February 3, 2010

Russian and Catholic Churches Agree on Contemporary Issues

Russian Church, Pope Agree On Many Contemporary Issues

Moscow, February 2, Interfax - When it comes to fighting today's challenges, the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church stand side-by-side on a number of issues, said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

"We [together with the Roman Catholic Church] have similar positions on many problems facing Christians in the modern world. They include aggressive secularization, globalization, and the erosion of the traditional moral principles. It should be noted that on these issues Pope Benedict XVI has taken a stance close to the Orthodox one," the Patriarch said at the Bishops' Meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.

There are growing differences with Protestant denominations, he said. Over the recent years, "the Russian Church has seen less protestant communities cooperating in the cause of preserving the Christian legacy" due to "the relentless liberalization of the Protestant world," the Patriarch said.

"Alas, not only have they failed to conduct a real propagation of the Christian values among the secular society, many Protestant communities prefer to adjust to its standards," said Patriarch Kirill, recalling, in particular, the recent election of female bishop Margot Kassmann as head of the Evangelical Church in Germany.

In a dialog with Protestants, the Orthodox Church should search for the very possibility of overcoming fundamental differences, and if that proves impossible, "there remains many other important issues, not directly related with achieving unity in faith and the ecumenical structure, but important in terms of cooperating for the sake of peace, justice, preserving the Divine Creation and in solving other problems that require joint efforts from the people who believe in the Holy Trinity," the Patriarch said.