The continuing emergence of the Church fascinates me.
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Izhevsk, August 6, Interfax - The group of academicians is groundless in their criticizing the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has said.
"The Church strictly observes the constitutional principle" of non-interference in the government affairs, Alexy said. "The Church does not interfere in the state's political affairs, and the state does not interfere in the church's affairs," Alexy II said at a Saturday meeting with Alexander Volkov, the president of the Russian internal republic of Udmurtia.
"The Church in our country is separated from the government, but it is not separated and cannot be separated from society and the people," Patriarch made his comments in reply to an open letter by a number of prominent members of the Russian Academy of Sciences to the Russian leadership in which they expressed concerns about the Russian Orthodox Church's growing influence on the social and political affairs in Russia.
Since the early 1990s, Russia has seen the development of absolutely new relations between the church and the state, Alexy said. "There had never been such relations in Russian history before," he said. "Before the [1917 Bolshevik] revolution, the Russian Orthodox Church was the official church. In fact, it had merged with the state. After the revolution, the church was separated from the government, and there was interference in the church's affairs," he said.
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