23 November 2016, 11:00
Patriarch Kirill to President Putin: we have built supporting structure for state-church relationship
Moscow, November 23, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the constructive dialogue between the State and the Church.
"With a big thanks to our leaders, primarily to you Vladimir Vladimirovich, I would like to note the very high level of dialogue and cooperation we have developed over the past years with the Russian state in the person of the President, the whole Russian government corps led by you," the patriarch said at a gala concert in honor of his 70th birthday anniversary at the church council hall in the Christ the Savior Cathedral.
He also thanked Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko who, like Putin, attended the concert, "for the remarkable fulfillments that took place in the spiritual life of the Belarusian people."
The patriarch recalled the ideal church-state relationship that existed in Byzantium and is called Symphonia.
"Over the past seven years [of Kirill as patriarch] we did not create the ideal Symphonia but we did build a supporting structure that is helping, little by little, brick after brick, to create the building of symphonical interaction between the church, the pious people and the state," he said.
The Church is not meant to engage in either politics or the economy, at the center of its service being the human heart, the internal human life from which all other things derive, the patriarch said.
"May God bless all our Fatherland, the whole of historical Rus, of which I am the patriarch, all our fraternal Slavic nations which, though living in independent states today, feed on the shared historical source consecrated in the waters of the Dnieper baptismal font. And I am very hopeful that our movement forward will be peaceful, calm and safe," the Russian patriarch said.