31 January, 2015 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
The children of Mosul and the future: the "five-star" refugee camp
by Bernardo CervelleraIn the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children's choir. Fr. Douglas: "Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations ... The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope."
IRAQ
Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency
by Bernardo CervelleraThere are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood.
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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.