Friday, October 9, 2015

Saint Vladimir

When I returned to Russia the first time after the collapse, I believe it was 1993, it was to Saint Petersburg, not Leningrad. What I noticed even then was that the Churches were filled, weddings, funerals, old women, young people. In less than 3 years religion returned.

Then for my ten years in an out of Moscow I saw the churches rebuilt to a state that exceeded even the best under the Czars. The Metropolitan of Moscow, the alleged, and historically the actual, successor to the Bishops of the Church, regained their positions and aligned themselves with the Government, Putin especially.

In the Montefiore piece in today's NY Times I believe he gets some but not all of the depth. Hie piece should be read, especially by those in Washington. They seem clueless. I suspect they have no idea of the 30 Years War, but I put that aside.

You see the Metropolitan in Moscow is the successor to the Bishop of Constantinople, a clear un-broken line back to Peter. The Bishop of Rome was abandoned during the Avignon Papacy, when the French Kings controlled what was the "Papacy", the Bishop of Rome, who moved to Avignon. That broke the unbroken line. Moscow sees itself unbroken, Rome was demolished for over 100 years. No wonder Moscow is not interested in a conversation.

But the Metropolitan speaks for the people and he speaks for Putin. The Orthodox Church has replaced Communism in a way Lenin and Stalin would never have believed. The Montefiore piece is only part of the tale. Cyril and Methodius sent Christianity to the Slavs and ironically it had become part of the Russian soul. They have a strong and well founded belief in their destiny, and Putin is not acting foolishly, he is acting to accomplish that destiny.

Remember the window in Prague when the Papal delegate was thrown out onto the dung heap. Thirty years of religious war. Who will be landing on the dung heap this time. Doubt it will be Saint Vladimir.