Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Russian Orthodox Church considers ending blessings for nuclear weapons

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
7/11/2019 (4 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

The Russian Orthodox Church is debating an end to the practice of blessing large scale weapons, including nuclear missiles. 

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/11/2019 (4 months ago)

Published in Europe


Moscow, Russia, (CNA) - Last month, a committee on ecclesial law met in Moscow and recommended ending the practice of blessing missiles and warheads, and suggested that priests should instead bless only individual soldiers and their personal weapons. 

According to a report by Religion News Service, Bishop Savva Tutunov of the Moscow Patriarchate said that it would be more appropriate to bless only the warrior who is defending their country, and their own personal weapon--instead of bombs. 

"One can talk about the blessing of a warrior on military duty in defense of the fatherland," said Tutunov. 

"At the end of the corresponding ritual, the personal weapon is also blessed ďż˝" precisely because it is connected to the individual person who is receiving the blessing. By the same reasoning, weapons of mass destruction should not be sanctified," he said.

The proposal to end the blessings for larger weapons has yet to be approved by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Weapons systems, including Topol-class intercontinental ballistic missiles, are frequently blessed by members of the Russian Orthodox clergy during military parades and other events. These blessings are seen as a way of spiritually protecting the country. 

In 2007, Russia's nuclear weapons were consecrated in a service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. In Russian Orthodoxy, the patron saint of Russia's nuclear weapons is St. Seraphim. 

Tutunov's view is not universally held in the Orthodox Church. According to  the piece published by Religion News Service, Fr. Vsevolod Chaplain, a former spokesman for the Patriarch of Moscow, said that Russia's nuclear arsenal is akin to the "guardian angels" of the country and are needed to protect Orthodoxy. 

"Only nuclear weapons protect Russia from enslavement by the West," Chaplin said to a Russian newspaper. 

Patriarch Kirill is rumored to have been a KGB agent prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. His predecessor, Patriarch Alexy II is also believed to have been a KGB agent. The Moscow Patriarchate denies this. 

The Catholic Church is explicitly opposed to nuclear weapons, and supports countries dismantling their arsenals. 

Pope St. John XXIII called for the banning of nuclear weapons and wrote that "a general agreement must be reached on a suitable disarmament program, with an effective system of mutual control" in his 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes acts of war aimed at the indiscriminate destruction of entire cities or large areas as "a crime against God and man." 

"A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons - especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes."

In November, Pope Francis is expected to visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima--cities where the United States deployed two atomic bombs during World War II--on his apostolic visit to Japan.


Comments


More Europe

Anti-Catholic vandalism in Northern Ireland deters families, prompts investigation Watch

Reports emerged this week of a third act of sectarian vandalism at a social housing development in Northern Ireland, into which a Catholic ... continue reading


Catholic Church discovered in Dublin archeology dig Watch

After the demolition of a Dublin building, archaeologists have  discovered the foundations a 300-year-old church that was used during ... continue reading



Release of new curial constitution delayed again Watch

The publication date of the new constitution governing the Roman Curia has been delayed again as Pope Francis' council of cardinals ... continue reading


Spanish cardinal: Prospect of left-wing coalition government a 'serious emergency' Watch

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera of Valencia wrote Saturday that in the wake of an inconclusive general election, a pre-agreement between ... continue reading


Pray that bishops, priests will manifest Christ's love, Pope Francis urges Watch

Bishops and priests have a duty to guard and protect the Catholics entrusted to their care; and they need the faithful's prayers for this ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.