Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Note On Ukraine

While the world sits idly by watching Putin reconstitute the Soviet Union, please pray for our brethren in Ukraine.

First, Russia has a bad habit of periodically murdering lots of Eastern Catholics, stealing the Church's property, and generally trying to wipe any remnant of Catholicism off the map.

Second, Putin is ex-KGB, along with probably at least a good bit of the Russian Orthodox hierarchy. Old grudges die hard.

Third, in a age of widespread ecumenism (good or bad), Russia has been engaged in some hardcore ecclesiastical aggression. When you throw in the already-existing bad feelings against Catholicism in Ukraine, this all adds up to a bad situation and probably lots of martyrs.

Right now, I hope that a lot of the "traditionalist" Catholics who have been all moon-eyed over Putin as the last great defender of Christianity think a bit on all this and regain their sanity.

I also hope that Pope Francis makes a direct intervention. Sure, the Holy Father doesn't have any divisions to send in, but there might be other stuff he could do. Pope Francis has a lot of good will right now. For decades, we've tried to play nice with Moscow, despite that particular see's cold shoulder. It's time to take whatever stand is possible.

Raise Kiev to the highest ecclesiastical level possible. Make it a patriarchate. Try to demonstrate how serious the Church regards all this. It's not much, but it might be enough to at least spare some of the more overt bloodshed of our brothers and sisters.

St. Josaphat, please pray for Ukraine and the persecuted Church all over the world.


Aged parent said...

My dear friend, try to look at this situation in all its complex aspects, and try to read not just American opinion on this matter, but worldwide opinion.

Putin is not a Saint, but I think it is at least constructive to take a look at the enemies he has made. You can discern quite a bit about someone by seeing who hates him.

Is he the savior of Russia?? I have no idea. But is he the mad KGB villain of the media? Well, no. We must try not to look at these things through the old Cold War spectacles and try to see the entire picture. I certainly join you in your prayers for the people of Ukraine.

Throwback said...

I admit my view is colored, though not so much by Cold War history. I am far more concerned about the ecclesiological matters here and Russia's recent postures in that arena.

Putin has worked very hard to resurrect popular Orthodox piety and place himself in the forefront as a defender of the Russian Church. Considering that Alexei II was also KGB and there are some indications of a similar connections for Kyril, I think there is reason for concern as to what will happen if Russian occupation becomes permanent.

Everybody in this equation from the Russian side worked for a group that attacked the Church like it was their job. Because, of course, it was their job. Hilarion's comments about Stalin's actions certainly don't make me feel any better on that point either.

Is it good to see a nation making stands against normalization of homosexuality? Sure, but one good deed does not a Boy Scout make.