2018: what brought the Church in the outgoing year

We have lived another year filled with events – and now is the time to look back and remember what happened in the life of the Church. 9 the major religious events of the year – according to Victor Sudarikova.

Photo: Vadim Matveyev / photosight.ru

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Victor Sudarikov

Recently I heard this argument: why bother to think about what happened and has already passed, why summarize? After all, the “motivated person is doing only what leads him to the goal.”

Of course, it’s easier to live – not to see, not to hear and not to argue. But I think you can achieve something, without an understanding of which way we go, it is hardly possible. And it is interesting to understand what are the lessons in the spiritual life we can learn from the incident, Church and community events- it is no wonder that they were in our lives.

1. The first event obviously takes place today in Kiev: this education of the Constantinople Patriarchate with the active support of the secular authorities of Ukraine a new Church structures – “the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine” (ptsu), which, apparently, will soon be presented to the Tomos of autocephaly.

The event was conceived as a “Unification Council”, designed to eliminate many years of the split, however, not being supported by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Cathedral became rather accession to the Patriarchate of Constantinople adopted unilaterally in communication with the non-canonical Church structures. Yes, the schismatic status seems to be eliminated, but the division between the Christian left and, perhaps, expanded.

There are more questions than answers. As a state with a direct relationship to the emergence PCU, will relate to the fact that most of the temples remains the UOC? What follows demonstrative renaming of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which insists the current secular government of Ukraine? The persecution of a significant portion of their own people – is scary and even strange to suggest. Whether there will be recognition of the new Ukrainian Church, other local churches, recognizing at the same time and the UOC? While the evaluation of the event has divided Orthodox Christians in the world.

And it turns out that in the Foundation of the Church structure laid not attraction to Christ, and the rejection of the “aggressive policy of the neighboring state” and support of the secular power. So, the Church becomes not a place of preaching salvation and unity in Christ, love for God and neighbor, but an instrument of the state policy of separation and isolation. And such an exchange the eternal for the temporary, can not but rejoice.

2. Result of the adoption of Constantinople into communion deprived of a dignity in the Moscow Patriarchate Filaret (Denysenko) and Macarius (Miletich) was the termination of communication of the Moscow Patriarchate from Constantinople.

If Russia is such a division not so obvious in the Diaspora, it leads to the resignation of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate from all international inter-Orthodox contacts and organizations to break the traditional bonds of the same faith Christians of different jurisdictions.

Generally, such a gap clearly puts the unity of the world Orthodoxy under the threat of disintegration, separation into isolated unions and groups.

Another bitter result – abundance-sounding expressions of condemnation and even contempt of the clergy of any Church. It only means that all the lofty words of non-condemnation often remain even for religious people only superficial rhetoric, and religious and elementary education obviously sacrificed to politics.

3. The decision about liquidation of the Western European Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Established in 1931, the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe, the United Russian Orthodox who live in exile. Who led the diocese Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky) had based it on the principles formulated by the local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1917-18 Being independent from the secular authorities, the Archdiocese has been able to grow a magnificent “Paris school” of Orthodox theology that is United around St. Sergius Institute.

Not long ago, the glorification of the Holy martyrs nun Maria (Skobtsova), priest Dimitry Klepinin etc. of the parishioners of the diocese – children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Russian immigrants of the first wave.

I hope that the glorious history of the unique diocese will continue and the current generation is what was created by previous Church generations.

Easter Liturgy in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris. Photo: Irina Kalashnikova / RIA “Novosti”

4. A tragic event in which he demonstrated a real heroism of ordinary people – an armed attack on St. George Church in the Dagestani town of Kizlyar. On 18 February, the day of Forgiveness Sunday, an armed gunman wanted to go to the temple, where at the service were about five hundred people.

Asking at doors for alms beggar Irina Malamova barred the criminal way, distracted him, sacrificed himself, and the door to the temple had to lock up. The offender began to shoot in the square, killed and wounded several people, but was defused arrived armed outfit.

5. A landmark event of the year – the Russian defense Ministry announced the collection of funds for the construction of a huge Orthodox Church in Moscow, on the territory of the Park “Patriot” in the area of Cuban women.

“The main temple of the Russian army” with a height of about 100 meters to symbolize the “spirituality of the Russian army, raising the sword only for protection of the Fatherland”. The total area of facilities will exceed 11 thousand square meters, which will accommodate up to 6 thousand people.

The project is executed in monumental Byzantine style, it was also reported that the steps will be molded from the remnants of captured German technology.

It is planned that the temple complex will be ready by 2020 – the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the great Patriotic war. MO stated that the financing of the project will be carried out only by voluntary donations received including those from the military.

In General, the tradition of building a “military” cathedrals existed in the Russian Empire. But a spiritual problem, in my opinion – place of the God of Love, His gospel and His victory over sin and death, in the temple, associated with the earthly victories. I think a serious effort should be applied to preached that any war brings sorrow and evil and we must make every effort to prevent it. And mercy and meekness prevail over force and complacency.

The consecration of the laying of the Foundation stone of the main temple of the Russian Armed forces. Photo from pobeda.ru

6. Symptomatic event in 2018 – the closure of Russia’s only active theology of the Internet portal “the Evangelist.ru”. The journal is under the leadership of former Vice-rector of the Moscow theological Academy Archpriest Paul Velikanova was the Playground, which published Russian and foreign articles on theology, biblical studies, Church history. There were supported and their active discussion. After the closing of the magazine due to lack of funds, many such sites in the Russian Orthodox Church is no more.

7. Alas, every year we lose our loved ones. Christians are commanded not to grieve about the dead, not to despair in their lives, but remaining part is still bitter.

In 2018 reposed Archimandrite Venedikt (stumps) – the Abbot of Optina, Archpriest Sergiy Ovsyannikov – the rector of the Russian Church in Amsterdam, Archpriest Andrei Kopeikin from Saransk, Archpriest Nikolay Nemtsev from Lipetsk, Archpriest Sergei Kuznetsov, Tatarstan and many other priests. There was a fire in Solikamsk monastery hieromonk Zosima (Boldin). Remember and Karelian priest Arcadia Shlykova revived the parish and the Church in Kolodozero (Karelia). Remember the Moscow altar boy George Velikanova, who died saving the homeless.

8. And yet we can not say about this sad phenomenon of suicide. Alas, they took place this year and with those who in life one way or another considered themselves Christian, were connected with the Church. Talking about Mature people and the very young. In some cases the surrounding overlooked, missed dangerous mental illness, and that was just indifferent and deaf.

9. In 2018, it left a lot of books. I’d like to tell you about a few dedicated to the life of the Church and Christians in our world and are written by clergy.

First, it is poetic, although in prose, a collection of priest and poet Sergy Kruglov “About father Filofil”.

Father Filofil, I think, has already taken its special and much-needed place among literary figures of the priests. The habit to go in the crate of your heart is a very deep and actual output, and by in our world. Some readers thought it was sad, but her character is lonely. But she is realistic and sobriety – despite its pricelist and allegorical. Father Filofil – watcher, that keeps the warmth and depth of his soul, based on the understanding of the integrity of life. And because short funny stories about him – good way of looking at the world of God. This is Oh so not enough.

Three other very interesting books – the priests Sergiy Ovsyannikov “Book about freedom,” Andrew Kordochkin “Caesar? Should a Christian be a patriot?” and Dimitri Klimov “Antimanipulation. Catechetical conversations post-Soviet space”. Experience a Frank conversation with his contemporaries about the Christian’s life with himself, in the Church in modern society. About sober view of the world and about the ability to distinguish the important from the unimportant. About freedom, family, patriotism and most importantly – faith.

That will meet in the coming year – will soon see. We are already in the new year and the joy of Christmas.

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