09 April 2012, 10:07
Pussy Riot performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral cannot be ignored - Patriarch
Moscow, April 9, Interfax - A blasphemy of a scale such as the performance staged by the Pussy Riot band cannot be left unnoticed, said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
The liturgy held at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on Sunday was followed by a ceremony of bringing the ark and part of Christ's chasuble and a nail from the Jesus' Cross out to the middle of the church for worshipping.
"We know that not long ago it was in front of these relics of the world Christianity that an act of blasphemy and spiritual villainy was committed. The relics were not hurt by it but people were. It is not our duty to judge those who were hurt, but a blasphemy of such a scale cannot pass unnoticed and indifferent for those who committed it," the Patriarch said.
The public indignation over this stunt was enormous, he said.
"I know how the soul of our people has been suffering, with thousands and thousands of letters sent to the patriarch. And to assert the greatness of these relics, the relics that touched the Life-giving Body of the Savior Himself, the relics that were physically present during the offering of a bloody sacrifices for the sins of all - we are solemnly taking these relics out from the alter to middle of the Cathedral," the Primate said.
Both relics will stay here for a week, until the end of the first day of the Orthodox Easter, said Patriarch Kirill, urging people pray for the Church, for the preservation of the Orthodox Christianity, for the homeland, and for "the abandonment of a wave of blasphemies that dealt a painful blow to the pious hearts," he said.
"I believe that with the force of Christ and His sufferings God will save our homeland. All we have to do is kneel before these great relics and pray fervently, professing our faith and our belief in the force of God's disposition," the patriarch said.
It was reported that on February 21 several members of the Pussy Riot punk band, wearing masks covering their faces, staged an anti-Putin performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral. After that, the authorities arrested Mariya Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova on March 4, and Yekaterina Samutsevich on March 15, claiming it was them hiding behind the masks. The Pussy Riot stunt prompted an enormous public outcry. On April 3 Amnesty International named the arrested Pussy Riot members the prisoners of conscience and called for their immediate and unconditional release.