MEDVEDEV: WE CONTINUE TO STRUCTURE RELATIONS WITH THE RPTs IN THE SAME VEIN
RIANovosti, 1 February 2016
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Patriarch of all-Rus Kirill on the anniversary of his enthronement in the church of Christ the Savior, declaring that the state will further build relations with the church.
On 1 February, Patriarch Kirill marks another anniversary of his enthronement—7 years from the moment of mounting the patriarchal throne of the RPTs.
"Seven years have passed since the day of enthronement, and every such visit gives the opportunity of exchanging opinions and clarifying what needs yet to be done for mutual cooperation. Seven years have passed already, and it seems like the day of enthronement was not long ago, time rushes so quickly," Medvedev said.
The patriarch thanked the prime minister for the fact that "despite a busy work schedule" he found time to come with congratulations. In his response statement, the primate of the RPTs noted that in these seven years, 5,000 church buildings have been added to the church, the clergy has increased by 10,000 persons, and 122 new monasteries and 154 bishops have appeared.
Medvedev emphasized that this is a direct consequence of the activity of the patriarch.
"It is difficult to say whose it is—whether divine providence or our church with your help—Patriarch Kirill said. "When I stand in a church at Easter then I always look at the people and note how many youth have come to the church. There are young fathers who hold children in their arms for three hours, and their wives. I believe that something is happening with our people."
He added that "many issues are resolved in the life of the church and the state while government helps without violating the constitution and laws and people understand that they live in a free state."
In reply Medvedev assured the patriarch that "the state and government will structure relations with the church in the same vein in the future." (tr. by PDS, posted 2 February 2016)
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