The Fish Rots from the Head Down
There can be no question, now. The repeated words of Moscow Patriarch Kirill as he justifies in spiritual—even apocalyptic—terms the unprovoked aggressions and murders of innocent civilians (women and children!) in Ukraine cannot be misinterpreted. They cannot be “spun” in a positive direction while Kirill is alive or changed by history after he is dead, which is hopefully quite soon. His pontifications leave no room for ambiguity.
Under the leadership of Kirill, the remainder of those in the Russian Orthodox Church who agree with him must likewise be considered anathema—expelled by Christ, Whose messages of unflinching peace and the necessary separation of secular concerns from spiritual concerns could not have been clearer (“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s”).
It is one thing to look upon the vast struggles of the Late Ancient and Medieval Byzantine Empire as it sought to protect and defend itself from the predations of endless aggressors, often resorting to prayer and the stoking of religious fervor to galvanize a populace to protect the glorious walls of Constantinople from unjust siege by Huns, Goths, Saracens, Persians, Gauls, and other encroaching powers. History does indeed look with a measure of due pride and regret at the incomparable city that stood its ground for centuries, the New Rome that managed to thrive in the face of relentless assault long after the sacking of Old Rome in 410 CE.
It is another matter entirely when patriarchs and pontiffs launch Holy Wars and Crusades in the name of the Peaceful Christ, ever motivated by their lust for political power and wealth—a lust that has always and easily been disguised and “fed” to the poorer masses as a whipping-up of religious/nationalist fervor. The results of such misguided Crusades contributed to the destruction of Constantinople, and to the rape, butchery, and pillaging of untold men, women, and children, Christian and non-Christian, at the hands of supposed Christians. The vile Crusades led directly to the indiscriminate destruction of cities and irreplaceable works of sublime human art intended for the greater glory of the Divine. The Crusades achieved nothing but evil, being as they were spawned in the minds and machinations of reprobate Popes and treacherous aristocrats.
And now, many hundreds of years later, Kirill of Moscow would dare to champion the methods of the very Roman Popes he (and history) rightfully disdain, the very Popes whose eldritch campaigns contributed to destruction of his own Church’s Mother City (Constantinople) and to the jeopardization of all Western civilization to this day? Kirill would invoke the methods of foul Roman Popes to accomplish the ongoing, savage murders of Orthodox believers dwelling in Kyiv, the very birthplace of the Russian wing of Orthodoxy?!?
Patriarch Kirill has proved himself to be an abomination. The blood of thousands of innocents is now upon his arrogant head and upon his fat, Rolex-encircled hands for using his ecclesiastical voice to sanction barbaric evils that even Roman Popes in all their effeminate pomp and worldly wickedness have not outwardly fostered in hundreds of years (possibly because they were too busy with other, more clandestine crimes against humanity. Oh, yeah.)
Worse, the silence of everyday Russian Orthodox believers must be accounted as tacit approval of this disgraceful approbation manifested by Kirill. They, too, are guilty of a merciless and egregiously unjust war waged upon innocents.
Who can be surprised, though, even in this age of chaos and insanity? The Russian Orthodox Church (like certain fringe factions of any “church”) has been a much more pervasive breeding ground for the most extreme superstitions and paranoid, apocalyptic doctrinal obsessions. They are a medievally-minded lot. Even the Roman Church managed to cleanse a great deal of its inner-filth—the flotsam and jetsam, the accumulations and encrustations of squalid centuries—via the Vatican II reforms. However, the vast Orthodox confederation of autonomous churches, led ostensibly by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, has stubbornly refused to summon much-needed synods and councils aimed at better communicating their often beautiful and undeniably archaic rites and practices to a global society that is not all bad, automatically, just because it is global.
What a foolish line in the sand for a powerful Christian leader in 2022 to draw: Kirill is essentially saying to the West, “If the Kremlin deems your spiritual health insufficient we will murder you in the name of Jesus.”
That’s priceless and eerily similar to certain other worldly religious extremists who think and act the same way. The West is certainly fraught with a litany of problems more endless than the brain-frazzling, toe-cramping Akathist hymn to the Virgin Mary, but how rich is it that the goddamned Russians, of all people, think that they are the ones most fit to correct the rest of us?! Have another bottle of vodka for supper, and then a nightcap for your babushka, assholes.
In a world where reprehensible public behavior has reached epidemic proportions, we now behold the religious leader of a few hundred million believers behaving in the most reprehensible manner of all. A genuinely Christian man would protest the unjust, barbaric forays of his nation’s dictator and risk both alienation and martyrdom, as the martyrs of yore so often found the strength to do, courageously.
Kirill has excommunicated himself from “his” Christ by his own words, and whatever his motivation may be—fanaticism, greed, lust for power, or plain old imbecility—his doom is sealed.
No wonder we live in an age that despises religion. Who can blame the atheists? No wonder we live in an age that despises politicians. Who can blame the citizens?