Church building is sensitive topic


Interfax-Religiia, 27 May 2019


Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill called the situation that has developed in Ekaterinburg around building the church of St. Catherine a challenge, the press service of the local diocese reports.


"Today the church faces a challenge. This challenge resounded out of Ekaterinburg. Like 100 years ago the shots resounded and the blood of the holy tsarist passion bearers flowed," the words of the metropolitan are quoted in the report.


He stated this opinion at the conclusion of the liturgy in the St. Nicholas Verkhoturye men's monastery last Saturday.


The metropolitan emphasized that those people who today "are acting against the construction of churches and who scoff at Orthodox values are our brothers, our children, who are lost because of lack of faith."


Since 13 May, mass protests have been going on in Ekaterinburg against the construction of a cathedral of St. Catherine on October Square in the center of the city, where at the present time a park is located. They began after a fence was built in the park surrounding the site of the proposed construction.


After a week of protests and arrests, and also a statement by President Vladimir Putin assessing what was happening, the governor of Sverdlovsk oblast, Evgeny Kuivashev, sent to the residents of Ekaterinburg a request to discuss alternative locations for building the church.


A survey conducted by VTsIOM showed that 74% of those questioned consider the park an unfortunate place for building a church.


On 27 May the administration of Ekaterinburg reported that in one week it received 8,200 suggestions from residents of the city about possible locations for building the church of St. Catherine. On the basis of the collection of proposals, a preferential vote for the location for the new church will be held.


Meanwhile, Patriarch Kirill stated yesterday in Strasbourg that the Russian Orthodox Church is building an average of three churches a day. "This is not because we have a lot of money and we do not know where to spend it. Our people, who went through years of atheism, understand in both mind and heart that without God nothing is done," the patriarch said, addressing believers during the great consecration of the church of All Saints. (tr. by PDS, posted 27 May 2019)



Interfax-Religiia, 27 May 2019


The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, reported that in the course of a meeting of Vladimir Putin with Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill, the situation connected with plans to build a church in Ekaterinburg was touched upon.


"Indeed. They touched upon this situation," Peskov said on Monday, answering a corresponding question of journalists.


He recalled that the Russian president and patriarch, during a meeting, "exchanged opinions extremely frankly on the most critical and most varied matters of the day's agenda."


Responding to a clarifying question, whether Putin's and Patriarch Kirill's positions on the matter of the construction of a church in Ekaterinburg agree, Peskov said: "Unfortunately I cannot tell you any more. This is their personal exchange of opinions." (tr. by PDS, posted 27 May 2019)



by Olga Lipich

RIA Novosti, 27 May 2019


Opponents of construction of churches assist dark forces, declared Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill on Monday at the end of a three-day visit in Strasbourg, where he consecrated a Russian church and declared that the Russian church is building an average of three churches a day.


"A church building does not bother anybody. If we are confronted with an irrational aggressive reaction to building a church, then here is a dark affair. If rational factors do not exist and there is an irrational opposition and anger, then who can have anger about the fact that an altar in a church dedicated to our Lord and Savior was erected? An opponent of the Savior. Unfortunately, there are people who, consciously and unconsciously, assist this opponent, including the struggle against church buildings," the patriarch said.


He said: "This phenomenon is exotic and very rare."


Patriarch Kirill confirmed that the RPTs "constructs on average three church buildings a day." But building churches, he said, is not "executing the intentions of somebody in power;" churches are built "not to order," but "in response to the desire of people."


"In practically all circumstances, with the exception of individual exotic political cases, the people heartily support building churches. And wherever people need to have a church, including within walking distance, these churches will be built," the RPTs primate concluded.


And the construction of a Russian church in Strasbourg, Patriarch Kirill emphasized, is a "response to numerous requests by Orthodox people, Russians, Ukrainians, living in Strasbourg and coming to the city." The many people, who came for the consecration of the church last Sunday, are "evidence of the fact that people need a church." The patriarch thanked the authorities of Strasbourg, its Catholic archbishop, and the public of the city for support of the idea of building this church in Russian style at all stages. (tr. by PDS, posted 27 May 2019)

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