We all live in corporate world, this fact is beyond any doubts. It has some specific rules - the success is not just money, but money plus the influence on the people, which bring you some ability to enlarge your profit.
There are different types of corporations. Some of them produce cellphones, some of them produce food, some of them are prominent players in the fashion industry, and some of them produce believe in God. Yes, the religion is just the same commodity as food, electronic devices and the competition here is much harder than any other business faces with.
If we take a look on any religion, it is worth to admit that any religion has its dark sides, especially when we talk about the financial sources. Still the world has been changing and minimalism style has been the new trend. The Pope of Rome chooses bijouterie instead of jewelries, and uses budget sedan instead of special vehicle. His colleague from the Russian Orthodox church, patriarch Kirill, lives just the opposite life. The great number of golden church plates, golden headdresses could be explained by the traditions of Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, there is no explanation for expensive watches, premium-class cars, personal yacht and private jet, it looks like vanity and mercantilism. At the same time, Russian Patriarch never spent money on charity nevertheless his estate is more than 3 billion dollars.
It is his own decision how to spend his money. However, that financial issues insult the Patriarchy and reach international level. We mentioned the term “corporation” for a reason, as it is just what Russian Orthodox Church is now. What is the biggest threat to the business? Right – it is loosing of its assets’ cost and profit of it. The biggest asset of Moscow patriarchy is Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow patriarchy, the branch which is totally controlled by Moscow in Ukrainian territory.
In short, Orthodox Church in Ukraine is divided into two main branches, and the difference between them is just the jurisdiction – the Moscow patriarchy is under direct control of Moscow while Kyiv patriarchy insists on its independence for the last 20 years. Recently, Kyiv patriarchy has got the real chance to become independent, to receive the Thomos (the act of recognition, granted by World patriarch). To tell that Russian reaction was extremely negative means to tell nothing. Their opponents faced with information attacks, threats of religious war coming soon, threats of separation of Orthodox world and other apocalyptic scenarios.
The issue of belief is secondary for Russian Orthodox Church, the main issue is the fear to lose its estates in Ukraine, and therefore to lose the profits. It is quite real. Ukrainian Orthodox church of Moscow patriarchy has got solid losses (the annexation of Crimea, war in Donbas and “green people” did their job well). The number of Ukrainians who want to stay in Russian church decreased. There were lots of facts when people demanded their congregations to be incorporated into Kyiv patriarchy, not in Moscow one. It looks like the returning of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra to Kyiv patriarchy will occur in the near future. That is completely unacceptable for Russian patriarch.
Instead of defending its position in the spheres of theology Russian church started out with threats and blackmailing. We have just mentioned the main theses of Moscow patriarchy, which were formulated in quite brutal manner and were sent to World patriarch Bartolomeus. Those who know Russian patriarch cannot be surprised by that fact. He is used to such methods. Since his teen age, he actively cooperated with KGB, he denounced his classmates and professors to security services. Such activity is the reason for rocketed career of today’s patriarch.
After the breakup of the USSR current patriarch started the schemes of cigarettes import with no customs fees, which gave him opportunity to become monopolist in this business activity. That is why current Moscow patriarch obtained the nickname “tobacco bishop” (his church rank at that time) and got the first capital, which was based on smuggling and illicit activity. Patriarch definitely uses the mask of decency and piety, but he is greedy person who is doing whatever it takes to save and to multiply his money.
That is why we do not need to be astonished with the methods of Russian church, methods of gang members who are trying to monopolize the whole Orthodox Church in the world. If the threats and blackmailing do not work, bribery will be used – you need something more, you have to pay.