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  • vkozyreff
    Dear List, In our recent discussions, in some instances, hints were made to contradictors about their knowledge of history being insufficient. I found this
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2003
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      Dear List,

      In our recent discussions, in some instances, hints were made to
      contradictors about their knowledge of history being insufficient. I
      found this book, which must be, I think, above all suspicion of
      bias.

      Interesting is the role of the Latino-Catholics, the Lutherans and
      the Anglicans in defending the persecuted Church in Russia.
      "Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save
      Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking
      whatsoever." (Pius XI)

      In God,

      Vladimir Kozyreff

      Stalin's Holy War
      Religion, Nationalism, and Alliance Politics, 1941-1945

      by Steven Merritt Miner
      Copyright (c) 200 432 pp., 61/8 x 91/4, 5 illus., 2 maps, notes,
      bibl., index
      $55.00 cloth
      ISBN 0-8078-2736-3

      Published: Fall 2002 by the University of North Carolina Press. All
      rights reserved.


      In the face of this savage repression, the hierarchy of the Russian
      Orthodox Church became complicit to some degree in its own martyrdom.
      For the first decade of Bolshevik rule, church leaders had tried to
      resist insofar as their limited means allowed. As late as June 1926,
      for instance, Metropolitan Sergii had declared that Communism and
      Orthodoxy were "irreconcilable."[64] By the following year, however,
      after three spells in Cheka prisons where he was subjected to unknown
      pressures, Sergii recanted these views somewhat, issuing a new,
      highly controversial declaration, which the Soviet government
      published in Izvestiia:

      "We must show, not in words, but in deeds, that not only people
      indifferent to Orthodoxy, or those who reject it, can be faithful
      citizens of the Soviet Union, loyal to the Soviet government, but
      also the most fervent adherents of Orthodoxy, to whom it is dear with
      all its canonical and liturgical treasures as truth and life. We wish
      to be Orthodox and at the same time to claim the Soviet Union as our
      civil motherland, the joys and successes of which are our joys and
      successes, the misfortunes of which are our misfortunes. Every blow
      directed against the Union … we acknowledge as a blow directed
      against us.[65]"

      Whether Sergii made his statement owing to conviction or fear is
      impossible to say, although he did inject a slight—almost invisible—
      note of ambiguity into the Russian text.[66] Nevertheless, his appeal
      was rejected by virtually all Russian Orthodox believers not under
      the control of Soviet power, and it even split the church within
      Russia itself.

      Sergii had no patience with clerics who refused to follow his lead.
      He declared that "Only impractical dreamers can think that such an
      immense community as our Orthodox Church with all its organizations
      may peacefully exist in this country by hiding itself from the
      Government."[67] Consequently, within the USSR he maintained that
      bishops who refused to accept his decision to cooperate with the
      state were acting uncanonically, and he also supported the Soviet
      government when it was attacked from abroad.

      In 1930, for instance, as the Kremlin renewed its violent suppression
      of the church, Pope Pius XI called on world Christians to pray for
      their fellow believers in the USSR; he was joined by Archbishop of
      Canterbury Cosmo Gordon Lang and by the Lutheran Church in Germany.
      [68] In his response, Sergii not only denied the facts of Soviet
      repression, he also reminded the pope of the Inquisition and
      questioned his and the Catholic Church's fitness to speak out against
      repression from any quarter.

      This did not quiet the pope, who in March 1937 issued an Encyclical
      entitled Divini Redemptoris, in which he condemned Communism root and
      branch, especially attacking its propensity to create "front" groups
      designed to entice naive non-Communists into serving Communist ends.
      In a phrase that would trouble the consciences of Catholics who would
      one day wish to assist the Soviets in their war against the Nazis,
      Pius XI left no room for compromise or ambiguity: "Communism is
      intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization
      may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever."[69] The pope
      had come to within a hair's breadth of calling Communism the tool of
      the Antichrist.
      …
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