10402Re: [orthodox-synod] Congratulations to Putin
- Apr 1, 2004Nicholas Zaharov wrote:
>Metropolitan Laurus recently wrote a letter to Vladimer Putin, formallyThe cynicism expressed here seems to be misplaced.
>congratulating him with his re-election to the office of President of
>Russia. This letter has been posted on our Church's website.
>If George W. Bush is re-elected in the near future, I wonder if
>Metropolitan Laurus will also send him a letter of congratulations. I'm
>guessing, though, our Church will not need to do this. I do not forsee the
>Republican Party being in a direct position to reward us. I just don't
>know. I guess we shall soon see. Only time will tell...
Metropolitan Laurus is the head of what is one of the two parts of the
**Russian** Orthodox Church--not the American Orthodox Church.
Vladimir Putin is the President of **Russia**--not America.
President Bush heads nothing that has to do with Russia.
What is strange about the head of a Russian Church congratulating the head
of the Russian state with his reelection? President Putin congratulated
Metropolitan Laurus with his election as First Hierarch--so what is strange
about reciprocal politeness?
Did President Bush congratulate Metropolitan Laurus when he was elected
By the way, I am sure that Metropolitan Laurus would expect Metropolitan
Herman, head of the Orthodox Church in **America**, to congratulate
President Bush, if he were to be reelected.
Nothing strange about that, either.
Also, another point--Metropolitan Laurus has established a personal
relationship with President Putin, who was the host of a two-and a half
hour long private dinner at the Russian Ambassador to the UN's residence in
New York -- only for Metropolitan Laurus and members of the Synod of
Bishops. President Putin at that time personally invited Metropolitan
Laurus to make an official visit to Russia--an invitation that Metropolitan
Laurus graciously accepted.
As far as I know, President Bush has never invited Metropolitan Laurus to
meet with him, or hosted a private dinner for him at the White House or
So what is strange or sinister (or self-serving) about Metropolitan Laurus
congratulating President Putin on his reelection?
It seems to be the most natural and polite thing to do.
Of course, Nicholas is not alone in putting a cynical "spin" on this
innocuous letter of congratulations.
The ROCiE mouthpiece in Russia (well, at least the anti-Varnava
mouthpiece), V.G. Cherkasov-Georgievskii, posted the Letter of
congratulations by Metropolitan Laurus on his website, with the following
"Here is a document, provocatively (!) posted on the official site of the
Lavrites, which speaks to the fact that the head of the ROCOR(L) Lavr
Shkurla, with all his might, is dying to participate in the Patriarchal
Olympics in Moscow."
Those who have even the slightest acquaintance with our meek, humble, and
self-effacing First Hierarch, who would much rather be spending his time
praying at all the monastic services at Jordanville, and spending time in
solitude at his little and humble skete there, know how ridiculous this
I fear that there are some who think that in order to be "Genuinely
Orthodox" we must eschew knowledge of expected diplomatic courtesy and
elementary protocol --that we should be primitive, crude, and rude. (Now,
**that's** real Orthodoxy!)
I beg to disagree.
>With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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