Dear Brothers and Sisters,
users of the global Internet electronic system!
I am pleased to address to you on
the occasion of the opening of an official page of the Russian Orthodox
Church in the Internet.
This is not an accidental step.
We don't mean to follow the fashion or to go in self-advertising. It is
of great importance for the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate to have
the possibility of direct addressing millions of people in the contemporary
world. We consider it our duty, being the Church for which mission and
witnessing of everlasting Christian values is an integral part of life
and ministry. We thank God for this generous gift of new communication
technologies, bestowed upon us. It would be wrong to dug this talent in
the ground (cf. Mt.25,18).
This event has another important
aspect. The opening of the church server in Internet has been the response
to numerous world-wide requests to provide information of the history,
the spiritual heritage, the contemporary life of the Russian Orthodoxy,
the position of the Church on many questions which raise concern in society.
Sometimes we have simply lacked adequate technical facilities «to give
defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,
with meekness and fear» (1 Pet.3,15).
Now every interested person can
at any opportunity get acquainted with necessary first-hand information.
This is especially important in view of the fact that sometimes various
sources tend to provide superficial, distorted coverage.
In future we are planning to extend
our page in Internet but already now one can find there most of official
documents, decisions of Councils and of the Holy Synod, the latest news
of the church life, draw reference materials on the history and the contemporary
order of the Russian Orthodox Church. Special section is dedicated to external
contacts, to questions of relations with society and states.
Modern communication technologies
are accessible for many people and organizations. They have also become
a part of everyday life of Eastern European countries. We hope that in
addition to official server of the Moscow Patriarchate another pages in
Internet will be opened by Theological schools, dioceses and even by several
parishes. This will help to put into effect our desire to be open to the
whole world and to every person. No doubt, that we shall advertise opening
new pages in the network in out server.
Our acknowledgment to all those
who has helped us to master new technologies and to implement this project.
We are thankful to the Orthodox Autocephalous Church in America headed
by His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius for support and generous contribution,
and through her to Archer, Daniels, Midland Corporation and for the kind
efforts of Mr.Dwane Andreas. We have been working during several years
in the sphere of communications with the New York Diocese of the Episcopal
Church in the USA headed by Bishop Richard Grein. With their joint help
we have become able to install necessary technical equipment. I believe
that our collaboration will develop in the future.
I wish all of you the assistance
of God in every good deed.
With love in our Lord Jesus Christ,
CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR
EXTERNAL CHURCH RELATIONS OF THE
METROPOLITAN OF SMOLENSK AND KALININGRAD
K I R I L L