Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dr Trifkovic on Patriarch Alexy II

Dr Srdja Trifkovic has written an interesting tribute to the late Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. Excerpt:
While routinely accused in the West of excessively close links to the secular authorities, Patriarch Aleksy took pains to define what is permissible and what is not in the relationship between Church and state. He rejected any absolutization of governmental authority and insisted that the temporal powers of the state should be recognized as imperative only to the degree that they are used to support good and limit evil. Aleksy’s position was codified in 2000 by the Jubilee Council of Bishops. Its “Basic Social Concept”—drafted with his blessing—stated that, “in everything that concerns the exclusively earthly order of things, the Orthodox Christian is obliged to obey the law.” However, when compliance “threatens his eternal salvation and involves an apostasy or commitment of another doubtless sin before God and his neighbor, the Christian is called to perform the feat of confession. . . . If this lawful action is impossible or ineffective, he must take up the position of civil disobedience. The Church is loyal to the state, but God’s commandment to fulfill the task of salvation in any situation and under any circumstances is above this loyalty. . . . If the authority forces Orthodox believers to apostatise from Christ and His Church and to commit sinful and spiritually harmful actions, the Church should refuse to obey the state . . . [it] must resist evil, immorality and harmful social phenomena and always firmly confess the Truth, and when persecutions commence, to continue to openly witness the faith and be prepared to follow the path of confessors and martyrs for Christ.”

Christians everywhere would be well advised to reflect on the meaning and implications of those words.
(H/t to Fr Milovan.)


aaronandbrighid said...

Yes, indeed! How many of us are currently prepared or at least preparing to follow the path of the confessors and martyrs?

Anonymous said...

In my experience of reading numerous pieces by Dr. Srdj Trifkovic, I have found that he is not a man to pull punches or offer unconsidered or trite analysis. So, his restrained but positive assessment of Alexy II is one to be considered very seriously. In any event, I give thanks to God that the open wounds in the Russian Church have been healed.

Useless Dissident said...

The trouble is that "when persecutions commence" isn't entirely clear. Alexy was born into a systematic persecution and died under one-- for all his equivocation on a theme (sergianism), he was either unable to realize the extent to which his ecclesiastic duties were subordinate to the needs of a satanic power, naive enough to think he could work around that fact, or cynical enough not to care.

Sadly, the open wounds have not healed. In full expectation of true repentance, in the fullness of time,

a sinner.

Felix Culpa said...

Death Bredon puts his finger on why I posted this to begin with. Not because what Dr Trifkovic had to say was so interesting or original, but precisely because it was said by Dr Trifkovic.