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Monday, May 14, 2012

Critics of Russian Orthodox Church say it's sold its soul to Putin

There's a growing feud pitting supporters of the influential church, which sees itself as the nation's spiritual guide, against opponents who say the church has sold out to Vladimir Putin — becoming an arm of his regime more interested in gold than souls.
Read the rest here.

I think the Russian Church is indeed showing signs of succumbing to its age old vice, becoming an arm of the state.

9 comments:

ProPravoslavie said...

And I think that you are giving too much credence to the Western media's view of the Russian Orthodox Church, while no defense or explanation whatsoever of that Church's behavior gets past the Western media's institutional bias.

ProPravoslavie said...

Let's examine some of the accusations in this article:

"Critics said slathering gold-leaf on church domes was ostentation shameful for a country suffering through the hard times of the Boris Yeltsin years."

The same could be said of the woman at Bethany anointing Jesus; or most of Christian Europe's history. For chrissakes, Russia was quite poor for most of its history; should it never have built great churches and monasteries in the first place?

"The church has acknowledged that it ran businesses dealing in alcohol, tobacco and oil, and operated jewelry stores and organic farms, to raise money for restoration of churches and monasteries and education of priests."

Nothing wrong with that, except perhaps tobacco and alcohol. Nevertheless, the old canard that the Moscow Patriarchate sold tobacco and alcohol has been firmly denied by the Patriarchate. Read the following article:

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=mosaic&div=387

(I know you dislike Chaplin but if your attitude is that the Moscow Patriarchate is always lying then you should probably ask yourself why, in the first place, you are in communion with them.)

"The church's backing for the Kremlin became so fawning that it consecrated new nuclear missiles as "Russia's guardian angels""

In the best tradition of weapons of war being blessed by the clergy -- something unknown only to American Protestants.

"and urged young Russians to volunteer for military service in Chechnya."

Since when was it wrong to promote volunteers for the military?

"Shortly before the Pussy Riot escapade, Kirill met with Putin and praised his two presidential terms as "God's miracle." In return, Putin said that "the state still owes much to the church.""

The Russian state is the successor to the Soviet state, which destroyed churches and icons and killed believers beyond counting. It has the moral obligation to give restitution to the Russian Church. That the Russian state is now helping the Church cannot but be a miracle in the eyes of those who, like Kirill, knew only persecution and marginalization during Soviet times.

"The band said it performed its "punk prayer" inside the cathedral Feb. 21 to protest Putin's return to the Kremlin. They thrashed their heads and shouted: "Mother of God, Drive Putin Away!"

Three members were charged with hooliganism and face up to seven years in jail — severe even by the standards of a government notorious for crackdowns on dissent."

Perhaps because Russians still see blasphemy as the extremely sordid and God-hating act that it is.

Eurasleep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eurasleep said...

Anyone who thinks that the Evangelical movement in the US is not extraordinarily embedded into US politics and the US military, is surely dreaming.

Also, I find it fascinating that the western media never complains about the vastly wealthier and more opulent Roman Catholic Church (in toto, globally), or its influence on world politics, not just on one particular country. Not that I agree with the notion, but to most of the world the RC Pope is more of a political figurehead... a moralist on the world stage, not unlike the Dalai Lama.

ProPravoslavie said...

Eurasleep:

I don't think Evangelicals are to blame for this, but clueless Western journalists who have drunk deep of the wells of fashionable anti-Christianity and who feel offended at any Church that actually dares to step into the public square. Add to this the fact that the mention of "Russia" is enough to make a lot of Westerners (including many Orthodox in the West) lose all shred of objectivity.

Lou P said...

Eurasleep,
The difference, of course, is that in the situations you cite, the Vatican is attempting to provide moral leadership in the west (futilely, I might add), whereas the Moscow Patriarchate, if this thesis is correct, would be ceding moral leadership to Putin.

Jason said...

So the Church's problems and issues are projected and critiqued by mostly un-named "critics." Why not expose the identity of these critics in full, such as naming their loyalties and who they work for. Not one of these critics deals with the type of responsibilities that Patriarch Kirill faces every single day. Criticising the Church because it stands against veiled Trotskyite efforts (western style 'democracy') to infiltrate Russia and the Church? They should be applauded. We here in the US haven't put up any such resistance and indeed lost that war a long time ago. The Patriarch and the Church need prayers, not bloviations from 'critics' who do not have the Church's interest at heart.

M. Jordan Lichens said...

I love that whenever someone offers any criticism of Orthodox leadership there's at least two people to cry out, "The Pope does it too!"

Jason said...

M. Jordan Lichens,
Which two posts here offer that argument? I read that the primary targets of MP supporters are the nebulous "critics" and the Western media.