Putin lashes out at Church of England over gender-neutral God
Vladimir Putin accuses The West of ‘starting the war’
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Vladimir Putin has slammed the Church of England, mocking the Anglican church leaders’ decision to explore gender-neutral pronouns for God. Delivering his state-of-the-union address in Moscow, the Russian leader took a swipe at the Church of England saying the move is evidence that the West is on the verge of a “spiritual catastrophe” and “doesn’t know what it is doing”.
He declared: “The Anglican Church is considering a gender-neutral God. May God forgive them for they know not what they do.
“Millions of people in the West understand they are being led to a real spiritual catastrophe.”
Putin went on to accuse Western nations of rewriting history to suit “woke” ideologies, and he harshly criticised the Church’s recent discussions on allowing priests to “bless” same-sex marriages.
He said: “They distort historical facts, constantly attack our culture, the Russian Orthodox Church, and other traditional religions of our country.”
He continued: “Look at what they do with their own peoples: the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion, and the abuse of children are declared the norm. And priests are forced to bless same-sex marriages.”
Earlier this month, General Synod revealed that the church has been exploring the idea of adopting a new language after priests asked to be allowed to use gender-neutral terms instead of “he”.
The church said that they would launch a new commission on the matter in the spring. The Church’s governing body, the synod, would have to accept any proposed changes that would break from the timeless doctrines that date back millennia.
The issue came up during the church’s General Synod meeting when the Rev. Joanna Stobart, the vicar of South Somerset’s Ilminster and Whitelackington, asked the leadership how things were doing with the initiative to use “more inclusive language.”
Bishop Michael Ipgrave, deputy chairman of the church’s liturgical committee, responded that the issue was already being looked into and that the church intended to start a new project in the upcoming months to look at how gendered language should be used in reference to God.
He said: “After some dialogue between the two commissions in this area, a new joint project on gendered language will begin this spring. In common with other potential changes to authorised liturgical provision, changing the wording and number of authorised forms of absolution would require a full synodical process for approval.”
It remains unclear what term would replace “Our Father” in the Lord’s Prayer, the central Christian prayer that Jesus is said to have instructed his disciples to say together down the generations.
A spokesperson for the Church of England said there are “absolutely no plans” to consider a gender-neutral God.
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He said: “There are absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise currently authorised liturgies, and no such changes could be made without extensive legislation.”
In his speech, Putin also accused the West of starting the war in Ukraine and of trying to expand it into a global conflict against Russia to gain “limitless power” – a statement that Ukraine and the US branded as “absurd”.
He told lawmakers in Russia’s Parliament: “We were doing everything possible to solve this problem peacefully, negotiating a peaceful way out of this difficult conflict, but behind our backs, a very different scenario was being prepared.”
Putin’s anti-western speech comes three days ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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