Interfax: Patriarch Kirill opposed to any forms of convergence of church and state

Patriarch Kirill file photo

SMOLENSK. Nov 25 (Interfax) – The Russian Orthodox Church will advocate its independence, its head Patriarch Kirill has said.

“The church is defending its freedom because it is sure that only its independence gives it the possibility of being a full-scale spiritual authority. Any form of convergence of the church and state is dangerous for the cause of God. Only the word of a free church sounds loud and convincingly,” he said in an interview with Smolenskiye Novosti newspaper.

Once again he refuted the opinion about the state becoming more clerical and the church increasingly becoming part of the state noting that clergymen are strictly forbidden to assume any government functions while the state does not have direct levers of influencing the church.

“We don’t want the repetition of history because we are convinced that the bloody developments of the beginning of the 20th century and the persecution of the church that followed them largely resulted from its enslavement by the state,” the patriarch said.

He stressed that the church is not putting forward the objective of influencing the policies of the state; it only addresses the public trying to bring it home to every person that “life without God is senseless and useless.”
The patriarch also recognized that Russia is still experiencing the effects of the period of atheism.

“In order to cure the spiritual wound inflicted by atheism we should all help people take the path of new church-going. And I believe that God will be with us on this road,” he said adding that the current church reforms are being conducted with this purpose.