About miracles and winter holidays... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

The participants in that meeting of President Voronin with the clergy also told about the enigmatic smile of Metropolitan Bishop Vladimir when the Communist leader said what he said. Despite the somehow embarrassing situation, one of the most impressionable clerics addressed Voronin: “You are our father and we will act as you tell us. We are the ship and you are the helmsman of our ship.” The Communist leader's reply was magisterial: "Our helmsman is Vladyka Vladimir because he served in the navy"...

Collapse of the USSR immediately after formalization of Christmas

In the whirlwind of winter holidays, it is useful to take some breaks to meditate on their meaning. Usually, on the eve of the holidays, the results of the departing year are summed up and plans for the coming year are made. From this perspective, it was interesting to follow the statements of officials, leaders of political parties and press offices of parties. From all the celebrations occasioned by the holidays, those staged by the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) stood out as the festivities for this were full of sadness. The proof of sadness and even despair is that on New Year’s Eve, the PCRM found nothing more useful than to commemorate  the 101st anniversary  of the defunct USSR, accompanied by curses and philippics against the politicians who organized the burial of the Soviet empire.

Normally, it seemed enough to commemorate  the centenary of the USSR in 2022, when it was demonstrated that practically no one cares about the defunct red empire anymore, including about the blood of the millions of victims caused by this. The nostalgic Communists showed their impotence when they set the goal of rebuilding the USSR: “One hundred years after the signing of the Treaty on the creation of the USSR... we make the historic choice - the revival of a new Soviet federation of truly independent republics on a voluntary basis...” In fact, the whole revolutionary elan of the nostalgics was limited to organizing commemorative automobile rallies. That’s all the Communists can do. It is true that efforts to rebuild the empire continue through the war waged by Putin’s regime against Ukraine. So, not at all voluntarily. But this attempt no longer has anything in common with Marxist-Leninist ideology, the communist phase being regarded as a passing stage in Russia’s imperial history.

But let’s return to the winter holidays, which turned out to be truly miraculous and not only once. For example, no one could have imagined that on December 25, 1979, the beginning of the end of the USSR would begin. The entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan to spread communism in that country led to the international isolation of the Soviet empire, demonstrating that the feet of the Soviet colossus are made of clay. Also, miraculously, just 12 years later, on December 25, 1991, on Christmas Day according to the new style, the first and last president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, resigned, ending the existence of the USSR. Isn’t it a miracle that the beginning of the end and the actual end coincide? Especially because everything happened in exactly 12 years – a figure that coincides with the number of Jesus Christs’ apostles, on Christmas Day, immediately after the winter solstice, when Light conquers Darkness!

So, miracles happen and we just need to observe and record them, especially when they are links in the chain. Indeed, the USSR came to an end the year Christmas was officially celebrated for the first time in the USSR. It happened after the decision taken by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) on December 27, 1990 to declare January 7 (old-style Christmas Day) a nonworking day: “In connection with the request of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy and out of respect for the religious feelings of the faithful, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR decides:  Declaration of January 7 (Nativity) a nonworking day”. But December 27, 1990, when this decision was adopted, is also part of the chain of miraculous data. At that time, the Day of rescuers was also formalized. Enigmatically, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR even played the role of savior of mankind from the evil empire, declaring Russia’s sovereignty on June 12, 1990, and kicking off  the parade of sovereignties, followed by the adoption of the most important decisions that led to the dissolution of the USSR.

With party card at heart and the cross on the belly?

One might say that the chronology of the abovementioned events, qualified as miracles, is just a mere coincidence of dates, mixed with a numerological game. We will not dispute this, respecting everyone’s right to opinion, but we will mention that miracles proved their effectiveness when hordes of Communist Party members, who by definition were militant atheists, instantly became faithful. And this is a real miracle that no one, but absolutely no one, can dispute! The conversion of atheists into faithful was an extremely curious process. It is enough to remember, for example, the statements of the leader of the Communists of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, who stated that: “The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is the party of scientific communism and, therefore, of scientific atheism, not of militant atheism.” Here is a sample of communist principledness, which perfectly matches the new imperialist concept of Russkii Mir, with the Russian Orthodox Church as its basic pillar!

For us, those from the Republic of Moldova, the most eloquent example of communist conformism is the transformation of PCRM leader Vladimir Voronin into a defender of the Orthodox Church. Belief in God is something very intimate and we cannot doubt that human beings, under the pressure of circumstances, can become truly faithful. However, flirting with the Church is repulsive because of hypocrisy. Of course, the actions and statements of the PCRM leader, when he held the office of President of the Republic of Moldova, leave a strange feeling of expectation of something similar to the miracle of the Transfiguration and the persistent doubt that you are witnessing an act of desecration. Let’s take, for example, Voronin’s behavior after the campaign prior to the general local elections of July 2007, which were lost by the PCRM.

During a visit to St. Nicholas Monastery in Condrița, in the presence of the Metropolitan Bishop, archbishops and priests, President Voronin made some extremely relevant statements: “There are many similarities between communist ideology and Christian doctrine and, in our opinion, of Communists, Jesus Christ was the first Communist... The Communist Party of Moldova today is the only party that has always helped the Orthodox Church, and today’s Communists, in general, are not those who persecuted the Church, but entirely different Communists... Nowhere – either in the Old or in the New Testament – will you find anything bad about the Communists”. It is a sample of true blasphemy, camouflaged with a kind of communist humor to hide congenital sins – revisionism and conformism. This whole tirade ended with an extremely pragmatic exhortation: “The priests, if they want to stay in the Metropolitan Church of Moldova, have no choice but to vote for the Communists”. The last remark was made after comparing the de facto alliance between the PCRM and the Moldovan Metropolitan Church of the Russian Orthodox Church with the alleged cooperation between opposition parties and the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church of the Romanian Patriarchate.

The participants in that meeting of President Voronin with the clergy also told about the enigmatic smile of Metropolitan Bishop Vladimir when the Communist leader said what he said. Despite the somehow embarrassing situation, one of the most impressionable clerics addressed Voronin: “You are our father and we will act as you tell us. We are the ship and you are the helmsman of our ship.” The Communist leader's reply was magisterial: “Our helmsman is Vladyka Vladimir because he served in the navy.”

This is the physiognomy of the current Moldovan Communists, who carry their party card at their hearts and the cross on their bellies crammed with gastronomic delicacies. It is curious that on the day of Vladimir Voronin’s meeting with Moldovan clerics there was also the consecration of a church at a center for special operations of Russia’s FSB. We see that not only the Communists become religious, but also secret agents of the former KGB, who were the main tool for persecuting the Church. Probably, this is how the accretion of interests for the sake of building the Russian World takes place.

The truth will set you free…

Miracles happened not only in the Soviet and post-Soviet past, to which we have already referred, but even more recently, in 2023. The publication of Metropolitan Bishop Vladimir’s letter to Patriarch Kirill can be qualified only as a miracle. The given letter is full of truths, which are practically indisputable. The question that arises is, why have truths been hidden for so long? In fact, we know the answer to this question. We found it out about 15 years ago, after the mentioned meeting of the PCRM leader with clerics, where the latter agreed to embark the ships of the Communist helmsmen. Curiously, however, the high clerics didn’t have the courage to remind the Communist leader who had engaged them in Communist political projects of the Savior’s words in direct speech (John 8:32):“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

It’s true that after the highlighting of the truths from the Metropolitan Bishop’s letter, Moldova started a process of reorienting a number of priests from the Metropolitan Church of Moldova to that of Bessarabia so as to no longer serve the interests of Russian imperialism, as Patriarch Kirill himself and the church bodies remaining under his jurisdiction do. After the onset of Russia’s war of aggression against brother country Ukraine, over 60 priests reportedly left the Metropolitan Church of Moldovan. Not many, but let’s hope that the love for truth, including that from the epistle of Metropolitan Bishop Vladimir, as well as the mentioned process will have continuation. In fact, the slowness of the process confirms that truth is a too heavy burden, including for the Lord’s servants.

The ways of Providence are inscrutable...

In their actions, human beings, whether they believe in the existence of Divine Power or not, are guided by the compass of free will. The faithful should be happier because they know what they have to do, having the guide of salvation, obviously if they really believe, but are not hypocritical profiteers in disguise.

For atheists and agnostics free will is just a philosophical or legal concept. However, they should accept that the ways of Providence to the hearts of the faithful are inscrutable. Until then, they can follow natural and social processes to convince themselves that the deviations they ascertain are yet done away with in time so as to return to normality. The process of returning to normality often appears to be miraculous and this is something we could observe more than once.

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