Put To Shame By The Orthodox



The Pantocrator in the Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily. If you think churches of such beauty can’t be built anymore, think again…


And it came to pass a church which will rank among the most beautiful in Christianity was consecrated in December 2015. It is a work of stunning beauty. And it is an Orthodox Church, the Church of the protection of the Mother of God in Yasenevo, a district of Moscow. 

Father Z picked up the story.  The original post is here.   The virtual tour will take your breath away (I suggest you, cough, switch off the audio). It is simply astonishing. I have been in Monreale, and I was blown away. This here seems to want to be a credible junior. 

Note the contrast. Russia is still a Country enough corrupt that it needs seven years to buy the land and obtain a building permission for a church, or at least so says the blog post. But Russia is also the country where such a miracle can happen out of the effort of simple faithful: the very many who have donated for the work, and the many volunteers who have worked on it.

I become more and more persuaded that Putin’s Russia (as long as there is one; I truly hope the man survives the predictable mess caused by the low oil prices) is now becoming, schismatics as she is, the real bulwark of Christianity in the West. A great shame but, I think, the sad reality in this morning of the XXI Century, when the Vatican seems more preoccupied with the Islamisation of the West than with the message of Christ.

These Orthodox put us to shame. Wrong as they are, there is much more Christianity flowing in their blood than there is in our old, tired, stupid, effeminate Western Countries.

I hope this wonderful church will be, one day, Catholic.

But I find it wonderful that it is there in the first place.

Long live Putin’s Russia.

With all its faults, and with all the work there is to do, still: long live Putin’s Russia.


Posted on February 15, 2016, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Dear M,

    If my memory serves me right, St John Vianney, a most strenuous follower of voluntary poverty, used to say that nothing is too good for God.

    Just don’t let the Amazin’ Man get his merrciful hands on this supreme example of the faith of ordinary people.

  2. I am sure you know, but I think it is important to stress this to the occasional reader: the Orthodox are schismatics, but not heretics. There is a huge difference between these terms. Despite being separated from the Roman church and the effective guardian of the contents of faith (the Pope), the Orthodox somehow managed to keep the doctrine. So their sacraments are valid and real. The Protestants, on the other hand, are not only schismatics but heretics, they walked away from the true doctrine, and therefore their sacraments aren’t valid: their “baptism” isn’t such, their “communion” even less (they don’t even believe in this sacrament, as they deny the real presence of Jesus in the species).
    I returned to the Church a bit before Benedict resigned. I almost regretted it when Bergoglio was elected, and thought for a while that I should have converted to Orthodoxy instead. Fortunately I soon found a safe harbor in the FSSPX.

    • Very true.
      However, an orthodox Catholic should, in my eyes, always point out to the fact that the so-called Orthodox aren’t on the right side of the fence.And even with their doctrinal orthodoxy they take it rather lightly.
      They conduct ceremonies in Kasper-style for the divorced and remarried. In Church. In front of the (validly consecrated) Blessed Sacrament. Then they (again, in kasper-style) try to wash everything with the “penitential” character of the ceremony etc.
      Even your average, rosewater V II priest has a better understanding of the Sacrament they have.
      If I were the Pope, one of my biggest priorities would be to convert Putin. Then a reconciliation with the Church would be easily done, because another typical trait of the Orthodox is how readily they acquiesce to the desires of the government of the day.

  3. I like Putin too. Being factual – have the despised Orthodox Churches changed over the last 50 years as much as the Roman Catholic Church has? Those Churches know what they stand for (albeit that Roman Catholics believe they are wrong) and have held to their beliefs
    over the same period that the Roman Catholic Church, under various different Popes since Vatican 2, appears to have destroyed itself, slowly, from the inside. To the extent that no-one quite knows what it stands for anymore. Should Francis introduce the devolution of authority to the Bishops Conferences on the Feast Day of St. Joseph, (as he is being mooted to do), then you will have bits and pieces of a Church that is not actually a Church at all, with each fragment claiming to be THE CHURCH. This is a Train Wreck of extraordinary proportions and Years of Mercy and Magic Holy Doors will not redress this, nor put things back on track. Kyrie Eleison.

    • I’d say the Orthodox were much wrong before, but haven’t become more wrong since.
      We were all right until the end of the Fifties, and have introduced much that is wrong since.

  4. You did not emphasize (because you can’t do everything, and you respect your readers’ intelligence) that this church is dedicated to the Protection of the Mother of God. The Russian devotion to the Birth-giver of God, Deipara in Latin, is underestimated by most Roman Catholics. All services, without exception, include prayers and hymns to the Mother of God. They see the Blessed Virgin as their strong Protectress, Mediatrix of Grace, and the sine qua non of the Salvation which God brought to the World in the Incarnation.
    And I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Russia seems the only country to be holding back the secularisation program to debauch all nations, financed by George Soros and other US Foundations, and western Taxpayers, and pushed politically by the USA and EU. That is why our political masters are doing all they can to demonize Putin, and bring Russia to heel, as they have done to us. The Orthodox invocation is:
    Most Holy Mother of God, save us!

  5. “Long live Putin’s Russia.” Amen to that, M!

  6. Yes and did you notice that the church in Yasenevo is dedicated under the title of Our Lady the Mother of God (Theotokos). It is truly stunning and a wonderful example of what a church should really look like.

  7. Moreover. it took Patriarch Kiril to get Pope Francis to join him in a declaration condemning abortion, homosexual marriage, etc, which Pope Francis never dared to do it by himself alone.

  8. “They conduct ceremonies in Kasper-style for the divorced and remarried. In Church.”
    Oh, yes, unfortunately I have to agree with you here. It is the biggest deviation of the true doctrine that the Orthodox have made, and now we want to imitate them not in their good things but in the worst one.

  9. Mundabor,
    here is another one for your “Long live Putin’s Russia” file:

    Abkhazia (remember the tiny country that broke free from Saakashvili’s Georgia in 2008 with the help of Russia to thunderous Western condemnation and has since become something like an unofficial Russian protectorate?) has just banned all abortions without exceptions. The Orthodox majority joined the Sunni Islamic minority to approve the law.
    (Source: see next post as those with links sometimes get eaten by spam protection)

    Russia herself is not quite there yet, but the government has been doing all it currently can to introduce more and more restrictions such as, for example, not allowing state hospitals to provide abortions. The number of abortions has been halved in the last ten years with live births steadily increasing until 2014, outstripping deaths for the first time in decades. In 2015 live births remained flat, which is the most one can expect during economic downturns, but the outlook remains positive. (And no, it is not just Muslims – the Orthodox Russian population’s birthrate has been increasing, too!) An outright ban is being discussed as a serious option in Putin’s party, but there is still too much resistance right now to push it through.

    If Putin remains in power, by 2025, Russia will have joined Abkhazia. Especially if United Russia, as current surveys by (pro-Western) polling firms such as the Levada Center show, gets sixty to seventy percent at the next elections, marginalizing the Communists and the small social democratic opposition party Just Russia.

    Kiev, by the way, after having been “liberated” from Russia’s influence, had homosexual pride parades in 2015 – for the first time in history.

  10. Here on the West Coast USA 9:00 pm Pacific Standard Time, I’ve just watched Galavision’s coverage of Pope Francis’s visit to Mexico City. As he greeted a person in a wheelchair, another person behind the wheelchair made a comment that I could not hear. Pope Francis began shouting at the offender, very aggressively, swinging his hand. The scene was shown several times. Also mentioned were the ‘disappeared’ 46 (if I heard the number correctly).He refused to allow this topic earlier, so I’m wondering if that was the topic he did not address, that brought on the confrontation from those whose families are wondering where those students disappeared. The Mexican news is very lively tonight, more than usual. You should have seen Fr. Lombardi. He was extremely agitated, stuttering, in trying to explain the situation. And there were many empty sections in the stadium.

  11. I just don’t understand some traditionalist Catholics who hate Putin and anything related to Russia, and glorify Ukraine’s (in fact, part of it) struggle to join the West. They are fully aware of the moral and religious decadence of the West, but on the other hand think it would be a blessing for Ukraine to breakaway from “the new USSR that communist Putin is building” and join NATO and the UE. That is completely incoherent, and they don’t seem to notice that the USSR is no more for almost quarter century already. For an example of this, see one of the latest articles by Sandro Magister: “Over the Embrace Between Francis and Kirill Falls the Shadow of Putin”

    • Yep, it’s just stupid.
      They haven’t read the sign of the times: that Russia is the new Christian Frontier, and some Ucrainian are trying to abandon the Russian cultural (and religious) matrix to embrace Western godlessness and materialism.
      They are stuck in 1988.

  12. Don’t be so excited.M.! I remind you that Putin was a chief of KGB. Russian Orthodox church has been used and controlled totally by the government a long time. You don’t believe me? Go and check on this church and this man. God bless.

    • Don’t be so childish, Jave.
      Mussolini was a priest-eater, he became the Church’s best ally.
      People change. Situations, too.

    • Jave, even a very faithful Christian and extreme opponent of communism as Solzhenitsyn said that we should not worry about Putin’s past in the KGB. Try to find his last interview to a Western media, I think it was to a German magazine, back in 2007. People in the West don’t know that the KGB was a massive institution with many different areas and sectors (directorates), some of which are pretty normal (intelligence, border control, protection of high-ranking officers). Putin worked in foreign intelligence in East Germany, and therefore was not involved whatsoever with political or religious repression. Also, in August 1991 when the hard-line communist staged a coup against Gorbachov, Putin resigned from the KGB because the head of it supported the coup.

    • Putin left the KGB as a mid-raking officer, but later (after his St Petersburg experience) was appointed to what is (unless I am mistaken) the top position in the FSB, the successor of the KGB. It was in this position that he was noticed by the Kremlin leading men as a suitable successor to Eltsin.

    • One more thing: Putin was not “chief of KGB”. This is a stupidity that Obama said some months ago. He was a middle officer in a desk somewhere in East Germany, nothing more. His ascension began when he joined the liberals in the early 90’s, especially Anatoly Sobchak, Yeltsin’s ally in Saint Petersburg and first elected mayor of the city after the end of the USSR. Read a bit of Putin’s biography, even in the internet, before repeating wrong facts.

  13. You are correct, Mundabor, he was head of the FSB during Yeltsin’s tenure, but not the Soviet KGB. Obama said (textually) “he ran the KGB”, and many people also believe this:
    These are completely different agencies, operating in different countries (Russian Federation, instead of USSR), and with different tasks (the FSB is not engaged in political or religious repression as was the KGB). Equaling the KGB and the FSB is just as absurd as comparing the BND with the Gestapo or the Stasi.
    Those who say Putin is a communist purposely confuse things trying to find some support for their wrong ideas. If we make the necessary distinctions, we see how unfounded they are.

    • I agree with you, but I think the original point was that Putin is probably not an angel, which he probably isn’t. I have no problem with that, as i tend to believe angels are normally found in heaven.

    • Putin made mistakes and there are many things of him we can criticize, that is for sure. I would never compare him with, say, a Saint Louis IX, one of the most shining examples of a fully Christian ruler. But I think criticism should be serious and based on facts. And criticizing him for his past in the KGB is not serious, and saying he was “chief of KGB” is outright unfactual. But criticizing him for exerting too much power on the Russian Orthodox church, as Jave points in the end of his comment, is true. Cesaropapism is one of Orthodoxy weakest points, and is the price they pay for being separate from Rome, it makes them too dependent on support from temporal powers.

    • It seems to me, however, that the Russian Orthodox Church is always looking for something to suck. They did so with the czars, they accommodated extremely easily with the Communist regime, and they are now, predictably, willingly in bed with Putin.
      If Putin were to be toppled, you can bet your hat they would ask the new ruler how they can best please him.

    • I agree with everything, except that they accomodated extremely easy with the Communist. It took the lives of hundreds of thousands of priests, monks, bishops and the most faithful layman, monasteries and churches being closed and turned to any other thing (depots, museums of atheism, prisons) for more than two decades before they came to terms with the Soviet regime (when Hitler invaded in 1941, and Stalin on the other hand softened the persecution in order to gain support from the church).

    • When Diocletian persecuted, the Church did not try to accommodate him. What you are saying is that the Orthodox had a 50 years history of accommodation with the Communist regime before it collapsed.

      It is very indicative that in Eastern Germany it was the Lutheran church that gave the DDR the final push with the shoulder. In Poland, the Church obviously played a great role. In Russia, the Orthodox were just nowhere.


  14. M. The statement has been at the top right corner of The Wanderer, National Catholic Weekly founded Oct. 7, 1876, “No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true socialist” Pius XI. Quad Anno (1931). Putin and his party have been considered Catholicism a “public enemy number one”.

    • I do not get this enmity with Putin. Putin is orthodox, not Catholic. I do not see any sign that Catholicism is the enemy number one for him. I might well be more Socialist than Putin is.
      The Orthodox are not on the friendliest terms with the Church. Putin is – following the traditional symbiotic process between religious and political power in Russia – the protector of the Orthodox. You can’t lay at his door the bad blood still existing between the two camps.

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