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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Russian Parliament Targets Catholic Church

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The Russian parliament and the Russian Orthodox hierarchy (led by the “former” KGB operative Alexy II) are just in a tizzy over the Vatican’s decision to erect dioceses — well, sort of — in Russia. In response to the news that the Vatican will declare the existence of the “Archdiocese of the Mother of God at Moscow” (but not an Archbishop of Moscow), Russian “ultra-nationalists have joined forces with the Russian Orthodox Church in criticizing the Catholic Church for its ‘proselytism’ in this country. A parliamentary panel plans an investigation.” (Zenit, February 17, 2002)

According to Zenit, the Russian Parliament’s lower chamber, the Duma, decided to “study ‘the situation created by the active proselytism of the Catholic Church in traditionally Orthodox territories’.” Here Zenit was quoting the Soviet — oops, Russian — news agency Itar-Tass.

The “investigation” of the Catholic Church in Russia was instigated, so the story goes, by the “Duma vice president, ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zirinovski.” As if Zirinovski is a lone wolf operating without any plan, or without the consent of Vladimir Putin. Among other things, “Zirinovski requested that entry visas not be issued to representatives of the Vatican and the four Catholic dioceses established in Russia. The Orthodox patriarchate strongly criticized the decision of John Paul II to set up the dioceses.” Furthermore, “the Duma will ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about any possible offenses against the freedom of conscience committed by the Catholic Church in former Soviet republics.”

But how could this be? Russia is undergoing a “spiritual revival”, say the Fatima revisionists, because of the “consecration” of 1984. And Vladimir (“the practicing Christian”) Putin is all in favor of this “spiritual revival”. Why, it’s a MIR-acle!

But if it is such a miracle, then why is the Duma “investigating” the Catholic Church and calling for denial of entry visas to Catholic clerics?

And the Vatican’s response? Typical Vatican II-speak. According to Zenit, “Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls published a statement explaining that the creation of dioceses in Russia, in fact, involves freedom of conscience. He asked those who criticize the decision if they are prepared to respect this fundamental right in Russia.”

Wow! That will rock the Duma back on its heels. Why, they are not respecting a fundamental right. In the post-Vatican II Church there is nothing worse than not respecting a fundamental right. After all, the Catholic Church would not wish to trample on the fundamental right of the Orthodox Church to be the dominant religion of Russia, even if 95% of those who call themselves Russian Orthodox don’t even go to church on Sunday. That is precisely why there will be no Catholic Archbishop of Moscow. As for the divine status of the Holy Catholic Church and the crown rights of Christ the King, who commanded His Church to make disciples of all nations - well, we can’t have that kind of talk any more.

This, the followers of Cardinal Sodano’s Party Line would have us believe, is the conversion of Russia: an investigation of the Catholic Church by the still communist-dominated lower house of the Russian Parliament, under the watchful eye of Vladimir (“the practicing Christian”) Putin — who has recently completed his takeover of Russia’s mass media.

It is for dupes like these that Lenin coined the term “useful idiots”.