22 August 2007, 15:01
Moscow, August 22, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has reaffirmed that no clergyman may be ever allowed to run for the head of state.
'No clergyman, no matter bishop or priest, should ever become Russian president,' the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad told the Mayak radio on Wednesday.
'It must not happen under any conditions,' he said.
According to him, 'the Church should never directly become a part of the government.
''If she becomes a part of the government she gets involved into things inappropriate for her and therefore goes against her vocation,' the metropolitan said.
Earlier, during the Christmas Readings, Metropolitan Kirill said that 'political strife is based upon support from a certain group, so that some people are regarded by the politicians as his allies, other - not so much, and further others become enemies.'
'For the Church there are no allies or aliens,' he added.
'If the Church gets politicized, as some want her to do today, she will perish. Participating in the politics we may divide our Church so that she will no longer be the mother of our nation,' he said.
According to the metropolitan, the Church's role in politics must be reduced to 'bringing people to spiritual unity.'
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