01 February 2013, 15:19
Medvedev wants stronger relations between state, church, society
Moscow, February 1, Interfax - On the fourth anniversary of Patriarch
Kirill's enthronement, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wished him
health and said he is hoping the relations between the church, the
state, and society in Russia will become stronger.
"A Patriarch's service is a very difficult mission and hope everything
will be fine. I wish for the special relationship now established
between the Russian Orthodox Church, the state, and the entire society
to grow stronger and serve for the good of our Fatherland," Medvedev
said after the liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
During the meeting, Patriarch Kirill mentioned the increase in the
number of archbishops, adding that 300 archbishops had assisted him
during the liturgy, whereas he was elected by only 200 archbishops four
years ago. The Patriarch said this is due to the increase in the number
of dioceses in the Russian Orthodox Church in the past few years.
"The increase in the number of bishops, as I understand, reflects an
increase in the number of people going to church, which is an objective
process," Medvedev said.
"These people are educated, most of them have secular and spiritual
university education and a lot of work experience. We take candidates
not only from the capital, but also from among those who, as I say, know
how to travel in the tundra and taiga," the patriarch said, referring to
the new generation of bishops.