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#422836 10/24/22 01:54 PM
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Patriarch Sviatoslav has issued a strong warning on the perils and deceitfulness of "Russian World" - Patriarch's Warning [aleteia.org]

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Utroque,

Thank you for posting this very important news. Many Orthodox scholars worldwide have already condemned this movement, both politically and spiritually.


Specifically addressing the spiritual implications, Russkiy Mir reminds me of a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky...."The Grand Inquisitor."
Of course, at the time it was written, Dostoyevsky portrayed a Roman Catholic Inquisitor and the Catholic Church, as anti- heros...the spiritual villains. In a striking twist of times, Russian Mir is now assuming the role of the Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor.

Following is a synopsis of the story lifted from Wikopedia. To understand my point, one must substitute "Russkiy Mir" in place of "Catholicism"........ IF.....you read the entire story.
The ominous and dark spiritual message, however still holds true. And theocratic governments assume- or rather, attempt to usurp, the power that is rightfully God's.

Wikopedia:

"The Grand Inquisitor" is a story within a story (called a poem by its fictional author, but not in verse) contained within Fyodor Dostoevsky's 1880 novel "The Brothers Karamazov." It is recited by the character Ivan Karamazov, who questions his brother Alexei, a novice monk, about the possibility of a personal and benevolent God. "..........

Synopsis

The tale is told by Ivan with brief interruptive questions by Alyosha. In the tale, Christ returns to Earth in Seville at the time of the Inquisition. He performs a number of miracles (echoing miracles from the Gospels). The people recognize him and adore him at the Seville Cathedral, but he is arrested by Inquisition leaders and sentenced to be burnt to death the next day. The Grand Inquisitor visits him in his cell to tell him that the Church no longer needs him. The main portion of the text is devoted to the Inquisitor explaining to Jesus why his return would interfere with the mission of the Church (or Russkiy Mir).

The Inquisitor founds his denunciation of Jesus on the three questions that Satan asked Jesus during the temptation of Christ in the desert. These three are the temptation to turn stones into bread, the temptation to cast Himself from the Temple and be saved by the angels, and the temptation to rule over all the kingdoms of the world. The Inquisitor states that Jesus rejected these three temptations in favor of freedom, but the Inquisitor thinks that Jesus has misjudged human nature. He does not believe that the vast majority of humanity can tolerate the freedom that Jesus has given to them. The Inquisitor thus implies that Jesus, in giving humans freedom to choose, has excluded the majority of humanity from redemption and doomed it to suffer.".........

The bottom line is this, in Russian Worlds, and all such ideologies, God given freedom and free will just gets in the way.
Again, Dostoevsky's tale is thought provoking and profound. It's real substance, for me, is a spiritual warning against humanly conceived, moral empires.

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While I've long admired Dostoevsky's story, "The Grand Inquisitor", does he ever address Russian Orthodoxy's own "Inquisition" when Patriarch Nikon, colaborating with Tsar Aleksei, brutally crushed the Old Believers in the mid 17th century? And that was for only using two fingers instead of three when crossing oneself! Not doctrinal at all.

The sad truth is that the curse of Caesaropapism has, at times, infected the Church both east and west; and it is so important for Christians to detect this curse and resist. No Christian Nationalism for me, and Russkiy Mir has all of its markings, as well does America's own brand.

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Your question is appropriate and your points are well taken. I am in complete agreement. As to America's own brand, you might find the following article interesting. It is written by Thomas Higgins. Lifted from the article, is this brief bio:

"Thomas Higgins lives in Oakland. He dealt with refugee issues on the senior White House staff of President Jimmy Carter. He is a trustee of a Catholic university and a board director of a national Catholic journal."


https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/08...ian-nationalism-is-a-malignant-falsehood

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from the article by Higgins:
Quote
Christian nationalists are reluctant to call their ideology by its proper name. It is fascism. We must call it out for what it is and oppose them before they succeed in tearing down the separation of church and state, which is the constitutional bedrock of our democracy.

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Originally Posted by Roman
from the article by Higgins:
Quote
Christian nationalists are reluctant to call their ideology by its proper name. It is fascism. We must call it out for what it is and oppose them before they succeed in tearing down the separation of church and state, which is the constitutional bedrock of our democracy.

Put another way: It's nice to have leaders who are religious, but we don't need Religious Leaders in the secular/political realm.😊

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"Put another way: It's nice to have leaders who are religious, but we don't need Religious Leaders in the secular/political realm.😊"

And, if I may add....I for one, am a little weary of religious leaders using the pulpit as a political podium. There is a rash of that in my geographical area......

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One often hears of Russky Mir spoken of in the context of "nationalism." But nationalism can take many forms (one author we covered in university presented no less than seventeen different types of nationalism). But Russky Mir is a case in point of not nationalism but of imperial, colonial domination based on Russian chauvinism.

The Russian forces came to Ukraine to destroy and otherwise Russify its people. Children have been taken by the Russian forces into Russia ostensibly for purposes of cultural reprogramming and there are fears they are being adopted out to Russian families for re-education. Putin stated his views on Ukrainian culture and language in his "essay" from last July.

Russky Mir has been around for five hundred years in fact. It is out to completely crush Ukraine's culture, statehood and . . .churches.

Putin is on the losing side of history and, even more importantly, of the current war. He has managed to dupe Western conservatives into believing he represents THEIR values. I remember, not that long ago, when to say anything negative about Putin on this forum would elicit angry reactions of "provocation" and "he isn't perfect but . . ."

The Russian imperial reset project is on a downward spiral along with its architect, Vladimir Putin and his right arm, the patriarch of Moscow.

There is no room for such barbarism in this world, let alone within the Christian orbit.

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Orthodox Catholic, Thanks for your clarification and distinction between nationalism and the imperialism of Russkiy Mir.

1. Once a nation's imperialism begin's rolling (or revived, in the case of Russia), it tends to keep rolling- at least that is what History seems to show. That being said, if Russia was not "checked" in Ukraine, is it your opinion that Russkiy Mir would soon engulf Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova and possibly more countries?

2. Also, Putin and the.architects of Russkiy Mir accuse America and Europe of spreading Western values and ideas, implying a "Western philosophic Imperialism" that they, Russia, and her Church must fend off and rescue Eastern Europe from. Of course, I view this as an obscure, Dark Ages stance and an attempt to morally justify the barbarism that you point to. However, this "moral" reasoning is entertained and believed by many- even on this forum. So, in the context of the "Christian orbit", I would appreciate your comments on Russkiy Mir vs. the Gospel and Christian social teachings.

Hope you don't mind the questions, and I am also interested in everyone's comments on this topic. The core question for me is: Is Russkiy Mir anti- Christian and, most importantly,......Why?

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............by the way, this discussion is very much in keeping with the appeal by Patriarch Sviatoslav contained in the OP's link provided above:

The Patriarch states:

“I invite you to study and work out an intellectual assessment of the causes and consequences of the war in Ukraine,” he told his academic audience, “with special attention to the ideology of the ‘Russian world,’ which is becoming a huge challenge to the credibility of the Christian message and objective truth, a serious threat to international law and peaceful coexistence among peoples. In this way I appeal to all scholars around the world.”

It seems fairly obvious that Russkiy Mir poses a threat to international stability. That is alarming and much addressed. However, I would be very interested in comments addressing the threat it poses to, as the Patriarch puts it, ......"the credibility of the Christian message and objective truth......"

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Does anyone else feel that the recent rumblings I hear from Ukrainian political circles about suppressing the UOC-MP are a bit "over-the-top", and might lend fuel to the erroneous Russian fear that there is an element of Nazism within Ukrainian political circles? Would it not be better to let UOC-MP suffer its own demise?

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Dear Utroque,

Recent developments show that this "church" is truly a state organization of the Russian military machine that acts like a fifth column within Ukraine. Please don't repeat Putinist propaganda about "Nazis" - Putin is the new Hitlet and his "Orthodox Christian soldiers" the real new Nazis!

I'm rather surprised at you. As one disllusioned Russian Orthodox priest told me, "Russia is a failed stated and the MP is a failed church which has nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

But if they hide political propaganda and also actual agents, then this political aspect of the UOC-MP must be countered and addressed.

Personally, I would be happy if it would be ousted from the major shrines of Ukraine.

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Utroque - I apologise.

I've had members of my extended family over there raped and beaten by Russian soldiers wearing three-bar crosses and icons. Russian Orthodox chaplains bless them with holy water and female relatives have heard UOc-MP priests do sermons saying, in effect, that this punishment has come on Ukraine for rejecting Russian (domination).

We in the West really have no idea nor do we appreciate the extent of the politicization of the church there.

The Kyivan Caves Lavra and other monasteries are being searched and all kinds of propagandistic and militaristic materials are being found in them along with "monastics" of questionable provenance.

The MP deserves to be formally excommunicated by world Orthodoxy - if it isn't, I wonder why not.

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I guess I'm just too emotional about this issue. I think I have a right to be and I am very close to that situation.

I ask this Forum's forgiveness and I will formally leave here now so as not to be a source of tension here any longer.

Thank you.

Alex

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Please don't leave the Forum as I, for one, deeply appreciate your knowledge, insights and sensitivities. Your sensitivity on this issue goes beyond anything I could ever experience, but I am totally at one with your sentiments.

I think you misconstrued my post. I have no love or sympathy for Putin, his army or the allied ecclesiastical forces which have mercilessly wrecked havoc on the land of Ukraine and her people. The intent of my post was to question the strategy of suppression since it very often, if not always, emboldens the very cause being suppressed, and might lend force to Putin's ludicrous accusasions. I certainly have read about the abhorent things UOC-MP forces have been up to in order to advance "Ruski Mir", but might it not be better that the UOC-MP fade away from its own weightlessness, and the outrage of the Ukrainian people?

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Perhaps I did misconstrue what you said.

The matter with the UOC-MP has turned ugly because several of their monasteries, as searches have borne out, appear to be centres for the dissemination of the Russky Mir ideology and of Russophilism, together with individuals who are of questonable provenance etc.

In other words, insofar as the UOC (which insists it is no longer with the MP, BTW) has become an agent of the foreign power that is currently attacking Ukraine and killing Ukrainian citizens, then the situation is no longer about a "religious organization" but also of a "fifth column" within Ukrainian territory.

Nothing has happened in this regard yet. But it looks like it is about to.

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Perhaps I did misconstrue what you said.

The matter with the UOC-MP has turned ugly because several of their monasteries, as searches have borne out, appear to be centres for the dissemination of the Russky Mir ideology and of Russophilism, together with individuals who are of questonable provenance etc.

In other words, insofar as the UOC (which insists it is no longer with the MP, BTW) has become an agent of the foreign power that is currently attacking Ukraine and killing Ukrainian citizens, then the situation is no longer about a "religious organization" but also of a "fifth column" within Ukrainian territory.

Nothing has happened in this regard yet. But it looks like it is about to.

***********************************************************************************************
I saw this report the other day. This goes beyond " dissemination of Russkiy Mir" into an area of real danger to Ukranian citizens, partisans and soldiers. Certainly a very tricky situation and issue here.
***********************************************************************************************

. Orthodox priest sentenced to 12 years in Ukraine for passing information to Russians
From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Tim Lister

A priest accused of leaking information about the positions of Ukrainian troops to Russia has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, according to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).

The SBU said the rector of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the city of Lysychansk "passed to the occupiers information about the combat positions of Ukrainian troops in the city, as well as in the area of Severodonetsk" in the Luhansk region. 

The SBU said the priest had also "informed" the Russians about locals who could potentially resist the occupation.

The priest was detained in April, two months before Lysychansk fell to Russian forces.

The SBU said the priest had been recruited by Russia during a visit there in 2014 and had since been in constant contact with a leader of the separatist self-declared Luhansk People's Republic.

The SBU also said it had collected evidence against two other Russian informants in the same region, including a second priest in Luhansk.

It alleged that two Ukrainians had been kidnapped after he provided the Russians with information. The SBU said the priest was currently in occupied territory.

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