chapter  4
35 Pages

The Moscow Patriarchate and the Soviet media

WithSophie Kotzer

Mikhail Gorbachev sought to illustrate that the Soviet system was best characterised as “socialism with a human face.” The newspapers followed suit. This chapter analyses the internal debate on church-state relations in four different publications: Sovetskaia Rossiia, Trud, Izvestiia and Literaturnaia Gazeta. Special attention in the discussion is given to the use of photojournalism. The chapter analyses the difference between the expectations and the realities of church-state relations, comparing and contrasting the way different newspapers dealt with the subject and determining whether the treatment of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in the media reflected the political affiliation of the newspaper. It evaluates the following aspects connected with the media’s treatment of the Moscow Patriarchate’s relations with the Soviet authorities: church-state relations and foreign policy goals, the social and political role of the Moscow Patriarchate, the ROC as an agent of historical memory and the interrelations between the ROC and the USSR’s national question.