The persecutors have made the mistake of prematurely revealing their brutish faces, Stephen Karganovic writes.
It is now confirmed that the illegal seizure of the ancient Kiev-Pechersk Monastery has been completed. It was forcibly emptied of its monastics and turned over to the bogus, regime-sponsored organisation claiming to be the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. There is presently no reliable information on the disposition of the Orthodox holy relics that used to be located within the monastery complex. Some time ago however it was announced that they would be moved out of the Ukraine to foreign museums, for “safekeeping.” That appalling act of sacrilege and religious pillage may already have taken place.
Meanwhile, clerics of the legitimate Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being arrested or kept under house detention. With the connivance of the authorities, and often at their instigation, temples are seized from believers belonging to the legitimate Church to be handed over to the bogus entity. This is done without any legal justification or opportunity to challenge the procedure. The Kiev Nazi regime’s secret police is currently intimidating priests and bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to call a church council that under their watchful eye would formally break canonical ties with the Moscow Patriarchy and “vote” to join the phony “church” that was set up to replace and absorb it. They apparently believe that such consent given under duress would legitimate the infamy.
We should stress that this is Europe, more specifically the Ukraine, and that all of the above is taking place in the 21st century. And there is not a word of indignation about it, or even passing mention, from the “international community” and its religious and moral apostles.
Revisiting the religious scene in Nazi-run Ukraine may appear tedious, but it is not. It is a moral imperative.
What goes on there, not only on the military but also on the religious front, is extremely significant and tragic. Everybody knows that Ukraine serves as a testing ground for weapons. Less visibly, however, it is also a test site of a different kind. It is a laboratory for religious subversion disguised as “nation building.” In 2018 that process began in earnest with the creation, by political decree and out of thin air, of a bogus Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a joint project of the secular and fundamentally non-Ukrainian Kiev regime and the Istanbul Ecumenical Patriarchy. That may appear as a very odd coupling. But the key point to remember is that, although in outward appearance Orthodox, the Istanbul Patriarchy is in fact like the Kiev regime an instrument of the collective West and is controlled by it. The “strategic alliance” between them was forged decades ago. Consequently, the Istanbul Patriarchy does not undertake anything significant in church matters that does not serve the geopolitical interests of its patrons.
In the years leading up to the armed conflict which was provoked in February 2022, a carefully planned, meticulously executed, and purposeful reconfiguration of post-Maidan Ukraine was initiated. It followed an extreme nationalist and racist agenda. It was conducted by the installed Ukrainian government at the behest and with the unqualified support of its Western puppet masters. The confection of an artificial but outwardly authentic Ukrainian identity was essential for the success of the scheme. The purpose of the charade was to create an anti-Russian bastion on historically Russian land. That was to be accomplished by indoctrinating a large portion of a kindred people to perceive themselves as radically different in relation to the common ethnic stock and cultural paradigm in which historically they were moulded. The parallel fabrication of a false religious identity was a vital complementary component of the same project.
That was also the point of operational convergence between the collective West, which for some time had been shaping the subjugated Ukraine to serve as its principal battering ram in the planned confrontation to “finish off” Russia, the bought and paid for client regime in Kiev, and the servile, opportunistic pseudo-Orthodox Istanbul Patriarchy. For a variety of complex reasons, the latter had willingly placed itself in the service of Western political designs, but, vulture-like, it also always had local ambitions of its own, not just in the Ukraine but well beyond it as well.
This convergence of aims came to the fore in 2018 with the creation of the fraudulent “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” an amalgamation of uncanonical sects that no one was taking seriously literally up to the day of its being awarded the certificate of legitimacy by the corrupt Istanbul Patriarchy. The OCU serves perfectly the purposes of all the principal parties. It creates the appearance of a viable entity rivalling Ukraine’s majority canonical Orthodox Church, which operates autonomously but is in communion with the Patriarchy of Moscow. On the spiritual plane, the newly created “church” rounds off the spurious Ukrainian national identity which the collective West has been assiduously engineering. It gives the regime in Kiev another instrument with which to shift the national psyche away from its historical, Russian roots. It also presents the vassal Ecumenical Patriarchy in Istanbul with an opportunity for much needed expansion. By posing as the “mother church” to a Ukrainian flock it acquires additional believers, such as on its home turf, in the Fanar district of Istanbul where its seat is located, it no longer has.
It should be noted that without the cooperation of the controlled Istanbul Patriarchy, which in return for a few crumbs is eager to promote the geopolitical agenda of the post-Christian, secular West, one of the vital goals of the Ukraine operation would not have been achieved. But for the appearance of canonicity helpfully furnished by the Patriarchy, the illegitimacy and politically manipulative character of the fraudulent Ukrainian “church” would have been plain for everyone to see.
The stage was thus set for the ethnic and spiritual recomposition of Ukrainian society. All the nefarious actors were convinced that the brainwashing process to forge a new, phony Ukrainian ethnic identity had progressed to the point of irreversibility. Creating a bogus new spiritual identity to reinforce and complement it must have seemed an uncomplicated task. It was confidently expected that the canonical Orthodox Church that was loosely linked to the Moscow Patriarchy would easily be absorbed into the recently created state-sponsored entity. Quickly and efficiently, it was thought, any remaining dissidents would be intimidated into collaboration, or at least silenced.
That is the general context of the current religious upheaval and persecution in the Ukraine, to which we have extensively referred in previous texts.
It appears that the initial calculus of the malefactors was borne out at least in part; however, as time went on and the fierceness of the religious persecution gained momentum, eventually it failed. The exaggerated brutality of the onslaught on the religious sensibilities of millions of believers, as history could have taught the persecutors had they paid attention to it, had an effect opposite to what had been expected. It stiffened resolve, rather than dissipating it.
During the opening stages of the Special Military Operation, there was a part of the Ukrainian Orthodox episcopate, as unmindful of history as their persecutors, who attempted to devise a compromise with Moloch and to come to terms with the enemies of the Church acting on his behalf. Some dioceses, such as the one in Sumy, were quick to curry favour by announcing a unilateral rupture of relations with the Moscow Patriarchy. Others attempted to ingratiate themselves and avoid martyrdom by ostentatiously ceasing to commemorate the patriarch of Moscow in their liturgies and by refusing to use in their divine services the antimension distributed from the same source, so repugnant as it is to their tormentors. But predictably these cowardly ruses all failed to produce the desired effect. Moloch cannot be appeased with symbolic gestures. He is bent on seizing and devouring everything, including not just the Kiev-Pechersk monastery, but also, and without mercy, the naïve clerics who foolishly thought that they were clever enough to be his match.
But in the Ukraine the illusion that it is possible to be an Orthodox Christian and at the same time a loyal subject of the godless system is evaporating rapidly. It has been replaced by the stark realisation that there is no formula that would grant the Church minimal space in which to freely exercise its mission. That lesson, once learnt, will have momentous consequences.
The Nazi regime, its sponsors, enablers, and allies should take note that an awakening is in progress among Ukrainian believers and their spiritual leaders. The persecutors have made the mistake of prematurely revealing their brutish faces. And in their hubris they have foreclosed all avenues to a civilised compromise. Persecuted Ukrainian bishops, priests, and laymen are now raising the prospect of forming an active catacomb Church should the authorities continue to deny them the right to worship in peace and dignity, and in communion with whomever they choose.
History, to which wicked worldly rulers usually do not pay much attention, counsels that notwithstanding the physical relationship of forces such a threat should never be taken lightly. Just ask the Romans and the Bolsheviks.