The American Puppet Masters by Daniel B. Rundquist
SPECIAL TO THE CALDWELL JOURNAL (December 20, 2018) — What if you woke up one bright Sunday morning in Caldwell County to go on over to church only to discover that your fellow church members and the clergy were aggressively splitting into two separate factions? Then you learn that the government had partnered with your “new” church and your new pastor was chosen by some church guy in Quebec, Canada. You soon discover that the state police have raided the offices of some your “separated” church leaders and took them into custody for interrogation. You expect to hear about some serious criminal allegation involving them, but there are none. Soon you find out that one of the main reasons your church split was because your new church leadership received a cash payoff from a foreign government. Would any of this upset you?
In an outrageous display of irresponsible international hubris, the United States of America has inserted itself into an area of Christianity between Ukraine and Russia that will affect both the Church and many other nations for decades, and perhaps for centuries to come.
The Orthodox Christian Church in Ukraine had sought independence (autocephaly) from the greater Church structure. It has been under the patriarch of the Church in Russia for centuries. The greater Church consists of fourteen autocephalous churches serving Christians all over the globe. These canonical decisions are always collegiate, never to be decided by one single patriarch. But with influence from both the Roman Catholic Vatican, and the U.S, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople alone decided to make the Ukrainian Church autocephalous. He began to make preparations to facilitate the independence of the Ukrainian Church on September 7th, 20181. There was no full Ecumenical Council held by the greater Church to decide, as the rules of the Church require for such a decision.
On December 15th, 2018 “A ‘Unification Gathering’ was held in Kiev’s St Sophia Cathedral to officialize the split of the newly formed Ukrainian Church from the Moscow Patriarchate.”2
The move was immediately rejected by the Russian Orthodox Church and most of the other autocephalous Churches. What are the effects of such an action? All this served was to fuel already existing political unrest, and church disunity. There are other consequences, according to the former Ukrainian Prime Minster, Nikolai Azarov, “…by raising the issue on autocephaly (independence) the Kiev authorities plan to destroy the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. ‘Unification on the basis of destruction – that’s what the Kiev authorities suggest,’ he said. ‘What’s in the future? Forceful seizure of churches, temples, monasteries…Such games may result in blood and killings…’ ”3
It was not long before Ukrainian Security Forces raided the offices of Orthodox Priests with ties to the Russian branch of the Church.4 These priests were then interrogated.5
The idiotic and duplicitous response from the U.S. State Department not surprisingly, entirely misses the mark:
“The United States congratulates Metropolitan Epifaniy on his election as head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The establishment of the Church was a historic moment for Ukraine. The United States maintains unwavering support for Ukraine and respects the freedom to worship unhindered by outside interference. The right to religious freedom extends to all Ukrainians, including those choosing to join – or not to join – the new Orthodox Church.”6
While pontificating about respect for “…the freedom to worship unhindered by outside interference,” the U.S. ignores the very fact that it and other nations did exactly that…manipulated parties as a primary outside interference.7 In so doing they have fueled the fires of disunity and provided just cause in the minds of many for a civil war in Ukraine. The Church did not just split on its own in some natural or canonical way. According to some sources, the United States paid the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople $25 million to help motivate him to defy the canon of the greater Orthodox Church and declare the Ukrainian Church “autocephalous” on his own.8
A government that is nearly $22 trillion in debt seems to have no problem whatsoever finding money to use to manipulate world events as it sees fit, even if it means interfering with the Holy Church. Around the world members of the various Orthodox Churches were thrown into confusion and disarray, some leaving parishes and joining others over the issue; more division and hardship courtesy of the arrogant U.S. government. We can conclude that our government understands nothing of the concept of holiness, and respects only its own political interests. Why? Because one of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches is Russian—in a nation that has been Orthodox Christian since the baptism of Rus in 988 A.D.
You’re in North Carolina, though…Ukraine is “over there” so why would you care? It’s not your church anyway, right? You should care, we all ought to. If you happen to read a headline in 2019 that says, “Unrest in Ukraine descends into civil war” or some similar tag line, you will know that the United States Government was a major catalyst in causing it. It will be the very same American politicians that will run to the nearest microphone to tell you that we need to “support Ukraine” and to do that they will need to spend billions of tax dollars that our nation does not have. Then they will want to send our sons and daughters in uniform over there to “secure the situation, stabilize the region, and provide humanitarian aid to displaced civilians.” Does any of this sound familiar? It should because when it comes to military operations overseas this is how most of them have begun since 1950.
What we have here is a demonstration that the political class in the United States does not respect the Almighty God by staying out of church matters, but instead elevates politics above holiness and brings people to worship at the altar of the almighty dollar.
1 “US is behind push for independent Ukrainian church, ex-PM says” TASS, Russian News Agency published October 03, 17:47, tass.com/society/1024236 accessed 12/19/2018
2 “Unholy row as Ukrainian church splits from Russian church
In the midst of a hybrid war, religious nationalism raises its head as Moscow warns it will defend religious interests in Ukraine.” By GIOVANNI PIGNI DECEMBER 19, 2018 2:00 PM
3 “US is behind push for independent Ukrainian church, ex-PM says” TASS, Russian News Agency published October 03, 17:47, tass.com/society/1024236 accessed 12/19/2018
4 “Ukraine Raids Offices Of Russia-Aligned Priests Amid Push For New National Church”
OAN Newsroom UPDATED 9:36 AM PT, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
6 “U.S. DEPT. OF STATE CONGRATULATES UKRAINE WITH CREATION OF NEW CHURCH,” December 18, 2018. orthochristian.com/118010.html accessed 12/19/2018
7 “U.S. EMBASSY CONGRATULATES UKRAINIANS WITH CREATION OF NEW CHURCH
Kiev,” December 17, 2018, orthochristian.com/117972.html accessed 12/19/2018.
8 Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?” by JAMES GEORGE JATRAS 11/17/2018. Strategic Culture Foundation. www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/17/whose-money-stoked-religious-strife-ukraine-who-tried-steal-it.html accessed 12/19/2018