Kirill Prepares for Holy Russian Empire

Paul Goble reports:

In the waning days of 2009, Patriarch Kirill made three statements designed among other things to position the Russian Orthodox Church for even greater role in Russian politics at home and abroad in the year to come, a role that some may welcome but that others will see as a challenge to secular values and human rights in both Russia and Europe.

First, in what must be music to the ears of many in the Russian government, Kirill repeated his longstanding view that Russia represents a unique civilization and should therefore can and should ignore the evaluations offered by outside experts and institutions like the European Court of Human Rights. Second, and as part of his campaign to build bridges with the Papacy and conservative Christians more generally, the outspoken Russian patriarch lashed out at Europeans for surrendering their cultural and political values to what he described in Gumilyev-style language as “passionate” Muslims. And third, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church further integrated that institution with the state not by signing an expanded cooperation accord with the Academy of Government Service, and demanding that the powers that be support religions relative to their size.

In a speech to the Russian Academy of State Service, the patriarch said that Russians must not allow themselves to be judged “on the basis of alien criteria” and that it was long past time for Russians to stop trying to show outsiders that “we are good little boys, we live according to the same criteria, it is simply that we have certain shortcomings.” Kirill’s rejection of universal values, his insistence that Russia cannot be measured except in terms of itself, and his dismissal of the findings of Western governments and the European Court of Human Rights have figured in his speeches and writings long before he became patriarch.

But now that he is patriarch, Kirill’s overt hostility to common values takes on new meaning, reinforcing the attitudes of some in the Russian government including Vladimir Putin that no one has the right to judge anything Moscow does and that any attempts to do so will be met first with scorn and then with charges that their authors are guilty of the same or worse.

Moreover, in this speech, Kirill went even further, arguing that if Russia follows Western values, which he said were defined by “an orientation to success, well-being and comfort,” then there was real danger that Russia, as Europe already is doing will yield “to that ‘passionate force, which today the Islamic communities are exerting” there.  As Kirill pointed out, “for Muslim countries, the religious factor in social life has always played a primary role while in Europe the situation is the reverse, and many Europeans have lost ‘the ability to sacrifice themselves, to give up their life for the Motherland,” a risk that he insists Russia cannot afford.

“If we will realize liberal ideas in social consciousness in a thoroughgoing manner (not in economics, in economics, liberalism is an appropriate phenomenon and an important factor, albeit with qualifications), then” Kirill insisted, “at the end we too will have a weak man who will defend neither his Motherland nor his family and friends.”

Two aspects of these remarks are worth noting. On the one hand and more than in the past, Kirill is using the language of Eurasianist Lev Gumilyev, an indication of his increasing tilt toward that element of the Russian nationalist spectrum, possibly on the basis of his judgment that that is the coming thing. And on the other, his outspoken defense of religious supremacy and traditional values not only will find support among many Russians who have had their lives upset by the turmoil of transition but perhaps even more among those around Pope Benedict XVI who has warned of many of the same things in his homilies and statements.

Indeed, it appears likely that Kirill who very much hopes for a rapprochement politically if not theologically with the Vatican was directing his remarks last week as much at the Vatican as at the Kremlin, although the Russian powers that be would certainly welcome closer ties with Rome. Finally, after his speech, Kirill signed a new cooperation agreement with the Russian Academy of State Service, something that will open the way for even more priests to receive training there, and he indicated that in his view the government must support religious communities “proportionately to their presence in society.”

Kirill has pushed that idea before, but because the Moscow Patriarchate is seeking to expand the inter-religious council system down to the regional level, the realization of this idea is certain to touch off disputes not only about how many followers any particular faith has – no one knows for sure – but also about what religions should be represented. In the patriarch’s view, only the four “traditional” religions of Russia — Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism – have that right and only they can expect state support as protected faiths. If Kirill continues to push this view without modification, he may please the Russian powers that be, but he will offend many in Russia and in Europe as well.

13 responses to “Kirill Prepares for Holy Russian Empire

  1. A seperate morality for Russians?
    What absolute nonsense!
    The Ten Commandments, plus Jesus teachings, and almost 2000 years of Christianity, not to mention Judaism’s direct and indirect contribution to European AND Russian culture, these underpinings of Western morality, are the SAME!
    Plus, basic right and wrong, is UNIVERSAL!!!
    Eastern Orthodoxy, whether in the Russian Church or in the Greek Church, or whatever national Orthodox local church, does NOT teach some ‘other’ morality, than does traditional European religious culture does (Catholic or Protestant). It is mostly based on the Bible, both in the East and in the West.
    The communists, of course, teach many many things, contrary to basic Christian morality, contrary to basic human decency, contrary to humanity in general.
    Dear KGB agent, Kyrill -Gundaev, the current ‘Patriarch’, last year, was quoted as suggesting that, “a thirteenth comandment should be ,’added to the Ten Commandments’, one which orders loyalty to one’s motherland” (!)….???
    My, how very convenient, for a KGB-run ‘church’!
    That would mean, that if one’s ‘motherland’s government’ ordered any Russian to….murder…for the motherland, then….God …would bless that! (?)
    Am I confused, or do we witness a co-opting and subverting of genuine religious morality?
    Just my thoughts and musings…..
    Rd. Daniel….an Orthodox church ‘Reader’ who KNOWS that my church’s basic morality, is NOT different, is NOT something…peculiarly, ‘Russian’!
    What rubbish!
    This is but more proof, of who ‘Patriarch Kyrill’ serves. And it is not God!

    • OOPS! I should have said, ‘an Eleventh commandment should be added to The Ten Commandments’, …not a thirteenth…..
      (One looses track of numbers and of various quotes of these rascals who run present Russia, as they tell SO MANY LIES….who can keep all the propaganda straight?)

    • Don’t get upset. I don’t know anything about Orthodox Church and how it is different from Roman Catholics, for example, but I see that Cyrill is simply a politician. And he propounds a very old idea of their exclusivity, sort of like Moscow being the Third Rome. Nothing new here.

      But what is unsettling is this aggressive tone of his. I thought the term “aggressive” no longer applies to Christian Churches, only to some Muslims. I guess I was wrong. That what happens when a church becomes an arm of a state

      • Dear RV,

        Without getting into deep theological discussions, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church are basically the same. The only main difference is that the Ukrainian Orthodox does not believe in the pope. When (in the bible) Jesus Christ Told Peter to take His place, He did not Tell Peter – or anybody else- to decide who will take the place of Jesus Christ on earth.

        I am preparing a “brief” comment on the History of Christianity in Ukraine, which I will post here later.



        PS The MP is not a politician – he is KGB! More info at:

  2. The priest Jerzy Popiełuszko survived one assassination attempt and suffered ultimately a fatal beating at the hands of the communist SB thugs in 1984 during his efforts to confront and expose an inhumane and oppressive government that ruled by fear. The Roman Catholic church certainly has its problems and detractors but a priest like Popiełuszko, who gave his life for freedom and basic human dignity, could teach this public lackey, Patriarch Kirill/Cyrill, something about the business of spiritual responsibility.

    This is but more proof, of who ‘Patriarch Kyrill’ serves. And it is not God!

    Indeed! If you prefer Caesar over Jesus, then just say so, you coward, Cyrill, because there are those in your own church whom you demean, those who dared stand up to Lenin and paid for it with their lives. Sadly, their sacrifice only paved the way for those like you who made deals with your people’s oppressors and deny them the rights to justice, dignity and a life without fear. The S.P.C.A. treats British and American pets better than you would allow for your ‘special Russians’. Say what you will about the Catholic Church and its many foibles; Poland today is a free land in part because of those like Popiełuszko. What kind of Russia will you leave behind, Patriarch Cyrill?

  3. Do you mind if I cross-post this one?

  4. ‘Patriarch Kyrill’, truly a wonder!

    Poor man! He has just today ,Orthodox Christmas, completed 5-6 hours, of intricate and lengthy and complicated liturgical worship services, concluding at about 3:30 AM, in the ornate golden domed Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, for Orthodox Christmas.
    We already know,from numerous past slips of his tongue, that he could not possibly believe there is a God, he rejects the Resurrection of Christ (& no doubt, all Christian doctrines), but…he….functions. He performs, his theatrical role, in his Byzantine Holy Patriarch’s costume, with that weird white head-gear, (which no honest-self respecting athiest would be caught dead in!)…no doubt causing his head to sweat, monotonously chanting the appropriate verbal blessings and lifting candles and letting people kiss his hand, moving this way and that (whatever is called for, by the ancient Orthodox service books), etc.
    He is a well trained KGB officer, a high-general in rank. He is next to the highest & most important figures in the Kremlin’s scheme of their ruling class .Putin depends on him, to keep the masses in order, and bussy crossing themselves, kissing icons, lighting candles in church ,and excusing the government’s abuses and evils.
    He teaches the people, that GOD wants them, to follow the Kremlin’s orders, to sacrifice themselves ‘for the Motherland’.
    AND, obeying!….always OBEYING!, never questioning authority….as that would be a ‘sin’! Poor guy! having to go through all that religious gobbledy-gook, for hours and hours and hours.
    He has to wait for his cigarettes & Cuban cigars, and his vodka or cognac, and his mistresses…..all part of his behind the scenes, NON-patriarchal, real life.
    Yet, this is the fellow who is leading, this new ‘Holy Russia’???????????????
    There is nothing, holy, about him or Putin, or their gangster-rule of Russia.

  5. And the news is of how the clergy and faithful of our Church have been forced out of their churches in the most crude and blasphemous manner, churches which had been given to them for their perpetual use. The actions of our government officials are enough to give any Orthodox Christian living in our so-called “legitimate, democratic society” cause for alarm and reflection. Our churches, so dear to the heart of any believing person, were taken away from us.

    The Orthodox Church, Orthodox Christians kicked out of Orthodox churches, have been subjected to persecution in its most blatant and naked form. And this is happening at a time when our country, Russia, no longer calls itself an atheistic government, and no longer seeks to establish atheism or any other “generally required” ideology. Additionally, the Russian authorities tell us constantly that our country is free and powerful; that it is “rising from its knees;” that it is building a government based on law and order, and that its authorities guarantee freedom of religion, and respect the feelings and religious convictions of people of faith, especially of those who are Orthodox.

    They constantly assure us that Russia is experiencing a religious renaissance, and that the Russian population is being cleansed from the defilement and the moral decay that it has inherited from the Godlessness of the Soviet era.

    But how do we see things, who live in the very heart of Holy Russia – in the ancient center of Russian spirituality, Suzdal? The present government’s law enforcement agencies are turning out, throwing out into the street, people who are Russians, and Orthodox, natives of Suzdal, citizens of Russia, from ancient Orthodox churches, which these people rebuilt from complete ruins with faith and with love, paying for the repairs with their own measly pensions and meager salaries, and in which, with the government’s permission, and in accordance with the law, they poured out their prayers to God.

    Crooked judges, submitting to the instructions of the authorities, ignored the reasoned and obvious proofs that the faithful had put forward at trial, and decided instead to mock their faith. They are utterly disinterested in the fact that, for us Orthodox Christians, these churches are not only, and not so much, “national and historical landmarks,” as they are holy places; places where the glory of God resides among men, and serve as reminders of God’s presence in this world. It is impossible to force a pious Orthodox Christian out of his church, and forbid him from praying inside it, without insulting his spiritual feelings and convictions in the process. The authorities of our so-called “spiritually reawakening Russia” have joined themselves to this travesty!

    Despite all common sense and applicable law, the so-called “courts” have removed these sanctuaries, these national historical and cultural monuments, from the faithful, who are the ones who rescued these buildings from utter ruin, who turned them into the veritable jewels of Suzdal and its environs, and have turned them over to the faceless, nameless, government – to the very bureaucrats that turned these churches into ruins in the first place! What law, what logic, can justify the “decision” of these judges in deciding between the two sides who wish to use these churches – one side restoring the churches, and the other ruining them? Their choice can only bear witness to their participation in some kind of blasphemous, Stalinist act, or else their blind obedience to some order from above, without the slightest indication of their own human feelings and values.

    The present government continues to “fill up the measure of its fathers” (Matt. 22:32), i.e. to fill up the measure of those persecutions and blasphemies perpetrated by the Godless Soviet atheists, who turned our once charming and beautiful homeland into a land of devastation and ruin, and who bear upon themselves the seal of condemnation by the Almighty.

    From a spiritual point of view, for us true Orthodox Christians, the present Russian government is no different from the God-hating Soviet government, which, by the way, it finds no fault with, and considers itself to be the heir of. The holy Confessor of Russia, St. Patriarch Tikhon, who was tortured by that government for his honesty and loyalty to the Truth, anathematized that government specifically for that government’s wholesale desecration of our holy places, persecution of the faithful, and repression of the clergy. And now, because we bring these points up and speak about them, point out the spiritual ties between the Soviet government and the present one in Russia, witness to the facts of persecution and discrimination against Orthodox Christians as they continue to take place in our much-suffering homeland, we are about to be labeled as extremists, and subjected to even more persecution. If this “extremism” is the same “extremism” for which the holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia were shot, then we answer that the Church of Christ would be honored to bear this false accusation.

    Perhaps you require our Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, the little flock of the last times, to be reborn and become “one in spirit” with you, as the Sergianist, ecumenical Moscow Patriarchate did? Indeed, several of you have already openly suggested to us to meet with the false patriarch Kirill, and to “follow the example” of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, i.e. the part of that church that united with the Moscow Patriarchate with its right to pseudo-autonomy. With your false promises you may well be able to lead astray some of “these little ones,” perhaps even some of the clergy. “Many will be led astray,” our Lord Jesus Christ foretold before His Passion, “and will betray each other, and despise each other. And many false prophets will arise, and lead many astray.” (Matt. 24:10-11).

    With an abundance of love in Christ Jesus,
    Valentine, Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir
    2009/2010 Christmas | Suzdal

    Here is a comment from the above link:

    The Moscow Patriarchate (MP), which calls itself the Russian Orthodox Church, is a para-synagogue, created by Stalin and the communist state in 1943, to rally the Russian people against the Nazi invaders. After the massive persecutions, arrests, executions, exiles, and destruction of the Orthodox Church by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s and 30s, the communists resorted to another tactic for the purpose of controlling the Church, having realized that the christian faith cannot be eradicated completely by violent means alone. They created the Sergianist Moscow Patriarchate in 1943 (called after Metropolitan Sergius who betrayed the traditional Faith by his capitulation to the God-hating atheists since 1926). This false church persecuted the true orthodox christians who were in hiding as “catacombniks” within the boundaries of the Soviet Union. Part of the catacomb church resurfaced after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, and formed the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC). The Moscow Patriarchate is now continuing its persecution of this remnant church with the cooperation of the government of the Russian Federation. In the last year, all church buildings in Suzdal, the spiritual center of the ROAC, have been confiscated by the state and handed over to the MP. The MP does not honor the New Martyrs under the communist yoke, and is heavily engaged in false and heretical ecumenism.

  6. To Les,
    Yes, thank you for this very valuable on-the-spot testimony, this Nativity epistle of (dissident) Metropolitan Valentine of the Russian Autonomous Church , as to what EXACTLY the Putin athiestic government, is doing to Orthodox believers, who will not and who cannot in good conscience, submit themselves to the false-church, the official ‘Moscow Patriarchate’.
    His words here, give a lot of the important details of the situation, which only can come from those who are actually suffering, who are actually living in Suzdal.
    We in the west, cannot fully know or understand the tragedies/tribulations over there.

  7. Dear Psalomschick,

    I have posted the following two comments before.

    >> 1939-41 The kremlin closes or destroys Ukrainian Churches in Western UKRAINE and kills most of the UKRAINIAN priests, clergy, etc {about 10,000}, and replaces the pulpits with KGB, to shrive the Ukrainian people.

    >> 1943 The kremlin allows the moskali Orthodox Church (MP) to reopen to assist them in the war, and the KGB are given pulpits to stand on, and work as priests, and shrive the Ukrainian people.

    I found a classic example of what I have been saying for decades:

  8. Wednesday, January 6, 2010
    Window on Eurasia: Kirill Expanding Patriarchate’s Missionary Effort in Russia and Abroad

    Paul Goble

    Vienna, January 6 – Patriarch Kirill has assumed tighter personal control over a much-expanded Missionary Department in the Patriarchate’s central office, a move that highlights his commitment to increasing missionary activity by the Russian Orthodox Church not only inside the Russian Federation but abroad.

    {This means that the KBG has opened a new division for the kremlin to control their “near abroad”.}

    That of course is part and parcel of Kirill’s much-commented-upon effort to create a genuine “power vertical” within the Church, but it also suggests, Zherebyatyev continues, that “de facto the Missionary Department will cease to be a synodical one and is being transformed into a Patriarchal one,” controlled by and answerable only to Kirill.

    At the same time, however, the religious affairs expert cautioned against overdramatizing what Kirill is about in this case.”What is taking place,” he said, “does not mean a significant destruction of the existing administrative structure [of the Church] by means of the activization of the departments of the Moscow Patriarchate.”

    Zherebyatyev’s cautionary note is important, but there are other indications besides the shake-up in the Missionary Department that point to a radical expansion in missionary activity under Kirill. One of the most intriguing of these developments was reported this week by VOA (

    The Moscow Patriarchate “has opened its first seminary outside the former Soviet Union,” the American radio station said, housing the small start- up – it has only a dozen students now — in a former Catholic convent and drawing students primarily from Russia and the other post-Soviet republics but with plans to attract people from elsewhere as well.

  9. Now KGB kirill (MP) is trying to steal Orthodox churches in other foreign contries to expand the KGB network, and screw other true Orthodox believers.

    French court hands Nice cathedral to Russia
    Yesterday at 17:48 | Reuters NICE, France, Jan 20 (Reuters) – The Russian state won a major legal victory onJan. 20when a French court ruled that it was the owner of the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Nice — one of the most beautiful outside the faith’s homeland.

    The decision gave a boost to Russia’s post-communist Orthodox Church, which is looking to regain foreign properties whose congregations switched allegiance to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul after the 1917 Russian Revolution.

  10. Rights group: Russian religious freedom in danger

    Today at 17:13 | Associated Press

    MOSCOW (AP) — Human rights activists say that religious freedoms are being rapidly curtailed throughout Russia as the Orthodox Church seeks to boost its dominance.

    The independent Moscow-based Liberty of Conscience Institute presented a report on Monday outlining what it describes as a systematic crisis in the freedom of religious expression.

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