Russia: Ecumenism proves difficult between Alexis II and Benedict XVI

Source: FSSPX News

On September 14, Vsevlod Chaplin, vice-president of the department of external affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow, announced the demands of the Russian Orthodox Church, during the interreligious meeting organized by Sant’Egidio at Lyons.

 “We are perfectly ready for a meeting between the Patriarch Alexis II and Benedict XVI. But first, the problems between the two churches must be resolved. We do not want a mere meeting in order to shake hands in front of the cameras, but to really resolve the problems which cause suffering to our faithful.” “From my point of view, I am happy with the assurance given at the beginning of the week at Lyons by Cardinal Walter Kasper, confirming that ‘proselytism is not the strategy of the Roman Catholic Church towards the Orthodox Churches.’ But we would like to see concrete changes, that is to say, that the missionary war on the populations baptized Orthodox cease. That is absolutely essential. For example, we do not understand why the Greek Catholic Church in the Ukraine has found it necessary to double the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, by creating her own Metropolitan of Kiev. Would the Roman Catholic Church accept our nomination of an Orthodox pope in Rome? It is almost the same thing when she appoints a Greek Catholic Metropolitan in Kiev. In reality, we can not forget such actions; to create a metropolitan title for the Greek Catholic Church in the Ukraine or to establish new dioceses in different places is an ordeal for the Orthodox. Cardinal Kasper has said that the Greek Orthodox Church is a bridge between the West and the East. I am afraid it is a bridge that has been mined, and which may explode.”