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The article based on the archival materials considers the position of the Roman Catho-lic brotherhoods in the Russian Empire. It has been found that almost every Roman Catholic Church in the Russian Empire had the Roman Catholic brotherhoods. The Roman Catholic brotherhoods, similar in their monastic order, were infl uential or-ganizations, obeying the Supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff. The direct control of such organizations presented great diffi culties for the government of the Russian Empire: for exam-ple, the government issued the order to close brotherhoods, informed the spiritual authorities, and the brotherhoods were considered closed. But it was impossible to check if the members of the Roman Catholic brotherhoods had ceased fulfi lling the vows they had taken voluntarily. The representatives of the secular authorities did not even know the names of all members. The activities of the Roman Catholic brotherhoods were not just a tribute to the tradition, but also the response of the Roman Catholic Church and all the faithful to the confessional and national policy of the government of the Russian Empire. The Roman Catholic Church actively supported them morally above all. The Roman Catholic brotherhoods were its support among the laity; they were allowed to infl uence the faithful not only in Church but also outside. Under the constant police surveillance, the Roman Catholic associations were forced to adapt, to fi nd a different form of existence.

About the authors

Andry I Hanchar

Educational Institution Grodno State Agrarian University

Author for correspondence.
Email: gancharandre1@yandex.ru

Andry I. Hanchar, PhD (in History), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of the economic history at Grodno State Agrarian University (Grodno, Belarus)

28 Tereshkova St., Grodno, Belarus, 230008


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