Russian Orthodox Church hopes to maintain relations with Benedict XVI's successor - Metropolitan Hilarion
21 February 2013, 10:03
Russian Orthodox Church hopes to maintain relations with Benedict XVI's
successor - Metropolitan Hilarion
Astana, February 21, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church is hoping
that the successor of Benedict XVI will continue his policies, said the
head of the Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan
Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
"As to our attitude to Pope Benedict XVI, who is now retiring, our
attitude is generally positive because the dynamics of the development
of relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches was positive in
the course of the time when he was pontiff," he told a press conference
"Pope Benedict XVI is a person who protects the interests of his Church
and who is a traditionalist in the best sense of this word, that is, who
puts the preservation of church traditions much higher than, for
example, popularity in the mass media," Metropolitan Hilarion said.
He believes Benedict XVI was not very popular with the press, unlike his
predecessor John Paul II, but "Benedict XVI was very positively
perceived both in the Catholic Church and in the Orthodox Church."
"We value this traditionalism in him and we are hoping that his
successor will continue the policy of protecting the traditional
Christian theological and moral doctrines," he said.
Metropolitan Hilarion said the Catholic Church is now present in
countries where the traditional understanding of life, religion, and
relationships between people have been "deconstructed." As an example of
that, Metropolitan Hilarion mentioned the development of family
relations in Western countries.
"In Western countries, marriage is perceived primarily as contractual
relations between a man and a woman, and in some cases it could be
contractual relations between two men or two women, and more and more
countries are legalizing such relationships, such unions. Of course, in
this situation, when the Catholic Church insists on the traditional
understanding of family, family values, and the unacceptability of
abortion, it becomes unpopular and is heavily criticized. Nevertheless,
it continues defending these moral traditions, on which the life of
human society has been based for centuries," he said.
"The position of the Orthodox Church is the same, and we, in this sense,
see the Catholic Church as our ally and are hoping that this union will
develop under the new pontiff," Metropolitan Hilarion said.