If you were to ask most conscious Russian Orthodox people, the most momentous event of the last six months was the great all-Ukrainian March for Peace and National Reconciliation. Metropolitan Onufry Berezovsky of Kiev and all the Ukraine, the First Hierarch of the UPTs/MP, not only blessed the march, he took part in it. A friend who took part in the march estimated that anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 believers marched for peace… as a former army officer, he’s not the sort to over-exaggerate, plus he has the professional training to be able to estimate the size of a crowd. Besides that, he was one of the volunteers who helped feed the crowd, so, he had a pragmatic grasp of the size of the turnout. Easily, this was one of the largest, most significant, and telling events not only of this year, but perhaps of this generation.
I know of OCA and ROCOR people who took part in this march. There were more than just a handful. However, the main websites of the OCA and ROCOR were as mute as fish on this event. THEY POSTED NOTHING. Not even, “X and Y, of X parish of our Church, took part in the March for Peace and National Reconciliation in the Ukraine blessed by Metropolitan Onufry. Here are their reflections on it and their images of this great event”. That wouldn’t have “committed” the ROCOR or the OCA to any “political” stance. I also note that the Eastern America Diocese of the ROCOR refused to post on the march as well, even though believers of that diocese took part in the march (no doubt, the webmaster knew precisely who went, too).
There are three main culprits in this… Victor Potapov, in the ROCOR, Lyonyo Kishkovsky, in the OCA, and Gregory Walker Levitsky, in the Eastern America Diocese of the ROCOR. Potapov is a literal Chekist in a riassa (he was/is a full-time paid propagandist for a CIA front organisation) and a Sergianist (one who sells out the Church to the Powers-that-Be, often, for personal gain). He’s a known rightwing operative, with ties to such disreputable people as the Washington Times (and its Moonie owners); he schmoozes with the most rabid extremist right elements. He’s a fanatical anti-communist, with family ties to those who collaborated with the Nazis during the VOV. Kishkovsky is a long-time Establishment figure. He’s more of a Democrat operative than Potapov is, but he’s just as Sergianist. Lyonyo is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a long-established neocon think-tank; he gets jobs in the Establishment for the younger generation of the Golden 400 (the families who believe themselves the “leading elements” of the OCA and ROCOR… they’re all intermarried… an incestuous little lot, if there ever was such). Levitsky is simply a young immature rightwing putz who posts the most mendacious “conservative” rubbish on his FB page. He’s more of a follower, not a leading light like Potapov and Lyonyo.
There was nothing on the march in the official central online media of our Church. NOTHING. Note well that Potapov and Lyonyo adopted a “line” on the march identical to that of the Uniates (Levitsky isn’t mature or grounded enough to take any share of the blame in this… as I said, he’s a follower). Both Potapov and Lyonyo are “soft” on the Unia. Can we afford to have such people at the centre of our Church life when our coreligionists in the Ukraine suffer persecution (if not worse) from the hands of Uniate extremists? I’m aghast at the brazenness of this. The greatest event in our Church Life in this generation, with participation by believers from our parishes, simply went down the Memory Hole. It didn’t even go bump in the night… it didn’t get a lick of publicity. Of course, the attitude is, “If we don’t publicise it, it didn’t happen”. I’d beg to differ… not only did it happen, it’s an event that resonated with most believers here. I’d say that Potapov and Lyonyo (along with their young running-dog Levitsky) should remember that events pushed under the rug never really disappear. It’s like the present American election… if the media ignores Bernie and Jill, well, their followers are just going to “go away”… such is the attitude of the Establishment, any road.
That isn’t going to work in the American election… I also confide that it won’t work in the Church either. This was just too much of a muchness… but chickens are indeed heavy when they come home to roost, and they eventually do. I don’t know what precisely is going to happen, but the situation in both American society as a whole and in the Russian Orthodox diaspora in particular cries out for resolution. It shall receive such… God have mercy on us all…