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9th May 2011, 09:32 PM
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Manipulation Resistance Team
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Join Date: 5th February 2002
Reps: 2,146,068,278,455,422,464 (power: 2,146,068,278,455,509)
Christian Unity and the Russian Orthodox Church
The miraculous post-Soviet revival of the Russian Orthodox Church, all but destroyed by the end of the Stalinist purges in the 1930s, is one of the great stories of 21st Century Christianity. This revival is now focused on the restoration of church life that saw its great institutions and spiritual treasures — churches, monasteries, seminaries, libraries — more or less obliterated by an aggressively atheist regime. Many of the Church’s best and brightest monks, clergy and theologians were martyred, imprisoned or forced into exile. Yet, plans are now underway to build 200 churches
in the Moscow area alone.
The Church’s renewal is set against Russia’s steep population decline
and grave social ills including alcoholism, the disintegration of the family, what amounts to an open season on journalists
, and an immense and growing corruption problem at all levels of government and society
. Building new churches is one thing; getting believers to fill them and then effect a social transformation by following the Great Commandment
will be a more difficult climb. “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved” — St. Seraphim of Sarov.
It is perhaps impossible to comprehend, without having lived through it, the depths of destruction and despair that Russia had sunk to under the Soviets. Read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1974 essay “Live Not By Lies”
and you begin to comprehend, albeit at a great distance, something about a system that destroyed tens of millions of people:
Things have almost reached rock bottom. A universal spiritual death has already touched us all, and physical death will soon flare up and consume us both and our children — but as before we still smile in a cowardly way and mumble without tongues tied. But what can we do to stop it? We haven’t the strength.
The public face of the Russian church is lately, for much of the global media, an Oxford-educated bishop who is also a composer of music, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. His web site is here. As the director of external relations for the Moscow Patriarchate, he is a much traveled spokesman for the largest and most influential Orthodox Church in the world with more than 150 million members. Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg included Hilarion in what he referred to as Pope Benedict’s “creative minority.”
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A thick skin is a gift from God.
9th May 2011, 09:53 PM
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Join Date: 28th June 2007
Reps: 267,787,228,303,690,752 (power: 267,787,228,303,715)
I went to a music concert composed by Metropolitan Hilarion at a Catholic Basilica, last year
he was there, as well as the Catholic bishop I think. I remember they were talking after the concert. The music was really good
(it was the Passion according to St Matthew)
“Holy Spirit, come into my heart, and in Your power draw it to you.” Prayer (St Catherine of Siena)
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