Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill: We don't want to become a state Church

Source: Newspaper Vima (Greece)A year and a half ago You became Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. What are the most touching moments in Your Ministry during this time, You can recall?- There were many; but for me, of paramount importance is the opportunity to pray with many of the Orthodox people in all the countries I visited. What a joy to see the faith of the people, their deep devotion to the Lord and His Holy Church. Despite all the disasters of the twentieth century, the faith of the saints of old Russia alive in their spiritual heirs. When you see how the spiritual life is revived where, it seemed, did not remain nothing but abandoned ruins, when you see how people brought up in militant rejection of Orthodoxy, return to the Lord in repentance and faith, especially clearly realize the immutable words of the Savior: "I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt.16, 18).- What are the difficulties encountered by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church? How heavy is the mission placed on You?- Today our Church carries out its Ministry in the situation generated by the long decades of state atheism, when people were artificially isolated from their own spiritual and, to a large extent cultural traditions.We are facing a huge task to give people back their own heritage - Orthodox culture, we must address the conditions with which the Church had not yet encountered.Some problems are common to all of Europe: problems of economic inequality, injustice, difficulties in inter-ethnic and interreligious relations. We also have to deal with the spreading cult of pleasure and unbridled consumption, which often makes people dishonest or even criminal way of life.Common to all of us is also the problem of propaganda of militant secularism, which expressly rejects the Christian roots of our civilization. We have also encountered the spread - sometimes turning into imposition is immoral and pernicious things, rising against the very nature of family and marriage.- In recent years, we see how Russia's political leadership refers to the Church. As people brought up in atheism can turn out to be believers?- I believe the highest officials of the state to Orthodoxy is not a political move and not a fad, but a sincere search for God's help and guidance. The Russian Orthodox Church does not aspire to the status of the state - the separation of Church and state, but not separated from society. The Church cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for the spiritual condition of the nation, including its leading strata."Isn't this some kind of show?- We cannot and should not look for some hidden motives behind people to Church, be they politicians, workers, professors or Housewives. The Church welcomes all with love. Ministry policy requires a special responsibility and wisdom, and if people seek it in prayer to God, in the doctrine of the Church - well, here it and should seek.Church and state are two different institutions that have different goals and different methods. The task of the Church is the eternal salvation of people, the task of the state - the welfare of their earthly life. But any responsible statesman understands that the adornment of the earth is impossible without reliance on spiritual values, on the Christian Foundation on which from the beginning were built our civilization.- Today You will host the Ecumenical Patriarch. How strong is, in Your opinion, is the unity of the Orthodox Churches?- The unity of the Church is its integral mysterious property given by God: wherever there is a canonical Orthodox communities, they belong to the same Church, Whose Head is Christ. However, maintaining the unity of local Churches requires our human efforts. Our era has greatly increased the possibility of communication, and now we can meet more often with other primates. These meetings are a vivid testimony to our unity.- Many believe that the forthcoming pan-Orthodox Council will not be able to resolve major problems concerning intra-Orthodox unity. What is Your opinion on this issue?- The Church Council is a miracle and mystery. When the bishops gather in the Holy Spirit to the Church Affairs, enmity, difference of opinion go, but remains "the program of the Holy spirit", as my ever-memorable predecessor Patriarch Sergius. I myself have often witnessed that seemingly stalemate suddenly, through the Holy spirit, found the solution in the General solution.You can't expect the Council which have not been held for several centuries that overnight will solve all existing problems. But it is necessary that in modern conditions the Cathedral again as the meeting of the whole Orthodox Church,The success of the forthcoming pan-Orthodox Council depends on the will of God, and from that, what are the thoughts of the Local Church will send their representatives. We pray that the Lord will bless the work to prepare the Council and to work to achieve dinomania in the spirit of Christ's love.- Can Constantinople and Moscow to move forward together?- If a thousand years Constantinople and the Russian Church had already passed along what may be an obstacle to further collaborative evidence? I am sure that all of the Local Church not only can but must work together, supporting each other in a common witness. It should, because unity is commanded to us by Christ himself, because unity is not only proof of our compliance with the commandments of the gospel, but also a confirmation of the viability and correctness of the Orthodox ecclesiological model. I can't accept the idea that the Orthodox Church for the God-commanded unity is not able to sacrifice their so-called "interests".I'm watching some journalists describing our relationship with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. When you read these gloomy comments and forecasts, it seems that we are talking about some kind of confrontation or almost about the war. But none of these pessimistic predictions did not come true. Moreover, the relationship between the two Patriarchates have reached a qualitatively new level, and the visit to our Church by his Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch is the best proof. Of course, this picture does not suit those who sensationalist wants to see all the secret intrigues and designs. But the Church is therefore not a mere human organization that it seeks to reveal the Kingdom of God, called to save the world.

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