At this brief service, Patriarch Aleksii II praised the new president for his "thoughtful and responsible style of leadership" and suggested that like never before Russia needed "the restoration of the spiritual powers of the nation and a rebirth of its commitment to genuine moral values .
Certainly the Russian Orthodox Church enjoyed a public preeminence, evident in its representation at major state functions, the granting of certain economic concessions to the church, the tendency of Yeltsin to visit Patriarch Aleksii II on the eve of major foreign visits, and in the church's endorsement of Yeltsin during the 1996 presidential election.
At the end of 2000, Patriarch Aleksii II blamed the West for the moral degradation of young people, with its powerful "corruption industry" bringing pornography, sexual liberation and social decay He described this as a "planned, bloodless war" being carried out with the aim of destroying the Russian people.
Above all, the church returned to its argument from a sociological majority perspective, with Patriarch Aleksii II suggesting that "educational activity should be naturally and justly guided by the desires of the majority of pupils and their parents" who he assumed to be Orthodoxy Critics were less convinced, arguing that the proposed course was in effect a denominational text and would divide pupils on a religious basis if made compulsory in schools.
Daniel depicts the highest leadership of the church (particularly Patriarch Aleksii
II) as ambiguous, caught between new and old ways of thinking and acting.
From the start, the rule was set that all government directives to the Patriarch Aleksii or to the local priests be delivered orally, whether these were issued by the Council or by the regional commissars.
Patriarch Aleksii and Chairman Karpov respected each other, and often exchanged gifts.
In 1993, the work of the Open Orthodox University was blessed by Patriarch Aleksii
For the past decade, Patriarch Aleksii
II has attempted to define the position of the church in a changing environment.
All religious bodies have to deal with unsympathetic local authorities, build a broader church structure on the narrow, in some cases nonexistent, base inherited from Soviet times, and, in general, confront what Patriarch Aleksii II called a "spiritual vacuum" in which "the moral level of the people is falling catastrophically.
Because, in the words of Patriarch Aleksii 11, "this building should be .
61) As Patriarch Aleksii II observed of the reprints which constitute the majority of Orthodox publications today: "Many books transfer to the contemporary Russian soil presentations derived either from a past that is gone forever or from abroad.