Russian priest blamed when rocket he blessed fails
A Russian Orthodox priest has come under fire after a rocket he blessed failed to reach its intended orbit and instead landed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Crash into the Atlantic Ocean
Bishop Lukian prayed for and blessed the carrier rocket before it was launched on November 28th, 2017. The rocket was carrying the Meteor-M satellite, as well as 18 other smaller satellites. It, however, crashed into the ocean shortly after it took off from Vostochony cosmodrome in eastern Russia on Tuesday.
“Accountability for the Church”
Andrei Kuraev, a Protodeacon of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as a theologian and missionary, placed the blame for the failure firmly at the feet of Bishop Lukian. Kuraev was quoted on Gorovit Moskva, a Russian radio station saying that the church needed to be held accountable for “offering poor services.”
“It is very strange that the church seems to provide services, but it’s never responsible for the quality of these services,” Kuraev said.
Bishop Lukian Defense
Other priests came out in defense of Bishop Lukian, though. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin of the temple of Theodore Studite and a co-founder of the Russian mission said that prayers to God must be accompanied by requisite human action. “It would be paganism to believe that God is the answer and should give us a number of good things of life, or protect us from accidents,” said Chaplin. “The person also has to think about their responsibilities.”
The Roscosmos space agency of Russia said that it had failed to establish communication with the satellite that was launched on the rocket and was trying to investigate the occurrence. Russian news agencies reported that the botched launch was likely caused by the failure of the booster’s final stage. This might have come from a fault in the software.