Undead leader: whether to remove Lenin’s body from red square

Undead leader: whether to remove Lenin’s body from red square© RIA Novosti. Alexander Wolfparade the image Bank

The Russian Orthodox Church abroad (ROCOR) to the centennial anniversary of the revolution raised the question of the burial of the body of Vladimir Lenin, proposing to remove him from the Mausoleum on red square and get rid of the revolutionary toponymy in Russia. The idea is not provoked unanimity among the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, politicians and experts who disagreed regarding the necessity of such actions.

Appeal from across the ocean

The Synod of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad (ROCOR) issued on Sunday a statement in which he noted that «one of the symbols of reconciliation of the Russian people with God could serve as a «release the red square from the remains of the chief persecutor and tormentor of the XX century and devastate put a monument to him». In ROCOR believe that in the same way «, and should be done with the names of cities, regions, streets which to this day deprived of their historical names». The statement was read in all parishes of the ROCOR.

However, in the Synodal Department of the Moscow Patriarchate on relations of the Church with society and the media did not comment on the document, explaining that the message «is addressed to the outside world, not inside a Church.» However, a month earlier, the head of the media Department Vladimir Legoyda noted that the survey on the future of the Lenin Mausoleum is not «surpriseparty moment» for the Russian Orthodox Church, he «will be resolved over time, a natural and peaceful way.» According to him, we must «just wait a moment».

The Russian Orthodox Church abroad appeared in the early 1920-ies as the emigre Russian Orthodox Church organization, which United the greater part of the clergy, found themselves as a result of the revolution and the Civil war in exile. Finally seceded from the Moscow Patriarchate in 1927. Canonical communion between ROCOR and the Russian Orthodox Church was restored in may 2007, now it is one of the self-governing churches of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The Communists for the «status quo»

«When I hear another statement about the removal of Lenin’s body, or the attack on the Mausoleum, who raised this issue, the idea comes one thing: these people want to remind myself, better a theme not found», — said Vice-speaker of the state Duma from the CPRF Ivan Melnikov.

He noted that Lenin — the pride of world and national history, buried by all Orthodox traditions. «It (the proposal ROCOR – ed.) are very petty, people’s support for them and never will be, because Lenin not just as a country’s wealth as a Great Victory and Gagarin, and the origin of these legendary pages, the founder of the policy, which put the fate of Russia into a new orbit», — concluded the Deputy.

His fellow party member Vladimir Kashin believes that the appeal of the ROCA is «not in the spirit of the Orthodox canons». According to him, Lenin «buried according to the Orthodox canons, based on the decision of the Supreme body of state power, the successor, which is today Russia».

Thus, according to a survey by the Russian center for public opinion research, conducted last year, most Russians generally agree that Lenin’s body should put them in the ground. Of these, 36% were in favor of a speedy burial in the cemetery, and 24% suggested to wait till the generation for whom he is dear. For the preservation of «status quo» was made by 32% of respondents.

However, sociologists point out that two-thirds of Russians (65%) admit that Lenin in his actions proceeded from the interests of most citizens. The opposite opinion is shared by less than a quarter of respondents (23%).

Symbolic dissonance

«The idea is to take the body of Lenin from the mausoleum is thought of those who it offers, either as a symbolic, public act – for example, to coincide with the date, to public outcry — either as a mystical, spiritual act. Is thought that the presence of this body is a kind of brake on the movement of the country forward,» — says the priest of the Cathedral of our lady of Kazan on red Square Archpriest Aleksei Semkin.

Symbolism is not only in the fact that Lenin placed in the tomb with «a very strange religious type» that does not match the country and the views of the people in a time when it was made. If you pay attention to the symbolism, then, according to him, you can see that the mausoleum is set in a certain way – above them flew the flag of the USSR. Thus, the Shrine, as noted by the FR, indicates that Lenin was the Foundation of the Soviet state.

In the years of the USSR, as he has noted in conversation with Agency «it was logically clear.» But now this symbolism, according to the Archpriest, causes cognitive dissonance.

«Can not make (the body of Lenin from the mausoleum – ed.). Just a fence, destroying the symbol itself. And half the issue has been resolved,» said the priest.

«The issue is ripe»

«In fact, this issue is not just urgent, and overdue. This should have been done back in the 90-ies,» — said the Chairman of Byzantine club «Katechon» at the Institute of philosophy, political analyst Arkady Maler.

The statement of the ROCA expert has described as absolutely logical and natural, as it is because of the categorical rejection of the Soviet era, it stopped communicating with the Patriarchy.

«In fact reunion with the Russian Orthodox Church abroad was due primarily to the recognition of the absence in Russia of the Soviet regime. But we see now – ten years after reunification – is that the same Lenin is the mausoleum,» said RIA Novosti Mahler.

He called «a good reason» the anniversary of the revolution removed from the mausoleum Lenin’s body, and, for example, «to rename the Leningrad region in St. Petersburg, or Sverdlovsk oblast in Yekaterinburg». The scientist is convinced that this will not cause real problems in society.

«It will be a couple of Communist meetings and all. This is not the issue on which the society is really divided or there will be excitement» — said the expert.

The presence of related leaders of the revolution monuments, and place names expert called shame. This, in particular, is contrary to Orthodox dogma, for which, according to Mahler, the Communist movement was anti-Christian.

The lack of consensus in society

In the Russian Orthodox Church have long advocated for the change of place names related to figures of revolution. For example, in February of this community Church of the Vernicle in Andronikov monastery, sent the mayor a letter asking them to rename next to the monastery of the Moscow subway station «Lenin Square» in «Andrei Rublev».

The authorities of Moscow, despite the appeal of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill, has refused to rename named after one of the initiators of the execution of Nicholas II – Peter Voykova — the metro station «Voykovskaya». Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that the issue of renaming decide Muscovites themselves on the portal «Active citizen». For the preservation of the existing name voted 53% of respondents — more than 161 thousand people.

«The Church is not indifferent to this issue because we are talking about our national symbols. The names of the terrorists, revolutionaries, murderers, torturers are names that have gone down in history with a minus sign. I hope that sooner or later we all will understand», — said the Chairman of the Department for external Church relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

Metropolitan Hilarion called «demagogic arguments» stating that the renaming would entail the spending of municipal budgets, noting that «replace signs» is not «a very costly». However, he recognized that in society «there is still some division in this matter, as well as the question of the removal of the body (Lenin – ed.) from the Mausoleum». «But I think that renaming is possible when there is public consensus around that,» he told the TV channel «Russia-24».

History Of The Mausoleum

To the day of Lenin’s funeral, 27 January 1924 – near the Kremlin wall was built a wooden mausoleum. It was designed by Alexey Shchusev, a famous temple architect. His publications include the Pokrovsky Cathedral of the Marfo-Mariinsky monastery in Moscow, the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh on Kulikovo field, as well as the building of the Kazan station.

Stone appearance of the mausoleum gains in the 30-ies of XX century. From 1953 to 1961 it also was the body of Joseph Stalin.

Today, the Lenin Mausoleum is open to visitors. Preventive work in it are held, usually every two years. The practice of routine biochemical works on preserving the body of Lenin exists since the creation of the structure.

Director of the Scientific research and teaching center of biomedical technologies of the all-Russian Institute of medicinal and aromatic plants (VILAR) Valery Bykov has told RIA Novosti that work to maintain the proper condition of Lenin’s body being systematically. He explained that «the main attention is paid to anatomical way that there are no deviations».

Lenin’s body is placed in a transparent sarcophagus, which was made according to the plans and drawings of the engineer Nikolai Kurochkin — the Creator of ruby glass for the Kremlin stars.