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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Is Russia Converting? Featured

Written by  Robert J. Siscoe
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The Material Preparation for the Consecration?

Editor’s Note: The recent RTV Short, Putin vs. Obama, touched off a lively debate here and on YouTube that seems to call for a bit more context. The following article by Robert Siscoe appeared in the print-edition of The Remnant back in 2013, and provides food for thought. As I said here the other day, we don’t claim to have all the answers but we are interested in this debate, especially if it can be conducted by those willing to think outside the box, set aside outdated Cold War polemics and look at what’s happening in the here and now. This is not 1980, the U.S. is not the ‘shining city on the hill,’ and when considering the breakup of the U.S.S.R.—especially when compared to other ruthlessly Christophobic regimes operating around the world right now—it doesn’t seem quite right to single out Russia as the “evil empire” anymore. So, what's going on here? How does Fatima come into this? What about the consecration? Have the atheistic "errors of Russia" now become the "errors of the whole world"? Was Our Lady (who never once mentioned 'Communism') referring merely to a political/economic system or wasn't there much more to it than that. MJM 

Over the past few years some remarkable events of a religious nature have been taking place in Russia, of all places, with Vladimir Putin gaining worldwide respect for his leadership. The former KGB agent is emerging as a voice of moral sanity through his promotion of traditional morality and having the courage to condemn sins against nature. He has also been speaking out for the rights of persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East, and taking concrete measures to establish closer relations between the Orthodox Church and the Russian State. Mere political stunts? Perhaps, but perhaps not. 

In a recent article from LifeSiteNews, Hilary White discussed some of these recent events:

Putin praised the growth of cooperation between the Orthodox Churches and the Russian state, saying, “We act as genuine partners and colleagues to solve the most pressing domestic and international tasks, to implement joint initiatives for the benefit of our country and people.”

The Russian Federation recently passed legislation making it illegal to promote homosexuality as normal, a move that, while condemned by many European leaders, was strongly supported by the Orthodox Church.


Putin added Thursday that the Church was giving Russians a moral compass when so many were looking for help. “Today when people are once again searching for moral support, millions of our compatriots see it in religion,” he said. “They trust the wise, pastoral word of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

He added that it was the Church that was ultimately responsible for the development and rise of “culture and education” in Russia over the last 1,000 years. “The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization and helped it turn into one of the largest world powers,” Putin said.[1]

These positive developments have many Catholics wondering what is taking place in Russia. Has the long-awaited conversion, spoken of by Our Lady of Fatima, already begun? If so, what about the collegial Consecration that is supposed to precede it? And has Vladimir Putin really undergone a conversion to Christianity (albeit Orthodoxy), or are his public actions in support of Christianity merely a means of strengthening and unifying the Russian people in preparation for their coming battle against the West?

There are informed Catholics on either side of this issue and both make a compelling case for their position, but in my opinion Putin’s motives are irrelevant with respect to the larger picture, since what I believe we are witnessing is nothing less than the material preparation for the Consecration of Russia, which, I believe, is itself is due to the millions of Rosaries and other prayers that the faithful have been offering up for this intention for decades. God has willed that only the Pope and Bishops can bring about the true conversion of Russia, but I strongly suspect that God has been using the prayers of the faithful to prepare the matter, which will receive the form (the true Faith) when the long-awaited Consecration takes place.

Material Preparations

In an August 2012 article from the Washington Times, titled: “In Putin’s Russia, Little Separation between Church and State”, we read:

The Russian Orthodox Church is enjoying its newfound prestige with the Russian government. The head of the church, Patriarch Kirill, was granted residence in the Kremlin, the elaborate historic fortress in Moscow and seat of the Russian government, late last year… a move that restored the head of the church to a residence the church lost in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.[2]

The same article quotes an Orthodox Priest who had the following to say about separation of Church and State:

‘Our church does not consider itself an enemy of the state. The Western idea that the state and the church should be slight rivals and slight enemies is both bizarre and incorrect from an Orthodox point of view,’ Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a leading Orthodox church official, said in June. ‘We have — quite the opposite — teachings about harmony, cooperation and agreement between the state and the church.’[3] 

In the same article, the then-President Dmitry Medvedev admitted: “Yes, the church occupies a fitting place in the life of our society and government.” 

The restoration of a union between Church and State, which was lost at the 1917 Communist Revolution, is not only in agreement with the teaching of the Orthodox Church, but also reflects the teaching of the Catholic Church, as one can read in many Papal encyclicals, such as Immortale Die – “On the Christian Constitution of the State” – by Pope Leo XIII. Union of Church and State is an essential element for a truly Christian country, which alone can produce a truly Christian culture. Therefore, regardless of the motives that are inspiring it, and in spite of the fact that the form (true Faith) is still lacking, this development serves as an important material component for the future conversion of the nation. 


In addition to promoting greater cooperation between church and State, Russia is also taking measures to suppress heretical sects, which is another positive development in the material preparations. The following is taken from a 2008 New York Times article: 


                        The Kremlin’s surrogates in many areas have turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a de facto official religion, warding off other Christian denominations that seem to offer the most significant competition for worshipers. They have all but banned proselytizing by Protestants and discouraged Protestant worship through a variety of harassing measures, according to dozens of interviews with government officials and religious leaders across Russia.

This close alliance between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church has become a defining characteristic of Mr. Putin’s tenure, a mutually reinforcing choreography that is usually described here as working ‘in symphony.’ …

… 300 miles south of Moscow, the police evicted a Seventh-day Adventist congregation from its meeting hall, forcing it to hold services in a ramshackle home next to a construction site. Evangelical Baptists were barred from renting a theater for a Christian music festival, and were not even allowed to hand out toys at an orphanage. A Lutheran minister said he moved away for a few years because he feared for his life. He has returned, but keeps a low profile.


On local television last month, the city’s chief Russian Orthodox priest, who is a confidant of the region’s most powerful politicians, gave a sermon that was repeated every few hours. His theme: Protestant heretics. ‘We deplore those who are led astray — those Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, evangelicals, Pentecostals and many others who cut Christ’s robes like bandits, who are like the soldiers who crucified Christ, who ripped apart Christ’s holy coat,’ declared the priest, the Rev. Aleksei D. Zorin.[4]

The article goes on to quote a Protestant Minister, Mr. Pakhomony, who said: “They have made us into lepers to scare people away. There is this climate that you can feel with your every cell”.

The active suppression of heresy, which is the ideal in a truly Christian State, is another positive development since heresy corrupts the true Faith, causes division, and results in the loss of innumerable souls. While it is true that the Orthodox Church is itself in schism from the Catholic Church and does not profess the “fullness’ of the Faith, the suppression of heretical sects is certainly a positive development in the material preparation. What is lacking at present is the form, which will easily be remedied when the Consecration takes place.

Another positive development is seen in a recent amendment to the Russian Constitution. On June 26, 2013, Russia approved an amendment intending to protect children “from information that is harmful to their health and development”. The law expressly forbids “non-traditional sexual relations among minors expressed in distribution of information that is aimed at the formation among minors of non-traditional sexual attitudes, attractiveness of nontraditional sexual relations, misperceptions of the social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations, or enforcing information about non-traditional sexual relations that evokes interest to such relations.”

In view of these measures the Sodomites are fleeing Russia in droves, thereby ridding the country of a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance. As a result of this law, any Russians suffering from this disordered tendency will be forced to keep it in the closet where it belongs.

Conclusion

It seems evident that these positive developments constitute the material preparation for the coming Consecration, which will bring about the conversion of Russia and the promised Age of Peace. 

At the wedding Feast of Cana, the Blessed Mother asked her Son to perform a miracle. Even though His time had not yet come (John 2:4) Our Lord granted the request, but the miracle did not take place until the “waiters” did their part. Their job was to prepare the matter for the miracle by filling the jugs with water, which would then be miraculously transformed into wine at the appointed time. In like manner, I believe the prayers of the faithful are serving to prepare the matter in Russia, which will soon be miraculously transformed when the Consecration takes place and the form is infused. 

While only the Pope and Bishops can bring about the true conversion by performing the collegial Consecration of Russia as requested by God,[5] the seemingly miraculous conversion of the matter, which we are witnessing today, should give us hope that the long-awaited event is not far off. It should also serve as an encouragement to those who have helped to prepare the matter by their sacrifices and prayers. But whether or not the Consecration takes place before or after “the annihilation of nations” is in the hands of the Pope, since only he can bring about the true conversion by an act of obedience to the Will of God.


[1] Hilary White, World Leaders Should Unite To End Anti-Christian Persecution, Vladimir Putin Say,” LifeSiteNews August 1st, 2013.
[2] By Marc Bennetts, In Putin’s Russia, Little Separation Between Church And State, Washington Post, August 13, 2012
[3] Ibid.
[4]Clifford J. Levy, At The Expense Of All The Others, Putin Picks A Church’, New York Times, April 24, 2008
[5] “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means” (Words of the Blessed Mother to Sr. Lucy in June of 1929).

Miss this one back in 2013? What else are you missing?

 

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