02 March 2020, 10:40
Patriarch Kirill insists on inserting God reference in Russian constitution
Moscow, March 2, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia insists on mentioning God in the Constitution of Russia.
"Mentioning the value of the faith in God in our Constitution would solidify the historical and spiritual continuity of the peoples of our country, who cannot imagine themselves without religion (...) The value of the faith in God is also a tribute to the memory for millions of people, our confreres, who were persecuted during the times of the iconoclasm just because they did not want to disown their faith. This idea should be comprehensible even to the people who are far from religion," the patriarch said at a joint session of the Russian Interreligious Council and the Christian Interconfessional Consultative Committee.
The primate recalled that a reference to God is contained in many constitutions of the countries in all parts of the world, both with a Christian and Muslim majorities, as well as presidential oaths.
"This by no means jeopardizes the principle of secularity where it is fundamental, as is the case in our country," the patriarch said.
Finally, a reference to God is testament that "no Constitution can be a sufficient guarantor of social and individual well-being if people ignore the transcendental dimension of life," Patriarch Kirill said.
He disagreed with the assertion that a change in the Constitution bodes ill for public life. "On the contrary, societal relations change and the laws, too, are subject to natural change. Only the moral law is untouchable, which we are called upon to defend through our witnessing, including the framework of our dialogue with the state," he said.
The 1993 Constitution was written at the dawn of the revival of religious life and amid social instability, the patriarch said.
"All sorts of people were making amendments under the influence of the general atmosphere which dominated in the country, and that was not the best atmosphere for writing the Fundamental Law (...) However, times have changed, and we are called upon to petition jointly to make the important values-based dimension in a renewed Constitution," Patriarch Kirill said.
The idea of including a God reference was proposed by him on February 1. During a subsequent debate opinions were divided between pros and cons.
Earlier on Friday, senator Andrey Klishas, who co-chairs a working group tasked with drafting the amendments, said it was planning to include a God reference in the Constitution, possibly Chapter Three.
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