Sunday, October 21, 2007

Patriarch Alexis on Europe

The two citations were made during the Russian Patriarch's recent visit to France. The first was during an address to the Council of Europe, and the second is taken from an interview he gave for Le Monde.

'Today a split that is fatal for European civilization is taking place between human rights and morality. This can be seen in a new generation of human rights which contradict morality and justify immoral acts. If we do not take morality into account, then ultimately we do not take freedom into account. Morality is freedom in action…the destruction of moral standards and propaganda in favour of moral relativism can undermine the world view of European man and lead the peoples of the Continent to a point, beyond which European peoples will lose their spiritual and cultural identity, in other words, their place in history. I am convinced that if Europe is to keep its cultural identity, especially in its dealings with other cultures and civilizations, it is extremely important to keep this moral dimension, which spiritualizes and ennnobles the life of Europeans. At the very least, with the help of State institutions, we must avoid creating propaganda and encouraging anything that weakens or destroys the moral foundations of society.'

‘If the countries of Western Europe do not keep faith with their spiritual and moral values, they have no future. Today, European society is distinguished by an aggressive secular ideology, the cult of consumption and the worship of the reason. If freedom does not go hand in hand with a sense of responsibility and humility, then mankind and society enter on a path of self-destruction’.

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