academy; one of them, on the Nativity of Christ, was for a long time very popular. See Hist. de la Hierarchie Russe, 3:735; Dictionnaire des Auteurs Ecclesiastiques Russes, s.v.; Otto, Hist. of Russian Literature (Oxf. 1839, 8vo), p. 321 sq.;' Brihl, Russische Studiem zur Theologie u. Gesch. (Minst. 1857-58); Gerebtz of, Essai sur l'Histoire de la Civilisation en Russie; Haag, Hist. des Dogmes Chretiens, 1:458; Kimmel, Libri symbolici ecclesiae Orientalis (Jena, 1843, 8vo), page 56. SEE GREEK CHURCH; SEE RUSSIA. (J.W.)

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