A controversial document has been published by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on March 27, 2020, entitled “For the Life of the World: Toward a Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church”. Rather than a theological ‘social concept’, it represents a significant departure or hedging on numerous Christian teachings in favor of grounding certain socio-political ideas that are very much on the globalist agenda. Its content is so political and an obvious attack on the Trump policies that it raises the flag on how religions and churches are being used as tools by the political and economical authorities. The example of the Vatican Pope as a figurehead of globalism for Catholics around the planet also comes to mind.
The document is full of left-wing views and direct calls to social reforms of all the societies in the world. The authors insist that the main goal of the human is to improve the life on the planet. According to them the Christians are aimed at social activism, not to spiritual life. The document whines at the usual and so-called xenophobic Trump policies of closing borders and cutting taxes for the rich, while advocating opened borders and anthropogenic climate changes ideologies:
“§35 Among the most common evils of all human societies—though often brought to an unprecedented level of refinement and precision in modern developed countries—are the gross inequalities of wealth often produced or abetted by regressive policies of taxation and insufficient regulation of fair wages, which favor the interests of those rich enough to influence legislation and secure their wealth against the demands of the general good. While it is true that imprudent taxation of the private institutions that create jobs can in some circumstances depress employment and result in greater burdens for the poor, this is a danger rarely if ever realized in industrialized nations.”
It doesn’t take a theologian to see that somebody is trying to cheat us. The Church was long ago criticized for being allegedly inflexible and poorly adjusted to the modern life, but we have heard nothing about such a drastic change in the minds of the clerics. If it’s possible at all, especially when it comes to the Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who claims to be the head of all the Orthodox Christians in the world. It was Bartholomew who showed the world his adamant will in 2019 when he granted autocephaly (autonomy) to the Ukrainians, denied the same for the Montenegrins, and even took it away from the Exarchate of the Western Europe. So Mr. Bartholomew has got used to be rather tough in his decisions.
What makes the Bartholomew’s document such a politically motivated piece? The text depicts so much about the problems of civil order, freedom, human rights and democracy in many countries. The authors underlines that nowadays, people can enjoy the great advantages of living in good and free countries, but that they should not take this for granted. These countries, according to the authors, can become ‘profoundly unjust’ and that’s why people should not be too patriotic. They warn about the rise of political and national extremism, hereby personified by the trump policies without ever naming him.
“§11 Thus it was that the Council of Constantinople in 1872 condemned “phyletism,” which is to say the subordination of the Orthodox faith to ethnic identities and national interests. A love for one’s own culture is an honorable sentiment, so long as it is a generous sentiment as well, allied to a willingness to recognize the beauty and nobility of other cultures, and to welcome exchanges between and fruitful intermixtures of all cultures. And patriotism can be a benign and wholesome feeling, so long as it is not mistaken for a virtue in itself, or for a moral good even when one’s country has become profoundly unjust or destructive.”
The document even states that the modern nation-state is not a sacred institution any more, even if it can at times serve the causes of justice, equity and peace. Nor are borders anything more than accidents of history and conventions of law. In this manner, the authors push for opening borders for migrants and condemn those governments that oppose it. The text warns about nativist panic that is encouraged in Europe, in Australia, in the Americas. It says that in the United States ‘political leaders’ are not only encouraging fear and hatred of asylum-seekers and impoverished immigrants, but even employing terror against them:
“§67 … The modern nation-state is not a sacred institution, even if it can at times serve the causes of justice, equity, and peace. Nor are borders anything more than accidents of history and conventions of law. … In the United States, the most powerful and wealthiest nation in history—one, in fact, born out of mighty floods of immigrants from around the world—we have seen political leaders not only encouraging fear and hatred of asylum-seekers and impoverished immigrants, but even employing terror against them: abducting children from their parents, shattering families, tormenting parents and children alike, interning all of them indefinitely, denying due process to asylum-seekers, slandering and lying about those seeking refuge, deploying the military at southern borders to terrify and threaten unarmed migrants, employing racist and nativist rhetoric against asylum-seekers for the sake of political advantage, and so forth.”
What is it, if not sheer political propaganda? Does anthropogenic climate-change have anything to do with the Orthodox church ideology?
Such a doctrine hasn’t been prepared by the Ecumenical Patriarchate before. Why is it published now? Is it a coincidence that the US presidential campaign is under way? Isn’t it strange that so many positions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s paper are very much alike to the election program of the Democratic Party and its strategy to undermine Donald Trump?
Indeed, these times see many masks fall to the ground.