02/04/2010, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Russian Orthodox Church, close to Catholics, but far from ProtestantS

The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill notes closeness between Rome and Moscow on the major challenges of modernity, globalization, secularization, erosion of traditional moral principles. Instead distances increase with Protestants accused of betraying the Christian heritage to the standards of the world.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - As it finds itself drawing increasingly closer to the Catholic Church at least on the major challenges of the contemporary world, the Moscow Patriarchate can not say the same of the Protestants. So says the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, speaking at the meeting of bishops that took place in the capital on 2 February. "With the Church of Rome - he said - we have similar positions on many issues facing Christians in the modern world. Such as secularization, globalization and the erosion of traditional moral principles. It should be noted that in many matters, Benedict XVI has taken positions which are close to Orthodox ones".

However, its distance from the various Protestant denominations seem to be increasing. In recent years, "there has been a decrease in the collaboration of  Protestant communities in an effort to preserve the Christian heritage" and that, says Kirill, is because of "constant liberalization" of their world. "Not only - adds the Patriarch –have they failed to propagate Christian values in secular society in a practical manner, rather many Protestant communities have preferred to adapt to those standards." The reference appears to be to the recent election of a woman bishop, Margot Kassmann, as head of the Evangelical Church in Germany.

Kirill says clearly that in dialogue with Protestants, the Orthodox Church must seek ways to overcome the fundamental differences and if this is not possible, " many other important issues will remain, not directly related to the achievement of unity in faith and ecumenical structure, but important in terms of cooperation for the sake of peace, justice, of creation and to resolve other important problems that require a joint effort by those who believe in the Trinity. "

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