Intelectualii în secolul XX…


Jordan Peterson spune că intelectualii francezi (şi probabil nu numai ei) din deceniul şapte al secolul XX au reinventat marxismul după falimentul clar al comunismului odată cu definirea post-modernismului. Care a dus la o altă catastrofă. Deci ăştia au fost de stânga.

De remarcat că un teolog elveţian a spus primul că intelectualii – adică profesorii săi de teologie – ce făceau parte din Reichstag au votat fondurile necesare Germaniei pentru declanşarea Primului război mondial. Se numea Karl Barth şi absolvise la Tubingen, în Germania. Probabil aceşti profi erau de dreapta, dar evident erau şi liberali, adică nu aveau o concepţie conservatoare cu privire la Noul Testament.

Regimurile totalitate – fie ele de dreapta sau de stânga – au vrut să creeze omul de tip nou, să instaureze noua ordine mondială, să impună dominaţia unei minorităţi asupra majorităţii sau a unei majorităţi asupra altor minorităţi. Lichidarea opoziţiei a fost o politică de zi cu zi. Spiritul de turmă, alinierea majorităţii sub presiunea unei minorităţi activiste şi violente a marcat poate cel mai nenorocit secol (în afară de cel în care a bântuit Black Death) din istorie. Şi n-a fost vorba de Evul mediu.

De aceea postmodernismul a căutat o scăpare: cum să justifici existenţa lumii după chipul şi asemănarea ta. În ciuda creării omului după chipul şi asemănarea Lui. Şi a căderii omului. care este evidentă în toate aceste tentative eşuate de a recrea omul.

Cum poate se mai poate justifica intelectual comunismul după existenţa URSS-ului, după Campucia, China comunistă, Coreea de Nord, după grozăviile impunerii Europei comuniste sau după agresiunea Rusiei asupra Ucrainei?

Unde-s verzii?


Mă întreb de ce nici acum Rusia, mare extractivă şi consumatoare de petrol, singura ţară agresoare din lume, nu provoacă reacţia activiştilor ecologişti? Hai, demonstraţi şi voi împotriva producţiei de petrol şi gaze din Rusia de unde vin banii pentru armata personală a lui Putin!

Eco teroriştii au distrus vreo două staţii de benzină din Anglia. Nişte adolescenţi înverşunaţi aidoma Gretei. Greta, unde eşti? De ce nu protestezi împotriva Rusiei ce atacă Ucraina şi poluează, consumă pentrol, etc? Greee-ta?

Au dispărut toţi marii şi mici activişti? S-au ascuns pe sub pătuţurile copilăriei fericite. O, vine bomba! Vine racheta! Mami, scapă-mă!

Păi unde vă este curajul? În şpilhozni? Era un articol unisex de îmbrăcăminte dedicat copiilor mici.

Şi în final, provocarea: vreau să văd un echipament, o maşinărie de război, ceva, un lansator de rachetă, tanc, tănculeţ, avionuţ electric. Pe baterii. Sau pe hidrogen. Să avem – chipurile – un război verde, ecologic. În care cei căzuţi pentru salvarea planetei s-o îngraşe la propriu, nu la figurat. Cinic? Poate. Poate realist.

Nu ne-am bate dacă n-am avea benzină. Sau bani. Sau arme. Asta mă-ndoiesc. Ne-am bate cu pumnii, picioarele, dinţii şi unghiile. Că asta e problema civilizaţiei omeneşti. Cineva vrea mai mult, mai roşu, mai la vest. Şi mulţi cred minciuna.

Iar după (aproape) fiecare război se încheie o pace. Păi era pace înainte de războiul ăla!

De ce lumea e sora românului, nu biserica?


Lume, lume soro lume,

C-așa-i lumea trecătoare
Unul naște altul moare
Lume, soră lume
Ăl de naște necăjește
Ăl de moare putrezește
Lume, soră lume.

Dar biserica e văzută ca o închisoare. Sau cel puţin ca arest la domiciliu. Că n-ai voie aia, nici cealaltă, la cutare nici măcar să visezi! Teofil Stanciu zice că sâmbăta dinaintea învierii caracterizează tensiunea dintre noi din lume şi noi ca creştini. Tot în lume. Dar şi în Biserică. Hmmm…

Noaptea


După ce am văzut atâtea orori în Ucraina, ce mi-am zis? Să mă destind cu un film. Am ales Night in Paradise. Ultimele minute le-am revăzut de câteva ori. Să-mi mai treacă supărarea. S-a făcut dreptate? Nu. Doar răzbunare.

Dreptate nu va fi niciodată în războiul din Ucraina. Pentru că morţii nu mai învie. Dar răzbunarea va veni. Chiar dacă nu din Ucraina.

Alegerile din Franța – o lume în pericol


La France: o analiză a alegerilor

O Româncă la Paris

Nu ne mai putem întreba din politețe unii pe alții: ce mai faceți, cum o duceți cu sănătatea sau ce planuri aveți pentru vacanță?

„Ora e gravă”!

Suntem antrenați îndirect la război, care este, ca toate războaiele : de cotropire și apărare. De multe ori sunt ”guerres fraternelles” – război între frați! De multe ori sunt războaie etnice, de multe ori sunt ideologice și religioase, de multe ori economice, dar de cele mai multe ori, toate la un loc!

Abia am intrat în cataclismul teribil al războiului din Ucraina, că suntem zdrobiți alături de ei, morți alături de ei! Unii dintre noi, cu suflet încă viu și compătimitor, primesc „fugarii”, dându-le primul ajutor. Alții, cu forță de decizie, încearcă toate soluțiile pentru stăvilirea conflictului.

Cât despre mine, inspirațiilemele de povestitoare vă mărturisesc că se sparg încontinuu în fața imaginilor apocaliptice: blocurile de locuințe spulberate, oameni uciși fără noimă pe…

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Jonah 4: Hypocrisy


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Jonah 4:2, “He prayed to the Lord and said, “Please Lord, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.” NASB

In Jonah 4:2, the prophet brings a case against God and questions Yahweh’s integrity (Sweeney, 329). He states that God is a hypocrite and is not consistent in His actions. He argues that he already knew that God would be unpredictable and retract His judgment and have mercy on Nineveh. Jonah 4:5 reconfirms Jonah’s belief that God is not trustworthy. The author of Jonah states that the prophet left the city and rested outside of Nineveh to see what God would do to the city. Jonah sits and waits to…

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Vasile Ernu – Nuclear Orthodoxy


To Ernu’s text I would add something about the origin of Moscow, the third Rome:

Runciman draws attention to the fact that as early as 1390 Constantinople’s Ecumenical Patriarch Anthony wrote to the Great Kneaz Basil I of Moscow ‘to remind him that no matter what happens, the emperor in Constantinople was still the only true emperor, God’s Orthodox deputy on earth.’1

Both political and ecclesiastical relations between Constantinople and Moscow were tense at the time when the Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan Isidore of Kiev was expelled, due to his unsuccessful attempt to proclaim the union at Moscow.2 Consequently, from 1448 the Russian Church became fully autonomous.3 Constantinople being taken by the Turks, Moscow could think about taking a more prominent position in the Christian East.4 The marriage of Tsar Ivan III to Zoe Paleologus in 1472 opened up new possibilities. On the one hand, the house of Moscow would receive the lost glory of the fallen Byzantium, a prestige that would have raised them to a level equal with any of the western houses. On the other hand, if a reconquista was not possible, there was an ambitious project to make a Russian empire of a Byzantine tradition.5 He (Ivan III) adopted the double-headed eagle, symbol of imperial power, and the elaborate ceremonial of the Byzantine court, and demanded that his nobles be completely subject to him.’6

The metropolitan of Monemvasia drew attention to the possibility of schism in the Eastern Church if Russia became too powerful.7 The rise to prominence of Moscow as a possible replacement for Constantinople actually came soon after the elevation of the Russian metropolitan to the position of patriarch.8 The existence of Christian Moscow was a fact that had to be considered both by Constantinople (as the see of the ecumenical patriarch) and by Istanbul (as the capital of the Ottoman Empire). On the other hand, Moscow was conscious of her role, which would pay both political and ecclesiastical dividends, as the only power to defend and support the Christians in the Ottoman Empire. From now on Russia would be a continuous factor of distress for the Ottoman administration because it was the place where neither the only Christian Orthodox emperor (tsar), nor the patriarch was living under Turkish occupation.9 The Russian clergy’s reaction to this superior position in the Christian East became evident even before 1589.10 Runciman draws attention to a letter written just five years after the fall of Constantinople, in 1458, by the metropolitan of Moscow. This further step to achieve Russian hegemony over the Eastern Orthodox Christianity recorded:

Constantinople had fallen because it went astray from the true Orthodox tradition. However, in Russia, the true faith of the seven synods is still living, in this way Constantinople passed to the Great Kneaz Vladimir. In the world, there is only one church, the Church of Russia.11

It was clear that Moscow (like Constantinople in the past) was stressing the importance of the same condition: the observance of the seven ecumenical synods. In addition, Moscow was crystal clear that the union of the Byzantine Church with the Roman Catholic Church was the danger, which caused the fall of the second Rome. As a proof that they had learned something from history (of the Church), the Russians would not agree to any church union in the future. More than, that they would at any cost act against those churches which agreed to unite with the Roman Catholic Church.

Not too long afterwards, in 1512, in a letter to the Great Tsar Basil III (1505-1533),12 the Russian monk Philotheus from a Pskov monastery wrote that ‘the Christian empires had fallen. Only the empire of our masters is still alive. Two Romes had fallen, but the third lasts, and the fourth will never be. You are the only Christian sovereign of the entire world, the leader of all truly Orthodox Christians.’13

The message was clear: Moscow (the tsar and the patriarch) was provided with a raison d’être. Philotheus’ letter14 was more than an invitation to take over Constantinople’s role: it provided the reason why Moscow, already the third Rome must take over responsibility for the destiny of all Christians without consideration of frontiers. In a way Philotheus highlighted the destiny of the third Rome by contrasting it with the fate of the other two.15

Kochan highlights the role of the Church concerning Moscow’s dream of supremacy. This was possible only due to a very close association between the Church and the State. Early in the sixteenth century, Abbot Joseph of Volokolamsk gave legitimacy to the model by comparing the authority of the tsar to God’s authority. Similarly, the authority of the Byzantine emperor passed to the Muscovite tsar:

The autocracy became, in theory, the divinely ordained fountainhead of an undifferentiated concentration of authority – political, in that the Tsar was the only political authority; economic, in that he claimed ownership of the totality of the land; military, in that he led the country in war; religious, in that he ruled by divine right and was committed to maintain and defend the rights of Orthodoxy.16

Such an ideological translation was not ensured by the right of succession, hereditary right or by conquest or by any other accustomed procedure. Its legitimacy derived from the continuous rise to power of Moscow in the East.17 However, only during the seventeenth century did Russia dream of conquering Constantinople. The desire that that dream come true led to Empress Katherine II having her grandsons baptised with two significant and prophetic names in the context of the East: Alexander and Constantine, and her engaging in a definitely aggressive policy towards the Ottoman Empire. These Russian efforts to expand at the expense of the Ottoman Empire caught the Romanians between two lines. Apparently, the Russians supported the Eastern Orthodox Church, but in practice, Russian policy demonstrated that the Church was being used to attain political goals.

1 F. Miklosich and I. Möller, Acta et diplomata Graeca mediiaevii, quoted by Runciman, Căderea, 188.

2 Meyendorff, The Orthodox Church. Its past and Its Role in World Today (Crestwood, New York: St Vladimir’s Theological Press [fourth edition] 1996), see 52.

3 Runciman, Căderea, 188.

4 P. Evdokimov, Ortodoxia (Bucharest: Editura Institutului Biblic şi de Misiune al Bisericii Ortodoxe Române, 1996), see 37. Evdokimov expresses this by saying that the crown of the emperor was transmitted as a heavenly blessing to the legitimate heir of the Orthodox kingdom, the tsar of all Christians.

558 L. Kochan, The Making of Modern Russia (Penguin Books, [first published 1962], 1979), see 38.

659 K.S. Latourette, A History of Christianity. Volume I: to AD 1500 (New York, Hagerstown, San Francisco, London: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1975), 616.

760 Iorga, Bizanţ după Bizanţ (Bucharest: Enciclopedică Română [first edition Paris: 1938] 1972), see 101.

861 On 26 January 1589, Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II anointed Metropolitan Job of Moscow as the first Russian patriarch.

962 Walker, A History, 676. During the sixteenth century the Turkish Empire was occupying the Balkans, most of Hungary, the Romanian Principalities, and had had the Black Sea as an ‘interior’ sea. In Africa the Sublime Porte had Egypt and the area along the coast up to Algiers, in the East Armenia, Georgia, part of former Babylon, in the South it had Palestine and Syria.

1063 Boris Godunov asserts Moscow’s ecclesiastical independence from the Ecumenical see of Constantinople in 1589.

11 Runciman, Căderea, 188.

12At this point Runciman contradicts V. Malinin who mentions Tsar Ivan IV (1533-1584).

13 Runciman, Căderea, 188.

14 V. Malinin, Le vénérable monastère de la saint Eléasare, Philothée et ses épîtres. (Kiev: 1901). imprecisely quoted by Evdokimov, Ortodoxia, see p. 37 Thomas suggested this idea to the Muscovite Grand Prince Basil in a letter from Tver in 1453.

15 Kochan, The Making, see 39. Kochan claims that ‘In actual fact, Ivan and his successors’ hopes lay more with the West than in any Byzantine political legacy. But for all that, the ecclesiastical doctrine gave an ideological hallowing to the new state.’

16 Kochan, The Making, 36.

17 D.B. Clendenin, Eastern Orthodox Christianity. A Western Perspective (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1992), see 42-44.

And a small correction: I.V. Stalin’s temporary pact with the ROC was made not at the beginning of the so-called Great Patriotic War, as Ernu claims (we keep forgeting about all Soviet invasions prior to June 1941), but in 1942 when the USSR was close to colaps.

Persona

„Russian World” Theology, and the Role of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Putin Regime’s War of Occupation

Vasile Ernu

Many years ago I worked on The Problem of Evil in Russian Thought, and later on Eschatology in Russian Politics. These were themes of the 1990s. By 2000 I had completely broken away from these areas. Books from that era ended up somewhere on the bottom shelf on the back row. Yet, it’s true that I always peeked at the subject.

These days we’ve been discussing a lot on the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in shaping the architecture of the Putin regime and especially its role in the military issue and the regime’s war of occupation in Ukraine. I had to reopen closed doors, and tried to clarify the situation a bit. Let’s take it one step at a time.

Beginnings

With the coming to power of the…

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