2017-02-20 10:01:00

Orthodox Church warns Russians against militaristic rhetoric

Moscow, February 20, Interfax - Militaristic rhetoric is unacceptable, according to Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations.

"First of all, we must not allow war. And when one hears, once again, calls for war, the militaristic rhetoric, including from the mouth of Church representatives (such a call was heard a while ago, that a war would help us, that it would cleanse us), these are, of course, totally absurd and, in my view, blasphemous statements," the metropolitan said, speaking of the lessons of the revolution, on the Church and the World program on the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

No war "ever helped anyone, war is always a misfortune and tragedy for people," he said.

The Great Patriotic War was one of the consequences of the Russian revolution, he said.

"And we can't even imagine what our country would be had there not been the revolution and the war. We would have now had a different quantity, quality of population," he said.

The people, who seized power as a result, infringed "on the most sacred thing our people had, and when it did happen, when they did break the moral backbone that had propped our state for a thousand years, that led to all-permissiveness and rampant terror, repressions, mass executions against our own people," the cleric said.

By February 2017, the Church had become influential and powerful, having "demonstrated the remarkable fruits of holiness" by the start of the 20th century; on the other hand, there were serious flaws in its administrative structure because, since Peter the Great, it was deprived of patriarchy and had become part of the state machinery, he said.

"It was the restoration of the patriarchy, which occurred at the same time as the Bolsheviks were seizing power in the country, which gave the Church a new impetus to continue the historical existence necessary to get through persecutions," the hierarch said.