Moscow, November 12, 2015
The Russian Church will strive to make its role decisive in the country.
"We should not step in as aggressors, or try to preach clericalism, which is the system where clerics rule the state. We, together, clerics and laity, have the right to make our voice, the voice of the majority, decisive for making any decisions referring to our present and future," stated head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin at his meeting with diocesan departments for Church and society relations.
"In context of relations with the state we should move from the role of humiliated beggars to the role of the representative of a public force, which includes the majority of our people. No one can say 'no' to us. No one dare say that he refuses to have a dialogue with us," he said.
The priest noted that Orthodox believers make a majority not only in Russia, but also in other countries in the canonical territory of the Russian Church.
"The Church feels itself as a subject equal to the state, with its legal system, with its administration, its mechanisms of decision-making, with corresponding ideas of protocol of equality between Church and state officials. If a minor state official calls an archbishop for instruction, he should be made to understand that he holds an inferior position," he said.
According to him, it is always important to insist on "equal participation of the Church and state when taking decisions that touch upon major Church interests or are connected with the moral, spiritual dimension of life."
The priest also pointed to the importance of "civil actions of Orthodox public associations."
"They are weak yet and have weak communication among one another, but they have enormous potential. Moreover, if we take discussions in the public space referring to morality and culture, they win today. Their voice is more convincing than the voice of any opponents," Fr. Vsevolod is convinced.