Here is a new example of the wishy-washiness of the MP and RF administrations with regard to the eradication of all vestiges and reminders of the country's dreadful Communist past.
This time, it concerns a far north archipelago originally named for Tsar Nicholas II and his son the Tsarevich Alexei.
However having seen now closer up what actually the Pioneers were really about, we can shudder at the disgusting choice of names the Soviets imposed on this chain of islands :
"A bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church has proposed to rename the “communist” islands of Severnaya Zemlya for the centenary of the July 1918 martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The islands were opened in 1913 by an expedition sent by Tsar Nicholas, Bishop James of Naryan-Mar and Mezen, the head of the patriarchal Russian Arctic Project, which aims to missionize and sanctify the Arctic, told RIA-Novosti.
Severnaya Zemlya is a 14,286-square-mile archipelago in the Russian high Arctic, off of Siberia's Taymyr Peninsula. The archipelago is separated from the mainland by the Vilkitsky Strait, and itself separates the Kara Sea in the west and the Laptev Sea in the east.
The Severnaya Zemlya (“Northern Land”) Archipelago was opened on September 4, 1913 by the expedition of Boris Vilkitsky and was named The Land of Emperor Nicholas II, with one of the islands being named in honor of the Tsarevich Alexei. The archipelago was renamed in Soviet times, and its islands were named Pioneer, Komsomol, Bolshevik, and October Revolution.
...There was already an attempt to return the name of Tsar St. Nicholas II to the archipelago in 2006, and to rename the islands in honor of the murdered daughters of the last tsar. However, in order to escape from the imposed collision of the “whites” and the “reds,” it is now being proposed to give new names to the islands to immortalize deeds done for the good of the Fatherland
, Bp. Jacob noted.[ my italics - Barbara ]
“I even think, let it remain as the Severnaya Zemlya. We must approach this question prudently. I don’t totally like the attempts to give all the islands only the names of the royal family—they don’t have any special accomplishment here. It’s another thing that the Emperor Nicholas II decided whether this expedition would happen or not. Perhaps, the main island could be named for Nicholas II, but the rest in honor of the Arctic explorers,” the bishop added."http://orthochristian.com/110145.htmlThis equivocation by Bishop Jacob is probably replicated through the vast territory of the RF.
One must ask : How can an Arctic explorer help the country and the world today ? We don't have any idea WHERE their souls are. They probably were brave adventurers. But no one knows for sure about their inner lives. We DO know that not one of those Arctic explorers was glorified by the pre-Revolutionary Church. Of course, there would not have been time for that anyway since exploration began in 1913.
Well, Elder Barsanuphius of Optina reposed April 1/14, 1913. Why not name a major island for this great Saint ?
What about all the Optina Elders who have been glorified and Valaam Elders and St Feofil of the Kiev Caves and St John Maximovitch and Metropolitan Philaret of New York ?
Which brings us to the following point. Look how the Bishop tiptoes around to avoid offending the Reds. He is SO worried about THAT. Why isn't he worried about offending the entire Rocor which subjugated itself to the MP ? This reveals how little the MP cares about its newest acquisition ! While we are at it, why aren't there islands slated to be named for the non-glorified but prominent First Hierarchs of Rocor, Metropolitans Anthony, Anastassy and Vitaly ? These are great figures of Russian history, after all. They happened to be fiercely opposed to the Soviet regime. Hasn't time shown which side was right, the anti-Bolsheviks or the Soviets ? Certainly a true authentic Church would honor these admirable figures. Russian schoolchildren should study in detail their heroic lives for inspiration and to acquire role models. That would be far more productive in shaping lives than studying about explorers, who Bp Jacob characterizes as heroes in a sentence I took out to trim the length.
The spiritual is far superior to the worldly. Even a lesser known Bishop of Rocor, Bp Nektary of Seattle, had an interesting life which would be fascinating to all Orthodox children. How he narrowly escaped being drafted into the nightmarish Soviet Army and probable death due to the clairvoyance of Elder Nektary of Optina, who told him what course of action to take years in advance. Blindly obeying his Elder, the young Oleg [ the future Bp Nektary of Seattle ] obeyed, despite his mother's opposition. This resulted in Oleg's miraculously being dropped by the Army and assigned to do some easy adjunct work as a sports instructor. Only that ONE YEAR did the Soviet Union desperately need qualified sports instructors ! Elder Nektary had given his spiritual son the correct information. This type of story would easily impress itself on young minds.
So why is the MP's representative to that region is so afraid to stand up for the Church that he can only propose the islands to be named for the leaders of expeditions there ? Maybe only for the smallest of the islands....while the rest should be named for the Queen of Heaven [ think how many Icons of Her there are ! One Icon per island name ], Angels and authentic Saints [ no Abp luke of Simferopol etc. ]
At least Bp Jacob of Naryan-Mar and Mezen uses the term Fatherland rather than the odious Soviet jargon, "motherland".