26 June 2012, 10:02
Church and state cannot be separated in Russia - priest
Moscow, June 26, Interfax - Russian society is not fully secular, the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, said during a debate at The New York Times' editorial office, the newspaper reports on its website.
Only religious institutions are separated from the state, but not the Church itself, he said.
Religious institutions cannot perform administrative duties and the government does not assume religious functions - that's how the law explains it, nothing beyond that, the priest said.
Just as the people cannot be separated from the state, so the Church as a vision of the world and a religion as such cannot be separated from it either, he remarked.
In 1917, the state collapsed because the church was torn away from the people, and that, in his opinion, was the result of the reforms carried out by Peter I. People had been happy before Peter and became unhappy after him, he said.
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