Russian Orthodox priests attached to the Russian military will be given training to operate military vehicles and other tasks. The information was released in a declaration from the Omsk diocese. Army priests will be trained in driving BMD-4M combat vehicles, as well as the rules for the use of military communications. They will be prohibited from using or training with weapons.
“From February 5 to 8, 2018, on the basis of the Omsk 242nd Airborne Troops Training Center, there will be a gathering of full-time clergymen holding the post of assistant commanders of units and formations of the Airborne Forces of Russia to work with religious servicemen.There will be about thirty priests of the Russian Orthodox Church”, – specified in the diocese, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“Clergy on tour with the Airborne Troops in ‘hotspots’ are often forced to evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield in armoured personnel carriers,” a spokesperson for the Omsk diocese told TASS, explaining the reasoning behind the military workshop.
“It’s good if the priest was a military man and knows what to do from his own experience. But what if he doesn’t?
“What if the only hope for saving the wounded lies with the unarmed regimental priest, who doesn’t know how to operate a combat vehicle or initiate communications?”
The priests will conduct spiritual and moral conversations with cadets of the training center and cadets of the Omsk school, reported TASS.
Much has been written about the integration of the Russian Orthodox Church into the apparatus of the Russian state. The two provide legitimacy to each other. The Kremlin provides money to the church, the church helps the Kremlin maintain power. The relationship is reminiscent of the rule of the tsars, which used the church in the same manner.