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ReligionMy Temple

My Temple

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Petar Gramatikov
Petar Gramatikovhttps://europeantimes.news
Dr. Petar Gramatikov is the Editor in Chief and Director of The European Times. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Reporters. Dr. Gramatikov has more than 20 years of Academic experience in different institutions for higher education in Bulgaria. He also examined lectures, related to theoretical problems involved in the application of international law in religious law where a special focus has been given to the legal framework of New Religious Movements, freedom of religion and self-determination, and State-Church relations for plural-ethnic states. In addition to his professional and academic experience, Dr. Gramatikov has more than 10 years Media experience where he hold a positions as Editor of a tourism quarterly periodical “Club Orpheus” magazine – “ORPHEUS CLUB Wellness” PLC, Plovdiv; Consultant and author of religious lectures for the specialized rubric for deaf people at the Bulgarian National Television and has been Accredited as a journalist from “Help the Needy” Public Newspaper at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

More from the author

The Temple of prayer will be named…

(discourses about the Church and power)

Author: Svyatoslav Moiseyenko, writer, essayist, public figure

To my great regret, in the foundation of any earthly Church, in addition to dogma, there is an unshakable principle of power. It is he who cements the church organism, nourishes the strength of church structures, and for more than twenty centuries has been twisting and distorting the Word that the Savior brought to the peoples inhabiting the earth.

This is easy to understand, following a simple and uncomplicated human logic.

So, there was a Savior and there were twelve of His disciples. It is truth. So where did the huge number of individual Churches come from? With popes, patriarchs, catholicoses, metropolitans and archbishops? Structures that exist separately from each other? And very often opposing each other? After all, there were only twelve apostles! Twelve! Not seventeen, not twenty, not thirty, etc.

So, following the banal logic, there can be no more than twelve Churches, separate and independent! Or maybe?..

I will hasten to object that the apostles also had disciples who enlightened the nations and organized their followers into church communities.

I agree.

Were. Could. Organized.

But, following the same statement, the disciples of the apostles also had disciples. Those students have their own students. Etc. According to the principle of apostolic succession. And, therefore, every bishop, and maybe even every priest, has the right to organize and develop his own church structure, accountable to no one, except for the council of absolutely all bishops living on the planet.

But such a situation is completely unfavorable for those who managed to be the first. Who has already tasted the power. Who understood that human faith is not only the path to salvation, but also the path of luxury, debauchery, impunity and omnipotence for those who are at the head of the religious process.

And all because the Church is based on the principle of power. If limited, then just a number of conventions.

The power of the priest over the parishioners confessing to him, enshrined in the 56th Apostolic Canon: “If anyone from the clergy offends the presbyter, or the deacon: let him be excommunicated from the communion of the church”, the bishop over the priests (remember the notorious Apostolic Canon 55: “If someone from the clergy annoys the bishop: yes be deposed. Do not speak evil to the ruler of your people”), an archbishop or metropolitan over the bishops of his diocese and a patriarch over the entire church clergy.

Moreover, interestingly, the “Apostolic Rules” themselves have nothing to do with the twelve apostles I mentioned, who followed Christ and absorbed His Teachings. For they were written presumably in the 4th century and just as presumably in Syria. Anyone can try to trace the emergence of this source of canonical rules. This, by and large, is not difficult, since it has been done more than once by venerable historians.

So, power, power and more power.

The same principle is confirmed by almost all Ecumenical Councils to one degree or another.

If we were talking about dogmatic differences and dogma in principle, then it would be enough to indicate that all controversial issues are resolved by conciliar thinking. And point.

But no. The decrees reflect the system of prohibitions and punishments. And these are already unequivocal signs of despotic power. So to speak, “prohibit and do not let go”!

The world has evolved. The management system has been improved. The authorities became more sophisticated and inventive.

There was such a thing as a symphony. A kind of fusion of secular and ecclesiastical power.

Both the West and the East have fully absorbed the metastases of such a symphony.

Rome united temporal and spiritual authority in one man, making the Pope the vicar of God on earth and turning the Church into a state known today as the Vatican, where the head of the Church is at the same time the absolute monarch of his small country.

Constantinople acted more cunningly. No wonder its symbol is a double-headed eagle, which enshrined the equality of secular and spiritual power, the power of Caesar (emperor) and patriarch.

But the principle is the same. Everyone wanted power. And everyone aspired to it. By the way, a striking example of explicit and open Orthodox Caesaropapism is the medieval state of Montenegro, where the metropolitans who headed the Montenegrin Orthodox Church simultaneously acted as rulers (monarchs) of their country.

An equally striking example of a symphony is the Anglican Church, where the reigning monarch of Great Britain (it does not matter, the king or queen) is at the same time the head of the Church.

You can talk about this topic for a long time.

The luxury and permissiveness inherent in Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant clergy until the upheavals of the twentieth century was a kind of attribute of conformity with secular power.

Not a single Church was particularly embarrassed by this state of affairs, shamelessly applying the wording “There is no power but from God” (Rom. 13:1) in relation to its own functionaries, especially high-ranking ones. And with might and main enjoyed a variety of secular benefits.

In the twentieth century there was a certain reformatting of consciousness.

The Church still remained a kind of moral and ethical institution, but no longer had unquestioned authority in the field of public consciousness and regulation of the processes of everyday life.

Banal truths gradually began to reach ordinary people, uncompromisingly pointing out that priests are just as sinful as ordinary people. And in other cases, they are subject to more perverted and more foul manifestations of the dark side of their own consciousness.

Monarchies are gone. Christian empires became secular republics. Churches were separated from states, and schools from churches. The clergy catastrophically lost the levers of control over human consciousness, and consequently, they also lost secular power. Well, along with it, money and permissiveness of pleasures.

In addition, serious grumbling was brewing in the ecclesiastical milieu itself, and in some places even a revolt against the established vicious system.

Such indignation gained momentum and grew stronger year by year, later culminating in a true Orthodox movement. At least in Russia, as in the country with the largest number of Orthodox or pseudo-Orthodox population.

But the Russian Orthodox Church, even being on the verge of death, as an independent structure, being the heir of Byzantine treachery, skillfully cracked down on those who thoughtlessly rose to fight against injustice and lies.

Using state mechanisms, and being part of the state machine, it is quite simple to do this, the ROC declared as sectarians and schismatics all those who rebelled against its ideological doctrine, implicated in the trampling of ancient values ​​for the sake of the existing government.

The Russian Orthodox Church has never protected believers, and even ordinary people, from state arbitrariness. I have never been with orphans and the poor. She never extended her hand of selfless help to those in need. And she never rebelled against the arbitrariness of power. She always played according to the rules of the church-state symphony and always took the pose of an obedient executor of the sovereign will.

This is a disastrous path.

And with all possible support for such a church structure, it is doomed to collapse.

Which, in fact, is happening.

Loss of the Baltic.

Loss of Ukraine.

Break with Constantinople, Alexandria, Greece.

Creating a vacuum around yourself.

And, as a result, possible ostracism. And if we assume the worst, then the court of the Pentarchy (the most ancient Patriarchs).

And this is also a consequence of the fact that everything is based on power, power and once again power. Her unstoppable thirst. And a terrible fear of losing the slightest of its manifestations.

It seems to me alone that in everything that is happening and described by me in the reasoning, there is a lot from the evil one?

That it would be wise not to fight with each other, not to condemn each other, but to remember the words of the Apostle Paul: “All of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no more Jew or Gentile; there is no slave nor free; there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:27-28).

That it would be reasonable to strive not for worldly power, not for luxury and debauchery, but for what awaits us beyond.

And that the task of the Church, of any Church, is not to rule over peoples and countries, but to save human souls, to protect the living from the enemy of the human race, to pray for the dead and, in no case, encourage or initiate countless wars, where the son rises against the father, and brother goes to brother.

For some reason it seems to me that if churchmen of all persuasions would renounce power and wealth, then at that very moment “peace on earth, good will towards men” would come (Luke 2:14).

If these many-faced ministers would remember that Christ did not desire power and did not seek luxury and wealth, but only love and understanding, then perhaps the words of the Savior spoken to His disciples would become clear to them: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another: For I love you, and you also love yourselves: everyone will understand this, that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

And maybe then the Christian Church in all its diversity and in all its manifestations would understand what its true destiny is on our long-suffering earth. And the reproachful words of our Lord would not grow in every true believer’s heart like drops of blood: “My temple shall be called the temple of prayer, but you are a co-creator and a den a thief” (Matt. 21:13).

How I want everything to be the way Jesus Christ wanted it to be.

And not in the way that is convenient for priests who have forgotten the true meaning of serving Him…

(© Copyright: Svyatoslav Moiseenko “LOOK FROM THE SIDE”)

Translation: P. Gramatikov

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