11 April 2007, 13:06
Reunion of the Russian Orthodox Church’s two branches is an historic event - Lavrov
Moscow, April 11, Interfax - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the upcoming reunion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia an historic event and reaffirmed his commitment to felicitate it.
‘The upcoming reunion between the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia culminating in the two primates, Patriarch Alexy and Metropolitan Laur, signing the act of canonical communion in Moscow this May,’ the minister said in the presence of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia during the Easter reception for diplomats and religious leaders.
The foreign ministry ‘doing their best to help this course of events’ is sure that ‘all these will benefit Russia, a broader Orthodox world, and everyone committed to ideals of good and justice,’ Lavrov said.
Another sphere where the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious organizations may cooperate with the diplomats is ‘supporting Russian diaspora oversees helping them to uphold their links with their native country and protecting religious rights of our compatriots residing abroad,’ Lavrov added.
He noted that according to the resolutions of the 2nd World Congress of Compatriots held last year in St. Petersburg, a coordinating council was launched and mandated to pursue governmental programs aimed at supporting Russians living abroad materially, culturally and spiritually.
‘Religious organizations and above all the Russian Orthodox Church play an important role in these programs,’ the minister said.
Lavrov also highly appreciated the Russian Orthodox Church’s role in preserving interethnic and interfaith harmony ‘as a prerequisite of growth and development of the Russian statehood.’
According to him, the Church does a lot to form a spiritual and moral ethos in our society as well as ‘to prevent xenophobia and religious hatred, which are deeply alien to us, and to bring up the youth in the spirit of tolerance.’
‘It is in many respects due to this fact that Russia is very much needed to oppose the global threat of civilizational division of our world, which is provoked by not exclusively by terrorists or extremists, but also by those who promote sharply ideologized, divisive approaches to international affaires,’ the minister said.
‘Russian Orthodox Church’s significant uniting potential is revealed first of all in joint efforts to overcome tension between the civilizations,’ he added.