02 October 2007, 15:52
Orthodox Church would like to view Catholics as allies, not foes
Moscow, October 2, Interfax - The relationship between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches should be brought to a qualitatively new level, the Moscow Patriarchate said.
"One needs to admit the mistakes of the past and to work so they are evaded in the future" in order to bring the bilateral relations to a qualitatively new level, head of the representation office of the Russian Orthodox Church to international organizations bishop of Vienna and Austria Hilarion told Interfax on Tuesday.
Relations between Orthodox and Catholic worshipers should be based on the understanding that "we are not foes, but allies," he said.
"Any form of proselytism should be rule out in such relations. They should provide for certain rules of behavior which would be a guideline for Catholics in traditionally Orthodox territories and for Orthodox worshippers in territories with a prevailing Catholic population," the bishop said.
The Russian Orthodox Church attaches much importance to relations with the Catholic Church, Hilarion said, adding that a visit by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia to France, which began on October 1, proves this.
The program of the visit provides for meetings with archbishops of Strasbourg, Paris and Bordeaux, he said. The patriarch of Moscow and archbishop of Paris will attend a prayer under Christ's crown of thorns in Notre Dame de Paris.
"This will promote better relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church," the bishop said.