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The Summer of the Patriarch

2010-07-27   Версия для печати

Summer is usually time of some political calmness. This summer in Ukraine turned out to be a little unusual. As an addition to the extraordinary heat we have a visit of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Cyril. As well as the degrees of the thermometer, the "degree" of this visit also goes overboard.

The radio and television were transmitting the festive church services with the participation of the high guest in Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk from the beginning till the end as well as his appeals to the faithful. And, we must say, the patriarch felt himself rather confident. His sermons differed a lot from boring morals of Ukrainian church chiefs. Moscow patriarch speaks rather as an experienced political fighter and talks with the people in a living offensive manner. Besides, the spectacular side of the orthodoxy is used as much as possible with its complex costumes and rich musical accompaniment. Cyril's answers to the questions were sometimes so bold that they verged on the cynicism. For example answering to the provocative question how his expensive watch combine with the spirit of Christianity he answered that it is easy to believe in god if you are a poor man, but he is a rich man and nevertheless believes in god - that is a kind of feat. Of course, the patriarch did not say anything to the issue that his belief and his wealth are not parallel things but that the first is a direct reason of the second.

We have to remind that the patriarch of Russian orthodoxy always knew to combine religion with business. They try not to remember today but his name firstly appeared in the big mass-media in 90-s in connection with the fact that he using the law about liberation of church trade from taxes, managed to arrange a very profitable for his church import of alcohol and tobacco into Russia.

Of course, today the position of patriarch and the scale of his activity are absolutely different. Just an example. Firstly it was reported that Yanukovich does not plan to meet with the high guest. But lately it occurred that the patriarch has another opinion and Yanukovich was forced to break off his holiday.

All in all, the visit occurred to be so well organized that it resembles the visit of the Pope. It is possible that the organizers wanted to achieve that. Maybe, the patriarch really tries the role of the pontiff and Ukrainian visit is his first "trial" in this role.

O. L.