In this photo, the Blunder looks glum (after all, he kisses the asses of the West, the papists, Free Marketeers, the Affluent Effluent, and oligarchs… being made to sit across from a Red must gall him)… note that Mark Golovkov is there as HH’s commissar… is Alfeyev on the way out? We’ll have to see… it’s an ecclesiastical “Lenin’s Tomb” moment
Our Holy Patriarch said:
Exorbitant greed seeks enrichment by any means, it pursues material goods, it creates money ‘out of thin air’, and it separates money and material wealth from labour and from the actual values… such an economy can function only for a very short time, and only for a restricted circle of people… it’s doomed to crisis.
All those who advocate allying the Church with the US Republican Party are against Christ and His Church; they advocate allying the Church with those who follow the Religion of the Antichrist (“Evangelicalism” is NOT Christian… as a visit to any of their “services” should convince any real Christian). You can follow HH or you can follow Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and all the other scurvy GOP theomachists. That’s the choice you have… there’s no other. I shall follow HH and not the Republican greedsters… I’m NOT alone… I’m remembering seeing a plurality of Obama bumper stickers in the St T’s car park at the Pilgrimage. After all HH said that the Church could have nothing to do with extremist forces… the contemporary Republican Party is certainly that. Ponder that…
Yesterday, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the Patriarchal Synodal residence in the Danilov Monastery. Welcoming Prime Minister Tsipras, Patriarch Kirill congratulated his guest on his election victory, “You got a lot of popular support, for you gave expression to hopes for a positive change in the life of the Greek people. You entered politics as a man of intrepid beliefs and you’ve remained faithful to the choices that you made at the beginning of your political career. Many in Greece support your stance”. Talking about the Church’s relation to politics, His Holiness noted, “If at some point the Church would take one or another political position, it’d cease to be the Church for all people. I say this not in terms of some theoretical assumptions, it’s from our historical experience. The Russian Orthodox Church has had a difficult path, building relationships with governments that often held very different political beliefs. If the Church remains faithful to the principles laid down in the Gospel, by its very nature, it’s open to possible coöperation with all political forces, except for extremist elements”. Patriarch Kirill pointed up that a number of ideas usually attributed to the political left are also important for the Church, “Primary, of course, is the idea of social justice. If the Church no longer insists on the need for social justice, it departs from very important principles. The Christian worldview isn’t a political idea, it’s a moral one”.
On the other hand, His Holiness stated that historical experience shows that it’s impossible to achieve social justice using purely political or economic means, “The USSR did much to establish social justice. It aimed all the power of a superpower… economics, politics, science, art, sports… at achieving this goal. However, it didn’t do it. Why not? Because it ignored a very important factor, without which one can’t achieve social justice… the moral and spiritual foundation of the human person. In no case should you repeat this mistake, one that we made it in my country”. Patriarch Kirill noted that the destruction of spiritual and moral foundations of human life shouldn’t accompany the struggle for social justice, “A person can be fair only when there is a firm inclination in his soul to do so. Moreover, I really hope that you and your government would do everything possible to develop the idea of social justice for the benefit of the Greek people, to maintain and preserve the spiritual and moral foundations of the life of your people”.
His Holiness observed that special ties connect Russia and Greece… a majority of Greeks and a majority of Russians are Orthodox Christians, “No politician can ignore this spiritual dimension, common to both Greeks and Russians”. Vladyki Kirill stated that Russians sincerely empathise with the Greeks due to the difficult economic situation in their country, “With your assuming office as Hellenic Prime Minister, Greeks hope for a clear-cut development of the social sphere with a new economic strategy. Once again, from our point of view, I want to say that socially oriented politics are fully justified, the state should put the service of humanity and its welfare as its main goal”. His Holiness said that what’s going on today in the Greek economy is directly related to the global economic crisis, but along with various material factors, moral issues lie at the heart of this crisis, “Exorbitant greed seeks enrichment by any means, it pursues material goods, it creates money ‘out of thin air’, and it separates money and material wealth from labour and from the actual values… such an economy can function only for a very short time, and only for a restricted circle of people… it’s doomed to crisis”.
During the meeting, Patriarch Kirill spoke about the economic sanctions imposed against Russia, “We have a good proverb… ‘There’s no difficulty without good’. We had to go through this experience to realise the necessity of self-reliance. In Russia today, many people have started to invest in real production; I hope that we’d be able to make full use of the opportunities offered to our industry and agriculture because of this situation. Nevertheless, in principle, these sanctions are unjust and illegal; in my view, they only complicate the global economic situation, because not only do they reduce Russia’s economic possibilities, they also limit its participation in the global economy. Therefore, not only Russia loses from these sanctions, but also its partners abroad. We welcome your position on the issue of sanctions”.
His Holiness emphasised that Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians have close fraternal relations, “Recently, pilgrimages have begun to play a very important role. You know, thousands of pilgrims from Russia visit Greece today, and, in contrast to ‘beach tourists’, they visit Greece, not only in the summer, but also in the so-called dead tourist season. In addition to the spiritual factor, pilgrimage has an economic dimension. Unfortunately, because of straitened economic conditions, Russians aren’t visiting foreign countries, but I think that it doesn’t greatly affect pilgrimages to Greece. Mount Athos is a special channel of communication between Russia and Greece. Russian interaction with Athos has always had an important spiritual and cultural dimension. Next year, will be the 1,000th anniversary of the Russian presence on Mount Athos, and I hope to attend this celebration, along with the head of the Greek government. Talking about the Russian presence on Athos, we mean not only Russians in the modern sense of the word, but Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Moldovans… all those Orthodox who make up the Russian Orthodox Church”.
Today, there are about a million immigrants from Russia and the former USSR in Greece, Vladyki Kirill noted, “The majority of these people have good memories of Russia. I had the opportunity to meet with them, to feel the warmth of their hearts when I visited Greece”. During the meeting, His Holiness spoke about the catastrophic situation of Christians in the Middle East. “Today, the Christian population is either destroyed or expelled; one sees destroyed churches. The Middle East region can become a religious monolith… with Christianity squeezed out. This is a civilisational catastrophe, because Christians have always lived in the Middle East, and the disappearance of the Christian population will have very dangerous consequences, including political ones”. He thought that to stop the lawlessness against Christians requires the joint efforts of all who are aware of the danger of this situation.
For its part, Tsipras emphasised that Christian values are important, including for people who have leftist political views, “We’re moving along parallel paths, we advocate many identical values on a very large common space. In our time, when a crisis of values develops along with the economic crisis, spiritual and moral foundations are particularly important”. Tsipras also stressed the importance of the public service of the Russian Orthodox Church, “I admit that the close relationship between our nations lie in their common spiritual traditions and religious beliefs held by the majority of the general population of our countries. We share a common history and a common struggle. Relations between the Russian Church and the Church of Greece are traditionally good. We reached agreement on the development of coöperation in the cultural, educational, and religious spheres during our visit. Thus, a major contribution to the development of relations between our peoples would be to expand pilgrimage by Russians in Greece, and by Greeks in Russia. Athos is a significant part of the Greek spiritual inheritance; it has a special role in the development of Greek Orthodoxy. Monks on Athos come from all corners of the earth, so, it’s also a world spiritual heritage. The preservation of our spiritual and cultural heritage is a priority for the Greek government. We share concerns about the fate of the Christian population in the Middle East and North Africa. We’re ready to support any decision that will change the situation of Christians in the Middle East”.
The sides exchanged gifts.
10 April 2015
Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya