Russian priests should refrain from the practice of blessing nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction that could cause huge losses, according to the new guidelines discussed by the Russian Orthodox Church.
For the last 20 years in power, Russian President Vladimir Putin has developed close ties with the Church, which, in turn, has been closely linked to the defense ministry. Russian priests often appear in pictures sprinkling holy water on sanctuaries, ballistic missiles, Soyuz spaceships and other military equipment.
However, these ceremonies will stop if the Russian Orthodox Church approves the proposal made by an Orthodox Church commission.
“The blessing of military weapons is not reflected in the tradition of the Orthodox Church,” says the document posted on the Moscow Patriarchate’s website. Blessing or sanctifying weapons that can kill an “indefinite number of people” must be excluded from pastoral practice, it says.
The proposals will be discussed until June 1 with the public also taking part in the debate.