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.