In May 2001, Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Greek capital Athens has brought "an apology to God" for all the age-old evil, delivered orthodox Catholicism around the world. There is no doubt that the reason for this was the head of the Vatican's more than enough.
However, there are circumstances that raise questions about the extent of his sincerity. Such circumstances, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II in his speech at the end of March 2001 at a meeting of the International Fund for Orthodox peoples called the "Polish Catholic expansion in the territory of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan." Actions Catholic missionary organizations in the post-ignore the historical and spiritual preferences of the local population, are built on the premise of an alleged here "religious vacuum" for ignoring thousands of years of tradition of the Orthodox Eastern Slavic and different coarse impudence, in particular as manifested in the elimination of normal life West -Ukrainian Orthodox dioceses.
Thrust proselytizing Roman Catholic Church against the Slavs goes back to ancient times, and it always caused confusion among the Russian people: after all, Russia has made a voluntary and informed choice, taking her to the closest in spirit to the Orthodox religion. 'Chronicle' tells how St.. Vladimir the Baptist in the tenth century, knowing the difference between Orthodoxy and the Latins, very unkind goodbye to the Pope's ambassadors, "Go where you came from, and because our fathers have not accepted it." The prince remembered the events of 961, when at the behest of his grandmother — St. Olga — from Kiev expelled Adalbert Benedictine monk sent by his entourage to Russia Magdeburg Catholic bishops. Benedictine came to rusicham with the title "bishop Russian," in which manifested itself presumptuous rashness, which could not disturb those who are identified in the "wards" latter-day "bishop" and whose opinion he did not bother to ask in advance.
Freedom of choice of faith was important advantage of Russia before those countries that religious beliefs imposed by force. Thus the imposition of "distinguished" Catholicism is often spread their influence by force of arms. The Vatican was not considered the right of peoples to spiritual freedom. In announcing his teaching "secret" and protecting it from possible criticism, he made Catholicism the official language of Latin, which compete with the local languages was forbidden. Eloquent examples relating to Moravia, and Croatia, where Catholics at the end of the IX century disciples were persecuted Cyril and Methodius — prominent Orthodox educators, creators of the Slavic alphabet. Here she was eliminated along with Orthodoxy.
Russ, standing Orthodox power, absorbed and retained the tradition of Cyril and Methodius, developing a culture of their native language. Russian educators created an alphabet for the people, shall be attached to Orthodoxy: St.. Stephen of Perm-for Zyryan Komi, priest John Benjamin — for the Aleuts, they also together with the priest Demetrius Khitrov — for yakutov.Eti examples can easily be multiplied. Orthodoxy does not deprive the people and nations of the right to identity and to the knowledge of the Divine Truth, rejected the rigid uniformity in its Catholic version, as always appreciated the beauty and richness of the Lord created the world and remember the spirit of humanity. Miroutverzhdeniya idea, love, conservation and protection of all that surrounds us — nature, cultural values, good will towards all living things is always determined by the spirit of Orthodoxy.
Orthodox ascetics went to the nations to preach brotherhood and unity of the cathedral
Differently behaved Catholics, have approved the practice of the Crusades — the military-religious expeditions against the people who were outside of Catholicism. Who took a vow to go up arms against the "infidels" Vatican let sins and gave approval for the seizure of land and property in the conquered countries. In 1204, with the blessing of the Roman Curia Crusaders captured Constantinople, which was the center of the Orthodox world, subjected him to a savage robbery blasphemous insult the shrine, located in the Cathedral of St.. Sophia and other churches. At the same time the Catholic expansion was focused on land west of the Slavs and the Baltic states. Here Crusaders cruel and fanatical following the will of the Pope, and destroyed all those who did not express consent baptized in the Catholic rite. Were razed to the ground and Slavic tribes lyutichey bodrichey, many of Baltic tribes of Prussians. After performing the Catholic "mission" is almost gone Sorbs, was carved tribal aristocracy in lats and Estonians, and simple population was in bondage with the Teutonic Knights. In 1224, the Germans captured Russian city of St. George, founded by Yaroslav the Wise — all Orthodox population of the city was lost. Death threat by the Catholic West was well aware in Russia. Orthodox ancient Russians were ready for any sacrifice to protect their land and faith bestowed upon them by God. Put a limit on the Russian conquests of the Crusaders lands Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky, struck the Swedish invaders on the Neva River and the Teutons near Pskov. Spiritual freedom Russian people were saved.
Orthodoxy can not compromise on matters of faith, for his task from God — conservation and protection of the Truth. Jesus warned: "Know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 32-34). The western church shied away from this divine mission, tempted by the pursuit of fame and power, introducing new dogmas, stumbling out of the way of holiness and love of man, arrogating to itself the right to interfere in the affairs of the Orthodox Church. The claims of the papacy to the legal primacy of the local Churches were made in the V century, when Pope Boniface I said, "If anyone will break away from the Roman See, he must be expelled from the Christian religion." Application of the papacy at the sole dominion over the whole Church meant revision idea of catholicity. In Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, absolutist pretensions of the Roman bishop could cause a positive reaction, but in the dialogue with the Western Christian Orthodox Church showed tact and restraint in order to preserve the unity of the church and the practice of relying on the cathedral. However, the pope blocked the possibility of common dialogue with the Eastern Church, reinforcing the categorical nature of their claims to power. On the proposal of the Orthodox bishops together to understand the essence of discrepancies in Rome refusal, requiring submission to the pope. Natural step from the proclamation of the Byzantine Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch. This measure is a response papal absolutism, it does not undermine the spirit of the Orthodox cathedral, do not curtail the rights of the local Churches.
Christian dogma was used by the popes as an ideological tool of authoritarianism and subjugation of the whole Church, which they thought closed, a paramilitary structure, protected from the influence of the masses. Sobornost supplanted by caste. Pope was the play the role of God's deputy on earth. In the XIV century, Pope Boniface VIII issued a bull of his right to temporal power and the right to "punish the sins of" entire populations. Received the "official" sanction the principle of violence in matters of faith. Church thought was doomed to service the papal administration, was subjected to the influence of secularization and external legalism. Church conscience condemned to silence. Protection of the Gospel commandments in such circumstances retreated into the background.
The claim to exclusivity eventually gave rise to the dogma of papal infallibility. In the XVI century ideologue Catholic Cardinal Ballarmin declared: "The supreme pontiff in the literal and absolute sense over the universal Church." The Roman pontiffs demanded from his flock, including the secular rulers, divine honors. According to paragraph 9 of the so-called "Diktat" of Pope Gregory VII kings had to kiss the pope feet. In the eyes of the Orthodox it looked rollback to paganism defiance of the commandments: 'Do not make yourself an idol. "
Accumulated ideological differences between Orthodoxy and the Catholic scholasticism
Catholics, since the V century, began to openly deny the freedom of man's will and claim his ancestral sin. The salvation of the soul, they were treated as deliverance from the penalty of sin. Thus, the knowledge of God, communion with God the Father, to the fullness of life yuridizmom substituted for human relations with the Higher Power and the desire to avoid punishment for their sins. This tendency is explained by the emergence of indulgences — the remission of sins, at a rate that Orthodoxy was simply unthinkable. Depriving believers the freedom to choose between good and evil, Catholicism doomed them to the irresponsibility with respect to morality.
After the final schism in the Orthodox and Roman Catholicism in 1054, the Vatican began to increase hostility to the Orthodox world. In full it had to know the population of western Russia in the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. For Ukrainians, Belarusians and this period was marked by hardships associated with the fight for their religious freedom, for the purity of the Orthodox faith.
After the collapse of Kievan Rus remained religious, cultural and linguistic unity of the Rus.
It was maintained for centuries on the basis of common, ancient origin and faithfulness to the spirit of catholicity of the Orthodox Ukrainians and Belarusians called themselves "Russian" and their land — "Rus", only to flesh adding the name "White", "Low", "Red" , "Black." In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the West-Russian lands became part of the Russian-Lithuanian Principality. In this formation dominated Russian population, the official language was Russian Orthodoxy became generally accepted. However, after the Union of Krewo end of the XIV century, concluded between the Lithuanian dynasty and the Roman Catholic Poland, there was a crisis that brought Western Russia tragic consequences. No less severe stages of the history of western Russian steel Lublin and Brest Union, paving the way Polish-Catholic yoke of the Ukraine and Belarus. As the gain of the yoke was growing desire of Ukrainians and Belarusians to unite with the same faith and half-Russian.
From the time of Krevsk Union Catholic missionaries persuaded to abandon Russian Orthodoxy and "take mercy" of the Roman pontiff. But the papists have not considered the ideological firmness of the common people, clearly felt that — in the words of Russian philosopher Alexis Homjakova — "in matters of faith enforced unity is a lie, and enforced obedience is death." Neither the Polish crown, nor the Holy See have not managed to find the funds for a final commitment to scrapping the population of Western and Southern Russia the Orthodox faith. This commitment to, among other things, manifested in the allocation to the concept of "White Russia" sacred meaning associated primarily with Orthodoxy. It is noteworthy that the name originated in the XII century, with reference to the Vladimir-Suzdal, when Vladimir Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky required to publicly emphasize that it is the ruler of the land, to preserve the purity of the Orthodox faith. Later, Ivan III in a message to the Pope described himself as "the Great Prince of White Russia", by showing the title of the Vatican, that Russia does not need his "care."
Resistance zapadnorussov Polish-Catholic aggression contributed to their awareness of the presence of a kind of "rear" in the east, from the Orthodox Muscovy. The Fraternal location Ukrainians and Belorussians to the "Muscovites" could not even see the Catholic authorities. In the 1st half of the XVI century canon Gursky wrote that the population of western Russia "is inclined to move to the side of Moscow", the reasons why he called the "common language with Moscow, the common customs in common with the Moscow Patriarchate, the general hatred of the Catholic religion." Figuratively speaking, in those days, Belarusians and Ukrainians "body" were in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the "soul" was in Russia. Their resistance "lyaham" and "papezhnikam" varied forms and means, but never decays. Florentine union imposed by the papacy of Byzantium in a difficult political environment in Russia was rejected. Did not recognize her and Ruthenian population. Then the Vatican began painstaking preparations for the massive ideological attack directly against the Orthodox in Ukraine and Belarus. At the end of the XVI century, was proclaimed the Union of Brest. On the Russian lands appeared Uniate Church, which prevents the use of the Orthodox rite, but subordinate to the faithful the Holy See. In this view not publicized in the open on the subsequent calculation of the total okatolichenie Uniates. The union was of primarily political meaning associated with the displacement of the Orthodox Russian lands and the establishment there of the papal domination. Carried Jesuit tactics, supported by the principle of "By hook or by crook." Jesuits launched a sophisticated anti-Orthodox propaganda. They used the entire set of subversive methods — from capturing their hands on the education system to the destruction of Orthodox books.
Clever trick, however, is of little help Papists: in the consciousness of the Orthodox idea of the worship of the natural man, even tempt the title "God's deputy on earth," evoked disgust. Orthodox people saw the establishment of the papal perhaps supplant the Gospel, that the souls of Catholics were filled with pseudo-spiritual substitutes, leading away from the search for the grace of bogopoznavatelnogo labor dismember "earth" and "heaven." Live feelings were substituted literal adherence to dogma and formal rules to lose confidence in the world, for Latinism virtually ceased to aim at saving the souls of believers and recognized the evil part of God's program. All of these viruses are well felt Orthodox, heartfelt faith which endured heavy formalism and dogma.
The will to preserve the spiritual self-identity in the Ruthenians could not break
"Peace and harmony" in the papal version did not, and could not happen, because the tip of the Uniate Catholics and Orthodox have acted against the spirit of the Crusades, in the spirit of intolerance and hatred. In droves closed Orthodox monasteries and temples, of which the expelled monks and priests. Uniates seized even the Sofia cathedral church in Kiev, and in Pinsk Orthodox monastery was converted into a blasphemous tavern. In other monasteries Poles staged warehouses or animal pens. Those who are indignant outrage, waited repression.
Did not stop attempts by the promises of material and economic benefits to Catholicism and drag from western union to know. Many Russian princes prospect polonisation caused outrage. For example, against the dominance of the Catholic bravely fought Prince Constantine of Ostrog, defending the Orthodox Church in arms, helping her financially. But there were among the western Russian princes and boyars and those who for the sake of carnal goods departed from the faith of their fathers. Belonging to the Catholic faith made it possible to enter into power, which, in turn, provides for adoption of Polish gentry and borrowing cultural behavior patterns that differ arrogance of the common people. In the minds of the lower classes from now firmly established idea: "If you're Catholic, so — Pole if Orthodox, means — Russian." It is the common people, courageously overcoming suffering, performed great historic task — retained in the Ukraine and Belarus Orthodox Church under persecution and tyranny. Orthodox believers — artisans, merchants, peasants — tough robbed of their rights. For added social religious discrimination: the Polish gentry bought or captured Russian land, imposing ruthless exploitation and injustice of the local peasantry. Endure humiliation Orthodox were not going: a wave of uprisings in Minsk, Mogilev, Polotsk, Vitebsk, Orsha, Lutsk, Lviv, Kyiv, Poltava, etc. Pope, rejecting peace games, appealed to the Polish king, "Let that be cursed who keeps his sword from blood Let heresy feels that it has no mercy! ". Poles bloody ways dealt with the rebels Orthodox population, but could not stop the resistance. Influence on the situation and the fact that the voice of the Russian Orthodox Church has become much more audible after the establishment of the Patriarchate in it in 1589, since it is much more active unfolded outreach of the Church. In the years 1591-1592 in Ukraine broke out anti-Polish uprising led by Ataman Zaporozhye Kosinski, enlisted the help of the Moscow Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich. Due to the delay of this aid the rebellion was suppressed. Kosinski was captured and put to an agonizing death — his immured in the monastery walls. In the years 1594-1596 in Ukraine flared new Cossack rebellion. It was headed Nalivayko. Supported by peasants and townspeople, the Cossacks took Vinnitsa, Kremenets, Luck, turned in Belarus, where Polish troops expelled from Pinsk, Bobruisk and Mogilev. This rebellion took a big swing, involving tens of thousands of Ukrainians and Belarusians, but it is without the support of Russia was doomed to failure. Nalivayko was treacherously captured, quartered and beheaded.
At the beginning of the XVII century "appetite" of the Catholic Poland spread to Russia. Troubles began here, the main reason for which the intervention began Poles internal Russian affairs — especially in the dynastic question — and large-scale subversive activities in the Russian territory of the Jesuits. Poland and the Vatican who was standing behind her bet on the pretenders, hoping with their help okatolichit Russia. Impostors were people who refused to name received at baptism, from their guardian angels, from the respect of the people. They were renegades who had departed from God, violated the principle of the Orthodox to be "rather than to seem." Their finale was inevitably sad.
Having failed in their calculations regarding impostors, Poland against Russia began direct military aggression, seeking to impose a Russian pretender to the throne — Prince Ladislas. Against Catholics on Russian kingdom strongly opposed Hermogenes Patriarch of All Russia. He called on the Orthodox stand up and fight against the invaders. His appeal was heard: the militia, collected Nizhny Novgorod churchwarden Kozma Minin and headed Suzdal prince Dmitry Pozharsky, expelled the marauding invaders.
After the failure of the Catholic Church in Russia has doubled its offensive efforts in Belarus and Ukraine. Orthodoxy there was in fact illegal. Ousted from office Russian language. Polish Parliament decreed: "The clerk shall not in Russian, and Polish-write." The masses of Ukrainians and Belarusians, trying to get rid of the national-religious oppression, went to Russia. Continued endless civil unrest caused by the arbitrariness of the Polish nobility and the Catholic Church. Growing number of Zaporizhzhya Cossacks, who spoke in defense of Orthodoxy. Prohibition against the Orthodox Church strongly fought Zaporozhye Hetman Petro Sagaydachny. In 1620, he provided security to come to Kiev Patriarch Theophanes of Jerusalem, restore the Metropolitan of Kiev. At this time, a critical role in opposing the expansion of the Catholic and Orthodox brotherhoods have played a major monasteries. Especially — the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Joint efforts of the monasteries and fraternities — Kiev, Lviv, Lutsk, Vilnius — created by well-established schools of theology that manufactured educated defenders of Orthodoxy, who led a vigorous preaching and Orthodox books published. Particularly high level of development reached Kiev school from which the Metropolitan of Kyiv Petro Mohyla formed Theological Academy. The Brotherhood took under his protection of Orthodox churches and monasteries.
In the spring of 1648 in Ukraine broke out big anti-Polish uprising led by Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and quickly moved into the territory of Belarus and grew into a religious war of liberation against Catholic Poland. Gentry the government intends to drown in the blood of the rebels. There was a threat of this genocide. The Cossacks and the citizens, taking into account the experience of previous uprisings, have decided to join forces with Russian forces. Recognizing their right, Khmelnitsky appealed to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich with a request to the same faith Ukraine to the Russian state. But the Russian tsar did not take unilateral decisions, relying on the will of the people of the cathedral, its ability to historical creativity. In 1653 the Zemsky Sobor decided to reunification with Ukraine, Russia, and in January 1654 the national assembly in Pereyaslavl virtually unanimously voted for the transition of Ukraine under the protection of "the king of the East, the Orthodox." These decisions show brotherly vzaimoprityazhenie closely related peoples understanding of the continuity of their historical destiny. Addition of forces in the fight against the excesses of the Catholic gentry and yielded results: Eastern Ukraine with Kiev was liberated. It was an important victory.
Began a long-awaited unification of ancient territories
This process lasted until the end of XVIII century. Much of that time had to undergo Orthodox in Belarus and Western Ukraine. Their persecution by the Polish authorities did not stop. In 1766 the Polish Sejm decided to punish those who have moved from Catholicism to another religion, and passed a law declaring "enemy of the state of anyone who dares to say it at the Diet in favor of the infidels." Discrimination Orthodoxy has led to the fact that in the diocese of Belarus to the middle of XVII century have only 130 Orthodox churches and 164 temples were turned into Uniate. Belarusians and Ukrainians every year it became increasingly clear that to maintain its national and historical being, they will be able to just outside the Commonwealth, by relying on the General Russian religious, cultural and political values. Being part of a unified Russian state meant for them to return to spiritual freedom, the opportunity to develop their culture, promoted the economic and socio-political development.
In 1839, at the head of the Uniate Church supporters stood out from under papal jurisdiction. They are headed by Bishop Joseph Semashko, take the initiative to disengagement with the Catholic Uniate Church. At the urging of and with the full support of almost the population of Belarus and Right-Bank Ukraine Polotsk Uniate church council decided to connect the Uniate Church western Russian regions with the Russian Orthodox Church. One and a half million former Uniate voluntarily wish to join the purity of Orthodoxy. At a memorial medal, embossed in honor of the Union of Brest liquidation, coined the words: "sloughed Violence (1596), vozsoedineny Love (1839)." The claims of the papacy to rule over the minds and souls of most Ukrainians and Belarusians (except for residents of Galicia, captured Austria) proved illusory. Historical justice has been restored. It is rightly said in the Gospel: "endures to the end shall be saved."
For what have suffered and fought, died Orthodox Belarusians and Ukrainians during the Polish-Catholic oppression? First of all, for the right to own, not imposed by someone spiritual world, for the right to its own, and not imposed by history. Care of their descendants from the Orthodox tradition would mean that the age-old struggle was in vain. Today's bag of tricks "spiritual inquisitors" in Belarus and Eastern Ukraine until they produce the expected results. Experience of defending orthodox traditions Belarusians and Ukrainians took on for ages. This experience laid back in the days of St. Vladimir Monomakh, Mstislav the Great, Cyril of Turov, Euphrosyne of Polotsk, raises his penance Orthodox culture of Russia. Today, the Orthodox churches of Kiev and Kharkov, Minsk and Brest filled with people praying for the same ideals for which prayed old Russian saints. These ideals of the cathedral — one faith, one Orthodox Church, unified homeland.