THERE swills around Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov brain some pretty loopy notions. One is that radishes feel pain. Another is that women are fast losing their sense of shame.
The latter recently earned him the title of “Sexist of the Year” after he compared common-law wives to prostitutes. He urged girls to prepare for childbirth instead of going to school, saying that women have “weaker minds” than men.
Smirnov looked distinctly unnerved when a feminist he was debating last year made herself more comfortable in a TV studio by shedding her sweater.
He’s also lamented that Russian men are losing their masculinity, and that “real men” are being replaced by “scrawny chickens.”Smirnov, 69, then extolled the positive impact on humanity by COVID-19, calling the virus “actually an extremely useful phenomenon” during a Sunday sermon, saying those who have died from it:
Gave their lives for their neighbor. Egotism has gone down, replaced by volunteerism, the wish to do something for one’s neighbour.
This, he said:
Increased the understanding of some very important Christian qualities.
Yesterday The Moscow Times reported that Smirnov had been hospitalised with Coronavirus.
A priest at Smirnov’s church in central Moscow the archpriest’s condition is “not serious.”
The Russian Orthodox Church, with more than 150 million followers, has been resistant to recommendations to close its doors as the pandemic has worsened across Russia but in late March advised worshippers to stay home.