» 09/27/2011, 00.00
Putin a candidate for the Kremlin; Moscow Patriarchate: an example of integrity
The Orthodox Church supports the Prime Minister's choice to run again for president. Meanwhile, the exchange of roles within the tandem yields its first casualty: Finance Minister Kudrin ousted.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Russian Orthodox Church fully supports the decision of the head of the Kremlin, Dmitry Medvedev, to nominate Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for president in March 2012. The news of the two leaders' intention to exchange roles after the presidential election next year has already caused a political tsunami with the dismissal of the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Aleksei Kudrin.
The Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Department for Relations between the Church and Society, told the agency Interfax Religion that Putin's candidacy is an example of "courtesy and integrity." "When has it ever occurred in Russian history that the supreme power in the country has been handed over in such a peaceful, decent, honest and friendly manner?", the priest asks rhetorically. He continues: "This is a genuine example of integrity and courtesy in politics, an example that I believe would be the envy of our predecessors and the people who lived through the Soviet period and, what is more, must be a source of envy for people of most countries of the world, including those trying to give us lessons."
Chaplin - who also made a speech during Putin's United Russia party congress on September 24, during which congress the mystery was solved regarding who would be the strong candidate for president – closes with an expression of full confidence in the current system of power: "In a country where peace, welfare and even the lives of millions of people depend on the person driving the vertical structure of authority, the transfer of power must be extremely responsible, must avoid any kind of confrontation, not only between individuals but also between large social groups, fomented by those individuals."
Even if the opposition and human rights activists warn of the possibility of social tensions should Putin be re-elected (he could govern until 2024 for two consecutive terms), for now the only real battle appears to be the one inside the tandem itself. According to analysts, a proof of this is the defenestration of Kudrin, a close ally and intimate friend of Putin, and highly-esteemed Minister of Finance.
After proclaiming himself "not willing" to enter any government headed by Medvedev, as proposed by Czar Vladimir himself, the Finance Minister was dismissed yesterday by the Kremlin, with the Prime Minister's approval. In a move that highlights joint decision-making on the part of the tandem and that, according to the director of Radio Echo of Moscow, Aleksei Venediktov, was made to show the world that the pair in power, in the middle of a real crisis of trust - is instead strong and united. The goal is to wipe out all criticism regarding the rotation of posts and not to affect Medvedev's image, appointed as Russia United's frontrunner for the parliamentary elections in December. Kudrin could be given the post of head of the Central Bank - some experts suggest - and then became economic adviser to Putin, once the latter has returned to the Kremlin.
On stage, the script already written for Russia's presidential elections
In was taken for granted that the voting would coronate the successor of Putin, Mevedev. Also predictable was the information on preferences and on voting turnout, the criticisms of the opposition, and the praise of the Orthodox Church for the new head of the Kremlin. Voters had their backs to the wall: there was no real alternative, and widespread pressure on many levels to go to the polls.
Alexy II, the contradictions of Orthodoxy and of Russia
The deceased patriarch lived through the period from Stalin to Khrushchev; from Gorbachev to Putin. He worked for the expansion of the Russian Orthodox Church, sometimes in conflict with Constantinople. He also admitted periods of "compromise" with the Soviet government. Condolences from Putin and Medvedev.
Russian Orthodox Church to help fight against forest fires as Putin’s responsibilities emerge
Patriarch Kirill urges the faithful to pray for rain and provide help to victims. At least 40 people have died so far and 650,000 hectares have been devastated. Moscow is wrapped by a thick cloud of smoke. Peat bogs are complicating the situation. Drained in Soviet times, they now burn easily. Forest guards cut by 75 per cent under Putin.
Bishop Wert is reappointed as head of the Russian bishops
The prelate was chosen during the XXVII plenary assembly of the Russian bishops' conference, which concluded today. Its sessions produced "congratulations" for new president Medvedev and a discussion on Church-state relations.
Journalist criticises those who miss the end of the USSR, they call for his expulsion from Russia
Alexsandr Podrabinek is threatened by pro-Putin youth movement Nashi. His is one of the many cases showing an attempt to rehabilitate the figure of Stalin and the Soviet regime. The operation involves the Kremlin and concerns the Russian Orthodox Church.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
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