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“Today it is evident that a part of society will negatively react to that which is happening in the Church, and that this will be reflected in the media,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill emphasized in his presentation at the Episcopal Council on 29th November 2017.

“The Church cannot be neutral to that which is happening in public life. When these things contradict the Gospel, the Church reminds people that the path they have chosen is not blessed by God. And this causes annoyance on the part of certain elements of society,” continued His Holiness the Patriarch.

“Of course, the negative reaction is made ever stronger in the case of the objective wrongdoing, imperfections and unguarded words or deeds of certain church ministers. Unfortunately, we come across from time to time clerics who grant occasion to them who seek occasion (cf. 2 Cor 11.12). Conflicts and scandals are spread like lightening and live on in the informational sphere for a longer time span, while the effect of positive publications is often short-lived,” Patriarch Kirill reminded listeners.

“We are called to be a light to the world (cf. Mt 5.14),” said His Holiness the Patriarch. “The language of the preaching of the Saviour and the apostles and, as a result, our language is the language of love. In participating in public activities, we are to bear witness to the Truth. Sadly, this witness is compromised even if we choose the wrong tone of voice or an unsuitable means of expressing ourselves.”

“In proclaiming or vindicating the Gospel truths, we ought to be careful in our choice of words. Sin ought to be exposed, but we should not humiliate anyone. When reminding people of the disastrous consequences of abandoning God’s will, in our carelessness we should never push people towards the edge of the abyss,” said the First Hierarch of the Russian Church.

“May our word to society, including the media, be sincere and not pompous or hypocritical, may it have content and not be merely declarative and empty, may it be encouraging, but not hectoring and condemning. Even if we have to remind people that something is forbidden, we first and foremost must be concerned to direct people towards the Divine Love,” concluded His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.