16 December 2009, 17:07
Patriarch Kirill blames Strasbourg Court in infringing on religious rights
Moscow, December 16, Interfax - The European Court of Human Rights often does not properly consider the church's rights, said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
"In our view, the court sometimes lopsidedly uses different interpretations of individual rights to the detriment of collective rights of traditional religious organizations rooted in the history and culture of European peoples," Patriarch Kirill said in a letter to Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland whose text the patriarchal press service made public on Wednesday.
There is a need for "a serious discussion on issues and court practice in which secular laws enter the area of canonical law and centuries-long moral and spiritual traditions of European peoples," he said.
"We are convinced that ignoring moral aspects of human rights is fraught with undermining the authority of the very concept of rights and freedoms which has become one of the achievements in modern history," he said.
These issues should be taken into account in discussing the practices of the Strasbourg Court which is "one of the Council of Europe's principal institutions, has made quite a few decisions aimed at defending dignity of particular people," Patriarch Kirill said.
The Patriarch praised cooperation between the Council of Europe and European religious communities, "which has been pursued over the past several years within the framework of the promotion and development of inter-cultural dialogue."
"We hope for the Council of Europe to step up its efforts toward implementing the proposal that has been made repeatedly that the Council of Europe set up tools for permanent and systemic cooperation with religious organizations representing the principal European religious traditions," he said.
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