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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

Mr. & Mrs. RF-MP

Widely striding Orthodox Church 
Billions are spent on the implementation of the messianic project "Russian world". Land in the center of Paris for 60 million euros - an ordinary purchase. And, God willing, not the last 

1. Quai Branly, Building 1 (Office of "Meteo France" - see photo below). At this point, have to build a cathedral and the seminary of the ROC. 2. Palace of Alma, in the possession of the President of France. 3. Eiffel Tower [photo]

Little more than a dozen years ago, Russia's society and heatedly discuss whether to spend billions to build the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, when millions of Russians live in poverty. New "spiritual" initiative of the Russian authorities in terms of their social responsibility to explain as hard. Billions of rubles Russian taxpayers are directed to purchase a prestigious area near the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, and billions more will be spent on the construction there of the cathedral and the seminary RPTsMP. Ways of spiritual rebirth of our homeland are increasingly winding ... 

Eiffel Tower reflected in the Russian domes 

General Directorate of State budget of the Ministry of Finance of France officially announced Feb. 8 it has completed the sale of tasty plot of government property in the heart of Paris. The area office is located national company "Meteo France, moving to a new location. The competition to sell the site was in an extensive campaign for the sale of state property, by which the French authorities intend to cover part of the budget deficit, which was formed through the fault of the global economic crisis. The campaign of state institutions is displayed in the suburbs of Paris, where real estate is inexpensive, and their offices in the city center are sold to investors, mostly foreign. Can not say that Russia has suffered from the crisis less than France, but it is our country in the face of the administration of President has won the tender for the purchase of office "Meteo France". 

Its official address - Quai Branly, 1. This is exactly halfway between the Eiffel Tower (to her about a kilometer) and the House of Disabled, where Napoleon rests. Directly in front of Russia's new ownership - Alma bridge, built by Napoleon III in memory of the victory over Russia in the Crimean War, and the courtyard area bordered by Alma palace at the disposal of the French President. Apart from Russia at a reserved area in the historical heart of Paris, claimed by Japan, which wanted to build an embassy and a hotel, and Saudi Arabia, which is famous for his habit of offering different auctions maximum price. But Russia, according to the Ministry of Budget, suggested that even more - and won. High transaction cost of bargaining parties immediately declared a "commercial secret" and the Parisian real estate experts estimate it at least 60 million euros (about 2.5 billion rubles). 

But the most interesting in this deal - the purpose for which administration of the president's budget funds bought "a piece of Paris in two steps from the Eiffel Tower. According to the press secretary of President Viktor Hrekova manager, on the site will be built cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate (ROC-MP), Sunday school and other church objects. And the president of the International Fund for Unity of Orthodox Peoples close to the Kremlin, Valery Alekseev explains that the move here is the "missionary seminary" RPTsMP, opened last fall in a suburb of Paris. Ownership of land and buildings on it will be reserved for Russia, which give all this property for uncompensated use of the ROC MP. 

Not surprisingly, the French press grumbles about the opacity of the deal - after all this press is accustomed to associate Russia with mafia money and crime. As noted by Le Monde, in this case, only compounded suspicions because the main interested party transaction is a Parisian office (Diocese of Korsun) RPTsMP - religious organizations, traditional calling France's attitude, especially among their own, the Russian Orthodox. To date, the Diocese of Korsun, uniting a dozen parishes, did not have any significant ecclesiastical buildings in France. Building a new cathedral to be built in the style of hi-tech, but always with the golden domes, which should significantly enrich the familiar image of the center of Paris with the Eiffel Tower as the architectural centerpiece. However, there are possible alternatives. After all, Russia took over the property once the three buildings, one of which had already decided to demolish. In the near future, says managing the affairs of President Vladimir Kozhin, will be declared an international design competition of the spiritual center of Russia in Paris, with the participation of Russia and French architects. Ready objects planned to deliver in 2012, and they will cost our country more in a few billion. But, as the pride for their country chairman of the society "Radonezh Eugene Nikiforov:" Russia never on such image-making purchases abroad are not stingy ... Orthodox Center in Paris, at a level of such money can only offer Russia. 

Russian against Russia? 

Meanwhile, the majority of Russian living in France (mostly the descendants of Russian immigrants), do not recognize the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. Back in 1920-1930-s. In order to preserve the democratic foundations of church life, approved by the All Local Council 1917-1918. And protesting against the usurpation of power in patriarchy protege GPU Sergius (Stragorodsky), they passed under the control of Constantinople (Ecumenical) patriarchy - the first in honor of the local Orthodox church in the world. Patriarch of Constantinople, established a special Russian Archdiocese in the center of Paris, at the Church of St.. Alexander Nevsky on Rue Daru, built in XIX century. 

In 1945-1946. the newly established Moscow Patriarchate attempted to subdue the church on the Rue Daru and other Russian parishes in France, as "Stalin's Metropolitan Nikolai (JArushevich) came to France to agitate the emigrants to return home. But after France began before the news reaches the plight of returnees (almost all of them perished in Stalin's camps), the question of future relations with the Moscow Patriarchate had been resolved once and for all. Since then, the ROC MP was in France a few communities enjoy the distrust of the authorities and the Russian Archdiocese, which unites dozens of parishes, remained in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Large convent in the province Provemont, the historic temple at Cannes and several other churches in France belonged to the Russian Church Abroad, is also independent from Moscow. This independence of the majority of them remains to this day. 

Modern France a wave of new Russian immigrants, who are especially noticeable in the south, on the Cote d'Azur. Hardly their reputation and the specific manner strengthen Russia's prestige in the eyes of the French. However, it is based on "new Russian French" RPTsMP began to develop its structure in France, forming several "parallel" parishes. Indicative is the story of the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Nice, which is "parallel" coming RPTsMP trying to deprive the Russian Archdiocese Ecumenical Patriarchate for more than ten years. In late January, Russia won a lawsuit from the parishioners of the Archdiocese, to any dissentient move in ROC MP. As stated in an interview with U.S. Weekly «Time» dean, Archpriest John, "Putin's Moscow uses Orthodox shrines and authority of the Russian Orthodox Church to satisfy its imperial ambitions ... In his plans for Russia's power rests on the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church and, in turn, helps the church to return control over foreign arrivals. Parishioners of the Cathedral in Nice, however, continue to struggle, and recently joined the influential French association of owners of securities Russia Empire - AFIPER, which is sent to court proceedings to recover debts from Russia totaling some 100 billion euros. The logic of the plaintiffs is simple: just now the French court recognizes RF successor Russia Empire and for this reason "returns" to her former property empire, the same court would be forced to call on Russia and meet credit obligations of the Russia Empire. AFIPER unites more than 300 thousand holders of Russian securities, and now legitimately require the arrest of St. Nicholas Cathedral. The Association has good reason to extend their claims and to a new site acquired by Russia in the center of Paris ... 

We will build our Russian world construct ... 

As the deputy. Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Abbot Philip (Ryabykh), "a new page in the history of relations between Russia and France began with the symbolic buildings. In March, starts the Year of Russia in France, which, according to church leadership, and contributed to a favorable solution to the question about the site in Paris. Moreover, there is speculation that the French authorities pretty scared by the prospect of building in the downtown campus of Saudi Arabia ... 

However, neither the church nor the Kremlin did not hide the fact that expensive acquisition has mainly political, "branding" rather than spiritual goals. In Paris, there are 10 Orthodox churches of different national traditions, including 4 Russian. The construction of a new cathedral on the Quai Branly aims to adopt the absolute dominance of France is among the Orthodox Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church to become a visible manifestation of the messianic project "Russian World", which many say Prime Minister Putin and Patriarch Cyril. The essence of the project - in a more active use of the opportunities the church to promote the foreign policy interests of Russia and neutralization "antirossiyskih" centers among the Russian emigration, and in general in the Orthodox world. The main success of this project was the acquisition in 2007 of the Moscow Patriarchate independent until the Russian Church Abroad (although about half of the parishes "reunification" and did not recognize). Now on the agenda - the neutralization also independent of Moscow, the Russian Archdiocese in Paris. 

After a few years ago by the then Metropolitan Kirill (Gundyaeva) RPTsMP became actively cooperate with Russia's Foreign Ministry, she was presented, sometimes with the use of force, the Russian church in Biarritz (France), Bari (Italy), Hebron and Jericho ( Palestine), Ottawa (Canada), previously found in other jurisdictions. With the help of state structures Patriarchate bought an entire block in Amsterdam, The Land of Rimini, gained control over several sites in Jerusalem. Formal agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROC MP foresees the opening of Orthodox churches in foreign diplomatic missions in our country that is being actively implemented in practice. And this, moreover, that Russia - a secular state, and its diplomats are not required to be a man Orthodox. However, on opening, for example, mosques or synagogues in the Russian diplomatic missions abroad can not hear anything. In practice, Russia's authorities have RPTsMP such protectionism, some do not have power, say, Britain or Denmark churches in their countries, officially proclaimed by the state. Contrary to all kinds Constitutional Declaration, the Moscow Patriarchate has in fact not only became the state church of Russia, but has merged with its administrative structure, with the state budget - so much so that one is not surprised by the budget allocation of billions of rubles for the construction of confessional object of this religious organization in distant Paris. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of rural churches in Russia continue to be destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of parishioners RPTsMP - live in poverty. And no "the restitution of church property" will not help them. The system of the highest ecclesiastical authority, was formed back in Stalin's, interacting with Putin's "vertical" power of secular, inevitably leads to the fact that "social responsibility" of the church becomes a "liability" to the Kremlin, which routinely examines RPTsMP an obedient instrument of its foreign and domestic policy . 

Editor. While respecting the selfless work of Patriarch Cyril, his serious moral evaluation of Stalinism, to attempts to mitigate the relationship between Russia, Ukraine and Georgia, we are ready to give newspaper space to publish the terms of the ROC. I would like to clarify the meaning of expensive acquisitions (and the expense of the budget, and the expense of the Patriarchate) in circumstances where the church could help even very many of his parishioners. Still, the country's 1 million homeless, 700 thousand orphans, and the majority of nursing homes in a terrible state ... It is known that the church helps many, but is there any limit? By the time of signing of this issue by the representatives of the ROC did not find an opportunity to respond to the questions by Novaya Gazeta. 

Alexander Soldatov