Phanar's actions and postmodernity: it all fits
Reading another absurd statement by the Phanar, we are amazed – how can one say dark is bright so openly, and vice versa? But there is a theory that explains everything.
Today you can hear the phrase that modernity is already the day before yesterday, and, accordingly, postmodernity is yesterday. The question “What is the name for today?” remains open, but that's not the point. The Phanar's actions today fully fit into the philosophy of this post-postmodernity and are explained by it. Let's look into the matter...
Evolution of world outlooks with the course of history
The terms “traditionalism”, “modernity” and “postmodernity” are used to characterize phenomena in different fields. Traditionalism is associated with religiosity, traditions, respect for elders, monarchism, agrarian and handicraft production relations, and classical art. It is believed that all this was relevant until about the middle of the 19th century. A person in a traditional society was guided by the norms of religious morality, observing them or violating them. For example, in the Russian Empire, he/she lived under the Father Tsar, honouring him or rebelling. He used to be guided by the instructions of elders rather than his own speculations. Production was artisanal, and art was understandable.
This was replaced by modernity, which placed rationalism above religious precepts and the opinions of ancestors, democracy replaced monarchy, urban culture – rural, crafts were followed by industrial production. Classical art was replaced by art nouveau (Klimt, Vrubel, Modigliani, Kustodiev ...) One mustn’t kill not because the God’s commandment was violated but because the right of another person to life was violated. Submission to the state was no longer based on religious precepts but on the public good. People from the village flocked to the city to earn money because their financial situation became more valuable for them than the traditional way of life in the rural community.
But modernity quickly fell into oblivion, clearing the way for postmodernity. The industrial society was replaced by the information society, globalism emerged, and the economy was dominated not by commodity production but by various services. The man began to seek diversity, impressions, travel, acquaintance with other traditions and religions. Any alternative point of view (except for the traditional one), any exoticism and even perversion has received the right to exist and be proclaimed from high rostrums and demonstrated in large squares. Rationalism also gave way to impulsiveness and emotions, ideas that, as a rule, seem to come from nowhere and go nowhere.
All this is very interesting, but it is more important to understand what the world outlook offered by traditionalism, modernity and postmodernity is. The visual formulation of this view is as follows.
The picture of the world in traditionalism is a triangle, at the top of which is God, and below the person (subject) and the created world (object). The subject cognizes the object and uses it, but this happens within the limits and in the direction set by God. Moreover, this picture of the world assumes that God, the subject, and the object really exist.
In modernity, God is removed from the picture of the world. "God is dead," as F. Nietzsche put it. You can believe in Him or not believe in Him, you can worship Him or not, but He no longer determines the process of cognition and use of the created world by man, which also means the social world, the world of art, science, etc. There are no moral restrictions on any actions and deeds, scientific or social experiments. The commandments of God are no longer the regulators of human behaviour. But the subject and the object still exist, and subject-object relations between them take place. The concepts remain: the state is still the state, the family is the family, and the crime is the crime.
In postmodernity, the object is already excluded. Not that it ceased to exist, but for a person, it is not the object itself that matters but the opinion of the subject about the object. Traditional concepts and ideas about the object are questioned: "Who said that this is so?", "Why do you think that this is correct?"
"Where is it written that marriage is a union between a man and a woman?" Actually, this is written in the Bible, but after all, "God is dead" at the stage of modernity. Marriage has always been arranged between a man and a woman; this is common sense. But what is common sense, and what difference does it make if it is different now? In the traditional world, the issue of same-sex marriage did not arise at all. In modernity, it was possible to refer to common sense (at least such that children are not born in same-sex unions). In postmodernity, no weighty arguments against same-sex marriages can be found and they are simply legalized.
Post-truth in politics
In postmodernity, truth or objective reality is of no interest to anyone. Interesting is the opinion about the truth and this reality, statements about it from authoritative people or political forces. Post-truth emerges. The use of fakes is very typical of postmodernity. For example, today everyone already knows that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was based on a fake. US Secretary of State Colin Powell shook a test tube at the UN Security Council meeting, claiming that this was a sample of biological weapons.
It didn't matter if Iraq was developing biological weapons or not. The opinion of the United States was important. Many years later, Colin Powell admitted that he had voiced a deliberate fake, but it was already done: the United States and its allies invaded Iraq and has stayed there ever since. As a result, the state was destroyed, up to a million people died (during the entire conflict), and more than 8 million people were affected.
This is post-truth technology. It has been successfully applied in all colour revolutions around the world. People in different countries were taught that if they were to throw off their power, they would become free, rich, and happy. People believed, took to the streets, and overthrew the government. But the results turned out to be exactly the opposite: corruption intensified, the economy slowed down, the standard of living fell, and instead of state and public order, chaos came. It happened everywhere! People wondered: how could this happen? - But nothing else could have happened!
Post-truth technology has been successfully applied in all colour revolutions around the world.
The organizers of the colour revolutions did not even think about how to improve the life of the local population. All of these revolts were organized with the aim of creating "controlled chaos" in the interests of the United States. Stephen Mann said this in plain text in his article "Chaos Theory and Strategic Thought", which was published in the main professional journal of the US Army – “US Army War College Quarterly” back in 1992. A quote: "With American advantages in communications and the increasing capabilities of the global displacement, the virus (revolutionary protests – Ed.) will be self-replicating and will spread in a chaotic way. Therefore, our national security will have the best guarantees. <...> This is the only way to build a long-term world order (unipolar – Ed.).
Post-truth in religion
The same approaches and, probably with the same purpose, were applied by the Patriarchate of Constantinople when in 2018 it recognized Ukrainian schismatics and granted pseudo-autocephaly to the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”. On October 11, 2018, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople adopted an essentially absurd document, in which it announced that Filaret Denisenko and Makariy Maletych with all their followers were "restored to communion with the Church", and all religious organizations calling themselves Orthodox, located on the territory of Ukraine, were placed under the jurisdiction of Constantinople.
Before the formation of the OCU, the entire Orthodox world was at a loss – no one could understand how the Phanar was going to get around the obvious problem – the lack of a canonical hierarchy among Ukrainian schismatics. Indeed, both the head of the OCU, Epiphany Dumenko, and the other "episcopate" actually have neither priestly nor, moreover, episcopal ordinations. The ROC even assumed that the Phanar would secretly ordain them to declare at the time of the creation of the OCU that now "these are no longer schismatics, they have now received canonical ordinations". But, as it turned out, these were extremely naive thoughts. Everything turned out to be much simpler. After all, the concept of postmodernity assumes that the object (in this case, the episcopal consecration of Dumenko and others) is simply bracketed out. Nobody cares whether Dumenko has the bishopric grace or not, in fact. What matters is the opinion of the subject (the Phanar’s in this case) about this.
And now they "concelebrate" the Divine Liturgy together.
In postmodernity, it is possible to express any absurd propositions. Even if their absurdity is obvious to everyone, those who are interested in it will still believe (or pretend to believe) in them. An example of such an absurd absurdity is the recent letter of Patriarch Bartholomew to the Ukrainian agency "Tserkvarium", in which he declared the hierarchs of the UOC "temporarily tolerated" on the territory of Ukraine.
In particular, Patriarch Bartholomew wrote: “According to the canonical principle of territoriality, which is an integral and permanent fact of Orthodox ecclesiology, no other (except for the OCU – Ed.) Church can be present within the jurisdiction of the Church of Ukraine. Nevertheless, in the spirit of pastoral sensitivity, we temporarily tolerate the existence of the Ukrainian hierarchs of Russia, not as local ruling bishops but only as titular or those who are (have a residence) in Ukraine <...> For this reason, His Eminence Onuphry is no longer regarded as the canonical Metropolitan of Kyiv but as a hierarch residing in Kyiv."
This is already completely beyond the truth and common sense, not to mention the Gospel. That is, the clergy of the UOC, and with them, millions of faithful children of the Church, who over the past thirty years have revived the Church, built thousands of temples, opened hundreds of monasteries, established brotherhoods, sisterhoods, resumed the activities of theological schools, etc. – all these people are “temporarily tolerated” on the territory of Ukraine by Patriarch Bartholomew, who even claims credit for this "tolerance". His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, who is followed by millions of believers in Ukraine and whom they will never betray for he is the true shepherd of Christ's flock, is declared simply "residing in Kyiv". And Sergei Dumenko, a layman who does not have any clerical dignity at all, whose supporters are engaged in deception, blasphemy, violence against believers and the seizure of churches, is declared "canonical Metropolitan of Kyiv"! A low act, isn’t it? But do not forget, we’re living in the time of postmodernity ...
His Eminence Onuphry is no longer regarded as the canonical Metropolitan of Kiev but as a hierarch residing in Kyiv.
It makes us feel really sad to realize that recently the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, has also followed Patriarch Bartholomew’s steps: he secretly (!) from the Synod of his Church commemorated Epiphany Dumenko at the Liturgy. Moreover, he promised (!) the Synod members that he would not do this. The whole thing smells dirty.
But let us pay attention to the argumentation of Archbishop Chrysostomos. Arguing his act and trying to justify his letter to Patriarch Kirill of 2018, where he stated the exact opposite, the head of the Church of Cyprus said: “When I sent the letter, I did not know some essential aspects, such as that in the Tomos of Autocephaly (the Tomos of 1686 on the transfer of the Kyiv Metropolis under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate – Ed.), granted to Russia, there was a condition that the Church of Ukraine should first commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the local head, and then the Patriarch of Moscow."
Most likely, this circumstance was well known to Archbishop Chrysostomos since the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced it long before the creation of the OCU. Well, okay, let's take Archbishop Chrysostomоs at his word. But Archbishop Chrysostomos couldn’t but know that if the Kyiv Metropolis in 1686 passed from the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Moscow Patriarchate, then, by definition, they could not commemorate the Primate of another Local Church “as their head”. That is, there is an obvious absurdity. But it is even more absurd to consider this circumstance so important that, contrary to the opinion of the Synod of his Church, having betrayed, in fact, both His Beatitude Onuphry and the multi-million flock of the UOC, violating the sacred canons of the Church, to commemorate Epiphany Dumenko to please Patriarch Bartholomew.
There is very good advice to everyone – when these endless disputes arise about who commemorates whom first, who is the Mother Church to whom, who should subordinate to whom, who should be higher in the Diptych, and so on – just take and read the Gospel, for example, the shortest from Mark. And then, impressed by what you read, look at all these controversies. Look ... and see the gap between them and the Gospel.
A very clear demarcation has taken place in Ukraine: there is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is carrying out its saving mission in our land, which teaches people the Gospel commandments, love for the world, forgiveness, unites them with Christ in the Sacraments. And there is another side that seizes churches and throws out the holy thrones on the road, illegally transfers communities to schism, beats up believers, expels priests along with their families from their homes and does other lawless actions. This is all so contrary to the teaching of Christ that no one should have any doubts about where the true Church is. But it’s postmodernity, and it’s not what is really happening that matters but what interested parties say about it, what picture the media draws. And these interested parties, first of all, the Phanar, take the side of lawlessness, and the Church of Christ is declared “temporarily staying” on the territory of Ukraine. But even in this, the Church is given a favour since the citizen of Turkey Bartholomew (Archondonis) "tolerates" Her.
There is very good advice to everyone – when these endless disputes arise about who commemorates whom first, who is the Mother Church to whom, who should subordinate to whom, who should be higher in the Diptych, and so on – just take and read the Gospel. And then, impressed by what you read, look at all these controversies.
And what is post-postmodernity?
It was mentioned above that from the picture of the modern world, where the subject and the object existed, in postmodernity the object disappears and an opinion about the object comes in its place. But this is also considered a thing of the past. Today the process goes even further: in the conditional post-postmodernity the subject disappears or is bracketed out. One can be surprised and exclaim: who then cognizes the object, or at least expresses an opinion about it? – But it is unknown!
As an example, let us cite the sensational presentation by Elon Musk of an electronic chip implanted into the brain.
This chip will connect the human brain to global artificial intelligence. And the question arises: who, then, will be the subject of cognition: man or artificial intelligence? Or maybe that creature, human or spirit, which will be behind this artificial intelligence?
The technology described by Elon Musk is the future. Close or distant – we do not know. But today the question arises about the subjectivity of those persons who play the geopolitical game around the OCU. Who is the subject of the decision on the Tomos for the OCU? Who is the subject of the recognition of the OCU by individual primates of the Local Churches? Are they themselves or is there someone else behind them in whose interests all these actions are taken? Let's look from this point of view at the actions of Archbishop Chrysostomos. Here are the factors that prevented him from commemorating Epiphany Dumenko:
- he understands perfectly well that Dumenko has no episcopal consecration;
- he knows very well about the persecution of the UOC in Ukraine;
- he knows perfectly that the creation of the OCU is non-canonical;
- he himself stated that the members of the Synod of the Cypriot Church do not support the recognition of the OCU;
- he has previously expressed support for Metropolitan Onuphry on several occasions;
- he wrote official letters to the ROC to support its position on Ukraine;
- he realizes that due to his age and cancer, he will soon appear before the judgment of God.
And despite all this, Archbishop Chrysostomos goes to the obvious lawlessness and commemorates Dumenko during the Liturgy. A question arises: Is he the subject of this decision? Deep postmodernity ...
The world before our eyes is moving towards chaos, where not only faith and at least some value orientations are lost but in general the sense of the reality of what is happening. Where puppets play the theatre of the absurd, controlled by a skilled puppeteer. Where white is declared black and black is white. It is sad that the Patriarchate of Constantinople, once a pillar of Orthodoxy, is participating in all this.
But it is gratifying that we, believers of the UOC, in the language of our children, are “in the house”. We belong to the Church of Christ about which it is said: "I will create My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it ..." (Matthew 16, 18), and therefore we do not care: modernity, postmodernity or something else.