Telegraph Expose Of An Unholy Alliance

From The Shepherd Magazine
THE TELEGRAPH has published an exposé of the Moscow Patriarchate’s present political involvement by Adrian Blomfield.  He writes: “Russia’s Orthodox Church, despite decades of brutal repression under Soviet rule, is putting its trust in the KGB to ensure that a remarkable religious revival does not fade with the departure of President Vladimir Putin.  In an unusual move, Alexei II, the Church’s patriarch, has endorsed deputy prime minister Dmitry Medvedev ahead of next week’s presidential election.  The influence of his support on Russia’s estimated 100 million Orthodox worshippers is immense.  It also illustrates the unholy alliance the Church has forged with the Kremlin since Mr Putin came to power eight years ago.…  The relationship might seem odd.  It was the KGB, after all, that led persecution of the Church in Soviet times, when priests were regularly jailed, tortured and executed.  Neither this nor accusations that Mr Putin is restoring many of the attributes of Soviet rule seem to bother Alexei.  Although he has never confirmed it, the patriarch, like the president, is a former KGB agent codenamed Drozdov, according to Soviet archives opened to experts in the 1990s.  Many in the Orthodox hierarchy are also accused of working as KGB informers, a fact that critics say the Church has never fully acknowledged.  ‘Essentially, the Orthodox Church is one of the only Soviet institutions that has never been reformed,’ said one priest, who declined to be identified for fear that he could be defrocked.…  Priests are regularly seen on television sprinkling holy water on bombers and even nuclear missiles, a blessing that reinforces Mr Putin’s own militaristic philosophy.  The Church has even supported Mr Putin’s repression of democracy, with a senior bishop last year comparing human rights activists to traitors.…  In return, Mr Putin has worn his religious credentials very publicly and is regularly shown on state television kissing icons at Church services.  Given his popularity, Mr Putin’s example has been emulated by many Russians.  The business and political elite have assiduously followed instructions to fund the rebuilding of churches destroyed by the Soviets across the country.…”  It is deplorable that journalistic commentators can see these things so clearly, and dedicated church people fail to do so.

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