Love without anesthesia
There is a growing movement within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) against commemoration of the Moscow patriarch at worship services. A few dioceses have announced through their hierarchs that they can no longer commemorate the Moscow patriarch Kirill during the Liturgy as their primate. The Moscow Patriarchate replied officially and drily that it was a “dropout”. It was not the patriarch himself, no - who are they to make the patriarch come down to a personal feedback? The signature was put by the Head of his Office. As if at the request of a petty official to supply a new bundle of paper.
That is, nothing special - people lose their nerve against the background of “special operation”. Shall we send them bromine as Humanitarian Aid to help calm down or what?
But no matter how much the Moscow Patriarchate tried not to direct the public's attention on the “dropout” of the Ukrainian clergy and hierarchs - it is symptomatic that Metropolitan Eulogy's answer went in and out on the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) - the people got worried about it. And, by the way, in the UOC-MP, as you may know, only tested fighters resisted both the Filaret split and Tomos, neither the Ecumenical Patriarch seduced them, nor Poroshenko forced them to bow down. In general, the top forces so to say! The real pillars of the Russian world.
And here is such a cringe: they came to save them from the persecutions to which they themselves complained so much, to free them from the Nazis, to dust off their competitors – but they... renounce their own patriarch.
Such behavior of the Ukrainian clergymen should have made the Orthodox public abroad think. Yet.
They were all referred to as schismatics. They were told that their position was not dictated by purity of faith, but only by political considerations - which is unacceptable, because “the church is beyond the politics”.
The ability to draw conclusions is not the strongest feature of Russians in general and their church, in particular.
The article posted on the Red and Black channel of the Telegram messenger turned out to be very revealing, not in terms of content, but in style. In his commentary, the author compares the Ukrainian bishops (so called “non-commemorators”) with difficult teenagers, who seek parental love by their protest. This could be attributed to bad taste and the trend for cheap psychoanalysis. But there is something valuable in this post. Here is an example: you are going to come back and beg, and we will see how our patriarch will handle your petition. Maybe he will accept. Or maybe - further literally – “This time the Patriarchate will demonstrate that with hysterics - it's up to the psychologist, that love must be sought elsewhere”.
The truth is such a strange thing. It is snatched from your mouth or from your fingers completely involuntarily. So, the author of the channel accidentally made a reservation: to look for love in the ROC is a nonsense. For us, however, this hasn’t been news for a long time. But the adherents of the ROC, as you can see, know about it. Although they don’t understand.
Such publications are interesting from an almost entomological point of view. Judging by them, for example, one can come to the disappointing conclusion that part of the ROC itself is in an unstable mental state. “Hysterics”, “difficult teenagers” - this is about good-natured, gray-haired elders in episcopal vestments. Or the infantile spell “then you are going to beg - and we won’t accept you”. Even this “then” – meaning, after the victory, denazification, when there will be no more Ukraine, but only Little Russia - is another spell from the mouths of people scared to death that there will be “then” in reality.
However, among this confusion there is one pure and piercing note. Our hierarchs are accused of what they will have to answer sooner or later: why did they do it right now? In fact, nothing has changed in the last few days in the behavior and rhetoric of patriarch Kirill. He has not said or done anything he has not said or done in the last eight years. Everything with him was clear from the first day of the war in the Donbass.
But the hierarchs have just kicked out. Until now, they repeated the definitions from their manuals such as “civil war”, “unity of Russian Orthodoxy” and “persecution of the canonical church”. During all these years - the years of war - they helped their patriarch to strengthen his Russian world. They intrigued, bargained, played for the public, worked out orders, guarded their comfort zone, counted profits. So, it would be possible to live a very long time like that, supporting their own and others' illusions, fueling the war in their heads. Why not? “The church beyond the politics” is a cunning thing to afford. During peace time.
Now, when it turns out that they have been preaching the gospel of satan all this time, they do not want to receive their share of the curses and strongly dissociate themselves from Moscow. This is most likely the indignation of their Moscow counterparts - the desire to jump out of the bloody mess and not to get dirty.
What lies ahead depends only on how sincere those who are now slowly and with difficulty, but still fall off the board of the same Russian warship. Refusing to commemorate patriarch Kirill is not even half the battle, but a cosmetic measure taken in order not to irritate the flock and the authorities. Will the next step be a break with the Moscow Patriarchate?
It will be really difficult and painful. The hierarchs have already started looking for anesthesia - and again everything is in the same hands of Moscow. Like, give us autocephaly. That we are no longer “Moscow-like”, but also that we don’t have to negotiate with the “schismatics”. That is, the UOC-MP is bargaining again. And it is bargaining mostly not even for the sake of more favorable conditions but so as not to have to repent.
But true reconciliation is not through bargaining, but repentance. And this is the most difficult barrier for our Russian Orthodox, who are accustomed to the idea that they have nothing to repent of, that they are “in truth”, it is all their fault. And if two weeks ago it was possible to argue about this, to hold respectable conferences on this topic and to write subtle intelligent articles about “church reconciliation”, now there is no choice. Shelling of residential neighborhoods puts an end to any bargaining, any intrigue, any demagoguery. After it - only repentance. And before whom and about what - everyone will choose for themselves. Someone may decide to back out and repent before the Moscow patriarch. But there is hope that someone will repent before his conscience. Or in front of a flock that has been misled for so many years. Or before God – the one who believes in Him.
War is a horror. But it puts a lot in its place.