The photo of the head of the Orthodox Church of Russia with Vladimir Putin on Page A4 of the July 19 Post-Gazette was offensive to us Orthodox Christians. The entire page was devoted to articles on the missile attack on the Malaysian airliner, and the photo featured a sinister-looking Mr. Putin with a smiling Patriarch Kirill and other bishops looking on. The occasion of the photo had nothing to do with the airline tragedy, but the editors of the Post-Gazette seemed to imply some kind of link with the Orthodox Church.
Mr. Putin’s visit to the monastery was purely religious — it was the 700th anniversary of Russia’s most-beloved saint — St. Sergius of Radonezh. There was no need to connect this spiritual event with this awful tragedy.
REV. EDWARD PEHANICH
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church