Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently made comments deriding the Church of England for discussing the possibility of using gender-neutral language when referring to God.
In a speech delivered at the Russian Orthodox Church’s annual assembly, Putin criticised what he called the “political correctness” of the West, and suggested that it was leading to the erosion of traditional values.
During his speech, Putin said: “The Anglican Church is considering a gender-neutral God. May God forgive them for they know not what they do.” Putin took particular issue with the Church of England’s recent discussions about updating its liturgy to use gender-neutral terms for God. He mocked the idea, saying that it was evidence of the “spiritual catastrophe” of Western societies. “Millions of people in the West understand they are being led to a real spiritual catastrophe,” he added.
Putin also condemned the West for agreeing to bless same-sex couples in the Church of England.
The Church of England’s discussions about gender-neutral language for God have been ongoing for several years. Earlier this month, the church’s General Synod voted to bless same-sex couples. However, the discussions have been controversial, with some critics arguing that they represent a departure from traditional Christian teachings.
In response, a spokesperson for the Church of England said: “As we have repeatedly said, there are absolutely no plans to consider a gender neutral God.
“It is simply wrong to say that the Church of England is considering stopping using any particular terms for God and there are also absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise currently authorised liturgies and no such changes could be made without extensive legislation.”
The Russian president’s comments are part of a broader pattern of criticism of the West that he has been engaged in for many years. Putin has frequently expressed his belief that Western countries are hypocritical and self-serving, and that they are attempting to undermine traditional Russian values and influence.