[Ed. – Whatever one may think of this development, it is unquestionably of major significance. There is more going on in our time than is dreamt of in our philosophy.]
Putin is the first Russian president to visit the meeting of Orthodox bishops, the Russian church’s top decision-making body that meets at least every four years and which, among other things, elects the patriarch.
This year the gathering is taking place in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
“The church authorities are overjoyed that he himself has come to participate, like Byzantine emperors long ago who came to church assemblies,” said Boris Falikov, an expert at the Centre for Religious Studies at the Russian State University of the Humanities. …
In his interview with filmmaker Oliver Stone this year, Putin said an ideological void appeared in the country following the breakup of the communist Soviet Union that “could only be filled by religion”.
The church is “the guardian of moral and spiritual values” of the country and “it is impossible to imagine the Russian state without the spiritual and historical experience of the Orthodox Church,” Putin said last May, when he inaugurated a new church in Moscow.