Russia: Politics & Faith-The Inside Story

kremlin

Blogger, Benedict Carter writes:

Apparently Russia is now a Christian country and Putin, the champion of Christian values, is in Syria solely to protect the Christian population. Putin is the Traditionalist’s friend because he has banned homosexuality. He should be supported simply by virtue of his enmity to our own godless Western leaders. Orthodoxy is a safe haven for the Traditional Catholic as the Catholic Church lurches towards apostasy in the form of liberal Protestantism, rampant Modernism and (soon) open schism. Fr. Malachi Martin said that “salvation will come from the east” so this means that Modernism in the Church and Vatican II will be swept away by Russia and then true religion will be restored. After all, according to Joanna Bogle and others, Russia has already been converted. (Funny that the period of peace doesn’t seem to have accompanied this conversion Joanna, but I suppose we can’t have everything).

Over the last eighteen months to two years these views have been heard more and more openly on some Traditionalist sites and blogs. Sadly, what these views have in common is that they are so full of factual inaccuracies, false assumptions and ignorant claims that this latest blip on the Traditionalist radar constitutes a material danger and really should be dismissed before it becomes an accepted part of the global Traditionalist mind-set.

The Remnant in the USA has on several occasions pushed the ideas in question. Although to be fair to him Michael Matt, the Remnant’s Editor, has in one or two recent articles rowed back somewhat from his earlier position (which tended to canonise Putin and ascribe to him a divine mandate of some sort), nevertheless he has led the way in promoting the trend in question, even banning posters who sought to balance his and others’ speculation and even pagan-like numerology (the 100 years meme) with a dose of Russian reality.

My objective is to show that these views about Russia are all false, resting as they do on a total lack of understanding of the current nature of Russia and of its so-called Christian revival. Suffering from a sense of helplessness and even despair at the vacuity of Western policy, and the state of the Church and society, it is my contention that those who hold these views are investing an inchoate hope in a “false Messiah” and that this hope will surely be dashed. Indeed, ultimately I hold that those who place their hope in Putin and Russia are guilty of a serious spiritual fault in that they are putting their trust in politics and in a man rather than in Jesus Christ.

My own interest in this subject comes from my own long association with Russia. Having been a student of its literature and history from my early teenage years, in the middle 1990’s I started what was to be a twelve-year plus period living in the former USSR. During that time I lived for nearly three years in Central Asia and then more than ten years in Moscow. I speak Russian, I am married to a Russian, I owned a business in Russia, I know the history of the country and of the Russian Orthodox Church. The years I spent there changed me profoundly. Russia will be part of me until I die. I therefore consider myself well-qualified, at least amongst Traditionalists, to comment on Russian affairs.

Since 1991, it’s true that around 6,000 churches have been built or rebuilt. Ancient monasteries and convents again contain many religious. It is normal for many Russian Orthodox to attend Easter and Christmas liturgies and popping into a church to light a candle is an unremarkable activity. Around 75% of Russians are now baptised. The country’s leadership appear with high prelates on TV on important feasts and all dutifully make the Sign of the Cross (albeit badly) at the appropriate moments. There is a genuine piety to be found among believers. And as everyone knows, Russia has enacted a law preventing the advertising or marketing of homosexuality. All this is of course to be applauded. But does it mean that Russia is now a Christian country? What is the state of Russian society? This should tell us how real is Russia’s Christian life.

State of Russian Society

  • According to a Moscow Times survey, only 1% of the population attends the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. This is almost exclusively the old, particularly the women. The same picture is found in another study (http://tinyurl.com/q5r8xvb).
  • Another Moscow Times survey from last year showed that both trust in the Moscow Patriarchate and support for the building of a new church in one’s immediate locality have plummeted. Has indeed the high-water mark of the restored Patriarchate been reached within twenty-five years of the fall of the Communist regime? It may be so: I am told by one Catholic religious in Moscow that the number of students in Russian Orthodox seminaries has drastically fallen in the last two or three years. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/hu365zo).
  • While the excellent law against homosexual “propaganda” certainly exists, so do gay clubs. Homosexuality is not criminalised nor is its practice restricted in any way. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/z56lzmd).
  • Abortions continue by the million. Both Ukraine and Russia have debated banning abortion in their respective parliaments but neither have done so. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/jm55enf).
  • AIDS cases are now in excess of one million and are rising fast. Drug-resistant TB has broken out of the prisons where it was nurtured for decades and is now rife among the general population. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/hbqgb6u).
  • Drug use is decimating the younger generations in the cities, particularly in Siberia and other places riven by poverty and is growing out of any control. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/zeq85q6).
  • The moral leadership of the government is nil. Putin and those close to him are thieves, knaves, plunderers and looters on a scale beyond the imagination. The very language they use between themselves is the colourful (and utterly vile) “blatnoi yezik”, or “thieves tongue” of the “vor v zakone” (thieves-in-law, aka the mafia).
  • Putin has not conducted any reform of Russia’s economy which would eventually benefit the poorest. The reason is that if he did, his entire system would be in danger of collapse and his power with it. The pigs with their snouts in the trough would get rid of Putin before they allowed other pigs to take their place. Battles between oligarchs are at the moment controlled by Putin as the top Godfather, but if too many pigs lost their place at feeding time that control might be lost. Billions upon billions of dollars are at stake. Some thoughtful Russians I know now worry about civil war conducted between rival oligarchic armies fighting for control of Russia’s natural resources.
  • Crime as ever pervades Russian life. Life expectancy, particularly for men, is static at around 60 due to alcoholism, a collapsed health service and hopelessness. Corruption pervades Russian life. There is no rule of law as understood in the West. Innocence is lost at a very young age (Source: http://tinyurl.com/zgkbch9).
  • Many Russians are turning to eastern sects, philosophies and religions. Buddhism, Indian “spirituality”, Siberian shamanistic paganism: all these are growing in popularity. (Source http://tinyurl.com/zdwfkjz).

State of the Orthodox Church

As ever, the Orthodox Church is the creature of the State. It has been so since even before the Church’s submission to Tsar Peter and his suppression of the Patriarchate. Imagining the Russian Orthodox Church without the crutch of the Russian State is impossible. In return for the State’s provision of tax benefits, cash, Presidential and Prime Ministerial time and constant TV exposure, the Church plays the part of chief cheerleader for the Russian regime. It has always been thus and it certainly is now. Both parties gain but one does wonder who or what the Russian Orthodox Church really worships. Is it the Holy Trinity or the Russian State?

For some, the Russian State undoubtedly comes in first place. For Father Vselovod Chaplin for example, America is Satan, Britain is his chief demon and God demands nuclear warfare against both. And, according to Chaplin, Russian women should have their reign of debauchery ended by the practice of universal female genital mutilation. This oaf has said so many mad things that the so-called philosophy of “Eurasianism”, as developed and taught by Alexander Dugin, seems almost sane in comparison. For Dugin, by the way, the SS was the perfect society and as usual for fanatics of Slav nationalism, the chief enemy for him is the Anglo-Saxon, which means Britain and America. Today’s Russia is semi-fascist and so is its national Orthodox Church.

There is much else that is deeply rotten in the Russian Orthodox Church. Apart from the very ugly nationalist ideology and greed for material reward (remember the Patriarch and his $450,000 watch?), anti-Catholic sentiment remains very high. As told directly to me by a Catholic priest in Russia (and confirmed by an Anglican), some years ago the Catholic Archdiocese in Moscow had to go through the local Anglican vicar to arrange meetings with the Patriarchate. The Catholic side would state what subjects it wished to discuss, the Patriarchate would say how many BMWs and Mercedes it wanted in return for the meeting. (Ecumenism Russian Orthodox style …).

No, the Russian Orthodox Church inspires no confidence. It is this body that is to save the West? I think not. In fact, despite its high position in State and society, it may well have already entered a period of decline only two decades after the fall of Communism.

Putin

Putin is lauded as a strongman who runs rings around Western leaders and makes them look foolish. There can be no doubt that he is a clever man. But consider: if you do not operate by the norms of international law, if you are prepared to lie and cheat your way to your objectives, it is an easy thing to surprise those who do operate by the norms of international law and those who do more or less, in their dealings with each other, tell the truth and act honestly. Thus Putin is a very strong tactician but no strategist. Russia may contain much of genius but in global terms, whatever its showing in Syria (a Russian success only possible because Obama reneged on his “red line” promise) its influence is that of a regional power.

Led by thugs and gangsters, Russia has no vision beyond its own preservation. This indeed is the real key to understanding Russian policy. Russia is an almost-failed State governed by serial liars, thieves and Secret Police operatives. I can personally confirm that FSB officers still, to this day, have a statuette of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the mass murderer who founded the CHEKA, on their desks.

Is Putin a believer? He may be, it’s truly difficult to say. I think he probably is, but that this belief does not prevent him from doing all manner of murder in the interests of his true god who is Mother Russia. God for the Orthodox is a strongly Slavic nationalist deity.

Did Putin ask the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart? I do not believe it for a moment. The Orthodox Church is extremely hostile to Fatima and Putin would not antagonise the Patriarchate unnecessarily. Nevertheless, does Russia have a role to play in the cosmic battle currently being fought? Yes, it does: Our Lady has told us so. If the Consecration does not come as Heaven wished it, then instead of being converted, Russia may well play the part of being the instrument of God’s punishment on an unfaithful, godless world which has long since been soaked in Russia’s own atheistic, Bolshevik errors. It is interesting that some pre-Revolutionary Orthodox prophecy supports a very old traditional reading of Scripture which states that Gog and Magog is Russia.

We can see I think that the real attraction of Putin to Traditionalists is that he provides clarity whereas our own leaders are mired in leftist social engineering (through mass immigration) and political correctness, and thus are imposing on us a revolutionary globalist ideology that is straining our system and very civilisation to the limit. Similarly, the attraction of the Orthodox Church to many Traditionalists is the beauty of its liturgy and music. But do either of them offer the West anything that we cannot better find by restoring what has been taken, both from our society and from the Church? I strongly believe not.

The waters have been badly muddied for the Traditionalist by those useful idiots in the modern Church who hold that Fatima is fulfilled and Russia has already converted. Aside from the asinine suggestion that Our Lady would be pleased by the conversion of Russia to a schismatic sect, the reality of Russian society today cannot but exclude the possibility of Fatima’s completion. I myself am not so hard on this question as many Traditionalists: I am quite able to accept that the 1984 Consecration might have led to the fall of Communism and a partial conversion of Russia; however, this was not what Our Lady requested, desired or promised. That there is no period of peace is self-evident. So the likes of Joanna Bogle not only fool themselves but sadly many others too and the popularity of Putin among so many Traditionalists is at least indirectly and in part due to this false Fatima propaganda.

Following Putin and trusting in Russia is a dangerous temptation and one that must be resisted. The true solution to our woes, which are real, is the restoration of a truly Catholic (= Christian) civilisation, not the adoption, out of despair, of a rotten schismatic and heretical Orthodox one.

Comments invited…

13/10 Fatima: Miracle of the Sun

Today, 13th October is the 99th anniversary of the miracle of the sun at Fatima.  This thread allows us to reflect on the fact that God has given us an amazing miracle to underline the gravity of the Fatima prophecies, and yet, despite this astonishing miracle (eye witness account linked below), popes and prelates, priests and people continue to treat Fatima as if it were no more than a private revelation.  Click here to read an explanation from Fr Gruner RIP, about the three kinds of revelation. 

Click here to read an eyewitness account of the miracle of the sun

Comments invited…   

Fatima Prophesy, Bows & Arrows…

Extract from the published part of the Third Secret of Fatima taken from Vatican website…

OurLadyofFatimaAnd we saw … a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him  Source (Emphasis added)       

Now read the following extract from An excerpt of a speech given by Christopher Ferrara at the Fatima Center Only the Pope Can Save Washington Conference, September 22 – 24, 2015 published in the Fatima Crusader (Winter 2015)

Unparalleled Church Crisis

Certainly that element of the Secret that predicts an unparalleled crisis in the Church – I mean the text the Vatican has withheld, wherein the Blessed Virgin explains the meaning of the obscure vision published in 2000 – would have been clearer in 1960. In that year revolution was beginning in both the Church, with the calling of the Second Vatican Council, and the world at large, which underwent an accelerated descent into total depravity. (Anyone who is old enough to remember those days will recall that the Sixties were a time in which it seemed that both the Church and society had crossed over a threshold into a state of affairs the once Christian West had never seen before.)

Today, so many large pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place that even the smallest pieces are now readily fitted into the picture. For example, the Synod on the Family, where we see precisely that “the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies outside, but arises from sin in the Church.” …

And yet, one small but seemingly important piece of the puzzle has always seemed odd and completely out of place to me. It is Sister Lucia’s revelation that in the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White” the future Pope’s executioners “fired bullets and arrows at him.” Arrows? What is the meaning of this reference to such primitive weaponry? One might be tempted to think that surely Lucia must have stumbled here, that Our Lady could not possibly mean literally that a future Pope would be hunted down and killed by men wielding bows and arrows.

Here too, however, developments over the passage of time seem to have allowed us to fit even this odd little piece into the bigger picture – with a resounding and quite chilling confirmation of what is actually the great significance of a seemingly incongruous detail. “We Will Conquer Your Rome, Break Your Crosses, Enslave Your Women” … ISIS

Consider first a recent article in the ISIS magazine Dabiq, quoting a fanatical Imam who “prophesies” as follows: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted.”

Next consider a recent article in the Italian daily Il Giornale, which may well provide one of those precise historical clues that clarify a prophecy as its fulfilment nears (like the ripening fig tree that heralds the coming of Spring, to use Our Lord’s parable of the advent of the Last Days).

The article reports on an “e-book” being distributed to Muslim militants that provides instructions to prepare for the conquest of Rome by learning to use various weapons, including “home-made bows and arrows.” The idea is to stockpile weapons whose possession is not currently illegal so that they can be employed in urban guerrilla warfare. As the instruction manual states: “The advent of the war for the conquest of Rome will consist primarily of the urban guerilla in the cities and streets of Europe.”

Suddenly the reference to a Pope of the future being slain by bullets and arrows falls into place in the grand puzzle that is being completed before our eyes. Can we be certain this is so? Without the Virgin’s own explanation of the vision – for which the Vatican has substituted the ludicrous “interpretation” of the Vatican Secretary of State – we obviously cannot be. Then again, it is always prudent to examine the signs of the times when Heaven itself has given us a warning of impending disaster – a disaster to which nearly the entire hierarchy remains oblivious as they persevere in the ruinous course of the past fifty years of drift and decay in the Church and widening apostasy in the worldSource

bow-and-arrow

Comment:

It is true that we really only begin to make sense of prophecies as they unfold; hence, when news came that Pope Benedict, on abdication, intended to retain the papal dress, those familiar with the Fatima prophecies immediately recalled that part of the prophecy where the children saw “a bishop dressed in white” and their “impression that it was the Holy Father” – quite different from their other clear references to the Pope.  

Christopher Ferrara, rather surprisingly in my view, appears to assume that this “Bishop dressed in white” who is to be killed IS the reigning Pope, but with two “Bishops dressed in white” currently in Rome, surely a doubt arises as to the identity of the Bishop of the vision – certainly, if this event is to occur during the lifetimes of Pope Francis and the abdicated Pope Benedict. 

However,  the fact that Muslim militants are being exhorted to learn to use and to stockpile bows and arrows, enables us –  in the current frenzy of Islamist attacks in Europe – to make sense of the reference to “arrows” in the Fatima prophecy which has long puzzled us all.  And to consider the rather obvious question: Is the Islamists’ ambition to conquer Rome not far off?

Is there, in fact, a connection between (a) the increasing numbers of ISIS terrorist attacks in Europe (b) the Fatima warning about the death of the “Bishop dressed in white” (c) the exhortation to Muslim militants to learn to use and to stockpile “arrows” and (d) the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the Fatima prophecies in 2017?  I can’t help thinking the answer is obviously “yes” – but what do you think? 

15/8: Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady

Comment: 

As always on Feast Day threads, please feel free to discuss any related issues, and/or post your favourite prayers and hymns, lyrics, audio recordings or videos – remember that to copy a YouTube video directly onto the page, just right click on the video of your choice, select “copy embed code” and then select “paste” to make it appear in your comment although it won’t appear until you submit the comment.  And of course, jokes in the “good clean fun” category are always welcome.  Here’s one to kick start the celebration…

A young art student at Catholic college, decided she would mark the Feast of the Assumption by producing some sketches of Our Lady, but when she checked her art box, all of her pencils were broken and, as she told a friend, broken pencils are pointless….

Enjoy the Feast! 

Devotion To St Joseph’s Most Chaste Heart – Approved Apparitions…

StJoseph&ChildMany know about approved apparitions of our Blessed Mother. But only a handful realize that there were apparitions in Itapiranga, Brazil from 1994-1998 in which St. Joseph appeared along with Mary and Jesus.

In January 2010, after much study, prayer, reflection, observation and seeing the growth in the faith life of thousands, the local ordinary, Bishop Carillo Gritti declared a Decree of Worship favoring the Itapiranga appearances and in an earlier document called it of “supernatural origin.”

In another document he stated that considering the manifestations of the Virgin from 2005-10, who has called upon devotion to the three Sacred Hearts: Jesus, Mary and Joseph, a first step has been taken to build a new sanctuary with the certainty that it will be a place for pilgrimages, and the conversions that only God by the intercession of Mary can operate has been thus far for him and enlightened souls, reason enough to see in these visions and messages the finger of God (translated form the Portuguese).   Click here to read the rest of the article 

Comment:

I hadn’t known about these approved apparitions until a couple of days ago, but it strikes me that devotion to the Most Chaste Heart of St Joseph is not only a most appropriate devotion, but most necessary – especially for young boys and men – in our sexually promiscuous times.  Share your thoughts… 

Update

Please read the comments below from Westminster Fly.  It seems these alleged apparitions may not be true, after all.  Seems the alleged seer is a globe-trotter, having “apparitions” on demand, just like the Medjugorje bunch, so I apologise for posting this thread uncritically;  in this time of crisis, we need to question everything in the post-Vatican II Church, and that includes apparently approved “apparitions”.  

Joanna Bogle Explains Third Secret

16/7: Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

As always with a Feast day thread, bloggers are invited to share their thoughts about the Feast,  share favourite prayers and hymns, and any links which may help us to understand the meaning and importance of the Festival.  Of course, also feel free to discuss any relevant issues, and generally enjoy the day.  

The following is taken from the website of the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Balornock, Glasgow:

There will be a Solemn High Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Balornock, at 12 pm on Saturday 16th July, celebrated by Fr James Mawdsley FSSP. Fr James Mawdsley was ordained on 2nd July in Bavaria, by His Grace Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission. He will be celebrating First Masses around the UK during the next couple of weeks, and we are honoured to have him celebrate at Immaculate Heart.

Happy Feast day to one and all – not least the newly ordained Father Mawdsley!