2017-03-02 13:29:00

Russian Church doesn't intend to strive for transferring St. Basil Cathedral

Moscow, March 2, Interfax - Head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Expert Council on Church Art, Architecture and Restoration Archpriest Leonid Kalinin does not see any sense in returning St. Basil Cathedral on Red Square to the Church.

"I believe that the current status (in jurisdiction of the State Historical Museum - IF) is optimal. I do not see any necessity to give it back to the Church, as such transfer means not only more rights, but new duties," the priest said in his interview with Interfax-Religion on Thursday.

According to him, the duties "include enormous material component, which the Church just does not have."

"One beam of the roof would have cost more than $200,000, it's a complicated rafter system of outfalls, and so on. Painting, restoration, heating, it all constitutes not affordable sum," said Father Leonid, who is also a keeper of antiquities of Moscow city diocese.

He said that St. Basil Cathedral and the Assumption Cathedral in Kremlin belonged to the patriarchal representation in Zaryadye, which includes a complex of churches with a special regimen of divine services as they were unique and old.

According to the interviewee of the agency, liturgies are celebrated in St. Basil Church on Sundays and great feasts. The church does not fit for major divine services, so it is better not to conduct everyday services in this cathedral as well as in the Kremlin Assumption Cathedral, the priest said.

"First of all, there are no enough parishioners, even if there were, it would be only tourists. Secondly, it is a great burden to the architectural site," he said.

As to St. Isaac Cathedral in Petersburg, the head of the expert council noted that this church "needs service and choir of the highest level," but "there should be a museum component and it should be developed even more than now."

"It is like Vatican. The Vatican museum is one of the best in the world, it belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, but services are held there when it is needed and as frequent as needed" the priest explained.

According to the interviewee of the agency, the Russian Church in case with St. Isaac Cathedral wants to take the model of the Vatican museum, St. Peter Cathedral in Rome, which functions as a museum and as a church "without any problems for believers and atheists."