The Future of Europe and the Eastern Christian Tradition
Lecture by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate in the University of Perugia, Italy, 2 October 2002
First I would like to specify the subject of my lecture. I do not intend to become absorbed in history by tracing the way of Byzantium and Russia in the religious and social life of Europe. I would prefer to talk about the role of Eastern Christian civilization in Europe at the present and - what is more important - in the future. Eastern Christian civilization, like any other civilization, has given rise to an original way of life of its own. Its philosophy and form have appeared in the result of the efforts of many generations of people who professed Orthodoxy and who wanted to build up their private and social life in accordance with the Apostolic faith.
The Orthodox Church in the Face of World Integration: the Relation between Traditional and Liberal Values
Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.
The confrontation between liberal civil standards and the values of religious and national-cultural identity should be recognized as expressing one of the fundamental contradictions of our time, and a basic challenge to the human community in the 21st century. The tension between these civilizations is endangering not only the security but even the very survival of humanity.
Orthodoxy, Liberalism and Tradition
Europe, with its traditions of multiculturalism, tolerance and openness, could make a decisive contribution to the global harmonisation of religious, cultural and sociopolitical traditions. Christians can play an important role. I believe that through our combined efforts we shall be able to lay the foundations for a truly diverse community based on standards which will secure the rights and freedoms of people, preserving, rather than destroying, the values rooted in their spiritual, cultural and religious traditions. Such a world order alone can be the real alternative to suspicion, enmity and the use of force in relations among nations.