2011-02-28 12:10:00

Russian Orthodox Church hierarch calls for strategic alliance with Catholics, Protestants

Moscow, February 28, Interfax - Russia's moral and demographic situation raises a question about its future, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said.

"I often say that today there is a bad need for a 'strategic alliance' between Orthodox believers and Catholics, members of the ancient eastern Churches, traditional Protestants, that is to say all those who defend true Christian values - the family, children's upbringing, indissolubility of marriage, the value of human life from inception until death," the Metropolitan said in an interview published in the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Monday.

All these notions are being "totally reviewed, and we must oppose this," he said.

"Otherwise, both Russia and the Christian civilization in general will over [not so much] time lose their 'salt,' lose their image and remain just a subject of study for historians and archeologists," the hierarch said.

Russians "are beginning to get used to their country's "severe demographic crisis," he said.

Asked what the Church can suggest to change this situation, he recalled the recent major initiative by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, involving a set of proposals to fight abortions, to support families with many children, to help children left without parents and to pass new legislation to protect families and childhood.