By Kostas Onisenko
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow wants the church closer to the people of Belarus, and for this he chose as its religious leader, a local, who knows the language, so that the church in Belarus is not accused of being a “foreigner“.
These were, among other things, the views expressed by Patriarch Kirill during his meeting with Metropolitan Benjamin and High Priests of the Church of Belarus on Sunday, September 6, in the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Benjamin is the new head of the Church of Belarus, which reports to the Moscow Patriarchate. His placement took place a few days ago, at a time when mass demonstrations are shaking the country after the recent presidential election.
“When you are placed at the head of the flock, the flock becomes your people and you become the father, and all national divisions leave. However, today the national factor occupies an increasing position in Belarus and that is why we came to the conclusion that at the head of the Church of Belarus must be a man born in Belarus, who knows the language, raised in the environment of the country so that even those who want to see our Church as something foreign in relation to Belarus, the Belarusian culture and Belarusian life, see in the head of the Belarusian Church, the flesh of the flesh and bone of the bones of his people” said Patriarch Kirill.
The Patriarch of Moscow referred to Ukraine, saying that there “religion became a factor of division and not of union for the people.” Despite the fact that Kirill considers that “in Belarus there are not those dangerous processes that led to the terrible division of Ukraine”, he called on all the Belarusian religious leaders who participated in the meeting to support Benjamin “so that nothing similar happens in Belarus” .