Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev Criticised “Politically Correct” Christianity


Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, the representative of the MP to the European Institutions, emphasised the importance of retaining traditional Christian moral standards in the contemporary liberal West. “An internally devastated Christianity deprived of inner strength by the renunciation of its ancient traditions can’t resist the pressures of the present age”, he said at a meeting celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ecumenical Council of the Churches of Austria. “Under the influence of liberal ideas and secular moral standards, we must fear that we may lose the spiritual and moral standards that have sustained the Christian church over many centuries. When one or another Christian community revises the theological or moral basis of Christianity in order to make itself more ‘contemporary’ or more ‘politically correct’, this is a direct route to the loss of its spirituality”, Bishop Hilarion emphasised. In his words, “Christians only have strength if they follow the precepts of Christ, not when they build their lives upon the whims of the secular world”.

22 January 2008



Svetlana Medvedeva and Other Honourees Shall Receive the New Order of St Evfroseniya of Moscow

Svetlana Medvedeva (1965- ), wife of First Vice-Premier Dmitri Medvedev


The first presentation of a new church order and patriarchal medal dedicated to St Evfroseniya (the monastic name of Grand Princess Yevdokia of Moscow) shall take place Wednesday in the patriarchal residence in Chisty Perulok, the Grand Princess Yevdokia of Moscow Fund reported to Interfax on Tuesday. The Fund recommended that Svetlana Medvedeva, the wife of the First Vice-Premier of the RF, receive the award for her work as the chairman of the board of trustees of the spiritual-cultural programme “Spiritual-Moral Culture of Young Russia”. This Orthodox religious programme is supported by Patriarch Aleksei and by President Putin, it’s a charitable project intended to impart spiritual values to the young, to prevent child crime and homelessness, fight against alcohol and drug abuse, oppose family separation and unfruitful marriages, and educate against draft-evasion. Fr Kyprian Yashenko, Chief of the Programme and Rector of the Institute of Expertise of educational programmes and state-confessional relations, while answering questions concerning the programme at a news conference, pointed up that about 600 youth organisations such as Styag, are participating.

Igumena Filareta Smirnova of the podvorie of the Pyukhtitsa Assumption Convent and Igumena Yekaterina Chainikova of the Convent of the Life-giving Cross in Jerusalem shall also receive the award. In addition, the following women shall also receive this award:

SOKOLOVA Larissa, professor of the Ippolitov-Ivanov Musical Institute

EVSEYEVA Galina, Honoured Builder of Russia

LADYGINA Anna, “Large-Family” mother {Editor: she’s what was called a “Heroine Mother” in Soviet times}

The Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate at its session in August 2007 decided to create a new order of honour for women named after St Evfroseniya of Moscow to recognise “those women who have done sacrificial service for the good of the Church and the Motherland”. In addition, a patriarchal medal is given along with the award. It shall be awarded to those women whose efforts have strengthened church-state relations, helped to rebuild churches and monasteries, aided the Christian education of children, and to those who’ve shown the highest standards of Christian mercy to the elderly, disabled, sick, and orphans.

22 January 2008


Novaya Gazeta



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