Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky
About the transfer of architectural, historical and cultural monuments
to religious organizations
The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program
and has not yet been edited.
So it can be used only for general introduction.
We begin with
general comments. According to a 2007
poll was, believing himself believes about half of Russian citizens. Of these orthodox Orthodox faiths hold 66-67% Islam - 6.8%, of any of the
other religions (including the Old Believers, who also consider themselves
orthodox) - less than 2%.
There may be a feeling that the dominance of orthodox Orthodox Church in Russia is so great that no sectarian strife that can undermine the unity of the country, and there can not be. But in fact it is merely an illusion, and very harmful. Why - explain.
Yes, historically, that the main religion in Russia was precisely Orthodoxy. Even in the preamble to the Law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations" recognized "the special role of Orthodoxy in Russia's history, in the development of spirituality and culture, and it is difficult to argue. This is the Russian tradition, and throughout the world Russia is perceived as "Orthodox" country.
But do not confuse tradition and genuine, deep religious convictions. If one adheres to traditional views, they are not necessarily his deep personal conviction - there can only be a quite natural (at least in adulthood), the desire to "be like everyone else." But if a person chooses something that runs counter to the tradition - he usually chooses it deliberately and would be ready to defend those beliefs.
Therefore, in the traditional Russian orthodox (Nikonian) Orthodoxy, as epitomized by the Russian Orthodox Church (in the future will be without reservations call it Orthodoxy), the gap between the declaration of religious affiliation and real religious convictions are very large. Simply put, sometimes to look into the temple and light a candle - it is one thing, and be an active member of a religious community (yes even regularly attend church, confess, comply with all stations and other rites and orders) - is another.
In Islam the gap is much smaller in Judaism, Lutheranism, Catholicism, Old Believers, or - even less. About the numerous sects and not speak.
Therefore, no survey data can not be here to give an objective picture. A more accurate representation of the relationship, for example, Orthodoxy and Islam gives the number of parishes: the ROC of about 16,000, the Muslims - about 4 thousand. This is not the proportion of 1:10, and 1:4.
And given that the "quality" of the parish (the number of parishioners, churches attendance, performance, practice and regulations, the impact of the believers) from the Muslims on average are much higher than that of the Orthodox, it is safe to say that in Russia, Islam, and if inferior to the Orthodox Church in number of deep and sincere believers, it is not much, and certainly not in order.
And given the attitude of one's religion to the possibility of armed struggle, it is unlikely in the case of another "holy war" (say more generally - of sectarian strife) Islam in the Russian Federation will be weaker than orthodoxy.
More recently, less than a hundred years ago (and what a hundred years of world history, especially in the history of religions!) Russia has been taught a severe lesson on this topic.
Orthodoxy in the Russian Empire was not only the state religion, it was ruled directly by the State through the state body - the Holy Synod. Accordingly, all other faiths and formally, and in fact in the position of targeted "infidels" (quite an official term of the time). Historically, that most Jews were oppressed, whose national identity was then separated from religion, and all special taxes, restrictions on civil rights, infamous "devil resettlement and periodic pogroms were perceived not as a genocide of the Jewish people (to Auschwitz and Treblinka then the matter did not happen), but as unfair treatment to the Orthodox "heretics".
The result is generally known: at the beginning of the twentieth century, the backbone of all the most radical political parties was formed by Jews and other "infidels". Trotsky, Martov, Blyumkin, Kamenev, Dzerzhinsky, Uritsky, Menzhinsky, Kaplan, Voikov, Zinoviev ... This list is very long. Lenin said in his questionnaire as the "Great Russian orthodox religion," was the exception.
As in the future fate of the Jewish people in the Soviet Union - the theme is not in this article. For us now, significantly, learning from the bitter experience of the Russian Empire, Soviet leaders, regardless of their nationality and faith, they understood that the sectarian strife in an enormous multi-national, multi-religious, but in the twenties of the twentieth century - and still very unstable country can be avoided do not enhance one's religion (or religion all at once), and vice versa - in every way weakening them. As a result of the inherent radicalism of that time, all religions were not only weakened but actually destroyed.
We are in no way are not going to put this situation in the example leaders of modern Russia. They are required only one - to comply strictly with the requirement of Article. 14 of the Constitution of Russia on the separation of religious associations from the state, ie conduct in respect of all religions are absolutely neutral policy. That said, the policy of "equidistance". And here the term is more just and necessary than for large businesses, for which he was once invented. And to support, fund, advocate, or simply pay any attention to any one religion, and even all at once - is to ignore not only the Constitution but also the bitter lesson of history taught by Russia in 1917.
It is anticipated the question: why not support one religion over another - more or less clear (it is unethical, unfair, etc.), but why not support all religions together? For example, the distribution of support is proportional to the number of believers, or the number of parishes, or even equally between the major faiths ...
Yes, if religion live together in peace, could support them and this way and that. But we will not entertain any illusions: the peace between religions in general and individual believers in particular is very fragile, even in a stable society (and in Switzerland and in Germany, and France periodically erupt religious conflicts), and any social instability exacerbates the root, the fundamental religious differences . And many denominations, unfortunately, declaring the possibility of resolving these disputes is not only peacefully.
Therefore, it appears that government support one religion over another creates among others - the excluded - the complaints about the state, and the most fair and equitable support for all religious organizations makes them and draws their discontent is not in the direction of the State and each other. Without discontent "rivals" so far no religion could not do, even if its leaders declare the opposite. So arranged our imperfect world, one dominated by competition, which, in turn, not always peaceful.
And the logical and objective outcome of any confessional discontent - dissension on religious grounds. Their severity depends on many factors, but certainly something which, as destabilizing began in Russia today lacks. Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan ... Do I need to continue this list?
As Shakespeare's Polonius said of Hamlet, "in this madness has its own system." In one of the "madness" of modern Russia - an open and very substantial material and moral support from a number of state religious organizations, primarily Orthodox Church - also, of course, has its own system there. The State needs an ideology, but in the absence of such, as they say, on plight is always light. But religious organizations that offer not one but several conflicting ideologies? That means we must either follow the path of least resistance and choose one over another (put Russia to the risk of recurrence of the disaster of 1917), or not choose any, and to develop their own, non-religious. The second way is more complicated, but he, unlike the first, will harden and not undermine the unity of the country.
In the meantime, the ideology has not been developed, we just need to carry out the Constitution and abide by the principle of religions "equidistance". And if, for example, the president, prime minister, head of the region or any other senior government officials in person is a believer, and belongs to a particular faith, he should visit the shrine as an individual, rather than stand on a special dais and graciously nod when priest interrupts the service of God, to refer to this official with thanksgiving speech, or to present him a "church order" or a certificate of merit.
And the more the state should not make religious organizations such infinitely generous gifts, as prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development, submitted in February 2010, the State Duma a bill on the transfer of property to religious organizations for religious purposes under state or municipal ownership. "
This bill provides that religious organizations if they wish can be transferred to almost any movable and immovable property of religious purpose, in State or municipal ownership.
And we are talking primarily about the monuments of architecture, history and culture (in the future we will collectively refer to them as monuments), which before the revolution were the property of the Russian Orthodox Church, but under the Soviet regime became a national museum property. This ancient temples along their interiors, and so-called "non-core" objects (houses the clergy, bakeries, Sunday schools, monastic cells, etc.), and the relevant land, and icons, vestments, and incense, and liturgical utensils ... In short, everything - from ancient cathedrals to icons of Andrei Rublev and Theophanes the Greek.
Do other religions before the Revolution, the property was much smaller, so the issues raised in this article, we consider the example of the ROC, not forgetting that the treatment of other religious organizations the same problems also exist.
We have already mentioned that before the Revolution the Russian Orthodox Church was in fact a public institution. Accordingly, all of its enormous property is a de facto government (which in early 1920 greatly facilitated the task of the Bolsheviks nationalized). Now the situation is fundamentally different: the church, and formally, and in fact separated from the state, and prepared according to the bill turns out that the State has authorized third party sites.
The bill establishes certain restrictions, the transmission time can be from several months to several years, but eventually almost all the monuments in the ROC's desire to be transferred to her. Do not pass them will not: Clause 3, Article. 4 of the bill states that "a religious organization that has received state or municipal property for religious purposes in the use without compensation, shall be entitled to the property in the property established by this federal law in providing documents to the authorized body in accordance with a simplified list approved by the Government of the Russian Federation." And as some documents, especially on "Simplification of the list", any organization will provide.
In principle, no one doubts that the transfer of monuments ROC is high time to restore order.
Monuments is not the first dozen years passed the church and de jure and de facto, and this process lasts a long train of scandals and conflicts (the most high-profile related to the monasteries - for example, with the Moscow Novodevichy, Nicholas Ugresh and Andronikov, Kostroma Ipatyevsky, the Alexander Uspensky, Vladimir to the Princess, which was given Bogolyubovo icon of the Virgin, etc.), but the total number of such conflicts already in the hundreds if not thousands.
And deal with these conflicts, mostly at the local level, depending on the subjective factor. Somewhere museum workers were stronger (for example, the Moscow Kremlin), where a weaker (eg, Kostroma), somewhere made a delicate balance of forces and interests (for example, Vladimir), where a conflict has already stretched for many years and not see him no end, no edge (eg, Aleksandrov) ...
Therefore, the law required. But whether this, the essence of which can be briefly expressed thus: "all give the church, and immediately"?
In favor of a bill introduced in the Duma and, accordingly, the transfer of monuments ROC can often hear this argument: Andrei Rublev wrote his masterpieces for churches and would be very sorry to learn that they are stored somewhere else.
To this we can say: I wrote their masterpieces rubles for churches in general, or for a particular priest, abbot, or bishop, or simply for love of the game - we do not know, and we can not judge the motivation of creativity Rublev. Perhaps it would be very flattered to learn that his icons declared a national treasure and are in museums and that the descendants perceive it not as a craftsman, not as an employee of arts and crafts, as well as a great artist? You can only guess. And save his masterpieces - an undeniable problem.
You can hear another argument: the ROC is more zealous master sites than museums.
But at the level of declarations and reports of any master zealous, and his competitors unsustainable and destroying everything it touches. But really it all depends on local conditions, multiplied by the subjective factor.
Yes, there are some positive examples of how the parish really behaves as a serious and prudent landlord, while not stopping the research. I remember the Church of the Transfiguration in the village of the island, which the rector since 1992, is the Rev. Leonid (Griliches), parallel to the head of the department of Biblical Studies of the Moscow Theological Academy, who teaches ancient languages, leading a seminar "The language of the Bible" at the Philological Faculty of Moscow State University, amounting textbooks drevneevreyskogo and Aramaic languages has released a book of spiritual poetry ... But how many such priests in the Orthodox Church, as Fr. Leonid?
Therefore, we will not even try to analyze specific examples of the
subjective (especially since even the slightest true statistics on them
impossible to compile), and let's say: the objective problem of museums - to
preserve and study the monuments and objective task of the church - to use the
sites for religious purposes. That in itself
makes the removal of monuments in museums and the transfer of their church
business is very risky, actually puts the fate of the masterpieces of ancient
art in dependence on the personal qualities of leaders ROC. A monument to risk - the same as risking human life, as in the case of
loss did not make any modern copy or a hoax.
There is one more "emotional" argument in favor of the transfer of the monuments of the ROC, the essence of which is well expressed in the words of the song Boris Grebenshchikov "Train in the fire" (early 1990):
And the land is in the rust
Churches mixed with ash,
And if we want to be where the return
Time to go home ...
Yes, without emotion is impossible, especially when you remember that in 1930 many, many temples or "mixed with ash," or turned into ruins, or arrange them in institutions, warehouses, MTS ... All this is so.
But in fact, already in the post-Stalin times, this attitude to the monuments have been the exception rather than the rule. Most often, if for some reason museums do not take them on their balance sheets, their conserved and left to stand until better times. And there is no certainty that if the war is not isolated, but all without exception, monuments were suddenly transferred to the church, it has been received to do the same. Of course, conservation is often performed badly and did not save the monuments - but, again, there is no assurance that the ROC would have had better preservation.
A good example - is a unique church early XVI century Annunciation churchyard (now near the village. Timoshkino Kolchugino Vladimir region). It was pretty mediocre mothballed back in 1960, and by mid-1990's was already disqualified from roofs and deep cracks in all walls. Money, and preservation authorities it was not, and it passed the ROC. For many years she has formally prior, but her condition only worsened. The reason is the same - no money. And even collect them from the congregation does not work due to a negligible amount of them: in the village Timoshkino - just a few houses, even to her year-round travel there.
So is not it better to improve state funding for museums and preservation authorities, than do the well-known vicious principle "to you, O God, that we are worthless"?
Nobody objected to the ROC in the property were the temples, as before 1917. But before the revolution it on the monuments of architecture in general was extremely rare, and this notion does not entail that strict protection regime, which it carries in our time. Therefore, in modern Russia to return to pre-revolutionary practice is possible only one way: let the church building new temples, but does not take a state landmark.
And we must pay tribute to the church: it is very active in constructing temples (albeit dubious architectural quality), and a believer in them is much easier than in the monuments: spacious, light, heat, all in accordance with current construction standards ... And from the canonical point of view Liturgy in the Dormition Cathedral of Aristotle Fioravanti, and in any modern "remake", and adapted as a temple railroad car is absolutely equivalent to, if the consecration was conducted properly.
Same with the icons. For a copy of an old icon can kiss, you can put around it to light candles and lamps: when necessary it is easy to rewrite or replace. And with the canonical point of view, the icons are no "degrees of holiness: the consecration of any amounts due, and any bought in a church cheap icon reproducing the" Trinity "Rublev, has the same" sanctity "as the original.
Therefore, without reference to the monuments of the ROC, as they say, will not disappear.
Yes, to serve the liturgy in the namolennom "ancient temple with ancient frescoes, or" kiss "a masterpiece of Theophanes the Greek, of course, pleased, no doubt. But, then, and civic consciousness, to sacrifice their personal desires for the sake of preservation of monuments. Otherwise, the priests and believers become like the First Secretary of the Leningrad Regional Committee of the CPSU Romanov, who, according to rumors in late 1970 to get married daughter and told the the bridal table to put Catherine's Porcelain from the Hermitage collection. How much of this porcelain smashed "for luck" drunken guests - you can only guess.
Some might say that it is simply unfair - first in 1920 at the church property confiscated, but now do not want to return. But on the subject to recall the old joke: the Russian Federation to sue the Mongolian People's Republic with the requirement to return the tribute paid during the Mongol yoke. And everybody understands that this is a joke, as both Mongolia and Russia had long been those that were at the time of Batu. Well, and the ROC is certainly not one that was before 1917. And her status in another country, and most of the other, and other times. In the world history in the same river can not enter twice.
Let us call a spade a spade: the actual transfer of monuments ROC - this is restitution, disguising the fact that one must somewhere and with something to serve God. But this fact is one step to restitution in respect of the Romanovs, Golitsyn, Obolensky, Sheremetyevy, Lianozovo, mammoth and other large owners who have lost their property in the revolution. And it can cover the same argument: it is necessary, somewhere and something to live the descendants of "those" of the Romanovs and Lianozovo! So far you can go.
And do not provoke a passage of the bill on the transfer of property to religious organizations a massive redistribution of property in the country? Few, perhaps, Russia's global challenges, we must artificially create another?
This was yet another addition to the principal arguments against increased religious organizations, which we cited at the beginning of this article. There's another one: the property after the transfer of the ROC sites (along with plots of land!) Becomes comparable to the property, for example, Gazprom, and the church will be able to significantly influence the economy, and therefore the policy of the state. And because the effects of religion is akin to ideological, it will not get if we new Communist Party - though not in the form of party agitators in gray suits, but as the Hierarchs in gold-embroidered vestments? How would react to this other faiths? Again have to remember about a bitter lesson in 1917 ...
In non-transfer of monuments in the ownership of religious organizations have and the legal side. Article 234 of the Civil Code of RF reads: "Anyone - citizen or legal person - not the owner of the property, but honestly, openly and continuously as owning his own real estate for fifteen years, or any other property within five years, acquires title to the property (acquisitive prescription). So, by the end of 1930 the state on behalf of museums has received "prescription" for all sites. And even if we assume that the USSR possessed monuments in bad faith (selected by the church), then since 1991 - Education of the Russian Federation as an independent state - "acquisitive prescription" too long come.
Recall and art. 9 Fundamentals of Legislation on culture: "Human rights in the area of cultural activities take precedence over the rights to this area of the state and all its structures, social and national movements, political parties, ethnic communities, ethnic and confessional groups and religious organizations, professional associations and other .
A law "On the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation and museums in the Russian Federation" stipulates that "the museum collection is indivisible" (Article 15) ...
Is there too much basic legislation crosses made in the Duma a bill on the transfer of property to religious organizations?
In fairness, we note that the practice of transfer of monuments in private ownership, subject to security regimes prevalent in all civilized countries. But in both conditions quite different, and control of another, and traditions, and social responsibility of the owners ... In Russia, meanwhile, we see that a private owner, getting the monument gets a lot of problems (is committed to providing access to visitors, not just to conduct repairs, and scientific restoration, did not alter without the permission of the protection, etc.), but does not receive the most important: honor and respect for what keeps the monument. So often, there are ugly situation where the monument is easier and cheaper to destroy (or replace a hoax), than to keep.
One can say with certainty: if the church and could very least "digest" the single sites, transferred to it for years - that if these monuments after the adoption of the bill are expected to throng to her a broad stream, it will fail. In fact, the ROC would have to assume all the functions of museums, until security in the temples of the temperature and humidity. Is it ready for this? Is she qualified to do so, appropriate equipment, and just money? Of course not.
In theory, the church can not take away from museums monuments, see if that fails. But it is in theory. But in practice - how to opt out of such incredibly generous gift, and even with land?
And do not be a prophet to predict that the ROC will soon all that is, and then will try to "wiggle". But if the "wiggle" it does not work, then the price of this will be destroyed monuments. We have already said that this amounts to ruined human lives. Therefore, the experiments here are misplaced.
In connection with all the above are invited to reject submitted to the State Duma a bill on the transfer of property to religious organizations for religious purposes under state or municipal property and introduce a legislative moratorium on the further transfer of monuments in the ownership of religious organizations. Date for at least 10 years.
During this time the bodies of the monuments have to monitor everything that has been transferred, to collect the necessary statistics and to provide legislators with an objective report. And when you receive a clear picture of the condition of the previously allocated sites, decide the fate of future property relations between the state and religious organizations can be much more objectively and optimally.
In respect of priceless irreplaceable monuments price of any error is too high. The same can be said about the price of any mistakes in the relationship of the State with religious organizations to huge multi-religious country.
© Sergey Zagraevsky