2011-01-11 15:08:00

Patriarch Kirill disapproves of those who say Orthodoxy is a reason of Russia's economic lag

Moscow, January 11, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia decisively disagree with those who believe that Orthodoxy is a reason of economic failures and low living standards of Russians.

In particular, last year renowned TV anchor Vladimir Pozner addressed such reproaches to the Orthodox Church.

"It's a rather strange discussion, people with poor knowledge of history probably participated in it," the Patriarch said in his interview with Rossija 24 TV channel.

To illustrate his words he pointed out to Byzantium that was a center of culture, education and sciences and "reached such heights in the Middle Ages that no other country had reached, especially Western, at that time, wild, still barbarian peoples."

Patriarch Kirill noted that Orthodox Russia, that was sometimes still called nation in bast shoes, in the 19th century had the world highest GDP competing with America "as they put it, neck to neck."

Russian peasants did not drink "as it was a sin to drink during the week, it was allowed on feasts, or at least on Sunday after the Liturgy," the Patriarch reminded saying that "there was not any supervisors nearby", but "inner self-control was rooted in moral tradition of the nation."

"And then everything was broken. Eventually with great efforts, including terror, high economic indicators were reached," the Patriarch said explaining further collapse of the USSR with the fact that the "backbone of national life was destroyed" in years of revolution.

"Today our life is worse not because we are Orthodox, but because we ruined our country and spiritual foundation of our life two times during one century. Protestant countries live better not because they are Protestant, but because these countries have not been at war, they developed their economy staying in rather favorable conditions," the Patriarch summed up and wished so that God "gives us reason to save our political, social stability and develop ourselves both spiritually and economically."