Kirill Now Moves Against Conservatives

A.C. introduces this article with his comment:

This is Paul's latest statement on the Moscow Patriarchate, which some of you may have seen.
In simple terms, this confirms a clear path of collaboration with former KGB agents who were part of the Soviet totalitarian regime, now passing itself off as a democratic (read: totalitarian) regime. Whereas the old ideology preached atheism and subdued the Orthodox Church by collaboration, now the very same atheists, who have learned to Cross themselves in public, encourage religion by open collaboration, as everything happily proclaims that a new system is in place.
When the old rulers become the new rulers with a new face, the new system is simply the old system with a new face. And this is not just in Russia, but in most of Eastern Europe. Anyone who sees this would be wise to avoid certain trips by airplane....
How can one but be astounded at the naivete of those who do not see what is so simple? The thinking, tactics, and vision of what is described below has the stamp of the old KGB (under new letters) all over it. + AC

Window on Eurasia: Having Moved Against Church Liberals, Patriarch Kirill Now Moves Against Conservatives

Paul Goble

Vienna, April 14 - Having moved against a web site that was frequently critical of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill has now moved against another that has been slavishly loyal to it, the latest indication that the church leader wants to build a power vertical on the Kremlin model, gathering all power into his hands while avoiding any responsibility.

In an article posted on yesterday, Dmitry Savvin who writes frequently about religious affairs, says that these two events, instead of being contradictory as many may assume, are in fact part of an internally consistent effort, albeit one that will do little to help the cause of Orthodox Christianity in Russia ( ).

Widespread hopes among Russian believers that "the new course of new Patriarch Kirill would bring something different in the sphere of church-state relations still have not proved out. On the contrary," Savvin says, church and society "continue to receive signals that everything not only will remain as it was but moreover that the screws will be even further tightened."

Evidence of that has been provided not only by Kirill's moves last month to shut down or at least curtail which has been critical of his policies but also and even more by his latest moves against "Russkaya liniya," a portal that has positioned itself as totally supportive of church conservatives and the power of the Patriarchate.

While to many Kirill's moves against the latter loyalist site must seem entirely "unexpected," the Russian commentator argues, they in fact are completely "logical," the result of the entire course the patriarch has pursued since he assumed that position a little more than a year ago.

As he has written before, Savvin points out that Kirill had a choice when he was elevated. On the one hand, and from "the Orthodox Christian point of view," the better one would have been to "distance himself from the current regime" which becoming ever more totalitarian and thus heading toward collapse.

Or on the other, Kirill could choose as he has to "fuse [the Church] ever closer and more tightly with the current 'power vertical' and though this guarantee the strengthening of [the hierarchy's] own position." In the short term, Savvin acknowledges, this was "the simpler" choice, but in the longer run, he insists, it is "the most likely" to lead to disaster.

Not only will the church lose financially, but "the saddest thing" will be that "such a course of events will inevitably lead to the alienation of a very significant part of society from Orthodoxy (and not only from the Moscow Patriarchate). And that in turn very possibly will bury all hopes for a genuine Orthodox rebirth in Russia."

Tragically, Savvin continues, "it is becoming ever more evident that [Kirill and the Moscow Patriarchate] are taking the second path." And just as the powers that be in the civil regime are relying ever more heavily on force to maintain their position, so too are the religious ones.

Savvin offers several additional examples of this authoritarian drive, including new attacks on "the right opposition" among the clergy, increased state oppression of "alternative" Orthodoxy and in particular of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, and the introduction of church censorship.

He devotes particular attention to censorship. While the mechanisms for that were put in place long ago, they were not consistently employed. Now, the Publishing Council of the patriarchate has been given responsibility for this, and Savvin says that there are three reasons for real concern.

First, the council will not make public the findings of expert reviewers, thus opening the way for abuse. Second, the reviewers themselves will remain anonymous, another possibility for manipulation. And third, the council's first decisions are disturbing, with the works of Father Kucher found to be "extremist" while those of Archpriest Kurayev are recommended.

In short and in ways that suggest "the synchronization" of the regime's power vertical and one in the Church, Kirill and his supporters are clearly seeking to "concentrate in their hands all power by depriving the laity and the 'lesser clergy' of all rights and thus to avoid any responsibility" to the latter.


Joanna Higginbotham said...

I don't get it. How can it help Pat. Kirill to hinder websites loyal to MP? What is "vertical power"?
And how does this relate to antichrist and eschatology?

Joanna Higginbotham said...

"How can one but be astounded at the naivete of those who do not see what is so simple? "

Could this help answer that question?

...This may have something to do with what is called Cognitive Dissonance. Leon Festinger developed the theory of Cognitive Dissonance in the 50's when he apparently stumbled onto a UFO cult in the Midwest. They were prophesying a coming world cataclysm and "alien rapture." When no one was raptured and no cataclysm he studied the believers response, and detailed it in his book "When Prophecy Fails." Festinger observed:
A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.
We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks.
But man's resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.
It seems that part of the problem has to do with ego and the need to be "right." People with a high "need to be right" or "perfect" seem to be unable to acknowledge that they have been conned. "There is no crime in the cynical American calendar more humiliating than to be a sucker." People will go along with and support a psychopath, in the face of evidence that they have and ARE being conned, because their own ego structure depends on being right, and to admit an error of judgment would destroy their carefully constructed image of themselves.
Even more amazing is the fact that when psychopaths do get exposed by someone who is not afraid to admit that they have been conned, the psychopath is a master at painting their victims as the "real culprits." Hare cites a case of the third wife of a forty year old high school teacher:
For five years he cheated on me, kept me living in fear, and forged checks on my personal bank account. But everyone, including my doctor and lawyer and my friends, blamed me for the problem. He had them so convinced that he was a great guy and that I was going mad, I began to believe it myself. Even when he cleaned out my bank account and ran off with a seventeen-year-old student, a lot of people couldn't believe it, and some wanted to know what I had done to make him act so strangely!...

Joanna Higginbotham said...

+A.C. does not visit blogs, so I sent him my comment knowing he studied psychology. He confirmed what I suspected AND confirmed that the KGB also uses the paranormal to manipulate - [paranormal, ahem, "witchcraft"] He writes:

"... I wrote my doctoral dissertation in psychology on the clinical aspects of cognitive dissonance, so I know this technique quite well. The KGB (and now its scion, the FSB) was not only quite facile in manipulating cognitions but even employed paranormal techniques which the West, in its silly dismissal of anything but what it considered "empirical" phenomena, considered absurd. We are now paying the price, in the West, for this limited view of reality..."