definitive ban on visits to temples parishioners of the words of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church still should not be. But at least it should be that the Church will not be against the ban, by the secular authorities. In this respect, the apparent volte — face.

on Sunday the official website of the St. Petersburg Metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church you can see the text with speaking for himself the title: “Temples of St. Petersburg diocese will continue its Ministry.” It was their proud “answer to Chamberlain” — the city fathers banned “a visit to the individuals objects (territories) of religious organizations, with the exception of Ministers and religious personnel referred to religious organizations.” The corresponding decree was signed by Alexander Beglov, was released on March 26.

Saint Petersburg is one of the few while the regions of the country who dared to close the doors of the temples. Among other “pioneers”, have established similar bans, Khanty — Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Republic of Karelia. The Moscow authorities, for comparison, was limited to a recommendation to the faithful “to refrain from visiting religious sites”. That is, the question was, in fact, at the mercy of the Church and, to put it mildly, were not eager to enter quarantine.

the St. Petersburg ecclesiastical superiors his disobedience argued, first, that enough does a lot for security: “In the temples of disinfection, the parishioners informed of the observance of personal prevention measures”. Secondly, “the pastoral duty of the clergy”. Thirdly, a review of the legal Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, atstovavimo the decision of the authorities of St. Petersburg as a violation of the Constitution: “the Right of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion may be limited only… by Federal law.”

Under this position were summed up, among other things, and the theological justification. The conviction, for example, a member of the Synodal biblical-theological Commission, Chairman of the club “Katechon” at the Institute of philosophy, Russian Academy of Arcadia Mahler, other confessions and religions, forkryvusha in droves their temples, can not serve as an example for the Orthodox: “From the point of view of Islam, of Judaism, of the absolute majority of Protestant and especially neo-Protestant doctrines, their worship may be as lofty and mystical, but God himself in a literal, ontological sense, they are not… Why to close their churches and to cancel their service, agree some Catholics and phanariotes (we are talking about the Constantinople Patriarchate. — A.V.) is another question. Apparently, they don’t really believe in the fact that in them the sacraments is God himself”.

from the Sunday sermons of the Patriarchal anti-epidemic measures taken by the ROC was approved March 17 by the Holy Synod’s instruction to the rectors of the parishes and monasteries. Church Directive provides, in particular, “to teach the Holy Mysteries of Christ with a rubdown after every partaker of Lizy-soaked alcohol cloth (with regular updates of impregnation)”. “We washed it down with the” it must be given only in a disposable container, communicants should abstain from the kiss of the bowl… And so on and so forth.

the effects of these commandments according to information made public by the former responsible editor of the “Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate”, a religious scholar Sergei Chuprinin in social network Facebook: “the majority of the parishioners, priests and even one Metropolitan from different regions of Russia told me yesterday and today about the same. The instructions of the Synod, no one should. As the communion of one deceitful without disinfection and sacrament, as to kiss the chalice and the icons, and kiss, as we washed it down with poured in the same glasses, and poured. And the refrain is devastatingly simple: all faith is strong, have no fear! One person proudly said, “To the temple now I go only for true believers!..”

Caplan welcomed the Patriarch’s appeal to refrain from visiting the temples, but considered him a belated: “We have been waiting for these words, and finally the Patriarch uttered them. However, we expected that he was going to say ten days ago, a week ago… And this is Patriarch Kirill — it acts reactive, have difficulty adjusting to reality. He was very late, not able to be proactive… it Will take some time, and he agrees with the closure of the temples…”

Similar is the position of archdeacon Andrei Kuraev. In his opinion, the Church should give the initiative to the authorities. “Thus it loses is very important for religious organizations of the XXI century chance — says Kuraev. — It is very important that the closing of churches was motivated not by the instructions of the secular authorities, and the requirements of the Christian conscience. And this motive we have, unfortunately, not heard.” However, the Sunday call Cyril Kuraev regarded as an absolute step forward: “Finally. Thank You, Your Holiness!”

And that is true: better late than never, and better than nothing. But the question should be repeated, not closed. And it’s not only half-hearted measures undertaken by the Patriarchate and the authorities. Equally important is the attitude to these measures the lower floors of the Church pyramid and the situation here, according to Sergey Chapnin, not healthy — in all senses of the word.

According to the scientists, is already “sanitary” instruction of the sacred Synod has caused discontent in the Orthodox provinces: “towards “you of little faith Moscow” growing irritation and even anger. In several dioceses the priests who tried to give communion to “instructions”, besieged the diocesan authority. The exact scale of the disaster is difficult to understand, but the “village Orthodoxy”… Russia wins.”

In General, it seems that the time has come to adjust the famous saying about the lazy and improvident man. Priests, as we see, do not like to be baptized before the thunder.

Read also: “What has changed in the churches following the call of the Patriarch: the sacrament with disinfection”