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We did forgive them from the very start

Well isn’t that sweet – the Russian Orthodox Church declares it has “forgiven” Pussy Riot. It forgave them all along. It wanted to see them severely punished, certainly, but hey, that doesn’t mean it didn’t “forgive” them.

Two top clerics in the Russian Orthodox Church said Saturday that it has forgiven the members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot who were convicted of hooliganism and sent to prison for briefly taking over a cathedral in a raucous prayer for deliverance from Vladimir Putin.

Tikhon Shevkunov, who heads Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery and is widely believed to be the Russian president’s spiritual counselor, said on state television Saturday that his church forgave the singers right after their “punk prayer” in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow in February.

“The church has been sometimes accused of not forgiving them,” the bearded and bespectacled cleric said. “We did forgive them from the very start. But such actions should be cut short by society and authorities.”

See? They’re not doing it wrong. They totally forgave them, right from the very start. It’s just that it also wanted them stopped, and sentenced to years of hard labor in a prison camp. That’s a totally separate thing!

Both clerics supported the court’s decision to prosecute Pussy Riot, despite an international outcry that called it unfair. Governments, including those in the United States, Britain, France and Germany, denounced the sentences as disproportionate.

The Pussy Riot case has underlined 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 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.”

So it whipped up more irrational hatred and then pretended to ask for clemency while still hoping the convicted stfu.

Comments

  1. Bob Jase says

    It appears the Russian Orthodox Church learned very quickly that allying itself with a regressive corrupt politic party is the 21st century way to go.

  2. 'Tis Himself says

    “We forgive them, we just want them to be punished so other people are deterred from disturbing our arrogant hubris.”

  3. says

    Wanting to see someone severely punished for um… I don’t know… because I really don’t see what they did as that bad in which it needed 2 years in prison… but anyway, that is not forgiveness. Wanting to see someone severely punished for freedom of speech and maybe a little disturbance of the peace, is revengeful and not at all forgiveness. This is thing in Russia is all about control, esp Orthodox Church control of human beings and suppression of speech. [Soviet] Russia has not changed a bit since the fall of Communism. It still seems to rule with a brutal Stalinistic hand. Apparently they still want moose and squirrel too, but they’ll settle for degrading and dehumanizing three women.

  4. Hypatia's Daughter says

    That is where religion gets it backwards.
    We don’t want your (useless) forgiveness for disagreeing with you. We want you to stop aligning with the state to punish those who disagree with you.

  5. ckitching says

    Russia has not changed a bit since the fall of Communism.

    I’m not sure it changed much with the rise of Communism, either. Maybe someone with more knowledge of Russian history can comment, but it seems to me that it was one non-democratic authoritarian empire after another, with the pre-Communist and post-Communist states supported by the clergy.

  6. says

    Bob Jase says:

    It appears the Russian Orthodox Church learned very quickly that allying itself with a regressive corrupt politic party is the 21st century way to go.

    The links between the KGB and the ROC go back the Khrushchev era. When Putin was a KGB officer all senior positions in the ROC would have had to have KGB approval. Tikhon Shevkunov probably owes much of the success in his carrier to the KGB if not to Putin himself. In the 90′s Putin held various political positions (the distinction between a civil servant and a politician is unclear in Russia!) and he went out of his way to court the ROC helping them to get churches and monasteries restored at state expense and helping to get prayers and religious teaching into schools.

  7. Roger says

    ‘It appears the Russian Orthodox Church learned very quickly that allying itself with a regressive corrupt politic party is the 21st century way to go.’
    They learned thar several centuries ago. Over the last few years the Russian Orthodox Church has made several attempts to suppress and/or take over- especially take over the property- of various unorthodox churches.
    Does the Russian Orthodox Church favour forgiveness with extreme prejudice, perhaps?

  8. leftwingfox says

    Shorter: “We wanted them punished, we just don’t want to be held accountable for having them punished.”

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