20 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 07/08/2013
RUSSIA
For Moscow Patriarchate, living in poverty is a danger for clergy
by Nina Achmatova
Archpriest Chaplin calls on believers to avoid the trap of secular forces who want to lower the social status of the priests through appeals to poverty in order to turn them into social outcasts, something that is happening "among Catholics".

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Excess wealth, as well as the extreme poverty among the clergy should be viewed as both bad for the Russian Orthodox Church, this according to Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for Coordinating Church and Society. He spoke as the controversy over the lifestyle of Russia's Church hierarchy heated up following a series of accidents involving clergymen driving luxury cars.

"Of course, most emphatically, the clergy mustn't succumb to the consumerist notion that we see today," Chaplin said at a public meeting on the public perception of the Russian Orthodox Church's image in society.

"Affluence and access to material goods can cause stratification within the clergy, dividing them into rich and poor. This is very bad," he warned. Indeed, ordinary people "internally rebel when they see an affluent clergyman", he added.

At the same time, however, Chaplin doesn't believe that "it's beneficial to the Church if the clergy become marginalised outcasts". This might lead to the "diminution of the clergy's status" as is the case among Catholics and Protestants, due to the fact that "secular forces squeezed them out and made them social outcasts."

"The same thing could happen with us... . It'll drive priests crazy or force them into the labour market if we allow the notion that clergy should live in miserable poverty to settle amongst us."

"In Russia, Greece and all Orthodox territory," he explained, "priests had a standard of living usually slightly higher than the average of the working class."

According to Chaplin, a priest living in need constantly forced to beg brings "shame to his flock and to the community of the faithful."

The meeting, held last Friday, also saw the presentation of survey results from the independent 'Sreda' centre indicating that most Russians believe that the Orthodox clergy lives in luxury and that they would prefer to see their priests more open to their fellow man, and less attached to material things.

On Saturday, a day after Chaplin spoke, Pope Francis told a meeting of thousands of seminarians from around the world that "It really hurts, I tell you, when I see a priest or a nun in the latest model car. That cannot be!"

There are, within the Orthodox Church hierarchy, growing fears that the 'lifestyle' of the clergy might be to the Patriarchate what the paedophile clergy issue is to the Vatican, anonymous sources told AsiaNews.

Still, Pope Francis's calls for a more sober lifestyle have appeal in Russia.  After he was elected many in media wondered when Patriarch Kirill might pronounce similar words.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/31/2014 RUSSIA - UNITED STATES
For Orthodox Church, Moscow can do what it wants in state-religion relations
03/28/2008 RUSSIA
Moscow Patriarchate to “monitor” Catholic orphanages
by D. Dudochkin, A. Pirogov
06/09/2012 RUSSIA
Moscow Patriarchate accused of turning cathedral into shopping mall
by Nina Achmatova
04/19/2006 RUSSIA – VATICAN
High-level Vatican delegation in Moscow for religious summit, Catholics free, says nuncio
09/02/2004 RUSSIA
Aleksij II: "United against terrorism, a threat to the world"

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.