Patriarch Kirill: "Morality does not come from man, it is given from above"

Source: Vestnik Kavkaza

January 30, 2016


This week, the Federation Council held the Christmas parliamentary meetings on the subject ‘Tradition and innovation: culture, society, personality.’ Two years ago Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia came to the parliamentary meeting, the first ever visit to the upper chamber of the Russian parliament by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. This year the patriarch spoke again from the rostrum of parliament's upper house.

The subject ‘Traditions and Innovations’ is one of the most important issues, the solution of which depends on the development of human society. At different times in different ways the interaction between these two forces, two forms of the existence of human civilization, have evolved. It is known that at a certain time tradition has prevailed, so that all kinds of innovations have been minor, and traditions were paramount. It is a time that we call conditionally a ‘new time’, when the ideas of innovation began gradually to push aside the ideas and principles of tradition. At the moment, most probably, in most countries and in most societies, no one thinks about why innovations are necessary. If someone has the idea of saying "they are not necessary,’’ then this person will not be taken seriously by others. Because innovations are associated with scientific and technical progress, and therefore with changes in people's lives for the better. And where has tradition remained? Tradition has remained on the periphery of public thought," the Patriarch said.

In his view, a sustainable development of society can only be accomplished with the right interaction of traditional and innovative beginnings.

‘’If there is only one tradition rather than innovation there will be no movement forward, the development of human civilization will be stopped. And this cannot happen. Because God created man, predisposed him to creativity, and the result of creativity, the product of creativity, is always new. And the Lord himself said: "Behold, I make all things new" in the Apocalypse. Not created new, but creating all things new. Therefore, creativity and innovations are a part of the divine plan. A tradition is something that hinders or helps people to select from everything new only the most important and significant things, which themselves become a part of tradition. Tradition is a filter, but not mindless, not unprincipled, and having basically a divine criterion,‘’ the Patriarch said.

According to him, there may be different views on architecture, on art, on the political system, but there can not appear different views on morality, because morality is not from man, it is given from above. And if, as some say, morality is the fruit of social development, I assure you that nothing would have been left from that morality a long time ago. Then mankind would have no hope for the world, universal human consensus. If we are talking today about international law, if we are talking today about the activities of the international organizations, if we are talking about whether human civilization has some commonality, we are turning, even, perhaps without realizing it, from the fact that there is a moral consensus among the sons and daughters of the human race. And this moral consensus is determined by the voice of human conscience. And righteousness grows on this," the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said.

Vestnik Kavkaza

31 января 2016 г.

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