*** To establish relations with the old believers were even 300 years ago
Moscow. March 18. INTERFAX – IN the Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate for the Affairs of old-belief parishes called a historic meeting of President of Russia Vladimir Putin with head of the Russian Orthodox old believers ‘ Church, Metropolitan Cornelius.
“In my opinion, to improve relations with the old believers were even 300 years ago. It gave a lot for the development of our country, and in this sense the state was in debt to the conservatives. I hope this meeting of Metropolitan Cornelius, and Russian President will help, finally, to turn another page of our tragic past,” – said in an interview to “Interfax-Religion” member of the Commission, the head of the Fund Gregory the theologian Leonid Sevastyanov.
He recalled that over 350 years the old believer movement, the leader of Russia for the first time met with the head of old believers.
“Despite the fact that the old believers gave the country many of the achievements of industry and culture. Suffice it to recall the factory ZIL, or Chaliapin, Vrubel, Serov and bitter, the appearance of which without the support of the old believers ‘ capital would be impossible. But Stanislavsky himself was a believer,” – said the Agency interlocutor.
On the question of whether the government should apologize to conservatives for historical persecution, he replied: “I Think not, as the persecutors and the persecuted have long been in the other world. I don’t believe in collective guilt and collective responsibility.”
According to L. Sevastyanov, the modern Russian state helps the conservatives, “so he has nothing to repent,” and the believers, as Christians, “are also unable to feel aggrieved and expect someone’s repentance”.
Meeting of V. Putin and Metropolitan Cornelius, took place March 16.
According to the press service of the rpsts, the meeting discussed issues of the upcoming celebration of the 400th anniversary from the birthday of the Holy Martyr Archpriest Avvakum and the reconstruction of architectural monuments in the main centers of celebration on Rogozhskoe and Preobrazhenskoe cemeteries of Moscow. They also discussed the issue of returning to believers Church in the name of the Pokrov of the Mother of God in Moscow in the Small Gavrikova lane.
Full text of the interview see under the heading “Exclusive”.