Paul Goble: Moscow Patriarchate is Just as Much a Special Service as the GRU and Perhaps Just as Incompetent, Eidman Says

Staunton, October 14 – The Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is “not so much a religious organization as a special service charged with conducting propaganda, intelligence operations and guard duty,” Igor Eidman says; and thus is no surprise that its problems have been discussed by the other special services in the Russian Security Council. But it may also not be a surprise to anyone, the Russian commentator suggests (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2069115226484779&id=100001589654713), that the ROC MP is proving to be as incompetent in carrying out its duties as the GRU has recently shown itself to the world to be. (On that, see svobodaradio.livejournal.com/3702852.html.) After all, it did not manage to block the decision of the Universal Patriarch to move toward autocephaly for Ukraine. Instead, it has acted in ways that not only unintentionally pushed Bartholemew in that direction

but also alienated many in the Orthodox world the ROC MP was charged with managing. “In contrast to other special services,” Eidman continues, “the ROC has the opportunity to work completely freely and legally on the territories of other countries. More than that, in Ukraine, the leadership of the ROC through its local representatives can affect a large part of the population,” thus assisting Russian aggression and threatening Ukraine’s national security. “This is as if the FSB could have legal sections in any Ukrainian village,” the commentator suggests. According to Eidman, “the Russian military occupied Crimea and part of the Donbass, but the occupiers in priestly robes control religious life in a large part of Ukraine. The liberation of Ukraine from the spiritual occupation of the ROC is comparable in importance with the inevitable withdrawal from Ukrainian territories of the Russian armed forces.” As a result of the decisions of the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarch,” Eidman says, “the religious de-occupation of Ukraine has become inevitable, although of course are still long years of tense struggle. I hope,” he says, “that Russia sooner or later will also be freed from the spiritual oppression of the Kremlin special service known as’ the ROC.’” The Kremlin has promised a tough response to Constantinople’s decision and to Kyiv’s moves; but the ROC MP is unlikely to be capable to responding effectively in either case. Instead, the Russian government is likely to use its other special services in what is likely to be a failed effort to achieve its goals (thinktanks.by/publication/2018/10/14/predstavitel-rpts-otvet-budet-adekvatnym-i-zhestkim.html and vz.ru/politics/2018/10/13/945899.html). source: window on eurasia

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