09 November 2010, 13:20
Russian Church is ready to assist Constantinople to create favorable conditions for pastoral care of Orthodox population in Turkey
Athens, November 9, Interfax - Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk says the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to help the Constantinople Patriarchate in the pastoral care of people arriving to Turkey from Russian and other former CIS republics.
"Speaking about Turkey, we should be aware of the fact that apart from a rather tiny Greek minority there is also quite a large number of people from Russia and from other republics of the Soviet Union who belong to the Orthodox Church. All of them who are practicing believers are the new flock of the Ecumenical Patriarchate," Metropolitan Hilarion told in his interview to Greek Omega TV .
According to the Archbishop's information, there are already priests in the Ecumenical Patriarchate who speak Russian and who work pastorally with these people.
"So, I think the situation, though difficult, is not without hope. And the flock of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey is constantly growing. And this is a good sign and of course we are ready to assist the Ecumenical Patriarchate in every way in creating conditions for the pastoral care of all this Orthodox population regardless of their ethnic origin," the Department head said.
Besides, Metropolitan Hilarion urged to "express solidarity, and not only in words but also in deeds, with Christian minorities worldwide and in particular with Orthodox minorities who live in the Middle East, who live in Turkey and who live in other places where historically they constitute the majority but for various reasons - including demographic reasons - they are becoming a minority."
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