“Vladimir Putin Pantocrator/Almighty/Ruler of All”
The Slavonic вседержитель (vsederzhytel’) translates the Greek παντοκράτωρ (pantokrator), said of God the Father in the Nicaean Creed and of Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Church’s iconographic tradition. The word is normally rendered almighty in English versions of the Creed (probably from omnipotens in the Latin version), but literally—in both Greek and Slavonic—it means ruler of all or ruler of all things.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has gone on record calling Mr. Putin a miracle of God and embracing the medieval concept of Byzantine symphonia as an appropriate model for church-state relations in 21st-century Russia. This means that, as go the Kremlin’s domestic and foreign policies, so goes the Russian Orthodox Church. The almost daily escalation of the Muscovite Schism—first with the Churches of Constantinople and Ukraine, then with the Church of Greece, now with the Church of Alexandria, and who’s next?—must be understood solely through the lens of Kremlin geopolitics.
Will the Moscow Patriarchate condemn this utter blasphemy of an “icon?” Will ROCOR, or the sycophantic OCA? Will the Russia-worshippers among American converts to Orthodoxy?
Don’t hold your breath.
Addendum 11/17/19: For those asking if the above image represents an actual, physical “icon,” see this photo at МУХИН Юрий Игнатьевич.
See the extensive Ukraine section in our Archives.
Orthodoxy in Dialogue seeks to promote the free exchange of ideas by offering a wide range of perspectives on an unlimited variety of topics. Our decision to publish implies neither our agreement nor disagreement with an author, in whole or in part.
Join the conversation on Facebook and/or Twitter, or in an article of your own or a letter to the editors.
Click here to contribute to Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s 3rd Annual Feed the Homeless on Christmas Campaign
One donor writes:
“I donated because I must to be true to being a human being.”