Russia Gave the World 10,000 Saints in the 20th C. Alone! THEY Should Be Your Role Models!

In case you're wondering where modern teenagers can get the best role models

This article from our archives was first published on RI in October 2018

Dmitry Smirnov is, hands down, one of the most popular priests of Russia. He has a huge following and is very active on television, radio, and his YouTube channel. 

He is incredibly witty and often so blunt that he leaves his audience gasping. But not only is he entertaining; he also speaks of the things that too many people today are silent about.  

He is especially outspoken in his criticism of LGBT and abortion, and his passionate support for homeschooling. He heads the Russian Church's Committee for Family, Motherhood, and Children.

This is a clip of him on a top Russian talk show, Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev.

The host seems to hint at a potential lack of 'cool' role models within the church. Watch Fr. Dmitry Smirnov's response (full transcript below)

Watch Father Dmitry in action: 

Dmitri Smirnov, Archpriest:

- Is the Church going to fight against these social problems?

- The Church wasn't created for fighting. If we are fighting, it's only against sin, and only in ourselves. I cannot fight the sins of Vladimir Soloviev (the host), nobody gave me that right. That is his job.

- Ok, then, the  conservative activist) had no right to demonstrate publicly against the sins of the play and the director. He should have fought against his own sins and shown us an example of his purity.

- Correct.. But, also he realizes, that such plays facilitate same-sex marriages.

- Which means it needs to be opposed?

- Well yes, he, as a private citizen ...

- But you ARE fighting! For example, , you personally have condemned  surrogate motherhood

- Well, you know, I’ve given dozens of TV interviews about this, and every time I ask the journalist interviewing me, ‘Would you want to be a surrogate mother, for a few bucks?’Not one said, yes. Why? Because it’s wrong!. People sense this intuitively.. They might be told to push a certain view by their editor,, but inside, any normal person is disgusted by this. Surrogate mother!, it even sounds awful!?

- It sounds terrible.

- Surrogate fatherhood?, surrogate citizenship?, surrogate adherence to the law? , surrogate food…?

- I agree, You say that church is a way to salvation. But, every day the TV encourages us to live in a way that is not right., and every day we are told that this is normal, and that  if one disagrees,, one is unfashionable, intolerant, … iliberal. here need to be examples of people living the right way. Where are there examples of purity and honesty among people in the church, so that I would want to say: "I want to be like him, I want to walk this path.

- No problem.. Our 20th century alone has given us 1000s of examples!. A huge number!. They lived amongst us. In my family alone there a couple  dozen such people, priests who accepted death for Christ, who continued to preach. There are photos,biographies and detailed memoirs by many of them, such as Elizaveta Feodorovna Romanova. There are even films. Anyone can see what  Patriarch Tikhon was like. These people were fearless and perfect!. They were flawless!. Everyone knows the expression "canonization of the saints." A person is included in the canon. What is canon? Canon is an example. An example of faith. Now THOSE were great people! We venerate them as saints, and there are not just thousands of them in Russia, but TENS of THOUSANDS! in the 20th c.  alone!

- But Father Dmitry, shouldn’t the church be more active in bringing this message to the people?, to speak to the parishes,to tell them about these saints ..

- I’ve done even better! I’ve come to YOU, Vladimir, to Channel 2!, to the whole country!

- Exactly! Shouldn’t the church be putting their best and brightest forward, talented people like you, to reach the people, to bring them back to the church?

- They already are! The talented ones are visible everywhere!They preach on local TV, they organize Sunday schools, they teach in universities … as long as our minister of education in defiance of the President's executive order, doesn't axe theology departments from the universities, and so on. We do our best!. You want more? Give us a big TV channel, like ‘

- You do have a channel!

- But it’s just  a satellite channel, surely you must understand the difference.

- I understand.

- True, the government did promise to add it to the main TV package (the multiplex)

- I’m a little scared that you know such technical terms!

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