24 May 2010, 12:57
Russian Church doesn't strive to become the Church of state – Patriarch Kirill
Moscow, May 24, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia stressed that the Russian Church is not going to merge with the state.
"The Russian Orthodox Church doesn't strive to gain the state status – the Church is separated from the state, but is not separated from the society. The Church can't decline responsibility for spiritual condition of the nation including its governing layers," the Patriarch said in his interview to the Vima Greek newspaper posted by the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations.
Commenting the journalist's words that Russian political leaders turn to the Church, the Primate noted that "when the top leaders of the state turn to Orthodoxy – it's not a political step or tribute to fashion, but sincere search of God's help and guidance."
According to Patriarch Kirill, the Church and state "are different institutes that have different tasks and different methods."
"The Church's task is eternal salvation of people, while the task of the state is organization of their earthily life. However, every responsible state official understands that earthily organization is impossible if it is not based on spiritual values, that Christian foundation our civilization was raised on from the very beginning," he said.
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