A group of Christian enthusiasts has released a calendar showing an unexpected face of the Russian Orthodox Church: cat-loving priests.
The Priest and Cat calendar released last month by photographer Anna Galperina and editor Ksenia Luchenko shows 12 Orthodox priests at their homes posing with their cats.
“To be honest, it feels a bit strange, when you call priests and ask: ‘Father, tell me please, do you have a cat? Oh, you do? Great!’ ” Luchenko said. “So the initial reaction was a bit wary.”
Father Pyotr Dynnikov, who posed as Mr. February alongside his adopted shelter cats Angola and Vasik, said he liked the idea because the calendar lends the church a lighter and less official dimension.
“Love is the main thing about the church,” Dynnikov said. “Those who made this calendar, I think they have succeeded in showing that people are moved by love, including the love for these creatures who also understand the language of love. So I think they have shown a slightly unexpected, ordinary face of the church.”