"ROCOR not to doom itself to role of 'ethnographic museum' of a disappeared civilization"
State Duma deputy urges Russian Church Outside Russia not to doom itself to role of ethnographic museum of a disappeared civilization
Moscow, May 2, Interfax Natalia Narochnitskaya, a State Duma deputy and well-known historian, suggests that the Russian Church Outside Russia cast away doubts as to the advisability of restoring unity with the Moscow Patriarchate.
Todays doubts are like temptations endured by a person who wants to adopt baptism but the enemy of humankind whispers into his ear: Wait, you are not ready; dont do it today but tomorrow! Narochnitskaya writes in her article published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
However, she continues, there may no tomorrow. At a time when all the forces in the world have united to prevent Russia from restoring her national and religious identity, Russian people cannot understand the virtue and truth of a Church which cannot put away the secondary things and, instead of offering an embrace, asks to meet a bill.
What kind of faith is it if there is no all-forgiving love in it; what kind of Orthodox are those who try to see the mote in a neighbors eye; what kind of love of Russia is it if it looks more like admiration for itself rather than for Russia? the author of the article asks.
She draws the attention of hesitant pastors and laity of the Russian Church outside Russia to the fact that today when Christian Europe has surrendered without resistance and is going away, it is post-Soviet Russia alone, however paradoxically it may seem, that is revolting.
According to Narochnitskaya, it is sad to read those lay emigrants who, shutting themselves away in a ivory tower, endlessly reproduce and transfer to todays Russia and Russians the notions of the cursed days and demons of the 1920s. One should probably isolate oneself from reality intentionally and refuse to change anything in it to fail to see how different todays Russians, Russia and her much-suffering Church are from the idea of them drawn up from antiquated clichés.
To reject with pride an superiority a hand offered today, to repel the hopes of Russian people who await the reunification of the family with sinking hearts and a childrens unreasoning joy would be a blow on Russia, the more so that it comes not from an enemy but from a brother. It will by an irremediable insult to the most sincere feelings of millions of people who have admired the feat of the Church Outside Russia but have not even suspected their own Russian brothers abroad to treat them with such disdain, the author of the article believes.
In this connection, Narochnitskaya asks the question: Will such a rejection devalue the feat once performed by the Russian émigrés who have preserved their Russian nature and faith in foreign lands and who preserved in their hearts the Russia we have lost and remained committed to it in their love and faith?
Do not then lose forever the true Russia which has survived through suffering and is now in a search, she adds urging the Russian Church Outside Russia not to doom itself to the role of an ethnographic museum of the gone civilization, to a reservation existence outside the theme of Russia and Russians in world history.
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Russian Church Abroad must assess its history - Alexy II Moscow, May 2, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia said the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad "must" be studied in detail and objectively, which is "of importance."
"Its history should be viewed from the canonical angle. But one must be aware that it's difficult to come to absolute and final unanimity while assessing all occurrences and historical figures. The whole truth can only be judged by God," the Russian patriarch said in an interview granted to the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church Aboard.
It is even more difficult to judge about the path the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has traversed from the canonical point of view, he said, noting that, "Too little time has passed and not at all facts have been revealed," he said.
"Perhaps it would be important for the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to cast a look back now that the era of atheism has ended in Russia, and to assess the road it has covered more fully. The Church's experience in Russia suggests that such processes do not pass overnight," Alexy II said.
"As to relations of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with the Church in Russia, I am convinced that what we need to do now is to find a way towards unity and joint witness in the spirit of Christian love and shared responsibility, instead of judging each other and generations of our fathers and forefathers," the Russian patriarch said.
Alexy II denied reports that property claims could impede dialogue between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
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