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« on: November 27, 2008, 10:28:08 AM »

Recently there have been a lot of reports in the news about fringe elements in Russia who want to glorify Joseph Stalin as a saint. Here is one for example. Recent events in Russia and the perennial attachment of the Russian Orthodox Church to state power make this not entirely impossible. I have to say, though, that were this to succeed, my faith would be profoundly shaken. Time and time again I've seen Orthodox leaders in every country and jurisdiction explain that, although Orthodoxy has no doctrine of "infallibility", the glorification of a saint in one Church must be accepted by all other Churches in communion with it. Therefore, Joseph Stalin would be a saint in the universal Church and there would be no arguing about it. The Church has glorified men who had a great deal of blood on their hands, like St Constantine or St Vladimir. But to glorify a man who martyred so many legions of Orthodox Christians would just be demonic.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 10:30:22 AM by CRCulver » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2008, 10:48:54 AM »

Recently there have been a lot of reports in the news about fringe elements in Russia who want to glorify Joseph Stalin as a saint. Here is one for example. Recent events in Russia and the perennial attachment of the Russian Orthodox Church to state power make this not entirely impossible. I have to say, though, that were this to succeed, my faith would be profoundly shaken. Time and time again I've seen Orthodox leaders in every country and jurisdiction explain that, although Orthodoxy has no doctrine of "infallibility", the glorification of a saint in one Church must be accepted by all other Churches in communion with it. Therefore, Joseph Stalin would be a saint in the universal Church and there would be no arguing about it. The Church has glorified men who had a great deal of blood on their hands, like St Constantine or St Vladimir. But to glorify a man who martyred so many legions of Orthodox Christians would just be demonic.

Romania and Finland, how'd that happen, if I may ask?

Fringe elements are just that, and canonizing Stalin would be one thing that would push them further out of the pale.

As to the "perennial attachment to state power," I don't know what singles PoM out, except maybe a contrast with Finland, which is a special case all unto itself.
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2008, 11:23:57 AM »


God forbid
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2008, 12:08:37 PM »

If the followers after the heresy of Bolshevism want to have their own saints Josef (Stalin) and Vladimir (Lenin), let them!  We Orthodox don't have to honor them or their saints.
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2008, 01:09:49 PM »

If the followers after the heresy of Bolshevism want to have their own saints Josef (Stalin) and Vladimir (Lenin), let them!  We Orthodox don't have to honor them or their saints.

But I didn't see anything in the link posted that said this movement was a schismatic Church out of communion with the rest of world Orthodoxy. Or did I miss something? It appears (according to the link posted) this is a movement WITHIN the ROC and the MP, and if a priest is putting up "icons" of secular leaders then they should take action, don't you think?

 I mean, here in the U.S. if a priest put up one of those "icons" of Martin Luther King Jr., immediate action would be taken on multiple fronts, and MLK Jr. was a good man who did a lot of good for the country. (and many Orthodox faithful marched arm and arm with him, including Archbishop Iakovos). Yet Stalin "icons" are being put up, and no action is taken at all? (other than saying , "it's inappropriate"?) That just seems really weird. If it truly was as fringe as I'd like to think, then action would be taken immediately. The fact that nothing has been done so far is what leads me to fear such an idea is perhaps more mainstream that it should be. What's even more ironic about it is I bet these same people would cry "heretic" if they saw an icon of St. Francis of Assizi, yet Stalin is an ok dude.  Huh

Or am I mistaken and miss something about this being just some break away group? In which case I'd agree with you, let them do what they want, it's not out concern. But if indeed they are members of the visible Body of Christ on earth, then I find this problematic.

It might not necessary be detrimental to my faith as I'd probably see such an action as merely the beginnings of the great apostasy, (or simply politics entering the Church yet again, it wouldn't be the first time) but never the less, it's just kind of weird. However with that said, I doubt Stalin would ever be canonized for so many reasons too numerous to mention.

But I can understand WHY this might bother some people. But of course this is the first time I've ever heard such a thing, so there may be a lot I'm not familiar with.

Happy Thanksgiving....



« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 01:11:28 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2008, 04:05:13 PM »

An Orthodox priest in a town near St. Petersburg has sparked controversy by putting up an icon showing the figure of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, with some believers and Communists viewing this as simple justice and others as an indication that many Russians have lost any sense of proportion or truth.  One of the most widely covered stories in the Russian Federation this week concerns not the actions of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or even the impact of the economic crisis but rather the decision of a priest to put up an icon portraying Stalin and the efforts of some to canonize him.
The priest of St. Olga’s Church in Strel’na, Father Yevstafiy, recently put up an icon there to the Blessed Matrona of Moscow, on which Stalin was portrayed, without any of the attributes of sainthood but simply standing next to her. Thus, technically, it was not an icon of Stalin at all (www.nr2.ru/society/208177.html).
But that distinction was quickly lost. Yevstafiy’s own parishioners demanded he put the icon with Stalin in a less prominent place and stop referring to the late Soviet dictator in prayers – even though the Strel’na priest has a long history of provocative actions, including putting up another icon portraying a Russian soldier who died in Chechnya as a “new martyr.”
His superiors in the Russian Orthodox Church denounced this action as “inappropriate.” And story after story on Russian television (www.islamnews.ru/video-view-184.html), the print media (www.newizv.ru/news/2008-11-26/102216/) and the Russian blogosphere (www.mk.ru/blogs/MK/2008/11/27/society/383332/) played up the debate.
In comments to “Novyye izvestiya,” Father Yevstafiy stood his ground. “The feeling that Stalin is the father of the peoples, that he is thus in part my high father has never left me in the course of my life. I thus have two fathers, besides the Heavenly Father: one is my father in the flesh and the other is the father of the peoples who was strict” and may “have made mistakes.”
Any attacks on him are wrong and inappropriate the dissident priest continued, and he said that he “remembers Iosif Vissarionovich in all services where this is appropriate, especially on those days when he died, was born and when he celebrated the common Victory of our people.” And he insisted that Stalin was “a believer.”
But at the same time, Yevstafiy was careful to specify that “this is not an icon glorifying Stalin. This is an image of. Matrona of Moscow. And Iosif Vissarionovich is one of those people whom she blessed. She blessed many people,” the priest said, including “a well-known architect and a well- known composer of those times. And Stalin too.”
Spokesmen for the Moscow Patriarchate denounced this action but have taken no action against it, at least so far. The sharpest criticism of Yevstafiy’s pretentions came from the pastor of Moscow’s Church of the Tsar Martyr Nicholas, who said that the appearance of icons showing Stalin was “a terrible sign, an indication that people have completely lost a sense of truth.”
The appearance of the icon showing the late Soviet dictator comes as some Russians are seeking his canonization by the Church. Among them are believers who agree with Yevstafiy and also some communists, who although themselves atheists, believe that the Soviet leader deserves this mark of respect.
Sergey Malinkovich, the leader of the Communists of Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, said that he would not deny that “the majority of the members of our organization are atheists, but there are believers and Orthodox too, [and] we try to respect their attitudes” in the work of the party.
“Those priests with whom we have spoken say that the figure of Stalin enjoys great respect among their parishioners. Therefore we too have begun now to speak about his canonization and about the creation of icons on which he is portrayed.” He added that in short order, 10,000 of them would be printed to give to those who already see Stalin as “holy.”
“For the Church, Lenin was a communist,” he continued, “but Stalin was a genuine national leader.” And “for us, he is approximately the same as Napoleon is for France.” Thus, he has already for a long time been “canonized in the popular consciousness.” Now all that needs to be done is to take care of “the formalities.”
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2008, 08:50:30 PM »


God forbid

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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2008, 11:27:03 PM »

Folks, this is not a new story. The black-and-white "icon" of Stalin has been around for at least three or four years, and likely longer. As for the possibility of him being canonised by the MP, if the Patriarchate's unequivocal reaction to the recent attempt by ultranationalists to have Rasputin and Tsar Ivan the Terrible canonised is anything to go by, we can rest easy that "St Joseph" will not happen.
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2008, 11:32:11 PM »

I think he should be cannonized....several times!

Of course, nowadays they'd use mortar shells.



Let's cannonize until theres nothing left!
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2008, 12:41:47 AM »

If the followers after the heresy of Bolshevism want to have their own saints Josef (Stalin) and Vladimir (Lenin), let them!  We Orthodox don't have to honor them or their saints.

But I didn't see anything in the link posted that said this movement was a schismatic Church out of communion with the rest of world Orthodoxy. Or did I miss something? It appears (according to the link posted) this is a movement WITHIN the ROC and the MP, and if a priest is putting up "icons" of secular leaders then they should take action, don't you think?

 I mean, here in the U.S. if a priest put up one of those "icons" of Martin Luther King Jr., immediate action would be taken on multiple fronts, and MLK Jr. was a good man who did a lot of good for the country. (and many Orthodox faithful marched arm and arm with him, including Archbishop Iakovos). Yet Stalin "icons" are being put up, and no action is taken at all? (other than saying , "it's inappropriate"?) That just seems really weird. If it truly was as fringe as I'd like to think, then action would be taken immediately. The fact that nothing has been done so far is what leads me to fear such an idea is perhaps more mainstream that it should be. What's even more ironic about it is I bet these same people would cry "heretic" if they saw an icon of St. Francis of Assizi, yet Stalin is an ok dude.  Huh

Or am I mistaken and miss something about this being just some break away group? In which case I'd agree with you, let them do what they want, it's not out concern. But if indeed they are members of the visible Body of Christ on earth, then I find this problematic.

It might not necessary be detrimental to my faith as I'd probably see such an action as merely the beginnings of the great apostasy, (or simply politics entering the Church yet again, it wouldn't be the first time) but never the less, it's just kind of weird. However with that said, I doubt Stalin would ever be canonized for so many reasons too numerous to mention.

But I can understand WHY this might bother some people. But of course this is the first time I've ever heard such a thing, so there may be a lot I'm not familiar with.

Happy Thanksgiving....




The article in the OP is also a blog entry expressing the individual's feelings about the news even moreseo than the news itself.  Given the time for the ROC's official response to blossom and come to fruition, we'll really see if this fringe movement is allowed to take hold of a significant part of the ROC mainstream or if the ROC really takes a firm stand against this misguided piety.
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2008, 12:51:44 AM »

Recently there have been a lot of reports in the news about fringe elements in Russia who want to glorify Joseph Stalin as a saint. Here is one for example. Recent events in Russia and the perennial attachment of the Russian Orthodox Church to state power make this not entirely impossible. I have to say, though, that were this to succeed, my faith would be profoundly shaken. Time and time again I've seen Orthodox leaders in every country and jurisdiction explain that, although Orthodoxy has no doctrine of "infallibility", the glorification of a saint in one Church must be accepted by all other Churches in communion with it. Therefore, Joseph Stalin would be a saint in the universal Church and there would be no arguing about it. The Church has glorified men who had a great deal of blood on their hands, like St Constantine or St Vladimir. But to glorify a man who martyred so many legions of Orthodox Christians would just be demonic.
I would respond by saying that you really don't understand the Orthodox understanding of church authority if you believe that the Church is monolithic (top-down) enough that local/national Orthodox churches are REQUIRED to accept the glorifications of saints by other local/national churches.  If the ROC really were to glorify Josef Stalin, I suppose the other national churches could together chastise the ROC officially for glorifying such a demon-inspired man and even break off communion with Moscow until the MP repents and rescinds the canonization.  I certainly don't think any church outside of Russia (or even inside Russia, for that matter) is REQUIRED to accept the canonization of Josef Stalin as valid.
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2008, 01:22:22 AM »

This big following for canonizing Stalin was born out of the rising popularity of both the Orthodox Church and Communism. The popularity of communism comes from recent disorder in the Russian Federation (people want a powerful centralized government), and the Church is seen as a source of morals and authority. The unity of Russian Church and State has grown incredibly since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Instead of communism and religion clashing, they have ironically mixed. I recently read an article about this, where the chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), Gennadiy Zyuganov, stated "Down with atheism, Long live religion." I find the irony rather funny, and it is good that the communists embrace Christianity, but when they want to canonizing these murderers then the Church has say no (at the least!). Here is a funny website that sees Stalin as a hero, but is also fanatically Orthodox.

http://www.russian-victories.ru/

(don't worry, it's in English)
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2008, 02:38:22 AM »

"Humorous" selections from that site:

Quote
IN THE PAST THERE EXISTED TWO GREAT NATIONS OF INBORN WARRIORS: THE GERMANS AND THE RUSSIANS


Hmmm. Obviously hasn't heard of the Greeks, particularly the Spartans.

Quote
ALL OF US RUSSIANS ARE NORDIC WHITE CHRISTIAN PEOPLE

 laugh laugh laugh laugh

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We do not want a single foot of any foreign land, Yet we will never give away a single inch of our own!

Afghanistan, 1979-1988? (but one recent example)

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But in general, the story of 'Russian alcoholism' is greatly exaggerated.

Ahem.

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So, to conclude the first part of my recollections, I would say that the life of the common man (and woman, of course) in the USSR was quite normal and stable, frequently rather pleasant. At least, it was not similar to that nightmare which has been usually portrayed by the Hollywood movies. What is most essential: We used to live quietly without any fear.
    Believe me!


and, even more sinister:

Quote
To say the truth, the overwhelming majority of the Soviet people were not afraid of Stalin. Many loved and esteemed him, while some were in awe of him, true. All those false scary tales about the 'bloody maniac' and those mythical 'tens of millions of his innocent victims' – the fables deliberately concocted to demonize Stalin – were generated by the Cold War western propaganda, as well as by Nikita Khruschev's smear campaign against Stalin.


Talk to any survivors of Stalin's collectivisations (yes, there are still quite a few alive), and see what they have to say to the above nonsense.

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Apart from our white skin, thank God, we have nothing else in common with the Germans. We are not Europeans at all. Glory to God – we are Russians!


What was the ancestry of Catherine the Great, Tsarina Alexandra, (indeed Nicholas II as well!) and St Elizabeth the New Martyr? Or is that truth a little too inconvenient?
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2008, 05:34:32 AM »


The Patriarch's comment on the thought of canonising Stalin and Rasputin:

"This is madness! What believer would want to stay in a church that equally
venerates murderers and martyrs, lechers and saints?"

http://www.rickross.com/reference/rs/rs38.html


November 27, 2008, at 11:53
Displeasure of St. Petersburg diocese at the introduction of an "icon" with
a depiction of Stalin.

St. Petersburg, Nov. 27. INTERFAX:

The diocese of St. Petersburg and Ladoga will not bless an icon showing
Stalin, that was recently set up in the church of St. Olga in Strelna.

"The fact that the pastor permitted such an icon to be put in the church,
one may call insubordination. This is a new icon, and it should have been
subject to approval. The diocese has not given such a blessing, and will
not", as the diocesan office declared to "Interfax".

The icon shows St. Matrona and Joseph Stalin, who, according to a legend,
was in touch with her during World War II.

"This depiction has no authority, since the conversation of St. Matrona with
Stalin is only a legend, and does not correspond to any real situation.  In
Orthodoxy, it is customary to show not only Saints in an icon, but even
demons, however the appearance of such an icon has upset the parishioners
and the representatives of the diocese", as Interfax was told.

At present, the diocese is considering the question of removing the icon
from the church, and what actions should be taken towards the pastor.

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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2008, 07:27:52 AM »

Under public pressure the pastor has already moved the icon to his home and handed in resignation.

http://newsru.com/religy/28nov2008/igumen.html
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2008, 05:00:49 PM »


The Patriarch's comment on the thought of canonising Stalin and Rasputin:

"This is madness! What believer would want to stay in a church that equally
venerates murderers and martyrs, lechers and saints?"

http://www.rickross.com/reference/rs/rs38.html


November 27, 2008, at 11:53
Displeasure of St. Petersburg diocese at the introduction of an "icon" with
a depiction of Stalin.

St. Petersburg, Nov. 27. INTERFAX:

The diocese of St. Petersburg and Ladoga will not bless an icon showing
Stalin, that was recently set up in the church of St. Olga in Strelna.

"The fact that the pastor permitted such an icon to be put in the church,
one may call insubordination. This is a new icon, and it should have been
subject to approval. The diocese has not given such a blessing, and will
not", as the diocesan office declared to "Interfax".

The icon shows St. Matrona and Joseph Stalin, who, according to a legend,
was in touch with her during World War II.

"This depiction has no authority, since the conversation of St. Matrona with
Stalin is only a legend, and does not correspond to any real situation.  In
Orthodoxy, it is customary to show not only Saints in an icon, but even
demons, however the appearance of such an icon has upset the parishioners
and the representatives of the diocese", as Interfax was told.

At present, the diocese is considering the question of removing the icon
from the church, and what actions should be taken towards the pastor.


GOOD! Grin  Handled at the diocesan level, where such a problem should be squashed.
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2008, 04:07:46 PM »

I've seen that picture before when it was posted on the E-cafe some time ago.  I traced it back to a site that had a number of peculiar, not to say bizarre, images that included ones of a kind of martyred Hitler and others that were flat-out white supremicist.  It was not presented as one that had come from a church but went along with the general tone of the web site.

Ebor
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2012, 11:06:16 PM »

Can anyone translate this "icon" for me?



I'm guessing the image on the left is him with St. Matrona.
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2012, 11:25:25 PM »

So sick ^

To small letters to decipher the thing a the bottom.
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2012, 11:33:50 PM »

Can anyone translate this "icon" for me?



I'm guessing the image on the left is him with St. Matrona.

Oh goody. Yet another addition to my schlock file.  Tongue Tongue Roll Eyes I'll see if I can make out the spiel on the bottom panel.

Do you have a link to this image, William?
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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2012, 10:58:28 AM »

Can anyone translate this "icon" for me?

I'm guessing the image on the left is him with St. Matrona.

I am not so much a 'stickler' on many things, but even putting quote marks around the word 'icon' in the context of an Orthodox Christian board bothers me here. I would call this a picture or an image - graven at that!
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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2012, 01:58:26 PM »

Can anyone translate this "icon" for me?

I'm guessing the image on the left is him with St. Matrona.

I am not so much a 'stickler' on many things, but even putting quote marks around the word 'icon' in the context of an Orthodox Christian board bothers me here. I would call this a picture or an image - graven at that!

They say the eyes are a reflection of ones soul, and I must admit Stalin's eyes even in this painting, reflects the 'one' whose control he is under.    Shocked
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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2012, 02:19:20 PM »

Just because it is the official position does not mean that the entire Russian Church has fallen. If by chance Joseph Stalin were to be  canonized, does that really mean that everyone is going to venerate and honor him? Probably not. In the same way, the Union of Florence demonstrated great corruption among the upper clergy, yet, the average believer and Priest recognized the heresy for what it was and refused to comply with it. I was always under the impression that infallibility in the Orthodox Church does not just apply to the clergy or the congregation, but to anyone. There are times when the truth is proclaimed by the clergy against heresy and there are times when the clergy fall into heresy and the congregation proclaims the truth. There are times when only very few people are even aware of the truth and proclaim it, like the case with St. Maximus the Confessor.

Speaking solely behalf on what affects the canonization of Stalin would have on the Russian Church, I am no expert nor have I ever been to eastern Europe, but I imagine that many faithful Russian Orthodox who are disappointed with the canonization would probably join the Old Believers Church? And we would see a significant increase in the Old Believers' opposed to the Moscow Patriarchate. I also imagine that the other Patriarchates would probably just simply ignore this issue and hope that it blows over, however, it would definitely strengthen the relationship gap between the MP and the EP even further. Going for a worst case scenerio, if the Russian Church fell out of communion or was anathematized until they correct the issue, I imagine that the ROCOR would probably see itself as the true Russian Orthodox Church, cut off all connections from the Moscow Patriarchate and exist in official schism for a little while until another Patriarchate takes them under their jurisdiction or officially grants them autocepholy.
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2012, 02:40:32 PM »

Can anyone translate this "icon" for me?



I'm guessing the image on the left is him with St. Matrona.

Oh goody. Yet another addition to my schlock file.  Tongue Tongue Roll Eyes I'll see if I can make out the spiel on the bottom panel.

Do you have a link to this image, William?

At least in this one, he's not dressed as a bishop.
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2012, 03:48:58 PM »

Just because it is the official position does not mean that the entire Russian Church has fallen. If by chance Joseph Stalin were to be  canonized, does that really mean that everyone is going to venerate and honor him? Probably not. In the same way, the Union of Florence demonstrated great corruption among the upper clergy, yet, the average believer and Priest recognized the heresy for what it was and refused to comply with it. I was always under the impression that infallibility in the Orthodox Church does not just apply to the clergy or the congregation, but to anyone. There are times when the truth is proclaimed by the clergy against heresy and there are times when the clergy fall into heresy and the congregation proclaims the truth. There are times when only very few people are even aware of the truth and proclaim it, like the case with St. Maximus the Confessor.

Speaking solely behalf on what affects the canonization of Stalin would have on the Russian Church, I am no expert nor have I ever been to eastern Europe, but I imagine that many faithful Russian Orthodox who are disappointed with the canonization would probably join the Old Believers Church? And we would see a significant increase in the Old Believers' opposed to the Moscow Patriarchate. I also imagine that the other Patriarchates would probably just simply ignore this issue and hope that it blows over, however, it would definitely strengthen the relationship gap between the MP and the EP even further. Going for a worst case scenerio, if the Russian Church fell out of communion or was anathematized until they correct the issue, I imagine that the ROCOR would probably see itself as the true Russian Orthodox Church, cut off all connections from the Moscow Patriarchate and exist in official schism for a little while until another Patriarchate takes them under their jurisdiction or officially grants them autocepholy.

There is no way the Russian Church is going to canonize Stalin, or anyone else for that matter unless it's a movement of the Holy Spirit.  Stalin, like all evil people had  followers who were  mesmerized by him.  He continues to be idolized by  Russian nationalists who forget the sufferings of the Russian people under him, and can only see how powerful Russia was at the time.   

It must be  difficult though for most Russians to see Stalin as anything other than their saviour  in WWII.   If they rejected him wouldn't they feel like it's a  rejection of themselves since the Soviet Union is  as much a part of their heritage as Tsarist Russia? Huh
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