07 March 2007, 11:36
Orthodox civilization must fully participate in international processes - Russian Orthodox Church
Moscow, March 7, Interfax - The Orthodox faith should become a full-fledged basis for the Russian political culture, the vice-chair of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin opined.
‘I am sure that our Orthodox civilization may base its participation in global processes on its own convictions, and may also become a fundament for us to pursue an equal dialogue with a broader world and other civilizations,’ Fr. Vsevolod said at a section of the 11th World Russian People Council, which is being held in Moscow now.
According to him, in the modern world the Orthodox civilization ‘is able and should develop some international instruments of its existence’ in order to influence global political institutions’ decision making and elaboration of the international law norms.
Ideological neutrality of the state is ‘rather mythical than real now’ as the modern Western society is ‘ideologized’ and often ‘values the idea more than the human person,’ Fr. Vsevolod said. That is why the very issue of religiously neutral state is misleading and ‘intends to clear the way for other ideologies,’ he added.
‘So the Orthodox tradition has full right to demand ideological preferences from the state, and the society may demand having their ideological preferences reflected by the state policies,’ he noted.
Unity of the people and authorities is natural for the Orthodox world while ideas of economical and political competition or ‘dirigible conflict’ give way to the consolidation of the society, he said.
‘The authorities should acknowledge their unity with the society while different parts of the society are also called to mutual accountability. This ideal unity is a far more powerful imperative for our national self-awareness than the talks about an unavoidable social conflict,’ Fr. Vsevolod opined.
Therefore a government model optimized for the Orthodox civilization shall harmonically combine a personified rule and a popular participation in both political and ecclesiastical decision making in its traditional forms,’ he said.
‘Mutual humbleness and readiness to give up one’s own interests constitute the ideal acknowledged in our ascetic and patristic writings. Our history is full of examples of persons and groups self-restricting to achieve common goals,’ he noted.
According to him, within the Orthodox civilization ‘the economical policies should be subject to the ideal of human salvation,’ and state and society should ‘ideally pursue a spiritual mission.’
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