Moscow Patriarchate

In a curious opinion thrown into the mix, a Russian legal analyst weighed in on the Pussy Riot case (presumably arguing in defense of the prosecution’s actions) claiming that the historical nature of Christ the Savior Cathedral meant that this was more than a public insult to Putin or Orthodoxy, but in fact insulting the memory of the fallen soldiers of the war of 1812.

Andrei Klishas, in response to a group of lawyers in Russia who argued– because the offense was not committed in violation of the general public trust, but offended a specific group of people– that the offense was civil as opposed to criminal, wrote a piece on Interfax-Religion claiming that Christ the Savior Cathedral– originally erected by Tsar Alexander after the War of 1812 in thankgsiving for victory– as the locale indicated that the protest singers in fact intended to insult the memory of the dead.

Klishas writes: “In 1931, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was blown up by the Soviet authorities, and if you follow the logic of the consideration letters [the letter from the Moscow lawyers– ed.], is nothing more than destruction of property socially dangerous way. That is, according to the authors of the letter, no importance is the fact that it occurred against the backdrop of mass murder of the faithful, and that this temple-monument to the heroes of the war in 1812, on the walls of which were written the names of those who laid down their lives for their Fatherland’s freedom. Note that this includes not only Russian, and not only Orthodox people. It seems to me that anyone even slightly familiar with the history of Russia, will not consider this church as a place of prayer except a small group of believers. In addition, the Cathedral is a double symbol: of victory and remorse over the persecution of believers. Doesn’t a contemptuous attitude to mock the memory of the dead does not constitute a violation of public order?”

At the least, the argument is novel.

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