Friday, October 31, 2014


Transmission

Orthodox Patriarch Says Russians Having Too Much Fun

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill is no stranger to controversy.
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill is no stranger to controversy.
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has urged Russians to have less fun and spend more of their free time in seclusion.

On July 11, Kirill said there was "more fun than needed" in the life of Russians.

He said people spent a lot of their energy working and should occupy their time in isolated, quiet places instead of celebrating during their vacations.

He cited the rugged archipelago of Valaam, close to the border with Finland, as a suitable holiday destination. (Valaam is home to a 14th-century monastery and has a population of roughly 600.)

The ultraconservative patriarch, who is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has not hesitated to speak his mind on a number of other issues in the past.

Earlier this year, he sparked controversy by describing feminism as a "very dangerous" phenomenon.

He has also raised the ire of reformists by criticizing political opposition protests and supporting the imprisonment of members of the feminist collective Pussy Riot last year for performing an anti-Putin "punk prayer" in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

Although he is well-known for his criticism of Western consumerism and liberal values, Kirill raised eyebrows after he was spotted wearing a 30,000 euro ($39,000) Breguet watch during a visit to Ukraine in 2009.

The Swiss watch was later at the center of an embarrassing kerfuffle for the patriarch when it appeared to have been airbrushed out of a photo on Kirill's website.

The move was rumbled by eagle-eyed bloggers, who noticed that the photoshopper had forgotten to erase the watch's reflection on a table. (The incident forced the church to issue an explanation that the luxurious watch was, in fact, a gift from a wealthy parishioner and that Patriarch Kirill usually preferred to keep it in its box.)

Despite being no stranger to controversy, Kirill still continues to be a force in Russian politics. He has the right to review any legislation before the State Duma that is of interest to the Russian church.

He also maintains an influence in social and cultural spheres; making efforts to expand the teachings of Orthodox Christianity in Russia's state schools while strongly fighting against sex education, which is included in the already ratified European Social Charter.

-- Ana Lomtadze, with reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ray F. from: Lawrence, KS
July 11, 2013 20:24
I tried to find the original source where the Patriarch made these comments, but was unable. Could the author provide a link? Thanks.
In Response

by: Samuel J. Howard from: Jamaica, NY
July 12, 2013 03:33
Interfax article: http://www.interfax.ru/news.asp?id=317863
In Response

by: Robert from: Prague
July 12, 2013 04:25
Here is a link to the Patriarch's remarks in Gazeta.ru:

http://www.gazeta.ru/social/news/2013/07/11/n_3033817.shtml
In Response

by: Ray F. from: Lawrence, KS
July 12, 2013 13:18
Thanks for the link. Indeed, with the country being surrounded by mortal enemies, who could imagine having fun?

Some of the reader comments at the gazeta.ru site were clever. Was the patriarch advertising for the Valaam region? Or Pussy Riot showed if you have fun, you may end up in solitude. Then again, who should talk about having less fun when you own expensive apartments and have a mansion on the Black Sea?

by: Gregory from: Gainesville FL
July 12, 2013 15:18
Owning and wearing $39,000 wristwatches is hardly asceticism and non-possessiveness or non-acquisitiveness, at least according to what this Orthodox Christian was taught. Perhaps Patriarch Cyril should contemplate that in quiet solution, along with the old adage, "Practice what you preach."

by: Ryan B from: Virginia
July 12, 2013 23:44
People, this is the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Everything he said should be no more of a surprise than learning that the Pope is indeed Catholic and an old priest. His positions on these issues are part of the job description, get over it.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
July 13, 2013 14:29
first of all, I ask, give me proof that God asked Gundyaev do what he does.
Yesterday in a dream God appeared to me and said that Gundyayev is impostor and the son of Satan.
Satan commanded to him and Putin to kill innocent girls.
If the children of Satan do not agree with this situation let they refute the word of God.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
July 13, 2013 18:58
Aaah,Vakhtangadze,the proof is in the bottle of adulterated moonshine your countrymen like to abuse a touch too much,so you`d better switch to armenian cognac,before Koba appears in real and takes ya with him in the fiery furnace,putting you in a pot with Konstantine from LA.
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
July 15, 2013 04:43
Sectarians of the house of worship and the children of Satan Gundyayev and Putin has long been waiting for a camel from the cave.
It will be a "great" trinity....
Three is the favorite number in Russia
Two maniac and a camel will drink vodka in the prayer shack.

by: Tromstan from: Norway
July 14, 2013 23:14
I doubt very much that Patriarch Kirill will give up his own wealth and his live-in lady friend. His words are mere bluster.

by: Robert Ian williams
July 15, 2013 05:04
Notice how he can't preach against contraception or abortion, which are destroying the ethnic Russian population, and leading to national implosion!

Don't be taken in by the beautiful church buildings and the singing...all is not well in Muscovy.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

Most Popular