01 February 2013, 15:19
Medvedev wants stronger relations between state, church, society
Moscow, February 1, Interfax - On the fourth anniversary of Patriarch Kirill's enthronement, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wished him health and said he is hoping the relations between the church, the state, and society in Russia will become stronger.
"A Patriarch's service is a very difficult mission and hope everything will be fine. I wish for the special relationship now established between the Russian Orthodox Church, the state, and the entire society to grow stronger and serve for the good of our Fatherland," Medvedev said after the liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
During the meeting, Patriarch Kirill mentioned the increase in the number of archbishops, adding that 300 archbishops had assisted him during the liturgy, whereas he was elected by only 200 archbishops four years ago. The Patriarch said this is due to the increase in the number of dioceses in the Russian Orthodox Church in the past few years.
"The increase in the number of bishops, as I understand, reflects an increase in the number of people going to church, which is an objective process," Medvedev said.
"These people are educated, most of them have secular and spiritual university education and a lot of work experience. We take candidates not only from the capital, but also from among those who, as I say, know how to travel in the tundra and taiga," the patriarch said, referring to the new generation of bishops.
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