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Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe: “The Most Important Things Is to Remember Where You Live and How You Live With Your Legacy, and To Guard Against Sin.”

In an interview with Herald of the Apostle Andrei the First-Called Fund, Vladyka Michael of Geneva and Western Europe noted that it is vital for Russian society to overcome apathy over the experience of past history. “One cannot accept the holiness of the New Martyrs and preserve the symbol, or even the corpse, of an evil man,” said Vladyka Michael.  

He does not believe that society in Russia is divided into camps, that some ideological rift exists between various groups: “Actually, it is apathy that reigns.”  

In the words of the hierarch, Russians must cultivate their sense of “responsibility before God for their actions.” He recalled that three generations have come of age in a country where “all that was truly Christian was being uprooted” since Lenin “decided to turn the Russian people back to paganism through merciless means.” 

"It is a miracle that many from this third, and now fourth, generation have turned to God. The Lord granted us freedom, that is, responsibility. Without our participation, the Lord will not save us. We freely answer God’s love through our faith. The Lord does not force us to,” said Vladyka Michael.  

At the same time, he feels that contemporary Russia has been “completely transformed” over the last 15 years, and as it has, “everything is bustling, roiling, everything is changing everywhere,” and in this “there are inherently some special qualities of the Russian soul.”  

"The most important thing is to remember where you live and how you live with your legacy, and to guard against sin. It is in living within this legacy that you find the strength to live with God and hold on to moral guideposts towards the life which God leads us,” said Bishop Michael.