The second-highest ranking figure in the Russian Orthodox Church recently published a bizarre and blatantly anti-Semitic version of Russian and world history, accusing the Jews of killing Jesus, worshipping Satan and seeking world domination.
In the rambling article, which appeared Oct. 10 in Sovietskaya Rossiya, an extreme right-wing Russian newspaper, Metropolitan Johann of St. Petersburg wrote that after the destruction of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judea, the Jews “misinterpreted” their holy books by linking the restoration of Israel to the coming of the Messiah.
“The fact that Jesus Christ revealed the mistakes of their “prophets’ and destroyed the myth about their being the ‘chosen people’ caused them to hate him bitterly, “wrote the Russian church leader.
Citing the Book of John, he wrote that Jesus told the Jews, “Satan is your father, and you want to satisfy his lusts,” adding that “the Elders of Zion could not forgive him this truth, and Jesus Christ was slandered and condemned to death under false evidence.”
Then moving to the 20th century, the cleric, who is the spiritual leader of Russia’s second-largest city, saw a connection between communism, which he referred to as a “united international political structure,” and the Jews’ “centuries-old dream of world supremacy.”
He wrote that chief among the tools of those working “to destroy Christian feeling and nation states” have been “heretic sects, philosophers’ groups and Masonic lodges.”
A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency this week that “the article that appeared under the name of His Holiness Metropolitan Johann was a reflection of his personal opinion and cannot be viewed as reflecting the opinion of the Russian Orthodox Church or its leading organs.”
A church source privately described the 65-year-old metropolitan as “not in good health.”
The church’s highest leader, Patriarch Aleksei II, has visited Israel twice and several times issued statements condemning anti-Semitism.