The construction of temples raises a wall between believers and non-believers

Not for the first month in Yekaterinburg raging passions around the proposed construction area of the city pond of the Church of St. Catherine, or as it was dubbed, Temple on the water. The diocese, together with officials and oligarchs want this to build the temple in the middle of the pond, and urban activists (among which, surprisingly, many Orthodox believers) speak strongly against pickets.

photo: Alex geldings

And the media regularly interview experts and residents (I was asked): do we need a temple in this place, if within walking distance there are several; whether to take into account the opinion of citizens in the construction of temples; not too many temples being built and isn’t it better instead to build hospitals and stadiums, etc.

The answers to these questions (any: at least, at least against) usually only fuels the aggression and acrimony. So happens with Isaac in St. Petersburg in the Park “TORRANCE” in Moscow, as happens in Yekaterinburg and other cities, when it comes to the construction of the temple in socially significant place, or the transfer of any of the buildings of the Russian Orthodox Church.

But I think the problem of mutual hostility and meaninglessness of the answers to such questions that need to ask very different questions and you need to answer them not by words but taking other decisions.

The first of these questions is: who needs a grandiose temple in the middle of the pond (in the Park, on the main square, etc.) under the trademark “restore the sanctuary”? (Remember that the Church Catherine was the Cathedral of Yekaterinburg and was located where is now the fountain “Stone flower”. A few years ago, the diocese has raised the issue of the construction of the Cathedral in the old place, but then the townspeople were strongly opposed, and the diocese retreated.)

Temple in the middle of the pond to the right officials, oligarchs and officials of the Russian Orthodox Church (that is, the leadership of the diocese). Because it’s a business, it is the power, the money, this pump and the effect of this signal upstairs (no, not in heaven): in the Kremlin, to the Patriarchy — take a look, we are tough, we are efficient managers, we make attractive projects, simultaneously pouring money from one pocket to another. On the eve of elections it’s important to rattle the pots and pans.

God believers? And, Yes, it is considered: God with us — glory, a titanium dome and a loud ringing of bells, crosses, abutting straight into the sky. The believers — another DRC (spiritual shopping and entertainment complex), where they will be able to come, feeling the bugs before the Majesty of the multimillion-dollar cost of the iconostasis or marble columns, and simultaneously buying the products of “Patriarchal” the monopoly factory “Sofrino”: candles, small icons to take home, TIC-of chain-amulets. Because the diocese has to pay his dues (and considerable) to the Patriarchy, and the new large object well-suited for this.

Do I need to ask the opinion of the residents of the city? Sorry, you confuse Russia with some scuzzy democratic stranichki where the opinion of citizens generally care about someone. In Russia the opinion of the people — serfs, slaves and serfs — nobody’s really interested. Want a Prince or a king, Lord or landowner to get a sumptuous temple called yourself an Italian architect and forward to the glory of God. And from the depths of centuries these rulers, we can say: Yes, we did what he wanted, but now you can ride along the Golden ring, to produce calendars with views of the ancient temples at sunset, and the ruins of extinct churches in the villages generally look good. What do you want?

Also now argue metropolitans, governors and the oligarchs: you are now blather, redneck intellectual, unspiritual, and your children will quickly forget about all the controversy and scandals and will take pictures on the background of the Temple on the water and writing on Instagram, which, they say, this temple is the main tourist attraction in Yekaterinburg with the unfinished TV tower. And those who are now outraged, is “public terrorists” as he called opponents of the construction of the temple, Governor (then acting) Eugene Kuyvashev.

And again, the activists are fighting sometimes with those with whom it is necessary. Among the rhetoric of the opponents of the construction of this temple (or among the opponents of the transfer of Isaac or among the opponents of the construction of the temple at “Torfyanka”) there is often resentment against the believers, saying, quite veruny insolent, everywhere their temples noticeabout hesitated with his Orthodoxy.

Faith has nothing to do with. Don’t confuse faith and Christianity with the Russian Orthodox Church (under the Russian Orthodox Church I here understand Patriarchy — a hierarchical-bureaucratic elite, the nomenklatura — Patriarch Kirill and his staff and diocesan bishops, aiming at the appetites of Cyril).

Questions of faith for believers and churches should be addressed in a completely different plane. (Note: for believers, for Christians, not for “Orthodox” of the Gentiles who go to the temples in factories religious services to obtain certain benefits. To which the priest is a priest-shaman that solves everyday problems by shaking the tambourine (censer), and free the therapist to whom you can complain and complain to the neighbors, and the Christian ordinances (baptism, communion, confession, extreme unction, wedding) — superstitious rites, which are taken mindlessly, because “as necessary”, “we said so”, “so the baby will not hurt”, “they say it helps”.) I say “should” because in the current ROC is nothing more than theoretical rhetoric, do not apply to practice.

Ideally, a temple is a house of worship where the community of believers. It is this community called a Church, congregation, and the temple is just a place for the Church community. It follows that each temple should be a matter only of that community. Gathered community of believers, they need the room. They bought a piece of land, built a house on it, which can be more beautiful than the surrounding buildings, with a dome and cross (but may not be, it’s not so important).

And that all troubles would have disappeared. Just a private house where people pray. It does not interfere with others its size, it belongs to the community, it does not occupy public areas, it is not built on stolen money, it not been for the grubby paw of officials and oligarchs — sponsors-“churchwardens”. In fact, to do so in Russia Protestants — how often do you see a pompous churches Baptists, for example, whether they are the calluses on someone’s eyes? No, Protestants are all modestly and at his own expense.

But the problem is that ROC is absolutely impossible. Because any property under the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church belongs to the diocese. That is, the community may, of course, to build a modest temple, but the priest from this community at any time can withdraw, transfer and assign such that a house of prayer, where Christ is present, turn it into another store for ritual and spiritual goods. And the community of this temple is also possible to expel or at least, completely eliminate the influence on the decision of any questions in the Church — financial or other.

Therefore, the part of the faithful, too, along with activists opposed to the construction of temples on the water, on a mountain, in a Park, against the transfer of Isaac because he understands that the Russian Orthodox Church (Patriarchate — see above for a definition of the term) is not acting in the interests of the faithful, but especially in private.

Therefore, the main questions should be as follows.

The country in which we live, whether we have a democracy and civil society?

Who owns the churches and whose money they should be built and maintained?

The relationship of Christianity with the Russian Orthodox Church (Patriarchate)?

And believers and non-believers, Orthodox and non-Orthodox, churches, supporters and opponents ought to learn to listen and hear each other. Maybe they really are not enemies, but friends? But those who think a friend and comrade in the faith, or struggle, in fact you are not, and only using us as expendable?

In General, as long said classics have to decide: who is to blame and what to do with it.

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