Skip to comments.Francis and Gundyaev
Posted on 02/13/2016 11:58:10 AM PST by annalex
Deacon Andrei Kuraev: “Patriarch Kirill, by meeting the Pope, executed the Party’s order (*)”
What order? This: to attach to Putinism a human and even “Christian” face. Such “diplomatic” assignments were fulfilled by the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) since Stalin’s days. They got experience.
Gundyaev spoke with the Pope of the plight of the Christians in the Near East. And how about the constitutional rights of Christians in Russia itself, are they protected? Do we have free proselytizing of the Uniats, -- that is, Catholics? And, speaking strictly of the Orthodox: do we respect the rights of alternative Orthodox denominations? For example, the True Orthodox Christians in Russia exist illegally since the times of Stalinism. Back under Stalin, the government handed the monopoly of Orthodoxy to the trusted, investigated cadre of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. This is the condition that remains to this day. Is this normal? Is this constitutional?
The Pope and Gundyaev called not to allow a third world war. The questions arise, especially, for the Pope. How can he make such appeals with the representative of the government (and the ROC is a part of the government) that, by its imperial politics and by its blatant violations of international law, has put the world on the brink of such war? How should we call thus policy of the Papal See: political myopia? Perhaps worse, hypocrisy? It is precisely because of Russia, because of the acts of its ruling class, the threat of the third world war emerged. Yet ROC wholly endorsed these acts.
Finally, as regards Ukraine: Gundyaev and the Pope called “all the parts involved in the conflict to prudence, to social solidarity and to action aimed at constructing peace”. The question is again for the Pope (it is useless to ask Gundyaev): - Do you not understand that Ukraine conducts a struggle for national independence, anti-colonialist, anti-imperial struggle? So to what “prudence”, what peace-making do you call the Ukrainian people? This appeal should be aimed solely to Russia that wages the villainous war; Russia, whose representative and a functionary Gundyaev is. All appeals to peace in Ukraine made jointly with Gundyaev sound obviously ambiguous and deceptive. Why doesn’t the Holy See understand this? Why, let us sum it up, doesn’t Rome understand that the meeting of the Pope and gundyaev legitimizes in essence the system of the Stalinist church, and strengthens the international position of Putinist Russia? What did Rome gain from the meeting? I think, nothing. There won’t be any freedom of the Catholic sermon in Russia, nor the topic of the reunification will be discussed. Putin, however, scored some, enabling him to continue his actions in Ukraine and in Syria.
(*) “The Party’s order” is an expression in the modern Russian originally referring to the orders of the Communist Party, but now understood as any order coming from the totalitarian government.
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I think, this article sums up the geopolitical context of the meeting very well. Was the meeting a mistake on the part of His Holiness? I don't think so, and this is why.
While Patriarch Kirill is rightly characterized as a political leader and a functionary of Putinist government, our Pope is a prelate of the Church seeking to strengthen the Church. In that task, Pope Francis succeeded: the joint declaration does not say anything the Catholic Church hasn't been saying for decades now with respect to the Eastern Orthodox, yet there are parts of the Declaration that are very hard to swallow for the Russian Orthodox. Especially, that is the references to the common and fraternal witness of the realities of the first millennium of Christendom that is already causing many in the Russian blogosphere to condemn Kirill as traitor of Orthodoxy. The Russian Orthodox, by and large, do not subscribe to this sense of commonality of faith.
So that is what Rome gained from the meeting: another step for the inevitable eventual reunification.
In the near term, and from the foreign politics viewpoint I agree with Shiropaev: Kirill gave Putin some undeserved breathing room.
“So that is what Rome gained from the meeting: another step for the inevitable eventual reunification”
We won’t live to see it; our children’s children won’t live to see it. In the 1440s Rome and the Eastern hierarchs thought they had a union, but the Orthodox people said ANAXIOS, and that was the end of that. The same thing will happen again, not just in Russia, but across the Orthodox world. We are, as you know my brother, notorious for telling our hierarchs precisely where to put such of their notions as we disapprove of...and submission to the pope of Rome is one of those notions.
Certainly we can work together, probably more closely than with anyone else, but no union.
That’s so long as the Orthodox see reunification as submission, but that will change in due time.
That Kirill will be told by the Russians where to put his Joint Declaration, I have no doubt. It is clearly a gesture forced on him by the Russian regime. However, another meme of Catholic goodwill toward the Orthodox world has crossed their mental border. Not bad.
Russian Orthodox bishops and priests under the guise ecumenicalism and openness established relationships with the Vatican and eventually found out the names of these underground priests.
They were all taken prisoner and executed by the Soviet government.
I think it is a legend about the Vatican implicated in this. It is virtually impossible to keep an underground church in a totalitarian state. Sooner or later, it gets snitched out: no Vatican needed.
“It is virtually impossible to keep an underground church in a totalitarian state. Sooner or later, it gets snitched out”
It is very difficult to establish to keep an authentic Christian church and congregation in a Communist state. The Russian Orthodox church was never an authentic church. It was an arm of the Communist regime. Its priests and bishops were agents and informers for the Communist regime.
They helped the regime identify the Catholic priests in the former Soviet Union and those priests were arrested and killed. It happened at a time when the Vatican was trying to establish communication with the Russian Orthodox Church.
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