*** The President stressed that Russia is a secular state and it will be
Moscow. June 15. INTERFAX – the Issue of transfer of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg it is necessary to depoliticize the Cathedral should retain the function of the Museum, said the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
“It is visited by hundreds of thousands, millions of people from abroad. It is an obvious fact. We have a law – I think 2010 – on the transfer of religious buildings to religious organizations. However, we have international obligations and other laws, which forbid us to pass into other hands, that is monuments of architecture and is under UNESCO protection”, – Putin said on Thursday, responding to a question regarding the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral Church.
According to him, “there are some contradictions, but we can easily, in my opinion, will emerge from these contradictions, providing and Museum activities, and the administration of religious cults.”
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but such solutions – they are there in the world. Say, the Vatican, the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. People go there, the excursion is carried out. So you need to depoliticize this issue. Forget about the fact that it exists as such, with respect and religious feelings of people and not to forget that this building was built as a Church and not a Museum. But the Museum’s function, of course, there must be maintained”, – said Vladimir Putin.
The President of Russia asked in the subject of St. Isaac’s Cathedral “does not cheat, not to speculate on this subject, not to excite people, to use this as a tool some minor political fuss”.
Vladimir Putin stressed that “Russia is a secular state, and it will be.”
According to him, “after the October revolution the government has done everything to destroy our spiritual and religious roots, played very consistently and severely – many churches have been destroyed, demolished”.
“Then the state tried to create a quasi-religion and the Bible to replace the code of the Builder of communism. Nothing happened. It was demolished many temples destroyed a large number of priests, literally destroyed in the camps or just shot,” – said Vladimir Putin.
“Thank God – said the President of the Russian Federation, – not raised a hand to demolish St. Isaac’s Cathedral. I looked at this problem, he (the Cathedral) the Church never really belonged really, he always belonged to the state. But the Tsar was the head of the Church, and in this sense we can say that it is partly the Church belonged. But it was built as a temple, as a Church, and not as a Museum. It was built for religious worship to the people there prayed. And there is that arranged in the Soviet time? The Foucault pendulum hung to confirm that the Earth moves. That is, in fact, it was a Museum of atheism. To a certain extent, such a subtle mockery of the religious feelings of the people.”