Patriarch Kirill said the Orthodox Church did not intend to merge with the state but advised to stop copying western ways and values as this would mean “an eternal lagging behind”.
Speaking to Moscow State University students, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church blasted those who advocated the European way of development as, in his view “imitating and copying is always inferior to the original as it lacks the original beginning, the true authorship”.
“When you build a civilization on the foundation of imitation this means that you determine the development in such a way that it will always be dependent upon those who have given birth to the original and continues to do so”, the Patriarch said.
Kirill added that Russia had already known examples of “senseless and often aggressive westernization”, but the true European way was not in copying, but in understanding one’s own European roots and return to these roots with understanding of all particular details in the cultural and historical environment.
The Patriarch stressed that the European civilization was based on two cornerstones – Greco-Roman philosophical traditions and the Biblical Revelation.
He then said that the Russian civilization, which is a direct heir to the Byzantine Empire, has managed to keep the tradition for centuries and is still viable.