UPDATE: The Patriarchate of Moscow has declared that this video is from an earlier interview of 2016 and it does not reflect the real views of Patriarch Kirill, who has repeatedly expressed in the past his respect for the victims of the Armenian Genocide, including during a visit to the now famous monument in Yerevan.
EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): It is certainly not news that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is a pawn for Moscow’s geopolitical games – as much as it is not news that Pat. Bartholomew plays analogous games for the State Department. A few days after the US President recognized the Armenian Genocide, Patriarch Kirill came out to “soothe” and support the Ottomans… Pat. Bartholomew of course did not dare say one word…
However, what Pat. Kirill says here is not far away from what Pat. Bartholomew would say – EVEN IF HE WAS NOT BLACKMAILED FROM THE TURKS. This position stems from a superficial historical analysis of the so-called “millet system” of the Ottoman Empire under which each religion had autonomy and relative freedom. Under this system, all Christians were under the umbrella of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Church had not only ecclesiastical authority but also performed some judicial duties handling family court and some local civil court duties. Let’s not forget that the Greeks were in the 11th-15th centuries very hard-pressed between East and West and it was a common perception that “better Turkish turban (sariki) than a papal tiara”… Many in the Orthodox Church hierarchy were very comfortable in the privileges they enjoyed during the Ottoman times…
Unfortunately, this “idealized” view ignores completely the “institution” of “devshirme” – the gathering of the young boys and their forced enrollment in the Ottoman Army – that produced the infamous “janissaries”… This humanitarian catastrophe had so many long-term negative effects on the Greeks and other enslaved populations. Some even suggest that it explains to a certain degree the extreme “protectiveness” modern Greek (and other Balkan and Middle Eastern) mothers have for their young sons – much more than any “Oedipus Complex” would…
And, finally, they do not take into account the persecution of the “infidels” with little justification when the Pashas and the Sultans saw it fit… Culminating in the Genocides of the early 20th Century….
By Kosta Onisenko (Orthodox Times)
A storm of reactions has caused a statement by the Patriarch of Moscow Cyril, regarding the treatment of the Christian minorities by the Ottoman Empire.
During an interview with the Russian channel “Россия 24”, the Patriarch of Moscow pointed out that in the Ottoman Empire no one exterminated Christian minorities.
“Take for example the Turkish, the Ottoman Empire. “Yes, there were Christian minorities, but no one exterminated them,” said Patriarch Kyrillos, adding that “there was order in relations between religious communities.”
The statement was made immediately after the US recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire.