Metropolitan Mark (Arndt): “The danger is that there will be efforts to completely destroy the Church in Ukraine”

Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) of Berlin and Germany shared his perspective on the current events taking place right now in the Kiev Caves Lavra and in the Church of Ukraine as a whole. His stance is, in my opinion, particularly valuable since he is, if I may say so, on the “spiritual warfront”. A large number of refugees from Ukraine have found refuge in his diocese, and so Vladyka sees it with his own eyes and takes it all close to his heart. –

Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) Metropolitan Mark (Arndt)     

Vladyka, how would you describe what is happening right now in the Kiev Caves Lavra and with the Church in Ukraine as a whole?

The only canonical Orthodox Church in the country is being persecuted there

—The country’s only canonical Orthodox Church, to which belong the majority of believers in Ukraine, is being persecuted there. What is happening at the Lavra is the most striking manifestation of the current situation. The authorities are threatening to expel the monks from the monastery. For the moment, the brethren remain in the lower part of the monastery, but they have government orders on hand to vacate the premises. Yet, no matter what happens in the future, the monks are not going to do it voluntarily, as far as I know.

Is it possible to call what is happening now in the monastery the apotheosis of the persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a whole?

—Yes, this is yet another step in the persecution of our Church.

You are in close contact with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and the brethren of the Lavra. What do they say about the current developments?

—I haven't called them in a while. Frankly, I am afraid a call made from Germany or any other country might hinder our interaction with the Church in Ukraine. They are being persecuted for their association with the Moscow Patriarchate, so at the moment anything that sounds or smells “a la Moscow” is being persecuted in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government is trying in every way to show that they have nothing in common with Russia. But this is madness, because the Ukrainian culture in its entirety is intimately connected with Russia and the Russian culture.

The Ukrainian culture in its entirety is intimately connected with Russia and the Russian culture

In your opinion, Vladyka, what risks do you see in the current situation?

—The danger is not only that the Church in Ukraine will be ignored, but also that there will be attempts to destroy it completely.

Don't you think that by trying to take the Kiev Caves Lavra away from the Church, the conflict is approaching—or has already reached—the goal conceived by its instigators: an attempt to divide and weaken the Church, which perhaps more than anything else in the world continues to adhere to fundamental Christian principles?

—Yes. Naturally, it is an attempt to destroy something that allows us to maintain the accepted ethical norms. The Kiev Caves Lavra has been preserving these spiritual fundamental concepts for a thousand years. And those people who are currently in power in Ukraine are clearly trying to destroy them.

And who benefits from this?

—The devil. Obviously, there is no other stakeholder. This is being sought by those who are ruled by the devil, and their goal is to destroy the spiritual bonds of the nation.

The monks and parishioners of the Lavra probably face a choice: either to seek a compromise and switch to the schismatics in order to at least preserve the Lavra in some way, or to stand to the end and probably accept a martyric path. How do you think the situation will develop?

—I think that for the most part, they will not seek any compromise in any way, because it is a question of “to be or not to be”. The very existence of the Church is at stake here, or about becoming part of a certain organization that has nothing to do with the Church, and it is precisely destroying the [country’s] spiritual foundations.

A lot of refugees from Ukraine have arrived in your German diocese, including both the clergy and laity. How do they treat the events taking place in their homeland, in the Lavra and the Church, in general?

—They are here, in part, because they don’t agree with what is going on in the Church life there. Certainly, in some measure, they have left their homeland because of the war that is raging there. But that’s just what lies on the surface. On the inside, everything is much worse, because what is actually happening there is the destruction of the spiritual foundations of the Church and the state.

The spiritual foundations of the church and state are being destroyed

Speaking of spiritual foundations... Last February, a few days after the beginning of the military phase of the conflict, you sorrowfully said that once the war ends, it will be necessary to restore the connection between the Russians and the Ukrainians; and then you said something that shook me to the core: “Assuming there is still anything left to restore.” You meet both Russians and Ukrainians on a daily basis. Do you believe there is something we can restore, and that we will be able to do it?

—I think so, because overall, this is not a war between the peoples. This is the war between the leaders who started it. Those Ukrainians who are here in Germany treat things that are happening back home differently. Some of them aren’t ready to give up their Russian culture. After all, it existed for centuries as an All-Russian culture, while such a concept as “Ukrainian culture” has only emerged in the last two hundred years or so.

Here it is appropriate at last to remind people that you are speaking not only as the hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, but also as an expert, who defended a doctoral thesis on Old Russian literature.

—Yes, that’s right.

We’ve never seen any difference between the Ukrainians and Russians. It simply never existed before

What do you think we need to do in order to restore that unity?

—We need a peaceful, calm and spiritual solution, where we avoid confrontation and accept the historical facts. What this means is we have to understand and accept the historical unity of the two peoples. This is the unity based on the spiritual foundation. For thousands of years, the Russian and Ukrainian peoples were a single whole. In our Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, we never made a distinction between the Ukrainians and the Russians. It simply never existed. Moreover, it should be noted that, for many centuries, the Ukrainians have held leading positions in the Russian Church. A large number, if not the majority, of hierarchs came from among the “Little Russians”1, because that is what they were called at the time. This did not bother anyone, as it was considered a norm. This is exactly what needs to be restored—a normal relationships with each other based on their spiritual foundation.

Dmitry Zlodorev
spoke with Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) of Berlin and Germany
Translation by Liubov Ambrose


1 The formerly accepted name for the people of Malorussia, which is literally translated as Little Russia, although there was never any diminutive aspect to it.—OC.

Pfmd5/14/2023 3:53 pm
????????????????Scholz said that Germany's assistance to Kiev is focused on air defense and artillery According to the German Chancellor, Berlin has so far supplied weapons that allow Ukraine to defend its territory Germany provides Ukraine with support for the defense of the territory, it is on this type of assistance that Berlin concentrates its efforts. This was stated on Sunday by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, answering the question whether the republic is ready to supply fundamentally new weapons, for example fighters. After talks in Berlin with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, he recalled that Germany had already handed over air defense and artillery to the Kiev authorities, among other things. "This is what we Germans are focused on right now," the chancellor said. "We have so far supplied weapons that allow Ukraine to defend its territory," he added. Germany military assistance this year so far: In the first quarter of this year, the German government approved the supply of military goods to Ukraine totaling almost €497 million. On January 25, the German Cabinet confirmed that it would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and issue permission to other countries to re-export these vehicles. On February 7, the German Cabinet approved the delivery of 178 Leopard 1A5 tanks to Kiev. On February 24, Germany decided to supply Kiev with four more pieces of equipment from the reserves of the German Armed Forces. February 27 - even before the tanks were sent, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the assistance from Germany at that time amounted to €3.4 billion. @DDgeopolitics
pfmd5/12/2023 7:03 pm
A bipartisan group of US lawmakers has introduced a bill to oppose the normalization of relations between Syria and other nations. The Arab League reinstated the country this month, while Saudi Arabia announced the reopening of diplomatic channels with Damascus after ten years. The United States must use all of our leverage to stop normalization with Assad,” Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said of the new bill, which he co-sponsored. It mandates “further sanctions against any form of investment in territory under the control of the Assad regime, as we remain committed to ensuring the Syrian people receive justice.”. Translation of the American warlord: “we will kill by the hundreds of thousands, women and children. to maintain our kleptocracy around the world.
pfmd5/12/2023 6:47 pm
“Nazi defeat day” is an odd occasion for a Western figurehead to go praise Ukraine as “the beating heart of today’s European values” considering the country integrated neo-Nazi fighters into the military and welcomed Western countries in training and equipping them. Perhaps next year’s Paris Olympics can introduce a new event for Queen Ursula to showcase her world-class mental gymnastics skills. Von der Leyen then praised Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for rebranding May 9 as Europe Day, just like in the European Union where countries mark Victory Day on May 8, the date to which Zelensky also moved Victory Day this year. Suddenly, Victory Day in Ukraine wants to self-identify as Europe Day and it’s a done deal with the simple stroke of a pen.”
Pfmd5/12/2023 6:46 pm
“The recent behavior of European leaders strongly suggests that they’ve even managed to successfully brainwash themselves. Either that, or they just think that we all have the IQ of turnips and believe whatever blithering nonsense they toss at us – however divorced from actual reality. On the day that Russia was marking the victory of the Soviet Union and its Western allies over Nazi Germany, the unelected president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, thought it would be a good idea to head over to Kiev, where neo-Nazis have recently been re-emerging in Europe.”
José vera5/11/2023 7:42 pm
Es una pena , difícil solución el tema no es religioso , el problema es político oriente versus occidente..
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