23 June 2008, 14:44
Moscow Patriarchate refers to Catholic proselytism, in particular Uniates, as a barrier to dialogue with Vatican
Moscow, June 23, Interfax - The Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill believes, that the Uniates' activity in Ukraine and the mission of certain Catholics among the Orthodox citizens in Russia and CIS still stands a barrier to the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and Vatican, Interfax-Religion reports.
"There is a series of unresolved problems in our relations [with Vatican]. First of all, they include the unsettled conflict between Orthodox and Greek Catholics in Western Ukraine, and unjustified expansion of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church mission into traditionally Orthodox regions," Metropolitan said in his interview to the official site of the Bishops' Council.
According to Metropolitan Kirill, another "uneasy issue" of these relations is "the missionary activity of certain members of the Roman Catholic Church among Orthodox citizens of Russia and CIS countries."
"The joint Orthodox Catholic Working Group operates in Russia to decide such matters since 2004. We hope that its work bears fruit," said Metropolitan Kirill.
He also mentioned that the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church "has strong inherent reserves for joint defending traditional Christian moral values, correct arrangement of social and family relations and protecting human rights."
Metropolitan Kirill stressed that "our standpoints on these matters are almost identical."
As regards the relations of the Moscow Patriarchate with Protestant communities, Metropolitan Kirill said that they "are more complex due to different circumstances", as many protestants these years "tend to extremely liberalize many aspects of their lives," giving public blessings to same-sex "marriages" and laying hands on homosexuals.
"Unfortunately, such tendency continues to spread onto many new protestant communities in the West. In a bid to successfully resist this attempt at total liberalization, we need to unite efforts of Orthodox and protestants who keep faith to Evangelist traditions, both in religion and in life," said Metropolitan Kirill.