29 August 2014

"What Would the Conversion of Russia Look Like"

Austin Ruse has written a very bold article in Crisis which considers things about Russia that neocons do not want U.S. Americans considering. The following are the first paragraphs excerpted from the article which one may read on line by clicking HERE.  Austin Ruse writes:

Pope Francis and Metropolitan Hilarion of Russia
For much of the twentieth century, Catholics around the world prayed after every Low Mass for the conversion of Russia.

Called the Leonine Prayers, originally they were conceived as a protection of the sovereignty of the Papal States, which were then under attack. This intention ended with the Lateran Treaty of 1929 but the prayers continued from that time for the conversion of Russia that had become an atheistic state bent on destroying religion.

The prayers included 3 Ave Marias, a Salve Regina, a versicle and response, a prayer for the conversion of sinners and the “exaltation of Holy Mother Church,” ending with the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Pius X added the invocation “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us.”

Before the prayers were suppressed in 1965 just think of the billions of them offered for this intention? From little schoolgirls to Catholic heads of state to canonized saints, they all prayed for the conversion of Russia. Does any faithful Catholic think that the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 was not the result of these prayers?

The Cold War—World War III—ended bloodlessly. A murderous regime that had killed millions upon millions and enslaved many more and had tried to enchain the human spirit was toppled almost miraculously. There should have been a victorious parade up Fifth Avenue in New York.

But the work of the Spirit was not yet finished. Toppling the regime was only part of it. The other part was conversion. And what did we think that would look like?
The optimism of Austin Ruse is shared by many I know, but most North Americans I encounter find it very difficult to think of Russians as anything other than monsters, KGB agents, and atheists lying in wait to rape, pillage, and plunder.  There is of course historical reason for this from the Soviet era. It seems to be difficult for 'the West' in general to function without the notorious Russian bear for enemy.  Also, Metropolitan Hilarion is seen as an enemy of Greek Catholics, and one wonders how his views could possibly assist in ending the schism between East and West.

Only time will tell if Mr. Ruse is correct.