“Portal-Credo.Ru”: Vladyka Raphael, you see the crisis in the MP from the outside, and thus its worldly subject. Is it really so bad that it took to hold a prayer service for the rehabilitation of thousands of “honest name of the Church”?
Metropolitan Raphael: For me, the current degradation of the Moscow Patriarchate is a humiliation of Orthodoxy in general. I do not divide Orthodoxy on the left and right, top and bottom, “alternative” and state and so on. For me it is – one. What is happening today – it certainly the hand of the enemy.
– The Department of State? Or maybe Satan himself?
– Do not laugh. I see that it is the doing of foes. But we must understand who they are. The crisis did not start yesterday and it causes are more profound than it seems at first glance. This is part of a game the MP plays by flirting with powers of state and priesthood … From the first day it was to end badly. The Church, however, is a different organization with a different mission, and power is not the goal.
– The eternal debate between Nilus of Sora, who summoned the Church to renounce wealth and power in the name of prayer, and Joseph Volotsky, who believed that the Church should be powerful and the public, just so she can have an impact on domestic politics and helping people …
– As a result of all this, Official Orthodoxy has only one external form of outward prayer, the MP has no time for communion with God. There has been the overcoming of monastic life; the monasteries are there, but in them you can do whatever you want, such as their supposed immediate duties, – charity, help the aged home, farm, business, construction …
– The film “St. George’s Day” – a vivid example, in an episode of Monk, which came with its tragic woman, in response tells her that he urgently needed the siding …
– Everyone must understand his own self. The praying of monks saved entire regions. The MP, however, has left prayerfulness for temporal affairs. What was once proclaimed as a benefit in the end turned into a defeat.
– So Nilus of Sora lost …
– He could not lose. He was pushed. But concern about the fate of the Church expressed by many saints and bishops: St. Seraphim of Sarov, John of Kronstadt, Theophan the Recluse, Ignatius Bryanchaninov, they predicted that there will be one sad hour that we see today.
But in the falsehood that we are eating, the blame would be on the bishops. They forgot that the Church which falls under the state loses Herself. She stops to save souls. There remains only some interesting words. These problems in the Church even began long before the Revolution.
– Peter the first directly bent the Church – he made it his “ministry of spirituality.”
– The Church believed his Majesty was the Anointed of God, and therefore yielded to his will …
– That was so metaphysically grounded with the destruction of the patriarchate in Russia?
– Do not agree to – the head flying off the shoulders … Output was not different: but in abandoning abandoning prayerfulness, the Church has chosen his own way.
– But now, it’s Anointed of God, thank God, no. Since the early 90s the Church tried to play a greater role in political and economic life of society … Could the power to allow MP to become a kind of important figure on the chess board, an independent force that must be considered? I’ve heard this opinion: the latest scandals in the MP initiated this temporal power. Church leaders had once allowed to do what they want at the right time to face down.
– Yes, we are no longer anointed. But I do not believe in the MP and its bishops. This does not mean that they are not at all bad – but the true believers in this organization are clearly not held in high esteem. Man can not be forced to cheat and steal against his will … But you can, I think, to let the darkest side of nature to express themselves and then use these weaknesses.
No man in this world is sinless. As soon as we begin to feel ourselves sinners – we are going to Orthodoxy. But, instead of recognizing their own mistakes, the MP begins to search for external enemies. They do not feel that they should repent.
– Sorry, but how can you look into the eyes of the congregation after the story of an apartment and a clock? Continue to learn to live, to preach, to congratulate the holidays? To pretend that nothing is happening? At the higher priesthood of the Orthodox Church is not provided by repentance?
– This one chooses for himself. I myself once as a young man sinned. About forty years ago it was. Already a hierarch of the CPI, has met with this woman in front of which was to blame. She came to me and asked, “Do you remember me?” I remembered. “What do you think of the sin that was between us?” I replied that I regret. But the thought that that was not enough. Once the Lord has brought this woman to me and reminded, therefore, I had to do something else, that He may forgive me …
The next day I called her to the service. I stood in front of flock and fell to my knees and told him (the Hierarch) what had happened and asked for forgiveness … I chose for myself the most shameful method of repentance. But everyone chooses the path that he is near. If the heart is closed, the mind can find a thousand excuses for sin. But if the high priest to say about their sins openly, the people, I think, forgive me.
– The Russian people will forgive … Remember, as a Plevako, caught stealing once defended the priest: “Let the priest – a thief, but he let so many years you your sins, forgive him one too …”.
– The Church is all-consuming, and forgiving love. But the love is judged not by words but by deeds. Penance – this act. I have it now, alas, can not see. When a man demands money of another crazy person, a sick, unhappy with the dirt in the house, unless it is done for love? Believers – the merciful, forgive or not to believe, say that the slander uttered by the enemies. But then the man himself, all about myself and know their actions. Above all, do not lie to yourself …
Their sins are not usually seen by those who have no regrets about perfect. Who does not believe in salvation or the kingdom of God, not in Christ. And if they do not believe, and stand at the helm is a crime. They need to stand with the poker, and not with a cross.
– And can there be in church law, the voluntary departure of the Patriarch from his post?
– You can write a petition for care and it will be considered at the Local Council, the Council of Bishops, in the case of the bishopric was possible.
– But the precedent was not like this?
– In recent times there. While the world knows the history of the Orthodox Church are examples.
– There is an opinion that for the sake of Russia, for the prevention of civil war, should not reveal the problem of the Moscow Patriarchate. If only he had stayed, the spiritual core that holds the society …
– What spirituality can there be in a thief? What is the spirituality of a killer? In a scoundrel? We think that by forgiving an abomination, we keep the peace – but certainly better than the bitter truth. On this the Lord spoke. Flee from the priest, who justifies the false noble silence seemed to end. He himself will not save. And destroy your soul.
– Where to go? By the Cathedral of Christ the Savior? Stand for Faith? But is faith needs the prayer service, more like a rally? Does God need protection?
– I think that it was April 22 at the Temple, a political convulsions … I do not want to discuss it.
– But there must be some way out? For example, the MP is willing to dialogue with other branches of Orthodoxy in Russia? Perhaps together and find a solution?
– I personally spoke twice with the MP about these important issues and got zero results. Three years ago we tried to meet with the then Primate of MP; I told them that you have a problem, and that though we are little, we can help you. I do not go to the MP in order to join it, but I offered sincere help to show it the way.
I was to prepare for a meeting with Alexy II; I talked with his suffragan bishop, abbot of the monastery Novospassky, I was scheduled supposedly to meet with him to discuss the issues that separate. But this did not happen. That Cyril (current MP patriarch) was opposed to any discussion and is the enemy of the Orthodox is evident. For me, ecclesiastical discord is painful and unbearable. But, I also will not submit to them.
– The Church – is not only the priesthood. It is also faithful. Part of their protest against the lies and hypocrisy, so how can the same as those who may have a perverse form of protest, bad, rough. But in a strange crooked society to demand that the protest was civilized. Thoughtful and intelligent people are leaving the MP, but, where to?
– They are many coming to us. I am deeply sorry when people leave to Catholicism, Protestantism, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, so on and so forth. Those coming to us are people who are beginning to thaw. The Church is not only a whip, much less indifference, it is love, care, help your neighbor. The priesthood of the MP today is no longer working with the flock, the ordinary people they do not need. Because the church feeds the state. I believe there is cash flow coming from the government, as a result of corrupt priesthood. Benefits, tax concessions, indirect and direct financing … And a thankful church carries out the state orders. About the salvation of the soul it is no longer concerned. If the state stopped giving money for the financing of the MP they will be forced to engaged directly in religious matters – clergy will be forced to simply be the person attending to the people.
– But the Church will never cut the branch on which sits …
– They are not the Church but the thieves of the churches. We’re talking about the Church of Christ.
– And we finance the Partriarchate, as Kadyrov’s – Allah. And he and the other said it openly in the media – it turns out that the state as it does here, and do with it.
– You believe it?
– Oh, I never had enough faith in miracles … Here and now, frankly, I do not see the natural and beneficial way out of conflicts around the MP.
– If he wished to find a way, then, I believe, he should immediately collect the All-Russian Local Council of Orthodox Churches. Both Ukraine and Belarus are to attend. Council may take a long time. There should be expressed positions of all the Orthodox churches of Russia. And every Orthodox person has a right to their opinion.
What is happening today in the MP, it is not solid, it does not matter, it is but the machinations of the unclean. This is the inexorable necessity of purifying the church. We should get together and listen to each other … Look at each other like a mirror, and they will see their own wickedness. Everything happens for the Lord’s permission .
Catherine Sazhneva, “Moskovsky Komsomolets”
NOTE: As translation can be often a difficult procedure, I ask forgiveness for the awkwardness of some of the wordings.