Metropolitan Rastislav on the difficulties of confessing the Orthodox faith during communism and the importance of Religious Freedom today

Source: Basilica News Agency

October 30, 2017

    

Address by His Beatitude Rastislav, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, delivered during the solemn session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, 28 October 2017:

Your Holiness,

Your Beatitudes, Your Eminences and Your Graces, beloved brothers in Christ!

Rev. Georges Florovsky wrote in Volume II of his Collected Works very accurately that Christianity introduced a new social order in the first place. From its very beginning, it was not primarily a “doctrine” but exactly a “community”.

Beside a kerygma – a message that was necessary to spread in the world – and the Good News – the Gospel to be proclaimed and delivered to people – there was a “new community” – distinct, bearing no resemblance to anything else, continually growing and forming, grouping together more and more faithful. [FLOROVSKY, G.: Christianity and Culture, Belmont 1974, p 67.]

After its establishing in the Roman provinces, the community started to infiltrate into different levels, classes and institutions of the Roman Empire, which concluded with the Christianization of the Empire, together with its Emperor. In view of this, the fall of the Czarist Regime and the social changes that took place during the 1917 October Revolution in Russia could be considered the end of the Constantine Epoch. With the beginning of the new social order, the modern totalitarian movement – Communism – gained a power.

Today’s generation does not understand how Communism was at the culmination point of its ideological development. Those, born earlier, although with a certain nostalgia, remember the times of one party´s domination as well as the Marxist-Leninist philosophy in which everyone saw a project of a social equality rather than a totalitarian movement.

Today, almost no one reads the writings of Lenin or the resolutions of the Communist Party’s meetings, which talk about the struggle with religion and the Orthodox Church. The truth is, however, that in former Czarist Russia, where the status of the Orthodox Church was privileged, Lenin called for its complete destruction. Already in 1909, in his controversy “On the Relationship of the Working Class to Religion,” he wrote: “Religion is the opium of mankind – this Marx’s statement is the cornerstone of Marxism’s worldview on its relationship to religion.”

...Read the rest at Basilica News Agency.

11/3/2017

See also
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Metropolitan Rostislav addressed the students, saying in particular, ‘It is gratifying to see in you the successors of the age-old tradition of St. Petersburg theological schools. Coming out from these walls founded in the 18th century were brilliant preachers and educators who carried the light of Orthodoxy and theological education not only in Russia but also in many other countries’.
Metropolitan Rastislav of Czech Lands and Slovakia, on first irenic visit to Constantinople Metropolitan Rastislav of Czech Lands and Slovakia, on first irenic visit to Constantinople Metropolitan Rastislav of Czech Lands and Slovakia, on first irenic visit to Constantinople Metropolitan Rastislav of Czech Lands and Slovakia, on first irenic visit to Constantinople
The presence of His Beatitude Rastislav in Constantinople was considered a witness of the truth that the two Primates must increase in faith, in hope, in fear of God, in the sacrificial self-emptying for the benefit of their Churches and the Orthodox people, in order to demonstrate unity and service, especially during the works of the Holy and Great Council.
Reconciliation in the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia Reconciliation in the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia Reconciliation in the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia Reconciliation in the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
After the discussions, Metropolitan Rastislav was recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Primate of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
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