Photo Essay: Holy bling-bling, Batman!

A $30,000 Breguet wristwatch

A $30,000 Breguet wristwatch

Wonder whose it might be .  .  .

Wonder whose it might be . . .

. . . could it be . . .

. . . could it be . . .


. . . SATAN'S?


Hat tip: Reader “Elmer” and apologies to the church lady.

29 responses to “Photo Essay: Holy bling-bling, Batman!

  1. But wait, it gets worse.

    The Russian heretics who have bettrayed the orthodox faith are now militarising their priesthood.

    • To Andrew, Yes, we already know, from various sources, including ex-KGB defectors, that many if not all, Moscow Patriarchy ‘bishops’….virtually all KGB officers, pack pistols on their bodies and under their robes, at all times. That means, they have weapons on their persons, even while they perform church services!!! ‘Kyrill II’ travels nowhere, without his small army of heavily armed bodyguards, most dressed as ‘monks’.
      Could they be affraid?

    • They’re not “militarising”, those FSB agents are just taking a break from their cosplaying as priests.

      • Well said both of you.

        Real Orthodox doctrine states that Priests cannot carry or handle weapons.

        They can bless them if being used in a just (defensive) war by soldiers, but they can’t use them themselves.

  2. What do you expect from an ex-KGB guy with a net worth estimated at about 4 billion?

    I’m amazed the creep hasn’t substituted cigarettes for bread and wine at communion.

    Anyone know if that ROC racket is still ongoing?

    • It may be, but not as overtly. Now the ROC deals in real estate, selling church trinkets, selling pizza on the grounds of the Christ the Savior church as well as other fast food offerings.

  3. Putins church… But honestly didn’t everyone knew who Kiril was from the start?

  4. It’s good to be the king.

  5. Wonderful photos, especially the subtitle under the KGB-actor ‘Kyrill II’, (Agent Mikhailov), playing the role of a Russian Orthodox Patriarch, labeling him: ‘SATAN!’…..a title he very well deserves.
    By the way, this expensive wrist-watch was noticed about the same time, as ‘The Patriarch’ was telling Russians….and Ukrainians, that they just have to struggle and learn to live more frugally, with the current economic woes, etc.
    Of course, he was merely parroting the Kremlin’s party line….as he does on EVERY subject.(i.e. ‘to save souls’). When in
    Ukraine recently, he was urging the Ukrainians to return to Russia, ‘for the salvation of their souls’.
    HMM!….one wonders (?), could he be (?) masking political-speech, in the guise of….spiritual advise???
    But of course, no!….not when he is dressed in that
    getup, ….how COULD he deceive?
    Reader Daniel

    P.S. By the way, his full title (in his Patriarch’s role) starts with: “The Most Holy………etc. ” YUCK!

  6. To try to defend ‘Kyrill II’ from the many criticisms about his expensive watch, his right-handed henchman assistant, ‘Archdeacon Kurayev’ stated:”There is …’no rule’…against it!”.
    What a joke! As if in the centuries old huge compendium of ancient church canons, there was ever the thought, even, that a Patriarch…could/would be so ostentacious, and own all the worldly riches that this man does, when he is supposed to be, a ‘monk’ who owns NOTHING and who is supposed to live frugally. But of course, when the charlatan-actor-pretend
    “Patriarch’ is not even a believer in God and who is but an employee of a cynical irreligious gangster government which has never really repented of all those millions of murders,….and they continue to murder the innocent!…. especially of the last real Russian Patriarch, Holy Martyr and Confessor TIKHON (Belavin) of Thrice-Blessed Memory, how can we quibble that “Kyrill II” is, also, offending his monastic vow of ‘poverty’ with this $30,000.oo watch?
    What troubles me, is the sad fact, that even today, there are many in Russia, and outside Russia, that
    nevertheless, STILL believe that this fellow and his pseudo-church, are…legit!
    So what does that teach us?….if one wears the appropriate garb (costume), and makes the correct moves, and is recognized by those in temporal authority, ….then… MUST BE….whatever! (?)
    Sorry, but I have my doubts.
    Reader Daniel

    • I can’t even imagine the reverberations occuring if a RC Pope amassed such personal wealth, had such blatant trappings of wealth and pulled off a con game of collecting cigarette profits in collusion with an obviously mafia style government. Catholic Pope’s die materially poor with only personal posessions distributed in estates in modern history.

      Kyrill’s smarmy relationship with Putin’s crime syndicate is stomach churning.

      Babushka’s ignorance is as pathetic.

      What and who could ever save these people from the corruption that over takes them? Beats me.

      • To Penny, Well, first of all, the KGB-run ‘Moscow Patriarchy’ is a hijacked-church, it is not the authentic historical Orthodox Church of Russia, where most real bishops DID live as poor monastics, till death. Dissident, non-MP, Russian bishops, live that way today.
        Therefore, many things in that 1943 Stalin created monsterous pseudo-church, are not according to Orthodox church canons or norms, but only….outward appearances, the facade. It is literally, a gigantic monolithic religious stage-set, with costumed actors dressed in clerical garb and with clerical titles and pomp and circumstance. This is most true, of it’s episcopate. Most of the authentic Orthodox clergy have been mass-murdered off, in perhaps THE worst mass murder/mass terror regime that this earth has ever seen, with countless of others from the ‘old order’. What we see in Russia today, are but fragments, flotsam and jetsom of former past realities….in all areas of Russian life, including in the state-institutional-religion, a total captive of those devils in power in the Kremlin. RUSSIA IS TODAY, A SHELL SHOCKED ZOMBIE NATION!There is NO other parallel, anywhere else in the world. However, this is not what is supposed to be in local national Orthodox churches,…..and even today, most church life in those other (non-Russian) local Orthodox churches, with certain modern problems of their own, does go according to more normal church norms….including that the bishops are chosen from the monks and that they own nothing, etc. So, what is in Russia today, is not normal Eastern Orthodoxy. As to the history of the Popes of Rome: Well, yes, recent-era Popes would seem to fit how you describe them. Early centuries of the Bishops of Rome, also, produced a number of truly self-less saintly Popes. However, there have been many Popes in those intervening past centuries who do not fit your noble description, and who amassed great fortunes, owned vast estates, and who belonged to very wealthy and politically powerful dynasties, etc. They were exceedingly corrupt….all of which is well known history. Such was not what was supposed to be, but what was. Such was not normal Eastern Orthodox church history, with some lamentable exceptions. The Turkish-Yoke caused much church corruption in those national Orthodox churches under the Ottomans. However, Christianity, East and West, has always had it’s golden eras and it’s dark times. Such is life!
        But, I say this, not to excuse ‘Kyrill II’! or the Kremlin!
        What is interesting to me, about the present Russian scenario, is the fact that….to molify the mass of Russian believers, the clerical actors of the Moscow Patriarchy….dare only go just so far, in any public displays of impiety or grossness, for fear of upsetting the religious apple-cart, i.e. of OVERLY exposing their true vile & materialistic
        and unGodly ways. Russians, historically, have always been THE most conservative in religious matters, of all Orthodox nationalities, and therefore the most FUSSY and exacting about the externals of church life…i.e. the most critical of their own clergy. At all costs!…the Kremlin MUST
        maintain their public facade of….some sort of…righteousness/public piety, etc……and thus, of Czar-Vladimir Putin, promoting the national-Russian religion (which many many average Russians, still deeply believe in). In that sense, it is not unlike the government’s ….fear…in restricting tobacco and alcohol, as if they dared to attempt that, they would deeply/quickly upset the Russian masses. Which could, in itself, cause immediate riots and chaos. The rule of thumb for the KGB: “Keep the Russian masses molified/entertained/in ignorance/drinking and smoking themselves into oblivion/and quietly and passively lighting candles in state-churches….and obeying KGB-‘clergy’….who all teach them to-OBEY YOUR RULERS….as..”ALL authority is from God” (St. Paul).
        State-controled religion, is today THE number one pacifier and controlling instrument of the KGB, as such pseudo-religion teaches….OBEDIENCE to authority. Secondly, comes the tobacco and the booze.Third is: shut up and go along, or…DIE.
        But, yes, to repeat your words, as… my own chagrin too: ‘What and who could ever save these people from the corruption that overtakes them? Beats me.”.
        I agree, sadly. Russia seems to be an out-of-control train, headed towards the cliff, without any brakes in working order, and with the crew….drunk as skunks.
        Reader Daniel

  7. psalomschik,

    Of course, I agree with you on characterization of Moscow patriarchy. That said, Russian Orthodox church has always been too close to the powers (Czars). “For Faith, Czar, and Motherland” was Russian motto long after Western Christianity moved to much stronger separation of church and state.

    Obviously, I am not claiming strong expertise in Christian history, but Protestant movements of Luther, Calvin and Anglican Church didn’t happen in Eastern Orthodox church (obviously, there was some dissent in Peter’s times, but it was crushed and didn’t lead to any reform).

    Of course, leading religious thinkers of early XX century (such as Berdiaev, Ilyin and many others) were philosophically, intellectually, and politically opposed to Soviets – and the feeling was mutual. But others found easy justification to render to new Cesar, as soon as “New Cesar” decided to co-opt those who remained alive in 1943…

  8. Hmmm… usually when I see three paragraphs starting from “of course” and “obviously”, I am very suspicious that the writer puts something very controversial :))

    I certainly didn’t mean it, but I apologize for my style to anybody who sees it that was!

  9. It is interesting to see the contrast between the Russian “Patriarch” and the Partiarchs of Constantinople, Georgia, Antioch, Jerusalem etc, who live without property, who are pious men who follow the rules of the faith and the word of the lord.

    In a Georgian, Greek, Palestinian/Israeli Orthodox Church you can only purchase Icons.

    In a Russian church you can purchase cigarettes, pizza, have your laundry done etc.
    The Russians even have bank machines in some of their Churches!

    Was not the Lord somewhat upset by the moneylenders in the temple?

    I agree with reader Daniel, the Russian Church must be stripped of its right to use the term “Orthodox”, the modern Russian “Church” is NOT Orthodox in any meaning of the word, the only Orthodox in Russia today are the dissenters and the minorities own ethnic Churches such as Georgians and Ukrainians.

  10. BTW, selling Icons is legitimate, you can buy Crosses, prayer beads and religious items such as prayer books at Roman Catholic Churches too.

    They do cost money to produce after all.

  11. To Felix, Wow! you are opening a whole other huge historical subject: what were the positive/negative aspects of old Czarist Russia (most of it’s history)….on Russian society in general, and specifically in regards to the Russian Orthodox Church, etc.
    You realize of course, that many many volumes have been written on that….complicated/highly controversial ….subject.
    To me, in brief, (& I am an American, not a Russian), the Church and the civil-monarchal governments of old Russia, were supposed to be:
    a Symphony..i.e. each seperate and sovereign in it’s own sphere, and not interfering in the other’s sphere (The Byzantine formula). How well that actually worked in reality, both in Byzantium or Russia, depended on which monarch sat in the Imperial throne, and what Patriarch sat in his throne. However, yes, the monarchs, generally, did have a say in what the church did or didn’t do….again, depending on the century and which monarch was in power. It was not really different in Western European Catholic monarchies. If the ruling monarch was…religious and pious, he or she gave the church wide liberties, and indeed…prospered it. If the monarch had other ideas, such as (the very-religious) Czar Peter the Great….he put new controls upon the church, in his concept of…improving it, and making it, more….useful, to his Imperial designs, etc. He, greatly admiring the German Lutherans, by his decree, removed the historical office of The Patriarch as the head of the Russian Church, and replaced it with….the Lutheran form of higher church governance, The Synod….OVER WHICH he appointed his, ‘Oberprocurator’, etc. Only till the last Czar had abdicated, was The Russian Church able to freely vote and to restore it’s office of Patriarch, and freely make other internal long-desired reforms,
    in the General Russian Church Council (Sobor) of 1917, held in the most holy place in Russia, the Moscow Kremlin. Well, I could go on and on. Fundamentally, whatever good or harm various Russian monarchs did to the church, NONE of them tried to exterminate it, nor to totally-subvert it, or to do any of the vile evil things which the bolsheviks did later. To the mind of most diaspora Russian Orthodox church people, whether or not they are monarchists (i.e. who want to now, ‘restore the monarchy’ in Russia, etc.), they would have prefered that the monarchy had continued, but with a democratic parliament running the country, and the Czar as sort of a figure-head monarch (somewhat like England’s arrangement). The actual very sad events which brought the murderous athiest communists to power, destroyed the nation, the church, and plunged Russia into the very bowels of Hell. It has not yet recovered. Thus, though many church people, would agree that the Czar’s rule over the church, especially since Czar Peter, was too oppressive, too interferring, still….Russia and it’s national church, were NEVER as bad off under their rule, as what came with the communists. But regarding various views as to…what specific…reforms were/are still…needed in the Russian church, (not speaking about the KGB-‘Moscow Patriarchy’!…which must simply be abolished!) that is as complicated as various Russian’s views, some of whom you mention by name. To the traditional Orthodox mind, as I try to hold to, our religion does not need to be Protestantised, or to be changed in any essential way. However….as life=change, every religion that has ever existed on this earth, undergoes natural changes, just as political systems change. The Orthodox Church….as for most of the past centuries of Christian history, was indeed most used to, most comfortable with monarchy, but it has also been realistic and in the end supports/or ENDURES whatever government exists, as ‘All authority is from God’, according to Apostle Paul…i.e.
    serious Christians and the church as a socially responsible institution, must live in peace and harmony (as best it can!) with WHATEVER goverment presently rules. Though there have been notable exceptions, as when Patriarch Tikhon anathematized/excommunicated the bolsheviks. Has this subservient mind-set lead to the various Orthodox nations in our world-wide church being…too subservient…to temporal powers? As…under the long oppressive rule of the Ottomans, for anothert example? Yes, in my opinion. Also, I am one who believes that the vast membership of the church, the laity, do not have enough say, in the running of the church, but only exist to …pay the bills, and obey. The Orthodox church is extremely…clergy-centered, which kills the initiative of the laity., get anything done, for one problem. But, I did warn you, that I am an American, (who by my culture, does think for myself, and does QUESTION) and by definition, I do not trust…monarchy per se, or any autocratic rulers (as Putler). In conclusion, as the world-wide Orthodox Church is composed of many millions of different nationalities/races/sub-cultures/who live under or with different types of civil governments/ of people who DO think individual thoughts and come to different conclusions about many topics,….my religion is not a ‘one-mold-fits-all-religion’, inspite of our overall…’orthodoxy’ in doctrines and church structure.
    In the end, we do not believe that ANY earthly form of government/society CAN be perfect, as the perfect kingdom, is upstairs, The Kingdom of Heaven, the New Jerusalem. On earth, all is passing, transitory.
    We…are put on earth, to…suffer! Heaven on Earth, (Utopia) comes only after the Second Coming, not….now.
    Gorby said one version of the old Russian saying: “Man is born! Man suffers! Man dies!”
    Except, as Gorby is an announced athiest, Christians do see…beyond death.
    Of course too, other forms of the Christian religion have their own stresses and variations.
    Since Russians in the diaspora have lived in the West…and in many other cultures around the world, they and their children, naturally, adopt ideas from those cultures,….many which are not traditional-‘Russian’ ideas, that is true. This can be both beneficial for the Orthodox Religion, and also create new problems.
    Reader Daniel

  12. psalomschik,

    I certainly don’t mean to start religious dispute here :) And I don’t claim nearly as much expertise in Christian history, let alone Orthodox Christianity as you have. And I intentionally left out Catholicism that had much cozier relationship with the governments than protestants.

    My point is that it was easier for Orthodox priests in the USSR to console themselves that “all authority is from God” and join Stalin in his atrocities. Of course, you can say that by 1943 most talented, most principled and most faithful were either killed or in exile. And of course, the choice was between GULag and the palace – and nobody who didn’t face such choice can judge others who did.

    But ultimately, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Orthodox Christianity never had it Luther or Calvin – and that Moscow Patriarchy has been in bed with Russian government for almost half-millennium.

    You are American – and by your culture, does think for yourself, and do QUESTION. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why there are so few Russian Orthodox churches in America… They fit much better in Russia with communal, authoritarian society where priests and communists fought for the control of laity’s minds – but neither questioned the need for such control.

    Again, I mean no disrespect to you or to your religion; I hope you don’t find what I say offensive!

  13. Well Felix, This forum is much too short to go into all the deep and complicated history that you allude to. The first plan of the bolsheviks was to totally liquidate all religion, especially the Russian National Church….which it considered as it’s main enemy. So, under Lenin, at first that is what was done, mass murder of clergy in many places, or arrest & carting away of them…to never be seen again, churches and church institutions looted/desecrated/demolished, etc. That went on for some time, untill Stalin realized that he could not get Russians to fight and die for stinking communism, but that they would do so, for church and country. Hense, he in 1943 recalled a few imprisoned bishops (there were very few left free or alive then)…who to save their own skins, agreed to co-operate with him, and he created his Moscow Patriarchy, to co-op and create the illusion of the real Orthodox church…and so as to gain the sympathies of as many Russians as he could, to fight Hitler’s armies. Afterwards, he murdered off many of those co-operating clergy, or sent them to die in far away camps, etc. Millions of Orthodox bishops, priests, deacons, monks and nuns, and pious laymen….were outright murdered or sent to suffer and die in camps, etc. However! as the communists finally realized, they no longer sought to 100% destroy the Orthodox church, it was more…useful…to get it under their full control, and to make it an instrument of The Party in ruling Russia, etc. So, some formerly imprisoned bishops were released, and other lower clergy, IF they gave their loyalty to the Kremlin. And too, at the few seminaries, specially trained KGB officers, were gradually prepared to take leadership roles in that ‘church’. Hense, the present VERY COMPLICATED (& perhaps, impossible to fully define!) current official State, Moscow Patriarchy has existed to this day, with many ups and downs. Khruschcv tried to severely weaken it, closing thousands of parish churches. Now today, we are supposed to believe that , ‘Russia is free’, Czar-Vladimir Putin, is it’s protector, as were the real Czars, and that it is ‘needed to uplift the demoralized population, who were greatly discouraged by those NASTY bolsheviks of former sad days, etc.’
    So, Felix, the actual full history, is quite quite quite complicated.
    Thus, this monstrosity called, the Moscow Patriarchy is ruled at the top, by mostly KGB-‘bishop-agents’, but as one goes down to the mid and lower levels of the local clergy and to the parish levels, there are in fact, many who are actually …believers. But, pretty much all in that ‘church’ are constantly…affraid. They are not free to speak their minds. They are enslaved, perhaps as a pre-situation of the advent of AntiChrist’s open rule? Many Orthodox take that view of it all, that we are all at the end of time.
    I once asked a soviet-imigree young lady in San Francisco: ‘But, how did you know which ones of the clergy were KGB….and which were sincere real believers?” She answered me: ‘Oh, we knew!….we HAD TO KNOW!’
    So previously, there were indeed government agents IN the ranks of the clergy….at all levels, but especially in the higher ranks….and indeed today, this situation still exists. In fact, now, it is even worse, as Putler is making so many strong efforts to UTILIZE the church, as open instruments of has policies, at home, and abroad.
    I am not offended by what you say or ask.
    Even now, either inside Russia or outside, most of the world has little full grasp of this Gordian Knot, this swamp that is the current neo-soviet Russian Federation and it’s captive church.
    The difference between your analysis, and what most free Russians, living outside Russia think, (as also of many inside Russia too), is that our real true Russian Orthodoxy….is NOT represented at all, by the clowns in Moscow, but exists in the catacombs, in exile, in opposition to Moscow, and not in subservience to it. IT IS IN OUR HEARTS AND SOULS! To us, our faith is still holy and true and exists, regardless of our enemies. It has and still does produce many many saints.
    We are surprised by those outside our religion, who always seem to swallow the commie propaganda. We don’t!
    No, you are wrong. There are many Russian Orthodox parishes in America, (some, but not all, in subservience to Moscow, yes) and also many other ethnic Orthodox parishes. In fact, not many years ago, in a national religious census of America, Eastern Orthodoxy….came in as THE THIRD largest religion. We just don’t stand out, that’s all.
    But, but, but….I will stop here.
    As far as the mainstream Orthodox mindset, as compared with a mainstream Protestant mindset, yes they are very big different. We do believe in revealed religion, and that is not debateable, but is to be reverently accepted in humility. To us, that is genuine historic apostolic Christianity. We see our church as part of a continuum, an unbroken heritage with the Early Church, thru Constantine and up to the present….and ALWAYS under persecution.
    We do not accept western rationalism, etc.
    Would a ‘reasoned’ Protestant mindset, make us better fitted to deal with….whatever tyranical governments?
    We think not. Though, I personally like to focus on those teachings and aspects of our faith, which stress individual responsibility and using our God-given talents….which does mean, to use our intellects…hense…to sometimes, question.
    An overall Orthodox Christian view of ourselves and of all earthly calamities: “Whom the Lord loveth, He chastiseth”. That is straight from the Jewish (Old) Testament.
    He….has allowed our sufferings, to purify our souls.
    Eastern Orthodoxy sees God’s Providential hand in EVERY event. And in the end, we say: As God Wills!…or…Slava Bogu! Glory to God! (a concept which Mohammed borowed from Judaism and from us).
    Myself being born an American Protestant, and then, long ago, moving into Eastern Orthodoxy, for many many years now, I am very knowledgeble of the differences, and the different stresses of each. Yes, American culture and Russian culture have vast differences. But, there are the same human values. That is what Putler cannot accept or tolerate. All people want freedom, and peace, and prosperity.
    To me, Eastern Orthodoxy is The Apostolic Faith, and is far superior to any other forms of (Western) Christianity. What has happened to Russia, is God’s will, His righteous punishments meant to purify and to redeem, in the end of it all.
    It is but a replay of the Old Testament.
    Reader Daniel

  14. History – The tsar appointed the patriarchs.

    That is a HUGE problem.

    In the West, at one time, no ruler was viewed as “legitimate” until the Pope said so.

    So the debate in the West was over ultimate authority of church over state or state over church.

    That was resolved, after many painful years, via separation of church and state.

    Iran is a theocracy – I would not want to live there.

    Theocracies are inherently bad, as many people living under the Taliban found out.

    Russia never went through separation of church and state.

    Russia went through “try to kill the church,” which didn’t work, as noted above, and then simply “the church is part of stalinism/communism.”

    Church attendance is way, way down in Russia.

    But they still try to keep out Protestants and Catholics, and others.

    Freedom of religion in Russia? Ha!

  15. The KGB selected brainwashed orphans and trained them to become moscow Orthodox priests. In turn, this created an “army” of unintentional informants, because the sheeple went to confession and trusted their “priests”!

    I posted more comments on Kirill in the link below.

    Zenon V. Wasyliw is a professor of history at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.

    According to Zenon Wasyliw, Putin, Medvedev and Kirill are a powerful Russian troika engaged in joint political and religious manipulations.

    This status evolved politically under Russian tsarist expansive imperialism and Soviet control of and collaboration with the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. We now live in post-colonial and post-Soviet times that call for an honest acceptance of autocephalous self-governance for Orthodox Christians in Ukraine.

    Patriarch Kirill opposes “political orthodoxy,” yet the Russian Orthodox Church closely collaborates with Russian leaders Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev in spreading a Russian nationalist (some say proto-fascist) message in Russia and the “near abroad.”

    Putin, Medvedev and Kirill, a powerful Russian troika, engage in joint political and religious commemorations of the White General Anton Denikin, supporting and echoing Denikin’s denigration of Ukrainians, the political canonization into sainthood of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and five children, in support of a reactionary Russian imperial ideological foundation of Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Russian Nationality with its legacy of chauvinistic policies and pogroms.

    Many other examples bring to question whether Patriarch Kirill’s visit is a political mission to re-engage a reactionary past of a revived vision of Russian imperial control over Ukraine.

    The Russian Orthodox Church remains silent on many recent and current human rights abuses by the Russian state, such as the suspicious deaths of journalists critical of the government, the assault upon the human rights group Memorial, the censorship and political control of history, among many others.

    Serge Schmemann, son of the famous Orthodox theologian, notes in the April 2009 National Geographic the catastrophically low level of monthly church attendance in Russia, estimated at 10 percent to less than 1 percent.

    Read rest at:

  16. Kirill is a parasite who would be intolerable in any western democracy.

    We Americans got very lucky with our founding father’s who refused to repeat Britain’s designated Church of England as the officially approved church. Jefferson as I recollect reading was an agnostic. He was highly suspicious of organized religion.

    And, never forget that it was Jesus…”Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”…..that gave Christians permission to forge secular civil societies rather than theocracies.

  17. Hey, why this cosplayer is wearing a Chechen rebel flag?

  18. To all fellow commentors here: Well, such deep historical /cultural /religious/ political matters of both Western history and also of Russian history, are far far too much to go into here, at any meaningful depth. Especially, to study all that history…with the hoped for end goal, of….SOMEHOW! deciphering….: 1) what makes current ‘Russia’ tick, and 2) HOW!? to make it/or help it to behave as a peaceful non-threatening nation, to the rest of us??? (or as some would put it, ‘How To Save Russia?”)… again, but all of our wishes, our…hopes. Maybe?….seeking an untainable goal?
    As an American, (part of a country/culture with such a short history and in essence, a conglomeration of transplanted Western European values and peoples), I also have to constantly remind myself, when trying to understand many other truly, old (some ancient) world cultures, Russia among them,….that such cultures are VERY complicated, and their cultures have been forged by many many diverse influences, so that….most of them have turned out today, to be QUITE different/’odd’, to our American standards of normal-nations. Russia is an enigma! It always was so! But so are many other older cultures around this planet.
    The ones that THREATEN US, however, those are the ones which we must!…understand (or at least try to).
    Russia is a collage of all of it’s past, pre-Christian, Christian, and Soviet and now ‘Neo-soviet,’ which does include, in it’s past formation, the strong influence of Byzantine Christianity, giving it many of it’s deepest held goals, and standards, and…it’s very reason-for
    -being,….. in the past, ‘Holy Russia’, ‘The Enclosed Garden of the Virgin Mary’…..that was the GOAL of it’s highest national/religious aspirations. It’s long complicated history, was at many points, influenced by ‘The West’ (as by all those invasions of Russia, by European powers), it’s Orthodox religion (which does consider itself as THE SOLE LEGITIMATE Christian religion, and all other forms as heretical and thus…bad, etc. It was always ruled by a heavy-handed autocrat, in the Byzantine mode: “Orthodoxy and Autocracy!”.
    It’s national history was it’s east-ward expansion, and it’s constant fears of foreign threats (quite real threats), the almost impossible inability to fully control all of it’s vast territories and varied peoples, etc.
    Western influences, were very pronounced, at some periods of time, including Protestant and Catholic colonists being allowed by the Czar to settle in Russia (Peter the Great encouraged such colonies, and more so, Czarina Katherine), etc. And by the way, there are in current Russia, large numbers of Protestants and Catholics, both of foreign-ethnic origins and also of Russian members.
    Well anyway, I CANNOT here attempt to write the full historical description of Russia., even from what meager sources which I know of. Suffice for me to state that: to fully understand present Russia, we all need to better know it’s long and complicated past, as it is a culture which is old and convoluted and which has many big differences with Western European cultures. Also, we need to constantly remind ourselves, that the current KGB gangster communist-era hangover Putler ruled Russia, is NOT the best of genuine Russian culture, it is not the true Russia.
    I truly cannot say much more, here or now.
    And too, if we see only bad, in anything and everything ‘Russian’ (as I myself sometimes in despair with all the rotten things going on there, today, fall into myself), …then we will never understand how or when things might improve there.
    What is now in current Russia, is NOT the best of Russia.
    Reader Daniel

  19. Sergey Shelukhin

    Hey, look at every major religious leader. This bling is crude, because he’s more corrupt than average (or because Ortodox faith is almost unparalleled in it’s authoritarian leanings, only Islam can beat it in this area).
    If you look at other more barbarian, medieval branch of Christianity, US evangelicals, their televangelists are full of the same bling, if only more refined.
    Every tribal shepherd of sheep wants his wool, whether he’s totalitarian dictator or religious leader.

  20. Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on a recent visit to Ukraine
    September 06, 2009

    Russia’s Patriarch Increasingly Becoming Major Force In Politics

    Kirill’s comments linking sacred Christian faith and secular nuclear might raised eyebrows, particularly among Russia’s religious minorities. The event, analysts say, also served to illustrate the patriarch’s growing political profile.

    Soft-Power Tool

    Kirill’s political role was clearly on display during his recent high-profile trip to Ukraine, where he sought to unite the country’s fractious Orthodox Christians who are split into parishes loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate and an autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    Many observers saw political undercurrents in Kirill’s trip, which came as Moscow was engaged in a bitter struggle with the pro-Western government in Kyiv — and came shortly after a visit to Ukraine by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

    In a televised speech on July 28, Kirill implored Ukrainians not to sacrifice the common Orthodox Christian values they share with Russia in the pursuit of closer ties with Europe, a clear reference to Kyiv’s efforts to join NATO and the European Union.

    Father Ihor Yatsyv, press secretary for the head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Lubomyr Huzar, told RFE/RL’s Russian Service that Kirill sounded like “a politician from Russia…who wants to establish a sphere of influence in Ukraine” rather than a religious leader.

    “The visit was not just pastoral. It was political,” Yatsyv said.

    “Given Kirill’s statements about two brotherly peoples that cannot be divided, one has to wonder whether he understands that Ukraine today is an independent country.”

    Under a recent agreement with the ruling United Russia party, he has won the right to review and suggest changes to any legislation before the State Duma that is of particular interest to the church!

    • Yes, the more barbarian the government, the more influence religion (or surrogate) has. *cough*Bush and Robertson*cough*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s