December 9, 2009

Patriarch Kirill On a Woman's Role In the Church

Patriarch Kirill wants women-believers to be active, but warns against "unwise mannishness"

Moscow, 3 December 2009, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia believes a woman should have an active position in society, but remember about her top-priority duties of wife and mother.

"Active participation in all spheres of social life is needed, it will make the society hear voice of believers. At the same time, a woman's role as wife and mother, keeper of the house, in no event can be reformed," Patriarch Kirill said on Thursday at the opening of the first All-Russian Forum of Orthodox Women in Moscow.

The Patriarch believes nowadays many Orthodox families practice "hyperpatriarchate" when woman willfully refuses her professional realization, work and social calling.

However, the Patriarch says this "hyperpatriarchate" is often "a reaction on atmosphere of today's world," when false understanding of "equality" with man is imposed on women and she is forced to imitate the worst masculine qualities: aggression, will to competition, strive to make a career, neglecting the family."

"A woman's happiness is first of all in being wife and mother. If our society doesn't learn to back up this role of a woman, it doesn't have a future. On the Creator's intention, woman should be far from unwise mannishness," Patriarch Kirill said.

However, the Primate of the Russian Church is sure that "today an Orthodox Christian woman should stick to an active social position and be a keeper of Christian moral values in family and society."

According to him, a Christian woman, besides realizing herself as wife and mother "should realize herself as an active member of civil society responsible for the country's future."

"Church, Motherland and the whole world awaits vigorous steps from women-believers," Patriarch Kirill said.