The New York Times yesterday posted a long article detailing the crucial support given by Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill I to Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine, saying in part:
Patriarch Kirill I has provided spiritual cover for the invasion of Ukraine, reaping vast resources for his church in return. Now, in an extraordinary step, the E.U. is threatening him with sanctions….
Kirill has called Mr. Putin’s long tenure “a miracle of God,” and has characterized the war as a just defense against liberal conspiracies to infiltrate Ukraine with “gay parades.”…
Kirill has in recent years aspired to expand his church’s influence, pursuing an ideology consistent with Moscow being a “Third Rome,” … in which Mr. Putin’s Russia would become the spiritual center of the true church after Rome and Constantinople.
It is a grand project that dovetails neatly with — and inspired — Mr. Putin’s mystically tinged imperialism of a “Russkiy Mir,” or a greater Russian world.