01 May 2007, 13:59
Estonian Orthodox primate proposes setting up cross instead of Bronze Soldier
Tallinn, May 1, Interfax - Primate of the Estonian Orthodox Church of
the Moscow Patriarchate Cornelius, the Metropolitan of Tallinn and
all-Estonia, has proposed to perpetuate the memory of the place where
the Bronze Soldier monument was installed by setting up a cross.
"As far the place of the monument of concerned, I propose to install
a cross to commemorate the sad event, just as in other places of
sorrow, for example places where large vessels such as Estonia and
Rusalka wrecked," a statement by the Metropolitan published on the
official website of the Estonian Orthodox Church reads.
He criticized actions of Estonian authorities during the unrest that
broke out late last week.
"Our government ignored the position of the Tallinn authorities,
which rests on opinions of participants in a round table meeting on
the Bronze Soldier monument problem, statements articulated by
Estonian and foreign politicians, public figures and organizations,
and common sense, when started on April 26, 2007, the eve of the
Victory Day, the operation to insult the memory of soldiers who
fought 'Brown Plaque,'" the statement reads.
"The issue does not deal with reburying the remains of soldiers, it
deals with the attitude to their memory. The place was sacred for
years for every person who understands that Nazism is disastrous for
the mankind. The place was sacred for those who respected the memory
of soldiers who sacrificed their lives so that we may live in free
society today," the Metropolitan said.
"The Bronze Soldier was a symbol of honor and dignity for those who
respect the memory of soldiers," he said.
"There is nothing bad about people's wrathful protest against an
attempt to oust the monument to a cemetery. However, it is bad that
many people who got down to good cause did not change themselves at
first and allowed their small passions to slope over, yielded to
provocations and behaved in a manner unworthy of dead soldiers, thus
disgracing themselves ad their associates desecrating the memory of
soldiers and playing into hands of those who seed ethnic hatred in
society. It is bad that they bend anger against innocent," the statement reads.
"Protesting is a matter of conscience of every person; however, forms
of protest should comply with the goal. Mean methods do not justify a
decent goal and hinder achieving it," the Metropolitan said.
The unrest broke out in Estonia on Thursday night after the
government started preparations to begin excavating the common grave
to Soviet soldiers who fought the Nazis. The Russian community
regards the plans as an insult to the dead. The protests developed
into rioting that has spread from Tallinn to some towns in the
northeast with a large ethnic Russian population.