November 19, 2010

Moscow Patriarchate and Vatican Wage Common Fight Against Secular Liberalism

November 19, 2010

Despite a difficult relationship between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, they have been effectively cooperating along many avenues, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told students and diplomats at the Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Academy in Moscow.

"Together with the Roman Catholic Church we have been defending the traditional Christian concept of family and human values from aggressive secular liberalism. Our Churches are waging a common fight against medico-biological experiments incompatible with respect for human dignity," His Holiness said.

Cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church has become possible thanks to Pope Benedict XVI and is proceeding simultaneously along several avenues.

"Starting from 1980, we have been conducting a theological dialogue in the course of which and together with other Orthodox churches we were discussing problems that separate us such as the role of the Roman bishop, the Unia issue and others," the Patriarch said.

This has not been an easy dialogue as it is "impossible to find quick solutions to problems that have separated the Christian East and West for a whole millennium".

Nevertheless, "thorough theological analysis of all that has happened is being carried out, in particular, our understanding of history because many differences stem from the way we understand it", Patriarch Kirill said.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed concern over trends in some Protestant communities towards liberalizing theology and Christian morals. Thus, some Protestant communities have sanctioned homosexual marriages and the ordaining of homosexuals.

At the same time, he pointed out that in the majority of Churches in the CIS and Eastern Europe - the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Churches - adhere to the traditional understanding of Christian values.

For example, Protestants in Russia and the Baltic countries are closer to Orthodoxy than to their Western fellow Christians because "they are not striving to liberalize their doctrine", the Patriarch said.