Patriarch Kirill thanks Putin for constructive dialogue with Orthodox Church

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, July 26, 2013) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has thanked Russian leaders represented by President Vladimir Putin for their respectful attitude towards the Russian Orthodox Church.

“We have been developing church-state relations since 2000. This model was not handed down from the above and its outlines – mutual respect, non-interference in each other’s affairs and, at the same time, readiness to cooperate in matters vital to our people and our country – were formed through dialogue,” Patriarch Kirill said at a meeting of ecclesiastical officials of local Orthodox Churches with Putin that was held in the Kremlin on Thursday.

The patriarch said he thanked the authorities for the dialogue that was being held in Russia, which he characterized as “sensible, mutually respectful, open and aimed at resolving certain tasks and affairs.”

Patriarch Kirill said he wished Putin and the entire country God’s help so that in the coming years “we all rise from power to power, so that our state improves economically, so that there is political stability and so that our people strengthen themselves spiritually because even a person who is very powerful financially can be fundamentally weak without a spiritual foundation.”

The patriarch said that when looking back at the last 25 years since the enormous celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of Rus’s Christianization, these years “were not easy” but were highly fruitful and it can be said today that “the revival of spiritual life in the historical lands of Rus does not have a precedent in world history.”

Putin and the Patriarch exchanged gifts following the meeting.

Putin gave Patriarch Kirill a large icon of the Life of the Solovki Saints and the Patriarch gave him the God Almighty icon in silver made in late 19th century.