Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, warned members of Union of Orthodox Ukrainian Women that feminism is “very dangerous” and could threaten the stability of Russia.

According to new agencies, Patriarch Kirill told the meeting, “I consider this phenomenon called feminism very dangerous, because feminist organizations proclaim the pseudo-freedom of women, which, in the first place, must appear outside of marriage and outside of the family.”

“Man has his gaze turned outward – he must work, make money – and woman must be focused inwards, where her children are, where her home is,” he continued. “If this incredibly important function of women is destroyed then everything will be destroyed – the family and, if you wish, the motherland.” He continued, “It’s not for nothing that we call Russia the motherland.”

Patriarch Kirill has become a close ally of Vladimir Putin. The connection between Putin and the Church was challenged by the feminist punk band Pussy Riot in their iconic performance that garnered international attention. Three members of Pussy Riot were arrested and found guilty of “hooliganism” for the performance. Though one member was freed on appeal, the remaining two must serve a two year sentence in prison. Earlier this year, one member was sent to the hospital because of what her lawyer is concerned may be a new health problem that has developed since beginning her sentence.

Media Resources: Guardian 4/9/2013; Feminist Newswire 2/4/2013; 7/30/2013

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – APRIL 22: Russian Patriarch Kirill holds vigil “in defense of the faith” in Moscow on 22 of April 2012, Russia. by Nickolay Vinokurov / Shutterstock.com