25 May, 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
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

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.