21 March 2011, 12:14
Russian Church urges Catholics to organize missionary "attack" on Europe
*** Its official points out Orthodox-Catholic relations have recently improved
Moscow, March 21, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate urged the Catholic Church to strategic alliance.
"Orthodox and Catholic need to take each other not as competitors but as allies in protecting rights of Christians. We have shared field of missionary work - modern Europe that has lost its religious, moral and cultural roots," head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk said speaking at the 4th International Congress in Wurzburg (Germany).
He believes that "future of Christianity in the third millennium depends" on joint efforts of Orthodox and Catholics.
The Metropolitan noted that good will of the both sides helped reach "real positive results in normalization of Orthodox-Catholic relations in recent years."
"Especially significant changes in this direction have happened after election of Pope Benedict XVI of Rome in 2005 as he knows the Orthodox Church very well. Today, for example, we don't see aggressive proselyte activity of Catholics in our territory that took place in early 90s," Metropolitan Hilarion said.
"Orthodox and Catholics face the same challenges cast by modern epoch to the traditional life style. Here it's not the matter of theological issues, but present and future of human community is in question. It's the sphere where Orthodox and Catholic can cooperate without any harm to their church identity," the hierarch said.
He called this form of interaction "a strategic alliance."
It includes joint efforts taken to affirm in society Christian ideas of family, marriage, bringing up children, value of human life from conception to death. Other direction of possible interaction which becomes more actual is "protection of Christians from discrimination," the hierarch said.
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