Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/19/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Patriarch Kirill - I think that the main threat for Russia is loss of faith, rejecting faith as people's conscious choice. Not under pressure as in the Soviet times, but voluntary contempt of the Heavenly Kingdom for the sake of vanity and illusionary attractions of the earthly kingdom.

We know that there are more and more people in the world who support our position on defending traditional values that have made up the spiritual and moral foundation of civilization in every nation for thousands of years: the values of traditional families, real human life, including religious life, not just material existence but also spirituality, the values of humanism and global diversity. (Vladimir Putin)

Patriarch Kirill of Russia and Vladimir Putin

Patriarch Kirill of Russia and Vladimir Putin

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/19/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Russia, Putin, Patriarch Kirill, Russian orthodox Church, freedom, Constituion day, State of the Union, moral basis of a free society, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In the last two weeks I have again been reminded of some memories of my childhood, reading Superman comics. I date myself by mentioning the Bizarro world. However, some of my readers will remember the strange upside down world of the Bizarro's.

The Bizarro's inhabited a planet called "Htrae" ("Earth" spelled backwards). Their code was "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!"

The Bizarro World comes to mind as I watch the erosion of the moral foundation of freedom in the United States of America. I grew up believing that the United States of America, with its Christian roots, emphasis on a Natural Moral Law and recognition of inalienable rights which come from God, was a beacon for all Nations. In particular, for those Nations which had succumbed to the lies of atheistic Marxism. That included Russia, once the greatest proponent of atheistic communism.

I still hope this is the case. However, we have clearly lost our moral compass as a Nation. Sadly, the leadership of our Nation, rather than pointing the way out of this collapse, seems to be compounding the decay. 

Some recent news coming out of Russia reminded me of those Bizarro comics. We seem to be living in an upside down world these days. I do not suffer from naiveté. I know that the situation in Russia is ripe with its own problems. I am aware of the continuing threats to fundamental human rights people in that Nation face.

Rather, what I am pointing to is the language being used by its leaders, secular and religious, in diagnosing the root of the problems facing the Russian Nation, and proposing a path to cultural renewal. A path which leads through a recovery of the moral values found in faith in God. 

Let me give two recent examples.  

On December 12, 2013, Constitution day in Russia, Russian President Valadimir Putin gave a 70 minute, wide ranging State of the Union Address. What I found most interesting was his comments on the moral crisis facing his Nation and the West: 

Today, many nations are revising their moral values and ethical norms, eroding ethnic traditions and differences between peoples and cultures. Society is now required not only to recognize everyone's right to the freedom of consciousness, political views and privacy, but also to accept without question the equality of good and evil, strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning.

This destruction of traditional values from above not only leads to negative consequences for society, but is also essentially anti-democratic, since it is carried out on the basis of abstract, speculative ideas, contrary to the will of the majority, which does not accept the changes occurring or the proposed revision of values.

We know that there are more and more people in the world who support our position on defending traditional values that have made up the spiritual and moral foundation of civilization in every nation for thousands of years: the values of traditional families, real human life, including religious life, not just material existence but also spirituality, the values of humanism and global diversity.

Of course, this is a conservative position. But speaking in the words of Nikolai Berdyaev, the point of conservatism is not that it prevents movement forward and upward, but that it prevents movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.


Sitting in the front row, in a place of prominence, was Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. Putin now regularly professes his Orthodox Christian faith. He looks to the Patriarch for spiritual leadership and input on moral issues.

I know, some cynical observers question this profession of Christian faith by Putin. I leave room for anyone to find the truth which is revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ; including former KGB officers. However, there is little doubt that the Orthodox Church is now resurgent in Russia.  In fact, Christianity is growing and its influence is spreading.

Patriarch Kirill is the 6th Patriarch of Moscow. He is theologically and doctrinally solid - said to be a man of deep faith and courage. He is a champion of the authentic Orthodox Christian Tradition and a stalwart defender of the doctrine of the ancient Christian Faith of the First Millennium - before the first split in the Church occurred.

He is outspoken in his concern over the moral decline in Russian, European and broader western culture. He is also dedicated to doing something about it - leading a resurgence of authentic Christianity and a new missionary undertaking to Russian culture.

Since his enthronement, Patriarch Kirill has offered his voice of clarity and authority to the growing Catholic and Orthodox critique of the decline of moral values and the hostility of the contemporary culture toward the Church.

He openly decries the growing rejection of Christian influence throughout the world. He warns of the dangers that such a rejection present to civilization and authentic freedom. Last January, in a very insightful interview with Interfax the Patriarch was asked what he considered to be the greatest threat to Russia. His response was clear:

Please, name the main threats for Russia.

Patriarch Kirill - I think that the main threat for Russia is loss of faith, rejecting faith as people's conscious choice. Not under pressure as in the Soviet times, but voluntary contempt of the Heavenly Kingdom for the sake of vanity and illusionary attractions of the earthly kingdom.

Unfortunately, there are signs of this process. For the sake of comfort and joys people refuse following moral norms. Thus, gradually, limits of sin and righteousness are washed away. And what was considered unworthy of a person: alcoholism, drug-addiction, lust, prostitution, homosexuality become norm.


Society has always suffered vices, but today as in times of Roman and other civilizations decay they were considered socially approved. In result the institute of traditional family is collapsing. Rooted in sins, man lives in passions and doesn't want to hear a sermon about Christ as acceptance of the Gospels commandments demands him to reconsider his behavior, to change himself, to make a spiritual effort to overcome imperfection.

Eventually, there's a real danger of rejecting Christ, rejecting the Orthodox faith. If it happens to us, we can speak about the end of our national history. If there's no faith - there' no Russia.

And "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). We are especially urged to remember it when celebrating the Nativity of Christ and I congratulate you on the feast. The Nativity of the world's Savior is the event that has changed the history of humanity - it is an example of divine indulgence to people, to all of us.

Let us, following the Lord Jesus Christ, share joy of the feast with those who need help. Our Christian joy about Newly Born Divine Baby won't be full, if we don't extend the helping hand to those, who need it.


As we approach the celebration of Nativity of the Lord, let us pray for the United States of America to recover the moral roots of her freedom. That will only come by turning back to God who is the source of freedom. Let us pray for the conversion of those in leadership in the United States. Let us lead the way by living our own Christian faith in a compelling and courageous way.

Let us also pray that Russia can find the path to freedom in God.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Top German publication pressures Chancellor Merkel to act after NEW U.S. spying allegations Watch

Image of Chancellor Merkel has made no public comment on the incident, although Washington's ambassador to Berlin was summoned to the Chancellery. Merkel's displeasure was made known to him 'in no uncertain terms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was understandably upset after she learned the national Security Agency had her under surveillance for several years. This is the type of action the U.S. reserves for unfriendly nations, and not our strongest ally in NATO. Merkel ... continue reading


HITTING WALL: Nation of Greece prepares for economic meltdown Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation of Greece, after years of scolding by the European Union over its fiscal irresponsibility is headed to an inevitable meltdown. Cash reserves are dwindling by the minute, sure to disintegrate the ruling coalition. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


The new 'Iron Curtain': Hungary plans massive border fence to keep migrants out Watch

Image of Border fence between United States and Mexico.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Critics are not happy with the Hungarian government's plan to construct a 13-foot high border fence to narrow down the influx of illegal migrants coming to their country. The planned border is being compared to the historically terrifying Auschwitz and Iron Curtain ... continue reading


Horrific terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait unleashed simultaneously Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three different terrorist attacks occurred in three different areas, leaving a bloody line of death across three continents. The recent and horrific attacks reawaken the fear that ISIS' influence knows no boundaries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attacks took ... continue reading


Mystery surrounds disappearance of American woman on ancient Catholic pilgrimage in Spain Watch

Image of Denise Thiem mysteriously disappears during her Catholic Pilgrimage in Spain.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denise Thiem, an American woman who quit her job to go around the world, disappeared while in a Catholic Pilgrimage in Astorga, Spain and has been missing for more than three months  Thiem's family is continuously searching for answers from the Spanish authorities ... continue reading


Riots and protests prompt the banning of the Uber taxi service in France Watch

Image of The taxi protests in Paris have shined yet another unflattering spotlight on the world's most popular tourist destination. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum condemned the violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denied their livelihood by the cyber-taxi service Uber, which pairs up paying passengers with unlicensed drivers, cab drivers overturned cars and blocked roads in Paris. The Uber service is already illegal in France, and the French government reiterated this ... continue reading


ZOMBIE PARANOIA: Gravesites suggest that fear of reanimated dead stretches back to ancient Greece Watch

Image of The head and feet of one skeleton were covered with a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Modern man enjoys movies and TV shows involving the recently reanimated dead - "zombies," but in antiquity, the fear of the deceased suddenly coming back to life to wreak havoc with the living was at one time a real one. Skeletons have been unearthed and found ... continue reading


Ukraine's fragile ceasefire nearing collapse as rebels pound government positions Watch

Image of Fighters in Russian military uniforms and equipped with Russian military gear, though lacking insignias, have been spotted in Ukraine since early last year, part of a destabilizing effort to overthrow the Kiev government.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The abundance of evidence that Russia is covertly and overtly assisting Ukrainian rebels in their fight against Kiev continues to grow, and now the commander of U.S. forces in Europe said that there is "clear and irrefutable evidence" that Russia is actively ... continue reading


Panicked Greeks withdraw $1 billion from banks in a single day Watch

Image of Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week. This pushes the beleaguered European nation closer towards a default. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Doctors found euthanizing patients without knowledge -- or consent in Belgium Watch

Image of Belgium became the first nation in the world in 2014 to eliminate age limits for euthanasia, allowing terminally-ill children to end their lives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the "forward-thinking" European nation of Belgium, it has been discovered that many doctors there - pun intended. - have been "jumping the gun." Raphael Cohen-Almagor, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the United Kingdom's Hull University, has ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 28:10-22
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he was speaking to them, suddenly one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 6th, 2015 Image

St. Maria Goretti
July 6: Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter