“The distorted Orthodox faith (ie heresy in the ecclesiastical sense) is becoming the basis of the ideology of the Putin regime.” This is the main thesis of the program speech delivered by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on December 10 during the International Conference on World Politics in Abu Dhabi, which is taking place these days.
The International Conference on World Politics is a kind of Valdais club, but of the Western democracies, chaired by the head of the French Institute of International Relations Prof. Thierry de Montbrial and bringing together authoritative political scientists and diplomats from the East and the West. Patriarch Bartholomew was also invited to speak at the fifteenth edition of the forum that year.
According to the patriarch, post-secularism in synthesis with Moscow’s neo-imperialism, the remnants of Soviet ideology and the paranoia of a political leader has created an ugly, bloody hybrid, the fruit of which is the bloody war in Ukraine. Until recently, theological disputes and the analysis of heresies were the purview of a narrow circle of professional theologians. However, with the outbreak of war in 2022, especially after Russian propaganda began to make it “sacred”, it became clear that even in our “enlightened” age, heresy can lead to mass bloodshed in a mad attempt to destroy the most the great European nation – Ukraine.
The Ecumenical Patriarch does not consider Russian Orthodoxy a heresy, recognizing its “great intellectual, spiritual and artistic contribution” to the Christian tradition. According to him, heresy is the ideology of the “Russian world”, which is pushed by Patr. Kirill (Gundyaev), Vladimir Putin and their ideological minions, cynically using the “revived religious feeling of the people” as a convenient political tool. Without the experience of immersion in Soviet atheism, which cut off the Russian people from the continuity of spiritual life, from tradition, the ideology of the “Russian world” could not conquer the consciousness of Russians. This ideology is a postmodernist neo-Orthodoxy that has fused into one the purely external trappings of pre-revolutionary imperial Orthodoxy, the clumsiness of Soviet atheism, and the psychic trauma left over from the collapse of the USSR.