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Romanian Orthodox Patriarch condemns Vatican document on other Christians

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.kyivpost.com/bn/26935/ Romanian Orthodox Patriarch condemns Vatican document on other Christians Jul 12 2007, 18:22 BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 12 8:28 PM
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      http://www.kyivpost.com/bn/26935/

      Romanian Orthodox Patriarch condemns Vatican document on other Christians

      Jul 12 2007, 18:22

      BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - The leader of Romania's dominant Orthodox
      Church condemned July 12 a Vatican document in which Pope Benedict
      XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, describing
      it as "brutal" and saying it made inter-church dialogue difficult.

      Patriarch Teoctist said the document, which claims that other
      Christian communities were either defective or not true churches and
      Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation, was pitting
      Christian churches against one other.

      "We were stunned by such a statement, which troubles the entire
      Christian world. Such things do not make God happy," said Teoctist.
      "With such a brutal statement, it is hard to find a way to continue
      the dialogue with the Catholic Church, as long as it does not even
      recognize us as a church."

      The document, which was published on July 10, also brought swift
      criticism from Protestant leaders. "It makes us question whether we
      are indeed praying together for Christian unity," said the World
      Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants
      in more than 100 countries.

      On July 11, the cardinal in charge of relations with other Christians
      reacted to criticism by the Protestant churches saying the document
      contained nothing new and that there was no "objective reason for
      indignation or motive to feel themselves harshly treated."

      Teoctist said the Romanian Orthodox Church had expected Pope Benedict
      XVI to continue his predecessor's efforts to reconcile the Christian
      churches to find "holy unity." He said the Romanian Orthodox Church
      was hoping for "rays of reason," including from the other churches,
      so that "we don't fall into chaos and to avoid crushing so brutally a
      (reconciliation) activity which has been carried out in recent decades."

      Pope John Paul II was the first pope to visit predominantly Orthodox
      Romania in 1999, when he met with Teoctist and the two leaders called
      for the healing of divisions within Christianity. John Paul's visit
      was the first by a Roman pontiff to a mainly Orthodox country in
      nearly 1,000 years.
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