Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Metropolitan Hilarion's speech on Christianity, Society and Europe opens up new possibilities for collaboration on the eve of Putin's visit to Pope Francis

On October 23rd, 2013 Russian Orthodox Metropolitan, Hilarion outlined in a detailed speech his analysis of Christianity within Europe, and the world, and the threat to religion from a militant secular ideology. This speech to the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, reflects the Russian Orthodox position days before Putin's visit to Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Christianity became the value basis for the European civilization in all its diversity and complexity. It formed the essential principles of international intercourse, mutual understanding and good-neighbourly relations. The Church became the first body in the human history to unite people of different nationalities and cultures through the faith in Jesus Christ.

...In the discussion on the significance of Christianity as an essential factor in the development of European nations, it is necessary to dwell on one of the developments which, having been born in Europe, has come to influence many modern global processes.

The consistent secularization of the European civilization going back to the Renaissance has acquired an unprecedented scale in our days. The rejection of moral principles in the order of societal life and universal Christian ideas as regulator of relations between people has led the Western world to oust religion from the public sphere....

...the problem of the French humanists, just as all the subsequent ones, was that they rejected the idea of the corruption of human nature by sin in the belief that to build a perfect society it is sufficient to have personal freedom and to have it respected by people around; whereas the notion of sin, which accounts for man's inclination for committing amoral, sinful actions, is ignored in the philosophical concepts of the Enlightenment and later ideals conceived by secular ideologists.

...In such a society the Church is denied the right to bear witness to God's truth and to call people to struggle with evil and sin.

...We all are witnesses to the fact that several European countries have legalized such vices as, for instance, prostitution and homosexuality. 

... we can state that the secular liberal ideology is turned into a self-sufficient force intolerant of dissent. To confirm this I will cite only one example. The mayor of the French small city of Arcangues, Jean-Michel Colo, who as a good Catholic refused to register a same-sex union, is threatened with imprisonment and a fine for discrimination. 

,,,The mass media presented...French citizens against homosexual unions as a crowd of marginal people. The world news agencies reported nothing about those who fell victim of a tear gas used to disperse these peaceful rallies while watching in rapture the developments in Russia around the notorious punk band who "expressed their opinion" by bursting into the Church of Christ the Saviour.

Militant secularism, denial of Christian moral values, absolutization of the freedom of choice at the detriment of public morality - all this has become the quasi-religion of the Western world preached in international relations. I consciously called it quasi-religion since it is religious consciousness that presuppose dogmatism...

...As statistics has shown, Christians is the most persecuted religious community in the world. Over 100 million Christians are subjected to persecution today, and a Christian is killed for the faith every 5 minutes. This situation is connected to a large extent to the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, where the so-called Arab Spring has become the cause of the mass exodus of Christians...

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