2012-09-28 18:15:00

Patriarch Kirill cautions against copying Western political, cultural models in Russia

Moscow, September 28, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia believes blind imitation of the West will destine Russia for eternal backwardness.

"When they tell us about a European development path, they as a rule mean imitation and reproduction of Western political and cultural models. Imitation is always worse than the original," Patriarch Kirill told an international conference on Russian history held in Moscow State University on Friday.

Those who imitate something place themselves in a subjugated position in relation to the author of the original, he said.

"For this reason, if we build our civilization on the basis of imitation, this means determining development in such a way that it will always be behind those who made the original. Being the one who is led is dangerous, at least for an adult," Patriarch Kirill said.

The Patriarch recalled that "thoughtless and sometimes aggressive westernization" has taken place in Russian history before. A truly European way envisages " the realization of one's own European roots and return to them with regard for specific cultural and historical conditions, not imitation of foreign things," the Patriarch said.

He pointed out that the foundation of European civilization, which includes Russia, is based on two cornerstones: Greek-Roman philosophy and biblical revelations.

Patriarch Kirill said it was the Orthodox faith and the learning it helped to spread that included Rus and later Russia in the cultural tradition of the Roman Empire.

"Being the successors of Byzantine, we at the same time have maintained out Slavic identity through ages. The civilization whose foundation was laid by the genius and works of Sts Cyril and Methodius is still viable and joins European cultural and intellectual heritage with Orthodox spirituality and the Slavic outlook on life," he said.