Patriarch Kirill: European population will die if it fails to come back to its spiritual sources

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill urged European religious leaders to make collective efforts to pursue the revival of Christianity within the continent.

"The Russian Orthodox Church proposes that European Christian communities unite to become partners of the states and European civil community in pursuing the revival of tangible connection between the human rights concept and the pan-European spiritual heritage," the Patriarch said at the Moscow meeting of the European Council of Religious Leaders.

According to him, only economic and political ties in Europe cannot be "a sustainable basis for the well-being of European community" and existing social values of human rights and rule of law and democracy may remain just "the forms which are unlikely to benefit in the conditions of moral relativism and sometimes may even cause harm."

Patriarch Kirill quoted "the decline of family values causing depopulation in Europe" as an example.

"How can family values be less important than the above ones, if the destruction of family causes physical reduction of the European population? Who will benefit from political developments, if European peoples cease to be or reduce to such number that their role will fail to have any significance?" he asked.

The Patriarch believes that the Soviet human rights concept involves no "clear and reasonable definition of the term human dignity" which is recognized in religious world view, therefore, Patriarch urged representatives of traditional religious communities of Europe to "make the term human dignity meaningful and establish its relation to virtue and seeking perfection."

"This is going to be our investment into generating ethical standards of both personal and social development. Currently, public environment is almost deprived of any moral models or ideals. Mass culture may only offer an image of a prosperous and successful person who can afford to meet every his or her wish," he noted.

The Patriarch expressed hope that the European Council of Religious Leaders will make its contribution to "intellectual enrichment of the European community with traditional religious values which have for centuries encouraged Europeans to seek justice and life under ethical norms generated by this tradition."