2007-11-16 12:19:00

Bishop Hilarion requests the Theologian Commission to examine the ambiguous document adopted at the Orthodox-Catholic conference in Ravenna

Moscow, November 16, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church's representative of the under the European Institutions, bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria considers the final document of the 10th meeting of the Joint Orthodox-Catholic Commission in Ravenna should be examined in details by the Synod Theologian Commission.

"The document has got a whole series of doubted conclusions and assertions that are not beard by historical truth," - Bishop Hilarion stated in the interview to Interfax.

By his words, the Ravenna's document "is to be thoroughly examined by a group of the canon law specialists, ecclesiologists and church historians" under the Theologian Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church. Then an official assessment of the Commission must be approved by the Holy Synod of the Russian Church.

The document was not signed by the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate as they abandoned one of the first Commission's sessions in Ravenna in October this year. They disagreed about a participation of the so-called "Estonian Apostolic Church" established by the Constantinople Patriarchate on the Russian Church's canonical territory in 1996. After that bishop Hilarion stated that the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue may not be considered legitimate without the Moscow Patriarchate's opinion.

In his interview to Interfax he called the Ravenna's assertions doubted, they describe the Catholicity of the Church and Church power on a "universal" level that is on the Ecumenical Church's level. By his words the document's authors commence describing not the modern Roman-Catholic and Orthodox Churches, "yet probably some theoretical Church established on the Church's principles of the Ecumenical Councils period."

The representative of the Moscow Patriarchate has not agreed with the clause 39 of the document where it is asserted that in 1054 after the Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches both the Churches continued assembling councils in the critical situations, and bishops of the Local Churches associated with the Rome See, although it was understood otherwise, and associated with the Constantinople See attended those councils."

"In 2006 in Belgrade I already disputed these assertions and called them contradicted to the ecclesiology self-interpretation of the Local Orthodox Churches." "We are orthodox Christians and consider ourselves of such kind just as we communicate with the Constantinople See, aren't we?" Bishop Hilarion stated.

He thinks, the 45th clause's assertion of the Ravenna document "to examine more thoroughly" a role of the Rome bishop in the communication with all Churches s should be a start point in the next stage of the dialogue's Commission where a primacy in the Ecumenical Church is to be discussed.

"Apparently we will find ourselves in a trap. That is to say: The Roman Catholics would strive to express an ecclesiological model of the Ecumenical Church so that a role of "the first bishop" would be described most closely to that the Rome Pope has got in the modern Roman Catholic Church," - he considers.

In his turn the Constantinople Patriarchate, bishop Hilarion says, "would strive to arrange so that the "the first" hierarch will obtain the rights that he does not have now, but apparently he would have them.