Monday, March 21, 2011

Russian Church urges Catholics to organize missionary "attack" on Europe

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.


Ingemar said...

The ROC would probably do better to evangelize the Asian part of its country since it is heavily pagan or Muslim and will probably spell the future of that country.

Would that we have another Fr. Daniil Sysoev!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I agree with Ingemar.

And I add: Catholicism has never benefitted the Orthodox Church or the Orthodox people and I wonder if Hilarion isn't being a bit naive.

mjl said...

The Russian Church encouraging Rome to evangelize and convert people? That's almost as confusing a headline as "Mouse chases Cat."

Igumen Gregory said...

perhaps, gentlemen, we have entered into a new era in which we are building on our common values in order to sustain the faithful as we are mutually engaged in the same battle of survival. As Franklin once quipped: "Gentlemen, we either hang together or most assuredly we will hang separately."

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Battle for survival? With respect, that battle is for the Holy Spirit to wage, Whose job it is to preserve His Church and Who alone can do it. Our battle is only to remain faithful, entrusting the rest to His hands. And to be ready to hang, separately or together.

Many of the horrible events in history have been perpetrated by people who took it upon themselves to try to "preserve the Church."

Muiris said...

Given that less than 2% of the supposedly Orthodox population of Russia attend Church at the Great Feasts, I think Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Hilarion have the duty of evangelising Russia first, before trying the tell other Churches how to manage their affairs.

Bob Glassmeyer said...

Jesus said that the Centurion, whose servant He healed, had more faith than many in Isreal.

The Centurion was a pagan, if memory serves.

If our Lord can work with this man, surely He can help Orthodox and Catholics to work together.