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Radio Free Europe commentary cites Russian Patriarch's ambitions

CWN - July 28, 2010

In a commentary for Radio Free Europe (RFE), Vitaly Portnikov argues that Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill is seeking to assert greater control over the Orthodox world, particularly in Ukraine. The RFE commentator compares the Russian prelate with the Pope, then observes:

But there is one key difference: The Russian patriarch is not the pope. Kirill, however, refuses to admit this fact. He is trying to subordinate to himself the entire administrative machine of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The commentary in itself is not remarkable; other critics of the Moscow patriarchate have made the same arguments. But it is noteworthy that Portnikov’s views were broadcast by RFE, a service funded by the US government to promote democracy abroad. The US has looked with suspicion on Russian efforts to re-assert hegemony over Ukraine.

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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jul. 28, 2010 8:14 PM ET USA

    Moscow, its Patriarch, its politicians, its Putin and its religious and governmental machinery need to stay out of Ukraine! Ukraine is NOT Russia and Ukrainians have already been "blessed" by their Russian "brothers" with death, imprisonment, dissolution and destruction of their churches and with Chernobyl! They have been made a third-world country. Ukraine is fragile enough without Russian intervention and poisoning of their politicians! But its annihilation is what Moscow hopes and works for!

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jul. 28, 2010 3:07 PM ET USA

    I see another animus working behind the scenes in this RFE broadcast. Besides the secular West vs East angle behind the concerns over Russian dominance in Ukraine, I also see an attempt to weaken a potential Rome/Moscow alliance in matters of the larger Christianity vs secularist war. Fighting the Patriarch of Moscow is a proxy for fighting the Pope.

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