Metropolitan Kirill presents the French version of his book ‘The Gospel and Freedom. Traditional Values in Secular Society’ in Brussels

Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, presented, on June 15, 2006, in Brussels, the French version of his book entitled ‘The Gospel and Freedom. Traditional Values in Secular Society’. Published by the Serf Publishers, the book includes the metropolitan’s interviews and fifteen articles devoted to such major problems of today as dialogue of liberal and traditional values, human rights and moral responsibility, church and society, and social service of the Church. This is the first book to be published by a modern bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in French.

The press conference in Brussels was attended by Belgian and Russian journalists, professors and researchers of Louven University, diplomats, European Commission officials, representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and other religious organizations and their representatives in Brussels.

The primary aim of the publication, Metropolitan Kirill said, was the desire to initiate a new equitable dialogue between the two historical parts of the European civilizations – Western and Eastern, and between the two value systems – liberal and traditional. It is only in this dialogue that truly universal values can be elaborated to complement rather than exclude various worldviews.

In his introductory speech, Catholic priest Eric de Clairmon-Tonnairre, Serf president, stressed that the publication of Metropolitan Kirill’s book was planned to coincide with the publication of the 500th volume of the Christian Sources collection, the world largest edition of patristic texts and translations.

Metropolitan Kirill’s book will be appreciated by the West as a valuable testimony of a modern Orthodox pastor, an eyewitness to and participant in an unprecedented resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church after decades of hardships under the Soviet regime. In his introductory interview, His Eminence Kirill shares his remembrances of his family, education, Metropolitan Nikodim Rotov, years as rector of the theological schools in what was Leningrad, and his work at the Department for External Church Relations. He also sets forth his understanding of the notion of sobornost today, role of bishops and clergy in modern society, mission of monastics, service of the laity in the Church, presence of Orthodoxy in the world, strengths and weaknesses of the present-day parish, problems of inter-Christian dialogue.

Metropolitan Kirill will present his book in Paris in Lyons on June 16 and 17.