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#339005 12/08/09 08:59 PM
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http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=6712

07 December 2009, 11:56

Russian Church wants "concrete steps" from Vatican to make Patriarch-Pope meeting possible

Moscow, December 7, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church is not against a meeting between its head, Patriarch Kirill, and Pope Benedict XVI but expects the Vatican to "take "concrete steps to show that there is a desire to be cooperative," the Russian Church's foreign relations chief said in a television program on Saturday.

"Our position has remained unchanged for many years: we have never excluded the possibility of such a meeting. So said the late Patriarch Alexy II and so says the incumbent Patriarch, Kirill," head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk told Rossiya television.

But such a meeting needs good preparation "so that the current tension is eliminated," he said.

"We expect the Vatican, the Roman Catholic Church, to take concrete steps to show that there is a desire to be cooperative and heal all the wounds that were inflicted in the extremely harrowing period of the early 90s," the Archbishop said.

In that period, more than 500 Orthodox churches in Ukraine "were forcibly seized by Greek Catholics and the Orthodox believers were ousted from them".

"We are suggesting concrete solutions to the problems that exist," he said.

Archbishop Hilarion also commented on a recent decision by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to seek diplomatic relations between Russia and the Vatican.

"This move on the part of the Russian state deserves nothing but being hailed," he said.

At the same time, there are problems in relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Churches "that need to be solved in a completely different way and by different means, that cannot be solved merely by establishing diplomatic relations," he said.

"Above all, it is the problems of Western Ukraine, where there remains tension in relations between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics," Archbishop Hilarion said.



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Bless Father!
Good news! I pray the Pope and Patriarch can meet in a spirit of brotherly love!

I wonder if the Russian Orthodox Church would also be willing to apologize (if it not has already done so, I am not sure) for the forcing of Greek Catholics out of their Churches and the forced renouncing of the "unia" during the Communist period.

To call for one side to apologize and to elminate tension should also come with a mutual apology for the tragedy that befell Greek Catholics during the Soviet Union. Since most of the Churches in Question were taken from the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine in the first place.

Both sides need to mutally forgive the other, then tensions would get better and the meeting would be a much more fruitful and peaceful meeting of brothers in Christ.

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The Russian Orthodox Church should then take concrete steps to show that there is a desire to be cooperative and heal all the wounds that were inflicted in the extremely harrowing period of the late 40s. In that period 2387 Greek Catholic Churches were forcibly seized by Orthodox and the Greek Catholics were ousted from them.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
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I would just be happy if they would acknowledge the false synods to be what they were, an act of religious repression that, while implemented by the Communist authorities, was abetted, and indeed welcomed, by the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church. An apology would be nice, too--but you know the old motto: "Never explain, never apologize" (Hat tip to Kyr Kallistos for that one).

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I would hope that both sides would see how they have contributed to the current estrangement.

In reading the threads here and on other forums, there tends to be a tendency for one group to demand the apology of the other, and yet will explain why their own group's actions were just a response to a political situation or some other external factor.

Both sides need to begin to see with the eyes of the other.
I don't know why that has been so difficult between the East and West.

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Danman916 is right on the money.This discussion has certainly provoked strong statements and evoked strong opinions. History placed the Galicians and Carpatho-Rusyns at the fault line of Europe, caught between the shifting geopolitical boundaries and aims of great empires and kingdoms, i.e. the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian and the Polish-Lithuanian. What happened to these peoples, whose deep faith and simple piety was profound, ought to serve as warning to those of you who would put your trust in princes and expect any government to further the aims of the Faith. My family, in both the United States and in Europe, has both clergy and laity who remain Eastern Catholic and members, such as my immediate family, who returned to Orthodoxy. Those of us whose families lived through these struggles have tried to understand the past and move forward into the future. In the United States the Rusyn community was driven asunder in community after community at least twice during the 20th Century as a result of arguments such as Westernization (as perceived by some) or Russification, as perceived by others. Indeed,"Neither to Moscow nor to Rome" became the rallying cry of many as a result. (Many went right out the door to other faiths or no faith at all!) Property rights and congregationalism became foundations of 'faith' to many. My point is simple, seeking apologies and seeking recriminations over the sins committed by some as well as the (perceived)good faith actions of others,is akin to putting spilled milk back into a bottle. The laity and the clergy of both sides need to work together on a community by community basis to resolve these difficult and emotionally tough issues. Proclamations and slogans won't work. The pastoral example set by Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos and Metropolitan Basil of Pittsburgh is a template for reconciliation. We must respect the faith of each other if we truly believe the unity of the faith which we all petition during the Divine Liturgy is a goal worth striving for. Too much pain and suffering occurred both in Europe and America for anyone to demand apologies.

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Originally Posted by danman916
In reading the threads here and on other forums, there tends to be a tendency for one group to demand the apology of the other, and yet will explain why their own group's actions were just a response to a political situation or some other external factor.
Danman,

This has always been a problem for our fallen race. When there's a confrontation of any kind, we are quick to point out and maximize the other party's fault in the matter, and just as quick to justify and minimize our own.

Ideally, both sides should come together in a spirit of humility and repentance. However, it will be incumbent on the side that wishes to be the most Christ-like to be ready to do so unilaterally, if necessary.


Quote
Both sides need to begin to see with the eyes of the other.
I don't know why that has been so difficult between the East and West.
It's been difficult because somehow we've failed to realize that our lack of unity is a judgment against us. Discord between parties always begins with discord within one or both of the parties involved.

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord ... for peace throughout the world, for the well-being of God's holy churches and for the unity of all! grin


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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forgive me but what is the point of the Pope meeting with the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow anyway?

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If there is no point, why make it so hard for such a meeting?
Even if it is for a cup of tea or for talking about secular business, why make it so hard with a litany of demands?

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forgive me but what is the point . . .


Well, for starters, if for no other reason, a discussion of how lonely it is at the top. Then, how much do you trust the people around you for telling you the truth? How much do you think is what they think you want to hear? How do you find time to pray when there are so many demands put on you by your office? How do you cope with being in the spotlight all the time?

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A bishop once said, "Once they put the mitre on you, you will never eat a bad meal or hear the truth about yourself again".

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Gee, I had a priest tell me that a mitre was, "an artificial extension of a natural vacuum" smile

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Stuart and hawk:

May I use your material? Both are priceless. Reminds me of my attorney friend who collected attorney jokes and could go on and on reciting them. laugh

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 12/13/09 02:56 AM.
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There's no copyright involved. Have a ball.

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http://www.mospat.ru/en/2009/11/12/news8273/

Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk explains problems and prospects of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in a talk with foreign journalists





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