Voices from Russia

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Russian Orthodox Church Forgives Pussy Riot

Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov (1958- ), Superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow and the confessor to the Putin family

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The original image was ruined by being overly dark, having a glarey light in the corner, and two anonymous “busy” figures (an el crapo image in all respects)… so, I “cut” Fr Tikhon out from that and mounted his image on a nice Carpatho-Russian scene… that’s a legit use of PhotoShop.

BMD

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On Saturday, two top clerics in the Russian Orthodox Church said that it has forgiven the members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot, convicted by a Moscow court of hooliganism and sentenced to prison, for briefly taking over a cathedral and performing a raucous prayer for deliverance from Vladimir Putin. Fr Tikhon Shevkunov, the superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow, who’s widely believed to be the Russian president’s spiritual counsellor, said on state television that his church forgave the singers right after their “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in February. The bespectacled cleric said, “The church has been sometimes accused of not forgiving them. We did forgive them from the very start, but such actions should be cut short by society and authorities”.

Archpriest Maksim Kozlov agreed, but he also said on state TV that his church hopes the young women and their supporters change their ways, saying, “We’re simply praying and hoping that these young women and all these people shouting in front of the court building, committing sacrilegious acts not only in Russia but in other countries, realise that their acts are awful. Despite this, the church is asking for mercy within the limits of law”.

Both clerics supported the court’s decision to prosecute Pussy Riot, despite an international outcry that labelled the action unfair. Governments, including those in the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, denounced the sentences as disproportionate. The Pussy Riot case has emphasised the vast influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. Although church and state are formally separate, the church identifies itself as the heart of Russian national identity and critics say its strength effectively makes it a quasi-state entity. Some Orthodox groups and many believers had urged strong punishment for an action they consider blasphemous.

The head of the church, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev, made no secret of his strong support for Putin, praising his leadership as “God’s miracle”, and he described the punk performance as part of an assault by “enemy forces” on the church. The Orthodox Church said in a statement after Friday’s verdict that the band’s stunt was a “sacrilege” and a “reflection of rude animosity toward millions of people and their feelings”. It also asked the authorities to “show clemency toward the convicted in the hope that they will refrain from new sacrilegious actions”.

18 August 2012

Mansur Mirovalev

Associated Press

http://www.centredaily.com/2012/08/17/3302917/pussy-riot-members-sentenced-to.html

Editor’s Note:

Do note the smug, smarmy, and sanctimonious tone of the above post. The West has no moral high ground… not after the Easter bombing of Belgrade in ’99… not after the selling of organs from murdered Serbs in Kosovo… not after the repeated use of “black sites” for torture. I simply say that all groups have multiple sins on their plates… and that the West has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to teach those of us whose spiritual or physical home is in the Orthosphere.

I find the schoolmarmish condescension of Western institutions and people noxious and hypocritical in the extreme. I’d say that they have their own disordered house to put in order. Let them do that before they lecture the rest of us…

BMD

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