Orthodox Church May Set Up Alliance with Catholics
- Europaica 131 24 November 2007
Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad: Orthodox Church May
Set Up Alliance with Catholics
The Moscow Patriarchate has noticed the intensification of its
contacts with the Catholics during Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate
and suggested that alliance between the two churches could
theoretically be set up in the future.
"After Benedict XVI was elected pope and declared the development of
dialogue with the Orthodox Church among the priorities of his
pontificate, bilateral relations between our churches have noticeably
enlivened," Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the head
of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations,
said in a report he presented at an inter-religious conference in Naples.
Both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches "understand more
clearly today than they have ever done before the importance of their
joint testimony to the secular world about Christian values, which
this world is trying to marginalize," Metropolitan Kirill said.
He noted that the proposal to set up a Catholic-Orthodox alliance
produced mixed reaction in the Protestant world. However, he said,
this proposal is based on the objective tendency towards deeper
cooperation between Catholics and Orthodox and does not presuppose an
alliance "against someone." "As regards the so-called alliance, I do
not think that we should talk about some inter-Christian organization
today, although it would be wrong to absolutely rule out the
establishment of such an organization," Metropolitan Kirill said.
Under the word "alliance", he specified, one may understand "the
possibility of a more coordinated and structured interaction between
the Churches, primarily in their relations with the secular world and
non-Christian religions. For a successful dialogue with the others
there should be from the very outset a higher level of agreement
among Churches and Christian communities than the one that exists
today in the framework of the ecumenical dialogue." For example,
according to Metropolitan Kirill, it is unlikely that the full-scale
dialogue between Christians and Muslims which is so necessary today
will be successful "while deep contradictions remain among Christians
in the sphere of anthropology and ethics."
The doors of such an alliance between the Orthodox and Catholic
believers "cannot be categorically closed to our Protestant
brothers," Metropolitan Kirill said.
Sources: Interfax, mospat.ru