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Church/State Relationships in Russia and other Traditionally Orthodox Countries

Second Chance

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To moderators: I am putting this topic here with two hopes: (a) that it will be a place to collect and store an increasing amount of literature on the subject and (b) that it will not turn into crass political to and fro but a place where the topic may be addressed from an Orthodox Christian viewpoint.

To forum members: Please start another topic elsewhere if you feel the need to depart from the two aims of this thread. Thanks.
 

Second Chance

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This just popped up in Yahoo Groups Orthodox Forum (May 22, 2015):

http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulcoyer/2015/05/21/unholy-alliance-vladimir-putin-and-the-russian-orthodox-church/

Headline: "(Un)Holy Alliance: Vladimir Putin, The Russian Orthodox Church And Russian Exceptionalism"

Money paragraph: "The close relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Russian state based upon a shared, theologically-informed vision of Russian exceptionalism is not a new phenomenon. During the days of the Czar, the Russian ruler was seen as God’s chosen ruler of a Russian nation tasked with representing a unique set of value embodied by Russian Orthodoxy, and was revered as “the Holy Orthodox Czar”. Today, a not dissimilar vision of Russian exceptionalism is once again shared by the ROC and the Kremlin, and many Russians are beginning to see Vladimir Putin in a similar vein – a perception encouraged both by Putin and by the Church, each of which sees the other as a valuable political ally and sees their respective missions as being interrelated."
 

Second Chance

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The following 2011 essay by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfayev) may be considered one of the post-Communist analyses on the subject.

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/01/atheism-and-orthodoxy-in-modern-russia.html

Title: "Atheism and Orthodoxy in Modern Russia"

Money paragraph: "At the present time our Church is struggling to find its new identity in post-Communist and post-atheist Russia. There are, it seems to me, two main dangers. The first is that of a return to the pre-revolutionary situation, when there was a State Church which became less and less the Church of the nation. If, at some stage in the development of society, such a role would be offered to the Church by the State, it would be a huge mistake to accept it. In this case the Church will be again rejected by the majority of the nation, as it was rejected in 1917. The seventy years of Soviet persecution were an experience of fiery purgatory for the Russian Church, from which it should have come out entirely renewed. The most dangerous error would be not to learn from what happened and to return to the pre-revolutionary situation, as some members of the clergy wish to do nowadays.

The second danger is that of militant Orthodoxy, which would be a post-atheist counterpart of militant atheism. I mean an Orthodoxy that fights against Jews, against masons, against democracy, against Western culture, against enlightenment. This type of Orthodoxy is being preached even by some key members of the hierarchy, and it has many supporters within the Church. This kind of Orthodoxy, especially if it gains the support of the State, may force Russian atheism to withdraw temporarily to the catacombs. But Russian atheism, will not be vanquished until the transfiguration of the soul and the need to live according to the Gospel have become the only message of the Russian Orthodox Church."
 

Second Chance

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This was a public position taken by Patriarch Kirill in 2013.

http://rt.com/politics/patriarch-church-merger-russia-256/

Title: "Separation of Church & state to remain intact – Russian Patriarch"

Money paragraph: "“The Church is protecting its own freedom because it is sure that only its independence gives her an opportunity to be a fully-fledged spiritual authority. Any form of merger between the state and the Church is dangerous for God’s cause. A sermon sounds loud and convincing only when it is delivered by a free church,” Patriarch Kirill said in an interview with the Smolenskiye Novosti newspaper."
 

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A 2014 Slate article that stands out because the author quotes both Fr. Vselovod Chaplin and Dmitry Sverdlov who was suspended from the priesthood for urging clemency on the Pussy Riot desecrators.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2014/11/russia_orthodox_church_will_vladimir_putin_eradicate_all_boundaries_between.html 

Title: "Russia Gets Religion; Is Vladimir Putin trying to build a new Orthodox empire?"

Money paragraph: "Russians are by and large religious compared with Western Europeans, though that’s not saying much these days. But Orthodox Christianity hasn’t become quite the resurgent cultural force that some within the church were anticipating, or the politically unifying force that some political leaders were hoping it would be. Being Orthodox is clearly fashionable among the elite in Putin’s Russia at the moment, but it’s not certain that will last."
 

Second Chance

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A more recent article by by Geraldine Fagan posted Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 on the Catholic Herald.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/february-20th-2015/putin-is-pushing-the-patriarch-to-the-brink/

Title: Putin is pushing the Patriarch to the brink

Money paragraph: "(Patrirach) Kirill clearly envisaged this influence as “soft power”. Instead, Putin has adopted his worldview in the ruthless pursuit of hard objectives. Russian Orthodoxy is invoked to sanctify Moscow’s appropriation of Crimea and assertion of control over swathes of eastern Ukraine. There, the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic proclaims itself “an inalienable part of the Russian World as a Russian civilisation”. Its constitution specifies the faith of the Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) as “the foundation of the Russian World”, and elevates it as the Republic’s “primary and prevailing” faith – just as it was in the laws of the Russian empire."
 

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Here is Metropolitan Jonah's contribution.

http://juicyecumenism.com/2014/04/19/metropolitan-jonah-the-resurrection-of-holy-russia/

Title: The Resurrection of Holy Russia

Money paragraph: "Russia is on a path to the rebuilding and reintegration of its culture by Orthodox Christianity. It took the total collapse of the secular materialist Soviet system to prepare the ground for the new Christian re-structuring of society. This process, begun just 20 years ago, will take generations. It is not a return to the Soviet Union with its communist ideology. Rather, it is the return of Holy Russia, a society that derives its identity and way of life from the Orthodox Church. Reintegration means that every aspect of life derives its meaning from the Faith. Russia is not seeking political domination; rather, it sees itself now as the great bastion of Christendom. Orthodox Russia is again the defender of persecuted Christians, as it was historically, especially those being oppressed and butchered by Islamic regimes. Hence, its involvement in Syria. The resurrection of Holy Russia does not mean the subjection of all the people to the Church by force; but rather the gradual re-Christianization of the culture.

Russia has, for the past thousand years, had a single strong leader, whether Czar, Commissar or President. It has no real tradition of democracy. It has no tradition of religious pluralism. It has always tolerated other religions, not without issues; but the essential world view that is at the heart and soul of Holy Russia is Orthodox Christianity. This has not yet been achieved, but is rather, a goal, a process that has begun and will take generations to fulfill. But the course is set.

This means a definitive rejection of Western political values and social liberalism, democratic egalitarianism and moral relativism. It does not mean, however, the Russia is an enemy. Rather, if the West in its liberalism can tolerate that Russia and other countries have the freedom to determine their own life and culture, Russia can be a great friend. But not subservient. Russia is and will be subject to the political and economic vagaries that will inevitably bring it into conflict with other countries and its neighbors. However, that is simply the real politik of life in a broken world. When its reintegration is mature enough, Russia will likely enthrone a new Czar, an autocrat consecrated by the Church as an icon of Christ’s reign on earth. However, there are years to go, decades perhaps, even before they are finished cleaning up the mess that is left by the old regime."
 

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This article does address religious affiliations in the context of the current crisis in Ukraine.

http://www.jamestown.org/programs/edm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=43933&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=27&cHash=b94ff896a512478b96db69c31af67e27#.VWyHJNJVhHw

Title: Moscow Patriarchate Rapidly Losing Out in Ukraine—and Beyond

Money paragraph: "Andrey Zubov, a Russian commentator who used to teach at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), says that the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine is falling so rapidly that even many of the hierarchs in Ukraine itself are now thinking about shifting to the Ukrainian Church. Unfortunately for them, their parishioners do not know that their priests and bishops feel this way and are leaving the Russian Church even more rapidly than the hierarchy is shifting its own feelings. For rank-and-file members of the Moscow Patriarchate churches in Ukraine, he says, the key event was the decision of Patriarch Onufria not to stand in honor of those Ukrainians who had died defending their country. That was an insult that few are prepared to forget and that many feel they must respond to by leaving the Russian Church."
 

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This article raises an interesting question regarding Putin's probable use of an old Soviet anti-Semitic tactic. 

http://tobingrant.religionnews.com/2015/03/10/putin-changing-answer-jewish-question/

Title: Is Putin changing his answer to the "Jewish question?

Money paragraph: "Putin’s remark to the mother of a murdered opposition leader may be a turning point in how Putin responds to growing nationalism within Russia. It could be a one-time nod to Soviet-era tactics. It could be insignificant, a small slight or clerical error. But it could be a turning point in how Russia responds to its treatment of Russian Jews, a return to an old strategy of painting the opposition as Jewish with all the anti-Semitic garbage that entails."
 

Second Chance

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I had not noticed this important analysis by Dr. Dr. Alexey D. Krindatch, Research Director at the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley).

http://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol26/iss2/5/

Citation: Krindatch, Alexey D. (2014) "Religion, Public Life and the State in Putin's Russia," Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 26: Iss. 2, Article 5.

Summary: Despite post-Communist “religious revival” Russian  society remains largely agnostic. The proportion of Russians who declare themselves “religious” grew from 25 % in 1985 to 62 % in 2004, but the share of practicing believers who attend church on a regular base and fulfill religious requirements remains as low as in the early 1990s. However, both religious identity and religious organizations are playing an increasing role in the country’s social and political affairs. Two aspects of “popular religiosity” are of importance. First, religious self-identification reflects neither a personal belief system nor a regular religious practice. Religion is frequently perceived simply as part of the traditional cultural environment and a component of ethnic identity. Second, under decline of public confidence in the state institutions, mass media, and political associations the Russian Orthodox Church enjoys “intuitive” sympathy and confidence of both the religious and agnostic population. As to Church – State and inter-religious relations, the “Russian model” seemed finally to crystallize under Putin’s regime.
 

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Thanks for posting these links Carl. Mark 8:18 comes to mind, " Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" Also Santayana's secular maxim that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The prophetic, and seemingly forgotten words of Metropolitan Hilarion from 2011 bear witness to this. Pray for the Church and God fearing peoples of Russia and Ukraine in these troubling times.
 

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I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era. Met Hilarion seems to be the only one who is honest about the Soviet era being a trial for Orthodoxy: on the contrary, you're seeing a growing cult of Stalin among many Russian Orthodox believers, trying to forget how he participated in the persecutions and instead portraying him as some kind of defender of the faith, when maybe the best you could say about him is that for a time, like an Ottoman sultan or pagan Roman emperor, he grudgingly tolerated open expression of the faith during World War II.
 

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podkarpatska said:
Thanks for posting these links Carl. Mark 8:18 comes to mind, " Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" Also Santayana's secular maxim that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The prophetic, and seemingly forgotten words of Metropolitan Hilarion from 2011 bear witness to this. Pray for the Church and God fearing peoples of Russia and Ukraine in these troubling times.
What did the Metropolitan say in 2011?
 

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eddybear said:
podkarpatska said:
Thanks for posting these links Carl. Mark 8:18 comes to mind, " Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" Also Santayana's secular maxim that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The prophetic, and seemingly forgotten words of Metropolitan Hilarion from 2011 bear witness to this. Pray for the Church and God fearing peoples of Russia and Ukraine in these troubling times.
What did the Metropolitan say in 2011?
See reply #2.

I think the most important thing about Met. Hilarion's essay is not only accounting for the Soviet period but also the pre-revolutionary situation of the Church that allowed the atheist regime to take hold. If Bolshevism is not an answer for the problem of church state relations, even less so is Tsarism.
 

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Iconodule said:
eddybear said:
podkarpatska said:
Thanks for posting these links Carl. Mark 8:18 comes to mind, " Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" Also Santayana's secular maxim that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The prophetic, and seemingly forgotten words of Metropolitan Hilarion from 2011 bear witness to this. Pray for the Church and God fearing peoples of Russia and Ukraine in these troubling times.
What did the Metropolitan say in 2011?
See reply #2.
Oops, you can tell who's not been paying attention!
 

Jonathan Gress

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Iconodule said:
eddybear said:
podkarpatska said:
Thanks for posting these links Carl. Mark 8:18 comes to mind, " Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" Also Santayana's secular maxim that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The prophetic, and seemingly forgotten words of Metropolitan Hilarion from 2011 bear witness to this. Pray for the Church and God fearing peoples of Russia and Ukraine in these troubling times.
What did the Metropolitan say in 2011?
See reply #2.

I think the most important thing about Met. Hilarion's essay is not only accounting for the Soviet period but also the pre-revolutionary situation of the Church that allowed the atheist regime to take hold. If Bolshevism is not an answer for the problem of church state relations, even less so is Tsarism.
Indeed, though it's important to identify what precisely the problem with the pre-revolutionary Church-State relations was. I would say it wasn't the idea of church-state symphony per se but that, following Peter I's reforms, the church was made too subordinate to state authorities in violation of canonical order. Since the state was itself Orthodox, this didn't undermine the faith, but I could agree that the situation "set the stage" for later problems, e.g. Met Sergius' capitulation to the Soviet authorities in 1927.

The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia. Of course, even if pre-Petrine Russia is an ideal, that doesn't necessarily make it practicable to enforce today.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
... but the share of practicing believers who attend church on a regular base and fulfill religious requirements remains as low as ...
What is the definition of "regular base" of church attendance? What are "religious requirements" in Orthodoxy? Are these defined by an Ecumenical Council or some other body? How does St. Mary of Egypt fits into "regular base" (of church attendance) and fulfilment of "religious requirements"?

Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
...First, religious self-identification reflects neither a personal belief system nor a regular religious practice. ...
How did the author determine the personal belief system of the people participating in the survey?

What is "a regular religious practice"? How it has been determined by the survey?
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
...when maybe the best you could say about him is that for a time, like an Ottoman sultan or pagan Roman emperor, he grudgingly tolerated open expression of the faith during World War II.
How did you determine the fact on which you base your conclusion?
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia.
Like Ivan the Terrible executing st. Philip or ceasaropope Philaret?
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
mike said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Like Ivan the Terrible executing st. Philip or ceasaropope Philaret?The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia
No.
so you meant "The ideal system of church-state relations would probably not be that of pre-Petrine Russia"?
 

Jonathan Gress

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mike said:
Jonathan Gress said:
mike said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Like Ivan the Terrible executing st. Philip or ceasaropope Philaret?The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia
No.
so you meant "The ideal system of church-state relations would probably not be that of pre-Petrine Russia"?
There's more to pre-Petrine Russia than the bad extremes you have chosen to illustrate it.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
mike said:
Jonathan Gress said:
mike said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Like Ivan the Terrible executing st. Philip or ceasaropope Philaret?The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia
No.
so you meant "The ideal system of church-state relations would probably not be that of pre-Petrine Russia"?
There's more to pre-Petrine Russia than the bad extremes you have chosen to illustrate it.
Mike's always looking out for those.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
mike said:
Jonathan Gress said:
mike said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Like Ivan the Terrible executing st. Philip or ceasaropope Philaret?The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia
No.
so you meant "The ideal system of church-state relations would probably not be that of pre-Petrine Russia"?
There's more to pre-Petrine Russia than the bad extremes you have chosen to illustrate it.
such as? What do you have in mind when you think about it? Or do you thing about some ideal situation in pre-Petrine Russia that never actually happened irl?
 

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The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia. Of course, even if pre-Petrine Russia is an ideal, that doesn't necessarily make it practicable to enforce today.
Jonathan:  as a former student of Russian History pre-Petrine Russia did NOT have an "ideal" system of church-state relations.  There never was an "ideal" system in place.
 

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But even in fantasing that one cannot seriously be considered. Among metropolitans or patriarch that were killed by thes or those and metropolitans or patriarchs that ruled the country and ordered others to be killed it's hard to find some that were "just" doing their job.
 

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Revised: The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that created by a massive Mongol invasion devastating the country's governance and rendering it impossible for princes to interfere in the church because they're too busy getting killed.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era.
+1

Would just add that it would have to name Comunism as the abhorent evil that it is, the single most psychotically genocidical ideology of the last centuries. That contrition alone would have a purifying impact on the mores and world public conscience as we have never seen before.
 

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podkarpatska said:
Thanks for posting these links Carl. Mark 8:18 comes to mind, " Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" Also Santayana's secular maxim that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The prophetic, and seemingly forgotten words of Metropolitan Hilarion from 2011 bear witness to this. Pray for the Church and God fearing peoples of Russia and Ukraine in these troubling times.
Thanks. Regarding Metropolitan Hilarion's article, it used to be very easy to access it on his site. I have a feeling that he has been "muzzled."
 

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Fabio Leite said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era.
+1

Would just add that it would have to name Comunism as the abhorent evil that it is, the single most psychotically genocidical ideology of the last centuries. That contrition alone would have a purifying impact on the mores and world public conscience as we have never seen before.
I agree with both of you.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Iconodule said:
eddybear said:
podkarpatska said:
Thanks for posting these links Carl. Mark 8:18 comes to mind, " Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?" Also Santayana's secular maxim that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The prophetic, and seemingly forgotten words of Metropolitan Hilarion from 2011 bear witness to this. Pray for the Church and God fearing peoples of Russia and Ukraine in these troubling times.
What did the Metropolitan say in 2011?
See reply #2.

I think the most important thing about Met. Hilarion's essay is not only accounting for the Soviet period but also the pre-revolutionary situation of the Church that allowed the atheist regime to take hold. If Bolshevism is not an answer for the problem of church state relations, even less so is Tsarism.
Indeed, though it's important to identify what precisely the problem with the pre-revolutionary Church-State relations was. I would say it wasn't the idea of church-state symphony per se but that, following Peter I's reforms, the church was made too subordinate to state authorities in violation of canonical order. Since the state was itself Orthodox, this didn't undermine the faith, but I could agree that the situation "set the stage" for later problems, e.g. Met Sergius' capitulation to the Soviet authorities in 1927.

The ideal system of church-state relations would probably be that of pre-Petrine Russia. Of course, even if pre-Petrine Russia is an ideal, that doesn't necessarily make it practicable to enforce today.
I think the worst part of the Petrine "reforms" was the imposition of Western art, literature, music, and even theology on Russian Orthodoxy.
 

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Fabio Leite said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era.
+1

Would just add that it would have to name Comunism as the abhorent evil that it is, the single most psychotically genocidical ideology of the last centuries.
In doing so, it would lose quite a bit of credibility actually, since quite a few people remain who lived through the Soviet days and remember what they were actually like, the bad as well as the good.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Fabio Leite said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era.
+1

Would just add that it would have to name Comunism as the abhorent evil that it is, the single most psychotically genocidical ideology of the last centuries. That contrition alone would have a purifying impact on the mores and world public conscience as we have never seen before.
I agree with both of you.
I don't.
 

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Iconodule said:
Fabio Leite said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era.
+1

Would just add that it would have to name Comunism as the abhorent evil that it is, the single most psychotically genocidical ideology of the last centuries.
In doing so, it would lose quite a bit of credibility actually, since quite a few people remain who lived through the Soviet days and remember what they were actually like, the bad as well as the good.
To say there are good things in a communist regime is like saying that since the pervert kidnapper allowed the victim to have a TV he's not all bad after all.

Millions dead *in time of peace and for political reasons*. Hundreds of thousands martyred for their faith.

Putin's Russia wants to honor both the New Martyrs *and* their murderers.
 

Iconodule

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Fabio Leite said:
Iconodule said:
Fabio Leite said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era.
+1

Would just add that it would have to name Comunism as the abhorent evil that it is, the single most psychotically genocidical ideology of the last centuries.
In doing so, it would lose quite a bit of credibility actually, since quite a few people remain who lived through the Soviet days and remember what they were actually like, the bad as well as the good.
To say there are good things in a communist regime is like saying that since the pervert kidnapper allowed the victim to have a TV he's not all bad after all.
Where is this fabled cleanhanded victim-free political system you would prefer?
 

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Iconodule said:
Fabio Leite said:
Iconodule said:
Fabio Leite said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I would say the main problem with Putin and Pat Kirill's attempt to revive Orthodox symphony of church and state is the failure to properly account for and repent of the Soviet era.
+1

Would just add that it would have to name Comunism as the abhorent evil that it is, the single most psychotically genocidical ideology of the last centuries.
In doing so, it would lose quite a bit of credibility actually, since quite a few people remain who lived through the Soviet days and remember what they were actually like, the bad as well as the good.
To say there are good things in a communist regime is like saying that since the pervert kidnapper allowed the victim to have a TV he's not all bad after all.
Where is this fabled cleanhanded victim-free political system you would prefer?
Numbers and context matter. Communism try to get away with the cynical affimation "everybody does it" but that exactly the same kind of thing psychopaths do when caught lying "Everybody lies, why am I worse?"

Well, it's because normal people tell lies that rarely if ever harm more than a couple of people. When the psychopath in a state office or CEO position create a chain of lies and deceit that destroy the lives of thousands or even millions of people, that's an entirely different animal.

And the difference from communism to all the other mutually opposing political systems (aka "the right") is that communism is inherently genocidical. In fact, it has no other objective than the general destruction of the "status quo" and since "status quo" depens on people, destroying it always means destroying people.

There is no greater evil than the desire to make a better a world.
 

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Fabio Leite said:
There is no greater evil than the desire to make a better a world.
That in itself is an inherently genocidal ideology. 
 

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hayabusa said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
... but the share of practicing believers who attend church on a regular base and fulfill religious requirements remains as low as ...
What is the definition of "regular base" of church attendance? What are "religious requirements" in Orthodoxy? Are these defined by an Ecumenical Council or some other body? How does St. Mary of Egypt fits into "regular base" (of church attendance) and fulfilment of "religious requirements"?

Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
...First, religious self-identification reflects neither a personal belief system nor a regular religious practice. ...
How did the author determine the personal belief system of the people participating in the survey?

What is "a regular religious practice"? How it has been determined by the survey?
Valid questions. However, Dr. Krindatch has been a scholar of Orthodoxy and published numerous studies that have been seriously considered by many jurisdictions in the USA. He is currently the research coordinator with the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. For his major contributions, please see:
http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/files/OrthChurchFullReport.pdf
http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/files/evolvvisstudrepwebpost.pdf
http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/krindatch.pdf


Regarding your specific questions, the definitions of those terms are very important. I was hoping that my citation would have provoked readers to actually read the report, but it has not happened, at least in your case. For example, on page 43 of the report, we find the following partial explanation "For instance, among those who say that they are “Orthodox” less than 15% attend church services at least once a month (Tab.6). The vast majority of “Orthodox believers” in Russia participate only in the one-time church ceremonies (baptizing of the children, church wedding or funerals) or in the major religious festivals such as Easter or Christmas. In other words, the sense of being Orthodox and belonging to the Orthodox Church is typically limited to the fact of baptism and to some very rare participation in special church ceremonies." Please look over Tabs 5 and 6 of the study (also on page 43).
 

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Iconodule said:
Fabio Leite said:
There is no greater evil than the desire to make a better a world.
That in itself is an inherently genocidal ideology.
Just wishful thinking there. Social engineers and world reformers (even those in the right or apolitical) are the most lethal, uncompassionate and proudful kind of persons there are.

 

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Fabio Leite said:
Iconodule said:
Fabio Leite said:
There is no greater evil than the desire to make a better a world.
That in itself is an inherently genocidal ideology.
Just wishful thinking there. Social engineers and world reformers (even those in the right or apolitical) are the most lethal, uncompassionate and proudful kind of persons there are.
Your misanthropic hysteria won't get much traction in Russia or anywhere else where sane people live.
 
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