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  • » 02/07/2013, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Moscow Patriarchate: progress in relations with Catholics, increased distances with Protestants

    Nina Achmatova

    The Council of Russian Orthodox Bishops concludes confirming the alliance with the Catholic Church for the defence of Christian values and against aggressive secularism. But, the bishops ask for "greater transparency" on theological dialogue with Catholics.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - Relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Church in recent years are experiencing a " positive trend," due to the "clear recognition of the need to join forces in defence of traditional Christian values ​​and counter some threats of modernity, such as the 'aggressive secularism which threatens the moral basis of social and private life, the crisis of family values ​​and the persecution and discrimination of Christians in the world".  This overview of inter-Christian dialogue, and in particular with the Catholic Church, was given by the Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill, as he opened the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church on February 2nd.

    In his speech, published on the Patriarchate website, Kirill recalled some of the events in ecumenical dialogue with Catholics. Among these, the work of the the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, that aims to outline "a common position on a number of topical issues including family, church and state relations, the moral and spiritual reasons for the economic crisis. "

    Kirill highlighted his visit to Poland in August, the first as head of the Russian Orthodox Church and the 'historical' signature together with the President of the Polish Bishops' Conference, Msgr. Jozef Michalik, of a joint statement. The document is defined by the Patriarch as "the reflection of a mutual desire to forgive offenses and heal past wounds that have obscured relations between the Russian and Polish peoples." The two churches have thus traced a common path with respect to issues such as secularism, abortion, euthanasia and the family.

    In his message, the Patriarch hopes for continued good relations with the ancient Churches of the East, "especially at a time like this where countries once considered Christian are turning in a hostile manner on Christians themselves." The reference is to the situation of the community in the Middle East and Africa, victim of targeted attacks by Islamic fundamentalism. Kirill has thus called for "solidarity between Christians in protecting the dignity of believers and to condemn hatred and vandalism against places of worship."

    Finally, in his message to the Council, the Patriarch criticized the Protestant communities, which "continue on the path of liberalization, especially in ecclesiology and moral teaching." His criticisms are directed at the "blessing of homosexual unions and ordination of people who have openly admitted a non-traditional sexual orientation" that is becoming "the norm for several Protestant communities in the West". For this reason, he said, trying to achieve a common doctrinal position with these churches "has lost its meaning."

    In the final resolution of the Council of Bishops, which ended on Feb. 5, the orthodox bishops subscribed to these positions, however, they also raised "concerns" regarding the theological Orthodox-Catholic dialogue. The Council notes "differences of approach" in the dialogue itself and expresses "doubts" regarding documents produced on the theme of Primacy in the universal Church, conciliarity (sobornost), orthodox doctrine and canonical tradition. The bishops stressed the need to make the process "more transparent." They propose the inclusion of all bishops in the discussion of documents prepared by the committees responsible for the theological dialogue with Catholics. This consultation is justified, by "the primary importance of these decisions and the responsibility of bishops to preserve the purity of the Orthodox faith and the peace and unity of the Church."

     

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    See also

    30/05/2008 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    Pope writes Aleksij II who still says no to Ravenna
    Cardinal Kasper handed Aleksij II a message in which the Pope expressed his esteem and gratitude to the Russian Patriarch. According to the Vatican the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere; invariably though the Patriarchate highlighted all the unsolved problems that come between the two Churches like the Uniate Church, Catholic orphanages and the Ravenna Statement.

    03/10/2016 11:27:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Russian Orthodox Church: Collaboration between Orthodox and Catholics more important than ever

    Interview with hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), secretary for relations between Christians from the  Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations. The recent agreement on the primacy and synodality signed in Chieti. The difficulties of the pan-Orthodox Synod. The memory and the value of embrace between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill in Havana.

     



    19/10/2009 VATICAN - ORTHODOX
    Metropolitan Zizoulas: Defend ecumenical dialogue against those who oppose it
    The second meeting for dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, taking place in Cyprus, sees strong protest and progress at a standstill for fear of "subjugating the Orthodox to the Pope in Rome." Even among Catholics there is dogmatic resistance. A call to all from Johannes Zizoulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon, tenacious advocate of the value of dialogue.

    26/08/2004 VATICAN - RUSSIA
    "The handover of the icon of Kazan is an historic event"

    Interview with Mgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Catholic Archbishop of Moscow.



    01/03/2016 11:00:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    "Heretic and traitor": Fundamentalists term Orthodox Patriarch Kirill who met with Pope Francis in Cuba

    The meeting took place 10 thousand kilometers distance from Moscow, perhaps to avoid the objections of the traditionalists. Kirill accused of being "nikodimico", too ecumenical. An "appeal to the Orthodox youth" claims that orthodoxy is being "sold out”  to the Pope of Rome. Others say that Pope Francis is about to "convert" to Russian Orthodoxy. Urgent need for information and education.

     





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