Putin will first visit the Council of bishops

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Druginderal in fotobank.Putin in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Archival photoPutin will first visit the Council of bishops© RIA Novosti / Alexei Druginderal the image Bank

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Cathedral of Christ the Savior on the Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, told RIA Novosti press-Secretary of the head of state, Dmitry Peskov.

The first meeting

Peskov, answering the question of Putin’s plans to visit the Episcopal Cathedral, replied in the affirmative. «There,» he said.

As noted by press Secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill, the priest of Alexander Volkov, this will be a first. Answering the question about your previous meetings between Vladimir Putin and the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, and came to Moscow by the primates and representatives of local Orthodox churches in the world, the wolves said that it was in the Kremlin.

«For the first time the President will come to the Council of bishops in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where he will meet with members of the Cathedral of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church», — told RIA Novosti the wolves.

The role of the Church in society

In turn, the head of the Synodal Department of the Moscow Patriarchate on relations of the Church with society and mass-media Vladimir Legoyda said that the arrival of Putin to the Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church will emphasize the important role of the Church in modern society and attention to the historical context: the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Patriarchate in Russia and the tragic revolutionary events of October 1917.

«In recent years when a Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, the head of state refers to the participants with a greeting,» — said Legoyda.

According to him, the Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is held every few years (according to the Charter not less than once in four years), receives greetings from leaders of several other countries of the canonical responsibility of the Moscow Patriarchate. «The attention of the secular power to the Church life speaks of the important role played by the Church in modern society,» — said Legoyda.

He recalled that the meeting of the President with the bishops took place in the past, but before they took place in the Kremlin. «In this case, the President decided to come to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where the Council of bishops. It seems that it emphasizes the special relation to the Church, a high estimation of its value in the life of state and society as a whole», — said the Agency interlocutor.

Justice

Leading researcher and Director of the Center for the study of problems of religion and society Institute of Europe RAS, theologian and sociologist of religion Roman Lunkin believes that Putin’s visit to activities of the Council of bishops would be an act of restoration of historical justice and a symbol of good cooperation between the Church and the state.

This year the participants of the Synod of bishops will remember not only the revival of the Patriarchate in Russia in 1917, after more than 200-year Synodal period (subordination of Church to state), but also the centenary of the local Council of the ROC, which was elected Patriarch Tikhon, and the centenary of the revolutionary events and the subsequent atheistic persecution.

«If he comes to the Cathedral itself, it will be a symbolic event. Last time so did the Byzantine emperors, who even interfered in the course of Church meetings,» — said Lunkin.

According to him, the forthcoming visit of the President – an event that would be an act of good cooperation between the Russian Church and state and once again emphasize the importance of Church institutions in Russian history.

«Here is also important the anniversary of his election to the Patriarchal throne of St. Tikhon. This restoration of historical justice. Interrupted by a vicious circle of revolutions, violent relations to the clergy. Recovering the symbolic integrity of the Russian world, which as a concept is of great importance for the President», — the expert continued.

St. Tikhon (Belavin, 1865-1925) was the first Patriarch of Moscow since the restoration in Russia of the Patriarchate. Canonized in 1989, he spent the years of his Ministry to find an acceptable compromise between the Church and Soviet power. Eventually he was arrested. To end the life of Patriarch Tikhon remained under investigation, in December 1924, he was assassinated, after which the Saint fell ill, and in April 1925 he died. To this day it remains one of the most revered bishops, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

«The state actually killed Patriarch Tikhon, so it’s a very nice gesture to the Church,» concluded Lunkin.

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