Posted 25 ноября 2022, 16:15
Published 25 ноября 2022, 16:15
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
It's no secret that the sharp aggravation of Russian-Ukrainian relations has put the ROC in an extremely difficult position, or more precisely, on the verge of disintegration with its largest diocese abroad.
Here are just a few of them. This week, a draft law was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which provides for a complete ban on the activities of religious organizations and institutions that are part of or recognize in any form the subordination of the ROC "in canonical, organizational, and other matters." At the same time, it is not at all a fact that it will be adopted, since there are still a lot of parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and not all of them will be able to refuse prayers in the usual churches and sermons of the usual priests, however, the process, as they say, has begun ...
And it is clear that so far it is coming from abroad. So, according to RIA Novosti, the other day, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodore II decided not to commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus' Kirill "in connection with the invasion" of the Russian Church into the jurisdiction of Alexandria - and "started to defrock" the exarch appointed from Moscow African Leonidas.
And a little earlier, the Moscow Patriarchate broke off communion with Patriarch Theodore II in response to his recognition of the “schismatic” Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Moreover, Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has already been banned from entering the European Union, which he himself announced: “An unprecedented decision has been made: not to let the Patriarch into the territory of the European Union. This was not the case even during the Cold War”.
In addition, we have to admit that anti-Orthodox tendencies are already manifesting in Russia itself. Thus, the results of a survey by the Institute for Demographic Research of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences indicate that trust in the Russian Orthodox Church and the level of religiosity among the Orthodox in Moscow has been steadily declining over the past twenty years. Especially strong among the youth. Moreover, a significant part of the youth does not go into scientific atheism, but moves to oriental practices and various kinds of “non-traditional” trends.
Well, and finally, the most important thing: the position of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill himself in relation to the special operation. His words about paradise for the soldiers of the Russian army:
“The Church is aware that if someone, driven by a sense of duty, the need to fulfill an oath, remains true to his calling and dies in the line of military duty, then he undoubtedly commits an act tantamount to a sacrifice. He sacrifices himself for others. And therefore we believe that this sacrifice washes away all the sins that a person has committed.
The question arises point-blank: can these words of the Patriarch actually calling on Russian Orthodox soldiers to smash the Ukrainian Orthodox soldiers be called Christian?! Belonging - for a moment! – the same ROC?! Or are some Orthodox more Orthodox than others?
Deacon Andrey Kuraev also asked such questions in his blog, who watched a video recording of the conversation of the Archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church Vakhtang Kipshidze, in which he makes very remarkable confessions.
On the one hand, he directly states that “the Church is outside politics” (10.38), and on the other hand, without hesitation, he says that any anti-war position shown in Russia is politicized, and, being a sign of solidarity with anti-Russian hostile forces, is used to division of society (11.55).
In addition, the clergyman directly declares the inadmissibility of an alternative opinion among the ROC, since it is a form of political activity (12.35). After all, “there should be no divisions within the Church” (55.05). That is, it turns out that there should be no politics in the ROC, with the exception of one single thing - the Z-policy. That's some weird logic.
But that's not all. Kipshidze insists that military service is blessed by the Church. And that would be nothing, but in the same conversation he claims that the Russian and Ukrainian peoples belong to the single canonical space of the ROC (20.05), and therefore, it is completely unclear whether the ROC blesses the citizens of only Russia for the defense of their country, or all countries this space, not excluding Ukraine?
And finally, the most important thing: and who, roughly speaking, will end up in heaven? Is it a Russian soldier who sacrifices his life for the sake of his homeland, and, therefore, freed from sins, or is it a Ukrainian soldier who does exactly the same?! And in general, from the point of view of canonical Orthodoxy, do soldiers fighting on opposite sides of the front enter paradise, mutually killing each other? To whom, in this case, are the parting words of church hierarchs and ordinary priests addressed?
Meanwhile, Kuraev recalls, saying all this, one of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church actually supports politicians who call for the destruction of Ukraine as a state. For example, Dugin or Okhlobystin.
So on whose conscience will the church schism be after this? And will the Ukrainians now be able to consider the Russian Orthodox Church as their own?