ROME, MAY 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican Publishing House is publishing a book by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and of All Russia.
This gesture follows a similar move of the Moscow Patriarchate, which last December published a book with texts from Benedict XVI regarding European culture.
Now, the Italian-language book with addresses by the Russian Orthodox patriarch, titled “Liberta e Responsabilita alla Ricerca dell’Armonia” (Liberty and Responsibility in the Search of Harmony) will be officially presented on Monday at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan
The work brings together the most important addresses on human rights given by Patriarch Kirill. In it, he wrote, “We have a common vision with the Pope on the protection of the dignity of man in Europe.”
For this reason, he said, “today the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are the only ones naturally allied in the hard struggle against the liberalist and secularist ideology.”
“In the West there is the desire to relegate the faith to the private realm in a way that is almost worse than the Soviet regime did in our country,” the patriarch wrote.
To overcome it, he added, the Church will have to enter “into a serious dialogue, devoid of prejudices, with lay and liberal humanism,” but without falling into the temptation of “unilateralism.”
“It is a harsh analysis but full of hope,” stressed Pierluca Azzaro, professor of politics at the university and the book’s editor. “Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Kirill exhort Christians of East and West not to be conformed to the mentality of this century.”
“They invite all of us to profess our creed in the Church founded by Christ the Savior, to defend liberty as an indisputable but not unlimited value: by its most profound nature, liberty is, and always will be, linked to truth,” Azzaro said.
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who signed the volume’s introduction, stated, Patriarch Kirill “puts one on guard in an incisive and passionate way against a ‘new generation of rights’ that shelter in their interior true and genuine degenerations of the authentic dignity of the person.”
The volume will be presented by Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan and president of the Giuseppe Toniolo Institute of Higher Studies, and Adriano Roccucci of the Roma Tre University.
Addresses will be given by Lorenzo Ornaghi, rector of the Sacred Heart university; Anatoly Torkunov, rector of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry; Edmondo Caruana, publishing director of the Vatican Publishing House; Giuseppina Cardillo Azzaro, president of the international association “Sophia: Russian Idea, Idea of Europe.”
The presentation will end with a speech by the chairman of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk.
The publication of the book also leads up to the May 20 inauguration in Rome of the Italian-Russian Academy “Sapientia et Scientia.”
The project has received the blessing of the Holy See and of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the official approval of the Italian and Russian States.
The Academy — which aims to be a stable meeting place for representatives of the Church and of the civil societies of Italy and Russia — will carry out its activities at the Villa Sciarra in Rome.