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"No one man, or group of men, can himself speak for the Church of Christ. It is nonetheless possible to speak from within the Church, in conformity with Orthodox tradition; and it is this that we shall attempt to do." Fr. Seraphim Rose Orthodox Word #1 Jan-Feb 1965 p. 17
Dzershinsky, Stalin, and St. John Maximovitch?
Russian Orthodox Church protests monument to KGB founder (Feature)
Moscow - The Russian Orthodox Church said it was 'appalled' Monday by a proposal to set again in front of the secret service headquarters in central Moscow the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka, the forerunner to the infamous Soviet era secret service agency KGB.
When the statue of the man known as Iron Felix was uprooted with the end of communism in 1991, it was for many a sign that the repression he sponsored was forever gone.
Human rights activists now see the move to reinstate Dzerzhinsky as an indication of the bent of Russian politics back towards authoritarianism under the continuing influence of former president and ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin.
The country's Orthodox Church in 2001 canonized thousands of 'New Martyrs and Confessors Russia,' men of the cloth and laity who were victims of Soviet repressions enacted by the KGB and by the brutal methods invented by the first Chekist.
'Dzerzhinsky is the demonic enemy of Russian Orthodox Church whose hands are steeped in blood of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. The rehabilitation of Dzerzhinsky is contrary to the authorities' course for the revival of great Russia,' the Union of Orthodox Believers said in a statement Monday.
The push to raise the statue anew came from the Union of Veterans of State Security, who were angered that Dzerzhinsky's effigy was lying in ruins outside Moscow.
Russia's lower house of parliament last week applauded the proposal by Moscow's former prosecutor general to reinstate the statue with lawmakers seemingly split over whether the move was meant to honour Dzerzhinsky, to recognize history or to serve as a warning of actions that must not be repeated.
The death last month of author and Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who worked tirelessly to record the crimes within communist prison camps, highlighted how difficult it has been for Russia to face its history.
No national museum exists to commemorate the victims of the Soviet Gulag concentration camps. In the place were the Dzerzhinsky statue once stood and where he would be re-erected now stands a stone from one of the Gulag Islands, about which Solzhenitsyn wrote.
But the Orthodox Church has found a bargaining chip that it hopes will prevent Dzerzhinsky's reappearance.
The church, which has grown close to the state under Putin, has blessed many branches of Russian officialdom, including the Defence Ministry's division in charge of the storage and upkeep of Russia's nuclear arsenal.
Claiming that the bid to return the statue is retaliation for the secret services not having been awarded its own protector saint, the Orthodox Union on Monday suggested St Prince Alexander Nevsky become the patron saint of Russia's FSB secret services.
His slogan would be: 'The one who comes to us with the sword shall perish by the sword,' it said.
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St John of San-Francisco can be appointed Patron of the Branch of the KGB
The Union of Orthodox Citizens of Russia suggested to appoint St John of San-Francisco patron of Intelligent Service of Russian Federation. Their official statement was published on September 25 by "Interfax-Religion", the edition unofficially affiliated with the Department of External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate. It sounds like a mockery, considering the attitude of St.John to KGB and his actions to save Russian people in China from the soviets.
The modern Intelligent Service of Russia was formed in 1991 after KGB was divided into two brunches. On of the brunches is Intelligent Service of Russian Federation, another one is presently called FSB (Federal Service of Security). St Alexander Nevsky was suggested as patron of FSB.
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