His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’, delivered a most welcome statement to the Russian Duma yesterday – and all too timely, given that January is the month for life issues. Prominently, he said:
It is impossible to be truly faithful, to go to church, to take part in parish and even Church-wide life while taking bribes or profiting from dishonest financial operations… I would like to especially note that Orthodoxy is incompatible with moral relativism, one of the manifestations of which in modern society is corruption. Corruption is a serious spiritual disease.And according to Interfax-Religion, he also said this:
Thank God, we are seeing some definite progress. However, continuing to receive thousands of letters from the faithful with the request to call upon the authorities to solve the problem of abortion, I ask you not to abandon the gradual efforts to overcome this terrible phenomenon… It is not a revolutionary change, but a return to normal life, without which men and women’s happiness is unthinkable, and the future of our people is impossible.In addition, he spoke out on the topics of usury, banking and abuse of office.
He also encouraged the Duma to develop measures that support motherhood and childhood, thus creating conditions that will help reduce abortions, including adding large families to the categories of citizens exempt from property tax.Note well, that the approach Vladyka Kirill is advocating – using financial incentives, at-cost lending services and social welfare to combat abortion as well as gradual legal restrictions – is precisely the same sort of ‘seamless-garment’ consistent life ethic approach that gets panned all too often by the American right. But it works, and Vladyka Kirill knows this perfectly well. Godspeed, Vladyka!
The primate also proposed that the deputies consider creating banks specifically for the poor and to prohibit the system of microfinance loans, which he termed an “immoral practice” of usury.
Finally, he also called upon the state servants to focus on truly serving those whom they represent, rather than personal or corporate interests, and to stop seeking media glory.