Sunday, August 09, 2009

Patriarch Kirill's visit to Ukraine a success? Hmm..

According to, during Patriarch Kirill's visit to Ukraine: "the idea of the "Holy Rus," or "the great Eastern-Slavic civilization" as a spiritual and historical, rather than a political, entity capable of saying something important to today's secularized world without forfeiting the link between the earthly and the divine, served as the leitmotif throughout all of the Patriarch's speeches."

During one Ukrainian TV appearance, he said this:

"By no means do I oppose the Western world — I know the West well and lived in the West, - but why, in dialogue with the Western world, do we accept the role of 'the led' so easily? What values do they offer us? What unique thing does this rich civilisation tell us today? Why do we give up our primacy so easily?

We are ready to enter a united Europe, into any other Europe. [But do] We enter there to receive ideas? To graft a certain correct form of life[style]? [Do] We enter there for the sake of our stomach and our pockets? Sure, this too is quite good. But let's bring our values [too]; but I do not believe that they will be ready to accept [these] values there. However, to enter as 'the led', losing spiritual primacy, renouncing our tragical, but unique, incomparable experiences, raises major doubts with me.

I think that our unity - the unity of the spiritual space of Sacred Rus, historical Rus, is a civilizing project of huge force which is not destined to be led. It is destined to generate ideas, and this is now taking place.. We have a potential for the development of a genuine dialogue between the East and the West, but not the dialogue between a horseman with a horse..."

Three years ago Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist at the University of Leicester School of Psychology, in Great Britain analysed data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR, to create a global projection of subjective well-being: the first world map of happiness.

Studies elsewhere have produced results similar to those obtained by Adrian White.

Secular meritocratic European countries, with high standards of living, long life expectancy, excellent education, health and welfare services score very well in these comparative studies, whilst Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet Socialist Republics fare particularly badly. For example, in Adrian White's study Russia lies at a miserable 167th position out of 178 countries. In Ukraine, the young, and particularly the ambitious and dynamic are most conscious of these great differences. I do not believe Patriarch Kirill's messages about Sacred Rus or 'the great Eastern-Slavic civilization' having anything important to say to the secularized world, or to Western European neighbours, will make much impression on these people. The man will not be taken seriously, even if he himself thinks his trip was a success..


elmer said...

Here is an excellent article from Ukrainian Pravda by a historian about Kirill's visit.

I have set forth a few highlights from the article below. It's a bit of a clumsy translation, but I've tried to keep close to the original Ukrainian text.

- the visit was political - in every city he spoke about political matters, which did not differ from official kremlin propaganda, including the official kremlin line that the Holodomor was a "tragedy suffered by both Ukraine and Russia."

- which is a very nice phrase, if it explained the complete sovok taboo about discussing any deaths in Ukraine in 1932-33 famine

- and if it explained how, between 1926-37, the population of Ukraine fell by 15.3%, while in Russia the population grew by 20.7% during the same time period

- "the patriarch" claimed that it is impossible to open any new Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate church in Western Ukraine - which is a lie

- "the patriarch" forgot to mention that the only Kyiv Patriarchate church on the territory of Russia was taken by force in Russia in 1997 by OMON

- regarding Kirill's claim that he should be the "father" or "head" of all orthodox Christians:

- Kyiv became Christian in 988 - when Moscow did not exist

- a century and a half after that, on the territory of future Moscow lands, people there killed one of the priests from Kyiv's Pecherska monastery

- even the founder of Moscow, George Dolhorukyj, was a Kyivan prince

- the first stone church in Moscow was not built until 1326, three and a half centuries after Kyiv's large churches

- in 1948 the Russian SSR very loudly marked the 500-year anniversary of the Russian church - how the Russian church aged 5 centuries in 60 years is a mathematical puzzle

- in the 17th century, the patriarchs of the Russian church, who were appointed by the tsars, did not know how to read; but they regularly sanctioned the burning of books on Moscow streets which had been published by Ukrainian religious activists

- Kirill refused to meet with the Filaret, the head of the largest church in Ukraine

- in a recent poll, 39% of Ukrainians identified themselves as affiliated with the Kyiv patriarchate, whereas only 24% claimed affiliation with the Moscow patriarchate

- the obvious political priorities from Kirill raise the question - is the Moscow patriarchate even an authentic church, which places spiritual goals first?

- judging by Kirill's visit, we don't see a religious figure, but rather an official of the public information department of the neighboring government

- that's why the Ukrainian politicians who followed Kirill looked so comical - "pretending that they didn't know that they were pretending" (that Kirill is merely a Russian propaganda official

- thanks to its political activities, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate has become a religious minority in absolute numbers; a church which engages in political goals, and has nothing in common with religion, self-destructs

- and this is evident in the Russian church - its hierarchs are openly talking about a new evangelism in Russia - in other words, confirming the massive lack of religious activity of the population

- once, the French king rejected the candidacy of the Parish archbishop on the basis that "he ought to believe in God at least a little"! In a few years, France was drowning in blood.

- why should the Ukrainian church seek recognition from this kind of politicized Russian church?

- in 1589, after 150 years of non-canonical existence, the Russian tsar arrested the Constantinople patriarch and after a 2 year jailing and torture beat out of the patriarch a "canonical" recognition of the Russian church

- Did anything change for God because of this?

elmer said...

The trip was a success?

For those who think so, think again:

8 reasons to become Ukrainian

Reasons to Become Ukrainian
10 August 2009
By Paul Goble / Special to The Moscow Times
About this blog

Patriarch Kirill’s suggestion that he is ready to acquire dual citizenship in Ukraine has prompted activists of the Russian National-Democratic Movement (RNDM), a nationalist but not statist group, to conduct a survey on whether residents of Russian regions bordering Ukraine would like to take Ukrainian citizenship.

While many writers have discussed whether Ukrainian citizens might like to take Russian citizenship, this is one of the very few efforts to determine how Russian citizens might feel about moving in the opposite direction. And while the number of people polled is too small to be reliable, the reasons the activists suggested they might have for doing so are intriguing.

According to RNDM, there are eight reasons “why [ethnic] Russian people might express a desire to receive Ukrainian citizenship.

elmer said...

Isn't it strange that sovok commies today parade around with Kirill. For what purpose? Certainly not for religious purposes.

Here's another excellent analysis:

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill visited Ukraine from July 27 - August 5 in order to suppress the pro-independence mood among the local clergy and more broadly, to assert Russian religious and cultural domination. Kirill made it clear that he would oppose plans, backed by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, to create a local Orthodox church fully independent of Russia more energetically than his predecessor Alexy II. Kirill also allowed Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych to use his visit to benefit Yanukovych's presidential election campaign, which indicates that Moscow will probably back his bid as it did in 2004.

During his visit Kirill ostentatiously ignored the rival Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UPTs-KP), although UPTs-KP Patriarch Filaret wanted to meet him. Adding insult to injury, Kirill acted as if UPTs-KP did not exist at all. Strictly speaking, this is the case from the point of view of the Moscow church as Filaret was excommunicated after he split from the Moscow church in 1992. UPTs-KP is still not officially recognized by the rest of the Orthodox world.