Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Vatican, Putin & Russian Orthodoxy Getting A Little Closer - Makes Mama Mary Happy

God's mom divulging Earth-shatteringly important info-
rmation to three illiterate children in a field in the
middle of nowhere. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Back in my childhood Catholic days, I was often told a rather creepy story about three country children who were visited by the Virgin Mary and given some secrets. Catholics seem big on virgins and secrets.

These secrets would be kept until a later time when the world was ready for them. This would be the Lady of Fatima

It all sounded very conspiratorial because the Church apparently withheld one of them forty years longer than they were supposed to. This really fits the Church's general image of being the exact opposite of transparent.

Anyway, one secret apparently had to do with Russia. It had to be consecrated and - I think - come to the Church or else all kinds of bad things would happen. I could be wrong about the details though. I was just a kid so I didn't understand all the ins and outs and my brain now has little patience for the crazy minutia.

I'm sure you can understand, though, that the whole Russia (USSR) angle was pretty popular with the more fringy cultish Catholics in the early to mid-eighties -- that scary Reagan ICBM/Star Wars cold war era.

So now enter one Deacon Keith Fournier in Catholic Online. He seems blissfully hopeful that the recent warm and friendly meeting between Putin and Pope Francis, along with an improving relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican -- relations have been icy for the past 950 years -- are all signs of a possible fulfillment of the promise of the Lady of Fatima. (Russia turning to the Virgin Mary - I think.)


(Aside: Back when I still went to the Newman Centre here in Montreal, a swirly-eyed girl once told me that she hoped the world would get a whole lot worse and we would utterly destroy it so that God's Kingdom could come down and clean up all the rubbish. She scared the crap out of me. I think this is similar.)

Fournier is excited -- as is perhaps the Catholic Church -- with all the positive developments lately in Russia under the (iron-fisted) rule of Putin and Russian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill. It all seems like a sort of totalitarian fascist brotherhood to me and I wonder if Christopher Hitchens would have agreed.

Of course, progressives like yours truly see things as getting worse in Russia, but hey, what's bad for Human Rights is often absolutely fantastic for overbearing authoritarian/totalitarian Church organizations with a history of ruling mercilessly and suppressing free-speech for centuries in the past -- and doing very well for themselves in the Dark Ages, thank you very much.
Russia, as official policy, is now defending marriage as between one man and one woman, open to life and formative of family. Just this week president Putin signed legislation outlawing advertisements for abortion in Russia. This is a part of a growing recognition of the Rights of children in the womb as restrictions on abortion continue to grow. Parents are being encouraged to have children and the public policy of the Russian government is being adapted to promote such fruitfulness and hold it up for respect, protection and emulation. 
Isn't that just heartwarming? LGTBQ people are being openly beaten in the streets, denied the right to marry or adopt -- in fact there are even plans afoot to wrench children away from same-sex couples or any parents suspected of being gay. Anyone suspected of even speaking in support of LGTB people can be thrown in the slammer. Isn't that fantastic? It's a theocratic Russian Orthodox Utopia that Catholics like Fournier could admire.

Defending marriage as between one man and one woman. As if such a notion requires any defending whatsoever!

And the government outlawing advertisements for abortion as well.
This is a part of a growing recognition of the Rights of children in the womb as restrictions on abortion continue to grow.
Fournier also correctly points out the Russian Orthodox Church's meddling in political affairs as well in Russia and Putin's pandering to them.
The Russian Orthodox Church is free to speak clearly and authoritatively to the Russian people on matters of faith and morals in Russia today.  
Like throwing a punk band into prison for three years for performing a song in a church?

And finally, the Russian Orthadox Patriarch identifies a common enemy today that might help unite the two religions against a common cause.
Shortly after his election, the Patriarch noted that, in the Vatican and not only in the Vatican but all over the world, Catholics understand that Orthodox (people) are their allies. And Orthodox (people) are more and more coming to understand that Catholics are their allies in the face of hostile and non-religious secularism. 
I guess we can be sure that we're on their list.

As for the whole Lady of Fatima business, I don't think one really has to understand much about it here. All you need see is how much closer these organizations are becoming and what it means to true human rights.

Think what you will about Pope Francis. But when you have freaking Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church getting warm and fuzzy with him, you know that something is up. The Church may be talking the nice talk these days, but when they walk their walk, you might want to see just whom they're walking with.

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