Znatkevich: You have more than a month back the Metropolitan Filaret wrote letter to repentance. Have you received a response from the church administration?
Shramko: Unfortunately, no positive response I have not received. But I had a conversation with the secretary of the diocese. From her, I realized that this case so just do not dare. I am required steps that I’m not ready to do so as required, that I absolutely disappeared from the information field of the Web, even in forums not to participate in the "Live journal" did not give any interviews and did not read anywhere else — that gone and served on the parish where I was, maybe otpravlyut. But it is not clear because, as I said, for the diocese, it is only a condition in order to came next meeting of the Diocesan Council, and then dares to have my fate.
Znatkevich: As I understand it, the father of Alexander, today’s decision by Metropolitan Filaret does not mean that you disrobed. For a while, you just can not hold services. How long se but "suspended" state can last?
Shramko: That’s right, I am a priest, I was not robbed of dignity, stripped only the ability to perform the sacrament of the church, to serve in the church, do other sacred functions. It all seems to be temporary, because the decree says that it’s all to repentance. But here is what to call to repentance — it solves the church administration. As I realized it currently believes that such I have no repentance.
Znatkevich: ah so I just wanted to ask. What you wrote pakayalny letter — it means that you have changed your attitude to the Belarusian law on freedom of conscience?
Shramko: You know, what I was against the law, it may not the main thing. This only encouraged the church administration to such drastic steps. But, as you know, even on September 15 last year, I was summoned to the diocesan council. Then, too, there was such a resolution that forbade me from all public activities. And this is due not only to the fact that I took part in political affairs … Then also considered my article about the store, "Orthodox Book" known such person, as Chertovich who publish chauvinistic and anti-Semitic literature, and which for a long time represented the diocese. I was there just made a critical remarks and slightly affected relations between church and state. I think that all gathered here, and not only that I have criticized the law and what municipal affairs, and that, as to the Church itself. I have been critical materials concerning the church, in including book "Diary of the priest", which was taken and reprinted from my website. There were all sorts of comments and judgments about the life of the church and the priest, and the place of the church in the life of man. Well, there were made such critical and creative eyes. It was also placed blame me: I have no right to criticize the church without the blessing of the upper hierarchy.
Znatkevich: In other words, in order to criticize the Church, it is necessary that you bless someone from management of the Church itself?
Shramko: So they had read to me. But you know, do not criticize the church, but some aspects of the life of the church. And critics were not in order to put the church in a bad light, but in order to cure the church that she was not sick. Whether she’s not sick. As if there is some kind of disease and bury her, it will grow. It should see the previously quiet and cure. And if a person refers to a disease that they do not consider the disease, they must also answer this answer relaxed and not panic, it can somehow destroy the church. Church hurt if we are silent and we will not care what’s going on there. Because I believe that comment on the affairs of the Church has the right to at least some Christian because he has responsibility for the church. This was read as the apostle Peter and Paul, and he is our Lord Jesus Christ. All of them were that the Church is composed of different members and they all have their place in it. And not just because we happen when they say for you to remain silent, and the upper hierarchy can be read. In the Church there are a variety of services, there is, to build up deficiencies, identify them and read about it … The Church consists of all of us, every Christian — a member of the Church, any of us, as read Peter — the priest and the Church has a responsibility. We not only come to the church to use some services. Any one of us has the right to the Church has to do with the Church, everyone should do guidance of the Church, to listen to her, but when he sees some flaws, it must withdo, For the Church to the Church of Christ corresponded title.
Znatkevich Father Alexander, you’ve already touched on matters of the Church and the country, church and government. Our students from time to time call and criticized the Catholic Church, and, often, the Orthodox. Allegedly, the church hierarchy have supported all power and had never been criticized, even if she does bad things. And you yourself, as a conscious principle that any authority from God?
Shramko: This is true. Church is not obliged to have a goal to change the government. It is not its function. It should at least some power somehow manage to do that, what it is supposed to. It is designed to give people the good news, and if people in the Russian time forbade the full amount» lead a Christian life, then you ought to obey the government was doing its civilian duties. But the fact that God raises up human. And if God is locked by some municipal institutions — both in Russian Time wasand an open struggle against God and the Church — then people owed be faithful to God and listen to abandon this Fri government. But choosing which power is better and which worse, this can not be a Christian. This is not the Christian theme, and civilians. Another thing is that to obey the state, it does not mean it must agree with her throughout. That’s when Paul says that those in slavery: not looking for the best, but if you can, use it. Because when we say that our government and democratic principles have any declared and then Christian has the right to achieve something, there is a procedure, it is possible to collect signatures, and it becomes a cause for revision of the law.
• Pope Alexander Shramko offered to repent, 15.05.2007 • Political pressure in the Orthodox Church?, 11.05.2007 • Believers need to change the law on religion, 25.04.2007