08 August 2007, 14:42
Moscow, August 8, Interfax - The letter of the ten members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in which they protest against what they call ‘clericalization of the nation,’ will help us to initiate a struggle against superstitions inside the Russian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Theological Academy professor Dn. Andrey Kurayev opines.
‘The church has too long existed without any censorship. The result is a wave of superstition spread in the name of the Church,’ Prof. Kurayev said Wednesday during the press conference held at Interfax.
Unfortunately, he said, not all our contemporaries associate the Orthodox faith with great saints or prominent theologians. For many the Orthodoxy is ‘a fuzzy church sermon or a stupid pamphlet found in a train... This sort of Orthodoxy makes people fear.’
In this connection Kurayev expressed his hope that the Letter of the Ten discussion will push the clergy towards formulating a clearer position on many issues.
According to the professor, there is ‘some truth’ in the letter, but the text itself is no academic-level and features ‘mistakes and blurred understanding of the issue.’
He urged the public not to present the church suggesting Basic Orthodox Culture for schools as if ‘the priests were seizing the school.’ ‘The priest seize nothing. It is a matter of demand,’ he said to explain why he believed all talks on ‘clericalization’ to be improper.
‘On the contrary, we are ready to put some our activities under the state control,’ he said. The Russian Orthodox Church has for many years asked the state to incert theology into the official register of sciences, he added.
According to Kurayev, ‘if textbooks on Basic Orthodox Culture be compelled adequately, there will be no threat even if they be used in the regions with non-Russian ethnic minorities.’
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