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Russian Orthodox official blasts liberal developments in Anglicanism

Catholic World News - September 14, 2010

Speaking in England on September 9, the Russian Orthodox prelate in charge of ecumenical relations minced no words as he blasted developments in contemporary Anglicanism.

In the presence of Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk criticized “the unrestrained liberalization of Christian values [that] continues in many communities of the Anglican world,” as well as the Church of England’s moves towards a female episcopate. He added, “It is impossible to pass silently by the liberalism and relativism which have become so characteristic of today’s Anglican theology.”

The Russian prelate warned candidly that if the Anglican communion continues to embrace liberal ideas, Orthodox-Anglican dialogue may come to an end. He argued that the most important dividing line in the Christian world today separates those who accept the authority of Church traditions and those who do not. He suggested that the more fruitful ecumenical collaboration in the future would join the efforts of those who embrace Biblical teachings and traditions, including the Orthodox, some Catholics, and Evangelicals.

Metropolitan Hilarion also spoke of “the possibility of establishing an Orthodox-Catholic alliance in Europe for defending the traditional values of Christianity. The primary aim of this alliance would be to restore a Christian soul to Europe. We should be engaged in common defense of Christian values against secularism and relativism.”

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  • Posted by: Obregon - Sep. 14, 2010 11:13 PM ET USA

    “It is impossible to pass silently by the liberalism and relativism which have become so characteristic of today’s Anglican theology.” I love these words, absolutely love them. It is high time someone in position of authority and not a Roman Catholic prelate told the Anglicans the truth to their faces. I also hope the Holy Father in his diplomatic but assertive manner will also remind Anglicans they are destroying the church created by Henry VIII. They have only one way to go, toward the Tiber.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Sep. 14, 2010 10:51 PM ET USA

    Great words coming from the East! I pray that the Orthodox, Catholics, traditional Anglo-Catholics, and the better strains of Evangelicalism can come closer to reunion.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Sep. 14, 2010 9:10 PM ET USA

    It puzzles me when an organization goes beyond the breaking point with another organization, the other organization says dialogue will end if the march continues. Seems to me like the dialogue should end when the breaking point is reached, not at some undefined time later on.

  • Posted by: mjarman7759049 - Sep. 14, 2010 9:49 AM ET USA

    This is brilliant and powerful as only truth can be. One hopes and expects that the Holy Father will speak the same truths during his upcoming visit to Great Britain. I suspect that Metropolitan Hilarion intends this to be part of a joint Orthodox-Catholic message and has some assurances from Rome that the theme with be echoed.

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