According to the religious news website Portal Credo
several officials of the Department of the Moscow Patriarchate dealing with the Armed Forces have demanded the dismissal of Defense Minister Serdiukov.
An official of the Synodal Department for Relations with Armed Forces of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Alexander Ilyashenko is convinced that the Paratroopers are entitled to demand the resignation of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, after he insulted the Hero of Russia Guard Col. Andrei Krasov. “The question must be addressed firmly, quickly and in a military fashion. He should apologize, but, regardless of whether he asks for forgiveness, or not, he should resign” – Archpriest Alexander on Oct. 18 told the Interfax-Religion.
The representative of the Russian Orthodox Church indicated that this situation shows that Serdiukov is a man who has no understanding of the army and has no authority or trust not only in the Armed Forces, but also amongst civilian men. “How dare he offend with impunity, an old soldier! It is necessary to change the laws so that they would prevent such an action. In the case of an such an insult the offended person must have the right answer, and even with direct actions. Regardless of whom is in front of him, even a minister he has the right to slap him on the cheek ” – said the outraged priest. “However, since slapping a Minister would be a criminal action it appears that the Minister was able to act with complete impunity, and the folks from Airborne Forces are defenseless since the law against them“.
It is important to stress that this clergymen does not speak for the Moscow Patriarchate or the bureaucracy running it. The real power in the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate is in the hand of the Department of Foreign Relations which, not coincidentally, used to be run by the current Patriarch who himself has a terrible reputation in Russia. He is a rabid ecumenist, very pro-Western, his mentor was Metropolitan Nikodim Rotov who was probably a cardinal “in petto” (“from the Latin expression “in pectore” or “in the chest”; this refers to a secret, covert, cardinal). Very well informed sources also believe that the current Patriarch, Kirill Gundaev, is probably also a covert cardinal. Gundaev has always been very close to the Soviet KGB who has for decades used the Moscow Patriarchate as a subsidiary [note: I am in no way criticizing or even referring to the Orthodox believers in Russia, or even to a majority of the Russian Orthodox clergy: my comments refer exclusively to the absolutely corrupt and hypocritical leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Saker]. The bottom line is this: Father Alexander Ilyashenko can express his outrage at the actions of the Defense Minister, but this does in no way imply that the top apparatchiks in the Moscow Patriarchate have already sided with the Paratroopers against Serdiukov. What Patriarch Kirill and his officials will do is wait to see “which way the winds blows” before taking sides. In the meantime they will speak lofty words about “peaceful resolution”, “forgiven offenses” and “calm”. And once the Kremlin takes a decision on how to solve this crisis, Patriarch Kirill & Co. will, of course, totally support it.
Still, the reaction of Father Alexander shows that at least in the lower clergy the sense of outrage is as strong as amongst the Paratroopers. I can’t imagine what the hell Serdiukov was thinking when he ordered the destruction of churches on 4 (four!) different occasions, but there will be a price to pay for that. Following the quasi total destruction of 90+ percent of churches under Bolshevik rule, the clergy and faithful in Russia do not look kindly upon such policies.
There is no doubt that Serdiukov is an incompetent and offensive SOB who needs to go. The question is whether the Kremlin will understand that.
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