25 June 2008, 15:50
Moscow Patriarchate tells about attempts to force it out of the inter-Christian dialogue
Moscow, June 25, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church states the importance of its participation in the inter-religious Christian dialogue and developing its primary role in evidencing the Orthodox values.
"Serious and persistent attempts to force the Russian Orthodox Church out of inter-Christian relations evidence its important role in such dialogue," Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, said at the Bishops' Council in Moscow.
According to Metropolitan Kirill, the situation in Italian Ravenna in October 2007 is the most speaking example. The Moscow Patriarchate delegation had to withdraw from the tenth meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, because of the presence of delegates from the so-called Autonomous Church of Estonia (Constantinople Patriarchate).
"Unfortunately, there is a lot of evidence that the participation of the Autonomous Church of Estonia in the Catholic dialogue is a focused strategy, rather than a single occasion," Metropolitan says as quoted by the official site of the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to Metropolitan Kirill, this church organization "which has no recognition in the Orthodox world and very few members, is being persistently invited" to participate in various dialogues with non-Orthodox churches and become a member of different Christian organizations, such as the Conference of European Churches (CEC).
"There is a danger that such attempts to insist on the unilateral and uncompromising participation of the Autonomous Church of Estonia in the future General Assembly of CEC in 2000 will result in the unwanted conflict during this event," Metropolitan Kirill said.
He also mentioned that Constantinople was trying to ban the joining of CEC by the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate which meets all membership requirements.
"I am sure that various attempts to force the Russian Orthodox Church out of this area yet another time confirm the importance and necessity to maintain such participation," Metropolitan Kirill said.
"Regardless of our seeming loneliness, we still have real prospects and all necessary resources - spiritual, ideological and intellectual - to develop our leading role in sustainable creation of evidence of the Orthodox truth," Metropolitan said.