Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Priest Hospitalized With Coronavirus After Calling it ‘Extremely Useful’

Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov previously extolled the infection’s positive impact on humanity Anvar Galeyev / TASS

A senior Russian priest notorious for his controversial remarks about women and family life has been hospitalized with coronavirus after he extolled the infection’s positive impact on humanity, the RBC news website reported Friday.

Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov earned the dubious title of “Sexist of the Year” this spring for comparing common-law wives to prostitutes, urging girls to prepare for childbirth instead of going to school and saying that women have “weaker minds” than men.

Smirnov, 69, called 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 neighbor and increased understanding of some very important Christian qualities,” he said.

This weeks’ remarks come after he advised Russians who have lost their jobs and ran out of savings during the coronavirus pandemic to “ask for alms.”

A priest at Smirnov’s church in central Moscow told RBC that the archpriest has been hospitalized and that his condition is “not serious.”

Another unnamed priest confirmed that Smirnov has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

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.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more