24 April 2009, 13:08
Archbishop Pezzi recommends Catholic priests to avoid competition with Orthodox clerics
Moscow, April 24, Interfax – Head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mother of God in Moscow Archbishop Paolo Pezzi urged priests not to compete with Orthodox pastors, but to look for new ways to develop inter-confessional dialogue.
“We should avoid the temptation of considering Catholic Church an isolated confessional community,” Pezzi said at the diocesan conference in the Moscow Region.
The Archbishop stressed that in Russia the Catholic Church witnesses to Christ together with the Orthodox Church, and thus the clergy “shouldn’t be disappointed with misunderstanding, but avoiding the spirit of competition, should find all possible ways to develop common witness.”
Pezzi also pointed out to the personal and communal witness as the only way of Christian mission saying that for the last years “the Catholic Church in Russia has grown up, got back a lot of churches, educated first priests and its charitable work spiritually enriches the society.”
“Who could have thought twenty years ago that Catholic presence in Russia will be restored so effectively and in such a short term!” the Archbishop said.
Secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov, speaking at the conference expressed hope that today when there are more facts of cooperation of the Churches in international organizations in New York and Strasbourg, such cooperation will be developed in Moscow as well.
“I hope we will cope with problems existing in pastoral work of our Churches and our relations will reach such degree of mutual respect and understanding to become a wonderful contribution in our joint witness to the value of Christianity,” he said.
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