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Patriarch Bartholomew of
Constantinople shocked the world last month by deciding Ukraine should have its
own Autocephalous Orthodox Church, ending its subordination to Moscow. If the
complex canonical procedure succeeds, it will have large political
implications. The Russian Orthodox Church would lose its transnational
character, making it even more dependent on the state. In consequence, Russia’s
international isolation will grow and its “fortress mentality” deepen.
Dr. Svyatoslav Kaspe
Dag Hammarskjold was one of the great secretary generals of the United Nations. The Swedish economist-turned-diplomat died in a plane crash in 1961, while trying to negotiate a ceasefire in the Congo. More than half a century later, his courage is missed. Is there any way for Hammarskjold's successors to reconnect the UN with its mission?
David Alton, Lord Alton of Liverpool
The symbiosis between
the state and the Russian Orthodox Church has long been taken for granted. Yet
tensions are emerging at the worst possible moment for the Kremlin, in part due
to the church hierarchy’s misjudged appetite for property. The ensuing backlash
could complicate President Vladimir Putin’s bid for a fourth term.