Voices from Russia

Monday, 16 November 2009

“The Russian Church is One of the Pillars of National Modernisation”, according to Professor Kirill Frolov


Novy Ierusalime Monastery, founded by Patriarch Nikon in the 17th-century as an international centre of Orthodox thought.

National modernisation is impossible without our reliance of the Orthodox tradition, the Association of Orthodox Experts believe. “The Russian Church is one of the pillars of national modernisation, not a factor impeding it”, Professor Kirill Frolov, the head of the Association, said at its meeting in Moscow to discuss the message of President Dmitri Medvedev to the Federal Assembly. According to Professor Frolov, contrary to stereotypes, the Church “was not a reactionary factor in Russia’s history. Rather, it was a force in favour of national modernisation. It helped to build a powerful Russia. Patriarch Nikon conceived the Novy Ierusalime Monastery as a centre of world Orthodoxy, it became an Orthodox ‘think tank’, and it attracted scholarly and intellectual monks from all over the world. This continued the domestic reform begun in the Solovki monasteries”. He stressed, “Modernisation without tradition entails a loss of identity and tradition without any advancement. It brings both a diminished role in global affairs and dilutes the sovereignty of Russia”.

In turn, the well-known missionary Igumen Sergei Rybko noted that churchly-minded people were the most important factor in national solidarity. “Therefore, it is important work [to create such] and motivates me to preach amongst the so-called ‘wayward youth’”, he said. Igumen Vitaly Utkin, the Secretary of the Diocese of Ivanovo-Voznesensky, developed the theme of mission work, describing his creation of a “rapid response team” of educated priests who are ready to go to colleges and other places where there are young intellectuals. One of the outcomes of the roundtable was an agreement on cooperation between the Association of Orthodox Experts and the Diocese of Ivanovo-Voznesensky diocese. Orthodox intellectuals will deliver lectures and conduct seminars at universities in that region.

16 November 2009




Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: