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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Gazprom Strengthens Spiritual Ties with Belarus, Ukraine, Russian Orthodox Clergy Believes

Reddite igitur quae sunt Caesaris Caesari et quae sunt Dei Deo. (Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.)

Ever been to a country where God takes orders from the Caesar? Welcome to Russia! An organization called the International Fund for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples seems to have no qualms about basing its ecumenical judgment on current geopolitical trends. You’re gonna love this. In doling out annual awards, the board of governors at the IFUOP has picked the Russian gas monopoly as an icon of promoting Christian values.

For Patriarch Alexy, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who happens to preside over the IFUOP, the publicity stunt breaks no new ground.

Since times immemorial, the Orthodox clergy has been in lockstep with the Kremlin’s policy, using every opportunity to adorn the Caesar with Christian confetti. Most of the episcopate spared by the Bolsheviks ended up on KGB payrolls, a trend that showed no signs of stopping after the collapse of communism.

Alexy’s Orthodox brethren in Ukraine and Belarus should pray for his soul, for the IFUOP’s choice certainly strikes many of them as an outrageous pinnacle of absurdity.

This New Year, Gazprom is holding a spiritual déjà vu workshop with Belarus.

Suggested New Year’s resolution for the IFUOP: diversify into the indulgence business. If Rome did it in the Middle Ages, why can’t you in the Information Age? Gazprom got gas to burn. God bless Gazprom!

P.S. Perhaps honoring Saddam with a posthumous award for resisting the enemy of the Orthodox peoples would not be amiss.

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