21 April 2008, 12:39
Moscow Patriarchate believes in strategic alliance with Catholics
Sofia, April 21, Interfax - The Orthodox and Catholic Churches could form a strategic alliance for the protection of Christian values, Russian Orthodox Church Representative to European International Organizations Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria said in an interview with the Bulgarian magazine Christianity and Culture.
"We must realize that Orthodox and Catholic believers are no longer rivals. We are allies. The rivalry must be gone once and for all. If we understand that, proselytism will stop," he said.
'The romantic ecumenism' personified by the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches is not viable, the bishop said. In his opinion, it would be much better to form bilateral strategic alliances or partnerships, for instance, between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.
"I don't mean union, administrative merger or compromise in theological teaching, I mean strategical partnership," the Moscow Patriarchate's representative said.
According to Bishop Hilarion, joint Orthodox-Catholic "front" is required both to oppose to the challenges of secularism and to protect traditional Christianity and dialogue with other world religions.
He believes that many Protestants unlike the Orthodox and the Catholic have created "a light version of Christianity, without apostolic succession, without sacraments, without strict dogmatic teaching and what is also important they don't require sticking to Christian moral norms."
Such communities don't consider centuries-old sins as such and even promote them. When Christian community starts "revising theological or moral teaching of Christianity in order to make it more "modern" or "politically correct", it's a direct way to spiritual death," Bishop Hilarion said.