CWN - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said that the Moscow patriarchate and the Vatican were close to agreement on the situation in Ukraine, after an August 22 meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.

“We greatly appreciated that this time, we found a mutual understanding on the role that our churches must play concerning the reconciliation of the population in Ukraine,” the Russian patriarch said. He added that churches “cannot play any other role if not one of peacemaking.”

Patriarch Kirill’s statement is particularly significant because the Russian Orthodox Church has frequently blamed the Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church for fomenting divisions in Ukraine. Tensions over the role of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, in a country that the Moscow patriarchate regards as its “canonical territory,” have troubled relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church for years, since the Catholic Church in Ukraine burst into vigorous activity after the fall of the Communist regime.

Cardinal Parolin spoke with Patriarch Kirill about the expansion of ecumenical ties between Rome and Moscow, which took a dramatic step forward when Pope Francis met with the Russian patriarch in Havana. This year, more than 2.3 million Russians venerated the relics of St. Nicholas, which were displayed in Moscow and St. Petersburg, on loan from the Catholic cathedral of Bari, Italy. Cardinal Parolin remarked that this massive display of faith illustrates the depth of belief that unites the Catholic and Orthodox faithful. “The ecumenism of holiness is real,” he said; “it exists.”

During their talk, held at the Danilovsky monastery, the cardinal and the patriarch also discussed the plight of Christians in the Middle East, agreeing that they should cooperate in providing support for those in need.

 

References:


Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Seek, my child, the nobility of the soul, for it is truth; that of the body is false. Do not seek honor from men, for this injures one; but rather, seek heavenly glory . . . . You are to be sympathetic with all the brethren and help them as much as possible; and, you are to minister to them that are unable or weak. Do not desire to live by another's labors . . . . Never ridicule anyone, and especially when they are in misfortune. When you hear that a certain brother is disorderly, supplicate God to correct his life. Visit and help the sick, and serve the brethren as their servant; so you might be a friend of Christ Who, for your sake, became a servant and minister. Always heed, my child, not to fall into temptations. However, if it happens that you should fall, immediately rise up and amend yourself with repentance, and again hasten to prayer. In this manner, live your life, my child, and God shall always come to you and help you in soul and body.

St. Theodora of Alexandria, "The Lives of the Spiritual Mothers: An Orthodox Materikon of Women Monastics and Ascetics