10 March 2011, 17:25
Patriarch Kirill: Church must not be political power
Moscow, March 10, Interfax - It is wrong for a Christian Church to be a political power, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
"The Church must have no political means of exercising an influence on those in authority," Patriarch Kirill said in answering letters from televiewers in the Pastor's World program on Pervyi Canal TV. The Church "loses public confidence" if it becomes a political player.
"The Church only has one way to influence the powerful and the powerless, the rich and the poor, the educated and the simple-minded - to preach God's word," the Patriarch said.
He said there are many believers in government in Russia.
"They are part of our laity, our flock. A sincerely religious person must follow what the church teaches and, whenever possible of course, put into practice the sublime values of Christian ethics in their professional and other activities," Patriarch Kirill said.
He expressed the desire that the Church should never "be tempted to replace its spiritual influence upon its people, including the powerful and the powerless, by the use of secular, political power for achieving its goals."
"The Church has been able to evade such temptations throughout its history. We hope it will be able to today as well," he said.