2017-04-03 09:55:00

New Russia quarter-century late on burying Lenin - Metropolitan Hilarion

Moscow, April 3, Interfax - The body of Vladimir Lenin should have been buried straight after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but now the matter requires public consensus, according to Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations.

"Streets and squares should not be named after executioners. Monuments to these people must not stand on our squares. The mummified bodies of these people must not be lying on display for everyone to watch," the hierarch told the "Church and the World" program on Rossiya-24 television channel.

At the same time, currently no one is interested "reopening the old wounds, stirring up our society, provoking a split," he said.

"I would say that we are already quarter-century late for these decisions. These should have been made back then straight away. When the Dzerzhinsky monument was removed from the Dzerzhinsky square [in 1991], that is when the body of Lenin should have been removed from the mausoleum. If we did not do it then, now we need to wait for the moment when we have public consensus around this issue," the Church representative said.

During the 2008 vote in the Name of Russia project, Patriarch Kirill, who was a metropolitan at the time, called on Russians to cast their vote for Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky, while Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov was defending Lenin's name, the hierarch recalled.

"I remember Metropolitan Kirill telling Gennady Andreyevich at the time: you are defending the ideas you believe in. But you chose the wrong hero to embody them," Metropolitan Hilarion said.