16/03/2012 18:10

Statement from Council of Orthodox Public Organizations regarding blasphemous performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior

Document adopted 16/03/2012 at the special meeting of the Council of Orthodox Public Organizations under the ROC Sinod Public Relations Service.

We, the leaders and representatives of Orthodox Public Organizations, have different opinions with regards to many aspects of political, public and clerical life. Some of us are viewed as conservatives, some - as liberals.

However our voice is united in our condemnation of the arrogant anti-Christian bravado in the cathedral of Christ the Savior on 21/02/2012, we deem this 'performance' a crime that has to be condemned according to all the strictness of law. Not only it was an opprobrium to mention God's name along with swear-words. Not only it was an opprobrium to call a swear-word the Patriarch - the head of many-million Church. Not only it was an insult to call the followers of the church allegedly 'crawling to bow'. It was a sacrilege of the Sacrament House, the Body and the Blood of Christ, kept at the altar to which the blasphemous women turned their backs, screamed blasphemous words and performed devil's dances. It was a sacrilege of the place venerated by many believers, insult of people based on their confession, incitement of separatism and hatred based on religion, between believers and atheists. We hope that the state will take appropriate decisions based these facts. Along with that we believe, that it is crucial to find not only the women who participated in that act, but its organizers and its possible masterminds.

We, as believers, should remember the following: "There is no blasphemy against God. One reaps what one sows" (Gal.6:7)

Unfortunately, some people who call themselves Orthodox, are trying to justify the blasphemy from the social, "legal" or pseudo-religious perspectives. To such people we reply: come to your senses and stop ! Any justification of blasphemy, any calls to reconcile with it and not to react to it, is a partaking it it. And this is a sin, that provokes the enemies of Christ and His Church, to commit new encroachments, new oppressions, new acts of blasphemy. Those who defend the "right" to blasphemy is similar to those reformers who justified the oppression of the Church and belief in Christ, and sent those people who resisted the sacrilege of God's relics, to prison. It is the duty of any Orthodox person, with no exception, to protect Holy places even by the price of his life, and not to agree with with sinful and criminal sacrilege.

We do not understand those as well, who appeal to the Holy Patriarch, our brothers and sisters to 'forgive' the blasphemous women, and ask the state to not condemn them and not punish them. If the Patriarch will forgive them today, will it not lead tomorrow to a tenfold multiplications of blasphemous "acts", and to the very displacement of the Orthodox people from the public space, as wells turning of holy church spaces into places for mockery and arrogance of non-believers? It is especially crucial to not even mention forgiveness without redemption, without commitment to never return to the already done monstrous sin. Our God Jesus says: "If...your brother commits a sin against you, you should rebuke him; if he redeems, then forgive him (Luke, 17:3). This is what is said about personal relationship among Christians. So how can we justify our expectations of redemption from those who insulted the very God and the whole of Church?

Today, our clerical circles, particularly the neophytes, should pass the maturity test. The test on its abilities to follow the Bible, and not its 'humanistic' reproductions. The test on how ready we are to defend given to us by God, holy relics and insist on the rights of Christians to live according to their beliefs. The test on the
correctness of the true Orthodox tradition, opposed to reconciliations with evil and sin, and its premises for struggle against it by all lawful and just means, including public actions.

We hope that this test will not lead to the disgrace of our brothers and sisters. If they are not with the Militant Church, which is the very image of the Triumphant Church, then they are not with Christ. Altogether, the present situation is a test for the very viability of our people. If Russia will endure what has happened, that means, anybody can take it with bare hands, and that means that the people of Russia will no longer stand up for their religion and its fatherland. Let this not happen !

Original in Russian (you might use google translator to verify) on ROC's Official web-site : http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/2084470.html