10 May 2006, 16:02
Alexy II calls upon Europe to set a barrier to the cult of consumption and return to Christian tradition
Moscow, May 10, Interfax - Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II has expressed his concern for the Europeans becoming a ‘consumer society.’
‘Modern European civilization is turning to non-Christian authorities even more often, and it is alarming’, the patriarch told in his interview to the Italian news agency Ansa published on the official web-site of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Alexy II also said that recognition of the value of human person based on the concept of the image of God in the Christian tradition, ‘is now degenerates into justification of selfish will, moral libertinism and nihilism.’
‘It is not by chance that the modern European civilization is sometimes called post-Christian. The godless are destroying the foundation of the pan-European house with their very hands’, the Russian Orthodox primate said.
According to him, the loss of spiritual aspirations is the main challenge for Europe today. ‘Large corporation seeking to expand their markets benefit from talking about ‘consumer society’. However, society devoid of spirituality has no future as the self-sufficient cult of consumption leads to nowhere’, the patriarch underlined.
Commenting on the situation in Russia, Alexy II noted that the country’s level of religious knowledge is still lower than in Western Europe, and ‘extremists of all sorts stake on that.’
‘To avoid religious conflicts, our Church speaks for the introduction of the "Foundations of the Orthodox Culture" into school curriculum and supports similar initiatives of the Muslims and other traditional religions’, the patriarch said.