Friday, December 18, 2009

A slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket

The orthodox bishopric of Moldova has today issued a statement in which it "disapproves of the method of protest" chosen by the orthodox believers who dismantled the Hannukah Menora last Sunday.

Without wasting a breath, the statement then moves on to condemn the placement of the Hannukah memorial in Europe Square, for the following reasons:

  1. It's inappropriate to place it in a place with a strong relationship to the faith of our people (Zimbru:  They put it in a park, not a cathedral.)
  2. The ritual symbolizes the victory of Jews over non-Jews (Zimbru:  over the Seleucid Greeks, actually.  They were a ruling class who for centuries had denied the right of public expression to followers of the Jewish religion, kind of like some other folks I know.)
  3. The decision of the city authorities should take into account the views of the majority (Zimbru:  OK, so now minorities don't have any rights or protections?  The Orthodox can do whatever they want in the square but Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims can't?)
The lukewarm response of the Moldovan Bishopric of the Russian Orthodox Church to the violence of its members is symptomatic of an organisation which is seriously ill.  It is riddled with communists, strongly influenced if not controlled by the Russian state, and contains many little pockets of hatred, intolerance and fear of those who are in some way different, be it ethnically, politically or by virtue of religious belief.

How can the Church hope to fulfill its spiritual mission in these circumstances?  Only after a period of deep, deep reform, effectively an 'Orthodox' version of the counter-reformation that Catholicism went through in response to the intellectual challenge from Luther, Calvin & Tyndale.

PS:  I am not orthodox but have a respect for the Church and some of its deep spiritual insights.  It is a tragedy for Moldova that the good that is inside the Church is being swamped by all this garbage.

1 comment:

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