“Vladimir Putin and Alexander Dugin’s vision of “Holy Russia,” which is shared with the Russian Orthodox Church, sees Russia’s mission as being to expand its influence and authority until it dominates the Eurasian landmass by means of a strong, centralized Russian state aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church, championing “traditional” social values over against the cultural corruption of a libertine West. The partnership between the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has been aimed not only at articulating this sacralized view of Russian national identity to the domestic audience, but also in advancing the mission of the Russian nation abroad.” “’Traditional’ social values” – you know what those are to Putin. This reminds me of Obama’s and Pope Francis’ “social justice”. One wonders if Obama has his own Konstantin Malofeev.
“The Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate, the branch of the ROC in Ukraine, has been losing members quickly as Ukrainians do not wish to be part of a church body that they deem to be merely an appendage of the Russian regime they believe to be tearing their country apart. In addition to losing laity, the ROC’s branch in Ukraine has been losing clergy and whole churches, as well.” Sounds like some U.S. Catholics regarding the U.S. regime.
“Were the Ukrainian Orthodox churches currently answerable to Kirill to leave the Moscow Patriarchate en masse, this would simultaneously significantly reduce the numbers of Orthodox believers that would fall under Moscow’s authority and also make the Ukrainian Orthodox community one of the largest in the world – and in direct opposition to Moscow’s ecclesial authority and goals. The threat to both Kirill and to Putin, therefore, is that Moscow’s pretensions to international leadership of Orthodoxy are likely to ring increasingly hollow, and Russia’s culturally influence globally is likely to shrink rather than to increase.” One would hope that a disaffection in the U.S. Catholic church would cause Obama’s pretensions to international leadership of his orthodoxy to ring increasingly hollow.
“As much as any geopolitical confrontation between Vladimir Putin and his Eurasianist vision of Russia, on the one hand, and the West with its liberal values on the other, the conflict has from the beginning had characteristics of being a holy war, and the lines between ecclesiological/religious and political differences have become increasingly blurred.”
“In Crimea, under Russian rule, severe restrictions on religious practice have been imposed on all non-ROC religionists.” Now this is a little different. In the U.S., severe restrictions on religious practice has been imposed on the Catholic church with the Obamacare mandates.
“The Patriarch of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Filaret, has directly challenged Putin’s spiritual claims, lamenting the fact that Putin “is misleading some people, and they think that in fact this ruler protects traditional spiritual and moral values from the ravages of globalization. But the fruit of his actions, which the Gospel calls us to evaluate, suggest otherwise.” Filaret has called on Putin “to stop sowing evil and death, [and] to repent”, and has gone so far as to say that Putin has been possessed by Satan. Ukraine has had a history of religious diversity, yet the political polarization within Ukraine has been mirrored by an increasing religious polarization.”
“The cultural impulses that are driving the revival of state-based religious fervor from within Russia are deeply enough ensconced within Russian society that a mere change of Russian leadership at some future point is unlikely to address the issue. Rather than building a new Orthodox empire, however, Putin’s aggressive and neo-imperial actions, encouraged by a militant Russian Orthodoxy, have served to alienate those peoples living around Russia’s periphery, making it increasingly unlikely that Putin will find success in his efforts to build a “Russian world.”
How far Obama and Pope Francis can go with their implementation of “social justice” will probably be revealed once Pope Francis visits Cuba, the U.S. Congress, and the United Nations in September. One hopes that life does not become as bad for the U.S. conservatives as it is for Crimea’s non-ROC population.