How Come the Western Media Said Nothing About This Stunt?

Topless woman “confronts” Patriarch Kirill in Kyiv

From: Byzantine, TX

Naked attacks are, of course, harder to defend against as a gun can be found on someone’s person. A naked assailant, though, is just a clothed person who can undress quickly.

It is also worth noting that the news article seemingly ignored the words KILL KIRILL written on the woman’s back. So if you want to call this free speech… inciting murder would seem to be an overstep.

(NBC News) – A topless woman confronted the head of the Russian Orthodox Church as he arrived in Kiev on Thursday in the latest in a string of eye-catching stunts pulled by a Ukrainian feminist group.

An activist from the Femen women’s rights group rushed towards Patriarch Kirill with bared breasts, yelling “Get out!”, the Russian state news agency reported, before she was bundled away by security guards.

The European Pressphoto Agency reported that the Femen protest aimed to highlight a demand for greater independence for Ukraine’s main orthodox church, which still answers to the Moscow Patriarchate.

“Regrettably, people are trying to mar the Patriarch’s visit to Ukraine through these stunts,” the head of the patriarch’s press service, Deacon Alexander Volkov, said, adding that such incidents signal “a deep spiritual crisis in some social circles.”


  1. To some extent it reminds me of a stunt pulled by a girl several years ago on the street/college campus preacher, Arthur Blesset (the guy who dragged a big cross everywhere for years). He was in the middle of a crowd of kids on some college campus …Berkley I think, back in the late sixties/early seventies and this girl trying to disrupt and embarrass him in front of everyone peels off her blouse and flounces around him all mock seductressy. He looked her up and down a moment, screwed up his face in an expression of amused disgust and said, “Ewww, you’re ugly!” That so shocked the girl she threw her arms around her…um “‘chest” and fled the scene weeping with embarrassment. I wonder if a similar stance would discourage Pat. Kiril’s assaultress….big Russian headline with photo…Pitifully unattractive woman bares chest in presence of the Patriarch. Bystander’s seen trying hard not to laugh.

  2. Господи помилуй

  3. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    Of course the Western media did not mention the incident. The Western media is not particularly sympathetic to Orthodoxy. Someone could assassinate the Patriarch of Antioch and it might make a small article on page 10 of the newspaper. The Pope gets a cold and it makes the front page.

    Fr. John W. Morris

    • Russians aren’t bothered if an event involving the Patriarch of Moscow doesn’t get mentioned in ANY western media; however, as we see, at least one representative of the Antiochian Archdiocese is sensitiive about that sort of thing. And what an exaggeration, a hypothetical assassination of Patriarch Ignatius? True, the only reason I know his name is I’m Eastern Orthodox. The whole world, though, learned of the passing of Pope Shenouda, through the media. And the wire services sure learned about the retirement of Metropolitan Jonah, did they not?

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        I could just as well have written the assassination of the Patriarch of Serbia, or Bulgaria, or Alexandria or even the Ecumenical Patriarch. The Western media does not cover Orthodoxy very well. There were actually only a few articles in the press about the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah. Because Egypt is in the news, they mentioned the death of the Coptic Pope. The press usually only mentions Orthodoxy when it makes us look bad. They have made a great deal over the punishment of the punk rock band that committed sacrilege at Christ the Savior Cathedral. They also made a great deal of a photograph showing the Patriarch of Moscow wearing an expensive watch. Notice that the writing on the woman’s back is in English showing that she is trying to get publicity in the Western press.

        Fr. John W. Morris

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald wrote:

        the wire services sure learned about the retirement of Metropolitan Jonah, did they not?

        Yes, Your Grace, I believe that IS Geo Michalopulos’ point precisely (please correct me if I am misunderstanding you Geo M.). The use (and subsequent abuse) of popular media to perpetuate lies, chaos, slander, half-truths and all types of agendas which are contrary to the Gospel of Christ, and the popular media’s willing cooperation and irresponsibility (case and point The Chicago Tribune aricle) in the slander of individuals.

        • I was responding, George P., to the following remark by Archpriest John W. Morris:
          “Of course the Western media did not mention the incident. The Western media is not particularly sympathetic to Orthodoxy. Someone could assassinate the Patriarch of Antioch and it might make a small article on page 10 of the newspaper.”

          Tangentially, “the media” are all big businesses, and they support leaders who act in ways favorable to business (regardless of what they may preach). “Liberal” really liberal media are rare, indeed. What exists are various levels of conservative media, except for…..oh…. The Nation, maybe. Even the New Republic is in the pockets of the Martie Peretz’s, Michael Kingsley’s and so on, hardly liberals. The NYT sees itself as more aristocratic than liberal.
          In some ways, that’s the real social-political divide; the arrivistes vs the aristocrats.

          • The Western Media has been almost completely unaware of the existence of the Eastern Orthodox Church until about the last 3-4 years. 60 Minutes did great pieces on Patriarch Bartholomew and the real stunner about Mount Athos – I loved it. Christmas Day (new Calendar) they did 20 minute segment on the Vatican Library, and the whole rest of the show on Mount Athos.

            Fox News is beginning to pick up articles written by Orthodox journalists, and icons are even getting into the mainstream press, though sometimes, woefully twisted – anyone seen the icon with Obama in Christ’s place? They even left the O ON there…

            And then of course the bit with the girls in Russia. But that piece is made partly to make Russia look bad, far more than the Russian Orthodox Church itself. That’s because Vladimir Putin is a challenge to Americanism. His Russia is heading back to monarchy – the return of the Tsar… and the Russians want this – despite what they think about Putin, they want to return to that way of government – and they will. When it happens, a very vibrant and resurgent Russian Empire will not threaten the West, but it will be seen here like it does. Oh, well.

            It looks clear that this hapless woman who accosted Patriarch Kyrill was intending her message to be picked up in the West somewhere – either Britain or Australia, or the USA, but apparently it got mostly ignored. To me, this backs the point – Orthodoxy is not yet on the radar screens of the American Left. In fact, a Greek Hierarch did the benediction for the DNC (and in my never-humble opinion on this I would say that the DNC has no idea just how much they need prayers – goodness!) But the Hierarchy in the States – at least on the East Coast – has seemed to show a remarkable preference for the Left – which I just don’t understand. Jonah wouldn’t have – and I think that is part of the reason he got run out, because he doesn’t believe that our Faith is to be equivocated with those who would seek to undermine it, as the Left in this country seems rather determined to accomplish.

            Perhaps if Vladyka Jonah had remained Metropolitan through the election we would have had some real news come out about the Orthodox Church – but now, we probably won’t, and it will remain America’s best kept secret… Something we ought to really undo.

    • Fr. John, one ‘gut level’ reason the ‘Western Media’ isn’t sympathetic has to be that Western media is very visual, whether photographs or videos. And, some in the Orthodox world wear the long trains on the headgear, the big robes with generous sleeves, on men. On women totally covered except for the faces recalling the islamic practice, well at the gut level it carries the same visual feeling of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, or the folk in parts of the US that use horse and carriage, one step away from the colorful tribal religions of Africa (visually).

      There isn’t an expectation of a great deal of ‘there’ there to discuss with folk attired in that way, and those who follow such also are not presupposed to be beyond modestly literate at least by most with little prior exposure.

      What’s the Western media going to say? When it’s time to decide whether Serbia is going to be bombed during holy week, I don’t think there’s a lot of gut level distinction made between Islamic and Orthodox, they all sort of ‘look the same to us’. Now, of course when you engage in a discussion with someone it can all change, but I think the ‘optics’ I’ve outlined holds true for those with little prior exposure.

      The Greek-Americans get a pass, because of really excellent festivals and social connectivity. But overseas Patriarchs dressed like in all the big head-gear and so on? The presupposition is one of dealing with backwardness.

  4. Friendly Catholic says

    For that matter the lamestream media is saying nothing about the destruction of crosses in Russia

  5. Love the photo! Notice how Patriarch Kyrill doesn’t even break step. Face as calm as a cucumber.

    Look at the expressions of the people around him.

    Now that’s inner peace.

    Sweet. 🙂

    Whether it’s picked up by the rest of the rest of the media or no, this picture speaks volumes about who Patriarch Kyrill is as a spiritual person. I am very glad you shared it. Thank you Geo Michalopulos!

  6. Is NBC news one of the “Western media” or not?

  7. lil Ole Housewife says

    FEMEN was mentioned in connection with supporting PR and has been heavily covered in the media. I even mentioned them myself on your blog. There are even scholars in the US who specifically study them and like movements. They are old news.

    See external links in Wiki article.

  8. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    If the gal had pulled that little stunt here at All Saints, we would not have bothered the Chicago police with it.

    Some of the healthier brethren in the congregation would have “explained things” to her.

    • OccidentalGuido says

      Yes indeed Father Patrick! We have heard many stories about how the Antiochian Archdiocese handles security issues.

      By the way, Father, I am greatly enjoying your book, Christ in the Psalms, I was recently given as a gift. Fantastic!

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        I am greatly enjoying your book, Christ in the Psalms

        Thank you, Guido

        • Lil Ole Housewife says

          Thankfully, the Russian courts have a dim view of individuals roughing up others in defense of their opinions:

          23:19 04/09/2012ALL NEWS
          Orthodox activist convicted for beating Pussy Riot supporter

          MOSCOW, September 4 (Itar-Tass) —— Orthodox activist Alexander Orlov, who beat up….

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Half of the responders voted thumbs down on this message.

      What should we do, guys? Let the gal parade around bare breasted until the Chicago police arrived?

      I think I perceive the problem. You think All Saints is an average American Orthodox parish, where the worshippers are all octogenarians.

      Hey, this is a “family sensitive” parish. No semi-nude gals would be allowed, even for a full minute, to parade around here with the goodies hanging out. It would distress the acolytes.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Fr Patrick, I believe you have unwittingly touched upon another problem facing our nation: the feminization of men. That you and I have to even defent men who are stalwart in defense of decency shows us how much we have lost.

        If the wreck of the Titanic happened today, most American men would apologize to the iceberg.

      • Lil Ole Housewife says

        How to handle the nudies, male and female is taken care of in many parishes by simply having something to wrap them in. One enterprising monastery had people save robes given out by airlines, others have blankets, scarves, giant shirts to fit all guys, etc. FEMEN does their protests in public, not in churches, however

  9. Seed the wind, reap the whirlwind. If the PussyRiot punks were out of jail a month or two after the event, this would have been a news snooze, if it would have happened at all.

  10. Crazyfellow says

    The next time cute Ukranian girls want to assault an Orthodox person, I will volunteer to be their target. What a mess…