The Patriarch of all Russia
Death of his Holiness Patriarch Alexy II drew a line under one of the most successful periods in the millennial history of the Russian Orthodox Church.Alexy II took the throne on 10 June 1990. Just two days before the Congress of people's deputies of the RSFSR adopted the Declaration on state sovereignty of Russia.The Communist regime collapsed in his eyes, and it was clear that the days of the Soviet Empire are numbered. However, nobody knew whether there will be something alive under the debris. One thing was clear: for the liberation from communism have to pay, and the question is how big will be this price.In a difficult situation in those years was the Church. Suffice it to say that almost immediately after the election of Alexis one of the two main rivals in the elections of the Patriarch, Metropolitan Filaret of Kiev and Galicia began schismatic activity regarding separation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchate.Beginning in the late 80-ies of the mass return of people to the faith threatened to be interrupted due to the fact that the country strongly enough temples and priests.Finally, due to changes in the economic situation have found themselves in a "gangster capitalism" youth is strongly shifted moral priorities: according to most opinion polls beginning of 90-ies, among the most popular professions students invariably called killers and prostitutes…Since then, 18 years later. Despite pessimistic forecasts, the Russian Federation turned out to be quite a viable education. Going through a difficult 90-e years and the economic recovery of the 2000s, the new Russia has become a full-fledged state with a very good position in the international arena and growing standard of living of citizens within the country. And in this very great merit of the Russian Orthodox Church, all these years has consistently served as a source of comfort and life-giving power for experiencing hard times people."The Ukrainian schism" in the past. The recent celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Rus in Kiev showed that, despite the active support of Raskolnikov "orange" the authorities, the majority of Ukrainians remained the faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate. Including those who no longer remembers life in one country with the Russians.However, this achievement pales in comparison with what happened in the last year of the unification of the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR. Unique example of how faith helps scar old wounds and smooth until recently seemed unsolvable contradictions. In the history of Christianity there were many schisms: the Catholics with the Orthodox, Catholics with Protestants, the Protestants among themselves, the old believers and "nikonian" etc. - and only one reunion. The reunification of the two Russian churches that occurred during the Patriarchal Ministry of Alexis and under his personal supervision.Equally impressive results were achieved in the field and the increase in the number of churches and clergy. According to the data presented by Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Volodymyr at the bishops ' Council in 1989, the total number of parishes at that time was 9 734, monasteries - 35, priests and deacons - 8 100. By December 2007, these figures have increased several times: 27 942 parishes (a threefold increase), 732 existing monastery (more than twenty-fold increase!) and 29 841 cleric (a fourfold increase). What other area of life can boast anything similar to the results achieved in the last 20 years?Thus, the activities of the newly departed Patriarch, of course, was not limited to only one administrative and economic sphere. The main thing that was required from the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in the period when dramatically changed the social structure of the country is painfully felt the rules of the new life, is to constantly find the correct answers at the questions connected with the relations between the Church and secular life, between Church and state, Church and society.Every time his Holiness had to find the only true middle ground, not yielding to any of the seductive gradients. And every time he is brilliant at it. That, incidentally, has always been buckets of dirt, rained on the Patriarch and the Church on the part of our educated class, always eager radicalism. However, it is well known that Russian intellectual comes to the Church not to save himself but to save the Church, so God will judge them...The first problem faced by Alexy II, was to determine what should be the relationship of Church and state, to stop the persecution of believers.Of course, you could go into "spiritual ghetto", declaring that the Church is not interested in worldly issues "in this country," and minimizing any contact with the state authorities and governmental bodies. It is insisted on that the majority of our educated class, and to this day is constantly accusing the Patriarch that he was present at the inauguration and presidential address to the Federal Assembly, Putin and Medvedev congratulates with Passover, going to receptions in the Kremlin, etc.However, in this case the Church would be deprived of the opportunities to Minister to his flock, which may provide it with the state. For example, the right to be present in the army, prisons and schools, broadcast Christmas and Easter worship services on Federal TV channels, etc.But the main task of the Church is to preach the Good news to as many people. Therefore, as the head of the Church Patriarch was obliged to support the state and the level of relations, which allows the Church to use state power for their own purposes. And it is not clear how it can be blamed.On the other hand, one would, on the contrary, to break into politics. For example, to support one of the candidates in the presidential elections of 1996, to which the Patriarch actively encouraged each of the parties, appealing either to the fact that "the Church does not want the return of communism", or that "the Church may not like what is happening in the country debauchery and chaos.".