Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the Meeting of the President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin with the Participants of the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
On the 1st of December 2017 the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin spoke before the participants of the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is what His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in his reply to the head of state.
Much-esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich, my brothers the archpastors,
Today is an historic event: the head of the Russian State has visited the Jubilee Episcopal Council to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the restoration of the Office of Patriarch in our Church. A Council which poses and resolves very important relevant issues linked to the spiritual life of the human person, his prosperity and his moral and ethical well-being. A Council which does not shy away from resolving difficult topics, including those connected to our history. I hope very much that the decisions of this Council will help our Church, in dialogue with society, to move forwards, including in the resolution of problems which the people today face.
In the year of the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it is impossible not to analyze the past, and, using the occasion that together with us here in the Hall of Church Councils is the Head of State, I would like to say a few words on the complex path of development of Church-state relations. In Imperial Russia the Church was a state Church, it was headed by the emperor, while the Church was administered bureaucratically by an institution called the Ober –Procurator of the Holy Ruling Synod. On the eve of the Revolution the best minds of both the Church and the state began to ponder the role of the Church in Russian society and what had to be done in order to make this role more evident. At a very difficult time, about one year before the 1905 Revolution, the then Prime Minister Sergei Witte reported to the emperor that one of the causes of the Church’s loss of influence upon the people was that there existed between the Church and the supreme state authorities, between the Church and the people, a bureaucratic layer, meaning the bureaucratic institute of the state. There indeed was no dialogue between the Church and the higher state authorities, and with the interference of the state there was no direct dialogue between the Church and all of society.
After the events of the Revolution, when the principle of separation of Church and state was proclaimed, it appeared that the state would avoid playing such a dangerous role for the integrity of the state and people by removing the Church from a possible direct dialogue with the people. Yet something completely different happened: literally from the first days of the new regime, through institutions making up part of the secret police of the then Soviet state, there were attempts to formulate the same policy that existed before the Revolution, which was to approve all appointments and to control everything that took place at the level of the highest ecclesiastical decisions. In other words, to interfere in Church life in pursing concrete goals at a time when ideological interests had become a part of general state concerns.
And when in the 1990s there were changes and the Church roundly declared that there ought not to be any bureaucratic layers, hot heads were to be found among revolutionaries of that time. There were proposals that a ministry of religious affairs be set up, and certain well know people who took an active part in the political changes not only wanted, but even proposed their candidacy as new Ober-Procurators.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude that in today’s Russia there are no bureaucratic layers. There is dialogue between the Patriarch and the President, between the supreme Church authorities and the corresponding ministries and government departments. A direct dialogue is held along the vertical of our life which grants to the Church the opportunity to formulate her understanding of what is happening in the country and among the people, to pay attention to such topics as public morality, social life, ecological problems and the moral dimension of the problems of internal and external politics. All of this forms within society a clear understanding of the Church’s independent position. And perhaps the most important thing is that this position is based on the same moral principles upon which our laws are also based. These principles emerge from our spiritual and moral tradition, which today is not disputed by the Russian state.
There is nothing more serious and important than moral consensus within society. If there is consensus on the main moral values, then all other social relationships are formed harmoniously – laws are made that are acceptable to people and political practice corresponds to the interests of the people.
Your great personal role plays a part in all that I am now saying. I express my gratitude to you for the dialogue which we hold together, for the dialogue which is held between heads of ministries and government departments with the corresponding organizations and structures of the Russian Orthodox Church, and for that atmosphere of openness in which our society today lives. I believe that this openness will be the pledge for the certain success of our Fatherland in the near and distant future.
On behalf of the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church I would like to wish you, much-esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich, long years of life, good health and God’s aid in the lofty mission the Lord has entrusted to you through the will of the people. This is how we understand that which is happening in the history of people: the free will of people is combined with Divine Providence. May the Lord preserve you!
- 02.12.2017 23:58Final session of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church held with the participation of Primates and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches
- 02.12.2017 16:50Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church adopts its final documents
- 02.12.2017 14:00Resolutions of the Holy Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church (29th November – 2nd December 2017)
- 02.12.2017 13:58Message by the Holy Episcopal Council to the Clergy, Monks and Nuns and All Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 01.12.2017 18:48Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the Meeting of the President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin with the Participants of the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 01.12.2017 18:38Speech by the President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin before the Participants of the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 01.12.2017 16:30Briefing on situation around former Metropolitan Philaret of Kiev’s appeal
- 01.12.2017 12:38Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church begins its third day
- 30.11.2017 23:56Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk comments on spreading reports on the appeal of the former Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine
- 30.11.2017 23:50Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church completes its second day work
- 30.11.2017 23:45Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church adopts a Resolution ‘On the Appeal of the former Metropolitan Philaret of Kiev and All Ukraine’
- 30.11.2017 23:30Former Metropolitan Philaret of Kiev and All Ukraine: ‘I ask for your forgiveness in everything in which I sinned by word, deed and all my feelings’
- 30.11.2017 12:12Report by Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine to the Russian Orthodox Church Bishops’ Council (November 29-December 2, 2017)
- 30.11.2017 12:08His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine gives an address at the Bishops’ Council
- 30.11.2017 12:05Second day of the Bishops’ Council’s work
- 29.11.2017 22:30METROPOLITAN HILARION OF VOLOKOLAMSK SPEAKS AT THE SESSION OF THE EPISCOPAL COUNCIL OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ON THE RESULTS OF STUDYING THE DOCUMENTS OF THE COUNCIL ON CRETE
- 29.11.2017 22:15HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH KIRILL: “THE MEETING ON CUBA WAS AN IMPORTANT STEP ON THE WAY TO RESOLVING THE MORE RELEVANT ISSUES OF THE MODERN-DAY WORLD BY THE JOINT EFFORTS OF THE TWO LARGEST CHURCHES OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLD”
- 29.11.2017 21:28His Holiness notes positive dynamics in Church-state cooperation in Uzbekistan
- 29.11.2017 21:25His Holiness Patriarch Kirill expresses hope that the dialogue between the Church and Turkmenistan’s leadership will help resolve current difficulties
- 29.11.2017 21:22His Holiness specifies pressing problems of the Orthodox Church in Tajikistan
- 29.11.2017 21:20Primate of the Russian Church expresses satisfaction with the level of Church-state cooperation in Kyrgyzstan
- 29.11.2017 21:18His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Republic of Kazakhstan has been giving an example of constructive Church-state relations for many years
- 29.11.2017 21:17His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Dialogue of Azerbaijani authorities with Diocese of Baku offers ample opportunities for solving problems of the Orthodox
- 29.11.2017 21:16His Holiness Patriarch Kirill notes a high level dialogue between the Church and the state in Belarus
- 29.11.2017 21:14Positive tendencies in church-state relations in Moldova are noted in the report of His Holiness the Patriarch at the Bishops’ Council
- 29.11.2017 21:10His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Peacemaking heroic deeds of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church show its true patriotism
- 29.11.2017 19:35HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH KIRILL: “SIN OUGHT TO BE EXPOSED, BUT WE SHOULD NEVER HUMILIATE ANYONE”
- 29.11.2017 18:51HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH KIRILL: “COMMUNICATING WITH THE MEDIA IS A CHANCE TO SPEAK ABOUT THE GOSPEL IN AN ACCESIBLE LANGUAGE ON ISSUES WHICH AFFECT TODAY’S PEOPLE”
- 29.11.2017 17:38His Holiness Patriarch Kirill told members of the Bishops’ Council about the preparation of the Catechesis of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 29.11.2017 17:34Primate of Russian Church calls to adopt more systematic approach in opposing sectarianism and neo-paganism
- 29.11.2017 17:27His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: What is sometimes forgotten in pursuit of different technologies is that mission is not a collection of methods, but practical work
- 29.11.2017 17:24His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: The main task of the Church is not to fill children’s mind with vast knowledge, but to help them enter into its life
- 29.11.2017 17:18Primate of Russian Orthodox Church: Theology should be regarded not only as a set of subjects taught at seminaries, but also as a serious science
- 29.11.2017 17:08Reorganization of the system of theological education remains priority for supreme church authorities
- 29.11.2017 17:06His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: While inviting young people to dialogue and using their language, the Church must not lose its integrity
- 29.11.2017 16:59Patriarch Kirill: For the youth it is important that Christianity is a religion of freedom, not a religion of bans
- 29.11.2017 14:33Patriarch Kirill: Signing the Act of Canonical Communion has given us joy over the unity of the faithful of the one Russian Orthodox Church
- 29.11.2017 14:32Patriarch Kirill announces statistical data on the life of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 29.11.2017 14:28Bishops’ Council given information on Patriarch ministry in inter-council period
- 29.11.2017 14:19Patriarch Kirill: Continued attempts are made to impose on the Church a life according to the rules of this world
- 29.11.2017 14:10THE FIRST HIERARCH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH : THE MINISTRY OF THE BISHOP IS INEXTRIABLY LINKED TO THE ORTHODOX UNDERSTANDING OF CONCILIARITY
- 29.11.2017 14:07HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH KIRILL: THE LOCAL COUNCIL OF 1917-1918 WAS TRULY AN EXTRAORDINARY PEHNOMENON IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
- 29.11.2017 14:04HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH KIRILL: THE MAIN HERITAGE OF THE NEW MARTYRS IS THEIR LOVE OF CHRIST AND NEIGHBOUR, FOR WHOM THEY LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES
- 29.11.2017 14:01Opening of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 29.11.2017 13:56President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev sends greetings to participants in Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 29.11.2017 13:55President of Moldova Igor Dodon sends greetings to participants in Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 29.11.2017 13:53President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko sends greetings to participants in the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
- 29.11.2017 13:50President Putin’s message of greetings to the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church