Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad

Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad
Nikodim (Rotov)
Metropolitan of Leningrad
Church Russian Orthodox Church
Enthroned 9 October 1963
Reign ended 5 September 1978
Predecessor Pimen I
Successor Anthony Mielnikow
Ordination 19 August 1947
Consecration 10 July 1960
by Pimen I of Moscow
Personal details
Birth name Boris Georgievich Rotov
Born 15 October 1929
Frolovo, Russia
Died 5 September 1978

Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad (born Boris Georgiyevich Rotov, Russian: Борис Георгиевич Ротов, 15 October 1929 – 5 September 1978)[citation needed], was metropolitan of Leningrad and Minsk from 1963 until his death.[1]

He was born in Frolovo in southwest Russia.[2]

According to the Mitrokhin Archive, which claimed deep Communist penetration of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Nikodim was a KGB agent, working under the codename "Adamant"[citation needed], whose ecumenical activity with the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (WCC) served to further Soviet goals. Ordained in 1960 at the age of 31, the youngest bishop in the Christian world at the time, he would go on to become one of the WCC's six presidents.[3]

Metropolitan Nikodim is recorded as having participated in the negotiations of the Metz Accord, a secretive 1960s agreement between Soviet and Vatican officials that authorized Eastern Orthodox participation in the Second Vatican Council in exchange for a non-condemnation of atheistic communism during the conciliar assemblies.[4][5]

He collapsed and died in 1978 while in Rome for the installation of Pope John Paul I. The new pope, who would himself die a few weeks later, prayed over him in his final moments.


  1. ^ "Nikodim (Rotov) (1929-1978), Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod 1963-1978". Encyclopaedia of Saint Petersburg. 
  2. ^ "Boris Georgyevich Rotov Nikodim". Crystal Reference Encyclopedia. [dead link]
  3. ^ Weigel, George. The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II -- The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy. New York: Doubleday, 2010. pg. 60. cf. pg. 90, 99; Andrew, Christopher and Mitrokhin, Vasili. The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. New York: Basic Books, 2001. pg. 487.
  4. ^ Chiron, Yves, Paul VI: Le pape écartelé, Perrin, Paris, 1993 ISBN 226200952X p. 186 and 246
  5. ^ Interview with Paul-Joseph Schmitt, Archbishop of Metz, in Le Lorrain, 9 March 1963