Wednesday, April 24, 2024

    Russian Orthodox Church in conditions of Russian invasion of Ukraine: desire for revenge and loss of legitimacy

    In our recent publication, we analyzed the position of the UOC-MP in the face of a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Now we will try to describe the situation of the Russian Church in the specified period quite succinctly, but as concretely and objectively as possible.

    Reviewing all the events and statements of both the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill Gundyaev, and the mouthpieces of this religious organization of the aggressor state, more than a year and a half into the Russian invasion, we can say with confidence that the Moscow Patriarchate itself expected and wanted this war no less than the Kremlin did.

    After all, for them it was, and most likely remains, the only chance for revenge, after a series of painful defeats, in the inter-church arena – in other words, an opportunity to win back Ukraine.

    This Russian war, by and large, is also a consequence of the failures of the church leadership, which was tasked with keeping Kyiv in the clutches of the “Russian world”. Now the mistakes of “agents sporting cassocks” have to be fixed by the Kremlin itself, with the help of its army.

    It’s no secret that throughout recent history, Russia has tried to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence through the church. And as history showed, for a long time they succeeded in this regard quite well. However, the events of the Revolution of Dignity radically changed the situation, and since then history began to play against the Russian Orthodox Church.

    The faster the events developed, the more losses the Moscow Church suffered. The result of this entire process was the formation of the OCU and its receipt of the Tomos of autocephaly. No matter how hard Gundyaev and Co tried to hamper this process, they failed to stop it, or at least put it in the “long drawer”.

    Instead, they harmed themselves and also got into trouble with the Kremlin, which remained dissatisfied with the policies pursued by St. Daniel’s Monastery. Therefore, the war was the only chance for both parties to put an end to Ukrainian independence, both ecclesiastical and political.

    Both in the presidential administration offices and in the patriarchal chambers, everyone hoped to establish their order in a short period of time, completely destroying the very mention of Ukrainian independence. The loss of Ukrainian statehood would automatically mean the loss of Ukrainian autocephaly, and ultimately would lead to the full establishment of Moscow’s jurisdiction over our entire Homeland, just as the Moscow Patriarchate did to the Polish Church in the last century.

    It is likely that, just as with the dioceses that the Russian Orthodox Church annexed to its branch in Ukraine this year, it would be the same with the entire Ukrainian Church. Collaborators would happily fall under Kirill’s omophorion, and all dissenters would be dealt with quite quickly and “for good”. And this whole theater of absurdity would be presented as the “unification of brotherly peoples”.

    All this would have given Gundyaev the opportunity to declare his rightness to the entire Orthodox world, and would have served as another argument in the war against Constantinople, which, failing to understand the “Slavic mentality”, tried to separate the “brotherly peoples”.

    However, it did not turn out as expected. And that is why currently the ROC found itself in the same situation as Russia. By the way, it employs the same methods as the Kremlin does. After all, the so-called “referenda” and “the accession of dioceses into the ROC” are quite similar.

    In addition, the ROC, just like Russia, found itself isolated from the outside world. None of the hierarchs of the Local Churches is in a hurry to visit Russia, even Russian rubles and red coins are of no help. After all, coming to Moscow, at least for some celebration by Kirill, would automatically tarnish the reputation of any church leader across the world.

    That is why Russian church leaders have to look for allies all over the world, but apart from some vulnerable Africans, no one agrees to be friends with the aggressor.

    This whole situation once again exposes the true essence of the Russian Orthodox Church as an ideological branch of the FSB. Therefore, it is natural that in the future it will face the same fate as the aggressor state itself…

    Source: Spiritual Front of Ukraine