22 March 2007, 14:49
Moscow Patriarchate confirms theological differences with Catholics
Moscow, March 22, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has expressed disagreement with the opinion of Vienna Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schonborn about theological differences.
"Numerous theological debates of the past decades showed that the Orthodox and Catholic churches think alike on almost every theological issue," the Vienna Archbishop said in an interview published in the Thursday issue of the newspaper Trud.
The cardinal said that the major difference was the place of the Pope of Rome in the Christian hierarchy.
"This opinion is widely spread amongst high-ranking Catholic clerics. We would call it triumphant," said Rev. Igor Vyzhanov, chief of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Secretariat for Inter-Christian Relations.
Evaluation of theological differences between Orthodox and Catholics is the prerogative of the international theological commission, which was launched in the late 1970s - early 1980s, he said.
"The activity of this commission shows that we have things to discuss. The problem should not be misjudged. There are differences, which emerged in more than 1,000 years of separate existence," he said.
In contrast to the general Catholic idea that they have almost no theological differences with the Orthodox Church, "nearly all Orthodox clerics in Russia, Greece and other countries believe that differences exist," he said.