Voices from Russia

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Orthodox Church Asks Authorities to Show Mercy on Pussy Riot


High MP Officials appealed to the government to “show mercy” on the three members of Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in jail for a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s main cathedral. In a statement released by the MP High Council, ­“Casting no doubt on the legitimacy of the court’s decision, we appeal to the public authorities to show mercy, within the law, on the convicted in the hope they’ll never repeat such blasphemous actions”. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich were each been sentenced to two years in a medium-security prison for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The statement went on to say, “We think the words of pity for the convicted that came from the Church’s children and other people are natural. It’s necessary to divide the sin from sinner and reprimand the first while hoping the latter will improve”.

The Church condemned “the intentional act of blasphemy” as well as the “rude hostility to millions of people and their feelings” they say that Pussy Riot manifested back in February. They also pointed out that blasphemy, which qualifies as “a sin against God”, could only receive absolution after “sincere repentance”. Still, the Church urged those hurt by the punk performance to abstain from revenge or violence.

This is the first official statement from the Church since the trial began. As did President Vladimir Putin, top clerics refrained from remarks that could affect the judge’s decision. Nevertheless, Putin ventured a small comment on 3 August, saying the three girls shouldn’t be judged too harshly. In February, Pussy Riot performed a “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. Dressed in bright, short dresses and balaclavas, they sang a song with controversial lyrics, slamming a perceived merger of state with the Church, and called on the Virgin Mary to banish Putin, who was Prime Minister at that time.

17 August 2012

Russia Today



Most Russians Against Church Meddling in Politics


A poll published on Tuesday by the state-run pollster VTsIOM revealed that about 75 percent of all Russians believe that the Church should stay out of political affairs. However, a sizable percentage of all respondents (43 percent) see the current Church/state relations as “balanced and harmonious”. The pollster said, “The Church’s political influence grows and its relations with the state are harmonious. However, the majority of Russians recommend that the church take a more active part in spiritual and religious issues instead of interfering with state affairs”. 63 percent of respondents see the church as an influential institution in society’s moral and spiritual life. About 50 percent of Russians feel the Church influences domestic policies, whilst 43 percent say it exerts some influence over the foreign policy as well. Some 20 percent of Russians believe that the Church is too active in the political life.

The VTsIOM report said, “Three-quarters of Russians are convinced that the Church should stay out of politics (75 percent). 44 percent believe that it should influence the spiritual and moral life of society as a whole, whilst one-third (31 percent) think that the church should limit its activities solely to religious matters. Those who consider active participation of religious bodies admissible in all spheres of social life, including politics, constitute a minority of 16 to 17 percent”. Those who believe that the church’s influence should be restricted to religious issues are mostly young people (37 percent of the subtotal) and have a higher education (33 percent of the subtotal). Most people who think that the Church has a political role are middle-aged (20 percent), with no higher education, living in smaller towns and villages (22 percent).

The survey was conducted 9-10 June 2012 with 1,600 respondents from 138 cities and towns taking part. The margin of error was below 3.4 percent.

18 August 2012



18 August 2012. SMILE! One of the Cabinet Opines on the Upcoming “Sobor”…

Another view of Holy Trinity parish in Parma OH, the putative site of the proposed one-day OCA “sobor” tentatively pencilled-in for November or December…


One of the Cabinet sent me this tongue-in-cheek comment:

Why don’t they all stay home and vote like they do in Star Search or American Idol?

C’mon, that’d mean that Lyonyo, Bobby, Iggy, and all the rest couldn’t politick… and that would be a TRAGEDY…

Have a smile, guys…


18 August 2012. You Can’t Make Shit Like This Up… Siberian Serial Stabber Caught Eating Dog… Gives New Resonance to the Term “Doggy Bag”


On Friday, Irkutsk Oblast cops said that they detained a 42-year-old resident of eastern Siberia over a stabbing rampage that he concluded by dining on his own dog. They went on to say in their release that the man attacked people in the streets of Irkutsk in three isolated incidents, stabbing one passerby to death and injuring two others, both pensioners. None of the numerous witnesses moved to intervene, or even alerted police, who only found out about it when one of the victims reported the incident. A citywide search operation resulted in the cops tracking down and arresting the man responsible. He fled his home in an unsuccessful attempt to escape arrest, abandoning his dinner, which consisted of dog meat (from his pet dog). The suspect, whose name was withheld, entered a guilty plea, but he failed to explain why he stabbed people or why he ate his dog. The Prokuratura opened a case on charges of intentionally inflicting grave bodily harm, punishable with up to 15 years in prison. However, the man may escape jail if a pending psychiatric check rules him insane.

18 August 2012



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