Moscow, February 3, 2011
The Bishops' Council that was held in Moscow recently highlighted the key points in question of clerics' participation in political struggles.
"Hierarchs and clerics can't promote their candidacies for bodies of representative power at any level... Exceptions to this rule can be made only when election of hierarchs or clerics to legislative (representative) body is conditioned with the necessity to oppose powers, including schismatic and non-Orthodox, striving to use electoral power to struggle against the Orthodox Church," the Council's final document reads as posted on the Moscow Patriarchate website.
The document mentions that the Holy Synod or the Synod of the self-governed Church (of the Moscow Patriarchate) "determines persons who will participate in elections to bodies of state power and gives its blessing individually."
"Even participation in elections on party lists does not allow a cleric to be a member in the political party," the resolution stresses, "people in priestly orders and monks having certain political position express it by secret ballot."