Recorded by Dmitry ZHERNOV

The Za Rule correspondent is talking with one of the most famous figures in the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Pitirim.

What - you can guess: Russia pays for its motorization with the lives of almost 30 thousand citizens annually. How does the church relate to this, where it sees a way out of the tragic situation?

I have been driving a company car with a driver for several decades. For a long time, he combined church activities in Moscow with work at the theological academy in Sergiev Posad and every day, back and forth, two or four ends … The machine became, as it were, the second workplace. So my experience with the car is great, but, unfortunately, passive. And maybe, fortunately: if I traveled by myself, my life and career could quickly end.

Abroad, both in the New and Old Worlds, a car is a part of your being, where drivers are very friendly towards each other. I witnessed how in Paris on Concorde - Place de la Concorde, where traffic flows from many directions collide, drivers, standing in traffic jams, get to know each other, communicate. They will advance a meter, continue to talk and give way to each other. Alas, this is completely unusual for us. And not because we are worse. It just seems to me that Russian motorists are only just embarking on the path, if I may say so, of auto-recognition.

There is the norm: the car rushes at full speed, there is a red light ahead - it stops, even if it is deep night and there is not a single car. And the pedestrian is waiting on a deserted street when he turns green. This, if you want, is a culture of thinking of a person soaked with mother’s milk on the road. Our drivers (with all my disposition to them) are trying to assert their advantage. In everything. Over a beginner and inexperienced, over a woman driving, in front of the owner of a car of a cheaper or old make. For example, it gives me pleasure to go to the Oka even as a passenger. In this small "turtle" you sit much lower than on some famous "Mercedes" Mercedes, but it’s not at all offensive: I feel like I’m the master of my position, because we are driving in our lane and we abide by the Traffic Rules, moreover, I feel an advantage over the Mercedes, which violates them. A moral advantage, and this, believe me, is worth a lot.

There is an old proverb: “They are met by clothes, escorted by the mind.” It doesn’t matter what brand of car the main thing is that its owner behaves with dignity, this determines the attitude of others around him and him - to himself. The driver of the "Zaporozhets" or "Moskvich" has no less moral rights (and purely legal all the more) than those who drive a Rolls-Royce. The main thing is self-awareness, otherwise it’s trouble. The pilot of a supersonic aircraft realizes the fullness of his responsibility in the air, as, say, the duty officer at the rocket launcher. Is the driver driving? He was given speed advantage over a pedestrian, but not over a person. He also has a powerful murder weapon and must constantly monitor himself.

Accidents, in my deep conviction, are the result, first of all, of a deficit in the person’s internal culture while driving. I had a wonderful driver, he was over seventy. He used to take Mikhail Mikhailovich Gromov, the famous test pilot, who made the first flight Moscow - Beijing - Tokyo in the distant twenties. When we met, his driving experience exceeded forty years - and not a single accident! He believed that driving a car is also a pleasure, that you need to enjoy the movement (remember the “Gogol troika”). Reveling, showing off your “dare”, overtaking and making unthinkable zigzags in a tight stream of cars - this means not having an elementary sense of self-esteem. Well, imagine the same person running among a crowd of pedestrians. He pushes everyone off with his shoulders, gets confused under his feet, falls. Because he slipped out of the blue. No one allows himself this, why do this while sitting in a carriage? I remember the late Patriarch Aleksey Simansky, when the driver exceeded the speed of one hundred kilometers per hour, lowered the partition and said: “Well, well, if we rode six horses (this was the way the bishop should have before the revolution), would we have rushed at full speed, like firemen? ”It was still ZIS-110 - a ship that went smoothly and gently. Wonderful car.

I am convinced that order will prevail on the roads only when we, pedestrians and motorists, realize that our life, the life of our neighbors, depends on the simplest thing - the fulfillment of the prescribed Rules. If it says 60, then 60. The one who put the sign knows why. He cares about us. On the roads of Germany you can see a poster: "Please do not exceed the speed of the guardian angel!" It is necessary to cultivate respect for the Law, and punishment should always be proportionate to the deed. Incidentally, the authority of the traffic police, called upon to maintain order on the roads of Russia, also depends on this. By the way, in our family there is an employee of the traffic police - a believer, I often communicate with him and respect the norms of correctness (combined with responsibility), which he respects both in relation to himself and to others. If all his colleagues followed this! The service in the traffic police, as it seems to me, is a difficult, almost front-line section of everyday work. Yes, now we need the rigor shown by the traffic police, but the rigor is fair, impartial, crystal, I would say.

In a small town near New York, the sheriff was a priest - the son of a sailor from the battleship "Potemkin". A man of two meters in height, who never raised his voice. Once the patriarch came to the USA. Father Vasily, introducing himself to the FBI security guard, asked the driver of the state machine to vacate the seat and, with the words: “I am the master here!” He sat behind the wheel himself and drove the patriarch all day. No one objected - the strength of moral authority is higher than the accepted regulations.

The road is a symbol of life. We all go our own way. Three years ago, the traffic police leadership, having met with me, discussed the problem of roadside churches. Temples always stood near the ancient roads of Russia, where a person, whether he was a traveler with a knapsack behind him or a coachman who drove the mail three, stopped to take off his hat, cross himself, bow and go on. If you like - a kind of speed bump, which makes you slow down. But only moral, moral. When you are traveling through our expanses and far away, in the sunshine, the church’s top was lit up - you’ll immediately think about something else, about the high one and, as it were, throw off everything that is petty, everyday. Even on our provincial roads, chapels have been preserved for eighty years. Slow down, stop, think about the eternal.

There is a joint project to equip traffic police posts with spiritual regalia. The leadership of the State traffic inspectorate suggested that priests in sermons should appeal to drivers, recalling the moral duty that we carry when we drive. Dostoevsky also said: "Everyone is to blame for everything and for everyone." Therefore, it is very important that on the road, on the road, we feel like members of the same family, one brotherhood, responsible for each other's lives.

I am not a young man at all, I am 72 years old, and I know what a city service is, founded by the Empress Ekaterina Alekseevna. It was created in order to protect people. The instruction for the city was written under the influence of the French Enlightenment. It was not a collection of orders, but a kind of moral code of law enforcement. It would be nice to somehow revive it today.

Now it’s hard to imagine that in Moscow there were sanctions for the swear word: “triple” - for indecent expression in a public place that was broken from the lips. This is one way of education. After all, abuse is disgrace, and now the black word is like interjection. Listen to how the drivers communicate with each other. Meanwhile, even physicists argue that the word has a physical essence, not to mention a moral one. Computer science is essentially a religion. If we turn to God, we enter the information field. If in the hearts we scold the driver who cut your car, then it all comes back. By the way, therefore, it is necessary to bless the car. Every thing requires sanctification, because it carries information on itself and is able to influence people. Erase the negative information and lay - the positive. And then it all depends on the person himself.

And on this subject. Smoking in the streets is indecent. Although few people are observing this today. It was previously forbidden to smoke while driving. It was considered dangerous. Although the speed of the "emka" or "gas" at that time … 60 is the ultimate dream. Our famous theologian, philosopher, mathematician and physicist father Pavel Florensky in one of his works said that smoking is much more dangerous than alcohol. It affects the higher, more subtle spheres of spiritual human activity.

You can’t tell about everything here, and yet I would like to remind you of the main thing again. It all depends on the person, on his spiritual mood, feelings of love for his neighbor, the ability to forgive and not despise the weak. No need to turn claims to the world around us; it’s better to look deeper into yourself more often. Do you know a joke? The pastor has died. He falls into heaven, knocks at the gates of paradise, and he says: “Sorry, but there is no place for you!” Suddenly he sees a driver walking in the Garden of Eden, whom he buried a month ago. "How so! This drunkard and swear words are here, but they will not let me in! ”“ What can you do, ”they answer him, “ when you read the sermons, everyone was asleep, and when he ran the bus everyone prayed. ” Like this. For some reason, wealthy people prefer to carry a palm-sized cross on a massive golden chain. But recently, a small cross on a pin was hidden on the back of the shirt.