Orthodox Church in danger... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

The most dangerous consequence of the eventual implementation of the provisions of the new political program of the PSRM is the undermining of the social positions of the most respected noncommercial organization of the country – the Orthodox Church of Moldova...”
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A half-truth is a whole lie

Despite the poverty experienced by the Republic of Moldova, the public budget allocates tens of millions of lei for financing political parties that are represented in the electable bodies of the state. Opinion polls show the parties are institutions with the lowest trust rating that oscillates around 10%. Out of naivety, it is believed that the parties, which are financed with budget funds in the Republic of Moldova, can contribute to the conception, expression and realization of the people’s political will. Regrettably, things stand inversely – the parties and notable members of these represent the main source of confusion and illegality in society.

Currently, the main hotbed of confusion among the citizens is the largest party in the country – the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM). After the public approach against the secrecy set inside the PSRM, in a hurry, the press affiliated to it published contradictory information about the party’s new political program. This way, in one case it is asserted that the PSRM undertook to promote the pro-Western course in the foreign policy, while in other cases that it will promote the pro-Eastern course (see here) etc. The confusion became even more pronounced owing to the assertion that the new program of the PSRM was adopted successively by two party bodies – the Congress and the party’s National Council on December 30, 2020 and, respectively, in a month, on January 30, 2021. It is incredible, against the statutory norms, that the main work document of the party – the political program adopted by the supreme body – the Congress - can later be adopted by an inferior body – the National Council. It is also strange that the leader of the PSRM Igor Dodon told the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, on January 21, 2021, which is between the meetings of the Conges and the Council, about the intention to adopt a new political program without informing him that this had been already adopted by the congress. The conclusion is that the PSRM misinformed its own members about the double adoption of the new political program with the aim of hiding the violations of the statutory provisions.   

It could be believed that the aforementioned details are minor and can be overlooked, but this is not so as the adoption of the programmatic documents necessitates transparency and debates on them, especially because the PSRM obtains tens of millions of lei from the public budget. Nevertheless, we see that the party’s leaders are inclined to ignore the statutory norms and to misinform the own party members and the citizens of the whole country when they issue policy documents and make electoral promises that they easily ignore. Currently, things worsen further as the new program of the PSRM can cause chaos on the political arena and destabilize the situation in the country.

When the left does not know what the right does...

Those who were intrigued by the method of adopting the new political program of the PSRM, particularly by its content, will be surprised to learn that the text of the document cannot be easily found on the official website of the PSRM, where there is placed the old program adopted in 2014. The new program can be found through a particular website, being posted in a hurry in over a month of its adoption, as if at the congress of December 30, 2020. The new program of the PSRM repeats most of the programmatic theses of the party, but contains several original moments, like these ones:

  • The PSRM renounces the democratic socialism doctrine in favor of the social conservatism ideology. So, the PSRM left the political left in favor of the right. The metamorphosis definitely occurred under the influence of the agreement between the PSRM and the ruling party of Russia – “United Russia”, which shares the ideology of the Russian-type social conservatism. The given ideology is periodically subject to revision so as to support the political course of President Vladimir Putin. The last adjustment of the social conservatism shared by “Yedinaya Rossiya” took place under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can presume that the change of the PSRM’s ideology has the same cause and this can explain the pleading by the PSRM leader in favor of vaccination only with the Russian preparation Sputnik-V;     
  • The PSRM joins the idea of “A United Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok” that was repeatedly proposed by the great state leaders. Evidently, not only the political, but also the foreign policy ideology of the PSRM is adjusted to the preferences of Vladimir Putin. The PSRM admits that even if it was against the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, the document played a favorable role in developing the relations between Moldova and the European Union and the provision of the visa-free regime with EU countries to Moldova;
  • The PSRM pleads for restoring the implementation of the Memorandum of 1997 “About the principles of normalizing the relations between the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria” (“Primakov Memorandum”). This way, the PSRM renounced the idea of federalizing the Republic of Moldova, which had been constantly promoted since 2013, in favor of the idea of constituting the common state, which is a confederation of two subjects – the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria. It should be noted that the Primakov Memorandum does not envisions the participation by the EU and the U.S. in the settlement process, insisting expressly (Article 3) that “Transnistria has the right to establish and maintain independently international contacts in the economic, scientific, technical, cultural and other areas – with the consent of the parties”;
  • The PSRM pleads for banning the LGBT propaganda. The achievement of this objective necessitates the censuring of the work of the great Russian writer Alexandr Pushkin, who wrote an epigram about the nontraditional orientation of one of the founders of the Russian conservative current, Count Sergey Uvarov, author of the triad Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality!;     
  • The PSRM is for the limitation of the influence of foreign agents on the country’s policy. By setting this programmatic goal, the PSRM encroaches on the prestige of the most respected (trusted by 80% of the citizens) noncommercial organization of the country – Orthodox Church of Moldova that is canonically subordinated to the Patriarchate of Moscow. There are multiple studies and confirmations of the control of the Russian Church by the tsarist administration during 200 years and then the stay for 70 years under the control of the Soviet intelligence services. Now, there are proofs of the involvement of the Church in the political games of the Kremlin, with disastrous consequences for the unity of the Orthodox Christians.

Conclusions

The violation of the statutory norms, camouflaging of the goals, saying of half-truths drastically undermine the people’s confidence in political parties whose mission is to promote representatives to the most important public posts. This refers not only to the PSRM, which, after dominating the political arena for a period, started to drift, but also to the other political parties of the Republic of Moldova.

The announcing of the change of the PSRM’s ideology implies major risks to the partly. The lack of public debates on the PSRM’s switch from the political left to the right can generate major confusion among the voters with left visions that were formed throughout life. It is inexplicable why the party’s political orientation was changed non-transparently, the party’s administration being unable to explain the repeated deviations from the statutory norms in the process of adopting the new political program. 

The confusion created by the PSRM’s administration by the adoption of the new political program leaves the party without potential political partners. What is curios is that the leader of the PSRM Igor Dodon on January 20, 2021, made a call to the parties of the left: let’s unite the left and form a common front, but in only several days the PSRM embraced a political ideology of the right. In such conditions, it would be interesting to see the reaction of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) that is led by Vladimir Voronin, or of the Civic Congress founded by Mark Tkachuk to the doctrinaire switch of the PSRM.

The most dangerous consequence of the eventual implementation of the provisions of the new political program of the PSRM is the undermining of the social positions of the most respected noncommercial organization of the country – the Orthodox Church of Moldova. It is unimaginable that serious discussions about the foreign agents can be avoided without these referring first of all to the Metropolitan Church of Moldova that is subordinated to the Patriarchate of Moscow. It is well-known that the last, during approximately 300 years, has been subject to control on the part of the state bodies of Russia with a major political impact. This kind of discussions risk irreparably affecting the Church’s image that should be defended, as the leaders of the PSRM maintain.

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