05 March 2008, 13:46
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin offers to refuse joint prayers with non-Orthodox
Moscow, March 5, Interfax - Deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin considers it possible for Orthodox believers to pray before common Christian shrines, but advises to refuse joint prayers with Christian of other confessions.
“Orthodox people visiting Catholic or Protestant churches, their presence at non-Orthodox service without explicit or inner prayer, Orthodox prayer before common Orthodox shrines - all these things are allowed. While it’s better to refuse joint Orthodox and non-Orthodox public or private prayers,” Fr. Vsevolod said in his interview to the NG-Religii newspaper.
In further talk with an Interfax-Religion correspondent the priest specified that “it’s his private opinion.”
Commenting on the results of the recent Geneva session of the World Council of Churches, Fr. Vsevolod confessed that neither he nor other Russian Orthodox delegates participated in non-Orthodox prayers any more.
The priest pointed out that joint prayers were practiced in 1960-1990 when Orthodox hoped it would help unite Christians through coming back to the faith of ancient Church.
“Today no one considers the soon unity seriously, almost all Russian Church doesn’t approve of such prayers and I think the church decision is impending,” the Moscow Patriarchate’s representative believes.
According to him, “the WCC was established to unite Christians, but the unity moves away and even grey ecumenical enthusiasts realize it”, though the Russian Orthodox Church “hardly should leave the forum where it can effectively discuss” economic globalization, ecological crisis, worldwide conflicts, social role of religion, etc.