18 September 2008, 15:58
The Moscow Patriarchate against Catholic efforts to expand influence over Orthodox
Moscow, September 18, Interfax – The Russian Church points out to great potential for cooperation with Catholics, but warns against their unfriendly steps.
“We have much in common with Catholics not only in teaching, but also in morals,” the Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said on air of the Soyuz Orthodox TV channel.
According to him, today “Catholic hierarchs and laymen actively opposes the problems actual for modern Russia: aborts, dilution of family, cult of permissiveness in private life, in sexual relations, in media, in education and so on.”
“We fight against the same enemies and must at least coordinate our efforts,” Fr. Vsevolod stressed.
Though, he noted, the Moscow Patriarchate saw “there are people in the Catholic Church who try to expand the area of its influence in Orthodox countries and nations.”
“It happens in Ukraine where the Greek Catholic Church was a local phenomenon of three regions of Western Ukraine and now pretends to have some national status, to be a Church of the whole Ukraine and claims it can unite Orthodox as well,” the priest stated.
He pointed out the Russian Church did not agree to it.
“We don’t understand those Catholic missionaries who come to various regions of Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia and act as though these lands have never been enlightened with the light of Christ. It not fraternal actions, to put it mildly,” Fr. Vsevolod said.
According to him, those Catholics, who try to act like this, “should remember that their small benefits greatly limit possibilities for joint work and opposing the challenges both Catholic and Orthodox Churches face.”