31 July 2012, 17:36
Orthodox priest: Pussy Riot performance threatens disaster
Moscow, July 31, Interfax - A Russian Orthodox priest has said the Pussy Riot punk rock band's scandalous performance inside an Orthodox cathedral in Moscow in February, which was a protest against Vladimir Putin's candidacy for president, was a harbinger of a global disaster that all religious communities and atheists must try to avert by combined efforts.
"Let no one have any illusions about this. Neither in Russia nor in Europe nor across the ocean. We call upon everyone - the Orthodox, Catholics, Protests, and also the Muslims and Buddhists, all believers and unbelievers throughout the world - to unify against this danger. There is a danger that Venerable Ambrose of Optina spoke about shortly before the revolution: 'In one part of a village they'll be hanging and in another they'll be saying, our turn won't be soon to come,'" Archpriest Alexander Shargunov said in a program on Russia's Radonezh radio.
Three young women artists from Pussy Riot are on trial at a Moscow court on "hooliganism" charges for performing an anti-Putin song in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. They have been in detention since March.
"It is our duty to call a crime by its proper name and not by a euphemism. In a country where we have experienced a terrible devaluation of spiritual values it is impossible to justify these criminals. To enable them to evade accountability and hype their blasphemies under the protection of law would mean an attempt to force state Satanism on our people instead of communist state atheism," said Shargunov.
"Extremism and Satanism is our common enemy and a threat to the entire civilization," he said.
"There exist certain immutable foundations of life, and if they are destroyed everything falls apart. Freedom from all intellectual and moral prohibitions opens an abyss of evil and brings into being the out-and-out manslayer. The horrors of World War II and the hundreds of millions of killings perpetrated by totalitarian regimes, including the Holocaust, will seem like babies' games beside what we will be in for if we don't stand up against this evil together," the priest said.
He slammed over a hundred prominent arts figures for a petition to release the three Pussy Riot performers.
"When they appeal for compassion, they are speaking of the criminals as 'girls' or 'young mummies' and gloss over monstrous performances that they are well aware of and that those 'girls' have got away with. Such as, for example, public group fornication in the biology museum at Moscow State University or - please forgive us that we are forced to pronounce the unpronounceable, but otherwise one would not be able to understand the whole degree of decay of the personalities of the criminals - sticking a chicken into their private parts, after which the chicken was laid on the head of their own little child - one won't have the heart to mention all the disgusting things," he said.