From 22 to 24 June, I took part in the international scientific conference Orthodox Civilisation and the Modern World in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. The conference itself was on 23 June, with presentations and reports, and we devoted the other two days to other activities. On 22 June, we arrived in Chisinau, and we went straight from the airport to the Kurkovskaya Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God. This is an amazing place; its awesome silence makes one feel the breath of eternity. According to legend, the former robber Kurki, who lurked in this place, founded the monastery. One day, his gang ran into an old couple on the highway and killed them to steal their goods… when Kurki came to the scene of the crime, he saw that it was his parents. After this, he spent the rest of his life in repentance; he left his life of crime and went off to a hermitage. The monastery grew from this humble beginning. Today, it’s back in use as a monastic community and they’re reconstructing the majestic 19th century cathedral.
The Socialist Party of Moldova organised the conference; I must say that’s a very remarkable fact. The conference was on an advanced level, the attendees came from several countries… in addition to the Republic of Moldova, people came from Russia, the Ukraine, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Poland. Two bishops of the MP in Moldova attended the conference… Archbishop Savva Volkov of Tiraspol and Dubossary, the “Fiery Archpastor”, who received this nickname thanks to his strong position on opposing legalisation of sexual perversion in society, and Bishop Markell Mihăescu of Balti and Falesti. Amongst the foreign guests of the conference were well-known people such as Professor Valery Alekseyev, the President of the International Social Foundation of the Unity of Orthodox Peoples; Olga Yepifanova, RF Gosduma deputy (Fair Russia bloc); Dragan Todorović, from the Radical Party of Serbia; Vasili Anisimov, spokesman of Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan of Kiev and all the Ukraine; Associate Professor Anatoly Filatov, a famous philosopher from Simferopol University in the Crimea; Anna Radzukiewicz, chairman of the Konstantin Ostrozhky Foundation from Warsaw; Yelizaveta Milenova, chairman of the Bulgarian branch of the International Social Foundation of the Unity of Orthodox Peoples. Moldovan historians and journalists also gave presentations, such as Sergei Nazarov, Doctor of Political Sciences; Peter Shornikov, Kandidat of Historical Sciences; Vasili Stati, Doctor of Historical Sciences; well-known journalist Vladimir Bukarsky, and others. Igor Dodon, the leader of the Socialist Party and People’s Deputy, was the official host of the affair. He took part in the conference and he gave a detailed report on protecting traditional social values. Ion Cheban, a fellow Socialist and People’s Deputy was the formal chairman of the conference.
The situation in Moldova is rather complex, for Moldova will sign an association agreement with the EU. Apparently, this will take place; the pro-Western political forces that are now in power are dead-set to make this deal, despite the protests of the opposition, including the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, and the Orthodox clergy. At the conference, these two forces, Socialists and Orthodox, were the leading forces. The Socialist Party, the main political opponent of Moldova joining the EU, advanced political and economic reasons for its stance. On the other hand, the Orthodox clergy spoke with fervour on their anxiety that if Moldova entered the EU, all the abominations that are now normal in the EU would take root in this Orthodox land. Bishop Markell’s presentation made a particularly strong impression on me. Vladyki Markell spoke about the struggle that he and his supporters waged against the attempts to draw Orthodox Moldova into this Sodom and Gomorrah, into the EU’s “civilisation”. The authorities subjected Bishop Markell to brutal attacks… they trumped-up a criminal case against him, after he called homosexuality a sexual perversion. They subjected him to constant psychological pressure and threatened him and those close to him. They even shot at the car of his diocesan secretary. The traffic cops even subjected his clergy to a Jesuitical technicality… on Sundays, after Liturgy, they’d stop priest’s cars to test their blood alcohol levels. These creeps knew that priests and deacons consume the Holy Gifts after the Liturgy.
I gave a talk at a conference on the theme, “Russian Thinkers of the 19th and 20th Centuries on the Signs of a Distinct Russian Orthodox Civilisation”. I was pleasantly surprised that many people all over the world read Russian People’s Line. Moreover, many share our ideas, including clergy, scholars, and public figures. The debate at the conference was interesting for me, not only because of its political acuity, but as it was, perhaps, one of the last attempts to appeal to reason with those in power in Moldova, to hope that they’d listen to society. All the speeches, whether from Orthodox sources, the scientific community, or the political opposition, sounded the alarm for the future of Moldova.
However, most importantly, the conference demonstrated a fundamental fact… the main supporters of a pro-Russian course and the greatest opponents of an anti-Russian policy in Moldova, the main supporters of preserving traditional values in the Republic are the leftist forces (Socialist Party), they actively support the committed Orthodox clergy and laity. In Moldova, it’s remarkable. This union of Socialism and Orthodoxy is the visible embodiment of Orthodox Socialism, which some contemporary theorists have posited. In Moldova… it’s a reality. The conference clearly voiced one idea… our future path involves realising the idea of social justice, and the Church’s role is to give it spiritual life. Here one can see the fruitful interaction between the left-wing pro-Russian forces and the Orthodox Church. At the same time, it’s a reproach and a warning to those Orthodox publicists and public figures who remain imprisoned in anti-communism and anti-Stalinism. In Russia, the fact that anti-communist and anti-Stalinist statements are malignant isn’t obvious to everyone. However, in Moldova, if you’re anti-communist and anti-Soviet, then, you’re anti-Russian. Moreover, it means that you support an immoral future, against the interests of Orthodoxy. That’s the main impression that I got after mixing with my colleagues, with politicians, and with clergy in Moldova.
You have a choice… you can support god-pleasing Orthodox Socialism, as one sees in the Federal State of Novorossiya (He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother)… or you can support theomachistic Me First Crapitalistic Nihilism (The Almighty Dollar is God and Rush Limbaugh is its Prophet). These are the only two choices on offer. You can support those who smash slot machines (the Communist Orthodox in Novorossiya) or you can support those who gamble recklessly in Las Vegas (John McCain and other Republicans). As always, the choice is yours…
The Cross AND the Red Banner… St Vladimir AND Vladimir Ilyich… now, that’s the ticket…
26 June 2014
Russian People’s Line