WikiLeaks is down, but Google Caches are still up! Too bad we can’t search the caches for more of Patriarch Kirill’s insights. Interesting he believes corruption is a source of poverty (repairable? A by-product of the Soviet thinking?) If you want to see Solzhenitsyn’s views click the link. They are interesting.
DE RUEHMO #0932/01 0950657
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 040657Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7491
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000932
EO 12958 DECL: 04/03/2018
TAGS KDEM, PGOV, PHUM, PINR, RS
SUBJECT: SOLZHENITSYN AND METROPOLITAN KIRILL ON RUSSIA,
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns. Reason: 1.4 (d).
Kirill on Ecumenicalism, Medvedev, the Hazards of Prosperity
¶8. (C) In a separate meeting, Metropolitan Kirill re-visited themes he had touched on in the media and in earlier conversations with Ambassador. Kirill seemed to be in good health was preoccupied as always with the, in his view, excessive emphasis on the individual in the West, and stressed the need to harmonize traditional human rights concerns with “morality and ethics.” Economic progress had been a two-edged sword for Russia, Kirill thought. With prosperity, Russians had “lost something” and Kirill, who is Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, pointed to less prosperous Smolensk as “better preserved” than Moscow or St. Petersburg.
¶9. (C) Kirill spoke highly of a UN-sponsored effort to bridge the gap between East and West by seeking an alliance of civilizations. Kirill was attempting to interest the UN in his efforts to sponsor ecumenical dialogue especially, he said, in the Middle East. As he has in past conversations, Kirill contrasted Roman Catholic Pope Benedict favorably with his predecessor John Paul II, and again held out the prospect of significant improvement in Russian Orthodox – Roman Catholic relations. Also on the ecumenical front, Kirill reported to the Ambassador efforts, via the Russian Orthodox Church of America and the National Council of Churches to reach out to Protestant denominations in the U.S.
¶10. (C) Kirill joined Solzhenitsyn in identifying enduring poverty as one of the chief challenges that President Medvedev will face. He called poverty as a by-product of corruption and red tape which were “stumbling blocks” to progress in Russia. Kirill, who unlike Solzhenitsyn has had a number of direct conversations, was optimistic that the President-elect was equal to the tasks ahead, and predicted that he would concentrate on Russia’s many socio-economic problems.
¶11. (C) While Kirill largely echoed Solzhenitsyn’s arguments against Kosovo independence, he was even sharper than Solzhenitsyn about NATO expansion. Ukraine was “not ready,” and NATO membership could cause a split in that country’s population, and created turmoil in Eastern Europe, he maintained. BURNS