Archbishop Mark – Feigning Discontent

Archbishop Mark – Feigning Discontent or Missing the Point
by Dr E.L. Magerovsky » Tue 22 November 2005 6:12 am
Archbishop Mark – Feigning Discontent or Missing the Point? 
By Eugene L. Magerovsky 

Several weeks ago, we received news that we found encouraging--that Archbishop Mark had finally “seen the light” and responded in a responsible manner to the rather strange words of the Moscow Patriarch, when he requested that a “legal basis” be provided to Moscow’s acquisition of our property that was seized from us by force in the Holy Land. 

Since then, the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) has not offered any further elucidations, so it can be said, that both sides still hold to their differing opinions on the matter. As far as we know, Archbishop Mark has also not received any private explanations from the MP regarding this rather alarming statement. 

Even though he is said to have angrily stated that in that case, he would “halt the entire process of negotiations,” but nevertheless he has calmly swallowed this bitter pill. He now proclaims that we should display “mutual condescension” in the talks, which according to him, are proceeding rather well and much less divides us than before. As one can see, the “infuriated” Mark has undergone a transformation one more time, and yet agaiņ given in to being “goodhearted” and agreeable. Of course, what really goes on in the continuing talks still remains a secret. 

Which leads people such as me to consider, that it is quite possible that the Patriarch’s statement during his meeting with Abbas was simply a pitiful attempt to, firstly, test our seemingly endless amount of patience, and secondly, to show that the negotiations are not being held unilaterally and that the conferring parties are together successfully overcoming any issues that might complicate matters. More to the point, Kazantsev, writing in the newspaper Nasha strana (“Our Country”) turns out to be quite right when he wrote that he was wary and skeptical of the initially “angry” response of Archbishop Mark. 

In general, Archbishop Mark is quite an unusual person and that explains, in my opinion, his odd behavior. Most importantly, he is not Russian, but is of German background. The way he approaches issues, his outlook on life and his understanding of Russian history is not Russian at all, but rather, typically German. Everything is clearly defined for him and it all rests in an orderly and well-developed theoretical structure, without any relation to reality. 

He was born in East Germany, which had been occupied for forty-five years by the Soviet forces. He was educated by them, which resulted in his uniquely Soviet understanding of things, including “fascism.” This can be seen in his two recent statements in Moscow about the “horrors of totalitarianism,” to which he links, probably for the sake of impact, also “terrorism.” 

Somehow and for some reason, he was baptized and converted to Orthodoxy, but he was unable, clearly, to shed his Germano-Soviet background. Actually, it would have been far better if he remained a good German and did not meddle in Russian affairs, which, after all, have resulted in the deaths of so many innocent Russian people. Espe-cially, and I make special emphasis - his involvement in ROCOR-MP matters can be called "episodical." 

Earlier, before the 1990s, he was an ardent supporter of the negative approach towards the MP, but something, which now is not completely known to us, happened in the later years, which made him equally passionate in favor of the MP. If it was not for his meddling in Russian affairs, with which he is quite frankly not that familiar, I would not give all of this any more thought and would simply move on. But as they say, “where there is smoke, there is fire.” 

It should be noted that the Archbishop’s flock in Germany, for whom he is the shepherd now want the government in Russia to undergo real and not superficial change, and the Church to become, once again, truly Orthodox, serving the people and not just a Soviet surrogate. Apparently, Archbishop Mark still does not understand this and continues to utter empty phrases about how things have changed in Russia and that it is time we united with them. 

It is interesting to note that after the war the only East Bloc country to which people did not want to return was the Soviet Union with its communist ideology. It did not matter that the Germans took the people by force and used them as slave labor during the war. The people wanted to have nothing to do with that kind of “Mother Russia”. 

Presently, it is not the ideology, but at least its characteristic nature that has been resurrected, and the country is being led by the same old Soviet bureucrats, just wearing different costumes. In my opinion, that says it all. 

ROCOR Dr E.L.Magerovsky Ph.D; Columbia U; Russian History and Foreign Affairs

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