By Kostas Onisenko
In the Russian Church, they appear ready to rewrite their history, when the President of the country Vladimir Putin does not agree with it.
In particular, a few days ago the Russian president had said that Maliuta Skuratov may not have killed Moscow Metropolitan Filippo II, and that “there are other versions” of the incident.
These are events that took place in 1568 when the Metropolitan had refused to bless Tsar Ivan the Terrible, and for this he was assassinated by Maliuta Skuratov, who was a member of the Tsar’s security service.
The version of the assassination of the Metropolitan by Skuratov is generally accepted by Russian historians. And in fact, this is one of the main reasons why Tsar Ivan the Terrible has not been sanctified by the Russian Church.
However, a few days ago, during a debate, Vladimir Putin said that there was another version regarding the death of the Metropolitan.
Clarifying a few days later, the Russian president added that “the second version is simple, that he (s.s. Skuratov) did not kill him and did not go through there, and even if he did, he passed and went further,” Putin said.
Of course, despite the fact that the Russian president’s view is completely unsubstantiated in terms of historical facts and most did not take it seriously, there were voices within the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate who appeared ready to rewrite the history of their Church after Putin’s intervention.
In particular, the High Priest of the Russian Church, a member of the Synodal Committee on Sanctifications, Vladislav Tsipin, said: “As for the possibility of corrections in the (saints’) lives, it is understood that the lives are not the Bible, which is not subject to (syntactic) changes”, thus leaving open the possibility for the Russian Church to make changes in the historical texts after the -recognized by historians as non-existent- intervention of Putin.