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Candles for free and conservatism: Metropolitan Pavel gives interview to CTV

On the threshold of Christmas, the leader of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, gave an interview to the Week TV program.

Your Eminence, if I’m not mistaken, we met on Forgiveness Sunday last time. And you told me an amazing story about one of the priests who wanted to transform the sales system of candles. For example, there are candles on the table, and you may take it for free as much as you wish. Unfortunately, this tradition has failed in our country. It is not for us. We are not ready. What’s your opinion?

Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus:
Yes, we are not ready. But on the other hand, each temple necessarily has a commercial area there and its profits are usually used for the maintenance of the temple. So the abbot gets a certain number of candles, puts them on a table and parishioners know that they may take it for free. But we lose one of the crucial elements.

We say that the candles we buy in the temple and the money we give is our donation to God.

By means of donation we help to maintain the temple and its staff.

I think, it is the charity that we are talking about. To be honest, recent redenomination has ruined to some extent such an intimate moment. Now, when you throw a coin, many people look back at you because of the sound the falling coin produces. Previously, it was much quieter.

Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus:
Thus it’s better to throw paper money, it will not ring.

Your Eminence, when you were coming to Belarus, I read the title, if I’m not mistaken, in a Russian newspaper: ‘Conservative goes to Belarus’. So, how do feel about you being named a conservative?

Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus:

From my point of view, to be a conservative is not bad at all. 

Many people believe that a conservative is the person who holds traditions. Personally, I adhere to preserving of good traditions. And I’m happy that Belarus has a plenty of it.

I am sincerely glad that people come to church and take their family members as well as children.

I’m happy to see that whole families come to church on a festive mass. It uplifts people. And I am sincerely glad that today the Belarusian Orthodox Church cooperates closely with state and the heads of state apparatus.

Your Eminence, what will you wish all Belarusians this Christmas?

Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus:
As Exarch of All Belarus, I wish you all good health and strength of mind. I also would like to wish everyone to believe in God sincerely.

God always hears our prayers, God always hears our requests, but He not always fulfills it.

Because we often want to get  something useless. But, if the wish you ask for is useful or salvational, the Lord will definitely hear your request and satisfy it. Therefore I'd like to wish you all the strength of spirit, sincere faith and to rely on God. And, of course, festive Christmas mood.

May you be blessed by the Lord!

Metropolitan Pavel gives interview to CTV