News from the East


There are mor than 10,000 religious denominations within the Christian religion.  One pretty large denomination is meeting this week to elect a patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.  About 700 hundred Russian Orthodox clergy, monks and lay people convened today in local council to start the process of selecting a new patriarch from the shortlist. 


The fear that in a world of 6 billion people, soon on the way to 7 billion, that the narrative was being diluted.  By the too well educated who all wanted great jobs.  Who wanted their own cars.  By too many religions.  Who wanted their own vehicles.  By the fight over earthly power and influence. 


According to the Moscow Times, in an interview published in the Trud newspaper yesterday, “Metropolitan Kirill said, ‘The position of the Russian Orthodox Church with regard to the possibility of a meeting between its patriarch and the Catholic pope remains unchanged.  A meeting between the patriarch and the pope will become possible only when there are conclusive signs of real and positive progress on issues which for a long time have been problematic for our relations.’   Kirill, 62, is a shrewd political operator, observers say, who has been careful not to appear too liberal for fear of alienating traditionalists in the church whose support he may need to win election as patriarch.   He does have close contacts with other Christian denominations.  Kirill won 97 votes at a first round of voting in the church’s Council of Bishops on Sunday.  


“Shortlisted with two other senior clergymen, Metropolitan Kirill is viewed as the candidate most open to contacts with the Vatican.  The next head of the Russian Orthodox Church will only meet the Roman Catholic pope if tensions between the two faiths are resolved, Kirill said. 


“The new patriarch will lead a church of about 165 million believers worldwide and determine whether to repair ties with the Catholic Church that have been strained since a schism in 1054 split Christianity into eastern and western branches.  The main obstacle to better relations between the two churches is the Russian charge that Rome has been trying to convert Orthodox believers to Catholicism since the end of communism, an allegation the Vatican denies. 


“Patriarch Alexy II, who died last month, resisted meetings with two successive pontiffs.  But some scholars of religion have predicted that Kirill, who met Pope Benedict in the Vatican two years ago, could be more open to the idea.  But Metropolitan Kirill said in a newspaper interview that the church’s position would not change.” 


If there was no real poverty, you could give up working hard.  More of us were fearing poverty this year. 


Without fear, you have no reason to work hard.  Without a sense of fear, you have no reason to find courage, for that matter.  Fear was the enzyme in the survival of the fittest.  Fear of hunger.  Fear of cold. 


Pessimism and fear:  fear of what?  Sometime it was the unknown that was the great motivator.  Fear of evil.  The temptations.  The loss of focus. 


Fear motivates us to work hard.  If there was no Devil, there would be no need to work hard at fighting crime.  Did anyone ever doubt the existence of evil?  And that those who were in search for the Truth were in a battle with evil every day?

There was a lot of politics with any religion.  And a lot of religion these day with any politics.   



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