Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Patriarch Kirill: It Shall Take Quite a Bit of Time Until Those Who Are Orthodox in Name Become Firm and Active Believers

patriarch kirill

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias (1946- )


Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias believes that the Church should help people who are Orthodox in name to become active believers. Patriarch Kirill noted that people often think of themselves as Orthodox for cultural reasons. “It often begins that way. However, eventually, people grow in their religious consciousness and become closer to the Church. Still, it is important to be aware that Orthodoxy is a critical part of our cultural identity”, he said, in reply to questions from students at the Ice Palace in St Petersburg. “It is necessary for theory to closely follow practise. The Church plays a very important role in this respect. The primary task of the Church is to help those who consider themselves culturally Orthodox to become Orthodox in their way of life. This is what true religiosity entails, when people justify their actions on the grounds of moral criteria”, His Holiness emphasised. Therefore, he believes that “it is necessary for Russia to travel quite a long road until those who are Orthodox only in name become firm and active believers. The Church must be supported in this by all the resources of our society. It is important to engage student and youth organisations in this effort because we are speaking of the future fate of our country. Indeed, Russia will become a great country only when we learn to combine the spiritual with the material, when we connect the temporal with the eternal”, the First Hierarch added.

29 May 2009



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