Brutal Russian cleric who forged an unholy alliance with tyrant Vladimir Putin – Reuters

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Pope Francis had previously worked together to try to bridge the chasm between the Christian churches of East and West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (R)

The leader of Russia’s Russian Orthodox Church has forged a mutually beneficial alliance with President Vladimir Putin, distancing himself from his religious peers.

Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfolded in February this year, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow had a Zoom meeting with Pope Francis.

The couple had worked together before, with the aim of bridging the chasm between the Christian churches of East and West.

However, as Kirill spent the meeting echoing Putin’s arguments that war was necessary to purge the Nazis and oppose NATO expansion, it became clear that there was a divergence of opinions. opinion between the two religious leaders.

Patriarch Cyril of Moscow during a night vigil


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Pope Francis was taken aback by Kirill’s outspoken views on the matter, the New York Times reports, and proceeded to tell him that they were “not state clerics”.

“The patriarch cannot turn into Putin’s altar boy,” he added.

Kirill is moving away from much of the globe despite having a loyal following of 100 million.

The 75-year-old backed a branch of Orthodox Christianity that was of mutual benefit to the church and Putin and gave him spiritual cover while receiving ‘resources’ in return from the Kremlin, allowing him to influence the Orthodox world.

Critics say the arrangement makes Kirill much more than an oligarch or Putin sympathizer, but a vital part of the Kremlin leadership.

The Russian president’s time in power has been called a “miracle of God” by Kirill.

And he justified the war as a defense against liberal conspiracies which he says are “infiltrating” Ukraine with “gay parades”.

He called on people to be aware of the historic destiny “our people may depend on” in a sermon in April.

“We have been brought up throughout our history to love our homeland, and we will be ready to protect it, because only Russians can defend their country,” he told the soldiers of another.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill leads funeral in Moscow, Russia


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Critics of Kirill claim that his experience with religion during the Soviet era led him to transform the Russian Orthodox Church under his leadership into a corrupt religious branch of the Russian state.

The widespread sanctions imposed on Russia, meanwhile, are seen as further proof of the hostility of the Godless West.

Enzo Bianchi, a lay Catholic monk, fears imposing sanctions on a religious leader could set a dangerous precedent for “political interference in the church”.

But he still views Kirill’s alliance with the Russian dictator as disastrous.

A photo from 2009 shows Kirill wearing a Breguet Réveil du Tsar watch to mark his membership in the Russian elite.

But the church tried to airbrush it out and Kirill denied wearing it.

The Reverend Cyril Hovorun, a personal aide to Kirill, said the tarnishing of Kirill’s reputation was seen as a message from the Kremlin not to cross into the Russian state.

Kirill then made a U-turn and threw his full support behind Moscow.

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