Never thought you’d read that headline, now did ya?
Seeing as this is a dysfunctional family blog (I will allow you to imagine where the hyphen should go), I will refrain from reproducing the name of the girl band found guilty of giving an impromptu performance at Moscow’s main cathedral, in the midst of which they called on the Blessed Mother to protect Russia from Vladimir Putin.
There’s so much to unpack here, one grows weary from anticipation alone.Shall we take at face value the true devotion to the Theotokos of these Anarchic Genitalia? Who are we to judge, though? Is there any doubt that Russia, as well as the rest of us, need protection from Vladimir Putin? I do not have a devotion to the saints, but I do pray NATO keeps us safe from the nefarious designs of Vlad the Dictator. Is a cathedral an appropriate venue for staging a protest? Perhaps, if it is also intended as a slap at a resurgent caesaro-papism by the Russian Orthodox Church. (And caesaro-papism is the worst kind of papism, as papisms go.)
But can Mother Russia allow Frenzied Uteri to run rampart?
His Grace, the influential blogger Cranmer, weighs in, defending the young punk rockers:
For His Grace, the only ‘hooliganism’ they expressed was in their chosen genre of music: indeed, Jesus was rather more of a hooligan when he overturned the tables in the Temple. He was concerned with material corruption of the sacred; they with political corruption of their country. As His Grace has written, Pussy Riot are guilty of the postmodern equivalent of nailing their 95 Theses firmly to the door of the Cathedral; they have not burned a copy of the Qur’an; the Orthodox inconostasis is not equivalent to the Roman Catholic real presence.
In summing up the prosecution case, Judge Marina Syrova confirmed the tangential theological argument that prayers in a Russian cathedral may only be offered by a priest and not by ‘ordinary members of the public’, so Pussy Riot’s professed protest-as-prayer was contrary to church rules. But this is simply not true: Orthodoxy permits laity to lead public prayer. Perhaps it would not bestow the honour upon rabid feminists, but there is no canonical prohibition.
I love the Russians. They make the Italians look sane. And they have their own mafia, which takes the heat off the Sicilians for a while.
BREAKING: Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion and outspoken critic of corruption in high places, which keeps him very busy, was arrested while protesting the verdict issued against Distempered Pudenda. “BIshop to King Seven, Bishop to King Seven!” he was heard screaming, obviously coded language for the unholy alliance between church and state. Or he was still replaying those last moves against Big Blue, the IBM supercomputer that pretty much destroyed his career.