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From: Dr. Robert Moynihan @RobertMoynihan
Sent: Sat 2/22/14 10:09 PM
To: Spera Rose, Ocds @Speramus
February 22, 2014, Saturday – What is at stake
“A world without God, without absolute moral values rooted in divine revelation, irrevocably turns into the realm of the rule of slavery and lawlessness.” —Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, in an address at a conference in London yesterday
“The Russian Church, which has paid in millions of lives for the godless Soviet experiment, can and must testify before the adherents of militant secularism to the fact that a society torn from its spiritual roots and faith has no future.” —Metropolitan Hilarion, the final words of this same address =======================================
A society with no future?
Words of warning, prophetic words worth hearing and heeding, are sometimes spoken at crucial moments in the lives of men and nations.
Such words were spoken yesterday in London by a Russian theologian, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church who has become well-known in Orthodoxy, and among Christians worldwide, for his theological learning and his eloquence in presenting the Christian position.
(Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies and Chairman of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission; this photo was taken in December 2013)
His witness is particularly compelling because he grew up under communism, in the Soviet Union, where, in a Soviet atheist school, his teacher once tore the cross from around his neck when she noticed the chain beneath his shirt collar.
And what Alfeyev sees is a process of “de-Christianization,” of the removal of Christian symbols and Christian teachings in the public and private life of the West, and of the world, which proceeds apace, year after year, decade after decade. “And today,” he said, “we can hear of how in democratic Europe an airline employee was forced to remove her cross, supposedly in the name of tolerance, peace and harmony in society.”
In other words, an anti-Christian incident that he experienced as a boy, when his teacher tore a cross from his neck, is in some way similar to what happens in “democratic Europe” today, when people are “forced” to remove a cross “in the name of tolerance, peace and harmony.” In this perspective, the modern European Union (EU) has become, in some ways, similar to the old Soviet Union (USSR).
The warning that Alfeyev is issuing is that the post-Christian society the West has been busily constructing for the past several generations, a society based on moral relativism, and rejection of the customs and traditions of our past, has no future, but leads to a dead-end.
“Today on the continent of Europe there is taking place a conscious and consistent deconstruction of the system of values upon which for centuries the lives of our ancestors was built,” Alfeyev said. He continued: “Values are meant to help build up a just world, but it is impossible to build this world on the basis of an ideology that views the world without God and without faith. A world without God, without absolute moral values rooted in divine revelation, irrevocably turns into the realm of the rule of slavery and lawlessness.”
These few brief summary remarks do not do justice to Alfeyev’s talk, given at a symposium of “Christian Values in an Age of Globalization.” The talk is worth reading in its entirety.
Concluding Quotation: The Anthropological Question
“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because, in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.” —Walker Percy (1916-1990), American Catholic convert and writer, author of The Message in the Bottle and Lost in the Cosmos