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Church Will Gather Analogue of "National Assembly" to Elect Patriarch

Church Will Gather Analogue of "National Assembly" to Elect Patriarch

In the work Church Council of the Russian Orthodox Church on which new patriarch will be elected will take part over 700 delegates. As deputy Patriarch metropolitan Cyril informed on Wednesday upon termination of the Synod where commission on preparation of the Council was generated, there would be three persons elected as delegates for participation in the Council from each diocese (for today there are 156 of them).

There will be two persons submitted from the patriarchal peculiars in the USA, Canada and Scandinavia. Besides special quota will be given to spiritual educational institutions and stavropegial monasteries (being under direct management of the head of Church). At the moment there are 25 monasteries under direct management of the patriarch, the number of seminaries in the Russian church - 38.

The total quantity of bishops of the Moscow patriarchy for today makes 190 people. The other participants of the Council will be simple clergymen and laymen.

From editorial board: At first it's not so clear, why the deputy Patriarch hurries up intending to elect the new head of church already to the middle of the next February, if the canon allows to make it through May? In winter, from the beginning of fasting, then there will be also a series of Patron saint's days - and also organization of the Council. Though it seems it's possible to settle all organization questions slowly and to gather the Council closer to Easter.

Where do they hurry up?

Judging by the speech of metropolitan Cyril at a coffin of the late celebrant, resembling very much the speech from a tribune of some State Duma it is clear - role of the Russian Orthodox Church today is more political, than ever. It is not even quite clear, if the Kremlin likes it or not. If it's so, elections of the future celebrant (and the role of church in immediate prospects), besides the hand of the God, will be influenced by wordly reasons - for example, world crisis and its consequences.

Hence aspiration to carry out Church Council and elections in the beginning of the first quarter, before the termination of fiscal year, when social and economic consequences of crisis will become very appreciable and can influence the moods if not of hierarchs, than of simple clergy and laymen. Early elections will neutralize, say, Diomede's factor which main requirements were refusal from neo-sergianstvo and carrying out of Church Council which late patriarch did not gather for many years though it's obligatory under the charter. It was so decided that the question of the Council was solved by itself - originator of a delay with councils fell asleep in the Lord, there's nobody to make a complaint. It's the same with neo-sergianstvo - for the present the future patriarch in no way showed himself, though in a dignity of metropolitan (if, certainly, all haste because of Cyril) he was rather close to it.

So, by May it would be more difficult to get rid of Diomede, it would come himself, on a wave of spring attack of workers. While if to organize elections in February, everything's at their places...

However the role of church in a degrading Russian society really grows extraordinary. Though the medieval organization of church, certainly, sticks out corners from the general shape of the present life a little. For example, the very process of the supreme church democracy - council. Recently one could hear reproaches that the National Assembly represented nobody, as it's called by cathedral principle - "every living thing". Several curia - liberals, patriots, left carried out promotion on their conferences which, in their turn, selected about 700 representatives.

Though it looks more democratic, than the council where 190 places from (concurrence) 700 have been already reserved for bishops and only archdioceses have the right of promotion - that is together with the eparchial bishop some clergyman and some layman, obviously, at the choice of the bishop will come. It's hardly probable that some kind of primaries will be carried out, not talking about such especially party system as report-back election conference: that is if representatives from all peculiars and monasteries of archdiocese would gather and choose three delegates to participate in congress... sorry, in the council.

So, scandalous promotion on XIII congress of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, for example, in comparison to church "elections" looks simply celebration of democracy and pluralism.

Further, archdioceses are obviously equaled in the rights with each other though the number of believers, say, in Moscow and on Chukotka differs a little. Not speaking about equaled in the rights with the Russian archdioceses the structure ROCOR, the number of parishioners in which could be in general disappearing small. Though all foreign archdioceses, certainly, will vote for Cyril and the overwhelming majority of especially Russian believers will be represented by rather small poll on the council.

Actually, feudal democracy in action. And if neo-sergiant rate of late Alex II will proceed (with arrival of metropolitan Cyril, maybe, will be even amplified) there will be deeper split, than it's now. Well, at least because there are too many "White Guard sacred", "beamed" in uncanonical way whom believers in Russia don't want to adore. That's - some kind of payment of "White Guard" church for the role which this mystification today plays in ROC.

One more question - whether "White Guard" church osculating oligarchs and corrupt persons has authority over protesting workers and employees who are just about to stay without means for living? In fact the primary word meaning of "church" is a circle of believers without distinction on clergymen and laymen and bishop, as a matter of fact, is just the head of a church community. ROC de facto became organization of one clergy, especially hierarchic, something like a priestly order of "initiated".

While it turns out to be more interesting with National Assembly. Disputable legitimacy of its election is completely blocked by new Church Council which is formed absolutely in non-democratic way. When the country will need the Constitutional Convention to approve the project of the new constitution and new rules of elections into new parliament, it can quite take up this role.

Certainly, one would not wish that the same thing will happen with church during future transformations of the society as in the beginning of the last century. But in fact both then, and now the choice of the way remains at the discretion of the church and patriarch Tihon could treat the Soviet authority more loyally. It's at the discretion of people to decide how to treat such church.



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