by Michael Bourdeaux
ONE of the best-known publishing houses of the Russian Orthodox Church, Sergiev Posad, located at the historic Holy Trinity monastery, near Moscow, has printed a calendar for 2014 commemorating Stalin (right). It recounts his life in detail, and is lavishly illustrated.
It was produced on behalf of a third party, a group called Dostoinstvo [“Virtue”], but this has not prevented many believers’ claiming that this is yet another public-relations disaster for the Moscow Patriarchate.
There have been several of these recently, not least its refusal to accept the apologies of the Pussy Riot women for the offence they caused, and – originally – its call for a maximum sentence for their act of “hooliganism” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow (News, 24 August 2012).