While Patriarch Kirill’s visit to Bucharest, Romania, has been analyzed from all sorts of political angles, the speeches His Beatitude has delivered on this occasions are most important.
Understanding the great dangers arising from separation of freedom from responsibility is very useful in order to correctly identify the root of the problems generated by the global sexual revolution. The sexual revolution has claimed freedom from any constraints whatsoever. But it did not assume responsibility for its acts. The most obvious consequence of this fact is the one billion abortions worldwide. This phenomenon is the consequence of having intimate relations without assuming responsibility for the children conceived through these relations.
Please read below a few excerpts from the speech made by Patriarch Kirill in Bucharest during his visit to Romania.
The rejection of divine truth at all times has been the sad reason for subsequent calamities, catastrophes, and trials. This concerns the life of each person individually and the life of human societies and nations. A monstrous experiment was conducted upon the Russian people which has demonstrated to all of humanity that society cannot be built up without God. Yet even today many have not taken notice of this example, have not thought about the historical phenomenon of the Russian catastrophe and its projection onto modern-day life.
Today Christianity has encountered a growing aggressive intervention of militant secularism into all areas of the life of society. Today sin is becoming the norm since in a consumer society there is being lost the Christian understanding of the mutual link between the notions of freedom and responsibility. Freedom of choice, which contemporary liberal doctrine preaches, is in itself incapable of bringing people happiness and well-being when choice is defined exclusively by material factors.
Indeed, choices made in favour of evil render valueless human freedom, especially if it used for the destruction of human dignity. When freedom becomes an idol, when it is perceived aside from a notion of responsibility, a fatal danger hangs over humanity.
Another type of responsibility which needs to accompany our present-day freedom of faith is using freedom in order to testify pro-life truth to society. It can be certainly done today with many photos and videos showing life within the maternal womb. Inaccessible in the past, these are now brought to us by sonograms and scientific studies about the complementary and specific characteristics of men and women.
This freedom has been purchased with the bitter experience of previous generations and the price of the suffering of many thousands of confessors and new martyrs of Orthodoxy who suffered in the years of communism. The time in which we carry out our ministry now and the opportunities that we have comprise a precious talent given to us by the Heavenly and Divine Pastor. In using this talent we, the “labourers together with God” (1 Cor 3:9) will answer before Him and history.
We ought to carefully preserve and attentively study the historical experience of the Holy Church which she has acquired in the harsh years of trials, care for the edification of our flock when confronted with new challenges which modern-day life brings and which future prepares for us. This creative multifaceted labour in the vineyard of the Holy Church of Christ is impossible without close fraternal cooperation among all of us, without the constant strengthening of links between our sister Orthodox Churches and the peoples in their care.
His Beatitude Kirill has known communist persecution from the direct experience of his family. His father and grandfather were imprisoned for many years for their faith:
I have in my personal archive an issue of the newspaper The Godless, the official organ of the Central Council of the League of the Godless of the USSR from 19 May 12 (that is, 1929, as the new era was counted from the October Revolution). The front-page article is called “The Children of Engine Driver Gundyaev”.
It says: “They behave unmannerly at school. They tell other pupils about the lives of the saints. They play truant from lessons on social studies. We have tried to ask why, and they answer: ‘We know that the authorities will soon be replaced.” The articles end with the words: “We should think about the question of whether there is any use in teaching such children in Soviet schools, while at the same time get the trade union to check out who engine driver Gundyaev is.”
The article signed ‘working correspondent, is about my grandfather Vasily Gundyaev who worked on the railways and brought up his family. By the time the article came out, he had already been ‘checked out’. In May 1929 he was sent to the Solovki labour camp. Long years of incarceration and exile followed. In spite of the severest conditions in which prisoners were kept, my grandfather survived and in the year of Stalin’s death (1953) he became a priest at the age of seventy.
By that time my father was already a priest, one of those very same children who were mentioned in the article from the ‘The Godless’ newspaper. He also experienced the Stalin camps in the 1930s and he also managed to survive.
Read on Basilica.ro the integral speech delivered by His Beatitude Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, at the solemn session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church dedicated to the martyrs of communism on October 28 , 2017
Q Magazine: Read in English an exclusive interview with is Beatitude Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia