Thursday, January 20, 2011

Misogynist Priests in Russia

Classes were cancelled today, and I also forgot to bring my external hard drive home. So now all I can do is blog and cook. Which wouldn't be that bad if it happened at any point in the semester. Well, I'll stop complaining now.

My reader Canukistani brought it to my attention that the most recent bizarre pronouncement by a priest of the increasingly radicalized Russian Orthodox Church has made the news in the US:
A top official for the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday proposed creating an “all-Russian dress code,” lashing out at women who leave the house “painted like a clown” and “confuse the street with striptease.” Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has angered women’s groups recently with his comments about female modesty. At a December round table on interethnic relations, he said a woman wearing a miniskirt “can provoke not only a man from the Caucasus,” the predominately Muslim region on Russia’s southern border, “but a Russian man as well.” “If she is drunk on top of that, she will provoke him even more,” he said. “If she is actively inviting contact, and then is surprised that this contact ends with a rape, she is all the more at fault.”
This nice Christian priest is convinced that victims of rape are responsible for the actions of their rapists and has no problem with saying it in public. The same high-ranking Russian Orthodox Church official recently suggested that the way women dress today resulted in
to short-term marriages, which are immediately followed by ratlike divorces, to the destruction of children’s lives, to solitude and madness, to life-catastrophe.
It's easy to dismiss Chaplin as a crazed individual who is experiencing a very public psychotic break. However, to think so would entail underestimating the power of the Russian Orthodox Church in the country.
Russian Orthodox Church has a history that is nothing less than shameful. It collaborated with every oppressive regime that ever existed in the country. During Soviet times, Orthodox priests collaborated with the secret police. They routinely broke the seal of confession and informed on the parishioners who questioned the regime. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Church has been making money by engaging in untaxed sales of alcohol and cigarettes. Just think about it. The same Church whose officials blame destruction of lives on women's clothing thinks nothing of selling alcohol and cigarettes in a country where mortality rates due to alcoholism are sky-high.

Russian Orthodox Church uses its influence with the Russian government to promote discrimination against people of other religious persuasions in a country that is supposed to be secular. It routinely opposes all measures to promote contraception and introduce sex ed classes for high school students. The Church also promotes a profoundly nationalistic rhetoric that often borders on fascist. In short, it is one of many institutions that help turn Russia into a racist, fascist, misogynist state.


Pagan Topologist said...

This is disgusting.

I am beginning to understand why the Soviet government paid rent to the orthodox church for the ise of the church buildings in the Kremlin, instead of just taking them.

Clarissa said...

Oh yes. Lists of everybody who attended church services were routinely passed to the auhtorities by priests. Being religious was not acceptable, so people were punished for attending church. And priests helped the authorities do that.

Pagan Topologist said...

I need to proofread what I write better. "use" not "ise" please!

Clarissa said...

No need to worry about it, typos happen.

Tom Carter said...

I've been exposed to a few national orthodox Churches, most notably the Russian and the Serbian. Then again, I've also been exposed to other Christian churches and Judaism. I've concluded that anyone who believes in ghosts, bizarre miracles, and other supernatural silliness can't be expected to be rational on secular issues.

Anonymous said...


So, all those martyred priests, monks and bishops and faithful - tens of thousands - collaborated with the government? You know so little about the Church and the people of Russia and yet you speak so easily.

I am sad that you have in this way trampled upon their holy memory.

My friends' parents and grandparents suffered horribly for their faith in Russia under the communists, and in your terrible ignorance you libel and defame their Church.

Does this mean that you are helping make America a nation of ignorant, biased, anti-Christian bigots?

Learn history better. See the whole picture.

Clarissa said...

"According to Mitrokhin Archive and other sources, the Moscow Patriarchate has been established on the order from Stalin in 1943 as a front organization of NKVD and later the KGB [7] All key positions in the Church including bishops have been approved by the Ideological Department of CPSU and by the KGB. The priests were used as agents of influence in the World Council of Churches and front organizations, such as World Peace Council, Christian Peace Conference, and the Rodina ("Motherland") Society founded by the KGB in 1975."

The future Russian Patriarch Alexius II said that Rodina has been created to "maintain spiritual ties with our compatriots" as one of its leading organizers. According to the archive and other sources, Alexius has been working for the KGB as agent DROZDOV and received an honorary citation from the agency for a variety of services.[8] Priests have also recruited intelligence agents abroad and spied on Russian emigrant communities. This information by Mitrokhin has been corroborated by other sources.[9][10]

In the early 1990s and later on, Kirill was accused of having links to the KGB during much of the Soviet period, as were many members of the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy, and of pursuing the state’s interests before those of the Church.[11][12][13][14][15][16] His alleged KGB agent’s codename was "Mikhailov".[17]

I can give A LOT more sources on this subject. Do you want them?