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Key Russian Orthodox prelate sees new springtime for Christian unity

October 06, 2010

Speaking in Spain, and echoing language used by Venerable John Paul II, the Russian Orthodox Church’s leading ecumenical officer said on October 5 that this century will see a springtime of Christianity.

“A Christian spring is just about to arrive,” said Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev. “The 21st century will see the divisions between Christians healed and a rebirth of the faith, gift of God, just as it was preached by the apostles and preserved by the Fathers.”

Archbishop Hilarion’s remarks came less than two weeks after he downplayed the optimism prevalent at the official dialogue between Eastern Orthodox and Catholics.

In his address at the Conciliar Seminary of Barcelona, Archbishop Hilarion also called for a renewed appreciation of the Fathers of the Church.

“Contrary to the recipes of modern teachings such as psychoanalysis, the advice of the Fathers exhales a healthy spirit, founded as it is on the solid understanding of the human spirit, and the need to combat one's own sinful tendencies and put goodness into practice,” he said. “The counsels of the Fathers are much more universal than the basic postulates of Freudianism, and can be applied to people who live in the most diverse cultural and temporal contexts.”

“The works of the Fathers will never be irrelevant,” he added, “given that they treat questions, the answers to which are decisive for humanity's destiny.”


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  • Posted by: umpynelson3459 - Oct. 06, 2010 2:07 PM ET USA

    Glad to hear that the Russian Orthodox are on board, even if they are a little behind. God's chruch will be one...It must be so.