Sunday, May 05, 2013

Христосъ воскресе! Tribute to Russia

‘Christ is risen!’ Воистинну воскресе! ‘Indeed he is risen!’ This year today is Russian Easter. The world’s biggest Orthodox country celebrates. So here are some reasons why Catholics and other conservatives should like the Russians including Vladimir Putin.
  • Good old-fashioned, traditionalist Christian nationalism standing athwart all of the following: political correctness, the European Union and both the American left’s and right’s expansion plans. A check and balance. Still a quasi-superpower thanks to nukes and its size; Europe’s big nyet. Putin’s ex-KGB but really just an old-school Russian patriot, not New World Order like Gorby. (Ditto Lukashenko in Byelorussia. Nobody would be surprised if Russia and Byelorussia get back together. Maybe the Ukraine too.)
  • A quasi-state church with no ‘Reformation’ or Vatican II; trads’ natural compadres. The only error is the schism. The answer is NOT to latinize the proud Russians the way the Ukrainian Catholic Church ended up latinizing itself but to bend over backwards to persuade the Orthodox that, as the late, great Archimandrite Serge (Keleher), who spent time on each side (he was ordained an Orthodox priest*), put it, NOTHING really in their great tradition is incompatible with the Catholic Church. That you can come into the church and not lose your Russianness. It’s on us to make it and keep it so. They would help us a lot and, I dare say, we them.
  • A Russian priest has a gay wedding; Russians tear down the parish church where it happened. Stupid girls do a political skit in church making fun of the religion, and go to jail for it. I don’t have a problem with those answers.
  • Real men light candles to icons. Where it’s politically advantageous to have your picture taken at an Orthodox church.
  • The Pope repeats that Catholicism claims it’s the true church. The secularists and mainline bitch. The Russian church respects it; they understand.
  • Diversity, not ‘diversity’. Clannish, low-trust cultures, family writ large, such as the non-Christian Chechens, all in the empire.
  • The Eurasian mix is part of Russia’s riddle. You have the Cossacks, basically Russians but with a difference, the Chechen strain. The traditional liturgy is basically High Mass, etc., in an archaic version of the language, with our baroque finery including the choral music but with that beautiful ‘sad’ Asian minor-key lilt. The people ‘don’t participate’! They are either silent or mill about doing their devotions, lighting candles to their lucky saint or at the table for the dead. A modern liturgist’s nightmare: wonderful!
  • Like most Catholic countries, most people don’t go to church. When they do, they just let the singing and incense waft over them, hoping to get some grace. What much of the country was doing today.
  • Among the world’s most beautiful, sexiest women. The men are more masculine; the women often more feminine (also true of Polish women, who have the same Slavic cheekbones and modelly way about them). Both sexes seem in top shape. A reason so many of them are Olympic medalists.
  • They’re famous drinkers. I’m not, but from the empire you have the semi-sweet red wines of Georgia, among the best in the world.

*And as he said to me with a twinkle in his eye, his Russian bishop was nice by not deposing him when he came back to Catholicism so he remained an Orthodox priest in good standing. Born Catholic in New York; ’doxed in ’61; priested in ’67; returned in the early ’70s.


  1. 1. For whatever reason he lights a candle, Putin is a politician, a sagacious one. Abe Lincoln was a sagacious politician too (Yes, I know, John, that you don't like Ole Abe.) who railed against slavery in Illinois but said otherwise while stumping in Kentucky. This is the reality of politics. Politics is not for wimps, weak-minds, or the naive.

    2. Chechens--one has to admit in all fairness that a lot if not most of Chechen Islamic terrorism has resulted from the absolutely horrendous way that the Commonwealth of Russia treated Chechyna when the latter sought its independence.

    3. Yes, sexy women until "Babushka-osis" takes over! LOL

    4. Speaking of Babushkas, I once saw an icon of a Babushka--perhaps it was on your blog?--the Savior of Russian Orthodoxy and Holy Mother Russia. Something to think about, the salt of the earth and all. This brings to my mind the little old ladies slogging through the snow to Church for the weekday 6 am (TLM) mass in Saugerties, NY when I was a young altar boy serving those masses. I think perhaps that these little old ladies are/were the saviors of the Catholic Church in these modern Godless times. (The late) Christopher Hichens and Richard Dawkins attacks against the CC don't stand a chance against these old ladies. Same with the foolishness of Catholic bishops.

    5. I just loved reading about the "kick ass and take names" and "take no prisoners" approach to an errant Orthodox priest who commits a major sacrilege by celebrating a gay wedding in a Church. Tear down the Church; destroy the sacred furnishings and vessels; cleanse the pollution. Great stuff!

    6. Now all the Patriarch of Moscow has to do is to offer the (traditional) Divine Liturgy in Church Latin as well as Church Slavonic! Might get a traditionalist throwback, recidivist, troglodyte TLM-er I/you know to swim the Moskva River! Or would the Volga be more appropriate? LOL **just kidding . . . sort of!**

    7. There may come a day some day soon when American Catholics will have to exile themselves to Holy Mother Russia to be free and to practice their religion freely. How ironic! [not kidding all that much on this comment]

  2. Christos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!

  3. Lukashenko is a true-blood Communist. He's not much of something for Christians to respect. He lets the faithful convene yet there are still many churches of all denominations are cinemas, barns or have some other secular usage.

    Just there is another thing I'd add. The Cossacks are the most western ethnic group in Russia. The Cossacks learned of Western culture before the rest of Russia.

    1. He lets the faithful convene

      Then he's what I thought, not a true Communist but an old-school nationalist strongman who like many Russians comes from the Soviet superpower days and misses them. Like Putin, and, until rather recently, Igor Smirnov in Transdniester: same Russian mix of Soviet and Orthodox patriotism, not really Communist even though it looks it. Transdniester has my sympathy: really part of the Ukraine, of greater Russia, with mostly Russians, but given to Moldova when it was in the USSR. Now of course the people don't want to be in Moldova because they're not Romanians. I understand they have Russian passports now. I think a Russian army unit's still there. Might as well annex it to Russia.

      I don't necessarily blame Lukashenko about the churches. That's hard to sort out after all these years.

      A friend who's been to Byelorussia told me they don't pretend they're free. But Lukashenko's been around so long because they like him.


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