19 April 2006, 16:46
Catholic-Orthodox relations to define role of Christian values in Europe
Moscow, April 19, Interfax - The nature of relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church will directly influence the role of Christian values in Europe, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has said.
"It is well known that both Churches are very concerned about the expulsion of religious values from the life of modern society and the need to preserve Christian ethical standards in it. Our cooperation is absolutely necessary. It is awaited by millions of people - believers and spiritual seekers alike," the metropolitan said in an interview published in the last issue of the magazine Inside the Vatican.
This interaction can have far-reaching consequences for Europe "and, what is especially important, for the whole system of inter-Christian relations," he said.
Kirill emphasized that he was talking not only about the Russian Orthodox Church but about all other local Orthodox churches.
"I think the place of Christian values in the world will in many ways depend on the character of Orthodox-Catholic relations, at least on the European continent," Kirill said.
The two churches are already discussing important modern problems, Kirill said. As an example, he mentioned the International Conference on "Christian Values in Europe" organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture along with the Moscow Patriarchate's External Church Relations Department to take place in Vienna in May 2006 with assistance from Pro Oriente Foundation.
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