03 May 2006, 12:19
Alexy II: Orthodox and Catholics should defend Christian values together
Moscow, May 3, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia believes that the Orthodox and Catholic Churches should together defend Christian values before the modern world.
'It is my conviction that our Churches, which remain faithful to the apostolic tradition in matters concerning the foundations of Christian worldview, should come out together today to defend the fundamental Christian values', he states in a message to the international conference 'Give a Soul to Europe. The Mission and Responsibility of the Churches', which has opened in Vienna on Wednesday.
In Alexy II's view, the common efforts of the Orthodox and Catholics 'will inspire with hope the hearts of millions of people who sincerely seek the Kingdom of God and who do not want to be content with the utilitarian aims of consumer society'.
The primate of the Russian Church also expressed the conviction that 'the European civilization is built on Christian values'. It is an undisputable fact, he believes, 'whether it is recognized or not by secular leaders'.
In this connection, Patriarch Alexy affirms, 'people of faith should once again remind their contemporaries that the true source of the noble aspirations, for which Europe is so famous, such as concern for the neighbor, respect for human freedom, tolerance towards other's opinion, comes from the Christian preaching of love for God and the human being as His image'.
Therefore, the patriarch stresses, 'torn away from their primary source, any values and ideals, however bright and inspiring they may be, can lose their meaning and withdraw into the rigid framework of self-sufficing theories used sometimes to subject to themselves the entire diversity of the God-created world'.
Noting that the European history is full of such examples, Alexy II emphasizes that today Christians in East and West can and must point for the European though a different way that would not repeat mistakes of the past 'when, in their efforts to use something from the Christian heritage but forgetting Christ, the Europeans generated tragedies unprecedented in history'.