Pregnant with evil: Why OCU adepts turn a blind eye to seizures of temples
If you share my position on the OCU, I sympathize with you, otherwise I spit at your suffering. You are no longer a human and I don’t care if you are beaten or killed.
There is one striking thing in personal and virtual discussions with the OCU adherents.
Your interlocutor may talk about love for others, devotion to Ukraine, the need for spiritual unity of Ukrainian believers. Everything is good and roseate. The person you are talking to seems to be healthy, sane, and believing. But once you touch upon one specific topic, his sanity evaporates. The topic is the seizure of the UOC temples by activists of the “Holy Church of Ukraine”.
The opponent immediately begins to shrug, frown, or get bored. He is trying to switch gears or muttering something like "everything is ambiguous there". Such questions for him turn out to be ... not worthy of attention! Although, it would seem, there is a great deal of video facts to confirm that the UOC is not lying in its bulletins about the church situation in Ukraine.
Here we are with such a standpoint: If you support my position on the OCU, then I sympathize with you, otherwise I spit at your suffering. You are no longer a human and I don’t care if you are beaten or killed.
For some reason, those who seem to love their nation as a whole, show some kind of pathological insensibility towards individual, real Ukrainians. Towards those whom activists of the OCU beat, drive out of their premises, insult, deprive of the temples, etc. Here we are with such a standpoint: If you support my position on the OCU, then I sympathize with you, otherwise I spit at your suffering. You are no longer a human and I don’t care if you are beaten or killed.
This is what is most striking in the relations with adherents of Ukrainian autocephaly.
Basically, when it comes to raider attacks, there is some kind of bad circus in the network controversy. Supporters of the OCU write, for example: “in my locality no one is seizing anybody!” It is good when it is true. But they carry on seizing in other areas. Or else: "I know many believers of the OCU, they are normal people and they are building a temple for themselves in the village." It looks as if the existence of “normal people” in one place cancels the fact of taking over the UOC temples and applying violence against its believers in another place!
This amazing "petrified insensibility" is sometimes shown not only by parishioners of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, not only by random unbelievers, but even some of the UOC faithful who support the new structure without joining it. One may only wonder how a person, who believes in the God of Love, lacks elementary sympathy for the afflicted. How can a Christian participating in the Liturgy be indifferent to the pain and tears communing with him from the same Chalice?
Here is the completely lost feeling of church catholicity, about which the apostle Paul wrote, representing the Church as a single organism, where believers are members of this organism. “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”(1 Cor. 12: 26-27).
It turns out that someone is hurt – but I couldn’t care less ... Not to mention the fact that the organization to which adherents of the OCU belong or which they support inflicts pain on other people.
Perhaps, one can even talk about some kind of ecclesiological heresy in this case. It is when the real “church” to me is those who share my political convictions.
When I honor Christ who has suffered for us, but I do not care about the suffering of other believers in my Church.
When I hate the Patriarch of the Church to which I belong, although his name is mentioned at worship services in the temple I go to.
When I do not revere those saints, whose names are included in the church calendar, because they worked to strengthen the state I do not like.
When I agree with the hateful ideologies, but at the same time partake of the Body and Blood of Christ.
The list is to be continued.
It is unclear how, if one belongs to the OCU or approves of it, may not feel accountable for the lawlessness committed by its members. When my organization (or the one I sympathize with) applies violence in different places of the country (albeit not in my area) – does the whole organization, including me, bear moral responsibility for this, if I support and protect this organization?
It is unclear how, if one belongs to the OCU or approves of it, may not feel accountable for the lawlessness committed by its members.
Misunderstanding of these things, some kind of infantilism of consciousness is a moral tragedy of our people, mass aberration of conscience and common sense.
Sometimes opponents try to manipulate and agree to the point of absolute absurdity: “temples are seized by ‘titushki’”, these are all provocations of the UOC with the aim of inciting religious hatred. It’s as if the videos didn’t show who was taking over the temples. It is as if it is not known that the temples are then “transferred” to the OCU. It is as if the “priests” of the OCU who inspire their flock to “noble acts” do not watch or take part in these seizures. As if the schismatic "hierarchy" is not in the know.
“Epiphany cannot control rural fights and showdowns related to the dispute over the temple. You don’t have to blame everything on him,” another OCU adept writes in the comments. Come on! If Dumenko were a true Christian and opposed violence, then he simply would not accept the seized temples in his jurisdiction. That’s the point!
Absurd is that adherents of the OCU are all the time patriots who declare their love for Ukraine and Ukrainians. But they do not notice (and sometimes even tacitly approve) aggression and hatred against the same citizens of Ukraine as they are. To make it even worse, they are trying to clumsily play a double game.
But in fact, witnessing these offences, one should ask the question: is Christianity compatible with violence? Is the “church” I support exactly true? Doesn’t God thus show the quality of this group, letting its “activists" take away the temples from the canonical Church?
In this setting, the canonicity-noncanonicity issue, with all its apparent importance, already remains somewhere on the periphery. When they break open the doors of temples and cut down locks, when they beat a priest and urge to “give the priest’s wife to men”, is there a need to indulge in high-flown discussions? Isn’t it utterly clear where the Church and where its miserable parody is?
And if the eyes cannot see actual church raiding, then it is pointless to argue with people about canons, rules, and statutes. “Straining out a gnat” will not help pull out a swallowed camel.
When they break open the doors of temples and cut down locks, when they beat a priest and urge to “give the priest’s wife to men”, is there a need to indulge in high-flown discussions? Isn’t it utterly clear where the Church and where its miserable parody is?
Some non-believers call and ask me: “what is going on in your Church?” How can believers beat anyone, take temples by force? ” Even non-practicing people realize what for some reason is incomprehensible to the practicing. It never fails to amaze me.
It seems that the answer to all these perplexities is the same – the normal activity of the mind and feelings is paralyzed by nationalism. Moreover, nationalism in this case is a projection of human passions into the political and ideological plane. When something living comes under the influence of this toxic ray, everything dies. Nationalism leaves no chance to survive even to basic human feelings, such as pity and compassion.
Therefore, it turns out some kind of nightmare: a believing person does not see and does not hear the pain of compatriots living nearby. He runs away from this pain, hides from it, and gets annoyed when he hears about it, because this pain creates problems in the work of the program which the devil launched in his mind.
The described disease is a complex phenomenon. This includes some kind of special weakness of faith, secret passions, an educational imprint and the inferiority of education, plus indoctrination. This explosive mixture is fermented with special yeast – ailing conscience. If conscience does not feel hurt about the sin of betrayal of brothers in faith, then it is dead.
Nationalism in this case is a projection of human passions into the political and ideological plane. When something living comes under the influence of this toxic ray, everything dies. Nationalism leaves no chance to survive even to basic human feelings, such as pity and compassion.
We have pronounced a keyword – "betrayal." This term is indispensable for if you are not touched by the tears of the grandmother, from whom the activists took the temple away, you betrayed her. If you are indifferent to the grief of the priestly family, which was expelled from the house in winter, you betrayed them. If ordinary people are tormented before your eyes because they choose to be loyal their Church and you don’t notice it, or even laugh at them, you betrayed yourself and your Christian honor.
The apostle Paul wrote about the “burnt conscience” and this phrase fits our topic perfectly. The burnt conscience, the violation of the shared holy faith, the sanctity of spiritual and blood relationship are words suitable for diagnosing the situation at hand. All ecclesiastic and political preferences of the adherents of the OCU appear here only as a litmus test of their spiritual state. A kind of an evil pregnancy test.
But God cannot be mocked. Both in the memory of people and in the memorial books of God (there is such an image in the Holy Scriptures), the OCU will remain one of the branches of the Ukrainian schism tormenting the already tormented people.
The Lord will remember everything. By all means!
The Lord will remember the beating of priests and the insult of their wives, the blood and tears of ordinary believers.
He will remember the many-day vigil of the parishioners of the UOC who are guarding their temples from their fellow villagers who have gone mad. He will remember how hefty young men beat weak women in front of the police.
He will remember how the activists of the OCU took the throne with the Holy Gifts to the street and threw along the road like unnecessary trash.
He will remember how the believers were expelled not only from their temples, but also from utility rooms, emergency buildings, old huts.
He will remember the satanic pride of Filaret, the insidiousness and deceit of Patriarch Bartholomew, the betrayal of Metropolitans Simeon and Alexander, the predatory consecrations of the schsimatic Dumenko. He will remember the lawlessness of officials interfering in the life of the Church.
He will remember all the lies, pain and trials the supporters of autocephaly have affected Ukraine with.
However, one thing is required of us: to understand with whom God is – with an abuser or with a victim? Let each person ask and solve this question on their own, which is extremely simple for someone but very difficult for others. It’s difficult not because it’s hard to guess the right answer, but because the truthful answer will inevitably make one change their mind.