Patriarch Kirill: Happy Birthday to Putin

Highlights from Reuters:

The “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” daily published an “Ode to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin” written in a style typical of poems devoted to former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. “The country is again at a crossroads wondering whether it might perish or not,” the ditty reads. “We congratulate you comrade Putin and ask God to give you another 120 years.”

[ … ]

Putin handed over the presidency in May 2008 to handpicked successor Dmitry Medvedev. He took the more junior post of prime minister but he is widely believed to make all key decisions. The former KGB spy has become a devout believer since the collapse of communism and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill was among the first to congratulate Putin on his birthday. “Wisdom based on rich political experience, typical for you, is a guarantee of stability in our state,” Kirill wrote in a congratulatory message carried by Russian news agencies.

[ … ]

Igor Yurgens, who heads a think-tank working for Medvedev, told Reuters recently that “the cult of personality is in our genes,” citing busts and portraits that appeared after Putin’s first term — though he said Putin himself had resisted it. “I believe this is the nature of Russian power,” Yurgens added. “There is huge inertia living in this secret Kremlin, looking out on those 1,500-year-old towers and churches. Something happens inside you, I guess.”


  1. LOL. When I saw the title, I thought of Marilyn Monroe

  2. I don’t find it the least bit funny that the Patriarch of the largest and most effective Orthodox church should lavish such uncritical approbation on the man who is undisputedly a lawless autocrat and unrepentant KGB thug, who routinely resorts to prison/mafioso language to threaten any opponent and under whose misrule the country slides into violent chaos.

    Anyone who is vigilant toward news coming out of Russia can see the long list of political assassinations, particularly meted out against critics of Russia’s Caucasian policies. But as long as the state is ‘strong’ (whatever hollow meaning that term might accrue in an autocracy like today’s Russia) the church should remain smugly silent? Why does the Russian church remain silent when its prophetic voice could save the country – the souls of those living in it – from perdition in idol-worship and violent xenophobia?

  3. Thank you, Father John, for saying that.

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