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.
(3) Patriarch Aleksii II sometimes argued that the religious free market needed proper regulation to work effectively and to prevent undesirable elements from entering Russia.
(18) See the interview with Patriarch Aleksii II, "Liberal idea extremely dangerous and deceptive," Komsomolskaya pravda, 24 December 2002 (translated by Paul Steeves, http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews).
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
. In 1995, the Biblical Theological College of higher education was established.
For the past decade, Patriarch Aleksii
II has attempted to define the position of the church in a changing environment.
Because, in the words of Patriarch Aleksii 11, "this building should be ...
Under the post-Soviet climate of freedom, the Catholic Church in Russia can take full advantage of its international resources, not only financial and human, but also a body of theological thought and social teaching to deal with contemporary issues which Orthodoxy had no chance to develop in Russia.(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."(62) Even contemporary Orthodox publications sometimes include material not suited to modem religious needs or inconsistent with authentic Orthodox spirituality and theology.
It should be noted that Metropolitan Ioann has been rebuked by Patriarch Aleksii II for his espousal of nationalist and xenophobic causes, and that Fr.