14 October 2019, 20:22
Traditional moral values, democracy can coexist - Patriarch Kirill
Moscow, October 14, Interfax - The democratic nature of the state should not lead to abandoning traditional Christian values and mass secularization of society, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said on Monday.
"We are profoundly convinced that the democratic order of the state should not be mandatorily accompanied by the total secularization and ousting Christian and general religious values from the life of society," he said at a meeting Swiss President of the Council of States Jean-René Fournier in the patriarch's residence in Moscow's St. Daniel Monastery.
"We are alarmed by those processes, which are taking pace in the Western society today, and do not fully understand why traditional moral values are inconsistent with the secular order of society and the democratic system of the state," the patriarch said.
The Russian Orthodox Church is maintaining talks with all parliamentary parties, he said. "We have good relations with the parliament, and the dialogue with parliamentary parties. The Church backs not a single party, but we are maintaining dialogue with each party in the parliament, and we value the opportunity to share opinions and make our contribution to developing the democratic make-up of our country and preserving those moral values, without which the human life can be in a great danger," the primate of the Russian Church said.
In spite of some differences, Russia and Europe are concerned by the same problems, the patriarch said, calling for coordinating efforts to settle them.
"I know that a parliamentary election will be held in Switzerland soon, and the Swiss are concerned by such issues as social inequality, the problems of climate, environment, and migration. However, we are concerned by the same problems that indicates that these problems have a global dimension and are not associated with any country or any culture. I am deeply convinced that we should jointly resolve these problems; international organizations, whose head offices are located in your country, as well as bilateral relations between various countries and a broader dialogue, in which our church is involved, play a high role in this regard," he added.
Fournier, in turn, said his country was ready to provide a venue for the dialogue to overcome a split, which has taken place in the Orthodoxy after the Constantinople Patriarchate's recognition of the "Ukrainian Orthodox Church."
"In our reality we are suffering more from indifference and hardheartedness rather than from splits. You are concerned about the unity of the Orthodox Church amid developments in Ukraine, and we worry that many people are unfortunately indifferent toward the issues of faith and religious values. We are recognized as a country, which renders good services, and which can do so, we will provide our services with pleasure so that a solution suitable for everybody could be sought," Fournier said.
The Russian Orthodox Church will help European Churches preserve and protect common moral and spiritual Christian values, he said, noting that he hopes for that.