Moscow, July 27, Interfax - The Hagia Sophia becoming a mosque and the recent arson of a church in Nantes should make one pause for thought and undertake to prevent such things in Russia, Bishop Savva, a deputy administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate, said.
"A namaz in the Cathedral of Saint Sophia... The arson of the Nantes Cathedral (far from being the first church arson in France in a year, let alone other anti-Christian actions) ... Some would say, perhaps even with a kind of smirk, that this is a response to Europe's abandoning Christianity. What are you laughing at? You're laughing at our common tragedy!" Bishop Savva said on Telegram.
Having acknowledged that Russia's path is special, he nevertheless said, "But European civilization is our common civilization. An assault on it is an assault on us."
Bishop Savva called Russia "one of the main pillars of Europe (whatever the descendants of various Germanic tribes, from the Saxons to the Langobards, might think)" and called Russian culture "one of the gems of European culture."
"And the Ottoman sword in the Hagia Sophia, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson mocking 'the children of Europe' and church arsons and the demolition of monuments... All these assaults on our confused European neighbors, including on the fraternal Church, albeit one that betrayed us, these are assaults on us, too. The lesson for us, the titular nation, is to preserve our civilization and our culture," Bishop Savva said.