Vladimir Putin Exempts Seminarians From Mobilization

October 17, 2022
Source: fsspx.news
An Orthodox seminary in the Moscow region

The President of the Russian Federation has decided to exempt seminarians from the partial mobilization decree issued in September 2022 in order to increase the number of soldiers assigned to the special military operation in Ukraine. 

The approximately eight thousand seminarians currently in the Russian Orthodox Church can breathe: they will be spared the partial mobilization decree of September 21, 2022 by Vladimir Putin, in order to hold a front line – a thousand kilometers strong – weakened by the recent Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Donbass.

Until October 5, the only ones exempted from this “partial mobilization” were the employees of the national military industry, at least “during the period of work in these organizations,” implying that there would be no more possibility of escaping mobilization in the event of a workers’ resignation or dismissal.

“As of today, our students - and their number rises to eight thousand - are protected by the new decree for which we are of course grateful to our president, because a future priest cannot take up arms with the intent to kill,” said Fr. Maxim Kozlov, an Orthodox priest in charge of religious studies for Russian seminarians, on October 5.

A decision that can be explained, for this Orthodox priest, because a seminarian “can and must defend his homeland differently. Historically, the priesthood has always been present on the front lines in difficult times, precisely for the spiritual support of soldiers, but not in the context of direct participation in hostilities,” he explained during the television program “The Church and the World” broadcast on the Russia 24 channel.

Earlier, Fr. Kozlov told the RIA Novosti agency that the decision of the President of the Russian Federation to postpone the mobilization for seminarians, had made it possible to solve the case of twenty theology students who had not presented themselves to their summons.

For the record, in the Roman Catholic Church, clerics were exempt from military service, a system which, however, suffered exceptions in the event of a serious conflict. This exemption is still in force in some countries, such as Italy.