Metropolitan Kirill Makes Appeal for True Values

Russian Orthodox Church Celebrates Christmas

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MOSCOW, JAN. 7, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The interim leader of the Russian Orthodox Church says a return to real values can help alleviate the current economic crisis and prevent further ones.



Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who is fulfilling the duties of patriarch after the death of Alexy II on Dec. 5, said this Tuesday night at the Christmas Mass held at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Following the Julian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7.

Over 3,000 attended the Mass, including the apostolic nuncio to Russia, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, and Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, accompanied by his wife.

Metropolitan Kirill invited all those present to be valiant during the current economic crisis, and asked for spiritual help for the nation's president.

The word "crisis," explained the metropolitan, comes from the Greek meaning "decision." He said that today decisions have been affected by certain attitudes, such as "greed, loss of control over consumption, a bid to enrich oneself by all means and have as much as possible."

He said the crisis began when people forgot true values, and that further crises could be avoided if values provided the foundation for the economy.

“I am confident that God will help Russia and all countries of the world to get out of this crisis pure in spirit,” he added.

The Christmas address prepared by Patriarch Alexy II before his death was also read at the Christmas Mass. The patriarch recalled in his message the celebrations that took place last June to mark 1020 years of Christianity in Russia, and he invited the faithful to continue living according to the will of God, and not their own.

“Let us remember," Alexy II wrote, "that only God gives true peace.”