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Russian Orthodox spokesman: Pope should not encourage Ukrainian Catholics

Catholic World News - March 26, 2013

The chief ecumenical-affairs officer for the Russian Orthodox Church has voiced his hope that Pope Francis will not encourage the growth of the Eastern-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk said that the evangelical activity of the Ukrainian Catholic Church—which is by far the largest of the Eastern churches in communion with the Holy See—is “the most painful topic in Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, in relations between the Orthodox and the Catholics.” The Russian Orthodox Church has frequently complained about what it regards as “proselytism” by Ukrainian Catholics in a land that the Moscow Patriarchate regards as its own “canonical territory.”

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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Mar. 28, 2013 4:14 AM ET USA

    Another quote from the article: Metropolitan Hilarion noted the Orthodox often had a suspicious attitude toward the Jesuits. “It is believed that a Jesuit is someone who on the outside is one person, but inside someone else, says one thing, but means something else. This idea has been confirmed in real life by Jesuits and through our experience with such representatives.” The ROC: the greatest block to unity between East and West. "I come to be served not to serve and to assert my importance"

  • Posted by: gfdsmith9280 - Mar. 27, 2013 1:10 PM ET USA

    The Orthodox concept of "canonical territory" is utterly alien to the gospel of Christ, Who told His apostles and their successors to 'preach the gospel to every creature'. The Catholic "canonical territory" in Austria and Cuba doesn't seem to have deterred the Russian Orthodox Church from establishing cathedrals in those countries. Not to mention their cathedral in London, the "canonical territory" of the Church of England. Don't do as we do,....

  • Posted by: mateskub8508 - Mar. 26, 2013 6:29 PM ET USA

    If the Church stops evangelizing, she will die. Rather the Orthodox should evangelize too. I'm sure there are plenty of Ukranians who do not go to any Church; should they rather become Jehova's witnesses (who I am sure do more announcing of their bad news than the uniates announce their Good News...)

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Mar. 26, 2013 5:31 PM ET USA

    The Russians have no memory of Stalin obliterating the Ukraine? Hate runs deep,irrespective of faith.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Mar. 26, 2013 5:17 PM ET USA

    I think I understand why Patriarch Bartholomew does not think that unity between East and West will happen in his lifetime. Reading stories like this, I'm fairly sure it won't happen in mine, either.

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