“This is a historic meeting,” – said in an interview with the newspaper LOOK the head of the Russian Orthodox old believers ‘ Church, Metropolitan Cornelius, commenting on his intercourse with Vladimir Putin. As noted by the believers, chat with Russian head of state last took place actually before the Split.
“This is a historic meeting. Believers have never had the opportunity nor the Imperial power, neither in Soviet times, to the Primate met with the head of state, and not just met, but discussed some of the needs, problems, questions, interaction with the state”, – stressed in an interview with the newspaper LOOK the head of the Russian Orthodox old believe Church (rpsts), Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia Cornelius.
“Believers never had the opportunity nor the Imperial power, neither in Soviet times, to the Primate met with the President and discussed some of the needs”
So the head of the believer Church commented on the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As told by Bishop Cornelius, the basis for the meeting with the President was the resolution of Putin to the appeal of the old believer community. A speech in the appeal was about the celebration of the 400 th anniversary of the birth of Protopriest avvakuma (revered by the believers as a Holy Martyr and Confessor), which will be celebrated in 2020.
The question surprised him that the President was interested in the figure of Avvakum, the source noted that “the Archpriest Avvakum is a symbolic figure”. Avvakum Petrov showed himself as a man of the world, many knew him as the writer, acting for the purity of faith, family relationships. “So we want to position this anniversary. From the point of view, not to divide society, and to find something in common and important”, – stressed the Metropolitan.
For the first time since Alexei Mikhailovich
In addition, according to the site rpsts, the meeting with the President the head of the believer Church discussed the reconstruction of architectural monuments in the major centers of the 400th anniversary of the Archpriest Avvakum – on Rogozhskoe and Preobrazhenskoe cemeteries of Moscow.
Earlier in the review, Metropolitan Cornelius, said: “the Head of state for the first time in 350 years to officially accept the Primate of the Orthodox old believers’ Church.” Explain exactly 350 years ago, in the middle of XVII century the Russian Church was split, the result of which was the separation of the faithful followers of the old rite and those who accepted the reforms of Patriarch Nikon. Thus, the previous Russian President, officially took the head thrashley Church, was Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich.
“The old believers were persecuted, then stronger, then weaker. In Soviet times, have suffered greatly, thousands of churches were destroyed, and arrested all the priesthood. Therefore, a good attitude of the President and General government of the Church is very pleasing,” – said in comments the newspaper VIEW Secretary of the Primate of the rpsts, Protodeacon Victor Savelyev. Earlier, including in 2013, the head of state has received Metropolitan Cornelius, but, as explained by Victor, this time we are talking about an official meeting – and this is a significant difference.
“Metropolitan Cornelius for many years officially present at state occasions, on the reading of the messages of the President, and have repeatedly met with the President in the composition of the various delegations, and even had a short conversation with the head of state. But such a full meeting is essentially the first not only in recent history, but in General for the entire period of existence of the old believers as a denomination,” – said in comments the newspaper VIEW the member of the Commission of the Public chamber of Russia on the harmonization of interethnic and interreligious relations, a parishioner of the Moscow Church of St. Nicholas rpsts Valery Korovin.
Since that time, it is possible to establish interaction of the state with the old believer communities and organizations. So, in October last year, presidential grants, among other NGOs, has received the Moscow spiritual and educational center “Krynica” (working in the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker at the Belarus station) and volunteers working at the Moscow Rogozhsky settlement and preserving Gromov old believers cemetery in St. Petersburg.
“In the altar simulators are…”
In January, the Primate of the rpsts Metropolitan Cornelius addressed the deputies of the state Duma for assistance in the return of the temples, which was sold in the early 90-ies to third parties.
“The fate of the Church of the Intercession of the blessed virgin Mary in Gavrikovo side street in the center of Moscow – this is a blatant case – said Protodeacon Victor Savelyev. – Still there is a gym in the sanctuary simulators are, Boxing. We can not perceive it otherwise as blasphemy”.
The question of the return of the Church to believers was discussed, but it is rather complex, because the temple was privatized in the 90-ies. There is a dispute about how the privatization was legal. Court side for today supports owners, but the possible path of a peaceful solution.
Another important for believers question – reconstruction of the Rogozhskaya complex. “We have buildings that are still from the Soviet era, it was not possible to recover, – said Victor. – They must be placed in educational centres, exhibition, craft workshops. So for us the meeting with the President was very important, and we hope the 400th anniversary of the positive changes at the rogozhskoye complex”.
“The Orthodox tradition is accepted in its entirety”
“The President meeting with the old believer Metropolitan means the full legitimacy of the old believers from the government. It means the return of believers as a full member of the Russian society without any reservations, omissions and all sorts of negative connotations and podrazumevani”, – said the member of Public chamber Valery Korovin.
According to the interlocutor, “now, believers are not “nadogradnja”, any defective part of the society, as previously thought – especially from some of the most zealous representatives of the dominant Church.” “We are talking about those who continued to struggle with the old believers, calling them “schismatics” and almost “enemies of the state” (despite the fact that the vows of the old believers was lifted in 1971),” added Korovin. The source is referring to “oath” – ie, anathema, imposed on supporters of the old rite at the councils of 1666-1667. In the XX century the position of the Moscow Patriarchate in relation to the conservatives relented. The local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1971 oaths against old rites and their supporters were abolished.
“All this negativity for a long time already does not exist in the Russian society, and for him there is no reason – emphasizes Korovin. But the state has always decided to look in first person, some kind of official go-ahead”. This meeting “is a sign that testifies to the fact that the Orthodox tradition was adopted by government in its entirety,” added Korovin.
“The schism of the Russian Church was the drama, which crippled the Russian state for several centuries, created an atmosphere of tension and recriminations. If the atheistic period for the state it didn’t matter, today, when the Orthodox tradition is the basis of existence of society, then outstanding, poluraspredelenia and stretching from ancient times, the misunderstandings needs to be lifted – said Korovin. And, in fact, this meeting they were disavowed – there are no contradictions in our Russian Orthodox majority does not exist.”
“Although the Russian Orthodox Church is not with rpsts in the liturgical communion, only in our informative dialogue see the main basis of the revival of Russian national unity, the destruction of which had been laid not even a tragedy of 1917, but Split in the XVII century,” in turn, noted historian and publicist Mikhail Tyurenkov, a parishioner of the Church of common faith (the lead service in the old rite) Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
“The believers – certainly the traditional denomination”
The meeting of Putin and Metropolitan Cornelius has a great symbolic value, agrees and Chairman of the Public chamber Commission on harmonization of interethnic and interfaith relations, Iosif Diskin.
“This speaks to the fact that the President believes that the traditional Russian religion, and the believers – certainly the traditional denominations within Orthodoxy are significant, respected. The President appeals to all Patriotic-minded forces of civil society who carry high moral values. We know how from the ranks of the Russian old believers came out of the most prominent Russian businessmen,” recalled Diskin in comments the newspaper VIEW.
Serious problems in relation to believers in the society is not, the source said, adding that to him, as the representative of the relevant Committee, complained to representatives of other Christian faiths, but believers never.
Diskin reminded that Cornelius, Metropolitan and Patriarch Kirill meets regularly, such as Friday – in the framework of the presidential Council for cooperation with religious organizations. “If they have such a desire (the convergence of the Orthodox and old believers), I don’t think they need a secular mediator in the person of the President. As far as I know while the problem is not worth it,” said Diskin.