Russian Orthodox Church: Performance of song about nuking US in St. Isaac’s Cathedral ‘in bad taste’

 

International, Op-ed

Few stories from Russia in recent times (other than anything connected with Vladimir Putin) have sparked a larger media firestorm than the report, including a YouTube video, of a Russian state choir singing in St. Petersburg’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral a song celebrating the raining down of nuclear weapons on US cities.

For the text, links to the video, and initial reaction in Russia and the West, see echo.msk.ru, novayagazeta.ru and ahilla.ru.

Almost lost in the media firestorm is the fact that the St. Petersburg bishopric of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate issued, via its press office, a statement strongly condemning as inappropriate and in bad taste the song given where it was performed (interfax-religion.ru and ahilla.ru).

Choral music is performed regularly in St. Isaac’s, Natalya Rodomanova, spokesperson for the bishopric said. But this song, as performed by a quite well-known collective, of course, is surprising,” not only because of the venue but because of its timing on the Day of the Defender of the Fatherland [Russia’s federal holiday celebrating its Armed Forces that takes place annually on February 23rd – Ed.]. All that makes this “clearly inappropriate.”

In the view of the church, she continued, it appears that a sense of taste deserted those who performed this song in this church “and we extremely regret that such an event took place in Petersburg and even more in St. Isaac’s Cathedral.” That may not be the sweeping denunciation the song deserves, but it is better than nothing.

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Edited by: A. N.

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