Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, condemned the practise of “trial” marriages so common amongst young people. “To connect with one another without the family demeans human dignity and destroys the integrity of human personality”, Vladyki Kirill said Wednesday at the 12th World Russian People’s Congress session devoted to the problems of children and young people. He noted that today it is fashionable for young people to engage in “trial” marriages, that is, when young people live with one another for some time without a formal ceremony or legal obligations. However, Vladyki Kirill emphasised that “experience” in personal relations does not help to build a successful family life, quite unlike the work world, where experience in professional activity helps to build a lucrative career. “The more a man involves himself in infatuation and relationships, the more he becomes sceptical and mistrustful. He becomes incapable of seeking out a compromise in order to surmount a difficulty with his partner”, he said. On the other hand, the creation of a family automatically assumes “that both parties must labour to reach mutual understanding and shared happiness”.
20 February 2008
Metropolitan Laurus Škurla of New York and Eastern America says that we must preach Orthodoxy with more vigour amongst the younger generation of Russians living abroad, and that we must do this by using accessible and easily understood language. “Even though there are flourishing church schools in our church abroad, it is still insufficient to fully reach the coming generation”, Vladyki Laurus stated at the opening of the 12th Russian World People’s Congress in the Kremlin on Wednesday. “We must present Orthodoxy to them in intelligible terms. People come to the services, but they do not understand much of what is going on. This is in regards to both the language of the liturgy and the deeper meaning of what is going on in the services”, he noted. Metropolitan Laurus believes that is necessary “to explain everything”. Why are the vestments as they are, why does the priest bless in a certain manner and not another, and why do the clergy say what they do in the liturgy. We must teach the “why, where, and how of the divine services”. “Speaking from personal experience, I can say that this works. The people start to take an interest (in the church and its services). They start asking more questions, they begin to read more, and they begin to participate in the services with more understanding”, Vladyki Laurus said. He believes that one of the basic problems facing young people abroad is assimilation (into the larger, Western, culture), “which threatens to distance them from the Church”. “Assimilation is a great problem for us who must live in the midst of a non-Slavic and faithless secular society that presents another, very tempting, worldview”, Vladyki Laurus remarked. In his opinion, to order to retain Orthodoxy and Russian culture, young people must remain in the church. “We know from experience that without the church it is not possible to preserve our faith, language, or culture. If a youngster considers themselves Russian, in all probability they shall consider themselves Orthodox, and actively participate in parochial life”, Metropolitan Laurus added.
20 February 2008