What’s the future of Catholic&Russian Orthodox relations?


Headlines / Headlines 51 Views comments

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Selling Christian Unity, addresses Pope Francis on the Vatican, Might 6, 2022. / Vatican Media. Vatican City, Might 9, 2022 / 05:35 am (CNA). With the interview granted to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Might 3, Pope Francis appeared to burn the bridges of ecumenical dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church that the Vatican had painstakingly constructed. Luckily, members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity met in Rome that same week, giving a renewed impulse to dialogue between Christian confessions. Ecumenical dialogue is now strongly influenced by the state of affairs in Ukraine. Before the warfare, there was an Orthodox schism, with the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which led to a breach between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Moscow continued bilateral relations with Rome however abandoned intra-Orthodox dialogue occasions chaired by Constantinople and in addition launched an aggressive ecclesiastical coverage which led, shortly earlier than the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, to the institution of an exarchate in Africa in territories underneath the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa.The conflict has reworked the state of affairs. Even the department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church linked to the Moscow Patriarchate (generally known as the UOC-MP) disavowed the line of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, who justified Russian aggression. The only risk for the Moscow Patriarchate to escape its isolation was the dialogue with Rome. A second assembly between Pope Francis and Kirill in Jerusalem was being explored. However then the Holy See decided to cancel the assembly.Then came the pope’s interview with Corriere della Sera, during which he recounted his video conference name with Patriarch Kirill on March 6 and warned the Russian Orthodox leader towards turning into “Putin’s altar boy.”If the second assembly was canceled for reasons of expediency, then Pope Francis’ phrases burned the bridges of dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate. The patriarchate responded by saying that Pope Francis had chosen “the mistaken tone” to convey the content material of the conversation with Kirill, stressing that “such utterances can hardly additional constructive dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Church buildings, which is so needed at the current time.”The Moscow Patriarchate posted a summary of Kirill’s phrases to the pope on its official website. The text highlighted a reported bloodbath of Russian speakers within the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa in 2014 and the eastward enlargement of NATO, indicating them as two potential causes of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Kirill advised the pope that the present state of affairs brought on him “nice ache.”“My flock is on each side of the battle and most of them are Orthodox individuals,” he stated. “Part of the opposing aspect are additionally amongst your flock. I would really like subsequently, leaving the geopolitical facet to at least one aspect, to pose the query of how we and our Church buildings can affect the state of affairs. How can we act together to convey peace to the hostile parties with the only goal of building peace and justice? It is rather necessary in these circumstances to keep away from further escalation.”In follow, the Patriarchate of Moscow asked Rome not to contemplate political and nationwide occasions, whereas reserving the potential for chatting with them and commenting on them — remaining, in essence, a profoundly national Church. This can be a perspective that the pope and Holy See can't accept: for Pope Francis, the battle have to be faced from a spiritual perspective, leaving politics apart.The stance of those on the battlefield is totally different. A speech delivered final week by Main Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), shed further mild on the state of affairs.Speaking on the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity on Might 5, Shevchuk careworn that the conflict waged by Russia was “ideological” and aimed toward “eliminating the Ukrainian individuals.” He pointed to instructions given to Russian troopers about the way to deal with Ukrainians, saying that they amounted to a “genocide handbook.”Shevchuk emphasized that the struggle had strengthened the unity amongst Ukraine’s spiritual communities. He pointed to the Pan-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Spiritual Organizations (UCCRO)​​, which features a consultant of the UOC-MP and “in 70 days was capable of put together 17 paperwork” in regards to the conflict. Particularly, Shevchuk recalled that on the eve of the Russian attack, UCCRO proposed itself as a mediator, as a result of “if the diplomats and politicians have been unable to keep away from armed confrontation, we churchmen needed to be this body that would mediate in some sense and in addition forestall armed confrontation.”UCCRO also wrote “a letter to the spiritual leaders of Belarus” when the Russian government pressured Belarus to assist with the conflict.The work of UCCRO an