07 March 2007, 12:49
Mass media monitoring: interview of Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad for Greek Newspaper ‘Vima’
- Last year the Department for External Church Relations celebrated its 60th anniversary. You are its coeval. What was the most difficult and painful decision that had to be made over these years?
- The Department for External Church Relations was established in 1946. At that time full-scale external relations of the Russian Orthodox Church were impossible, it was necessary first to reestablish relations with the Russian emigration, other Local Churches, to create a small chancellery, which could develop daily relations between the Church and State structures.
The basis of the modern full-scale and multi-sided activity was laid by the founder of the Department Metropolitan Nikolai (Yarushevich) and his successor Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov). They created the Department which subsequently faced a hard task of developing relations between the Church and the State, the Church and the Society, interfaith and inter-confessional ties during the collapse of the Soviet Union, destruction of stable social connections, during the period of breaks and divisions.
It is rather hard to say which decisions were the most painful. There always were a lot of them. The main task of the Department has always been to provide adequate participation of the Church in public life, to keep voice of Orthodoxy heard in Russia and the whole world, so that the Russian Orthodox Church, no matter what the historical circumstances are, accomplishes her main mission – saving people.
- At the end of November Pope Benedict XVI visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Do you consider the Pope’s visit to Moscow possible?
- First of all I would like to remind that even when the relations between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches were most complicated, we never excluded the possibility of the Pope’s visit to Russia or his meeting with His Holiness Alexy, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia somewhere else. But it is our conviction that this historical event should testify positive tendency in relations between our Churches. It could be reached only if several concrete problems that exist between us are solved – missionary activity of Catholics in Russia and other CIS countries and conflict between Orthodox and Greek Catholic believers in Ukraine. I am sure that the basis for the improvement of our relations can be the closeness of our Churches’ positions on such problems as morality, bioethics, protection of tradition Christian values.
- There was information that you interfered in the situation with the Monastery of Esphigmen, demanding that the Ecumenical Patriarch does not permit the expulsion of the brethren, settled down in the monastery. What exactly did you demand from the Ecumenical Patriarch and what would be your answer to those, who accused you of interfering in the internal affairs of the Holy Mountain, which is under the jurisdiction of Patriarch Bartholomew?
- In this case you are obviously mentioning the distorted account of the events which took place four years ago. As you remember, in 2003 the conflict around the monastery of Esphigmen in Athos sharpened. The press reported that one of the monks died during the attempt to penetrate into the blocked convent, different dates of the assault were sounded. The further escalation of the conflict could cause new victims, which we consider intolerable at this holy place. We shared our concern with the Church of Constantinople. We did not demand anything. It becomes obvious if you see the address, published on the official site of the Russian Orthodox Church. Quite the opposite, we stated that our Church respects the jurisdiction of the Constantinople See and has no intention to interfere in the events on the Holy Mountain.
February 25, 2007
- Russian Jewish community sets example for Europe - Rabbi Lazar 21 October 2014, 11:42
- Over half of Russians say ISIL is threat - poll 20 October 2014, 15:18
- Obligatory introduction of electronic passports and universal fingerprinting make the way to absolute dictatorship - Russian church official believes 20 October 2014, 11:27
- About 1,000 Evangelical Christians gather in central Kiev to pray for Ukraine 20 October 2014, 10:33
- Metropolitan Hilarion, Pope Francis discuss Greek-Catholics' actions in Ukraine 20 October 2014, 10:04
- Moscow Patriarchate urges Catholics to jointly protect family at a legal level 17 October 2014, 12:03
- Russian Church urges Uniates to stop subversive activities against it in Ukraine 17 October 2014, 11:07
- Renowned Italian expert speaks about growing Christianophobia on Europe 17 October 2014, 10:06
- The Valaam Monastery to produce Italian sorts of cheese 16 October 2014, 17:58
- Kyrgyz parliament passes bill banning "gay propaganda" at 1st reading 16 October 2014, 15:39
- Orthodox human rights advocate suggests appointing OSCE curator on Russophobia 16 October 2014, 10:05
- Parents-Satanists call their baby Lucifer 16 October 2014, 10:02
- Eight Hizb ut-Tahrir figures arrested in Kazan 16 October 2014, 10:01
- Kazakhstan outlaws Al-Takfir wa al-Hijra 15 October 2014, 12:14
- Putin accuses human rights defenders of ignoring the persecution of Ukrainian Orthodox Church 15 October 2014, 10:11
- Monument to Nicholas II to open in Belgrade 14 October 2014, 14:26
- Serbian Ambassador criticizes the West for lack of attention to the problem of destroying churches in Kosovo 14 October 2014, 13:43
- It is time to begin developing a system of Islamic education within the country's religious institutions - FSB chief 14 October 2014, 12:54
- Patriarch Kirill asks Iraq president to protect Christians 14 October 2014, 10:05
- Schismatics occupy church in Ternopol Region of Ukraine 14 October 2014, 10:01
- Moscow Patriarchate urges to stop violence and threats against canonical Ukrainian Church 13 October 2014, 17:05
- Exact copy of the main Sevastopol Cathedral to appear in Moscow 13 October 2014, 16:34
- Over forty citizens of Georgia may be fighting in Syria on Islamic State side - media 10 October 2014, 18:06
- Most Russians unaware of ISIL, others see it as threat to peace, Russia - poll 09 October 2014, 18:12
- Extremist ideologists use unsanctioned U.S. operations in Syria to stoke radical sentiments - Russian Foreign Ministry 09 October 2014, 16:01
- They try to deprive Russia of spiritual weapon, which is more powerful than nuclear one - Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin 09 October 2014, 13:56
- Integration of Crimean Tatars will be lengthy process - Mufti Gainutdin 08 October 2014, 17:39
- Muslims and Jews in Russia believe a four-day work week useful 08 October 2014, 14:04
- Expansion of religious extremism in Russia continues through "personnel" training in foreign Islamic centers - Russian Prosecutor General's Office 08 October 2014, 13:25
- Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin stands for four-day work week and high evaluation of distant work 07 October 2014, 15:42