21 January 2014

The profane and their handlers

The Holy Feast of the Theophany was just celebrated this past weekend. We remembered on this day the visitation of the Magi to the infant Christ, and the baptism of the adult Christ in the Jordan, and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon him from the heavens. (The dove, naturally, being a symbol of God’s peace toward man.) In the Orthodox Church – and in the other churches observing the Julian Calendar – it is a day which should be observed as holy.

However, on the 19th of January in Kyyiv, when the President of Ukraine was praying at church, a group of rioters on the Maidan were busying themselves in a profane anti-baptism of fire, using brickbats and firecrackers, throwing smoke pellets, rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police, burning busses and generally behaving like thugs – embodying the exact opposite of the symbol of Christ’s baptism. Hopefully, most Ukrainians will see the sacrilege for what it is. The literal fascists in the Svoboda Party hate the Orthodox Church with a passion, whether because it happens to be affiliated with Russia or because it stands firmly against their hateful ideology and always has.

What we in the West have to remember is that equally to blame for the rioters’ desecrations are those who bankroll them and give them moral support. That includes the members of the EU government who were all too willing to cut Ukraine adrift financially after the association agreement was signed, but who now are all too willing to split the country down the middle to get their way. And that includes Americans who are willing to sacrifice Ukraine on the altar of structural adjustment just to see Russia on its knees the way it was under Yeltsin.


  1. I think a trade union with Russia would make more sense for the Ukraine as that is where the Ukraine has the best chance to export finished goods as opposed to being a semi-colonial source of cheap labor for Germany and other Western European countries.

  2. I agree. But it has been thoroughly frustrating and disheartening to see so many Catholics (not just the neocons like Weigel; even crunchy-cons like Patrick Deneen!) come down so hard on the other side of the debate.

    I'm trying to keep my attitude brotherly. I only hope and pray I am not falling victim to the sin of pride and judgement, either here with these sorts of blog posts, or in debate on other pages (like FB).